Human Interest

Mexican boasts collection of more than 200 Barbie dolls

Puebla, Mexico, Jul 16 (EFE).- Amid the attention surrounding the premiere of “Barbie,” a Mexican physician boasts of a collection of more than 200 of the iconic doll.

Dr. Paul Sebastian Juarez recounted to EFE that during his childhood, when he asked his parents for a Barbie they refused, telling him that boys didn’t play with dolls.

But after surviving a nearly fatal bout with cholera, he woke up one year on Three Kings Day to a doll from the Barbie Pink Collection.

“It’s something that makes me very happy, honestly happy, to be able to touch them, comb their hair, changes their clothes, photograph them,” he said, reflecting on more than two decades of collecting Barbies.

“I have four dolls that are exclusive to Mexico, which have sold for very high prices abroad. However, there are so few pieces we need to keep them in Mexican territory. By the same token, I have the Star Wars edition, the Princess Leia and Darth Vader, which are fought over by film and doll collectors, so they sell for a lot,” Juarez said.

The surgeon has signed up for several services that alert him to when especially prized examples are coming onto the market.

He is also a frequent visitor to Barrio de Los Sapos, the antiques district in Puebla city, where he has found treasures such as the first edition Barbie from 1959, and the first Ken, rolled out in 1961.

Among the highlights of Juarez’s collection are the Day of the Dead Barbie created in collaboration with Mexican fashion designer Benito Santos, which is valued at 10,000 pesos (almost $600).

He is also proud of the doll inspired by Karl Lagerfeld. Known as Barbie Lagerfeld, the doll wears a tailored black jacket, white high-collared men’s shirt with French cuffs and black satin cravat, and sports the late German designer’s trademark sunglasses.

Juarez told EFE about buying the Queen Elizabeth Barbie on the cheap and seeing its value soar to 36,000 pesos ($2,100) a year later after the British monarch’s death.

“The Queen Elizabeth has been the most hated (Barbie) of all time. In fact, in Mexico people began to compare it to AMLO (the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador),” Juarez said. “Truthfully, its facial features are very rough, very manly, so nobody wanted to buy it.”

His reputation as a collector won Juarez an invitation to the July 6 premiere of “Barbie” in Mexico City, where he met stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on the red carpet. EFE


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