I found so many possibilities, I was amazed. There are people out there who have the very first Dream House, as incredible as that sounds, and they are willing to cut a deal for an interested buyer. Dear friends, I am that buyer.
Here’s the thing: when she was just starting out, Barbie's Dream House wasn't so dreamy. From the outside, the structure kind of looked like a storage unit -- Babs was at the cutting edge of the Tiny House Movement, but does anyone give her credit? -- and the inside of the rectangle was a bit modest, too. In 2014, the Daily Mail ran an article about it. They said Barb originally owned "a tiny yellow-walled apartment decked out with minimalist furnishings and crafted from cardboard; and it may not have been flash, but it certainly was practical" and they couldn’t have been more correct. If I’d been gifted with one as a child, I'd have destroyed it.
From love, not on purpose. Even as a child, I delighted in Barbie and her accessories. But when I played, I played hard and everything ended up suffering from my eagerness. Nothing I owned in those days has survived intact.
Glynn says he loves my eagerness. He's lucky I haven't destroyed him.
Naturally, once I found the absolutely most perfect 1962 Barbie Dream House, complete with EVERYTHING, all of it intact, all of it in nearly perfect condition, I couldn’t wait to show my sweetie.
“And it’s Buy-It-Now for $299,” I told him this because, honestly, I’d love to own this nearly miraculous toy and wouldn’t have minded skipping a few of life’s so-called “necessities” if it helped advance the cause. I mean, our food budget could use a little trimming, anyway, and Glynn has told me he wants to lose a few pounds, so why shouldn’t we start now?
“Three hundred bucks for an old doll house?” Glynn responded. “That’s crazy.”
“Not for this doll house. All of the cardboard furniture is intact. It’s sixty years old and it looks new!”
“How can we use that money to buy a Barbie trailer box when we could use the same cash to grab an authentic masterpiece that would enrich our lives for years to come?” he asked.
“I can get a Van Gogh for that amount of money,” he said. “Or a Monet. But I've always liked Van Gogh.”
I happen to think a 60-year+ marvel of Mattel engineering is an authentic masterpiece, if you want my opinion, but Glynn wasn’t haven’t any of it that day. When I told him I didn’t want a John Van Gogh or a Martin Monet, he told me he was talking about original paintings by the famous artists themselves.
When I mentioned that was crazy, he suggested I do a little looking on eBay. I don’t know why, but I was surprised to learn he was correct. There are all kinds of people selling original Vincent Van Gogh artwork on eBay, usually at a starting price that runs less than the price of Barbie’s dream cottage. As Ripley once said, believe it or not.
One seller offered a canvas with “real hanmade paint!” (his spelling), and assured buyers that he would consider any suitable offers. Considering the rarity of real hanmade paint, you probably want to jump on that one if it’s still around. Another eBayer put up an original drawing, also signed by Van Gogh, that he picked up at an estate sale. (My limited research revealed that authentic Van Goghs litter estate sales, garage sales, and flea markets. Keep your eyes open.) The seller offered it without reserve since the artwork came without documentation. But if you DID want some paperwork to satisfy your estate lawyer, a third seller offered an eye-catching, signed painting and all of this for $275: A registration certificate at the National Fine Arts Registry, transfer of the registration details to the new owner, a certificate of authenticity, and full transfer of ownership.
When I was done looking, I wasn’t tempted in the least…but Glynn kind of was. Once the “no reserve” original Van Gogh drawing topped $45, his interest faded. “Not worth it,” he declared.
I agreed with him.
But that Barbie Dream House? An absolute steal.