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‘I am now one of the largest Barbie collectors in the Netherlands’

‘I am now one of the largest Barbie collectors in the Netherlands’

Armel Rood (50, representative / project manager at a medical company, lives together) has a large collection of Barbie dolls. Her children Senna (16) and Inara (13) have never played with it.

“When my two older sisters moved out, they took their collection of Barbies with them. While I loved playing with it! With my mother I scoured flea markets looking for copies for myself. I am now one of the ten largest Barbie collectors in the Netherlands. I have about four hundred and my Barbies have already been exhibited four times in museums.

The funny thing is that Barbie has really moved with the times. In the beginning she wore Jackie Kennedy suits, later she switched to flower power. Her posture has also changed in recent years. She was so unreal thin that it was completely wrong anatomically. Barbie was a bit of the influencer of the past: a fantasy woman, too perfect.

Read also – Mama collects art: ‘I’m also building a collection for my son’ >


I used to buy everything Barbie related, now I’m more selective. I’m looking for unique copies. For example, I managed to buy the very first Barbie and I’m now looking for a doll with bright orange hair from the sixties.

“I owe even my best friend to Barbie”

Some Barbies are ten euros, others can cost thousands of euros. I don’t do bidding all night on an auction site anymore, I just hope to find something nice over and over again. My network has now grown quite large. I even met my best friend when she bought something from me on Marktplaats, because I trade and sell duplicates.

mom collects Barbie's Armel

Barbie room

Fortunately, my daughter was more into Playmobil as a child, because I had not let her play with my Barbies. The plastic sometimes becomes porous due to age and then they quickly break.

When my husband and I moved in together, there was one requirement: I want a separate room for my Barbies. So at first I had that Barbie room, but when the kids came along it became the baby room.

Most of the dolls are now in boxes, but there is also a part displayed in display cabinets in the living room. I change the content every so often. I would like to put more, but unfortunately I don’t have the space for that. When the children leave home later, I know what I will do with their room.”

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