14 of the best Barbie toys your child will love

Barbie Doll Toys

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

Barbie has been one of the most iconic toys since she was first launched in 1959. With a plethora of careers, accessories, and looks, Barbie has filled the homes of many children, for multiple generations. You probably had your own barbie doll growing up but now, Barbie is more diverse than ever, with Barbie toys remaining relevant to children and in pop culture.

Notoriously known for her iconic platinum blonde hair and pink accessories, Barbie now comes in all different ethnicities, shapes, and sizes. Once, Barbie's only hobby was shopping, but she is now a vet, doctor, movie star and so much more. She's versatile and she's fabulous - teaching children that they can be anything they dream off.

With so many Barbie's and accessories (we still want to live in the dreamhouse!) available, picking out the right Barbie doll or toy for your child can seem difficult but, no worries, we're here to help.

We still love the Barbie range, which is why we have have rounded up the best Barbie toys on the market, so your little one's can enjoy some of the fun too. We have taken into consideration design, price, and features with all our picks.

The best Barbie toys 2023

Best new Barbie Doll

Barbie The Movie Doll

Rrp: $25.00

Price: $22.99
Alternative retailers
Target$22.49View offer
Best Buy$22.99View offer
Walmart$24.97View offer
Overstock$59.99View offer

Designed to look just like Margot Robbie playing Barbie in the new Greta Gerwig film. This Barbie doll is dressed in a beautiful pink and white vintage-inspired dress with matching accessories, plus her arms are posable so she can wave as she says 'Hi Barbie!' to your child's other dolls.

One reviewer said: "Like many women, I grew up playing with Barbie dolls. I wish I’d taken better care of my collection from the 80’s! When I heard about the Barbie movie, I knew they’d make a doll in the beautiful likeness of actress Margot Robbie, and that I had to have one.
The doll is absolutely beautiful and indeed looks like Robbie. Her pink and white gingham dress is a retro 50’s look, with dainty white jewelry and heels. The bangs of her hair are a bit stiff, but a good combing would fix that. The box is pink, bright, and cheerful as always, with a smiling Robbie on the back in a still from the movie.
I would definitely recommend this adorable doll for collectors and little girls who love Barbie. I’m long past my days of playing with dolls, but I can’t wait for the movie and the Margot Barbie will have a special place on my shelf next to my pink Manolo Blahniks."

Pros

  • Posable arms
  • Lovely, recognisable design

Cons

  • May be seen as more of a collectable doll

Best fashionista Barbie doll

Barbie Fashionistas Doll with Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid

Rrp: $17.59

Price: $15.89
Alternative retailers
Walmart$15.89View offer

Mattel launched a wonderful line recently, which included the first Barbie with a hearing aid, inspired by EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis. She also has a smaller bust, Rose's signature high pony, and a cute daisy print dress. We love her stylish look, especially the little pink boots that she is wearing.

One reviewer said, "My little boy has cochlear implants and was desperate to get this Barbie to give his little sister for her birthday. He said it's the only toy he has seen that has 'ears' a bit like his. Beautiful doll, and lovely to see the inclusive range that has been brought out."

Pros

  • Comes with a reusable vinyl bag 
  • Thoughtful design

Cons

  • Some accessories sold separately

Best outdoors Barbie

Barbie Wilderness Guide Interactive Playset
Price: $38.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$36.99View offer

Gone are the days when Barbie was confined to the shopping mall, this Barbie is an outdoors-loving girl who takes care of nature and animals. We're obsessed with all the adorable accessories that this set comes with, plus Barbie's ready to explore outfit, complete with denim shorts and sneakers.

One reviewer said, "Granddaughter loved the Barbie and the little animals, brought her an adventurer outfit to match."

Pros

  • Multiple accessories included
  • Good value set

Cons

  • Smaller accessories could be dangerous for younger children

Best stylish Barbie doll

Barbie GHW51 Fashionistas Doll with Vitiligo and Curly Brunette Hair
Price: $25.83
Alternative retailers
Walmart$32.99View offer

This Barbie doll has a more petite body than the original Barbie design and she also has vitiligo.​ We love this doll for its ability to promote self-acceptance and understanding of others, plus, she's clearly a style icon. The bag she comes with shows she's ready for whatever occasion your little one can think of.

One reviewer said, "Daughter absolutely loves her still after over a year: opens up a dialogue about diversity & role play using this Barbie along with the prosthetic leg one has helped my daughter understand the braider spectrum of diversity, disability & ourselves. The doll is actually smaller & slimmer than a regular Barbie but obviously doesn't make a bit of difference when playing with it."

Pros

  • Trendy look
  • Inclusive design

Cons

  • It's hard to find any here

Best full Barbie set

Barbie Camper - Transforming RV Vehicle

Rrp: $99.99

Price: $89.28

Now your kids can take Barbie, Chelsea, and Skipper on a road-trip to remember with this gloriously pink camper. With just a push of a button, the camper transforms so you can see the interior, with a fun pool extension included. We love how many accessories are included in this unique and vibrant set.

One reviewer said: "My 8-year-old daughter loves this. We bought it for her birthday and it was an instant hit."

Another reviewer said: "Got this for my 5 year old and she absolutely loves it. Hours of fun."

Pros

  • More accessories than any set on our list
  • Easy to play with for hours

Cons

  • Reviewers felt some of the parts are a little flimsy

Best Barbie for dog lovers

Barbie Doll And Newborn Pups Playset With Barbie

Rrp: $22.99

Price: $16.59
Alternative retailers
Macy's$9.16View offer
Target$16.59View offer
Walmart$21.48View offer

If your child is a fan of animals or possibly wants to be a set when they grow up, this set will be perfect for them. This sweet inclusive Barbie is helping her pooch deliver pups, with multiple accessories included. For a dog-loving child, we can imagine this set would be a dream-come-true.

One reviewer said, "This set is a lot of fun. The mother dog gives birth to the puppies. The puppies are adorable. The Barbie bends at the knees and hip so she can sit down. The quality is great, and the set is worth the money you paid for it. My daughter is obsessed with it."

Pros

  • Interactive design
  • Fun accessories

Cons

  • Not the best for cat lovers

Best posable Barbie doll

Barbie Made to Move Doll
Price: $44.09

Encourage your child to embrace healthy movement with this Barbie doll, designed with flexible joints. Anyone who played with Barbie dolls back in the day will remember how annoying their stiffness was, so this posable and flexible doll is a welcome addition to the Barbie range. We also love her Yoga outfit.

One reviewer said: "Got these for my daycare centre. And the kids love them. Definitely worth the extra money for them to actually have joints. My kids barely touch the fashionistas. All they want to play with is the Bendy Barbies! Need to buy more ASAP."

Pros

  • Fully flexible joints
  • Encourages selfcare

Cons

  • None

Best doctor Barbie doll

Barbie Baby Doctor Playset 

Rrp: $22.99

Price: $15.99
Alternative retailers
Target$15.99View offer
Kohl's$21.84View offer
Macy's$22.99View offer
Walmart$24.88View offer

This set includes one doctor Barbie, and two babies for her to care for. With multiple medical-themed accessories, and mini doctor-to-be can act out a plethora of scenarios with this fun set. We love that this set encourages empathetic play and showcases a female doctor for little girls to look up to.

One reviewer said: "I bought this for my five year old granddaughter. My daughter is a Pediatrician so this is the perfect first Barbie. My granddaughter is delighted with her doctor Barbie and the two babies and their cradles and bottles and has not stopped playing with them since they arrived. Also she’s delighted that Doctors a Barbie can stand without support. A great buy and hours of enjoyment and play."

Pros

  • Super sweet design
  • Three dolls included

Cons

  • Some accessories are quite small

Best shopping Barbie

Barbie Doll, Blonde, and Grocery Store with Rolling Cart
Price: $34.61
Alternative retailers
Macy's$29.99View offer
Target$33.99View offer
Walmart$33.99View offer

Barbie still loves a bit of shopping from time to time, and we can't say we blame her. This supermarket Barbie has a working shopping cart and belt to ring up all of her purchases. There are 25 pieces to this set, so your little one can really get stuck in and enjoy hours of playtime with this brilliant set.

One reviewer said, "Our five-year-old loves everything Barbie, and she is super happy with this. She loves all the little items and has already had hours of fun playing with it."

Pros

  • Will make a lovely gift
  • Colourful design

Cons

  • Some pieces may be easily lost

Best magical Barbie

 ​Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Lights Unicorn with Rainbow Mane
Price: $59.99

This truly magical Barbie comes with a rainbow unicorn for your little one to fall in love with. We really like how this glitzy princess is perfect for unicorn lovers, plus the vibrant design. It's even designed with multiple light and sound patterns to truly captivate your child as they play.

One reviewer said, "Engaging toy. My 6-year-old was delighted. The unicorn lights are really pretty, and it makes various sounds and tunes. Bought in the sale, so good value for money. Full price is a little steep, but it's great quality, as you'd expect from Barbie. The doll has a good outfit, and legs are jointed at the knees to allow better riding position."

Pros

  • Cute accessory
  • Lights and sounds

Cons

  • Not the cheapest set on our list

Best Ken Doll

Barbie GJM33 Wildlife Vet Doll
Price: $39.94
Alternative retailers
Walmart$45.95View offer

Of course, we had to include a Ken doll. This Ken is working as a vet to ensure the health and safety of his animal patients. Perfect for any children who are interested in animals and vets, this adorable set includes big and small accessories that will have your child's face lighting up in no time.

One reviewer said, "My granddaughter absolutely loved this bought for Christmas. All the little extras that came with it were excellent."

Pros

  • Creative and cute design
  • Encourages empathy

Cons

  • None!

Best horse riding Barbie

 BARBIE Barbie Hugs n Horses Dolls with Barbie and Chelsea Blonde Dolls
Price: $44.80

This includes not one but two fabulously designed dolls. Barbie is teaching her little sister Chelsea how to ride a horse, which is a very sweet concept. We love that the dolls and horses have long brushable hair, plus the cute little dog companion. Your child will spend hours playing with this set.

One reviewer said, "An expensive toy but worth the money to see granddaughter playing imaginative games with it."

Pros

  • Connecting fence pieces
  • 15+ accessories

Cons

  • Won't be to every child's taste

Best fashion Barbie

Barbie is known for her stylish wardrobe and flawless outfits. Your little one can become a fashion designer with this cool Barbie doll, and they can even design their very own outfits, helping them come to life. It includes a fold-up wardrobe, six fabric sheets, two sewing pattern sheets, ten pins, three plastic pins, three thread reels, one elastic, a fabric tape measure, needle threader - plus a spare and a Velcro strap.

One reviewer said, "This Barbie set is just what you would expect from the Barbie collection, good quality and loads of different items. Your child can have some real fun with this set; it contains sharp items, so do be careful. It's aimed at learning about fashion design, it's got fabric, patterns and threads, and it's a great way to introduce sewing to your child. My 10-year-old loved it, she did need a bit of help, but that's understandable at that age. Excellent value for money."

Pros

  • Amazing value
  • Designed for versatile play

Cons

  • Not the best choice for child under 8

Best colourful Barbie

Barbie Fashionistas Doll with Wheelchair & Long Blonde Hair
Price: $22.99
Alternative retailers
Macy's$17.99View offer
Walmart$27.60View offer

This is possibly our favourite Barbie as it promotes inclusivity and has a fun and colourful outfit. This wheelchair Barbie is a fantastic aid for teaching your child about disabilities, inclusivity and understanding others - or if they're in a wheelchair themselves, they'll have doll that represents them. It also comes with a pink wheelchair and a ramp.

One reviewer said, "Response yesterday on her 5th birthday was 'oh just what I wanted', followed by a hug!"

Another reviewer said: "Daughter loves this and it also fits in the lift of the Barbie dreamhouse."

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Posable joints

Cons

  • None!

What to consider when choosing a Barbie toy for your child?

Design - Yes, with her infamous style and multiple outfits, you'll want to think about what kind of 'look' you want when picking out a Barbie toy, but there's more about her design to consider. You'll also want to think about the accessories available, what career or theme is being represented, whether it can be easily used by your child.

Barbie Type - If you're picking a doll specifically, you'll want to think about whether your child is a fan of Barbie herself, or her friends - they may even be after Ken. Having a doll that represents them AND a diverse range of other people is also important to add to their collection.

Price - Of course, when it comes to buying any toy, it's best to have a budget and stick to it. Barbie toys don't have to break the bank, so look for the toys and dolls that will work for your price range when you're shopping.

Benefits of playing with a Barbie

A recent study commissioned by Barbie at the University of Cardiff found that your child will learn a whole host of skills when playing with their beloved dolls. These range from empathy to problem-solving and communication skills. Here are some of the benefits that your child will gain from playing with a Barbie:

Role-play: Role-playing skills are essential for your child's development. They help your little one to express and understand everyday situations.

Communication: When your child plays with their Barbie doll, they will be practicing their communication skills. Why not join in with the fun and help them learn new words and phrases?

Less screen time: We are all becoming increasingly aware of the time we spend staring at a screen. Encouraging your child to play with their Barbie will give them a break away from technology.

Is Barbie appropriate for children?

You may be thinking "Barbie is a doll, of course that's appropriate for children", and many would agree, but Barbie has had some controversies in her existence, spanning multiple decades and generations, which may be concerning to some modern parents.

Previous variations of Barbie lacked diversity and arguably represented an impossible beauty standard for little girls to aspire to. But, Barbie has been on quite the journey, with Mattel, who created Barbie, putting in the work to create a diverse and fun range that all children (and adults) can relate to and enjoy. The evolution of Barbie and all her pals, has made her remain relevant and appropriate for the new generations.

In the end of the day, Barbie's current ethos is all about being who you want to be. She's had so many amazing careers and has inspired millions of children to use their imagination when playing with her. She even has her own Youtube channel, featuring fun vlogs. As long as she keeps evolving with the times, we see no problem with children enjoying this classic doll.

What age is appropriate for Barbies?

Barbie dolls are advertised for three years old and up. Younger children have played with the famous doll, but her smaller accessories can be a choking hazard, so watch out for that one, especially if you have older children who play with Barbies, but also have children under three.

Hannah James is a Parenting and Lifestyle Writer working across Mot_h_er&Baby, Yours and Grazia.

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