For me, one of the most iconic Mid-60s Vintage Barbie Dolls is the Color Magic Barbie. She has bright and groovy colors and long hair, very unlike the older-looking and more prim and proper Ponytail and Bubblecut Barbies that came before her. Additionally, you could change the hair and bathing suit color with the color changing chemicals included with the doll! This puts this doll in a long line of dolls that DO something, from early paper mache dolls with crying squeakers from the mid 1800s, to Bebe Phonographe by Jumeau (played records so “talked”) all the way through to today’s modern Barbies that often have a special “play” feature.
This Barbie was released in 1966, during the American Girl Barbie doll era. She has the American Girl Barbie body and face, with bendable legs. Her box converted to a closet, and included many hair-play accessories including bobby pins and hair ribbons (plus the afore-mentioned hair color changers. She wore a groovy multi-colored diamond swimsuit with matching hairband, and came in two hair colors–golden blonde (pictured) which changed to scarlet flame, and midnight, a dark brunette that changed to ruby-red.
Mint vintage Color Magic Barbies with “high color” (very bright facial painting) are valued today at approximately $500 to $600 without the box; more for very rare “platinum” haired dolls, and more for dolls still never removed from their original box, which is very hard to find.
Also, note that Mattel released a reproduction of this doll in 2004; it is very easy to tell the difference between the reproduction and the original, since the reproduction uses different plastic, especially on the legs. Also, the hair on the reproduction does not have a color-changing feature, and the markings on both dolls are quite different.