Designed to capture hearts of coin collectors and children alike, the Perth Mint of Australia has issued in limited mintages coins commemorating two iconic American toys: Barbies and Transformers. In 2009, Barbie, the best-selling doll of all time, celebrated her 50th birthday. Transformers, while comparatively younger, have enjoyed similar success since their 1984 inception, albeit typically among young boys instead of girls.
The Barbie doll was originally released in 1959 at the American International Toy Fair held annually in New York City. Ruth Handler, the wife of a Mattel executive imagined the doll after seeing a similar toy called “Bild Lilli” on a trip to Germany. She wanted to create a doll that was more “adult” in its features than the then available dolls which mostly resembled babies. It was her thought that if the doll appeared to be grown, children could imagine it in professional scenarios, which may encourage young girls to aspire to careers of their own. The idea worked as more than 1 billion Barbie dolls portraying Barbie a successful doctor, air force pilot, and even a NASCAR driver have been sold over the past 50 years.
The coin recently issued by the Perth Mint celebrates this rich history by giving Barbie her very own coin. On the reverse of a 1 oz. 99.9% pure silver coin appears in brilliant detail the iconic figure of Barbie. Next to her is the official 50th Anniversary logo set against a gleaming proof finish. The reverse of the coin is detailed in pink – Barbie’s favorite color! Purchase the 2009 Silver Proof Barbie Coin.
The introduction of the Transformers line of action figure by Hasbro in 1984 launched a toy revolution. The toy was such a hit in fact, that not only did it spawn its very own cartoon series, but it enjoyed the flattery of several “copy-cat” toy lines as well. More recently, Dreamworks has released two blockbuster movies based on the franchise, each grossing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The storyline of both the cartoon and movie features a race of alien robots divided into two camps: the Autobots and the Decepticons. The Decepticons want to destroy earth, while the Autobots are sworn to protect it. Each story written about the Transformers features the ability of each of the robots to change, or “transform” into a different type of machine, just as the toy does.
The first of the two coins features Optimus Prime, the courageous and compassionate leader of the Autobots. Standing against a brilliant proof finish, Optimus Prime is finished in his classic red and blue finish. Next to the character reads “Transformers,” while under him appears the iconic Transformers logo. On the second of the coins appears Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons. Like Optimus Prime, Megatron is rendered in full-color, and appears next to the inscription, and above the logo. Each coin is stamped of 1 oz. of 99.9% pure silver.
As each of these celebratory coins is legal tender in the nation of Tuvalu, an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse of each coin. The coins carry a face value of $1 in the island nation.
The Perth Mint authorized a very limited production of each coin. The entire Barbie mintage was limited to 20,000 units, while only 5,000 of each Transformer coin were made. Purchase the 2009 Transformers Megatron Coin and the 2009 Transformers Optimius Prime Coin.