It seems like in the mid-90s, a lot of different Barbies were suddenly on the market. These weren't particularly designed to appeal to Barbie collectors, but rather, to get sci-fi comic fans to invest in one of the most popular "collectible" doll lines out there. I don't really know which came first, but "X-Files Barbie and Ken" and "Star Trek Barbie and Ken" both showed up about the same time - and I snapped them both up. This was something pretty rare, after all.
Or was it?
Because soon, Barbie was catering to every collector under the sun. There was "Harley Davidson" Barbie and "Barbie loves Elvis" Barbie and "Addams Family" Barbie and "Barbie and Snoopy" Barbie and "Catwoman" Barbie... well, you get the idea. I can't imagine many Barbie collectors were really, really excited to see Barbie dressed as Catwoman, but you know that many completists grumbled and bought it - and so did Batman completists, too. That was the point, top sell to new non-Barbie collectors.
(This is one of the hard parts of being a completists: you are doomed to buy stuff you don't like because it fits the criteria of your collection. The only real excuse for not buying something, if you're a completist, is because they're charging too much for it and you know (hope) you can get it cheaper later. Or, because it's more than you can afford no matter what, like a life sized X-Wing Fighter).
It's something that happens often with things made specifically to be collectible. They make one that's different, and it's interesting - then follow it up with two more, 8 more, 36 more. Soon, the uniqueness of a different one doesn't feel so unique, if you follow me. the same thing happened with Monopoly games.
Now I got the Star Trek and X-Files Barbies because I thought they were pretty funny. Eventually, I sent the X-Files set to my Mom for her doll collection, but the Star Trek set is still on a shelf in my closet (actually, right below the box of James Bond books). My favorite thing about this set, though, is the picture on the back of the box. Is it just me, or is Lt. Commander Ken marching Yeoman Barbie off on a strange planet to shoot her in the back? I hope not. Of course, she is a red shirt, so any visit to a planet surface is likely to be deadly.
As far as I can recall, this is the only Barbie in my collection, but there are many, many more Star Trek items to share here in the future. After all, Trekkies and Trekkies are surely the archtypes of modern fancollectorgeeks!