Barbie collector's fiancé uses doll to propose

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Christine Calabria has been collecting Barbies since she was born. An entire room of her east Charlotte home is literally ceiling-to-floor with a museum-like display of most every Barbie doll you can imagine.

Most have never left their original packaging.

"My mom started buying me Barbies when she found out she was having a girl," Calabria said.

The 30-year-old college sociology professor has been building the collection ever since. She now owns more than 700 collectible dolls, some that would fetch quite a price if ever sold.

"I have every single Barbie released since 1988," Calabria said as she showed us around her collection.

It is a sight to behold. Barbies from all over the world are featured in display cases in a spare bedroom of her home. Many of her Barbies have won top awards for their hand-sewn costumes, one of which took Calabria a year to make, using more than 10,000 sequins.

"These aren't your "play-line" as they're referred to. Most of them come from Barbie fan clubs or they're specially made for adult collectors," Calabria said.

Her hobby is supported by her family, her new fiancé included. Recently, Calabria's fiancé was helping her unpack her Jem doll collection.

"He had stashed the ring inside one of the boxes, so when I opened the box I was like 'I don't remember a ring," Calabria stopped her reaction when she realized the ring was meant for her.

She said yes.

With her new marriage, she plans on adding even more to her collection. Maybe one day, she says, she'll open a museum. It would surely be the envy of many a young girl, and already is the envy of other adult collectors.

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