Dolls can be babies or high fashion models, sweet little girls or vampish sirens. There are almost as many kind of dolls as there are collectors, so whether you find yourself lingering amongst the pink boxes of the Toys ‘R’ Us doll department or gazing at the magazine photos of lifelike Ashton-Drake baby dolls, if you’re reading this article you’re probably thinking you’d like to start a doll collection.
Where to start?
First of all, collecting dolls can be an expensive hobby, so be sure you know where your “dolly dollars” are going to come from. Many doll collectors support their hobby by sewing, knitting, or crocheting doll clothes to sell, either on ebay, a Website, or at craft fairs. Dolls can be like potato chips — it’s impossible to just have one — so be aware of your budget and space restrictions. You might not want dolls taking over your home!
Second, think about what kind of dolls you’re attracted to. Some collectors are eclectic and like to own many different types of dolls. Others prefer to specialize in one main type, such as baby dolls or fashion dolls, while still other choose to concentrate on one brand or line. So while one collector may own several Barbies, a Ginny, a Madame Alexander doll, a few antique porcelain dolls, and a reborn baby doll, another may own Barbies, Genes, Kitty Colliers, and even a few Bratz, and yet another collector may choose to own only Sasha dolls. In short, no two doll collectors — or collections — are alike, and each doll collection is a unique expression of its owner’s tastes.
If you’re not familiar with all the different types and lines of dolls out there, the best thing to do is a lot of research. The Internet has really revolutionized doll collecting and is a seemingly endless source of information on the hobby. Many brick-and-mortar doll shops are also online, but many shops are Internet-only. Read, read, read — pore over the doll magazines and thumb through collectors guidebooks. Look at lots of photos and read lots of descriptions to see what interests you. It’s important, if you can, to attend a doll show or visit a doll shop to see dolls in person — seeing dolls “in the flesh” is very different from seeing them in photos, and you may find yourself surprised to be pulled toward a doll at a show that you hadn’t looked at twice online.
A doll show will expose you to a wide variety of dolls. You’ll see, of course, the popular vinyl fashion dolls like Robert Tonner’s Kitty Collier, Tyler Wentworth, and Betsy McCall, but you’ll also see vintage Barbie and Ken dolls, as well as dolls by the venerable older companies like Effanbee and Madame Alexander. You’ll see antique French and German dolls, play dolls, American Girl dolls, Bleuette, and even paper dolls. Take it all in — this is your education.
Once you’re ready to start purchasing dolls, the doll show and the brick-and-mortar doll shop are great places to begin, but the Internet has taken hold as a wonderful resource for doll collectors. Browse eBay for deals, but depending upon the dolls you want to own, you may want to gravitate toward online shops. Building a relationship with a doll dealer can work well for a collector, as once the dealer gets to know you and your collecting interests, she can let you know when something comes in that she knows you want. Get the best sex doll at the best price.
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll have a sense of what to pay for your dolls. New dolls’ prices are often fixed, and it can be hard to get a bargain, but if you’re buying dolls on eBay or elsewhere on the secondary market, you may be able to get some good deals.