Deciding what Dolls to Collect

When you decide to collect dolls the very first thing you must decide is what you are going to collect. There are so many reasons why people collect dolls and the reason behind the collecting will probably give you your first clue as to which dolls you should choose.

If you are collecting for yourself begin by thinking about what you like. If you are collecting for your child than this decision will be different since it should be what you believe they will like.

Let us assume you are collecting for yourself and you are a grown woman. You may decide what you want most is to recapture your youth and so collect dolls you may have had or badly wanted when you were a child. Depending on your age this could be vinyl baby dolls, hard plastic dolls, storybook dolls, Barbies, or even antique dolls. Ask yourself, “Do I like dolls to hug, redress, collect because of their outfits, or sit on a shelf?” Are you drawn to ethnic dolls, or dolls of different nationalities in their own regional costumes? Do you like Kewpies or carnival dolls or chalk ware dolls? Is it their baby face or their beautiful clothing such as many porcelain dolls wear that really grabs you? Do you want to make a statement with your collection? Would you like just a few to put in some antique furniture? Do you want dolls that coordinate with your interior decorating? Do you think it is fun to collect advertising and premium giveaway dolls? Lots of questions, think carefully about the answers. Maybe you want a little bit of everything in your collection. That’s okay also since it is your collection.

Many people fall in love with one doll and try to find as many examples as possible of that doll. Often they come in several variations such as skin color, hair and eye color, or different outfits. For example Barbies, Madame Alexander dolls, and even troll dolls fall into this category.

If you decide you adore a certain company, you may wish to find as many dolls as possible that they produced. I love Horsman, Ideal, and Vogue dolls for example.

Some folks scatter their collection throughout the house and others just maintain a small one on a couple of shelves. I know one person who has an oversized dollhouse big enough to have rooms and different settings for all her dolls. She has a huge collection and needs a lot of room. Room is a deciding factor in what you should collect. I loved big dolls from the 50’s and 60’s, but soon had to curb my appetite for those since they took up so much room. I love big baby dolls, but they require room for doll furniture or very deep shelves with lots of room in between. When room got scarce I needed to sell some and that is heartbreaking when they become part of your family.’ Fortunately I find tiny dolls and Kewpie carnival dolls delightful also. So do consider room as one important consideration.

Dolls have lost their value and so the price of many is low right now. A good time to buy, but consider your disposable income since they will eventually go back up and many kinds are very costly. Do not count on dolls as an investment unless you can afford the most rare and expensive and are willing to hold on to them for a while. So you should collect what you can afford to avoid auction fever and other unwise practices when buying. There are still bargains out there, so look for them. Know about what the doll you wish to purchase is worth. Then, you may decide if it is worth more than you expected to pay.

The breakability of porcelain dolls should be thought about if they are your chosen collectibles. Also their frilly, fancy clothing makes them ideal for an enclosed display cabinet. Some dolls require a lot of dusting if they are not behind glass.

These are just a few of the basic questions you should ask yourself and then you will know where to begin.

Always keep rarity and condition in mind when selecting your collectible dolls. As playthings from the past, they may have some issues, but unless quite rare and old, do not buy damaged items.

Shop E-bay, auctions, flea markets, garage sales and private parties to find any doll you need to round out your collection. Now, just go and collect.