Defining your collection v. having a fire sale

by Alison Rasmussen


I have to admit, I've been more than a little convicted, after reading the thoughtful posts from Valerie and Milady Blue over the past weeks on defining their doll collections and the amount of thought, effort and planning that goes into doll purchases.

I will take this post to confess that I am a doll-shop-a-holic. I have been known to grab a [sometimes expensive] doll without thinking, planning or budgeting, solely based on a promotional photo or price, only to enjoy her for a few months, and often with the intent on passing her on to the next collector.

You know those limited edition dolls manufacturers release, with expensive outfits or over-the-top hair styles; outrageous costumes that are hard to find and are only available for a limited time? You find yourself wondering, "What kind of collector would waste her money on that over-priced junk?"

Well, here I am.

I admit it, I'm a sucker. I'm not attracted to these dolls because they are limited edition or hard to find, or because I might be only one of 100 people to own one. It's more often because they appeal to me--as a surprise or an unexpected treat. It's a doll I haven't already spent hours looking for online, and she is new or unique. Many of the dolls still in my collection are in this category and much-loved. But often, a few of these dolls quickly wear out their welcome.

Or sometimes, I buy a limited edition doll (or one I think I might like on a great sale) and have to let her go--such as right before IFDC and I find I, too, may want some extra spending money. Perhaps my dear husband has decided he didn't think reinstating my allowance on Mother's Day was the right thing to do after all, and he's regretting his decision. Or perhaps I may have spent my allowance in other ways--such as buying a doll for a friend's mother, or trading dolls I have for sale instead of selling them--which I plan to do again.

I too have been revamping themes that run through my collection. I've even sold and traded a few of my beloved BJDs, since they aren't perfect fits any longer. My current themes are:

  • Alice in Wonderland - mostly reimagined and somewhat edgy
  • Historical and reimagined historical dolls
  • Peak's Woods BJDs
  • Treasured American BJDs
  • 1980s Barbies I wanted as a child
The themes that are no longer running through my collection are general Tonner dolls, dolls with strange hair colors, FR Nippons, general BJDs, and the wives of Henry VIII (though some of these may show up in historical fashions), and couture fashions.

Now... in addition to the sales on the Doll Page, I have several other very precious dolls, including a DollZone Morphoa full-set, Au Milieu de l'Hiver Tyler, plus several FR Nippon dolls that do not fit in anywhere. Do I sell them? Turn them into Alice dolls? Fit them in somewhere else? I have no idea. I realize many of my dolls are easy to pass along. But these... I'm not quite ready to part with just yet.

Usually, I'd just post them for sale anyway, but in this case... I think I may have to slow down just a little. Even as much as I'd love to have the cash on hand, in case of an incredible deal at IFDC. It just seems like the right thing to do this time.