Why We Love Some Dolls and Not Others
Part V: Trade Report
by Milady Blue
Special Guest Writer
My good friend Jane has had a very rough year. I met her through the Cheery About Agnes Dreary discussion group, and she and I have a lot in common. A miles long “wantits” list, where more dolls we like are being produced than we can reasonably afford, is probably our most common trait.
I wanted to help her by buying one of her older dolls, but my doll budget is stretched mighty thin these days, too.
I was not really thinking of Jane’s dilemma while I was going through the Crossroads Doll Show in Puyallup last month. I was hoping to see certain vendors there, which was mostly a pricing mission. However, of the four merchants I was hoping to see, only one actually showed.
Naturally, it was the most “dangerous” of the merchants I was hoping to see, the ever wonderful Bearzabout. I call that shop dangerous, because Carol, the owner, brings a lot of Tonner dolls to these shows. Even the most stern lectures and reminders to myself that I don’t “really need” more dolls are defeated by coming face to face with Carol’s display.
How easy is it to resist a doll that you have only seen so far in pictures on the internet when you finally see her in person? In my case, my streak is running 0-5. I have lost at least five battles with myself over the purchase of a new doll that I saw in person.
In addition to new dolls, still in their boxes, Carol also has bins of nude dolls and outfits--splits, in doll collecting parlance--available for sale. I have caved on a new doll at least five times because of these bins!
I was over at the bin of Helen Kish dolls, because I really wanted to get a Riley or other Kish character this time around. I found a Riley and put her on layaway; since I am an established customer who pays her bills, Carol was kind enough to let me take Riley with me after putting down a down payment. Knowing my weakness for Tonner dolls, I did my best to not look in those bins.
Then I saw the nude Belle doll, and remembered that she was just about at the top of Jane’s mile long “wantits” list. She is a pretty good likeness to the Disney character. I looked at the price, which was less than half of the dressed doll, and thought of Jane. I debated with myself pretty fiercely for about ten minutes, trying to make up my mind. I finally gave Carol a down payment for the doll, and left, doll in hand.
When I got home that night, I emailed Jane, and told her that I had a nude Belle doll that I had gotten for a reasonable price, and asked if she would be interested in a trade. Since she was very busy, it took a few days for her to respond, and I was hoping the deal would be acceptable. I suppose it would have served me right if she had not liked the idea, for not discussing it with her beforehand. However, in my defense, I told myself that at least I was doing this with the intent of doing a good turn for a good friend.
Jane loved the idea! Like me, she has a soft touch with dolls, and was reluctant to sell dolls to raise cash for a new doll. However, she was pleased she was sending her “old” doll to a friend who would give that doll a good home.
A few days later, I got a notice in the mail that I had a package waiting for me at the office. The doll Jane sent me was a Blush and Bashful Sydney Chase doll. Jane felt that she had gotten the better end of the deal, so she sent the doll along in a gray dress with black designs on it, to sweeten the deal for me, though I was pleased to be getting hold of the doll herself. Sydney is one of my favorite Tonner sculpts, and this was actually Sydney number eight to join my collection.
I just received word that Jane got her package, and is ecstatic with Belle. She had been so sure she would never get hold of this doll, that she had given up hope. Now that she has the doll in hand, she is getting all kinds of ideas for outfits and other things to make for her.
As for my own part, I consider this a very good trade off. I managed to make a friend very happy, and I got a very pretty doll in return. I have already renamed her, and taken a few pictures that I am not exactly happy with, but that is just an excuse to try again and take more pictures!