Murphy's laws of doll collecting by guest blogger Milady Blue

by Alison Rasmussen


In response to the post by KittyKate about her Liv doll collection (and also consequentially on her attempted photo shoot with hurricane Lily), Milady Blue generously shares her wisdom on Murphy's laws of doll collecting with us.

Murphy’s Laws of Doll Collecting
by Milady Blue
Special Guest Writer

Most people in the US have heard the phrase, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” It is part of the American cultural lexicon known as Murphy’s Law. There are a number of legends as to who Murphy was, when he lived and when and why he actually said it. My personal favorite is that he was an Air Force officer sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, commenting on the folly of building in
“mechanical problems” to planes, so pilots could be trained to handle emergencies under actual service conditions. Captain Murphy, apparently, made his famous utterance while addressing superiors, to tell them that enough problems crop up in an aircraft during regular operations without having more “built in.”

This sounds entirely plausible, based on what I have heard from friends and family who have served in the armed forces.

I got to thinking about Murphy’s Law after reading KittyKate’s post on her Liv dolls -- she was so proud to finally get the whole set of dolls, only to find that a whole new line has come out. I told her that she has discovered one of the Murphy’s Laws of doll collecting.

Murphy’s Law seems to be universal. In other countries it might have other names, but the sentiment is the same: anything that can go wrong, will.

But what are the Murphy’s Laws of doll collecting? I have seen specific lists for just about every imaginable situation, occupation or hobby, but never doll collecting. I will be compiling as thorough a
list as I can, and yes, I am soliciting contributions. Here are a few that KittyKate and I have already discovered:
  • Just as you finally complete your doll collection, an entire new line will come out. 
  • Corollary: You will discover an exclusive or otherwise rare edition that is extremely expensive, if it can be obtained at all.
  • Your grail will go on sale for an unbelievably low price after you have paid top dollar to buy this rare beauty from another collector or eBay. 
  • Corollary: Dolls, outfits, or accessories go on sale for half price a week after you have paid full price for them.
  • Sales always occur between paychecks.
  • There is always one more doll.
  • Just as you have impoverished yourself until the next pay period buying dolls, another great and hard to find doll always comes up for sale.
  • Alison's Axiom: Being “good” at a doll show or convention is impossible, no matter what you tell yourself.
Dolls and Pets:

The amount of attraction pets have to dolls are directly influenced by the following factors:
  1. the cost of the doll
  2. the cost of the costume
  3. the fragility of the materials used to make the doll or the costume
  4. the rarity of the doll – a one of a kind, antique or extremely hard to find doll are completely irresistible to doll-targeting instincts.
  5. feathers on a doll costume look cool, but are irresistible to cats.
Irrefutable Law of Cats and Dolls: 
  • The world is a cat's plaything.
  • Fur is magnetically attracted to dolls and doll clothes, and will get into doll rooms or cabinets to which the pet has no access.
  • No matter how mellow your pet is, he or she will go ballistic when you set your doll up for a cute picture next to him or her.
  • The most expensive or fragile of your dolls will take a header from her place on the shelf whenever a pet ambles by; whether this be by a cat walking along the shelf, or a dog galumphing by in such a way as to be noticed by the Richter scales of the US Geological Survey
Doll Company Observations:
  • Doll company promo pictures are rarely accurate.
  • Corollaries:
    1. The doll company pictures bear little resemblance to the production dolls.
    2. The doll that looks the worst in the promo pictures actually looks really good in real life.
    3. By the time the ace photographer posts a really good real life picture of a doll you passed up, you will either be broke or the doll will be sold out.
    4. Buying a doll “on faith” is usually an expensive mistake.
  • A doll or doll line you really love will be discontinued either due to retirement, loss of license, or lawsuit as soon as you get a good job that will enable you to buy the dolls of choice.
General Observations:

  • By the time you have gotten your dolls set up for a group photo, it will be discovered that the lighting is all wrong.
  • Camera batteries always die after the stores close.
  • You take great pictures, only to discover one of your dolls is indecently exposing herself after you post the pictures. 
  • Corollary: Naturally, this will be caught and commented on by the biggest wisenheimer on the board or forum before you can pull the picture.
  • Blue’s Concrete Walkway Maxim: The chances that a doll will fall over after laboriously setting him
  • or her up for an elaborate picture is directly proportional to the surface the doll can fall on and damage him or her self.
  • The Static Fairy enjoys elaborate hairstyles. 
  • Corollary: The Wind Fairy is as fond of doll hair sabotage as her indoor cousin, the Static Fairy.
  • There is always another flyaway hair.
  • Your favorite doll shoes and earrings only get lost one at a time.
  • A prop, shoe, or piece of jewelry will always bounce in such a way as to have a perfect trajectory for the most inaccessible part of the room, between the cracks of a porch, or into the grate of a street drain.
  • You will always have family or friends who wonder why you waste so much money on these “toys.”
  • Safety pins are a doll outfit’s best friends.
  • Favorite outfits, shoes or accessories will be the first to fall apart in your hands.
  • Pieces of doll outfits will always disappear from the outfit storage area between uses, only to reappear when you have given up hope of ever seeing it again.