About Valerie

by Alison Rasmussen

I’ve been a doll collector all my life.  Early on it wasn’t a “collection”, they were my toys. I played with Barbie, Skipper and Ken, and the odd Madame Alexander doll or Dollikin until I entered junior high school. At that time, I boxed everything up, and my mother put them in the attic for safe keeping.

Flash forward too many years to want to count: I’m married with a daughter and an attic larger than my mother’s. I retrieve my childhood dolls, and before I put them away, reminiscing begins. I remember the fun I had with friends “playing Barbie” and think that my daughter would eventually play with them. This innocent reverie was all it took to re-awaken the doll collector in me.

It started innocently enough: I’d be at Toys 'R Us buying items for my daughter, and I’d casually walk over to the Barbie aisle.  I loved play line clothes.  It was the beginning of the Fashion Avenue era, and I found the outfits adorable.  So I picked up a couple, for my daughter, of course.  We already had the dolls so I didn’t need any of those.  There were two problems with my thinking.  My daughter was less than two at the time, and I didn’t realize that the new clothes wouldn’t fit my vintage dolls.

I’m not sure when I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t buying for my daughter.  It turns out that she has no interest in dolls.  Fifteen years later, here I am, with more dolls than I can count.  In addition to Barbie, new and vintage, I have Fashion Royalty and many of their companion lines, Willow and Daisy, dolls from Tonner, and the odd one or two dolls from other lines.  I stick mainly to fashion dolls, although a certain friend of mine who is also a staff writer here (cough, Raymond, cough) is thoroughly tempting me with his Mir to start collecting BJDs.

My current quest within doll collecting is to get my collection under control.  To do that I need to come up with a well thought-out definition for my collection.  Up until this point, my definition has been to only buy what I like.  Unfortunately there aren’t many dolls that I’ve met that I haven’t liked!  Therefore the need for a better definition.

My column over the next few weeks will touch on my attempts to better define my collection as well as to seek advice from readers.  I am sure within that time I will slip, many times, and bring home new dolls and outfits.  So I will also share my experiences with the new acquisitions as well as passing on information regarding what’s new in the doll collecting world.

You can find me on Flickr, eBay, the Doll Page Show and Sell site, and the WClub and the Barbie Fan Club.