Doll collecting is a passion that has been enjoyed by people of all ages around the world for many years.
The world of doll collecting can be quite overwhelming at first. If you’re new to collecting dolls, the sheer variety of dolls out there in every size and shape imaginable can be enough to confuse you.
That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide that concentrates on one of the most popular dolls on the market, collectible baby dolls.
The bond that can be developed between collectors and their baby dolls is almost as though the dolls were their own babies.
There are many different motivations and reasons why people collect baby dolls. Many people simply enjoy the process of building up their collection, while others are traders always on the look out for the perfect deal.
Whatever your motivation you’ll find something useful in this guide. Whether you are new to collectible baby dolls or you’ve been collecting baby dolls for a lifetime, there are always new tips and tricks to get your hands on the most valuable and beautiful dolls.
This guide addresses the basics of collecting baby dolls. After going into the different types of dolls on the market and which company to purchase them from, we’ll tell you about the world of buying and selling dolls. Finally, we’ll provide you with the essential information you need to look after your collection of baby dolls.
What Types of Dolls are Out there?
There are so many types of collectible baby dolls that are made from a variety of materials. Many of which, are hand-made by professionals and are very rare and vintage.
- Cloth dolls – made from cloth, apart from the facial features, which are normally hand-painted, and the hair, made from yarn.
- Composition dolls – a mixture of compound materials, including paper and sawdust.
- Porcelain dolls – famously adored by the Victorians, fine porcelain dolls are beautiful.
- Vinyl dolls – made from soft plastics, commonly used to produce modern dolls.
- Wooden dolls – humankind has been making things out of wood from the beginning.
- Bisque dolls – made from tinted, unglazed porcelain.
- Hard Plastic dolls – especially popular in the 1950s, made from hard plastic.
- Metal dolls – head to toe (yes, some dolls have toes) made from metal (a variety of silver, tin and brass is used).
- Papier-mâché dolls – these dolls are among the most fragile, made from paper, glue and water.
Which Doll Manufacturers to Purchase From?
Now that we’ve been through the different materials dolls are made from, let’s take a look at the different manufacturers out there.
One of the most famous and popular doll manufacturers is the Madame Alexander Doll Company. It is very common for dolls to be purchased by the Madame Alexander Doll Company by mothers as a gift for their daughters. Some of the baby dolls produced were introduced many years ago and are extremely valuable.
One example of this is the Kathleen Toddler doll. Originally introduced in the 1950s, nowadays the doll sells for anything between €125 and €300.
Another example is the doll known as Binnie, which was introduced in the 1960s and the current market price can be worth up to €475.
Cabbage Patch Kids is another manufacturer. However, they prefer to say that their collectible baby dolls are available for adoption rather than to sell. This allowed them to become very widespread and popular, which means they are less valuable today.
Another producer of baby dolls is the My Own Baby Collection, which offers a variety of collections. These include My First Nursery Dolls, as well as, Playbabies Play Doll Collection, which are particularly well-known for being life-like. In some cases, they are sold in the region of €100.
That’s just a few of the most famous and notable producers of collectible baby dolls, however, there are many more. But you’ll have to research those on your own because there are simply too many.
Buying Collectible Baby Dolls
The days of walking into a store and discovering an unusual, rare and valuable doll and buying it are well and truly over in the time of the internet.
While store bought collectible baby dolls are rare, there are a variety of toy and doll conventions, antique shops and garage sales, where you can find something special for your collection.
The internet is by far the greatest market for collectible baby dolls.
Sellers are baby dolls don’t even need to set up their own company and website because you can use eBay and other specific sites for trading dolls that already exist. It’s as simple as registering an account, and you’re off buying dolls.
It’s good tip to do as many other collectors do, carry a doll identification guide to help you identify the doll.
What to Look For
It’s important you get what you paid for. You don’t want to take a doll home, and afterward, find out that it’s not worth anywhere near what you paid for it. Here are some of the essential considerations to have in mind when buying dolls.
- Who’s the Manufacturer? – If you can quickly identify the manufacturer by the mark on the doll, this will help you to determine it’s value. If it doesn’t have any marks, you will need to identify the doll simply by appearance alone.
- What’s the age? – Whether the doll is an antique or a modern doll often determines it’s value. All things being equal, older is better. However, there are also some beautiful modern collections.
- Check the details, particularly if it has a hand-painted face. It may be useful to use a magnifying glass to check this.
- Check the overall condition and damage of the doll – While minor imperfections may not alter the price significantly, serious damage might be irreparable.
- Clothes and Accessories – are also important considerations for many collectors. The doll should be dressed in its original clothing, shoes and accessories.
Although many of the above considerations are important when purchasing dolls, keep in mind that dolls are worth whatever a collector is willing to pay. There is a wide variety of sources that can help you determine how much a particular doll is worth, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you.
Selling Collectible Baby Dolls
If you want to get involved in selling some of the dolls from your collection, then the best place to do this is without a doubt online. However, before you start selling, there are a few important steps to consider first.
- Include a photograph of the doll. The greater variety of photographs from different angles and lighting, the more likely the buyer will be convinced.
- Provide the exact measurements of the doll.
- Include a brief description of the doll (e.g. year, manufacturer and model).
- Add whether the doll is in “mint condition”, or if there is some minor damage, then state it. For obvious reasons, the mint condition dolls are much more valuable than if they are even slightly damaged.
Once you have considered all of the above, you can get online and get selling and trading.
How to Look After Your Dolls
Your baby doll collection is fragile and valuable. It’s important you protect and take good care of them. This applies to modern manufactured dolls, as well as, vintage and antique dolls.
Here’s a list of don’ts about how to take care of your collection.
- Don’t Leave in Sunlight – natural sunlight can result in the fading of the color of your dolls.
- Don’t Leave in Fluorescent Light – fluorescent can also damage dolls and could cause their color to turn green. The most appropriate for storing, arranging and playing with your doll collection is incandescent light.
- Don’t Smoke Near – if you are trying to quit smoking anyway, here’s yet another reason to stop. If you or someone else smokes near your collection, this may cause your dolls to smell and the chemicals to inflict damage to the fabrics.
- Don’t Leave to Get Dusty – if you leave dust to accumulate around your collection, the costumes could turn yellow due to dirt. The optimal solution is to keep them safe from dust and dirt in a cabinet.
- Don’t Let Pets Near – while it’s likely your pet dog or cat would gladly rip your collectibles to pieces. If you want to avoid this, keep your pets away.
If you follow the above list, then your collection will surely stay in a great condition and last for many years.
After reading this guide collectible baby dolls, you now know much more about the world of doll collecting. You have all the information you need to go out there and buy new dolls to add to your collection, as well as, sell you current dolls for big bucks.
If you want to learn more about baby dolls, or other information about dolls, then we’re your resource! If you have any questions, then please get in touch!