Monday, October 15, 2012
Doll Trends and Market Musings
I just read tips of ineffective bloggers in a ProBlogger newsletter. This is a wonderful source for those who blog, but I confess I have sinned. First booboo is typos; again, I apologize for mine, but I have no spell check and have arthritic hands and fingers, albeit at a young age. Having said that, I thank profusely the 40,000 some people who view/read this and my seven other blogs. I thought I would comment on trends in collecting. I now the good advice is to buy "only the best," and to invest in "high end dolls," whatever that may mean. Certainly, if one can by an A.T. all original, do it. If you can find The Sunshine Family or a set of Mme. A Little Women MIB, do it! But, locally, in our MW region, and from what I see on eBay and Etsy, I note that all dolls seem to do well. The dolls at Tuesday Morning, collectors barbies, current Alexanders, Goetz, fly off the shelves. My mom and I have shopped there for years, and are on a first name basis with the staff. They tell us that when the newsletter goes out, and the Alexanders come in, people stand in line, and the dealers/collectors/doll speculators are first in line and leave with their arms full. At a recent estate sale, I stood in line to get in, twice, and the dolls were all scooped up. The same thing happens when my friend DT does sales. These dolls are mostly German, many A and M, and several in are in doll parts. Doll clothes sell immediately. China doll heads and bisqe heads sell in any condition. Annalee dolls are crossover collectibles, and don't last past the first hour of any sale. At thrift shops, CPK dolls in any condition do very well. One of my best friends collects them avidly, but she is not the only one scooping them up. Barbies are fewer and fewer at our Goodwill and Salvation Army. We have some OOAK artists operating in my area [more about that in another blog] and several seamtresses who make custom clothes for Barbie, her friends and clones. The SA is carrying more dolls, especially vintage 60s and 70s. Artists reproductions of antique dolls don't last long, either. These usually have very nice dresses. One friend of mine who is now a dealer sets up twice a year in a local park. She has mainly foreign dolls, some vintage HP, many sixties to eighties dolls, some compo. She has a fiew of the Franklin and Heritage Mint editions, too. If I don't get there early, I have to stand in line and the dolls are gone. Nancy Ann storybook and the upbiquitous "Suzie Sweeheart" or "Dress me" dolls have actually gone up in price. These have nostalgic value; they are the first dolls many girls collected in late 40s to sixties, and they were brought to an art by Carlson Dolls, Gambina, and other companies. They also were instrumental in teaching little girls to sew. I loved ordering them from Patio Tacos, and getting them at Gas Stations as premiums when I was little, and who didn't live the Doll in the Dome, encased in a plastic bell. I see a lot of people selling dolls of all types now again at yard sales; these sell as do many types of stuffed animals. I recently bought a Steiff panda, jointed, newer, with all tags and buttons for 5.00. I bought the Steiff yellow lab for about $1. I see bisque figurines selling more than I used to, especially Lefton. Several new antique shops have sprung up, and can't keep dolls in stock. The dolls range from composition, to Skookums, folk cloth [I lost out on a great one last week!], artists cloth, Effanbee repro Patsy's of the 90s; newer Ginnys, and Alexanders. There are also some Annette Himstedt, and I found wonderful Sashas at a craft mall last year. We have people making art dolls of all types from vintage parts, and many reproduction heads and parts are used. These genre has given doll collectors whole new categories. These items are hot, and don't stay on the shelves long. Almost everyone I talk to has some dolls at home, or likes to make them. They don't consider themselves collectors, but the trends are very interesting. Reasonably priced dolls are doing well, and even broken vintage and antique dolls are in demand. I've even seen men vying for them. Doll clothes and accessories, character dolls, Barbies and action figures have a devoted following, too. It just proves again that "All dolls are collectible!" I've always thought with any collection, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, even though we all have our collectible stars. Happy Dolling, and you don't have to break the bank to enjoy the hobby!