Sunday, December 9, 2012
Dolls and Crossover Collectibles
Cross Collectibles Christmas is upon us again. The lights burn brightly everywhere, and there are decorations in every store. Ornaments of all types are in nearly all places of business. Collectors have field day this time of year. Along with Halloween, Christmas is the most celebrated and decorated of holidays, and there are serious collectors of its memorabilia. There are clubs and societies, like the Hallmark Ornament Collectors and The Golden Glow of Christmas Past, and Museums including the Christmas Museum. Year long retailers like S. Claus abound, and there are Jim Shore, Hallmark, Coca Cola ornaments, you name it. I’d like to blog about dolls and related cross collectibles. Crossover or cross collectibles can make an item more valuable than if it were collected by just one type of collector. I’d like to focus on a few categories, just to give everyone ideas. For the sake of being seasonal, let’s begin with Christmas ornaments. Collectors of Disney themed dolls and toys will find licensed Disney ornaments by Hallmark and other companies, including Disney itself. Jim Shore, himself a collected artists, makes Mickey and other Disney characters as figurines and ornaments. Snow babies made figurines featuring Disney characters as well. Target and Walgreen’s feature Disney Themed decorations and ornaments, and Sears and K-Mart also have in the past. There are also Harley Davidson ornaments, and ornaments representing rock stars. Walgreen’s carries a Gene Simmons ornament which dwells in our house. Barbie themed ornaments are made by many companies, and the most collectible are by Hallmark. In fact, Hallmark features Lionel ornaments, Star Trek and Star Wars, Nascar, Beatles, Madame Alexander, Peanuts, Harry Potter, Nightmare Before Christmas, Hot Wheels, and many more popular culture inspired ornaments in several sizes, some with light and motion features. All of these fit the description of a crossover collectible. Those who feature these themes in their collections will want the ornaments, too. Peanuts is an entire category of its own. Peanut character dolls and stuffed animals fit any type of Peanuts collection. Items can include clothing, jewelry, other figurines, books, videos, comic strips and original drawings, china, coloring books, etc. Madame Alexander has made some lovely Peanuts characters and Avon made bottles for kids and other cosmetics products featuring the characters in the sixties. I have two Skediddle Kiddles by Mattel that represent Lucy and Linus, and there were also Charlie Brown examples. Coca Cola collectors love the various dolls representing the Coca Cola ladies on the tray. These have been made as Barbies by Mattel and by Madame Alexander. There is also the Coca Cola Santa, and I have examples if miniature bottles and Coke Santa cutouts. The Coke cards attract the cola collectors but also those who collect playing cards exclusively. There are the Coke beanies of the 90s, and the various types of polar bears. Some of these also find themselves in Advertising collections and in Teddy Bear collections. Pepsi. Ditto with Coca Cola, and there are also 7-Up characters and collectibles. I have a large snowman dressed as a jester that advertises 7-Up. John Deere: This is hot stuff in the Midwest. There are also John Deere toys, which also fit farm toy categories, John Deere Barbie, Fisher Price John Deere figures, the vintage classic Johnny Tractor, board games, clothing, jewelry, etc. There are pieces of John Deere history that belonged to the family and ephemera of many types. Rock n’ Roll: There are whole series involving items that belonged to rock stars, from Michael Jackson’s glove, to John Lennon’s doodles and sketches. The Hard Rock Café features many of these as decorations, including musical instruments, like Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar. It also sells teddy bears, and there are those who collect nothing but HRC memorabilia. There are also dolls and action figures going back to the early days of Rock of the artists themselves. There are many Beatles figures, including sets of Bobbleheads, a category all its own, but which includes dolls. Shirley Temple herself is often collected. Doll collectors love these items as well, and besides the many dolls, collect books, videos, clothing, clippings about Temple and her life, blue glass with Shirley’s image, figurines, etc. Some will also collect the original books that influenced her movies, like Poor Little Rich Girl, Heidi and A Little Princess. I have a sweater with an Inuit girl on it that I will always keep; I had it on when I waited in line for Ms. Temple to sign her autobiography for me. She admired the sweater. I also have photographs of her doll collection when it was on display at Stanford’s Children’s Hospital. There is a film called Shirley Mania that talks about the Shirley Phenomena, and the Chili Victorian Museum and Doll Hospital has a huge Shirley collection. Read about it in back issues of Doll Castle News. Similarly, Kewpies, Raggedy Ann, Sesame Street and the Muppets, Hollie Hobbie, Betsey Clark, and Strawberry Shortcake are other dolls that have inspired many other products and collectibles that cross over. Celebrity dolls of all types are popular in collections of other objects, too. I have read about Elvis collectors, Marilyn Monroe collectors, Elizabeth Taylor collectors, even Charley’s Angel collectors, and there are dolls that represent all of them. There are many more celebrity dolls than have even been made before. With every film and cartoon, there are dolls and figures that represent the characters, everything from Lord of the Rings to Indiana Jones. Mythical figures like angels and mermaids have dolls made in their image, as well as clothing, lawn ornaments, jewelry, bottles, advertising products, etc. I have the Chicken of the Sea mermaid doll, and many angels from all over the world in many forms in my collection. One of my sub collections is towels and linens that feature items like this that I enjoy collecting. Unicorns and teddy bears inspire similar objects. Two collections that involve crossover objects that I love to search our are my Pocahontas and Alice in Wonderland collections. I have dolls, videos, books, drawings, ads, candies, purses, clocks, Halloween Costumes, Disney objects, jewelry, teapots and cups, plates, toy dishes, and all sorts of other objects. I have an engraved portrait of the real Pocahontas and Steven Tyler is an avid Alice collector as well. Since I’ve taught Alice, I have lots of teaching materials about her. When I took my prelims for my doctorate in English, I took them in my advisors office. He left his statue of The White Rabbit there to greet me. Also, to add to the crossover effect, Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane, who sang “Go Ask Alice” based on the book, is an avid doll collector herself. These are just a few of the categories of popular crossover collectibles. It would be possible to write a multivolume set on the topic. I haven’t even touched doll lamps and doll bottles, doll shoes, paper dolls and paper toys, doll quilts, paper dolls of characters and those based on real dolls. These are what make collecting fun. Merry Christmas and may your collecting dreams come true this year!