Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Translate

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How to Make Young Doll Collectors

Kids these days are all about their phones, texts, selfies, and after school activities.  Soccer, softball, gymnastics, Lego club, who knows what else? 

You have to make an appointment to buy a Happy Meal for your own kid.

With a few exceptions, doll collectors and other in the antiques/collectible trades lament the fact that their population is growing older.  Young people, I'll say those under 30, don't seem to be interested in dolls or collecting at all.

I get many letters from people who inherit very nice dolls, and can't wait to sell them or get rid of them.  If it isn't online anymore, it's a dust catcher.  Think about it; there are people born today who don't even know what a flip phone is, let alone a rotary dial phone or land line.

So, here are a few tips to encourage young doll collectors. We've talked about some before, but some are new.  Many come from my own experience; remember, I started collecting dolls at age 3, and antique dolls at age 5.

1. If you have little girls in your life, or even little boys, save your dolls and action figures, even one or two will do.  Pass them down to your children, and let them play with them.  If it is too valuable or fragile, wait until later. My mother bought me collectible and old dolls even when I was 7 or 8 years old. I was super careful, because I knew they were collectibles, but we made clothes and furniture for them, took them on trips, arranged house for them, and generally enjoyed them. If something broke, she fixed it.  Damage to a doll was lesson to me to be careful, and to study how a doll was made in order to repair it.  Nothing turns a child off to anything more than giving her something terrific, and then telling her it has to stay on a shelf or in a box, with "don't touch!" as the rule.

2. Take your child with you when you hunt for dolls. Make sure she can find something to buy.  If she is old enough to handle money, give her a few dollars.  Pay her for chores so she can accumulate "doll" money.

3. Capitalize on popular dolls like Frozen, Monster High, Ever After, Polly Pockets, Lego and Playmobil  Mini Figures, etc.  Watch Mommie and Gracie the Doll Hunters on YouTube, and like them on Facebook.  This mother/daughter doll collecting team is adorable and their enthusiasm is contagious. They are bonding and spending time together, which is what is important. "Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter," on YouTube and Blog Form is another great place to get family collecting ideas. This strategy works for collecting other things, too.

4.  Get over the "hoarders" phobia.  Collectors simply are not hoarders. 

5.  Join the Scouts; Girl and Boy Scouts have collecting badges.  Girl Scouts have Barbie and doll collecting badges.  There is also a Barbie Scout doll.

6.  To build on #5; tie dolls in with your children's favorite media, e.g., Dr. Who figures, Smurfs, The Walking Dead figures, Game of Throne Figures, Star Wars and Star Trek figures, Angelina Ballerina, Curious George, etc.  Do the same with storybook dolls from your children's favorite books.  You encourage literacy along with collecting.

7.  Teach your children to make dolls.  The Net is full of patterns and ideas. Make paper dolls, simple or elaborate.  You can turn them into cards and gifts for others.   I'm told a paper doll house makes a great background for Polly Pockets.  There are great books on folk dolls, craft dolls, art dolls, and more to get ideas.  Visit the National Institute of American Doll Artists, N.I.A.D.A, for inspiration. author Shirley Jackson and her best friend made over 400 clothespin dolls; show your kids Uneek Doll Designs on Etsy.com to see what Deb Ritter can do with  a little clothespin.

8. Have a doll show where you can display the dolls your children made, or where they can display their favorite dolls of many types.  Go to UFDC.org, the United Federation of Doll Clubs site to see how they categorize dolls.

9. Doll Castle News magazine always features updates on junior collectors and their activities.  Have a teddy bear picnic or doll teaparty.  Have a doll themed or action figure themed birthday party and encourage kids to make accessories or dolls.  Give out doll themed books as themes.

10.  Go to Somethingunderthebed.com to see examples of "Doll Stars" and other doll magazines aimed at kids.  American Girl has such a publication.  Old copies of "Jack and Jill: and the iconic "Youth's Companion" have lots of ideas.  Check for them online.

11.  If you are a dealer, doll shop owner, or doll show promoter, have activities and merchandise set aside for kids.  Don't assume youth means ignorance.  I knew what  a Bru was when I was 8.  A little girl's allowance may not catch up with her doll expertise, but don't discourage her.  Have dolls  in kid price ranges.  I love how Ruby Lane has doll items under $25.00.  They are even categorize this way.  Have a dollar table for kids, or do what people do at rock shows and coin shows; have giveaways for kids under 12.  Paper dolls and old doll magazines are great giveaways.  Old beanie toys, doll clothes, doll furniture, doll accessories, small plastic dolls form the 70s, cake decorations, and dollar store toys are great giveaways for kids.  If they can find things accessible to them, kids will remember your business and will be encourages to keep collecting.  They will learn and upgrade their collection as they go.

12.  Build or put together a simple dolls house; use a book case if nothing else, and spend time with your child making things for it and decorating it.

13.  Visit doll museums online and in person as often as you can.  If you have a store or museum, have a play or hands on area where kids can actually experience the toys.

14.  To attract the 10-18+ crowd, use social media.  Find the free Google books, doll sites, YouTube channels, instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter accounts about dolls.

15.  Halloween is a great time for dolls and doll costumes featuring dolls; take advantage of it. Making scarecrows and decorating pumpkins are doll related activities. 

16. May Day, Easter, and Spring are great times to create fairy or miniature doll gardens.  Grow flowers like hollyhocks or corn plants from which dolls are made.  See my article, "Dolls, Flowers, and Gardens" for ideas.

17. Stress that dolls are fun, and can lead to successful businesses and careers.  There is  free book on Kindle called "How to Make Money with Dolls."

18. Take advantage of the information and activities at American Girl and if you can, to go American Girl place.  AG has entertainment and charitable activities involving girls and dolls.

19.  Read positive stories about dolls, like "A Little Princess,"  The Lonely Doll Books, the Little Doll Books, "Missing Melinda," The Doll Hospital Series, The Flora McFlimsey books, and more. See "A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources" for ideas.

20. Don't push it.  If your child is not interested at first, give her time.  Sometimes, parents and grandparents collect dolls for their kids and put them away.  When children love you, they love what you like.  They will get interested in your dolls because they will want to know more about you.

Happy Collecting!

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