Tag Archives: doll collecting

Nostalgia

Nostalgia.  Lately I’ve been dipping my toe in its waters.  Okay bathing in it.  Once you start, it’s just hard to stop.  I specialize in toy nostalgia, naturally, but my love for toys is more than just immaturity (though that’s a large part of it and I do highly recommend it).  Dolls, toys, the things that we play with reflect our environment and the styles, the culture, the values of the people living in it.  So you could say that collecting toys is rather like collecting a bit of history.

Yes, the 1980s really did happen.

Yes, the 1980s really did happen.

Note: Not all toy collectors live alone, dateless and friendless, in their parents’ basements.  Many people live alone dateless and friendless in their parents’ basements based on the economy alone.

Not all collectors are alike.  There are the ones who do it purely for evil monetary gain and will trip a small child to get to a new box of My Little Ponies only to immediately mark up Sparkle Twinkles on Ebay.  Not that I’m biased on that type of collector or anything.  Don’t get me wrong – having something that is of monetary value is cool.  And if you are in dire straights, like say having to live in your parents’ basement (oh nooooo) then at least you have some recourse.  Maybe you can sell your toys.

Who wouldn't pay big money for this? One-of-a-kind!!

Who wouldn’t pay big money for this? One-of-a-kind!!

Maybe.

But that’s the problem.  The prices of toys (and other collectible items) fluctuate wildly.  Some of the oldest toys may go for a lot of money, but not necessarily.  Even with a mint, still-in-the-box toy, you have no guarantee of high prices.  You have to deal with public tastes.  More than anything else, the monetary value of your toy ends up being pure luck.  Most items go up in value because no one realized it would go up in value.  If you make money in the end, consider it a bonus.  But don’t count on building a nest egg with rare toys.  There are quite a few homeless people now living in boxes filled with Beanie Babies.

You could always try breeding your own stuffed animals.

You could always try breeding your own stuffed animals.

Collect what you love.  Remember to still buy groceries.  You’ll win out in the end.  End of soap box.

Speaking of that old nostalgia, I mentioned earlier my new blog.  I wanted you to know that I won’t just be covering pretty plastic dollies.  I’ll cover anything.  G.I. Joes, Star Wars, Beatles toys, Sparkle Ponies, whatever.  Here’s just a sample of items I have lined up at the moment.

Lots of Barbies such as

  • A Barbie dog that eats its own poop
  • A Barbie with a magnetic stomach that gives birth only to have you shove baby back inside and make her do it all over again.
  • Barbie’s sisters (Skipper, Stacie, Kelly or Chelsea (this child is confused), and baby Krissy.  Yes, they are all her “sisters”.  Also a brother Todd who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
  • The Ultimate Boyfriend Ken doll – he says just what you want him to say!  The entertainment value in this guy is limitless.
  • Remember when Barbie and Ken broke up?  Meet the home wrecker, Australian surfer rad dude Blaine.
  • Lots of fun Barbie play sets.  For example: Barbie and shopliftin’ Kelly!
See my baby (cough) sister!

See my baby (cough) sister!

But wait, there’s more:

  • The “Sunshine Family” dolls of the 1970s – and I do mean OMG 1970s.
  • Star Trek the Next Generation‘s dreamy Commander Riker doll (er 12 inch ACTION FIGURE)
  • High School Musical Dolls.  Did you forget about Disney’s overdone High School Musical movies?  Too bad, I have dolls!  One named after a type of dog.
  • Luke Skywalker 12 inch ACTION FIGURE wearing Yoda in a Baby Bjorn.
  • One Direction Dolls (Why?  They were cheap and we needed boyfriends for Skipper.)
  • My Little Pony and all its incarnations.  Sparkles!
  • A Mystery Doll that sparkles.  Oh how he sparkles.  You’ll never guess what it is.
  • Disney dolls.  Of COURSE Disney dolls.
Leave us aloooone.

Leave us aloooone.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my mind at the moment.  If there is anything you’d like me to cover, I’ll do it, even if I’ve never heard of it.  I do love research, the less value the better!  Just let me know in the comments.  Also – what do you like to collect?

Alice

Fun with Dolls: What was Elsa DOING behind that door all that time?

In case you missed it somehow, I dig that movie Frozen. The funny thing is, I’ve only watched it twice (I swear!  No word on how many times I’ve heard one of the songs).  I also love collecting the dolls along with my kids.  I got a new Elsa – she’s so fancy, everybody knows, cause she’s got a fancy outfit, and a fancy price.  But anyhoo, she’s also quite flexible if you TAKE HER OUT OF THE BOX.  I mean, really, what else do you buy and then just leave in the box forever?  I don’t get it.  You’re supposed to play with them.  Studies show that if more people just played with dolls, they wouldn’t be playing boom boom with guns and accidentally shooting their pals during drunken hunting trips.  Or becoming vice president.

But moving on.  Even if you haven’t seen the movie at all, you can’t help but know some of the songs because they are played over and over.  And over.  In one of them “Do you want to build a snowman?” Anna sits outside of her sister Elsa’s door for like thirteen years or so, asking her to come out and play.  Anna doesn’t take a hint easily.  Anyway, I was wondering if, while Anna was out there running around the castle aimlessly and banging on her door, or sitting at her door, or leaning up against her door, what was Elsa doing in her room?

Ohhh Ellllllsaaa, come out and plaaaay . . .

Ohhh Ellllllsaaa, come out and plaaaay . . .

Well it just so happens there was a hidden camera in her room (probably set there by a relative of that creeper Hans) that caught some of Elsa’s moves on camera.  Let’s check them out, shall we?

Elsa quite enjoyed coloring and writing letters to "Dear Abby".

Elsa quite enjoyed coloring and writing letters to “Dear Abby”.

Dear Abby:

My parents locked me in my room cause I have freezing powers and my little sister has spent the last decade slamming her body into my door and screaming at me to go play with her.  It was all her fault I froze her brain in the first place.  I’d thank you to please answer my letter this time instead of telling me to “please seek help”.  That’s why I WROTE you.  Jeez.

Elsa

She practiced Yoga for better control.

She practiced Yoga for better control.

Dear Abby:

I am trying to practice Yoga to help with my little problem.  I keep freezing my Yoga mat and slipping.  Also when I do headstands, the blood rushes to my head and and I get brain freeze.  Should I give it up?

Elsa

Elsa tries out gymnastics.

Elsa tried out gymnastics.

Dear Abby:

Gymnastics is really tough.  I can do a mean splits, but it doesn’t appear super elegant in my wool dress.  My parents will not buy me a leotard despite being a king and queen.  They are unfair, especially since they let Anna ride a bicycle through the house while standing up.  I heard her crash into the stairs the other day.

Elsa

Elsa tried out dancing.

Elsa tried out dancing.

Dear Abby

My parents went away on a two week trip, so I did a little dance.  It’s hard to dance in this dress.  I don’t dare go out, yet, because my sister just told me our parents mysteriously died in a shipwreck.  I don’t believe her.  I think she is possessed. 

Elsa

Elsa played with ponies

Elsa played with ponies

Dear Abby

I don’t actually play with ponies.  I am a collector.  I just think they’re nice, is all, and magical, and sparkly, and express the true meaning of friendship.  Also I think they are spiritual talismans that can ward off evil.  I plan on stringing one around my  neck before I face my sister.

Elsa

Elsa got daring and showed off some shoulder.

Elsa practiced for her debut.

Dear Abby:

I’m tired of this buttoned up look.  I decided to show off a little shoulder today.  Look out, world.

Elsa

Elsa tries out her Marilyn impersonation.

Elsa tries out her Marilyn impersonation.

Dear Abby

Oops, some wind blew up my dress the other day. I have some pretty nice legs.  I wonder if my powers could go into dressmaking?  Did I tell you I created a living snowman back when I was four? 

Elsa

P.S. I think I’m finally ready to leave my room.  You can call off the restraining order now.

So anyway, for those of you at all familiar with the movie – what do YOU think Elsa was doing behind the door?  Also, do you think maybe Anna is secretly evil?  Here’s a video that might give you second thoughts.

Buy it All, Buy it All!

I have developed a slight spending problem, which is really interesting since only a month ago I could hardly spend at all.  I wouldn’t let myself buy anything, especially not anything possibly considered “frivolous”.  There were times I’d leave entire carts of (non-perishable) items because I couldn’t bear to spend money on them, no matter what it was, and was too depressed to go return the items where they belonged.  (Sorry Mecca employees.)

Spend money.  Live poorer.

Spend money. Live poorer.

Now I get my best exercise going to big chain stores like Mecca, grabbing items on clearance (they often mark things down but don’t reflect it on the sticker) and running them over to the price checker.  Total thrill when it comes up cheaper.   If not, or I still don’t want to buy it, I return it right where it belongs, then grab something else.  Rinse, repeat.  When the price checkers aren’t working, I really don’t know what to do.  I don’t like having an employee scan it, because they tend to not want to stay by a pole until you return with three more items.  Did I mention the Abilify med I’m on makes me restless but also extremely active?  To a somewhat psychotic point?

It beats being down, though, and I love it.  But there is another issue.  Seems my extreme self-control has been loosened, which is not that bad, except that I really have to watch it now when I add up the amount I spent on NEEDED merchandise for my online doll series that is watched by at least three people.  Or my Disney / Barbie collection in general.  I used to collect expensive dolls, so spending 100 and then nothing else for a long time was no big deal.  But when you do it in increments of 10, 20, 30, etc, it’s like just eating one slice of cake.  Then going back for another slice.  And just one more.

Caaaaaaaaaaaaake

Caaaaaaaaaaaaake

On the plus side, not everything I want is in the stores, or at least, not at the right price.  Unfortunately, there is INTERNETZ.  And it’s even easier to just use your card and go CLICK and buy more stuff.  Then you get packages in the mail and it’s totally like Christmas except after a while you sort of have to run home and hide the stuff so the others in your family don’t realize quite how much Christmas you are giving yourself in October and November.

But most of it I was saving for Christmas presents for my children.  No, seriously, except that after a while there wasn’t much more storage space, and I had to admit that they hadn’t actually asked for a lot of it, though they’d of course like playing with it.  So I’ve just started opening some of them so we could play with them now.  That way Christmas is not so overwhelming.  And what are toys for, but to play with?  (Don’t keep them in the box!  They suffocate!  Have you not seen Toy Story???)

But even though I’ve never gotten us in the red, still I needed to curb the spending every day and I figured, what better way than a sticker chart?  I got some stickers (Guess which kind?  You will never guess.) and made it three whole days before I cracked this morning and bought this thing that had been out of stock for weeks but now it was in and if I didn’t buy it’d be gone in no time because everyone knows Mickey and Amazon have no soul.

I bet these guys would hold me accountable.  I think I'd be dead.

I bet these guys would hold me accountable. I’m sorry I bought all the stuff don’t kill meeee!

My ten-year-old accountability partner will be so ashamed.  I bet she gets her sticker for not having her bad habit today.  Oh, well.  I’m not sure why I feel worse about buying collectibles (even that sounds better than “toys”).  I mean, aren’t most electronics technically toys, only with higher price tags?  And who doesn’t have a smart phone or a tablet or an Xbox or something of that nature by now?  Huh?

Do you guys have spending issues?  If so, what is your weak spot?

I’ll get back on the spending sobriety wagon tomorrow I guess.  I came up with a little ditty appropriately to the tune of “Let it Go”.

Buy it now, buy it now!!!

Buy it now, buy it now!!!

Let it go, Let it go

Don’t hold onto it anymore

Go ahead, spend your dough

You know you want to, oh!

 

Why do you care

What they’re going to say

The bank won’t foreclose

At least not until you miss some more payments . . .

 

I know I have medical bills

But those things are so dull

And the collectors they can’t do too much

If my wallet is now not full

 

It’s time for me  to slow it down

To stop the spend merry-go-round

It’s okay to buy but not so much

I’m brooooke!

 

Only guilt, only guilt!

You spent too much you git

Oh but hey, it’s okay

Perfection’s never possible anyway . . .

Pocahontas: Alice spends too much. Merida: Yes, but maybe she'll buy you that hunky boyfriend.

Pocahontas: Alice spends too much.
Merida: Yes, but maybe she’ll buy you that hunky boyfriend.