When To Let Go – Re-homing dolls

I don’t often get rid of dolls but over the past few months I have been having a bit of a cull of my fashion dolls because I really don’t have room to display them all. Most of the ones that I let go were the ones that had been bought at markets and were already well-loved when I got them. They served their purpose in getting me hooked on collecting fashion dolls so it was time for them to move on.

I sold a few of the better ones, ones that I’d bought new or near new but felt I could live without. One got lost in the post on the way to her new home and I have to admit that sometimes I wonder where she ended up and if she is OK. Silly I know but she had a name so she wasn’t just a random doll.

image dressed Barbies
Barbies that were given away.

Others were given to a local church for their children’s program. These were the dolls that I would have been embarrassed to sell but I carefully tidied their hair and dressed them, even making a few simple outfits for them as the children were young and I wanted clothes that would be easy for them to put on and off themselves.  I see these dolls quite regularly as I clean the church every week. I try not to look at their messy hair and the state of undress they are usually in. However the dolls were a big hit with them and hopefully playing with them will teach the children to look after any dolls they get when they are older. The remainder of them were in slightly better shape, some I’d tried and failed to sell on eBay and the rest I couldn’t be bothered to list. They went to our local Op Shop where I hoped they would find new homes with local children who would play with them but not where I would have to see them.

I get rid of larger dolls even more rarely. There was “Amazing Amy” a doll that I bought but found that I didn’t like at all.  Amy was one of those interactive dolls that had a repertoire of phrases.  She came with most of her props, plastic vegetables, juice, some other types of food and medicine. I found it very disturbing that her most frequent comment was “Give me medicine Mommy”. I didn’t really like owning a hypochondriac doll. If she was offered a vegetable she would say “Eww, no way Mommy” I remember complaining about this to fellow collectors online, they thought she sounded cute. My reaction was that if I’d spoken to my mother like that I’d have been in a lot of trouble. Worst of all for me, Amy’s vocabulary did not include the words “Please” and “Thank You”. Now you might think I was over reacting but I found I could not bond with Amy at all. I thought that she was a bad mannered doll and of course being a doll there was nothing I could do to change her, except pull her batteries out I suppose. It was clear that Amy would have to go, so I sold her. I thought that as I didn’t love her she ought to have the chance to go to someone else who did.

Amazing Amy the hypochondriac doll
Amazing Amy the hypochondriac doll

Really the only reason that I do get rid of dolls is because I don’t love them. I have had a few, sometimes I’d buy a bag of dolls from a market or fair because there was one or more that I really wanted. I got a Cabbage Patch baby that way and two or three other dolls whose faces I didn’t care for. I gave them away to a local lady who was looking for some dolls for her little granddaughters to play with.  I thought the children would enjoy them more than I did. Just yesterday two more dolls that I’d had reservations about left me. I wanted to make some more space on the shelves as my recent purchases have made them a bit overcrowded. I had looked at these two dolls many time and been tempted to let them go and this time I decided that I would. Why? Well these dolls had white hair and I just have a thing about white-haired dolls. I’ve never liked them. I spent many hours trying to dye my Tressy’s white hair with food dye until I managed to make it a kind of dirty yellow. I’d never give Tressy away, she has lovely face paint but these two I didn’t consider special. One I could remember buying for about $4 in my early collecting days. She was bought because I wanted to buy a doll that day and she was the only one I saw. I had a bag of household goods, clothing and a few Barbie outfits to go to the Op Shop so I grabbed the two dolls from the shelf and put them in the bag as well. At the Op Shop a lady said to me  “Oh you are not giving your dolls away?” I assured her that I had plenty more at home.

I just can't get fond of white haired dolls.
I just can’t get fond of white-haired dolls.

There are still a couple of dolls I’m not sure about. I have a white-haired Baby Alive but she has a blonde Baby Alive friend and I don’t want to split them up. I knitted them outfits too so I’ve invested some time in her so I think she’ll be staying for a while longer.

Baby Alive will be staying even though she has white hair.
Baby Alive will be staying even though she has white hair.


  1. The white-haired doll is a bit creepy to me somehow. Old lady hair on a smooth young face with a middle-aged face shape. Odd design. I wonder who she’s made to look like.


  2. I admire you – I have developed a phobia of selling my dolls on, as I’ve sold several things and then regretted it later. However, like you I have too many dolls that have just “turned up” – things people have given me, things I got as part of a job lot … something’s got to give! BTW, she’s not my usual kind of thing, really, but I actually quite like your white-haired doll – I think she has a nice expression 🙂


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