The Hobart Doll Show 2017

Today I went to the Hobart Doll Show as I try to do every year.  In the past the show has always been held at the Hellenic Hall in North Hobart but this year it is in a new venue, the big room under the grandstand at the Hobart Showgrounds. This required a bit of extra travelling for me. I often walk up to North Hobart from the city but the Showgrounds are at Glenorchy about 7km away so I got a bus and then had a short walk to reach the Showgrounds and  a longer walk through them to reach the grandstand. I knew I was on the right track because periodically I passed signs like this:

This Way To The Dolls

As I have mentioned in previous posts about the show it is put on by the Hobart Doll Club Inc. This club is primarily for people who make or collect porcelain dolls and they have regular meetings and classes. The show is their big annual event and there are competitions not only for porcelain doll makers but also cloth dolls, Reborn babies and teddies.

The competition table

In addition there are the stalls and that is what I primarily go for although I always enjoy looking at the competition entries as well.  It’s nice to be amongst people who don’t think you are odd if you are walking about carrying a large doll or teddy.

I did my usual thing of doing several circuits of the hall, the first to look, the second to take photos and the last to buy things.


These dolls are becoming quite a feature at doll shows now. I know that some people make Reborn dolls from commercially made vinyl dolls but others will purchase a kit with the dolls head and limbs, the body is made of cloth and stuffed and weighted to give a realistic look and feel. The dolls are then given incredibly detailed facial and body paint and dressed. They are very expensive dolls. I doubt I would ever be able to buy one. Apart from the cost Reborns and porcelain dolls are meant for display only and as you know I like to play with mine so I prefer to spend my doll money elsewhere. I do always see people cradling Reborns like the real babies they resemble though so they obviously have some cuddling potential.

Here is a stall that was selling supplies, you can see the doll kits and I think the paint is in the big tubs, there is a tray of sample colours on top which you may be able to see. There were also instruction DVD’s and books. It is a very creative avenue of collecting.

Kits for making reborn dolls
Some completed Reborns


There were all sorts of dolls and soft toys on sale, some old, some not so old. Here are a few that I spotted.

I loved this stall selling Japanese dolls and silk fabrics. Too expensive for me to buy any today unfortunately. Although these are really dolls for looking at I would quite like something like one of these to join my costume doll collection.

My Dad Made It selling Japanese dolls and kimono fabrics.

Some modern artist bears on this stall.

teddies for sale Hobart Doll Show
Artist bears


Carleen’s Creations had a table of vintage dolls. There are several celluloid dolls here and  hard plastic as well. I can spot a couple of Pedigrees as well as Kader and others. Some of these dolls were quite pricey but some were not. I would like a celluloid doll one day but so far I’ve not seen the right one. I quite liked the baby in pink and the smiling boy next to her.

Vintage celluloid and hard plastic dolls.

Here is Enid Blyton’s character Noddy with some gollies and Raggedy Ann and Andy’s.

As quite a lot of my dolls are packed away at present I was trying to show a bit of restraint and not buy too much this year. Raggedy Andy would be on my list as I have a Raggedy Ann already.

A cuddly Noddy from the Enid Blyton stories.

I especially liked these black dolls. Two are hard plastic Pedigree Walkers from the 1950s, the other I think is a vinyl doll probably from the late fifties or early sixties. I was chatting to the stall holder for a while and she told me that the two hard plastic dolls were $200 and $300 respectively. As far as I am aware from browsing eBay that is pretty reasonable as the black dolls are not as common as the white. Having said that I know two people who own them. Ironically neither collects dolls, one was inherited from a relative and I think the other was the lady’s childhood doll.There were lots of clothes and shoes too of course and a stall selling dolls house miniatures, dolls, furniture and tiny accessories.

I also met the couple who run the Hobart Dolls Hospital and actually took a photo of them for the blog but when I got it home I decided that it was a very poor photo of them. I want to visit them soon to see if they can fix Pedigree Penny and Marilyn who both need some work so I will write a separate post about that later on.

I did buy a couple of small things which I will show you in my next post. The Hobart Doll Show is on again tomorrow, Sunday 27 August if anyone local would like to go. Admission is $8 for adults.


Doll Competition

Finally here are some of the entries in the doll competition.

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  1. I want to got to the doll hospital too. I have teddies that need repair and I would like to help choose Penny’s wig if that’s ok since I rescued her for you. Nice lot of teddy bears. I want to add more panda bears to my collection later.


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