Op Shop Dolls: Lots of them!

I often tell customers that our Op Shop is like Aladdin’s Cave and that is even more true for our over crowded storage areas. Recently we’ve been going through things stored in the back of the shop. When we get a lot of donations things often get piled up there  and there were some things we hadn’t seen in quite some time. All the dolls and clothes that turned up were placed in boxes and as there is no room or time to work on them at the shop I brought them home to try to sort out.

Op Shop dolls at my house awaiting beauty treatment.

Well, what a variety! Barbies with mussed hair, Bratz with no feet, lots of cloth bodied babies with vinyl heads and limbs and a Baby Born. There are lots of clothes too but will the clothes fit the dolls? I often find that they don’t and sometimes raid my own stash for something more suitable. I really dislike seeing dolls in badly fitting clothes. However I have a huge box of clothes from the shop now so I am hopeful of finding something to fit everyone.

We never sell dolls for a lot but I still like them to be clean and nice that’s why I take the trouble to clean them, remove marks when I can and tidy hair up. Sometimes we might package a big baby doll with a spare outfit or two, newborn baby clothes fit them fairly well, a toy crib and maybe a bottle or a small stuffed toy and sell it for $10 but unless we got something vintage we don’t usually ask more than that and usually a lot less.

I have to admit that as I do go to a lot of trouble over them I  get rather annoyed and frustrated when the dolls are badly treated in the shop. Children will grab a doll, undress it and then leave it lying on the floor naked when they have finished playing with it. I really have to bite my tongue some days. I guess what I really don’t understand is why their parents have not taught them that this is not OK.  Of course we put some good toys in bags to protect them but even if it is just a 50c doll I still think it is wrong to do that.

Anyway all I did with them today was to go through the box and separate the Bratz with all their body parts from the others. At the bottom of the box were some loose feet so I was able to make up a couple more of them. These dolls will have their hair tidied and I’ll go through the Bratz clothing to get together an outfit for each of them.  If there are not enough I can knit a dress in an evening. The remainder I’ll keep for spare parts as I may get some more matching feet another time. I have several odd ones. The footless dolls can be tidied later and if we have to we can sell them as they are although I don’t really like that.

A bunch of Bratz waiting for their spa treatment.

The Barbie’s are all intact, some of them are belly button body, some are articulated, one is even a Swappin Head, one I already have or I would buy her myself. They mostly need a light clean and to be redressed and have their hair done. Then there are some clone dolls, one that looks like a My Scene and a couple of Kelly or Simba children. Untangling hair is almost always the most time-consuming job but it is something I can do while watching TV.

The larger dolls mostly need redressing or hair tidying except for Baby Born who needs a jolly good wash. They are worth spending the time over though. This one has discoloured eyes like mine does but most people don’t worry too much about that.

Baby Born to be cleaned and redressed.

I found out that this one is Strawberry Shortcake’s “Baby Apricot” by Kenner from the 1980s.

Kenner “Baby Apricot”. She blows kisses.

I’ll try to post a few pictures of the progress of these dolls as we go.



  1. You are a good dolly doctor and you certainly have lots of patients. That shop ought to be so glad to have you working for them!!!! You are right in that children should be taught better manners by their parents. Unless its bought and paid for it isn’t theirs to undress and toss around.
    But some children will be happy to get the toys that you fix and send back and that is a nice thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Or at least children who will love them so much they won’t mind a little dirt rubbed in. I know when you send them back they will be fresh and new and ready to find a home. It is work to make them new again but I know it is rewarding to turn out the finished product. I am sure they will make some children happy doll parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the op-shop series. I love to see old toys getting new life 😀

    About bad mannered kids, I saw children behaving pretty bad here in Perú too:
    Years ago, there was an exhibition of a painting on the floor of a shopping center. The painting was protected by those “ribbon barriers” they use at banks, but a couple of children were running on the painting.
    Years later I saw a toddler running and screaming in the waiting room of a clinic in front of his father (that was doing nothing to stop his child), in a room fileld with patients including eldery people.
    A psychologist told me those children tend to have bad adult lifes because they never learned about limits and respect for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello I thoroughly enjoy reading about your dolls. I just bought a baby alive 1970’s but I have asked the seller from eBay for more info because of the changes that I see from the original to the one I purchased, it doesn’t work. I have removed the scalp and washed the hair and am now waiting for it to dry. I will look at the mechanics of the doll and try and figure out why it isn’t working. The back battery cover is missing and no makers mark anywhere. Do you know of anyone who fixes them etc. I bought her because she was my childhood doll. I am now 50,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Alejandra. I don’t know where you are so it’s a bit hard to recommend someone to fix her. I guess that the first thing will be to see if the battery terminals are corroded. Sometimes these can be cleaned up and the doll may work again. If not you might try and find out if there is a dolls hospital in or near your home. If any of our readers have had success in fixing Baby Alive perhaps they could post in comments and let us know. If you do social media there may be a Facebook doll group as well. I’ve seen at least one for people who buy thrift shop dolls and fix them up. At least you have a replacement for your childhood doll and she can be enjoyed for what she is if she can’t be fixed.


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