February Tip of the Month: Always Collect What You Love

This year Naomi and I have decided to introduce a new feature which we will try to post each month. We thought it might be helpful for new collectors, not just of dolls but anything really. Naomi has been collecting other types of toys and vintage stuff for many years and we hope that some of our thoughts and experiences might benefit others.

What to Collect?

So you have decided to start a collection. Congratulations, collecting is a great hobby. But maybe you are confused by the range of things there are to collect. There are so many types of dolls; cloth, vinyl, modern, vintage, fashion dolls, ball jointed dolls, porcelain, composition and the list goes on. How do you choose? Do you even need to choose?

Unless you are very rich there are some practical considerations. For example:

  • What kind of budget do you have?
  • How much room is there in your home for your collection?
  • Do you move around a lot?
  • Do you have children/pets in your home?

Those issues are probably going to affect your decision to a certain extent. however, even within those constraints, you should still find something you like enough to collect. If you don’t have a lot of money Thrift Shop finds can be very rewarding, if you don’t have a lot of room then you can either collect smaller dolls or just limit yourself to only displaying a few.

A collection of miniatures on the theme of “You don’t need a dolls house.”

Some people collect dolls for their investment value. Personally, I would not do this because I like to de-box and play with my dolls and once you do that the value is lost. If you are considering collecting for profit do your homework, and invest in some good storage. There are books and articles online that you can read about doll values. As with most collectibles the market changes often and just because something is old doesn’t mean it is going to get you a lot of money.

My short answer to what to collect is to find out what you really love and collect that, then you will be happy; in the end, that’s the most important thing. There is not much point in collecting something that doesn’t mean anything to you.

It may take a while to find out what your true interests are. You may start out collecting a few different types of dolls and gradually narrow it down to particular sizes, brands or types of dolls. Or you may be like me and love a little bit of everything. Either way, it’s fine. It’s your hobby and nobody can tell you what you should like.

Here is an example. I collect Sindy as you know, and my collection started with my childhood Sindy and a desire to replace my Patch. After adding Paul and a couple more Sindy’s I realised that I was building a collection and that what I actually wanted to collect was the Sindy’s issued between 1962-66 and the outfits that were in my “Sindy Set” booklet. I have bought a couple of later Sindy’s and have grown to like them, their fashions and especially the accessories that were made for them. However, as I collect other dolls too I’ve mostly limited myself to the older ones.

I will be making a page of links to these tips later on. Look out for our next tip in March.


  1. This is very well written and makes a lot of sense. I started out with just Barbie but soon realised I preferred to collect male fashion dolls so carried on with more of them. I enjoyed them more but I do still enjoy looking at the different Barbie and Skippers and their fashions 60s through to 90s.

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  2. I love a lot of different things but love celeb and character dolls, but mostly 1:6 size. I focus on face mold quality. If it doesn’t resemble a real person or character it most have some novelty or a rare quality. I love Star Trek and Star Wars, and comic characters. Plus Vampires, or other fantacy book heros. The latest characters of Harry Potter are my favorites, Ginny Weasley and Professor McGonagall. I may get a Professor Dumbledore even though I think his plastic beard looks like a white tongue, because he has a phoenix as a pet..I also modify my dolls if the current ones available don’t suit.

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  3. I have to say I always love to see your pictures of Sindy and her beautiful outfits. As for your advice about collecting, the most important thing you said was to collect what you love. The monetary value of collectibles goes up and down, but you can never go wrong if you surround yourself with the things that you love and that give you joy. I just wish I had shown more restraint and limited my collection more.

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    • I think when you begin collecting there is a tendency to buy everything. Later on you learn a bit more and your taste becomes a bit more refined and you start to recognise what makes you happiest. I’ve moved quite a few dolls on because I didn’t love them. It’s getting harder now because I do love most of what I have.


  4. That’s such a great tip. It’s so easy to fall into collecting all the dolls in a line (or of a style) because that’s the thing to do when you fall for one of them, so it’s nice to be reminded that there’s more than one angle to collect from! 🙂

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  5. Mattel got me when they finally released some Asian dolls, and then I got hooked on Fashion Fever. I’m focused on contemporary fashion dolls including The Look dolls. I am taking a break since I’ve run out of space and am a serial boxer, so it’s great to see Naomi has many boxed dolls to us us, it’s like Christmas, and I’ve been celebrating Chinese New Year 🙂

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