Op Shop Dolls: It’s A Wrap!

I haven’t done a post on rescue dolls for a while. I have had one or two at home but hadn’t bothered to take pictures. However, over the last couple of weeks I’ve had some that were a bit, well shall we say different.

First of all, was this Disney Princess. When I saw her I very nearly tossed her. I think her previous owner was an aspiring surgeon as her arms and legs were wrapped in bandaids and masking tape. She had been inked and given a serious hair cut. I decided to bring her home just to see how much of an improvement I could make. Below you can see her as she was when I found her and later on after having the tape removed and a good scrub in the sink. At this stage, there are still some marks I will need to use acne cream on but most of the pen marks came off with Fairy and scrubbing with bicarb soda. Her hair is going to be the biggest issue. I don’t want to buy a wig for a doll we’ll probably sell for a dollar or two; her head is rock hard so I don’t fancy doing a reroot. I think that the best I can do will be to cut off the rest of the hair and get her a hat. We’ll return to her in the future.

The other day while tidying the toy shelves my friend Donna found a zip lock bag of dolls which must have been put out by other volunteers. She gave it to me, asking if I wanted to do anything with them. I could see that they all had messy hair and some were nude so I said that would take them home to sort out. Normally we would not sell fashion dolls in a bulk lot like that, and as they were, I certainly did not feel they were worth the $10 that was written on the bag. Here are the girls apart from the Barbie on the far right who I’d found separately. There was also a small doll who looks more like a cake topper doll to me but I haven’t included her here.

One of the Skipper dolls in this batch had also been a victim of tape. She was wrapped in duct tape. Perhaps her owner had been trying to create a little black dress for her but the poor girl looked like she had been tied up as her legs were unable to move. Apart from that the dolls were just dirty and had messy hair so I set out to clean them all with Fairy dishwashing liquid which I also used to wash their hair.

Luckily the duct tape was much easier to remove than the masking tape on the Disney doll which I had to soak off. The black tape came off quite easily and I was pleased to see that Skipper had not suffered any other damage except a hair cut.

After everyone had been scrubbed, shampooed and conditioned I sat them by a window to dry.

The older Barbie had splayed legs and a wobbly head so I have decided to see if I can fix that. I dunked her legs in boiling water, straightened them and tied them together with an elastic bandage. I will probably have to remove her head and I think from memory the fix is a rubber band wrapped around the neck joint.

I’ll show the finished dolls and attempt some ID’s next week.



  1. Another enjoyable fix-it post. Oh my, little children certainly get creative with duct tape and masking tape. At least that makes sense as I assume it’s playing doctor and trying to dress a doll. The blue ink always makes me shake my head. There seems no point to that, but I’m amazed at how clean you get those dolls. Looking forward to seeing how your elastic works with the wobbly head Barbie as I’ve run across that problem in the past.


  2. If she was more like the generation or alexander 18″ inch dolls she could become a Butch/guy doll, however w/ pink panties and lavender eyes a nice Holly Hobby, Pioneer gal or Bo-Peep might better suit. The ballerinas are very similar to some dolls I saw in the toy section of our local market. I have used both rubber-bands and fishing line for necks. How fun/ such a variety! What a lovely job you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Inherited Mom’s 150 Collectable dolls and trying to find interested parties, Not sure where to begin located in NY USA

    Deginers: arian Yu Design, Amy L Doland, Ann Timmerman, Beverly Parker, Cindy Shafer, Connie Walser Derek, Dana Gibson, Dianna Effner, Donald Zolan, Ellen H Williams: Classic Brides of the Century, Gaby Rademann: Beautiful Dreams, Helen Steiner Rice, Jane Zidjunas, Judy Belle: The Danbury Mint, Kathy Barry-Hippensteel, BORN TO BE FAMOUS 4 Dolls, BORN TO BE FAMOUS 4 Dolls, Maryanne Oldenburg, Pat Thomas, Patrica Ryan Brooks: My Fair Lady Collection, Paulette Aprile, Patricia Ryan Brooks, Phil Tumminio: From This Day Forward 4 Dolls, Rotraut Schrott, Sandra Kuck, Wendy Lawton 2 Collections “Little Women”, Rymes, William Tung, Yolanda Bello: 2 Collections: Moments to Remember, Yolanda’s Picture Perfect Babies®, Yolanda’s Picture Perfect Babies®,


    • I’m not familiar with many of these dolls but I’m sure some of our readers will be. There are a couple of ways you could go. If you want to sell the whole collection together you could consider contacting an auction house that specialises in dolls and toys. If you want to sell them individually there is eBay of course. A good way to get prices is to look at similar items that have been sold recently. Alternatively you could contact a doll club in your city if there is one or try one of the many online collecting groups of on Facebook if you do social media. If you don’t perhaps ask a friend or relative who does to help you.
      If any other readers have any suggestions for Denise please comment.
      The collectors market for dolls goes up and down so don’t be surprised if they don’t sell for as much as your mother paid for them.


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