The Psychology Behind Why You Like to Collect Dolls

You're in good company if you love to collect dolls of any kind. Some famous people, such as actress Demi Moore and actor Johnny Depp, collect dolls. Even British singer, Sophie Ellis Bextor, collects a variety of dolls because they're full of personality and charm. You may collect dolls purely for investment purposes. After all, an original and mint condition G.I. Joe doll can fetch a pretty penny, as can a rare, vintage, or designer diamond-encrusted Barbie doll. But you likely already know that not all dolls are worth a fortune, so there may be another reason behind your habit.

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    You Love Antiques

    Antique French Doll by Barrois
    Denise Van Patten

    Some of the most beautiful antiques are dolls. Antique dolls are also accessible and can be kept in small spaces and moved when necessary, unlike some large pieces of antique furniture. Antique dolls can also be affordable. China, or porcelain dolls from the mid-1800s, for example, can be relatively inexpensive to collect. If you love antiques of all kinds, dolls can fit in well with other collections, such as vintage toys, trains, and Christmas items. It's widely debated what makes a doll antique. But in general terms, a doll that's at least 100 years old is considered to be antique. A doll made before 1960 may be called vintage. Finally, a doll made between 1960 and 1980 might be considered a modern collectible.

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    You're a History Buff

    You may just love historical items. Dolls from various eras are considered iconic. Consider a Barbie from 1966 or a bisque doll made in France or Germany during the 1800s. You may find it appealing to focus on one time period in history and the dolls that were manufactured then. Visiting doll museums and attending historic lectures can give you great pleasure. Studying up on dolls from your favorite era can offer you a wealth of knowledge.

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    You Love Vintage Fashion

    Sometimes, it's a love of vintage fashion that calls to doll collectors. Through dolls, you can collect fashion history. You might resonate with outfits that include hoop skirts, pantaloons, layers of outerwear, formal gloves, and hats. Maybe museum-quality dolls in exquisitely detailed ball gowns catch your interest. Or you may adore the mod look of vintage Barbies in mini-skirts.

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    You Like Sewing Costumes

    Costuming is a skill you can use on dolls. You may love to sew fanciful fairy and literary-era costumes to simple baby doll or children's play outfits for your dolls. You'll find a plethora of sewing patterns available for dolls of all types, from American Girl to Barbie and antique dolls. Finding miniature and to-scale materials, buttons, and trim is half the fun.

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    Nostalgia Warms Your Heart

    You may have come into doll collecting after coming across a beloved group of childhood toys. Nostalgia may have hit you hard. Some collectors fervently try to find and replace lost childhood toys and dolls to honor their youth. It can be a poignant moment when recapturing the joys of your childhood.

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    Dolls Brighten up Christmas

    If you collect vintage or antique Christmas ornaments, you may also collect equally ornamental dolls. Dolls can make beautiful displays under or next to dazzling Christmas trees. There's nothing so lovely than outfitting a Victorian-era doll and Christmas tree bejeweled with Victorian ornaments, for example. Another way to visually tie your doll and tree together is to make an outfit and a tree skirt from the same material.

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    Dolls Soothe Your Soul

    Dolls can look so lifelike that they can soothe your emotional needs. If you're feeling lonely or grieving, the presence of your doll collection can make you happy. Sometimes a collection of dolls helps you uncover and let loose emotions that need to be expressed. If you've ever talked to a pet before, you'll understand the power of having a doll nearby when you're feeling a bit blue.

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    Dolls Fit in With Your Decor

    You might like decorating with dolls. A single doll is a dramatic accessory that can become the focal point in a room. A period doll in a room decorated from the same era is an especially thoughtful decorating touch. You might prefer placing a larger, almost life-size doll on an antique chair that you want to preserve. Or, organizing a larger collection can make a classic backdrop in a room. A display of Barbie dolls dressed all in black or all red ball gowns can make a striking collection, for example.

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    You're Carrying On a Tradition

    Some people inherit an estate from a mother, grandmother, or other beloved family member who was an avid collector. You may have a strong feeling of keeping the collection rather than selling it. Continuing the collection, researching the origins, and identifying the value of the dolls can be a way to honor and feel close to a cherished family member.

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    You Think Dolls Are Cute

    Many dolls are cute. Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids? What's considered cute to one collector may not be to another. Sometimes miniature dolls are sweet. Or the pouting face of another style of doll is adorable to you. Human beings are drawn to cute items and objects. Cute dolls can fill you with joy, make you smile, and bring out your most tender and compassionate feelings.

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    Celebrity Dolls Are Fun

    A celebrity doll is created in the likeness of a famous person. The concept is actually much older than most people think. Commemorative dolls celebrating the birth of royal babies and marriages of royal couples are common. Historians like to say that the first celebrity doll was actually the Venus of Willendorf because the ancient figure was supposed to mimic a goddess. Today, many collectible dolls in demand are celebrity dolls modeled after singers, actors, and dancers. You'll find vintage dolls that look like singers Cher, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton, and Marilyn Monroe, for example. There are even celebrity Barbie dolls, the first one was a likeness of the supermodel, Twiggy, and produced in 1967.