Doll Shows 101: Etiquette

For a doll collector, attending a doll show can be as exciting as stepping through the gates of Walt Disney World. Even the most narrowed minded collector is sure to find something they find appealing when they’re faced with tables filled with dolls of all shapes, sizes and ages. Doll shows are great places to shop for your next favorite doll, mingle with other collectors and learn about doll lines you may not have seen before.

At the most recent show my mom attended she started a conversation with a vendor who shared some less than flattering interactions with customers shopping the showroom floor. It prompted me to write this post. Why? Because we, as collectors, should be better than what this man and his wife experienced.

So, let’s talk doll show etiquette. Just like you’re expected to follow unspoken rules in schools, churches or life in general, there are some unspoken rules that you should follow when attending a doll show.

Rule #1: Ask Before Snapping a Photo

I’ve definitely broken this rule before. Since my doll show videos are some of my most popular YouTube videos, taking photos at the shows I attend is pretty important. Since most of us have access to a camera all the time via our smart phones, it’s pretty much second nature to whip it out and snap a photo whenever we want to. However, at a doll show, we (myself included) really should ask permission before snapping a picture of a doll we’re admiring. There are a few different reasons for this. Some sellers are leery about photos, because they’re worried about con artists using that doll photo on eBay and scamming people. Other sellers find it insulting or just plain sad when all it seems the potential buyers want to do is take a photo of the dolls on display and aren’t looking to really shop.

This was what the dealer my mom spoke with said. He mentioned how disheartening it was that people didn’t seem to care at all about buying anything in the booth, but they would happily snap a photo. It made him and his wife sad to see people not taking an interest in the booth for the reasons they were there (to sell). In this case, he and his wife were lifelong collectors selling a collection that no one in their family wanted. So, seeing people pass by these dolls that were taken care of and loved by a collector (and not a doll dealer) or just snapping a photo made them a bit irritated.

To be honest, this rule is also a generational thing. Most older collectors aren’t chained to their cell phones. They don’t ‘do’ apps or sometimes don’t have or understand social media and the importance of sharing information visually on those platforms. So, it’s important to ask before snapping a photo, just in case you are dealing with a dealer who isn’t as wired to post or share on the internet as many of us younger collectors are.

Rule #2: Don’t Just Walk By, Open Your Mind

Not every sellers merchandise will be to your liking. That’s just how it goes. But, next time you go to a show, consider stopping in and looking at everything the show has to offer by going into every booth. It’s sad when you are walking around a show just to overhear sellers saying, “no one’s even stopping to look at what we have.” You may know that you won’t be leaving with something from a particular sellers table, but throw them a bone and give it a walk through. It may make your stay at the doll show a little longer, but is that really all that bad? Not to mention, you may make someone’s day by just showing a passing interesting in what they brought to the show, especially if it’s a collector selling their collection of beloved dolls.

Rule #3: Strike Up a Conversation

Small talk is not something everyone is comfortable with and I completely understand why. It can be hard sometimes! To be fair, some sellers at doll shows don’t give off an approachable vibe. They’re looking at their phones, chatting with other sellers or they’re just… staring. Were I working a table, I would make an effort to greet people or acknowledge them, as a way to get them into my space. Not all sellers do this, at some shows very few do this– so this is not just a rule for buyers, it’s for everyone. Sellers, acknowledge people as they browse or pass your booth. Buyers, engage with sellers as you enter their booth. A smile and a simple hello will suffice.

In some cases, striking up a conversation with a vendor might help you find just what you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for something specific and a seller has something in the same vein, it never hurts to ask if they have what you are looking for. You never know, they may have it, but didn’t bring it. It also is completely allowed to ask questions about a doll that you’ve never seen before. A good seller knows what they have and on a slow day, they may welcome the chance to talk about the history of the doll you’re looking at.

Rule #4: Just Because It’s In a Cardboard Box Doesn’t Mean It’s Trash

Lots of sellers will bring dolls in plastic bins or cardboard boxes. Sometimes, for the ease of packing them up after the show, they’ll keep the dolls in those bins and let potential buyers sort through them. Not every plastic bin or cardboard box is a ‘bargain’ bin, so they shouldn’t be treated as such.

The gentleman my mom spoke with at the last show she attended recounted to her a story about an attendee haphazardly tossing around the fragile dolls that were in a box, resulting in her breaking three of them. That’s not right. Don’t assume because something is in a box or bin that what you’re sorting through isn’t worth something to the seller, whether it’s money or memories.

Rule #5: It’s Not Hard To Clean Your Dolls (Sellers, I’m Talking To You!)

This rule is completely in the hands of the sellers. You don’t know how many sellers I’ve seen stock their tables with dirty, dusty dolls and slap them with a huge price tag. Newsflash– if it ain’t clean and priced as a ‘fixer-upper’, then it isn’t going home with me or probably anyone else. Sellers, please take heed of this and before your next show, make your dolls presentable.

If they are the kind where you can comb their hair, why not try? If they’re composition or hard plastic, pick up some special cleaner to make them look fresh. (We use Dream Clean Doll Cleaner for our dolls and it works great!) Spruce them up a little to show buyers that you care about your merchandise, because that is what will sell your doll and allow you to lighten your load a little.

For those who missed it, here was our latest Doll Show Haul video:

These are just five points of etiquette I thought I would point out. Feel free to add your own in the comment area!  What tips do you have for those who are attending their first doll show? Share them in the comments!

 

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October 16, 2018. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Living Dead Dolls Resurrection Maggot

Living Dead Dolls is a line that I have rarely, if ever, talked about here on the  blog. I don’t dislike the line, but for the most part, but the dolls don’t appeal to me. There are, however, on occasion some dolls that do catch my eye. The 2018 Mezco summer exclusive is one of those. Exclusive to the Mezco website and New York Comic Con 2018, Resurrection Maggot is 10” tall and features 5 points of articulation.

Her description is as follows, ““Blistering boils and oozing pus, her cankerous soul now damned.” Maggot has escaped quarantine! The diseased damsel comes complete with a bloodied eye-patch, a glass-like eye that’s always watching, and a frilled dress with button detailing.” Even with a gory, bloody eye and sores, this doll has quite the face! I love her glass eye– so very anime! I also am a fan of her black curly pigtails! Resurrection Maggot retails for $60.00.

She has a strange sweetness about her that I love! What do you think of Resurrection Maggot?  Do you collect Living Dead Dolls? Who’s your favorite doll in the series? Let us know in the comment area!

September 19, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

The Premiere Series- Only at The Disney Store

The Disney Store is at it again! Every Saturday between October 6th and November 10th, The Disney Store is releasing a limited edition collectors doll online (noon PST) and in select stores (through lottery). This new Disney Designer Collection has been dubbed the Premiere Series.

Each dolls look is inspired by the fashion trends from the year the characters movie premiered. For example, Snow White’s gown is styled with the trends of 1937 in mind, where as Belle’s is styled with the trends seen on the red carpet in 1991. This idea has resulted in some fantastic looking dolls!

Between 4,000 to 4,500 dolls are being produced for each character. The six characters in the line are: Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Tiana and Belle. With this being the 20th anniversary of Mulan, it’s a bit of a missed opportunity that they didn’t feature her, which is disappointing. However, if this line does well, maybe they’ll continue it with more iconic characters. My favorite doll in the line has to be Snow White. She’s one of the prettiest Disney Designer dolls ever created, hands down! I love the glamour of the 1930’s.

The Premiere Series is a bit pricey at $109.00 per doll, but I can’t help but like what they did with each character. They really did a great job capturing each ‘year’ represented while keeping the Disney vibe. What do you think of the new Designer line? Which is your favorite doll? Let us know in the comment area!

September 14, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Mego Toys Are Back!

Back in the 70’s, Mego was a big name in the toy game. Unfortunately, by 1983, the toys and company were gone. Well, they’re back for 2018! The new “Marty Abrams presents Mego” line made its debut at Target stores around the US late July. A mixture of old favorites and new creations, the new Mego line is sure to be a hit with nostalgic collectors.

The new Mego line features 8-inch figures, 14-inch figures, and 8-inch figure 2-pack dioramas. New additions to the 8″ line are dolls from classic TV shows, like Facts of Life, Cheers, The Brady Bunch, Married with Children and Charmed. They also brought back popular dolls from Mego’s past, including Star Trek, Broadway Joe Namath and Action Jackson.

 

 

 

You can keep up with the new line via Facebook. Are you happy to see Mego back? What do you think of the new line? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

September 14, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Dolly Review: Reproduction Barbie Dreamhouse

Recently, Tuesday Morning, a discount store, announced that they had received some sought after Mattel stock- Silkstones, Barbie Collectors Club dolls, reproductions and, what I was most excited about, the reproduction Barbie Dreamhouse. After a few days of stalking our stores, one called saying that they’d received the Dreamhouse and I rushed in to buy it!

Based on the 1962 version of the Dreamhouse, this August 2017 release originally cost $100.00 and was sold on Mattel’s website. Along with a strange and unexpected collection of collector Barbies, some originally intended only for the Barbie Collectors Club, Tuesday Morning had the Dreamhouse at a much more affordable $60.00. (Silkstones were between $40.00 and $50.00.) Considering that you receive not only the Dreamhouse, but also a reproduction 1960’s style Barbie, that’s a steal!

The Dreamhouse is made of thick cardboard and is designed so you can fold it up into a carrying case when not displaying or playing with it. The cardboard furniture is not assembled. Part of the fun of this reproduction Dreamhouse is putting all the pieces of furniture together– no glue or tape required! It’s rare to see the original house for sale without a few pieces of furniture that are a little bent out of shape, so I love that these pieces are new and fresh looking! Furniture items include: a super cool hi-fi stereo/tv set, a back wall that features bookshelves, a closet and vanity, a couch,  an ottoman, coffee table, chair, lamp and bed. There’s also accessories to the furniture pieces, like records, pillows and an adorable framed photo of Barbie’s beau, Ken!

As far as assembly, I found most of the pieces to be easy to assemble. The back wall piece is the most troublesome, as it’s literally the entire back wall of Barbie’s Dreamhouse. The lamp is also kind of tricky, as it’s the most fragile of the pieces with the scoring on the cardboard. Be careful when making the lamp as it’s easy to accidentally rip a piece of it. There’s a handy instruction booklet that is actually pretty helpful. I would recommend using it when working on the furniture.

I personally think this reproduction Dreamhouse is pretty awesome. I love that it’s new! I don’t have to worry about water damage, rips, stains, mold or any other number of things that usually come hand in hand with buying cardboard Barbie houses. Personally, I wish Mattel would just go back to using materials like this for their houses, because they are way more portable and don’t take as much time to set up. (The last ‘new and modern’ Dreamhouse we built was a nightmare.) It’s also a huge perk that all the furniture pieces fit inside the Dreamhouse when folded. There’s so much play value here! Mattel did a great job on this reproduction. With them arriving at Tuesday Morning, I doubt this will happen, but I would love if Mattel released other reproduction playsets from this era. Fingers crossed?

The blonde ponytail Barbie that came with this set is adorable. She’s done in the 1960’s style complete with sheath dress and painted nails. The painted nails are one of my favorite aspects of Barbie’s of this era. The hair is styled perfectly, too! A true 1960’s Barbie would be a little heavier than this reproduction, but when it comes right down to it, the Dreamhouse reproduction is a much more quality doll than we’re seeing in stores at the moment.

What do you think of the reproduction Barbie Dreamhouse? Let us know in the comment area!

 

August 16, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 14 comments.

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