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First of all I want to thank everyone who has visited this web site. It is my hope that you are having an enjoyable experience and will want to come back often. Many of you who visit have left me emails with questions about your childhood dolls,
or just about dolls in general.
As the site traffic grows, I am afraid that I will not be able to answer your questions in a timely manner. Since many similar questions are for general doll collection information, I decided it would be beneficial to develop this page to share the information, and perhaps answer your questions immediately.
If you have a question about Vogue Ginny dolls, it might already be answered on
my all about Ginny FAQ's page.
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Question and Answer Index:
|Q: I was given a large doll collection recently. I am not a doll collector but from what I see, and what my friend has told me, there may be some real treasures in the lot. Where do I start?|
like you are going to have your hands full with all those dolls, especially since you
are not a doll collector, you are sort of starting from scratch. My first suggestion
would be to sort through the boxes and see if you can put them into categories, probably
start with material they're made of, like bisque, composition, hard plastic, vinyl,
etc. Then look them over very carefully to see if you can see any kind of markings
on them. Most companies marked their dolls on the back of the neck and/or on the
upper back (however their mark could be anywhere). Once you have done this, the fun
begins. You'll need to start searching for references. If you have a large
public library you might want to try there first for the obvious reason, it's free!
Then there is always the Internet to search. You can do searches for dolls using the
major search engines. I have several doll related links on my site that have
lots of information about dolls. Go to my main page at http://www.dollinfo.com and scroll down
through the center, under the title "the Toy Box". Some are specific to
one type of doll, while others just list doll sites (i.e. Doll Universe, Doll Top50,
Auntiedot.com, etc.). You can also check the on-line auctions. EBay, being the
largest, has the most variety. I have a direct link on my main site to several of
the auction sites. Go to http://www.dollinfo.com
and scroll down the right side to the "Going, Going, Gone" auction site
section. If you still need more information, you can purchase doll i.d.
books. There are several excellent ones that I feature on my main site at
http://www.dollinfo.com/bookshelf.htm on my
"Bookshelf" page. The two that would be the most current and thorough for
pricing and values are the 14th Blue Book by
Jan Foulke, and Doll Values Antique to Modern by
Patsy Moyer. Both have a lot of information in them for antique and modern
collectible dolls. Unfortunately, they do not have pictures for every type of doll,
so unless the doll description is very clearly marked with her identity, you may not know
who she is based on just the name. However, these books are truly valuable for
giving you a range of current prices. Remember though that these prices are for the
"mintiest" dolls with all accessories and all original. It is unrealistic
to expect to get these prices for dolls that do not look like they have just come from the
factory. You need to adjust the value, accordingly. Lastly, if you just can't
seem to identify a doll through this method, you can always look in your phone book to see
if there is a doll hospital or "old doll shop" near you. I am sure if you
took one or two in and asked them to help you i.d. them, they would do it. They may
however, not give you a value without a fee. It doesn't hurt to ask.
A: There are several
factors that are considered when determining the value of a doll. Age,
condition, outfit, and desirability are the most important points. Any combination
of these factors weigh heavily, and play upon each other, to determine the doll's value:
Q: I am not a collector and want to sell a doll that I have just inherited. I don't know the first thing about dolls, how do I sell a doll, where do I begin?
A: The first thing I
tell people to do is, try to determine what doll you have. Suggestions for doing
this are in Q & A #1. Then you have to decide the current value of the
doll. I hate to tell someone to purchase a doll value guide when they only have one
or two dolls to sell. Especially if they are not collectors. They would
have no use for the book after that. Also, a reference book quickly goes out of date
(for values, not for photos) when all you are using it for is a price guide.
Additionally, prices fluctuate depending on the demand for a particular type of doll in
various regions of the country. What is getting top dollar in the New England states
may be only receiving a fraction of that in, say, Arizona, for example. One rule of thumb is that if the doll has been played with, perhaps the hair has
lost its original set or the outfit is dingy from shelf dust or tattered from age, then
you should calculate approximately one-fourth the book value. If
you go through these Frequently Asked Questions, you will find lots of helpful information
on determining a fair value for your doll. One of the most helpful places I like to
suggest is to "surf" through the on-line auctions, such as eBay. There are
so many dolls there to compare to the one you have. Do a search for the doll
you have in the completed auctions and most likely you can get a pretty good idea for what
the going rate is for a doll of your type and condition. Sometimes though on-line
auction prices are driven by emotions and the frenzy of bidding. It is best to look
at several dolls of your type and take an average. I can't stress enough how
important it is to come up with a FAIR value for your doll. There is nothing sillier
to me than when someone puts a high price on an obviously played with doll, then
refers to the Book Value as the real value of that doll and that they are giving you some
sort of deal because they have marked the doll slightly less. I see this happen all
the time and when you offer them what the true value of THAT doll would be, they look at
you like you must be crazy to offer them so much less than their (unrealistic)
asking price. It is important to do your homework because the reverse could
also be true. You may not price your doll high enough and will practically be giving
it away (no one will bother to bring that to your attention!)
Q: Where can I sell my doll?
A: After you have
determined your selling price there are several ways you can go about selling your
doll. There are the on-line auctions, posting to message boards on various
doll sites, the newspaper, contacting a doll club in your area, doll hospital, or perhaps
an antique store or two. Remember though, if you offer to sell your doll to a doll
dealer or antiques dealer, do not expect to be offered the market value for your
doll. A dealer is in the business of selling dolls and must be able to make a
profit. If you are happy with their offer, and many
people are because they do not want to hassle with selling/shipping,
etc., then go with it, everyone is happy. If you decide that you would rather try to
sell your doll yourself, I have found a wealth of helpful advice from a book I have
featured on my "On the Bookshelf" page.
Because I think that this book is so well written on this subject, I do recommend buying
this book. It covers the details beautifully and gives many tips in a concise,
easily readable, format. Click here or
on the book to read more about it. It can be ordered directly from my site
through my affiliation with Amazon.com.
Q: I have a doll that needs to be restored, where do I go?
A: Cleaning up a doll takes a bit of gentle patience but the rewards are great
in the pleasure it will bring to you and to the increased value as a collectible
doll. However, one must decide on the ultimate goal for the doll before any work is
done. In some cases too much restoration will actually decrease the value as a
collectible because generally, collectors are looking for dolls as close to original as
possible. Sometimes this means leaving some features "as is," such as
minor crazing, worn eyelashes, etc. If you decide that you just can't live with the
doll in the condition that it is, then these are my suggestions. There are
several things you can do to clean up an old doll, prior to having it professionally
restored. I have several tips on cleaning dolls on my "Beauty Parlour" page. If you feel that your doll needs
more than a little sprucing up, then my recommendation is to seek help from someone who is
experienced in doll repair. To locate someone to assist you, look in the local
phone book under "Dolls" or "Doll Hospitals". If there is one
listed call them and explain the problems with your doll. They may be able to advise you
of what can or cannot be done but most times they will need to see your doll to
"diagnose" her properly. If it is determined that a trip to the doll
hospital will be necessary, click here to review the
questions you should ask them. If you can't find a local doll hospital, call a
few antique stores and ask if they know anyone who collects dolls because they may have
information to lead you to a repair person. I don't know if there is a specific website
that lists doll hospitals, but there is a reference book, which can be ordered, that I
have featured on my "On the Bookshelf" page
that lists several throughout the country. It also has tips for selecting a doll
hospital, shipping your doll, and documenting repairs. Or, contact the United Federation of Doll Clubs website to help you find
knowledgeable doll people in your area.
Q: Where can I find some information about the doll that I just purchased, (was given, found)?
A: The first
thing you probably want to know is, "Who is this doll?" Finding
information about old dolls takes a bit of research on your part. Unfortunately there are
some dolls that just cannot be identified beyond perhaps the era they were made.
Sometimes there just is not enough information about a doll because they are not marked,
or the manufacture did not keep detailed records (or perhaps they were lost) about their
dolls. The answer to this question is similar to the one I gave to the person who
just wanted to know who their doll was so that they could sell it. This information
may be a little redundant but, you can start by searching around the Internet. There
are several doll related sites now with a wealth of information. I have tried to
include links on my main page under "the Toy Box" which have general information
about all types of dolls. Most of these are vintage dolls. The link back to my
main site is: http://www.dollinfo.com
If you go back to my site and scroll down to the bottom of the middle section of my page,
there are icons of doll sites such as doll universe, auntie dot.com,
They will take you to lists of doll sites too numerous for me to
mention. In addition, you will probably have to use some of the various search
engines to surf around the web for sites that have information about
dolls. Often these sites have message boards where you can post your
questions. If you email someone about your doll, or when you leave information
about your doll on a message board, it would be helpful if you include the size,
what it is made of, any markings on the doll such as a manufacturer's name, does it have
real hair or molded, sleep eyes, etc. The more information about it that you can
describe, the easier it might be for someone to pick up on a clue. Some of the major
doll magazines, like Doll Reader have a section in their magazine where readers can
submit a photo and description. The problem with this format though, is that there
is limited space to answer the many inquiries they receive, and you may not get a quick
Q: I know who my doll is but I'd like to find out more information about her. Where do I look?
A: You can check out my reference books page "On the
Bookshelf" where I feature some of my favorite books. There may be a
book written specifically about your doll or manufacturer, like Vogue Ginny, or the Madame
Alexander Doll Company. All of these books are available for purchase. I
highlight some of my favorites, plus I have a search button that will take you directly to
amazon.com where they have over 3 million titles. Some of these books are also
available at your local bookstore but the selection is not nearly as complete as at
amazon. A few antique stores or malls have a collectors' reference section of for
sale books. You could also check your local library for reference books on
dolls. Just as an FYI, by entering the amazon.com site through my website, as
an affiliate, I get credit for each item purchased, whether it is doll related or
not. I only mention this because the proceeds I receive help me to pay for my server
fees in order to keep my site up and running. I recommend buying items through
amazon because I know that it is an easy, quick way to purchase books, videos, CDs,
etc. I order all the time and have never had a problem. If you would bookmark
my site and enter amazon through my link, I would be truly grateful to all who read this.
Q: My doll needs a new wig, where can I find one?
wish I had the magic answer for this question, but I don't. I have a real hard time
putting a new wig on an old doll because the materials that they are made of now are
different. I have seen some really authentic looking Ginny wigs on eBay, but
they are not offered all the time and you sort of need to be in the right place at the
right time to bid. As an example, most of the new wigs that will fit a Ginny,
usually have too much hair and are overpowering. Also, some of the newer wigs have
ash blonds that do not look right on the older 50s Ginnys. These newly
manufactured wigs are meant for new porcelain dolls and artist dolls. Some of the
antique dolls seem to be able to handle the newer wigs, especially if they are made of
human hair. There are some sites on the Internet that sell doll wigs. If you check
some of the links on my page (located near bottom of main page, doll
universe, DollsTop50, auntiedot.com, etc.) you might find some there. You can get there by clicking here
http://www.dollinfo.com and then
scrolling down. Also, you might want to try a doll hospital. They sometimes
sell wigs separately. Take your doll with you to try it on for fit. Another
solution, and this is the one I recommend, would be to purchase a real fixer-up
parts doll that is the same size and type and take the wig off that one and put it on
yours. (This of course does not work on rooted hair.)
Q: Why do sellers put reserves on the auctions? Why not just set an opening bid that would represent the amount of a "reserve"?
put a reserve on an item to protect themselves in case the bidding just doesnt
materialize. They should put a reserve to cover their costs, with maybe a slight profit,
and then let the bidding take care of the rest. I think that starting it at a low starting
point with a reserve is a psychological move. Bidders are reluctant to start out at say
$300. Sometimes buyers need to ease into those high numbers even though they will get
there eventually. Another reason that it is good for a seller to have a reserve is if they
have a valuable doll to sell, there is always the possibility of the auction site crashing
(though this is greatly improving) while the auction is in place. Once it is back
up, it may end on a day that may not get as good of traffic. Or, lets say that you list
your item and it is really a slow week for sales for some reason (holidays etc), the
seller just wants to protect themselves in case of any problems. I kinda
chuckle, however, at the people who list a 5.00 item at a starting bid of .99 then put a
reserve of $5.00. Whats that all about? Why dont they just start it at $4.99
and let it go?
Q: I'm looking for a ... (particular doll) ... how do I go about finding one?
thing I can do is post your request on my wish list page and perhaps someone out there has
just what you are looking for. Two other things you could do would be to check
out the auction sites that I have links to from my main page http://www.dollinfo.com Scroll
down the right side to "Going, Going, Gone," then click on any of the auction
logos to get to the doll sections. There are also several sites on the
Internet that have message boards or guest books where you could also post your
request. My link to just a few various bulletin boards are also on my main page under "On the
Q: My mom recently found an old doll that she used to have as a child. It was one that originally was purchased at a grocery store chain. She has her dress but she is missing her shoes and an earring. How do I go about finding these, can you help me?
missing pieces to those types of dolls that were made for grocery store chains is a
challenge. They are not as popular as say, Ginny dolls, or Barbies, so there are not a lot
of accessories floating around for them. You might want to try visiting the link I have on
my page called "Fashionable Ladies-Glamour Dolls" if you haven't already tried.
Click on http://www.dollinfo.com and
scroll down the center links that will take you to that site. The lady who runs that site
specializes in all types of glamour dolls and I know she has a section on Deluxe Reading.
She seems to know a lot about them and might possibly be able to give you some leads. A
lot of people list miscellaneous items on the auction sites because they know that there
are people out there that are looking for lots of things to make their dolls
complete. I can always add the request to my Wish List.
You may also want to check in your area to see if there are any doll hospitals or some
doll shows & sales where lots of doll items are in one place. Your mom can bring the
doll with her and "try things on". It may be that your mom will have to find
some replacement items that are not authentic but will look o.k. Just the fact that she
found the doll that she remembers "loving" is special, in and of itself!
Q: I would like to attend a local doll show & sale. How do I go about finding one in my local area?
A: There are
a couple of ways you can go about finding a local doll show in your area. You might
want to check at your local antique shops to see if they carry any advertising newspapers
that deal specifically with the antiques trade. Many of these are published monthly
and are usually "give-aways" because they are loaded with advertisements of
local shops, swap meets, and a calendar of events in town. Some of them
actually have a doll and teddy bear section where doll shows generally can be found.
They usually have information from local events to national conventions. Another
suggestion is to look in the phone book under "dolls" and contact a few of the
doll shops or doll hospitals and ask if they know of any upcoming events. Generally
doll shows are put on by local doll clubs. Many times the proprietors of the shops
are also members of local doll clubs, or know members of the clubs and are happy to share
event information. Once you are at a doll show, you will usually see a table near
the entrance/exit, that has several flyers advertising other upcoming doll
shows. Many of them have mailing lists and would be happy to add
your name. You may not have any doll shops near you, so to find a club in your area,
you can check out the United Federation of Doll Clubs
website. They can probably point you in the right direction. Going to a local
doll show is definitely a fun experience, and, a little addicting! It is always an
adventure because you never know just what you'll find!
Q: I am looking for any information on how to order the MyTwin dolls. These are the dolls that are made special to look like you or your child. I can't find them on the Internet. Do you know where I can get information on these dolls?
A: First off, I have
to say that it is probably impossible to answer that question; especially when you
are talking about newer dolls. Much depends on the desirability and novelty of a
particular doll. It usually takes a good 20 years or more before dolls start to
become collectible, and even then, not all will be. If it was easy to predict
which dolls would become collectible, we would all be out there stocking up on them.
Thus, there would be too many, in too pristine of condition, to develop any kind of
Q: Do you sell any of the dolls on your site?
A: Yes, there are some
dolls on my site that are for sale, however, most of the dolls you see in the
"decades of dolls" section are from my personal collection and are not for
sale. I have opened a "store" section of my site as "Kaylee's Korner Doll Shoppe".
In this section I do offer dolls, clothes, books, and miscellaneous doll related items for
sale. It is my goal to keep adding inventory to this section. Even if
you are not interested in purchasing anything it is fun to cruise around the shoppe as it
has a lot of nostalgia within it as well as the rest of my site. Click on the above
link to check it out!
I hope that one of these general FAQ's answered
your question about doll collecting. As I mentioned before, due to the increased
traffic on my site, I am unable to answer every question. Some questions are
relatively easy to answer, while others take hours of researching reference
materials. Since I am not an expert, nor have I been trained as an appraiser, I am
unable to, nor am I comfortable with, giving a specific value for a visitor's particular
doll. I have tried to provide you with the tools necessary to find this information
on your own. If you still have a question about your doll, please email me and I
will try to help you the best I can.
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