Assembling A Doll Collection

Many adults enjoy the hobby of doll collecting.  Doll collections are as interesting and varied as the people who create the collections and the type of dolls you select should reflect your tastes and personal style.  A small, but carefully selected collection can have a strong visual impact and be a positive accent to any home. 

What To Collect

The first step in assembling a doll collection will be deciding what type of doll to collect.  Take into consideration your budget, what you like, and how much space in your home can be devoted to the collection.  If you are on a fixed income, a collection of antique French bisque dolls is probably not a realistic goal.  On the other hand, there are a wide variety of wonderful OOAK (one of a kind) artist dolls being made now, and many of these are very reasonably priced. 

A small, specialized collection will be more focused and be more appealing than a collection which contains anything and everything.  There is such a wide range of dolls available that you should have no trouble finding a theme, whether it be Barbie dolls, small dolls, antique dolls, modern play dolls, or art dolls.


When you find a type of doll that appeals to you, educate yourself.  Learn everything you can about your chosen subject.  Read books, view dolls online, and talk to other doll collectors.  Some dealers think that all old dolls are valuable, but that is not the case.  You will want to know what you are looking at before you spend your hard earned money.  If you find out after you have made a purchase that you paid too much you won’t get much enjoyment from owning the doll.  On the other hand, you may spot a underpriced treasure.  When that happens you can purchase the doll and resell it yourself on Ebay for a profit!

Care For The Dolls

Dolls must be properly cared for in order to maintain their value.  Ideally, a doll should be kept in a cabinet to keep the dust away.  She should also not be exposed to direct sunlight as this can fade the clothing.  Moisture and cigarette smoke can also have a negative effect on dolls.

If you choose to collect modern dolls with the boxes, make sure the box is clean and undamaged.  Many collectors like dolls which are M.I. B. (mint in box).  These dolls should never be removed from their boxes.

If you need to store the dolls, wrap them in acid free tissue paper.  Store antique dolls face down so the eyes don’t fall back into the head.

Enjoy The Dolls

Above everything else, enjoy your collection.  Buy what you love, as you may be looking at these dolls for a very long time.  And, if you’ve bought wisely, the collection may go up in value. 

Don’t forget to use your collection as an excuse to meet other doll collectors.  There are wonderful collectors and dealers you will meet at antique shows and online.  It is one of the best benefits of this wonderful hobby!