However, Grail, as doll collectors use the term, is a lot less grand, and usually does not lead to wars or other upsetting events. Well, unless one is being frustrated somehow in the Quest for said Grail. Then there is much teeth gnashing, desk thumping, and depending on the collector, the air is turning blue from all the naughty words being used. Roommates and spouses might be rolling their eyes, while small children are either hiding or giggling at the collector’s odd behavior.
Of course, doll collectors use the term “Grail” to describe a highly desired doll. This doll can be a Grail for many reasons.
- Collector had the doll as a child and wants in his or her collection.
- It's a very rare or limited edition.
- Another collector posts pictures of a gorgeous doll that the collector suddenly decides he or she must have now!
- The doll has simply taken the collector’s fancy, and is, for whatever reason, very hard, if not impossible to acquire.
My current Grails list is about a mile long, and I am trying – and failing miserably, I might add – to convince myself that I don’t really need dolls that are long since out of production, or so far above my price range. I think many doll collectors feel that way.
So, now the collector has been infected with Grail fever. In my own experience, I see a great doll, and I decide I must have it. However, my Grail desire is tempered by budget limitations. I want that doll, but I also want to be able to get it for the best – i.e. lowest – price I can manage. At this point, I take a hard look at the photos of the Grail, and try to figure out if it is truly the whole deal I want: namely the doll in his or her original outfit, or if I just want the doll. Most of the time, I decide to just get the doll nude, because it is much cheaper that way. However, sometimes the whole deal is what I want, and then it gets a bit more complicated and expensive, depending upon the original release date.
|Swept Away Tyler Wentworth, Tonner's Theater de la Mode collection, |
who occupies the current top spot on my miles long list of Grails.
Photo property of Tonner Doll Company.
I make a list with an Excel spreadsheet, listing the names of my grails, then a column for each retailer. I then check each site to see which, if any of the Grails in my Quest are available, and list the prices. I then do a comparison, and see which one has a particular Grail for a good price.
Another great feature of the internet age is boards and forums, such as Prego and MEF Forum, or Yahoo! groups such as Cheery About Agnes Dreary. There, I can chat with other collectors, and they can make recommendations or issue cautions of doing business with the retailers. It is through these communities that I have encountered such great retailers as Dreamcastle Dolls, Angelic Dreamz, Bearzabout Dolls and Bears, The Doll Market, and Cherished Friends. I have yet to read a single negative comment about any of these retailers, and my business with them has been very happy.
Sometimes, a collector on a Grail Quest can get lucky, and a manufacturer authorized retailer has their Grail! Then, life is simplified a great deal. Email or call the retailer, and purchase the Grail. Quest over, and there is a win-win situation; a happy collector’s Quest is over, Grail in hand, and the retailer has a sale.
Ah, if only life were always so easy for a collector!