Thursday, June 2, 2011

Great dolls without going broke

This is actually a repost and expansion of an e mail I sent to my doll group, some of whom were oohing and ahhing about the size of my Tonner doll collection - I had just reported acquiring doll number one hundred.

People think I am rich, because of the size of my Tonner collection, but the truth is, I am one of the biggest cheapskates in the world. I buy nudes about 99% of the time - there a few I have bought dressed were mostly the male dolls that I knew would sell out quick. Lee Scoresby, Star Crossed, and Green Lantern are three examples.

Ghoulish as it sounds, I buy heads only many times. One of our members is learning THAT lesson fast, since he just got hold of his first Kit, for a terrific price as a head only. Now, all he has to do is make up his mind which body he is going to Frankendolly that head onto.

Checking doll boards around convention time can yield AMAZING deals, too, with folks trying to raise quick cash for the latest and greatest.

Here is an assignment for my fellow Tonner collectors. Make a list of the must-have, sold out dolls you liked from this convention, and watch the boards and groups closely over the next year. I am willing to bet you could probably get at least ONE doll off that list for a price that is a fraction of what some of those folks are trying to get selling the dolls on eBay, come the next big release or convention time.

Research helps - KNOW the value of the dolls you want, and shop for bargains whenever possible. LAUGH at eBay sales utilizing what I call "action figure" language in the descriptions - "Rare!", "Collector's Item!" "Limited Edition of only (fill in edition size) worldwide!" and ANY promises of how valuable the doll/action figure will become over time should be viewed with suspicion.

This is hard-earned wisdom from years of collecting Star Wars and similar themed action figures. I am definitely not the only collector who thought their retirement was going to be easily funded by that big bin of mint on card figures in their garage, which aren't even worth the price paid initially. Unfortunately, a lot of other collectors/future entrepreneurs had the same idea, hence, a case of market saturation.

The Wonder Woman deluxe one member of my doll club just bought was far LESS than the $3000 one seller on eBay was asking for, because she knew the actual value of the doll, and was willing to shop around. I wonder if that eBay seller ever did reel in a naive customer to pay $3000, using tried and true "action figure language."

I was lucky with the auction I just won, for a Dream Dolls Gallery exclusive Angelina doll, which took place during the convention weekend; I was the only bidder, getting the doll for the original bid amount set.


  1. Would you give me some examples of the doll boards and groups out there that you visit? I haven't had much luck finding ones that are particularly active.

  2. Well, here are a few - I can vouch for my own experiences (good ones!) on Prego and Riley Hugs and Kishes, but the others are highly recommended by trustworthy friends:

    Doll Divas:

    Ellowyne's Ennui:

    The following boards are all require registration. I know Prego and Hugs and Kishes do because there was some trouble last year with hackers.

    Pink Parlor:


    Riley Hugs and Kishes:

    Twilight Doll Diaries:

    Zone of Zen - I think this board is dedicated SOLELY to BJDs:

    Do a search of Yahoo! groups for people who share your interests - I belong to two, Cheery About Agnes Dreary, and one for my local doll club, Obsessively Collecting Dolls.


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