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The Ups and Downs Of Buying Doll Collections, Part II

Or...how I found myself on a rural highway with a truck full of dolls!


More dolls in my truck.

More dolls from the large doll collection I purchased.

Denise Van Patten
As interesting as the history of the lady and her doll is, I again protested after finishing my tea that I just didn't think I could offer them hardly anything for the collection. After more pleading to just make an offer, I decided to go back in and take another look around (since, actually, they were very nice people).

Hmm..Maybe I Could Use The Dolls For Research?

This time, I notice that some of the dolls DO have prettily made hand-crocheted clothing. I also am intrigued by the amount of different Horsman, Ideal and EeGee items, since between this web site and a book that I'm working on, I'm always looking for dolls to research or take photographs of. I'm still pretty torn, though--if I try to buy the whole lot (maybe 300 dolls) for research, I won't be able to offer hardly anything. But...I don't think much of what I see is re-saleable, certainly not in my store, and probably not on eBay.

Old Rayon Doll Socks!

Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I spot a box of old rayon doll socks and old plastic 1960s/1970s doll shoes. OK, this I can sell. So I swallow hard, and say: "Well, I can only offer you.....$300. This works out to about $1 a doll, and I'm at least sure I can re-coup some of that in my store selling the doll shoes and socks."

Offer Accepted!

No sooner do I have the words out of my mouth than my offer is gleefully accepted "We'll take it--we were so worried about what were going to do with these dolls!" and her son appears out of nowhere, eager to help load up my truck (I'm always optimistic when I go to look at a collection, so I always arrive in my husband's truck...just in case).

Driving Home In A Truck Full Of Dolls

Within 1/2 hour, all 300 dolls and various doll items are loaded into my truck by the family (I didn't have to do a thing!). The dolls barely fit, and they were literally stacked to the ceiling. Looking into the truck windows was hilarious--dolls piled up like cords of wood.

Please Make An Offer--Any Offer

The drive home was terribly amusing. I loved the double-take looks of people passing me in cars on the rural roads--every window had dolls peering out in stacks (they don't call me "the doll lady" in my area for nothing!

Now What Do I Do With All These Dolls?

Of course, when I got the dolls home, I realized that they just had become my problem. Where was I going to sort all the dolls, and where on earth was I going to put them all? My long-suffering husband comes out of the house to see me sitting, perplexed, on the open truck tailgate. He shakes his head and says "what on earth did you buy?" but didn't look too angry when I told him the total cost. He then got the kids, and they helped unload everything right to the floor of my doll workshop area.

Sorting The Giant Pile Of Dolls

As you can see from the photos, the end result was a giant pile of dolls. In the last few days, I've been sorting through them, trying to throw out the really bad stuff that even goodwill wouldn't want (why would someone save Playpal-size arms with the fingers eaten off? Or naked magic skin discolored babies?) and make piles of dolls which need various help. In one stack, dolls that need treatment for pen marks, over in that stack, dolls that need a good bath, over there dolls that need their hair shampooed and combed. I even managed a small stack of dolls in pretty good shape that I can take photos of right away!

Wash and Scrub!

I had enough time to wash the hair and scrub the dirt off of a few dolls that were othewise in good shape and had nice-looking clothes. They cleaned up very nicely! I'll try to post photos of these after I have a few more done.

It All Turned Out OK In The End

So, all in all, this doll buying trip wasn't what I expected, but I think it turned out OK in the end. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of these dolls once they've been researched and photographed, but I'll figure something out. And, I actually think the entire experience was worth it, just for the looks I had driving down the freeway in a truck full of dolls.

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