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Doll collecting as a Hobby

Doll collecting as a hobby is very popular and keeps most Americans busy. In fact, doll collecting is the most popular collectible hobby in the U.S. Some collectors may just have started this hobby out of one single piece of doll that was given to them. Eventually, the collection bloomed from it. Collecting dolls can be an expensive hobby. So, be aware of your budget and space restrictions as you don’t want your collectible dolls to take over your home!

Understand what dolls to collect

Not many can decide what dolls to collect. To convert a hobby into a collection, your collectibles should have some purpose and make sense.

New and old pieces

The easiest way to start a doll collecting hobby is to realize whether you prefer newer items or the charm of classic vintage collectible appeals to you. Also, know that vintage dolls may be more expensive than buying newer collectibles. However, these are of more value as classic collectible dolls are rare to be found and are made of high quality materials such as bisque and porcelain. 

Choose the type

Consider what genre of dolls you want to have for your collection. The most common types are artist dolls, wooden dolls, cloth dolls, miniature dolls, baby dolls, 70’s dolls, ball jointed dolls, and fashion dolls. The collectible in a doll collection can be varied or of a distinct type.

For instance, one collector may own many Barbies, a Madame Alexander doll, a Ginny, a reborn doll, and a few antique porcelain dolls, someone else may own Barbies, Kitty Colliers, some Bratz, and Sasha dolls. Hence, each doll collection is unique and reflects the owner's taste.

As much as the materials used to make the doll matters, the way it is assembled is vital too. Most manufacturers of the early 20th century have patented their own method of crafting dolls. 

Collecting by manufacturer

Doll collecting as a hobby can be based on acquiring dolls by the manufacturer. It is the easiest way to build a doll collection as most manufacturers have a range of dolls of various series that they have created in the past. The various dolls that a collector can acquire by manufacturer makes such a collection more attractive due to the sets designed by these doll makers. 

No matter what manufacturer you decide to go with, some other considerations include the list of distinct dolls that you can buy.

Types of collectible dolls 

Artist Dolls

These are limited edition dolls that appear real-like in design and are often the most expensive. The pricing for these dolls can go anywhere as high as $5000, which is a hefty price for most doll collectors. The molds used for making these dolls are broken once made and then are never made again. That’s why these have a high price tag. 

Variation Dolls

This kind of doll stays in production for a year or longer and are slightly changed with every release. These are no as costly as Artist Dolls and you can buy one as low as $40 for up to $500.

Classic Dolls

Replicas of vintage dolls from the 1800’s to 1900’s are remade by manufacturers that come with a limited edition. There are collectors who buy these dolls with a memory of having them as a child.

Handcrafted Dolls

Sometimes designed by artists or by the manufacturers themselves, these have realistic facial features and are usually played with. Handcrafted dolls are designed for older children and are sought after by collectors.

Licensed Dolls

The dolls are specially designed and licensed by the company under a special licensing agreement. These vary from limited edition expensive dolls to even play dolls.

Play Dolls

Designed to be played by children, these are made from non-toxic materials and are easy to maintain. 


These are just a few aspects related to doll collecting as a hobby. If you would like to start collecting dolls, it is a good idea to look for dolls that you find interesting to add to your collection and should be of relatively low cost as well. 



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