Almost 3 years ago, I was bitten by the Monster High bug. I had read articles prior to the dolls' release, and could wait to get one in my hot little hands! Previous posts explain my frustrations in purchasing those first dolls, but once I got them, I was smitten! They had almost everything I look for in a doll - uniqueness, articulation, small size, and a storyline! It wasn't long before they had a line of cool accessories, and I thought I must have them.....Cleo's bunk beds, Lagoona's Hydration chamber, Coffin Bean playset.
I was quite happy with my first dolls - Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen Wolf, and Frankie Stein, but soon, new characters started cropping up faster than I could keep up! I would see pics posted on line, then run out to local Walmarts, Targets, and TRU in search of them.....many times in vain! Websites showed the dolls sold out, and the only place they could be found was Ebay at triple the retail price or more! Whenever I would find a new character locally, I would buy it whether I liked it or not. I felt like I could use them as bargaining chips to get the dolls I really wanted.
Then came the Create a Monster sets that allowed you to build your own monster, fashions, more characters, and a bunch of other stuff - I couldn't keep up!
It wasn't long before Monster High dolls and "stuff" had all but taken over my doll room. My dioramas and other dolls became hidden by MH boxes. It got so bad, I no longer wanted to go in there to play - there was just no room! It got so bad that the only time I opened the door was to put in another MH box, and quickly shut it before my inner voice asked the inevitable question: "What are you going to do with all of this sh*t?"
A few months ago, I came to my senses (sort of) and came to the conclusion that it was time to part with some of it. The thought of me ever being the subject of an episode of Hoarders surrounded by mounds of Monster High stuff, and peeing in a bucket was more than I could bear, and enough to get my behind in gear! I took a deep breath, went into the MH...I mean doll room, and started sorting. I listed many of the dolls I had duplicates of - not exact duplicates, but duplicates of the same characters. I had Lagoona in the Hydration set, so why would I need another? These items were sold on Ebay for a nice piece of change, and I was happy....sort of. Though I did reduce the MH stash considerably, I still couldn't play in the doll room! At any rate, the holidays were upon me and I had other things to think about - I would figure out the MH problem later.
Well, we are now 2 months past the holidays, and the time has come....yet I still don't know what to do! In going through what's left, I realize a couple of things:
1. I've spent way too much money on this madness.
2. I can't decide what to keep!
I want MH to occupy but 1 2'X4' space in the room.
with no boxes taking up space. Today, I am tempted to just list everything still NRFB on Ebay. If you are a MH fan, would you buy it? Would it be more prudent to list things individually?
I need help!
As I continue to go through my doll collection and separate the keepers from the must-find-another-homers, I can't help but notice what makes keepers, keepers. They are all dolls that I love! Whether purchased 25 years ago, or just last week, whether the price was exorbitant, or found at a yard sale for a quarter - I love them.
Conversely, the dolls looking for new homes, were either gifts, prizes, emotional purchases, or frenzied purchases. The "frenzied" purchases are of greatest concern. This is when a company creates a frenzy for their product. MGA did this with their Moxie Teenz dolls by delaying the release, and limiting the number of Bijou dolls. People were furiously hunting for her, and when some found her, they bought up as many as they could to sell on the secondary market. All this Bijou buying lasted until someone finally de-boxed one, discovered her poor articulation, and posted their findings on the internet.
By the time I actually de-boxed one, I had already purchased 2 Bijous, an Arizona, and a Tristen. All but one of them will be looking for a new home!
Another frenzy that I fell for - and only beginning to recover from, is that of Monster High. Mattel started to cast their spell in 2009 with articles and blogs all over the internet about this new franchise of dolls, books, videos etc which were on the horizon for the coming year. I saw pictures of the dolls and fell in love almost immediately! I confess to being a bit on the odd side, and these dolls made being odd - cool! My first mistake was to pre-order 2 of the dolls from an online store whose name shall remain nameless but their initials are AD. I paid my money and waited. Soon, I start to see posts in online forums about people having found the dolls in their local stores - and the prices were much lower than I had paid at AD! My patience flew out of the window, I made a mad dash to my local Target, Walmart, and TRU stores. Found them at Target for $5 less than AD, and I did not have to pay shipping. Because I knew I could not get a full refund from AD if I cancelled my order, I just purchased one doll - Clawdeen Wolf at Target. A few days later, I found a Draculara at Walmart for a few dollars cheaper than the Target price.
My AD dolls arrived several weeks later, but I still wasn't through! People kept posting pictures of new characters that I just had to have. Then there were new "waves"! These were just the same characters in new clothes! On and on it went until at last count, 19 Monster High dolls were living here! This does not include the 5 Create a Monster sets, a few clothing packs, Lagoona's Hydration Station, Clawdeen's bunk beds, or the Coffee Bean play sets. In my own defense, I was going through trying times with my family, and confess that these were stress induced purchases. About half of the Monster High madness is, or soon will be looking for new homes.
I have now committed myself to no more frenzy buying. Methinks a bottle of wine shared with friends is a better way of combating stress, cheaper, and takes up less space than new dolls.
It has been too long since I did any serious sewing for my dolls. I tried, but the stress of caring for my mother, home renovations, and grieving my mother's passing made it all but impossible to do anything remotely creative. Well. it's been about 5 months, and the fog is finally starting to clear.
Last weekend, I actually made a couple of outfits that I am proud of, and finished a few that had languished too long in the UFO (unfinished object) box.
I made this one for Hearts for Hearts dolls, but it surprisingly fits 14" Betsy McCall and Dru perfectly!
I have it listed on Ebay, but am having second thoughts about selling it.....
I saw a show on the Syfy channel today called Collection Intervention. They showcased a woman who was a "passionate" Barbie collector. The woman was not a hoarder, but she did have more dolls and accessories than she could enjoy. Much was stored in her sons' closets and her husband's workshop!
Though my doll collection doesn't even come close to hers, there is a common factor: I have more than I can display and enjoy. As I am determined not to become like my late mother (who was a serious hoarder), and I do so want to enjoy my dolls, I have come to the realization that it is time to purge.
It is a fact that I have never been a Bratz fan. I was not one of those who thought the dolls were trampy or anything, they just did not really appeal to me. I did however purchase quite a few after they lost their first court battle with Mattel. I had read that the dolls were ordered off store shelves and thought I should get a couple in the unlikely even that they increased in value. Needless to say, that didn't happen.
At any rate, as the court battles went on, MGA launched a couple of "new" doll lines.
Moxie Girlz and Moxie Teenz. The former bore an uncanny resemblance to 4Ever Best Friends dolls(2004-2005) which bore a striking resemblance to Mattel's Wee Three Friends line of dolls which were launched several months earlier, and the latter resembled Liv dolls.
Today, I see an ad for Bald Bratz. MGA supposedly launched these dolls to support children undergoing cancer treatments. According to their website, $1 from the sale of each doll(which retails for $19.99) will be donated to The Starlight Children's foundation. So why do I have a problem with this? This comes along only after Mattel announced they would be producing bald Barbie dolls! Mattel chose not to sell their dolls, but donated them to children's hospitals around the country.
In essence, I think MGA stinks! I gave them the benefit of the doubt with that whole Carter Bryant/ who is the legal owner of Brats, yadda, yadda, yadda, thing, but not any more! After looking at their entire body of work, it appears that MGA has created a business from other people's ideas/businesses. Why not continue to mimic Mattel and donate the dolls to the children they are supposed to help? No only do I believe MGA to be copy-catting thugs, but also exploiters of sick children. They're like the folks who sell pirated DVDs in front of the grocery stores. I don't buy those bootleg movies, and I will no longer spend money on any MGA products.
According to InStyle magazine, Barbie is getting a Tim Gunn makeover. Barbie is - and may always be my favorite doll, and for the past 8 years, Project Runway has been one of my favorite television shows. These 2 go together like peas and carrots!
The $30 dolls and $25 accessory packs are supposed to hit BarbieCollector.com and Target stores on August 1st. I can only assume that these dolls will replace the now discontinued Barbie Basics dolls. I can hardly contain my excitement!