Oh, I think you want the crazy doll lady...

Ohhhh, I think you want the crazy doll lady…

I just love all these lists that run about the internet telling us what not to say to each other. They are generally sanctimonious at best – but they do impart one general message – respect and tolerance for one another. I highly doubt anyone would deign to write such a list for doll collectors, so I’m taking it under my generous wing. Doll collectors are a sensitive lot, and we have feelings just like the rest of them – so imagine how one feels when a friend or loved one continues to say not only stupid things to us, but also highly insensitive remarks that cut at our inner core.



Doll collecting is peculiar, as are most impassioned collecting practices. Why anyone would spend time and money to acquire ‘things’ along a common theme borders on the unstable – true – but we do it, and we do it better than anyone else out there. Dolls also happen to bring much more visual interest than say stamps, coins, matchbooks, thimbles, plates, Depression glass, buttons, balls of string, or baseball cards…and I’ll fight you on that one.



So when you are faced with the ignorant – people who know little-to-zip about dolls – remind them that your collection is a part of you. It reflects your appreciation of the miniature, whimsy, jaw-dropping fashion, beauty and charm that dolls give the beholder. Turn a negative into a positive, and educate others into why these little ladies (and men) bring such happiness and artistic splendor to your world. And above all else, remember you can still slap the shit out of them, if nothing else.


These are the top things non-doll collectors say to doll collectors that annoy the pure living hell out of us – take due notice thereof, and govern yourselves accordingly – there’s a doll collector just waiting to cream you if you don’t.

I only asked how much it cost!

I only asked how much it cost!

Which one is worth the most? Why? Do you want to steal it? This can be a very interesting aspect to viewing one’s collection, and it may have conversational purposes – but it’s also a bit rude to ask someone what’s the monetary value of their cherished possessions. A better question is, “Which one means the most to you?” Alternately…

How much?

How much?

You paid how much for that? I can’t imagine any doll collector being so droll as to actually tell someone how much they paid for a doll – because it just isn’t relevant in appreciating the beauty of the doll, itself. But in the rare instance it does come up, and I suppose there may be such a place for the topic, be prepared for the reaction. Yes, I paid that much for this – and it cost more than that sad rag and afterbirth handbag you’re sporting. Yes, we’re that sensitive. Hope your hair looks good, too – or we’ll go for the jugular.


Are you a hoarder? Maybe, but what difference does it make? Actually, compulsive hoarding is a serious ailment associated with psychological influences, and none that are merely associated with collecting things. The next time you play psycho-therapist and diagnose a doll collector by asking him/her to admit to a problem that probably doesn’t exist, perhaps you should examine your own credentials to see if you’re even qualified to ask such a question. Have you ever considered that you’re an obsessive-compulsive busybody?

Well, most of them, anyway...

Well, most of them, anyway…

Don’t all those eyes creep you out? No…because they’re not ‘eyes’, you moron – they are glass, acrylic and even paint…but for an eye to ‘look’ at you, it really needs a living being behind them. Sounds pretty fundamental, yes? For doll collectors, the eyes are one of the most alluring features – so no, I wouldn’t say they are ‘creeped out’ by them in the least.

Now that's a big Barbie...

Now that’s a big Barbie…

OMG – it’s a big Barbie! Ugh…really? Just because it’s a miniature fashion figure, you think they are all ‘Barbie’? Perhaps one of the most annoying comments ever (and not just to doll collectors), is one that generalizes anything into a stereotype that draws upon commonly known brand names to make a point. Why don’t you jot that down on a Post-It?

What's your point?

What’s your point?

Aren’t you a little old to be playing with dolls? Aren’t you a little old to judge me like a Puritan? What difference does age make for a person who enjoys and appreciates either collectible or simple everyday toys? I might need to be over 21 to consume alcohol…but don’t card me in reverse when asking if I’m too old to play with dolls. I’m getting too old for this crap

It's not even a good doll...

It’s not even a good doll…

Do you have a Chuckie? The notorious homicidal plaything from the film ‘Child’s Play’ is pretty much an abomination to doll collectors. Action figure folks and pop culture enthusiasts might be more interested – if it were a better movie – but it wasn’t, and even they aren’t interested in this overplayed, demonic Cabbage Patch Kid.

What do you mean, 'worthless'?

What do you mean, ‘worthless’?

My Aunt Myra has a bunch of dolls in her attic, can you tell me what they’re worth? Who am I, Sotheby’s? Even at the unlikely chance they may actually have worth, not all doll collectors have the resources to make sound judgment when it comes to worth. And even if they did, it’s not always appealing to be considered the go-to whenever someone discovers a heap of dolls, which are more than likely worthless anyway. Oh sure, many of us might be interested to see what Aunt Myra has, hoping for a No. 1 Brunette Barbie with perfect skin tone…but nine times out of ten, they’re just crap bought at souvenir stands. If you really want to help this situation out, snap some pics of those dolls and show them – and be prepared when you’re told they aren’t worth a cent.

He just likes good shoes...

He just likes good shoes…

Is Ken gay? No. Just because he has no genitalia gives no purposeful standing when assessing Ken’s sexual orientation. First of all, he’s a doll – second of all, he’s been paired with the most popular doll in history, patiently waiting while she shops for clothes, drives her pink Corvette, and runs for President. What more devotion could you ask of the perfect boyfriend? It’s not Ken’s fault that Barbie has imposed questionable fashion choices and effeminate color palates to his wardrobe. Nope – Ken takes it like a man, all in the name of love. What’s your boyfriend’s sorry-ass excuse?

How big?

How big?

Do you play dress up with your dolls? Their clothes do not fit me, so the utter ignorance of this statement bores me with its insignificance. I do take great pleasure in mixing and matching their clothes, but for them to wear, not me.

Oh...THIS money...

Oh…THIS money…

Your spouse must be furious at how much money you’re spending on dolls. How much does yours spend on power tools that never get used, digital equipment beyond his grasping of ordinary technology, guns, sports and Hooters? I’d feel confident in saying most strong relationships are based on trust, although there are some that will hide a new doll acquisition from a spouse until a ‘six-doll collection’ fills a room (“I don’t really know where they came from, Honey.”). But in plenty of modern matrimonial partnerships and otherwise strong life connections, funding usually is independent and none of the others’ damn business – unless you are dipping into the kids’ college fun for that new Sybarite.

Yes, but she's mint...

Yes, but she’s mint…

Why haven’t you taken her out of the box? So you won’t be tempted to touch her with your grimy, inbred hands, that’s why.

Now she's ruined...

Now she’s ruined…

Don’t you ruin it if it’s painted over? That’s always a risk, yes – but people who have their dolls repainted are looking to heighten their enjoyment of a doll by taking it to a more personalized level. Not to mention the artistry that’s associated with successful repainters these days. These collectors are not looking to enhance monetary value, they want to enjoy the magnificence of the art. Why did you add those juvenile racing stripes to your Vespa?

No dolls, thank you...

No dolls, thank you…

You should try out for Project Runway! I did, thank you – and they weren’t looking for someone who made doll clothes, despite Robert Best’s appearance on the competition – he actually did have his own runway collection, too…so there was more to him than just a ‘doll clothes designer’. People actually think this is a compliment, and more power to them – their hearts are in the right places. But consider the significant difference between miniature clothes and human wearing apparel, such as fit, movement, and functionality. Most people who make doll clothes know this – and it’s probably the reason they (like medo make doll clothes instead of people clothes – that and it takes less time and materials, with no model who bitches when stuck with a pin.

No, no...that wasn't a question...

No, no…that wasn’t a question…

You need therapy. Because I collect dolls? Oh, Good Lord…have you even considered how unbelievably offensive this is to say to someone who loves what they acquire, takes time to display them in fabulous, detailed vignettes, and cares for their wardrobe with such detail as wrapping pieces in acid-free tissue paper? Why on earth would you ask? This isn’t an intervention.

Not top value...

Not top value…

$12,000? For a doll? If there is someone willing to pay it, then it is worth that amount. Some antiques go for five times that. Placing a value of any item based on what it is simply is in the depths of the beholder’s wallet. You should be so lucky to think your old toys may have brought that kind of cash if you hadn’t chewed them up and ripped their hair out. Take care of your shit, and leave mine alone.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

So what do you think about those Human Barbie and Ken people? We don’t – there is nothing remotely ‘Barbie’ or ‘Ken’ about these aberrations of plastic surgery. Untalented media whores

Oh yeah, that's hot.

Oh yeah, that’s hot.

Are you gay? Oh, I get it…because I’m a man and I collect dolls, I must be gay, right? It just so happens I am, but there are many male collectors who are not. And I suppose male action figure collectors who have big boob female characters just embody heterosexuality?



You’re wasting your money. OK, so I won’t put my kids through college with them, but it is my money, so kindly fuck off.

Oh, sure...

Oh, sure…

Do your kids play with your dolls? Not if they value their lives.

No, thank you...

No, thank you…

Hey, I saw some pretty ‘collectible’ dolls at Cracker Barrel – do you want me to get you one? It’s the thought that counts – but no, thank you. Just because a miniature has anthropomorphic features, a pretty dress, and ‘collectible’ stamped on the box doesn’t mean it’s desirable. If your thought was really in the gesture, why not take the time to understand what I collect and what I like – and surprise me with a signed Numina on my next birthday? And no…you won’t find them at Cracker Barrel.

Your point?

Your point?

Barbie would have to be – like an Amazon if she were real. But she’s not real, she’s a doll – not just any doll, but a fashion doll. And there’s a reason why she is shaped the way she is. Stop being ignorant and dreaming of Barbie as a real woman, Hot Wheels as real cars, My Little Pony as real horses, or Playboy as real boobs.

You won't be needing that...

You won’t be needing that…

Can I touch this one? Not if you value your life.



Ohhhh – my daughter would just love that doll! I highly doubt she’d be able to afford it. Besides, I don’t think this one-of-a-kind Alice in Wonderland porcelain art doll would fit next to an American Girl knock-off, a cloth doll of unknown origin sporting a splash of vomit on her collar, or a crocheted toilet roll cover made by her Aunt Myra. And you call me, ‘crazy’…


Isn’t it a sin to worship graven images? Isn’t it a sin to mix fibers in woven clothing, punishable by death? And yet you wear those polyester-rayon blend culottes like they were just made for you – yet somehow, no one has killed you.

After we kill a chicken, we'll debox our Monster High dolls...

After we kill a chicken, we’ll debox our Monster High dolls…

Are you doll collectors a cult or something? Or something…yeah, that about sums it up, thank you very much.

Oh yeah...that's really silly...

Oh yeah…that’s really silly…

Dolls are so silly. To you, perhaps…but then I suppose your love for The National Enquirer is just appreciation for fine journalism.

I'll suffer...

I’ll suffer…

You went to Paris – for a doll show? Yes, and it was fabulous. Much better than Talladega for that Monster Truck Pull where you got the clap.

I really like your sweater...

I really like your sweater…

I’d just love that in my size. I’m sorry, but they don’t make doll clothes for people, not mostly anyway – and there’s just no scale conversion for mediocre.



Action figures are way cooler. To whom? Action figure collectors? But I got news for you – they are dolls too, and this isn’t a competition for a Cool Kid’s Club gold star.


I’ll just bet G.I. Joe wants to do Barbie! Sex and dolls don’t mix – you can have sexy dolls, but when you cross the line, you enter perversion. These are not dolls accepted by any normal doll collector. Besides, G.I. Joe is gay.



Pink must be your favorite color. I’m actually rather fond of pink, but that doesn’t mean I want everything around me in that color. And because I love Barbie has no bearing on my love of pink. Mattel happens to use the color frequently because it’s part of Barbie’s brand, and a very popular color for little girls.

You were saying?

You were saying?

No human being would wear that. Well that covers about half of anything you would see in any fashion magazine – but surprisingly enough, they do wear them. And as I’ve said before, these are dolls, and fantasy is a part of their wardrobe. They can wear whatever we damn well want them to wear. Life should be so grand

Your hat doesn't match, bitch...

Your hat doesn’t match, bitch…

Those accessories are so matchy-match. So what? It may not be on-trend to match your accessories, and in that lovely past life of the 50’s and 60s when women wore hats, gloves, scarves and coats to not only match their ensembles – but to enhance them, too – style was considered in high regard. I can’t stand people looking at doll clothes and remarking on how they all match – there’s a charm to a perfectly matched outfit. Newer designers may think it’s boring, but not if the design speaks in and of itself. I can’t think of any other way to ruin a perfectly lovely fashion than to junk it up in mismatched accessories. Are you color blind? It may not be today’s trend – but it will be again, trust me – just like Taliban beards and porn star mustaches have become trendy for hipsters.

There are two cute guys under there somewhere...

There are two cute guys under there somewhere…

Man, those are some ugly dolls. Never…repeatNever – call a doll ‘ugly’ to its owner. You might not like it, but they obviously do. This is one of the highest Crimes Against Dollmanity to say such an offensive phrase to someone who thinks otherwise. It doesn’t matter if the doll is ugly – it’s not your place to point that out to them. It’s not unlike saying a doll is ugly in online forums – it shows a lack of mutual respect and tolerance for other participants. We doll collectors are better people than that, mostly – but for the non-doll collector, you’ve basically just insulted the owner. Why not just piss on their shoes and punch them in the throat for good measure?

No vagina...

No vagina…

Ken has no balls. And Barbie has no vagina – your comprehension of the obvious is underwhelming. They’re dolls, dude.

Buy. It. Now!

Buy. It. Now!

I used to collect Beanie-Babies. If you are trying to equate that to my doll collection, just stop. I don’t care what they might have been worth in the 1990’s…but comparing a sewn bean bag in the shape of a teddy bear with Poppy Parker dressed in 1960s spy-girl-glam is beyond any reasonable comparison that borders on the insane. I’m happy you love those bean bag bears, but that doesn’t make us sisters, exactly. We’d have more in common by comparing our fingerprints.

Made in America

Made in America

They might be worth it if they were made in America. Is it that endless factory line in Communist China that devalues the talents and skills of the live-human-beings that work in said factories? American ethnocentric ideals stain the very thought of being ‘American’ – and the rest of the world laughs at us because of it. Just because China made a powerhouse out of its greatest natural resource – its people – doesn’t make the work worth any less. It might cost less to make things in China, but that doesn’t make it any less quality. I’ve personally met scores of Chinese workers, and they have hopes, dreams and life plans just like we all do. I’d love to see manufacturing return to the United States, but that means Americans would need to step off their high horse, and accept jobs that aren’t glamourous or high-paying – as are now taken by so many migrant workers who just want to make an honest living. It might be a soap box…but I can’t stand anyone who thinks Chinese factory workers are any less than others in the world, and that they only make cheap shit.

Because one is never enough...

Because one is never enough…

Why do you have so many? Because I’m a doll collector, meaning I collect dolls – note the plural – not just one, mind you – dolls, as in more than one. You can’t collect anything if you only have a single occurrence – except dust, that is.

How 'bout that?

How ’bout that?

52 Comments on “What Not To Say To A Doll Collector…

  1. lol @Chucky doll! My 40 year old nephew visited me and I had some boxed dolls stored under the desk in my guest room. “They’re creepy, Aunt Patti”. Creepy? What do you think, they’re going to come out in the middle of the night and stalk you like Chucky? You fight forest fires for a living for cripes sakes!!! OK, I’ll move them out if it makes you feel better.

  2. Thanks for making me Laugh at the casual,careless observers of my doll collection. I have patiently listened to a large number of these same comments coming out of the mouths of guests in my home. (of course they aren’t invited back)

  3. I just loved every single word of that post. I’ve been collecting collectible baby dolls and now reborns since 2005 and I’ve heard a lot of them. But here’s the one that really gets me: “Oh you haven’t gone and bought another one have you? I thought you said you were going to stop!”

    No, actually I never said anything about stopping, that’s just wishful thinking on your part, and do I ever say a word when I hear how many hundreds of pounds you spent on all the bedding plants that will have to be replaced again next year?

    Luckily my partner is not guilty of this outrageous crime. Have you noticed it’s people to whom it shouldn’t make a scrap of difference who complain vociferously about how much money you’re wasting on dolls, or is it just me that drew the short straw! 😀

    Thanks for such a great blog. 🙂

  4. this was so fantastic. i laughed through the whole thing because i get those ridiculous questions all the time. loved the which one is more valuable question. i too look at the person like why do you need to know, you future thief,lol . thank you so much for the laughs 🙂

  5. As usual, you remind me that I need to empty my bladder before I read your blog. Well done and marvelously funny 🙂

  6. This was a “laugh out loud” set of replies to the every day questions we receive as collectors. Well played Sir….well played. 🙂

  7. OMG, this is WONDERFUL. People constantly give me old dirty dusty discoloured dolls and say “I figured you could fix it up and sell it! It’s ANTIIIIIQUE!” No, honey, it’s landfill. Please take it back to your own dumpster and leave mine alone.

    • One of my favorites is people talking about a mass produced doll from the 80s, usually a porcelain number, and thinking its something special. Love the line, it’s landfill.

  8. …add onto that what my friend– the doll shop owner– always gets

    “you mean people actually buy these?”
    (instead of the more polite “wow– I didn’t realize this was such big business!” AH, retail…….

  9. when i was growing my tonner collection, my NInja would come over & say this line when i would tell him i got a new doll: ” of course, you did” it got to the point where i would just pull the box out & he would respond with it.

    • I kept telling my Ex that I won them in a club giveaway…until it just became too absurd to utter with shelves of dolls lining a full room. Thank you, Gina!

  10. Lmao I can relate to so many of these! I was laughing so much reading this! P.S the Human barbie Valeria lukyanova is not all plastic shes very talented with make up ❤ She looks normal without the 'barbie' makeup and contacts! The Human ken is all plastic though O_o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY8l9HIRDYs when they met they did not like each other because he said she used mainly make up to achieve her look lmao I saw that as a good thing!

  11. I’ve had a lot of good responses, but then I worked in mental health and most colleagues considered it good to have a hobby. I like dioramas and many co-workers would bring me things, I appreciated each and every on for the thought. We lost a dear friend a few years ago and I set up a diorama in her memory on my desk and most of the people had to come and see and said the scene was so what she was about. I have heard negative comments and I just ignore, but it offensive for doll collecting to be so negative while watching football & painting your face team colors & wearing jerseys is somehow acceptable.

  12. I recently transferred my doll collection pictures from one site to another (due to the old website closing). And ever since then I have updated my collection and made new posts on the new site. However a few people have been trying to “befriend” me and then asking “just incase” I sell my dolls that I should consider selling my dolls to them. It annoyed me a lot especially when they reached to the point that it sounds as if they’re nagging me “hey sell me your doll, because I want it!”. They talk to me as if I owe them (that much) that I should sell my dolls (from my personal collection) to them. Ofcourse I have turned down their offers. However I thought it would end there when I made an announcement on the website that I will not sell my dolls not unless I decided to do so. I was wrong a young lady asked me if I would be so kind to “give” her one of my dolls from my collection, she was particularly “asking for free” the more expensive dolls in my collection (which I spent money on customizing). I’m not a selfish person infact my friends who are collectors too can say that I’ve helped them out and gave them stuff. However I often why do these people think that as a collector I will just readily sell them a doll or even worse give it to them?
    I now reply to them with this https://www.flickr.com/photos/21862298@N07/14196703575/

    • I hear ya…but I don’t hesitate to ask if someone may want to sell a doll from their personal collection as long as I’m prepared for them to say, ‘no.’ It’s unlikely I would ask – but some have asked me, and it doesn’t offend me – most of us buy and sell things from our collections all the time – I’d rather it go to someone I know that will care for the doll as I did. I’m flattered many of my friends would include one of my dolls in their collections. I’m certain they won’t be stealing them. Thanks for reading!

  13. Okay, right with you on MOST of “what not to say.” However, that thing about “I’d just love that in my size”? I can’t tell you how often I’ve said that to myself, especially in the early days of Tyler. She had one outfit that was a little beige bodysuit with matching ankle boots,a silver vest, and a silver jacket over it. It worries me that both lust and envy are among the seven deadly sins, because that getup inspired both. If I had ever been able to find them in my size, I would have tried them on in a heartbeat, no matter how age-inappropriate, and if they looked half as good as I thought they would, might have mortgaged the house to buy them. For the sake of the household finances, it’s probably a good thing that they don’t make doll clothes in human sizes, but I can sympathize with anyone who wishes they did!

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Some of those comments sounded very familiar. I was taking a doll home on the bus the other day and chatting to the bus driver he came out with the “I find dolls a bit creepy.” line. I just don’t get it.

  15. Your comments are great entertainment. Enjoyed them and I’m not even a doll collector. Just stumbled upon your site as I was trying to determine how to market a doll collection. It was collected by friend’s deceased wife. I’ll probably advertise a date for a local auction/sale and take whatever is offered. Thansk again for the humor.

    Richard D

  16. I love every word of it!
    I give every doll of my OOAK making a splinter of my heart,
    I have dressed up WITH my dolls since I made a Mini-Me, and three of my Bee Gees dolls once dressed up as the Marx Brothers just out-of-the-blue!
    I absolutely HATE when people ask if I can really sell my dolls, if I make money out of it, because I would rather start selling an organ or two…they are so much part of who I am.
    And they make better conversation than most people anyway. ❤
    Bee Gee Dolls – Copenhagen runway

  17. Love this Tommy. When anyone asks how much they cost I always lie and say something like $3.99. Not sure why I do this but it shuts them up. I’m sure my husband thinks they are all around $10.00. But now I have a daughter in law who may actually look up some of my girls online and I will be outed. Screw them ,it’s my money.

  18. I gave away all of my childhood Barbie collection when I was in my teens, after the therapy team of a little girl with autism asked if I had any I could pass along to her. They hoped doll play would help the little girl to connect with people around her. I never looked back, and my next dolls were Tonners. Then, recently I began getting comments about Barbie, how badly proportioned she is, how she ruins the self image of little girls. I found myself defending her, feeling nostalgic, a bit sorry for the poor old girl. Then looking around a bit, learning to recognize different sculpts and developing favorites… flash forward to two collector Barbies who now grace my desk. I find myself seeking them out to ‘window shop’… I wonder how long this will go on?

  19. “How’s your doll business going? Great? Really? Well, good for you! No offense–but I just can’t believe that you’ve been in business that long and people actually collect dolls and pay that much money for them. They’re pretty, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it. They’re actually kind of creepy.” — This is what I get from my cousin’s husband EVERY Christmas.

    • “I’d just love that in my size” —- Well, that DOES happen to me. I had a lady buy a doll necklace and complain when she got it that she ordered a necklace, and not a ring! LOL (It would work as a ring on a human. Hmmm maybe I should start making rings for humans???) A lady in Greece ordered my doll wedding gown for her wedding, and wanted to know about alterations. $50 wedding gown? Bwahahaha. Right. She said, “Your dolls look so real I thought they were people. ” Nice compliment. 🙂 Last month, I had a lady wanting to order a wig, and didn’t know what size to order for HER! LOL She was hysterical when I told her that they were DOLL wigs.

  20. This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read…..I just love it. I laughed all the way through. As a doll maker I get quite a bit of commentary and questions/input on my creations. Why do you make them….etc. Always about the eyes…..that made me laugh the most. Thank you for this brilliant commentary. Love it.

My blog is satire, but your thoughts are welcome!

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