Sunday, July 3, 2016

*Discussion* Managing a Large Doll Collection

I'm new to the doll community. I've got three young daughters, and a son, that are just getting into dolls! Looking forward to this journey as I loved dolls when I was little, and am finding out I enjoy them just as much as an adult.

I'd like ask LADL community a question....Since I have three daughters, I'm starting to run into the situation where two or more want the same doll. I'm curious how other readers handle such situations. Do they encourage their kids to pick different dolls to increase diversity of the total family collection?  Or do they get what each child asks for, as each child truly has their own collection? I'm torn.

Any assistance you can provide is appreciated. Thank you!
Best, Belle

22 comments:

  1. If it were me, at first, I would let each child pick a doll of his or her choosing, that is within your budget. If they pick the same doll, they will need to find a way to tell them apart and keep their collection separate. Other dolls could later be purchased as family or shared dolls. I have amassed a very large doll collection started by my grandmother years ago. Some were meant to sit on the shelf, the rest to be played with. I think that playing with and using creativity with the dolls you play with is wonderful. Madelon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always come up with amazing posts, Madelon! I love seeing what your dolls are up to and appreciate that you share with us. I'm hoping at some point the kids will want to set up scenes to photograph and share as well. They have all of these adventures, but most are happening in their heads as they talk to their dolls.

      Delete
  2. Personally, I would get the children whichever doll they truly desire, even if it is the same doll. They could play with them as twins or change the hair styles and clothes to make them totally different. It's ok to have more than one of the same doll. I have two Carolines and three Samantha's. I love them all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm.... me and my sister had almost the same problem when we both wanted the same first build a bear (a poodle-like-dog). We ended up just both getting the same bear. Honestly as long as the girls can tell apart their dolls and accessories, I think they should get whatever doll they want, just make sure that if they want the same outfit, accessory set or other product that you keep them separate. (If you want, you can pretend the dolls are twins, that would be a cool skit-like thing to play out.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would suggestions getting each Girl the Doll they want!!!!!! I really empathize with Your Situation. We have two of a many of Our 45 or 46 American Girl Doll Collection. Just have fun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think you're going to get a lot of different answers, which is fantastic. My daughters (now college age) share a room and are still into dolls. I think it depends which doll that more than one girl wants. I'd be reluctant to buy multiple GOTYs or Truly Me's because the novelty can wear off. The historical dolls seem to have the most play value and hold affection the longest. I think it's because of being able to read the books and play with the doll and really have a true affinity for that particular doll as almost a real person and a real friend. So I'd be tempted to steer the girls (at this point) toward historical dolls and their books and a few accessories/outfits, as opposed to amassing lots of dolls, at the moment. This gives each child a chance to really bond with their historical doll. Now, if multiple girls want the same historical doll, this is trickier. If they share a room, it might be difficult to keep the dolls straight. Also, they will lose some of the play-together value if both Samanthas want to be THE Samantha, KWIM? One way of dealing with family conflict - and this works really well with almost all kind of disagreements - is to have the children write down their top three choices. Then they should mark how much they want each choice. This is all done at the same time - with each person making her list at the same time. Then we talk about what the results are. For example, say one child wants Samantha, Kaya, and Julie. She can mark how happy she would be with each choice with some kind of mark or number. For an older child it might be from 1-10. For a younger child, it might be marked with hearts or something like that. Samantha and Kaya may both be, say, 2 hearts worth and Julie might be one heart. This means she would be just about equally happy with Samantha OR Kaya. The next child might want Samantha, Julie, and Maryellen. She marks Samantha and Maryellen as 10s - meaning she'd be super thrilled with either one, and Julie with 8. The third child might write down Josefina, Kaya, and Maryellen. Josefina might be a 10. Kaya might be an 6 and Maryellen might be a 2. This would show that the child really really wanted Josefina, so this helps to clarify. This helps each child to see how they might be equally happy with either one doll or another. So then you could see easily how to talk it out with each child. If a very young child wants a doll just because the older child wants a doll - that's fairly common. I'd be tempted to get a few books from the library and start reading the stories aloud and I'd deliberately choose a doll that isn't THE doll everyone wants, but another doll. This can help create interest in more than one doll. Another option would be to have the children put the dolls on the holiday wish list to Santa or Grandma (or whomever) and then Santa or Grandma or Whomever sends a special package to each child with a surprise doll. This could be an especially good choice if they were really really fighting over one particular doll that two or three children wanted. And in that case, I'd hold off getting that particular doll and pick three different dolls, this way each child has her own doll which was given as a special super duper surprise. They may be disappointed about not getting the fought-over doll, but they'd all be equally disappointed and it would save a lot of fighting. Or, Mom could get that one doll that is so badly fought over and allow the children to take turns playing with it -- or not! LOL Perhaps Mom just keeps her own doll. So those are a few of the kinds of things I would try when my children were younger. Depending upon the children and their ages, one thing might be more appropriate than another, and then that may change as the children change and grow. I'm just tossing out a few ideas and perhaps one of them might spark an idea for you. :-) Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are great ideas! Thank you!

      Delete
  6. I have four daughter, and between us we have collected over 70 dolls in 7 years! We started out with no doubles, but sometimes they do fall in love with the same doll but for different reason. One may love the time period and story, while another loves the hair or look of the doll. Sometimes it is me who gets the double, maybe because a doll is retiring or I find her second hand. It has never been a problem in our home. We have a doll room, and will create a doll house when I finally decide on a design that will suit us all! Enjoy your doll adventure! April

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks April! We originally stated with Corolle baby dolls, then AG Bitty Babies and my Pleasant Company Kirsten from when I was little. Next we got the MyTwinn dolls - the 18 inch dolls came out right when my eldest first showed interest in dolls. MyTwinn did an amazing job and we love those dolls. We discovered My Pal dolls for my son, which are adorable, amazing and sturdy (and love that Build-a-Bear costumes fit pretty well! ) My son is very imaginative and likes having a friend to play adventures with. He's also asked for some custom AG boy dolls. And as we are moving into AG dolls and Wellie Wishers, and now we are starting to get requests for the same doll. So I understand your expanding collection. We went from two 18 inch dolls two years ago to now having about 15!

      Delete
  7. Personally, I would get the children whichever doll they truly desire, even if it is the same doll. They could play with them as twins or change the hair styles and clothes to make them totally different. It's ok to have more than one of the same doll. I have two Carolines and three Samantha's. I love them all.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Both girls are both individuals. I discovered this with twins. Therefore, I will pass on the same advice, give them the chance to pick out their own dolls...even if they are the same. Each doll has a body tag, so if you want to write or initial the doll, you can write the letter on the body tag. American Girl dolls tend to be similar to each other so if you can talk to the girls about what they like about the doll then maybe one of them will choose a different one with similar features. If these are character dolls, then the girls may need to talk to you about which outfits they like because holiday dresses come out every year and they may want the same one too then what? So let them know in advance that this is a lifelong investment and have them tell you what would be something they would be willing to save their money for and have them be part of the financial process. That way they will appreciate their dolls and take ownership of their own special doll...whether they get the same one, it will be theirs for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my gosh, thank you thank you, Rhonda, for sharing my dilemma with this wonderful community. And thank all of you for taking the time to respond and share your advice and wisdom! Your suggestions are all so good. It seems like the consensus is to help each child develop her/his own collection, even if duplicates happen. I really like how you've suggested to individualize the dolls with accessories or hairstyles, or to make them twins. And suggesting having the kids rate their top doll picks is great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Regarding dolls or any other toys or collectibles, my advice to all parents is to make sure your children know the difference between wanting something because they like it or wanting something because everyone else likes it. Personally I wouldn't buy my daughter a doll she's not particularly fond of just for the sake of having a diverse collection. Also I always hated it when my older sister got a Barbie that I had wanted even if I was able to play with it, I still wanted "my own." Good luck to you & enjoy all the fun dolls can bring :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your insight. I was the only girl in my family; I have two older brothers. So for the most part I didn't have to worry or think about such things. I understand what you are saying though. I did have to try skateboarding and karate, just because my brother wanted to do those things and I didn't want to be left out. I should have just let him enjoy his activities.

      Delete
  11. My daughters have their own dolls and accessories that's just their own and, then, we also have our collective dolls which are shared. The rule is that that each girl can have 3 personal dolls. Naturally, we have repeats of dolls and clothing but not of bigger pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, how to choose just three! ?

      Delete
  12. I HAVE 4 SONS A 1 DAUGHTER, I'M A DOLL COLLECTOR AND I LOVE MY DAUGHTER DOLLS BUT I FIND MYSELF TAKING CARE OF HER AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS BUT I LOVE IT. I WILL GET MY FIRST AMERICAN GIRL DOLL IN AUGUST FOR MY BIRTHDAY, AG MEOLDY BUT I WILL BUY 2 ONE FOR MY DAUGHTER TO PLAY WITH AND ONE FOR MY COLLECTION AND WE WILL SHARE THE ACCESSORIES:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What fun! Melody is such a cutie! Great choice for a first AG.

      Delete
  13. Belle, It sounds like you have been given some great advice. Just wanted to tell you about our experience. I have two girls, four years apart. So far, they have not wanted the same dolls!!!! I would caution you though, to make sure the daughter being given the doll actually wants that particular doll. My youngest was given a Kit doll for Christmas. My mother and I love Kit, and we got a great deal on her. My daughter, however, loved Grace Thomas GOTY, and that is the doll she truly wanted. While she was grateful for Kit, and takes good care of her, she did save her own money to buy Grace. Grace is the doll she actually prefers and enjoys the most. I should have just kept Kit for myself, as deep down I bought Kit because I loved her. lol. =) I am sure it doesn't always work that way, but wanted to share how it worked for us. Good Luck! Lesley from NE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leslie! My eldest daughter saw Maryellen in an AG catalogue last fall and fell in love. Before Maryellen she never showed any real interest in AG. Santa surprised her with Maryellen for Christmas. I was shocked when my second daughter told me that when she gets older she wants a Maryellen doll too! I just wasn't expecting to hear that. Then Wellie Wishers were released, and my eldest and youngest daughters both asked for Emerson. They just keep surprising me!

      Delete
  14. Wow...reading all these comments makes me realize that this time last year, the only true American Girl doll I had was Kirsten. I also had an 18" doll from a different brand who has since found a new home, and an Our Generation doll that I gave to my cousin. Now, I have all six PC original characters, all but one of which I bought with my own money. (Josefina was a Christmas gift.) As a teenager, that is saying something. I have not had to worry about duplicates because my only sibling is a brother. He shows mild interest in my collection, but I don't have to worry about him wanting any dolls.
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete