It is easy to become lost in the wide world of doll collecting. If you have fallen in love with the popular Madame Alexander dolls, there are a few tips to keep in mind for successful collecting.
1. Decide whether you want to collect new dolls or older ones. There is a wonderful history of the company at World Collectors Net that may help you decide. New dolls will be easier to find and will be in excellent condition, but older dolls present more of a challenge and may have higher values.
2. If you decide to collect vintage dolls, do you want them in good condition or do you want to repair them? Dolls that need repair are more readily available and many people enjoy the restoration work.
3. Stay within a category. It is best to collect dolls that are of one material, like plastic or porcelain, all one size, or all one category, like fashion dolls or fictional characters. You can see pictures of all the past dolls at Doll Reference to understand the differences.
4. Clothing is very important. For new dolls, it is important to care for the clothing and keep it in new condition to preserve the value of the doll. For older dolls, you can either search for well-kept clothing and be prepared to pay high prices for it, or you can create your own clothing. Dolls that do not have their original outfits will have a lower value.
5. Display your dolls properly. Madame Alexander dolls should be displayed upright on stands. They have “sleepy eyes” that open and close, and leaving the doll lying down for a long period can cause the eyes to stop working properly. The dolls should be displayed where they will be protected from dust and full sun.
6. Store your dolls properly. At some point, you will want to store all or some of your dolls. They should be stored nude and wrapped in neutral-colored wrappings. The storage area should be protected from heat, water and vermin.
7. Protect against color transfer. You must take steps to prevent color transfer from the clothes to the dolls and between the clothes. Red clothing, especially, has a tendency to bleed. When the dolls are on display, change their clothes from time to time. When stored, store the dolls nude and the clothes separately with layers of tissue between them.
8. Make sure your family knows the value of the dolls. If your hobby becomes a lifelong affair, you want to know that the dolls will be properly dispersed when you are gone. You do not want your valuable beauties to end up in a garage sale!