by Staff Writer
Buying dolls, whether to play with or to collect, has become a popular hobby. Doll collecting is popular among those who grew up playing with them and those who have had dolls passed down to them. Some people have even taken it up because of a developing fascination with the many different kinds of dolls and dollhouses. Popular dolls include a mix of play dolls and collectible dolls. People even collect regular dolls, as some have limited runs or become rare and are considered collectors' items as they age. So whether you are buying collectible dolls or dolls to play with, here are some helpful tips.
Determine if the doll will be collected or played with. This is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. A doll that will be kept as a collectible should not be played with.
Think of who the doll is for. If it's going to be for an older person, it will most likely be for collecting. If for a child, it will most likely be played with. However, if you're getting a collectible doll for a child for their future, have it put away so that it will be preserved until they're old enough to understand the concept of collecting.
Consider the doll style. Some people prefer certain styles over others, while other people like to have multiple styles. The style can consist of the way the doll is made, the era it represents or was made in, the material it's made from, the hair, the clothes and even the accessories that may come with it.
Know the brand or maker. Don't be fooled by knockoffs or fakes. Just as with most popular items, there may be dolls that are made to look authentic but are really imitations. Check the sources of authenticity to be certain you're getting what you're paying for.
Consider doll accessories. Whether you're getting a doll for playing with or collecting, many have accessories that can be purchased separately, which may include anything from clothing to dollhouses. If the doll is collectible, having the accessories will add to the value.
Consider the age and size. A doll for a toddler should not be same as one for a 10-year-old. Think about getting something cuddly for a toddler and regular toy or play dolls for an older child.
Maintenance. Some dolls require maintenance, almost like real babies. Think of those realistic baby dolls that essentially do everything a real baby does. Consider how easily it can be washed as well. Some people prefer to keep things simple.
Investment. Consider the cost, any extras and if it will require additional purchases later. Also, think of how often the doll may be used and how it will be used. Dolls can be an investment for the future as well as an investment in hours of fun for a child.