Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bewitched and Bewildered by Boxes, Part 1

Much of my doll clutter is caused by boxes. I have given away dolls, figures, clothes, books, etc. but there is chemistry between me and various boxes that causes me to hold onto the empty box even after I have removed the doll. Wait, chemistry is the wrong word. I do throw out some boxes easily. Clear blister packs - once cut open, I throw out. Those hard plastic shells, I don't even use for sorting small stuff. I'd likely cut my hand against the cut part if I were to re-use them. Flimsy cardboard boxes, those go out as well.

Keepsake boxes such as those with YNU Group's Mixis dolls or Integrity's Fashion Royalty dolls or R&D's Egyptian Susie, well, those are keepers. They are NOT junk. Those good quality boxes - meant to last - protect my dolls from dust, etc.

What's left then? You guessed it: those hybrid cardboard boxes with clear plastic "windows." Boing! That's the sound of Cupid's arrow zapping my heart.

Sure, I wanted the doll in the box. Really. No sense in buying an empty box, is there? But why keep the box after it has served its purpose of catching my eye and causing me to part with my money? Nostalgia? Maybe. I look at the box and recapture the moment I saw it on the shelf or removed it from a shipping box. Sentimentality about the doll's first "home?" Perhaps. Usually, I don't have a case or alternate box waiting for when I set aside the doll. Returning the doll to her box makes sense. So, I covered nostalgia, sentimentality, and practicality there. Anything left? Mais oui. The box itself.

The box can continues to enhance the doll's magic.

Let's examine a "vintage" Tuesday Taylor box for how the box "works."

First, I read the doll's name, her wave or series, and her manufacturer. This identifying information is at the box bottom. Then I turn around the box to find the manufacturer's number for the doll and the date of production. I add that information to my database.

Second, the box informs me what makes this doll distinct from other Tuesday Taylors. Well, this is Suntan Tuesday Taylor and her gimmick - um - difference is that she tans. (She did for a while.)

Oh and third, the box shows other dolls in the series. Whoo hoo! Tuesday has a little sister and a boyfriend. Two more dolls for me to buy.

Additional items for the doll such as the "sold separate" fashions appear on the box side. Yay! More visual stimulation to cause me to part with yet more of my money. And the lovely anticipation before I make additional purchases. Which outfit or outfits to get? Imagine getting all of them.

(Note: I only bought 2 Tuesday Taylor fashions. No matter how attractive the fashions were, when I was young, I bought dolls first; I could make clothes or ask my Mom to make them for me. Still, the ready to wear fashions could influence what I or Mom could create for the doll.)

Having unveiled the magic of this doll box, can I let it go? Yes. After I remove at least ONE of the doll photos to use in a diorama for this doll. And I'll hold on to the side tab showing photos of Tuesday Taylor and Taylor Jones (the African American version of the standard Tuesday). What an outcome. What a triumph! One less doll box to bewitch and bewilder. Someday, one day, there might be a clear path ....


Asrul "iLham" Sany said...

i do collect boxes, specially the great boxes from Hot Toys and Slideshow for Action Figures. As for barbie, still keep 'em in boxes, love what they did with the boxes like shoes boxes.

D7ana said...

Oh, AiS, you, too!

I don't have any Hot Toys boxes - my Hot Toys guys came in those clear fitted blister packs. (Ugh.)

But the Sideshow boxes. Groan. I am considering them. While they aren't as sturdy as the Mixis keepsake boxes, they make up in information AND photos.

I'm likely to keep the Barbie shoe box boxes ... but oops, there I go, telling about my next posts.

Thanks for sharing this information. Glad to see I am not alone in this interest ;-)

MissSpottyJane said...

Boxes are a problem for me as well. A few days ago I went on a big box purge, after realizing how much stuff I have misplaced in the clutter.

I tossed out every Mattel shipper, except for Pop Life Ken's. Considering there are people selling shippers on eBay, I may regret it some day. But I think not.

ModernWizard said...

I admire boxes, but I never keep them. Well, I kept part of my Mixis box in case I need to pack dolls in it when I move soon. And I keep all my ball-jointed doll boxes, even though I should probably get rid of them. I don't have the space or inclination to keep boxes.

D7ana said...

Hi MSJ and E.A.!

Yes, MSJ, I sometimes cannot find stuff I know I have because the boxes get in my way. Shrug. And most of the boxes wouldn't really be missed after they are tossed.

E.A. is right about the space that boxes take up. Space that could be used for doll and action figure posing, etc.

So I am being choosy about which boxes I keep and which I toss.

AilanthusAltissima said...

I tend to keep boxes also. I am most likely to toss playline doll boxes, but I also hang onto many of them (even the flimsy ones). I like the sturdy, compact boxes (many FRs have compact boxes and Tonner has compact boxes) which make it easy to store my dolls (very tall stacks in closets - nothing gets damaged). The flimsy boxes are a trial to keep up - usually double boxed and I have to be careful that the lighter boxes are on top and don't get crushed.

For a while I was dreaming of making everything ultra compact to take up less space (and therefore maximize the number of items in my collection), but I always worry about damage to hairstyles and outfits (and the pics on the box remind me what accessories go with what doll/outfit). I probably need to get rid of more dolls and boxes because I just don't have room, but I can't quite bring myself to do it.

D7ana said...

Kim, I intended to have cleared out my "less loved" by the end of March. Ha! Yes, ha! Sigh.

Good luck with your reducing project. Much needed, hmmm? In your case and in mine.