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 ....