Ms. Leo submitted an invitation to doll bloggers to answer interview questions. Here is my response. Thanks, Ms. Leo for sharing your interview questions.
When did you start collecting dolls?
I started collecting when I was 16. I had been "playing with dolls" for years. Didn't want to "give it up" so I switched verbs to appease the critics. "Collecting" was okay; "playing" was not. The production of the Barbie book by Sibyl de Wein and Joan Ashabraner gave "collecting" Barbies a little more respectability. Then I found relevant magazines like Doll World, Doll Reader and mailed newsletters from Dori O'Melia in Arizona and Ruth Cronk in New York. More people, more credibility.
What was your first purchase as a collector?
I don't recall. I did not mark it. Using the word "collecting" was more a way for me to continue what I loved doing - i.e., buying dolls and action figures, telling stories, making clothes, and entertaining myself and others.
How many dolls do you own?
I no longer know. Between selling some and creating hybrids, my "count" per my Excel spreadsheets is off. Maybe 200 Barbie and 300 others?
What is your favorite doll and why?
I no longer have a single favorite. I love most of the ones I still have.
What doll or dolls are not your favorites and why?
Antique dolls ... because they are breakable and musty. Bratz because of their big heads and no noses. The bigger Blythes because they have shiny faces and over-sized heads. Those nearly transparent cheap dolls because it pains me that someone wasted plastic on them.
What is the biggest challenge about collecting dolls?
Stopping them from overrunning the apartment. Selling ones I no longer want.
How do you display or store your dolls?
Both at different times. I might display dolls in a scene around holidays. I store clothes in plastic boxes, accessories in Fashion Fever tubes, plastic boxes that held wipes, and compartmentalized trays. Inactive dolls and action figures might return to their original boxes, if I like the box design (art). Loose dolls might pile up. (Grimace - not proud of that; something I have to clear up.)
Have you ever been to a doll show?
Yes. I went to the Barbie Convention when it was here in Philly. I have gone to the International Black Doll Show and Sale here. I'd love to go to an Integrity doll show. Someday.
When you travel, do you look for dolls?
What is your latest purchase?
A third StarDoll.
What doll is on your wish list now?
Doll as in singular? There are several ... so many I want, but limiting to one ... one of the new Mixis dolls, either Melissa or Bryanna.
What do you wish you didn’t purchase?
Can't say ... no, rather, none. There are some I am selling now because in my current collection, some are near duplicates. But I didn't see that at the time that I bought them.
What is your favorite doll related item?
Odd accessories like the Ladies Mission doctor equipment, Smartees Amanda's architecture tools, action figure pipe - oh, and vehicles like cars, bikes, 'cycles.
How often do you photo your dolls and what doll is the most photographed
At least once a week. I don't think I have any one doll or figure photographed more than others. But I might not have noticed if I do.
Do you talk to other collectors in person or just on the web?
Usually and mostly, I talk on the web.
If you had the chance to speak to Mattel or other toy makers, what
would you say?
To ALL doll and action figure manufacturers, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP stapling those horrible plastic tags into the figures' heads to bind them to the box! And please don't staple the clothes down, either. Makes holes when legitimate buyers try to separate the fashions from the box.
To Mattel, thanks for NOT articulating your dolls. Good for the economy. You make room for other companies to gain when we collector-enthusiasts BUY those other figures for replacement bodies. Most companies would prefer to hog all the money to themselves, but no, you WANT us to seek poser bodies elsewhere. Spread the wealth, indeed.
To various action figure manufacturers, please make smaller hands for your female figures. They don't have to be itty bitty baby hands. But the over-sized hands are frustrating to dress, etc.
What doll do you wish would be reissued?
Integrity Toys' Janay, Alysa, Jade, and others. Jakks Pacific's G.I.R.L. Force.
What two dolls would you combine and how would you want them
combined?(Muff style question)
YNU Group's Mixis dolls and bbi-Takara CY Girls only with FEET and NO boot-sleeves. Jakks Pacific's G.I.R.L. Force and Liv dolls. I'd fuse the build of the Mixis and/or G.I.R.L. Force with the articulation of the CY Girls and the Liv dolls.
Thanks again for this post idea.