Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Obsession of the Toy Collector

They say that a person collects toys  they remember from their childhood.
I can truly understand that statement, however, I believe some people , like me , collect toys that speak to them.
Now, I do not mean pull the string and the toy speaks. No, instead, once in a while you will happen upon a collector who says they only buy the toys that speak to them. You hear this statement sometimes at doll shows.
I can remember the first antique doll I held. My husband ( before we married ) had a doll sitting on top of a cabinet in his apartment. When he told me she was 100 years old, I was shocked. This was in the days before I became an antique dealer / collector and had a different career.
Needless to say, that doll became an obsession with me. I went to the library and read all I could about dolls like her ( this was long before the invention of the Internet ) . And, I can truthfully say, she was the beginning of my treasure hunts.
I was simply amazed that toys like that still existed. I had to know the why, how, and what , about dolls, teddy bears and toys.
 After we married, I become a dealer and collector of many things .
Honestly, one has to be married to either an antique dealer or collector to understand how a house becomes...well, shall we say, a fun place to live.
When one walks into most homes, you see the usual living room couch , TV, perhaps a fireplace etc. Not so with this house.
Cabinets are filled with Teddy Bears and little toys and games. As soon as you enter our home dolls and teddy bears welcome you as the rest of the porcelain and other things I have collected truly do take second place. After all , how can one notice anything else when a Teddy Bear is looking up at you...especially if Teddy has his own doll ! Oh my, that is fun. There's no order in the's as though the toys decide for themselves where they want to be. And a toy is not displayed alone , oh no , never...dolls need things like miniature books and hand fans and mesh purses. Toy Kitty Cats need hiding places to peek out from. And the big cabinets need tiny cabinets to hold tiny things.
Eventually, the toys and dolls in this house will have to be sold. Many have found new homes through the years which is not easy to do. There was a time when everything I selected for this house, was selected in mind as a presentation for our eventual downsizing estate auction ...but, through the years after attending many wonderful estate auctions and having a few wonderful estate auctioneers as friends, I have decided instead, to sell our items one by one through my shop on Ruby Lane.
Although the auctioneers I know are the best around , I will sell our things myself because each item I or we have found through the years has truly become a part of us.
When I walk into a room , sit down and look around, I can't help but smile. Although our house is rather full , it is a kaleidoscope of colors that somehow blend together .
When one is bitten by the urge to collect , it is a joyous memorable trip. Collecting something is a wonderful pass time that can bring not only a smile to your face, but also a good investment.
Some collectors of today's world feel that an item has to be mint in box...that is something that really got out of hand in the 1970's when collecting became so popular. If a box has wonderful graphics and was a box that normally would have been thrown away, yes, that's a valuble box. But , the idea of buying a modern collectible to never hold it, to never remove from the box, is a very sad thing. To me, the box becomes the prison of the toy.
 But, to each his own. For this blog I included a few extra photos of our treasures as they are displayed here in our home. I think when you view the photos, you will have to smile...and that is why collecting this type thing is an makes me smile


  1. What a wonderful array of old "friends"...and they are surely happy at the way you have grouped them with suitable playmates!

  2. Oh my! So adorable! I couldn't part with any of these sweet little faces:-) You certainly made me smile:-)Thank you dear peachy!