Sunday, February 9, 2014

Someone Always Loses

I guess this blog's title is appropriate since the W Club held its first lottery of 2014.  There were three ITBE dolls and some W Club members won all three while some didn't win anything.  I guess doll collecting isn't fair.

If you have been collecting Vintage Barbie you probably feel the sting of that statement more so than others.  A couple posts back, I mentioned that Mattel's "Re-issue/Reproduction" of Vintage Barbie has been quite hard on some of the older collectors - causing prices to really plummet.  A doll collection that was worth tens of thousands of dollars in the 1980's is bringing a fraction of that now.  Those collectors have lost quite an investment in their collections.

But exactly how is that possible?  I decided to take a photo of two color variants of Barbie's Knitting Pretty, both worn by Vintage Bubble Head Barbies.  One is a reproduction and the other was actually produced in the early 1960's.
In this case the blue set is the original.  Can you get over how close the reproduction set is?  The vintage pink set is actually more difficult to find and is quite expensive.  I picked the reproduction pink set up for $25 on e-bay.   Whenever I see the original pink one come up, I don't even think about purchasing it since the pink one was such a good copy.  When dealing with vintage, you have to worry about fading, moth holes, dirt, etc.  I have been fortunate to find many of the pieces I own.  I am very particular and it is very difficult to locate items in really good condition.  After all, these were children's playthings.

Although Mattel has re-issued many wonderful pieces in almost perfect duplication, there are still many favorites that you have to pick up vintage.  Recently I was able to grab "Studio Tour" with Buy-It-Now on e-bay for $30.  This is one of my favorite mod outfits.  I was lucky to find one that still had the inspection tag inside.  E-bay has also been a blessing for newer collectors - but it, too, has lowered the overall prices of desirable pieces since so many are selling these items there now.  Unfortunately, the "old guard" is losing money again.   As the supply is steady, the rarity and value decreases.   (I added the yellow shoes because the red ones usually stain the feet.)  
While waiting for new FR dolls to become available, I tend to troll the vintage areas.  I recently got a great version of the Belle dress for Victoire for less than $20.
"You really aren't serious?  Even in the south, it is too cold to wear this dress out.  Can't I at least have a coat?"

How about a nice vintage looking tweed jacket, compliments of the Dynamite Girls?
"It's really quite nice, but surely you must have something warmer?"

Well … there is this faux tiger fur from the Monogram dolls.
"You're getting closer.  What else do you have?"

I was beginning to feel like Victoire was enjoying trying on coats.  We do have this Asian leopard.
"Even better.  But, surely you have what I'm looking for."

I guess you could wear this Funny Face Mink.
"Ding!  Ding!   Ding!  You finally got it!"
I hope that those who have collected for any length of time are getting incredible buys on those elusive NRFB items - it may help take the sting out of Mattel's Reproduction line and the plethora of items becoming available on e-bay daily.

Regardless of the market place, no price tag an be put on the amount of joy we get from redressing our dolls and playing with what we have.  That's priceless and no can lose.

I guess the biggest loser today was my Funny Face doll.  I don't think she's going to get her coat back anytime soon.


Matty said...

Love this post! Congrats on your wins! :) I can't wait to see them. I didn't win, but that's fine, as I really am trying to pare far I'm fighting a losing battle with one 16" doll on the way. :)

Vanessa said...

The coats kept getting better and better! That mink is do die for. I would have picked that one, too.