Life like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them

Life like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them

Life like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them

Life like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them

Synopsis

Exploring the nexus of emotions, consumption and commodification that porcelain collectible dolls represent, A. F. Robertson tracks the rise of this multi-billion dollar market; interviews the women themselves; and visits their clubs, fairs and chat-rooms to understand what makes the dolls so irresistible. Lifelike but freakish; novelties that profess to be antiques; pricey kitsch: These dolls are the product of powerful emotions and big business.

Excerpt

In North America and in Europe producing dolls for adult women is a large and lucrative industry. Commercially linked to the collection of “real” antique porcelain dolls, the new commodity differs quite radically in form, function, aesthetics, and many other ways from dolls intended for children. In marketing terms the dolls are targeted at women in the “empty nest” stage of their lives: they have finished rearing their own children (or perhaps never had any) and can expect to live much longer than in the past. Most of them can afford the price tag of around $100 for a doll, and many believe that their purchase is a sound investment. The sales pitch is backed up by certificates of authenticity, limited edition numbers, artists' signatures, and the exhortation to collect.

The design of these dolls has obviously been researched with care. A major selling point is elaborate realism that rarely applies in the design of dolls for children. Much attention is paid to such details as the curl of eyelashes and the molding of nostrils and fingernails. The dolls all have names and personal identities that are fleshed out in the advertising copy and the packaging.

This quest for realism often seems overdone. Exaggeratedly large infant eyes are combined with voluptuous post-adolescent mouths,

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.