Doll collection has seen a resurgence since the global pandemic, with many people seeking comfort by returning to the familiarity of their childhood. The doll community is also very active on social media, sharing their purchases and insider information. These doll collections can also be extremely valuable, and the most expensive Barbie ever sold is the Stefani Canturi doll worth over $300 000. With such high monetary and sentimental value attached to these dolls, there is a need to find an effective and secure storage system for them, so here are some tips for the budding collector.
Keep away from the elements
It comes as no surprise that light can be harmful to dolls. Try to avoid storing dolls in rooms with bright natural sunlight, as that can fade the dolls. Fluorescent lights can also be damaging to dolls, and certain vinyl dolls may turn greenish over time. LED lights are a better choice as they do not emit ultraviolet light — and thus generate too much heat — or affect the dolls’ exterior.
Store them well
Most of us have a limited amount of space to display our favorites, and will choose to place the rest in storage. For those in storage, be sure to store the dolls in acid-free tissue paper or unbleached muslin, as acids in wood cabinets and cardboard doll boxes can speed up the damage. Try to refrain from wrapping the dolls in air-tight plastic bags or boxes, as any moisture in the container can result in mould. If you must store the dolls in plastic boxes, make sure that there is some kind of ventilation so that air circulates within.
Handling antique dolls
Caring for dolls made prior to 1930 requires a bit more work than “modern” dolls. These antiques are usually made from wood, cloth, kid leather, glazed porcelain, and celluloid, which makes them rather fragile. A particular delicate part of the doll is the eye mechanism that is used to open and close the doll’s eyelids. Bradley Justice, owner of The Swell Doll Shop advises us to store these dolls face down and use acid-free tissue paper to make a cushion.
Control temperature and humidity
According to Jim Engelage, acting chairman of the education committee of the Antique Toy Collectors of America, the best environment for antiques and such collectibles is at 71 degrees Fahrenheit (21.6 degrees Celsius) and 42% humidity. However most of us do not have such facilities, so perhaps you could think of getting a storage unit for your wares, as did Jian Yang, the proud owner of the world’s second-largest Barbie doll collection and Storefriendly client. We have a range of storage sizes, from 1.2m x 1.2m lockers to extra large 3m x 4.5m units to cater to any kind of collection. For more information, drop us an email or fill up the form on our website!