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Doll collecting is no child's play
by Antonia Chiam, email@example.com . Posted on January 3, 2012, Tuesday
|DOLL CRAZE: Two dolls in Lee's collection, a Groove's Byul Hermine doll named Hazeline Rozene (left) and a Jun Planning's Dal Melize doll named Elisa Rozene.|
KUCHING: Doll collecting is no child's play and Kuching doll collectors hope to reach out to others with the same interest in the state. Doll collector Syamim Ikmal Kamil, 27, said: "There are many doll collectors in Sarawak but they are either too busy or not in Kuching to get together. I plan to open a booth at anime, comic and games (ACG) events such as the annual Kyanime Convention to give more exposure on doll collecting."
"It would be great to gather with like-minded people to exchange knowledge and tips about dolls such as care, DIY, customising, sales and photography."
She said doll collectors could join online forums such as DollMalaysia to get to know other collectors and get tips.
"Don't be shy to join local gatherings to exchange views and have photography fun."
It is important to ask around before purchasing your first doll in case it is a fake.
"There are many types of dolls including Jun Planning, Ball-Jointed Doll (BJD), Blythe, Bratz and Fashion Royalty to name a few." said the owner of a Jun Planning's Pullip Souseiseki, named Zen Ailea, bought for RM200 from an online forum.
Syamim said her hobby did not affect her lifestyle or role as a housewife. "My husband was shocked at the price of the doll but is fine with the hobby as long as I use my own money. He gets to buy his Play Station 3 games so it's fair I get to buy doll stuff. Since I'm a housewife I restrain myself from buying too many doll things. I'm hand-sewing clothes for my doll as I enjoy dressing her up, and making little clothes for her," she said, adding that she is more into Japanese street fashion styles like Lolita and Japanese punk.
Fellow hobbyist Jessica 'TeddyTales' Lee hoped people would see doll-collecting as a hobby, not child play. "In other parts of the world, it is a hobby and age does not matter. It would be good to see more regular activities to encourage collectors to express their interest openly instead of keeping it to themselves. Encouragement plays an important role in changing people’s mindset about doll-collecting," she said. The mother of one said she brought her dolls out sometimes to show and share her hobby with others, not hide them inside her room.
"Actually, during my childhood I got a Barbie doll as a birthday present and I got interested in making clothes for her. However, all those wonderful memories were ruined by the horror movie 'Child's Play'. I became scared of dolls and had nightmares so I abandoned my interest."
"After a decade-and-a-half, my passion for dolls came back when my friend brought her ball-jointed doll (BJD) to an event. I started with Pullip dolls because they have friendly-looking expressions and look cute."
"Doll collecting is not limited to certain types of dolls. The types vary from company to company, and even designs under the same company have differences."
"My advice is to do enough research in this hobby before collecting so as not to end up selling them or keeping in the storeroom. I did a months research after which asking myself 'Do I really want to start this hobby?' before getting my very first doll in 2010. I still love them," said the avid collector of Pullip, BJD, Mimi and porcelain dolls.
Siti Rusmaliza, the petite owner of a Dream of Doll BJD and a Groove-Innocent World Dal Clair doll, hopes for more doll gatherings to share knowledge on the hobby.
"I believe there are many doll lovers out there even though the hobby is relatively new to the people here."
"I disagree that dolls are for kids as not all dolls are suitable for kids. The kinds we collect have small removable parts which are not safe for young children," she explained.
Taking care of the dolls requires specialised knowledge. "For example, BJD body is made of resin. Owners will tell you they don’t allow exposure to the flash of cameras or overexposure to sunlight as the skin will turn yellowish. The fact that they are expensive dolls will make collectors handle them with care," she said.
Kuching held its first doll gathering in October last year.