No matter if one collects Barbie dolls for personal pleasure, to remember times gone by or simply for a child in their family, everyone will want to protect their precious finds. Whatever your motivation, it’s also important to recognize that assembling a Barbie collection is an investment and you should take steps to protect that investment. Commonly associated with antiques, modern dolls like Barbie need preservation too! As a result I’ve assembled ten recommendations to keep your dolls protected and looking good for years to come; here are the first five:
We all enjoy sunlight, however nothing fades doll costumes as quickly as natural sunlight. Everyone has probably passed by a store window and seen an outfit faded by contact with direct sunlight and the same thing can happen to not only Barbie’s clothing, but also the dolls themselves. Therefore, try to avoid storing dolls in rooms with bright natural sunlight, and if you must store dolls in a bright room, at least keep direct sunlight off the dolls.
Do Not Smoke Near the Dolls
Smokers and non-smoking collectors will agree that they can almost always tell whether a doll has been stored in a home with a smoker. Not only does smoke damage the outfit, but the entire doll smells which can diminish its value. In short, you’ve worked too hard to assemble a collection to be damaged by smoke. Moreover, if the collection is destined for a daughter or granddaughter, you wouldn’t want to give them a collection that smells like an ashtray would you?
Keep Pets Away
This may sound like a basic rule of thumb, but while many collectors may have a special place or room to store their collection, few consider how their pets may gain access to their prized Barbies. I hate to say it, but I fell victim to leaving a vintage 60s Barbie in an accessible place only to have my dog ruin it. So consider where and how a doll is stored to avoid interaction with pets.
Bugs and Dolls Don’t Mix
Another tip may also be among the obvious, but keep bugs away from your doll collection. Attracted primarily to fabric, wool and similar materials, moths can do a number on your precious Barbie doll outfits. In addition, if you collection other dolls made of other materials like cloth and wood you should be especially vigilant, because just a few really do a great deal of damage.
Avoid Extreme Hot and Cold
Although many may not think about what extreme changes of temperature might do to their collection, you should be aware that it can damage dolls. Heat degrades plastics and can damage composition; very cold temperatures can craze or crack papier mache. So storing your collection in an unheated or air conditioned closet or building is not a wise idea. Your dolls should be kept at temperatures that you are comfortable in, in a temperature controlled part of your home and not an attic or garage.
In closing, assembling a solid Barbie doll collection requires a substantial amount of work, but by employing these tips you can ensure that your collection will stay in good shape for a long time. I’ll cover five additional tips in another upcoming post.