“Collectible” is an extremely broad term, and can encompass practically anything. People collect some of the strangest things you could imagine. However, one thing that is collected more commonly than anything else is dolls. Dolls make up such a huge percentage of collectibles that they are what people think of first almost all of the time when you mention collectible items. If you collect dolls, or you are thinking about collecting dolls, you should educate yourself as much as possible about them. One of the things you should learn about is how to make sure that your investment doesn’t go to waste. If you care for the doll properly, you can keep it in pristine condition, and possibly sell it at a later date for a profit.
When you purchase the doll, you should not take it home and rip it out of the packaging. If possible, leave the packaging in perfect condition. You will want to take the doll out after you first buy it though, so that you can prepare it for a long shelf life. First, remove any tape from the hair bows that the doll has. If you leave these pieces of tape on, they will leave residue on the fabric that could be devastating to the resale value of your doll. Along these same lines, you should remove anything from the packaging that might cause rust. This includes small pieces of metal that come in the packaging. If rust invades the packaging, the entire thing could be destroyed.
The next steps will depend on how long you plan on keeping the doll. If you go to a hobby store, you can find tissue paper that is meant to be packed in along with the doll. It is known as acid free tissue paper. If you strip the clothes off of the doll and wrap it with this paper before replacing the clothes, the fabric’s integrity will be maintained for a much longer time, and will allow you to keep the doll on a shelf for long lengths of time. Without the tissue paper, dyes from the clothes of the doll could bleed into its “skin”, making it look strangely pigmented to whatever color clothes it is wearing. While clothes can be replaced, the body of the doll is the most important part.
The eyes of the doll are frequently problematic. If the eyes move free, or are the variety that close when horizontal, you should treat them with a special mixture. Get a bit of isopropyl alcohol, and mix it with one half of the amount of water. Lay the doll down horizontally and treat the eyes with the solution. Cover it up with a thin layer of the solution, and then allow it to drain out. Wipe the entire thing down with a cotton cloth, and get it completely dry. Now the eyes will be perfectly clean and free of any pieces of dirt or dust that could have ruined them in the long run. You don’t want your doll coming out of the box with one eye stuck half-shut. Your doll would look perpetually drunk.
Next, the best thing you can do is put the doll on a shelf and forget about it. If you are hoping that the doll will eventually be worth money, you shouldn’t hold your breath. Very rarely do dolls end up being worth money. If you bought it in the first place, it should have been for a personal love and affinity for dolls, rather than any desire to make money. Dolls are not a good investment, and your money would be better spent playing the stock market. But, if you have a passion for dolls then there is nothing wrong with hoping that the price increases over time. And if it does, your doll should be perfectly preserved, thanks to the methods that I have described.