Virginia Davis, Doll Reader
In the 1990s, Doll Collecting became the third hottest collectible in the United States: with stamps and coins taking the two top positions.
Doll Reader was one of the first doll magazines for doll collectors, it debuted over thirty years ago, as just a newsletter and grew to be a bi-monthly magazine, doll collectors considered to be the authority on dolls.
Several years after its launch it started nominating dolls in each category (play, fashion, baby, porcelain, ect.) these nominations were then published in their magazine for the subscribers to vote for their favorites; collectors loved being able to vote for their favorite dolls. The DOTY (doll of the year) awards were coveted by every artist and Doll Company.
As Teddy bears became hot collectibles too, The Teddy Bear and Friends magazine (the sister magazine to doll reader) became the favorite of Teddy and plush collector. They followed suit and nominated bears and several categories to receive TOBY (Teddy of the year) awards chosen by readers of the magazine.
In 2007, Doll Reader purchased the Idex show (International Doll Expo) from Sue McCart. Sue had moved the show around the country from Texas to California to Nevada, making a great success of the show, because it was the first time retailers and collectors could see the new dolls of the year. The show came to rest in Orlando after Disney stopped having their Teddy bear and doll show each year.
The show is held the last week in January; and this year was from Jan. 29-Feb. 1st at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Doll enthusiasts partied Friday night as the annual Debut of Dolls and DOTY Awards event was hosted by Doll Reader magazine. The latest edition of the magazine, featuring some of the newest dolls for 2009, was signed for guests by more than 30 artists at the event. A delicious dinner was served and winners of the magazine’s choice Doll of the year awards were announced. An exclusive Idex doll designed for La Petite Couture by Whitney Stites, a division of the Doll Maker, was presented to each guest.
Early birds attended the Teddy Bear Breakfast to be among the first to learn the winners of the industry’s Teddy Bear of the year awards (TOBY) a delicious breakfast was served. Each guest received a cute Steiff Teddy to help remember the event.
A UFDC brunch featured Helen Kish as the speaker Saturday morning, as collectors strolled in the halls, lawns and restaurants at the hotel with their newly made reborn dolls. Everyone though the amazing babies were real and wanted to touch them. This pleased all the proud new Mommies.
A cocktail party was hosted for retailers, on Thursday night Jan 29, where they met artists and exhibitors. The show was open to trade only on Friday. Workshops and special events were held all four days by Heidi Plusczok, Alexander Doll Company, Berdine Greedy, Wilde Imagination, Goodreau doll, Maggie Iacono, Kish & Co., Tonner Doll Company and Elfdoll and Ruby Red Doll Gallery. Whether it was a workshop to make a doll; a high tea; luncheon or a sock hop; it was a grand affair highlighted by a souvenir doll at each event.
Girl Scouts receive an award patch for their uniforms for doll collecting, so several Girl Scout troops attended the show on Saturday to pick their favorite doll for 2009. The Karito Kids booth was a hit, because several young girls were dressed up as the Karito dolls and entertained the scouts.
Retailers and collectors were pleased to see beautiful editions to existing lines and the debut of new artists. In this uncertain economy it is good to see doll and teddy lovers still pursuing their dreams. In each of us lies the heart of a child and “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” This year the smorgasbord of dolls is a delight for every taste…so to all doll and teddy lovers bon appetit!