Are We Nuts? When is Collecting an Obsession?

You’re probably reading this at your desk, all nice and comfy with maybe a coffee sitting nearby, or tea if you’re like me and can’t drink coffee anymore because your body is old and suddenly a rebel. I’ll bet you woke up this morning and got yourself ready for your day in a nice, leisurely fashion.

Not me.

At four AM this morning, yes, you read that right – 4:00 AM PST, I was in line at the Disney Store. I wasn’t even the first one in line, try number 32, people. That means 31 other fools were in line before me. Here are just a few of the Crazy Disney Fans!

Why were we there?

Because today is the day they released the final five Disney Princess Designer Dolls! Duh.

I’m a Barbie collector and a Disney fan, so when they came out with a series of dolls depicting the princesses in designer gowns, I was hooked.

The catch?

The Disney Store would release one doll a week for ten weeks. There would be a limited run of each doll. Cinderella was the first and her run was 2,000. That’s not a lot of dolls.

See the problem? Yeah, me too. What went wrong?

Too many people started snatching up the dolls to sell on ebay. They sold for $59.50 in the stores, but would fetch up to $200 (sometimes more) on ebay.

One particularly painful morning I got to the store a little before nine (they open at ten) and there was already a long line. The first woman in line had been there since four AM – and I thought she was a little kookoo. Hindsight is not pretty.

As I stood there, counting the people in front of me and trying to determine how many dolls my Disney Store got, I knew I would be going home without a doll.

Then fate stepped in.

The week before, I met a sweet girl in line and we started talking about what dolls we collect. She ended up getting the very last doll that day and we both laughed how lucky she was. I gave her my card and told her that if she ever couldn’t make it to text me and I’d be happy to pick up a doll for her. There was a limit of two dolls per customer and I only need one for me, so why not?

Well, my sweet friend happened to be in line near the front and when she saw that I wasn’t going to get a doll, she gave me one of hers. Random Act of Kindness!

The next week an announcement on the Disney Store site said something like, due to people (not collectors) buying up all the dolls before the really cool people (collectors) can get them, they were only going to let you buy 1 doll per princess per person on October 17th in the stores, and October 18th you could order online. Okay, I’m paraphrasing, they didn’t really say that, but it’s what we collectors knewΒ they meant.

Here’s where insanity steps in…

I have 5 of the 10 dolls in the series and I must, absolutely must complete the collection. It doesn’t matter that Pocahontas isn’t my favorite princess, it had to be mine! I became obsessed with the thought that I would be denied my precious.

Danger! Danger!

That’s why the dolls are selling for so much on ebay. Thinking like that turns normal, intelligent folks into salivating mutations of humanity.

What happened?

I arrived at the mall at 4:00AM thinking I would be the first in line. Whoohooo! I’d get all five dolls and be the super special collector of the day.

Yeah, NO.

Like I said, I was 32nd in line. The first person had been there since 7:00PM the night before. What?!? That’s outrageous! Especially since I truly, deeply thought I’d be first in line.

I didn’t get all five dolls. I only got two, but hey, at least I got something!

You know what else I got? Some cool new friends. Being me, I chatted with people in line, I met this guy Tony and his sister who has the coolest name I’ve ever heard – Xochitl. Makes me think of a cool anime character. Anyway, Tony cracked me up because he collects shoes. Yep, you read that right – shoes. We’re talking Jordans and stuff like that. NOT Manolos or Jimmy Choos.

He’s available ladies. A sweet, sensitive guy who would stand in line for his niece and he collects shoes. I’d say he’s a keeper.

All in all, I had a blast. Yeah, I’m still three dolls short of completing the collection, but that’s the beauty of collecting – I have time. I can wait out the big spenders on ebay and maybe even find a doll at an estate sale. Maybe.

Tell me, what do you collect? Are you fanatical about a band or a specific item? Beanie Babies (remember those? Oh, the horror stories we can tell!), baseball cards? Barbies?

Do you take your precious out of the box or is that blasphemy?

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22 thoughts on “Are We Nuts? When is Collecting an Obsession?

  1. These dolls are gorgeous, Tameri! And they come with their own little display cases, right? I can see why people like collecting them. My daughter would be all over Aurora since it is her favorite Disney princess πŸ™‚

    I don’t seriously collect anything anymore maybe with an exception of artsy Halloween and Christmas decor and silver/gemstone jewelry. But in the past I have collected various objects. While in college, my best friend and I collected potted plants. Our dorm room looked like a fantastic jungle, seriously – this was the best thing ever! Then several years ago I collected beautiful fabric because I was a quilter. After that I collected gorgeous glass and semi-precious beads.

    • They are gorgeous, Angela. The pictures don’t do them nearly enough justice. They do come in their own cases, which is making it hard for me to decide if I should keep them in there or take them out for space reasons. Those cases are big!

      Aurora is one of the three I still need. She’s one of my favorites, too.

      Sounds to me like you are a collector at heart. If only in small doses, but still a collector!

  2. they’re gorgeous! but i’d definitely keep them in the box……6 cats all with shedding fur and long claws? nooooooo……..i collect many things, but nothing i’m willing to get up at 4 in the morning for….although i did stay up til 2am to get into pottermore…….=)

    • Yeah, cat and/or dog fur does not bode well for the dolls. I keep my de-boxed ones in a cabinet where (hopefully) the pets can’t get. Love my dogs, not the fur!

      So, are you in Pottermore? My sister is into that, I think. I need to find out more about it since I actually am quite the fan, but not a fanatic. I have all of the books in about three different versions. Maybe four. Oy, I’m so bad!

  3. I’ve gone to midnight store openings for game releases – they are quite fun, everyone waiting together to buy the same game as soon as it’s available. But I don’t really collect anything. I have an aunt who used to collect Beanie Babies and she said that was insane. She recently sent them all over to Vietnam to orphanages there for the children to play with.

    • Isn’t that one of the best parts? You get to meet people. Do you ever get involved in Ren Faires or reenactments? Seems like an easy transition from online gaming, but maybe not.

      That is such an awesome thing your aunt did. I bet those kids love, love, love those little beanie babies!

  4. They are gooorrrrggeeeooousss and this is something that would totally have been up my alley. Although I don’t collect anything. LOL! I am so impressed. Beautiful! A perfect collection….

  5. I’ll gladly get up at 4 a.m. to catch a plane but to stand in line … um, well, y’know, for the right reason I just might! And you certainly had the right reason for you. Besides that, you had fun and I really like that about you. I loved your random act of kindness story too! Very cool! I have no doubt you will end up with a complete collection and I know you aren’t going to give up until you do. Sending heavy duty Disney Princess Designer Dolls karmic thoughts your way ….. xo

    • I know, if I have to get up early, it better be to go somewhere awesome. I don’t even shop on Black Friday, but you know, I’m usually up by 4 or 5am anyway, so I figured, why not?!

      Thanks for the good doll karma. Fingers crossed I get them online tomorrow!

  6. Tameri, stunning dolls! I can totally picture the crowd you were hanging with. Back when I first discovered eBay I also discovered my favorite doll from my childhood, the Dawn Doll. I went crazy collecting them all. Then I got into beautiful custom ones before I burned out and became too focused on my WIP to have time for anything else. Never had to stand in line for any of it though since it was all vintage stuff.

    I did stand in a horrible line for a movie once. When Star Wars came back after so many years with episode 1 my husband was bent on seeing it. He woke me up early and dropped me off in line at some ungodly hour. I told him I didn’t have a good feeling about the movie and didn’t want to sit out in front of the theater all morning. I did anyway, and I bought tickets to the first show for him and his entire crew.

    Too bad I was proven right. Jar Jar totally ruined the movie for me. 😦 And after I sat on the cold hard concrete for hours! Of course I have waited in many a long line at Comic Con and even got up at 4am this last time to get in line for our 2012 tickets. Yay me! :-/

    • Hey Debra, yeah, we had a blast. I met some great people, exchanged phone numbers, learned way too much about their past… all to be used in novels, I’m sure.

      I’m so sorry you had to wait in line for Star Wars and didn’t even like it. I think I’m the only person on the planet (this one and Naboo) who likes Jar Jar! My husband teases me about it all the time.

      I think I saw you in line at Comic Con. ; ) We saw a bunch of people lining up outside our hotel and were like, what’s going on? At least you got tickets, though and you didn’t have to suffer Jar Jar again!

      • Scott’s funny in that he doesn’t want to go on the company ticket. That way he can take the whole time off and not get stuck at the booth. But that sticks us in the long ticket line too. 😦 I got in line a couple days earlier at 7 am and they were sold out. My girlfriend went the next day at 6am and got single day tickets, so I thought 4am would be totally safe. I was a mile away! People had camped out. I am not crazy enough to ever do that. I was totally surprised I got tickets. I just made it. Last year when the tickets went on-sale on-line the traffic crashed the system. The skeletons are so cute. I can tell how they are made just by looking at them. What a neat idea! I’ll have to pop over there and comment.
        P.S. Sometimes I catch little moments here and there.

      • We saw them camping out the night before when we went to dinner. Crazy!

        We’ve GOT to meet up next year at SDCC12. I think we’re going to stay downtown again since that was so convenient.

  7. So I was going to say, YOU’RE CLEARLY CRAZY!! Until I saw the pictures of the dolls. OMG, they are soooooo gorgeous!! I want Ariel’s dress. It’s beautiful. And Belle’s too. Wow. I can see why you’d wait in line for them. And you definitely need to buy the rest!!

    • Naw, I’m still clearly crazy! They are gorgeous and I wish they’d make adult costumes out of the designs. That would be wicked cool.

      I ended up getting two more of the three I need online yesterday before the Disney Store site crashed. Dang. Now I just need Pocahontas.

  8. Oh wow, I love them. But I would be afraid to buy them because my daughter would play with them so much that they wouldn’t look like collector dolls for long and there is no way we couldn’t open the box and just look at them. We’re going to Disney World in a month, do they sell these dolls there? Maybe you could tell me which ones you need and I can look out for them. It would give my girls a mission of sorts! Love this post!

    • Hi Kara! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      We always had ‘play’ toys in our house and ‘special’ toys so both of my kids know they can look, but not destroy. It seemed to work out okay since they are grown now and all my dolls and other collectibles are still intact. ; )

      You are the sweetest person ever! I appreciate your offer and if they were available at the parks I’d take you up on it, but they were only offered at the Disney Store. I do have another challenge if you’re up for it… I’ll DM you on Twitter.

      Have fun at Walt Disney World! It is such a great place – we went in April and I have to go back to see everything we missed. Two weeks and we still didn’t get to do everything. Yikes.

  9. Oh, flashback to Disney Store horrors. Lol. I worked Black Friday there one year. I had Beanie Babies! My uncle almost had a coronary when he found out my mom let us actually *play* with them. I still have the kitty ones…in a box.

  10. Hey~ I worked at the Disney Store too! It was a long, long time ago when Disney still owned the stores.

    We have tons of Beanie Babies, too. I let my kids play with them and my friend – like your uncle – freaked. She had all of hers in little plastic boxes all lined up in her hall. It was creepy.

    There was a bit of a BB war with my daughter and niece. Alexzandra liked the cats best and Kate insisted the dogs were best. Um, weren’t they pretty much the same toy with different names? That’s what I always thought! I like the bears, but all of ours are put away in the attic waiting for grandchildren. I have a few holiday ones that come out at Christmas.

    You have the best toys, Angela! I still want to find one of those castles on ebay or an estate sale…

  11. How much fun! It sounds like the Apple lines folks stand in to get a new iphone or iwhatever that is coming out!!! I realized this weekend how much **fun** people like you are — those folks who chat to others in line — because I was waiting in a l-o-n-g ladies’ room line (heh!) and the woman with me chatted up everyone around us. I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing it, but it was so fun to ride on her socializing coat-tails. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Bridgette! Yep, that lady in line was so totally me. I always tell my husband it’s character study – you find out quirks and backgrounds of the most unusual people. I can’t just write me, right? I have to get some flavor into my characters!

      Glad you had fun in the ladies’ line. Thanks for stopping by!

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