Tuesday, October 25, 2005
For a long time I have admired the Women of Royalty porcelain doll series that Mattel began last year. Although the original retail price was $249 and not totally out of reach, I hesitate to spend over $200 on a doll unless it is an exceptional OOAK (one of a kind) or a genuine antique.
I was quite thrilled, then, when I won Mattel's Queen Elizabeth I this week on Ebay with a bid of only $176. I received her last night and to my surprise, the shipment included a catalogue that informed me both Queen Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette were on sale directly from Mattel for only $174.90. I find this interesting since sellers on Ebay are trying to capitalize on this sale by still setting prices of as much as $300. I noticed the same thing happened when Mattel discontinued their American Girl "Dolls of Many Lands" series and advertised them for half price. Fortunately, before I bid on a set of them on Ebay I went out on the web and researched their value. I checked Mattel's own site and found them on sale for half price which was substantially less than they were selling for on Ebay so I bought my set directly from Mattel.
So, today, I visited the official Barbie Collectors site and purchased Marie Antoinette at the current sale price.
I belong to a Toy Directory mailing list and this morning I received a newsletter with information about a new vendor named "Girls Explore". Their website describes their mission:
"Girls Explore was founded on the belief that girls can be anything they want, but that sometimes they don´t always have the best role models. With that in mind, we started making dolls and biographies based on women who serve as exceptional role models. We chose women who achieved greatness even in the face of tremendous hardship and went on to live their dreams. At Girls Explore, we want to show young women that their value lies in what they do, not in how they look and that they can accomplish anything if they put their minds to it and work hard."
They offer doll/biography combinations for such historical figures as Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, artist Mary Cassatt, black pilot Bessie Coleman, champion golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and naturalist Anna Comstock. Each doll kit includes an "action" item like a compass with the Earhart kit, a set of paints with Cassatt, and a magnifying glass with Comstock. The biographies are written for reading level age 8 and up.