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Dolls become a model career

Staff writer

Angela Margritz has made a career out of many young girls’ hobbies — collecting dolls.

Now she has enough that she needs a storage unit to hold them. She regularly buys and sells them, though she has been decreasing her collection of late.

“We would get things nobody else had wanted,” she said. “My mom and I had a vision that these things would be desirable later on, that people would see the value of them.”

Margritz, a Hillsboro resident, got her start by attending yard and estate sales with her mother. She enjoys collecting because it gives her a chance to buy dolls she couldn’t get as a child growing up in the 1980s.

Margritz’s life as a collector has given her a discerning eye, and she finds it’s sometimes unexpected dolls that do best on the resale market.

“We take a look at their appearances and we think of TV shows we liked at the time,” she said. “It’s nostalgia all the way around, and you see nostalgia come back in times of trouble. If I tried to sell these 10 years ago, I couldn’t have. We didn’t want to think about those tumultuous times.”

Margritz’s most popular include Barbie Cool Times and Barbie Skipper dolls from the ’80s and ’90s, but the market fluctuates from one year to the next.

Her dolls of members from 2010s boy-band One Direction couldn’t find any buyers two years ago, but now they are in higher demand.

“If you have each one of them then you have something,” she said. “Pop groups always will be desirable.”

They aren’t the only musically themed dolls Margritz owns. She has a Beach Boys-inspired Barbie that is supposed to include an album created specifically for the doll, though she hasn’t listened to it for confirmation.

One constant for all the dolls is the need for their original boxes. Without them, dolls lose almost all value, Margritz said.

“A lot of it is the artwork on there and the design,” she said. “If you don’t have the box, then you have a $2 doll.”

While she has been selling collectible dolls for years, Margritz owns some dolls with sentimental value too great to be sold.

“The ones I would not sell are from the ’60s; they’re my mom’s,” she said.

Margritz’s knowledge about dolls’ value doesn’t come just from attending yard sales and estate sales, or watching shows like Antiques Roadshow. She also has a bachelor’s degree in history and enjoys the opportunity to see some the items she used to read about.

“I always wanted to know what the heck I was going to do with that degree,” she said. “Now I know.”

Finding a good deal partly is about seeing what isn’t common in her area and knowing which production years to look for. Margritz usually shies away from dolls from the late 1990s or more recently, citing a difference in quality.

“I think you got more material and had a better-made product,” she said. “I’m not saying everything is bad now, but we have a mass production problem. We thought these were mass-produced at the time, but nothing compared to now.”

Before those factors, though, one of the most important aspects in collecting is finding a product with personal significance.

“You have to pick something that is an interest of your own or you’ll never want to collect anything,” Margritz said.

Last modified July 30, 2020

 

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