Why Children Love Dolls

Children and Dolls These days, kids have all sorts of toys to choose from, but dolls remain a consistent favorite. What is about dolls that stir an affinity in children? Here is a list of some of the reasons why children love dolls:

Role Play

Playing with dolls allows children to use their imagination to interpret and expand on real-life situations. Kids love making up their own stories, and having a realistic toy like a doll to play with helps them do just that. From having tea parties to pretending to be in school and more, there are many different scenario and relationship possibilities that children can explore when playing with dolls.

Accessories

Dolls are also very appealing to kids because of all the opportunities to accessorize! Kids love picking out different outfits, hairstyles, shoes, and more for their dolls. Gigi’s Dolls has a wide selection of clothing options for all different types of dolls, and kids will have a blast selecting just the right wardrobe!

Comfort

Kids are comforted by familiarity, so a doll’s life-like appearance naturally charms children. Dolls have also become more diverse in appearance over the years, and today there is more variation in the race, appearance, and even gender of dolls. These differences allow more kids to see themselves and their families and friends reflected in their choice of dolls.

The tactile experience of holding and playing with a doll can be comforting to kids, as some dolls are very soft and/or have a variety of textures.

With over thirty years of experience serving the needs of doll collectors worldwide, Gigi’s Dolls can help you find the perfect doll or doll accessory. Contact us today!

How to Determine the Value of Vintage Dolls in Your Collection

Doll collections can span a lifetime and then some… indeed, many mothers pass their doll collection down to daughters.

How does a person determine the value of dolls in their collection, besides being “priceless?”

Valuing Antqiue DollsPorcelain dolls have been around for many years, and some of you might have some in your collection dating back to the turn of the century (late 1800s to early 1900s!) and World War 1. Really old dolls that are still in great shape and were part of limited runs way back when could fetch up to $300,000 these days, though you’re more likely to have dolls in your collection worth between $5 and $10,000 max.

To determine the value of a particular doll, look for a manufacturer’s stamp somewhere on the doll itself. It usually tells the year it was made. If you’re able to find a company name and/or number, “google it” and see what comes up. A lot of people like to use ebay.com to check out what comparable dolls are currently going for– of course the condition of the doll really, truly matters when it comes to its value. Dolls which are closest to being “in original condition” garner the most money. Using a google or ebay search online, you’re likely to discover a doll that has been sold (or is selling) that’s quite similar to yours. Check the price and there you have it– the value of your doll.

Talk to a Professional

That said, if you’re really serious about knowing the value, it makes sense to seek out a professional appraiser with a keen interest in antique dolls. He or she probably lives and breathes “doll prices” such that you’ll get an even more accurate quote.

Meanwhile, have you seen Gigi’s antique dolls for sale on the web? To see antique French, German, Japanese and other dolls, visit here: https://www.gigisdolls.com/dolls/antique-dolls.html

Most are in the “under $1,000 price range,” though Gigi’s offers a couple all the way up to $7,750– Gigi’s currently has a 10.5” rare all original Kestner in box with three character heads!

If you have any questions, you can call Gigi’s in Chicago at 773-594-1540 or email questions@gigisdolls.com.

Reasons to Start a Doll Collection

Doll Collections Starting a doll collection can turn into a lifelong passionate pursuit that brings much joy along the way. One of the major pleasures of collecting dolls is finding ones that you simply can’t stop looking at because, for whatever reason, they just “connect” with you and you feel you must have them. And they can be so exquisitely beautiful, too.

Doll collecting is done for a number of reasons. For some people, they love the history of dolls and they enjoy finding and collecting antiques. Dolls don’t take up too much space, so they can all fit on a couple of shelves in a room– and they’re unique and pretty at the same time, therefore enhancing the space where they’re lovingly displayed.

Of course, dolls are fun because they show off fashion! Those who love clothing, style, and design often love dolls because they’re made to reflect the fashion and culture of different places and eras. Some doll collectors even go so far as to sew outfits for their dolls and come up with elaborate costumes and accessories to further customize each doll in their collection. Therefore, they make each doll more personal and meaningful to them.

If you were younger and played with dolls, the older you get the more likely you are to remember the good times you had with certain dolls. And now, with more money in your pocket, you’re able to afford to truly have your own ever-growing doll collection. That might mean finding old dolls from your childhood for sale on ebay.com and having your favorites shipped to your home, for instance. Nostalgia is a big factor when it comes to collecting dolls.

Doll collections can fill an emotional void or soothe a psychological need. For example, a lady who cannot have kids of her own may turn to doll collecting as a way to “have her own kids” who just happen to be dolls.

Dolls can also be used to celebrate holidays like Christmas, as they are proudly displayed near or under Christmas trees. Indeed, doll collections are often used to decorate rooms in homes year round.

Gigi’s Dolls of Chicago offers a nice variety of dolls for collectors, including vintage Barbies, Kewpie dolls, porcelain dolls, and even French/German Bisque dolls. Browse the website to see a variety of dolls and doll accessories currently available.

Check Out the Latest Adora Dolls

Adora dolls are one of the most popular new dolls that have stormed the market. Known for being durable and eco-friendly, Adora dolls are safety tested and use materials that are BPA free, non-toxic, hypoallergenic. And, as their website says, every doll is made with love. They’re also machine washable, which is great news for parents everywhere!

Adora DollsThere are a few different kinds of dolls available from Adora, including soft dolls in the shape of babies, fairies and even ponies. Dolls range in size from 13 inches to 20 inches, so whether you’re a collector or buying a gift for a child, there’s a doll for everyone and every age.

We have a number of Adora products here at Gigi’s Dolls, and we love them because of their style and their durability. They make great dolls for young children, too, since they’re so easy to keep clean! Let’s take a look at five of our favorites in stock now.

Honey Bunch

The Honey Bunch doll is a bundle of cuteness, with honey brown eyes, dark chocolate hair and a classic aqua-green dress that’s perfectly suited for a fancy picnic or a high-class spring event.

Work Out Chic

The Work Out Chic Adora doll is a preppy and pretty girl, rocking a work-out velour two-piece with appliqued flower details for a girly touch.

Chit-Chat

The Chit-Chat doll is a cutie with blonde curls in a pink corduroy empire waist dress, complete with a little embroidered chick and aqua-blue patterned trim. Her daisy hair accessory is a sweet touch!

Woof!

The Woof! doll is a cute, casual boy, wearing an all-in-one comfortable knit puppy print pajama set. His bib has a lifelike applique pup on it, so this doll is a great choice for pet lovers!

Happy Birthday

The Happy Birthday, Baby is a strawberry blonde in pigtails, celebrating her birthday with a big party! Her white eyelet dress with pink frills is perfect for attending the party of the year. She’s perfect as a birthday gift!

For more info on the full selection of Adora dolls and accessories available at Gigi’s Dolls, call us at 773-594-1540 or stop in and see us on North Northwestern Highway in Chicago today.

Caring for Collectibles: Keeping Your Dolls in Great Condition

Finding new dolls to add to your collection is only one small part of a collector’s passion. It’s also important to take care of your collectibles after you’ve obtained them!

If you’re a doll collector, you know that if you leave dolls on your shelf without caring for them regularly, they definitely won’t stay in great shape. Dust and dirt can ruin original packaging boxes or clothing, while humidity or intense sunshine can lead to discoloration of paint, fading of clothing and more. Let’s review a few tips for how to care for your collectibles and keep them in great condition.

Doll and Teddy Bear StorageStay in the Shade

The Spruce says that your collectible dolls should definitely not be exposed to direct sunlight. That means you should try to keep your collectibles in an indoor room or in a space where sun exposure will be minimal. For your most valuable dolls, keep them out of the sun entirely to help preserve them for many years to come.

Clear the Air

If someone in your home smokes, make sure your dolls don’t ever make contact with the smoke! Tobacco smoke can cause discoloration and staining, and a smoke odor is almost impossible to safely remove from antique dolls. Smoke outside or keep your dolls in a protected area where the smoke can’t reach.  

Clean Up Regularly

Dust your collectibles frequently. Dust and grime can form nearly anywhere in your home with particles naturally occurring in the air. As time goes on, this buildup of dust and grime can cause the dolls or packaging to appear dirty, which will diminish their value.

Controlled Conditions

Brown Safe, a manufacturer of luxury and utility safe units, says that if you need to store your porcelain dolls away in boxes, make sure the boxes are ventilated and kept away from extreme heat and extreme cold. Sealed boxes can trap in unwanted elements, while fluctuations in temperature can lead to issues with any glue or other adhesive materials. You also want to consider the material that you wrap the dolls in. For instance, some tissue paper is not acid-free, and you definitely don’t want your dolls exposed to acidic paper.

If you follow these tips and make sure to handle your dolls with care, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t remain in good condition for many generations to come. For more information, call Gigi’s Dolls at 773-594-1540 today or stop in and see us today at our store in Chicago on North Northwest Highway.

It’s a Boy! American Girl to Release First Male Doll

There’s big news floating around for fans of the American Girl doll franchise – the company has created a new boy doll, and he’s currently available for purchase!

According to the Huffington PostWater Tower Place, American Girl is gearing up to bring a large set of new dolls to the market this year, and one of them, notably, is male. This new American Girl doll – or perhaps American Boy – is named Logan Everett, and he lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He plays and writes music with his friend and band mate, Tenney Grant, an aspiring country singer doll who was also released earlier this week.

“We’re hopeful Logan will appeal to both girls and boys, said American Girl spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos, speaking to Us Weekly. “For boys, we know Logan can speak directly to them and give them something unique and special to call their own.”

According to The New York Times, Mattel, the owner of the American Girl brand, has been receiving feedback from customers for some time now asking for more diverse and more distinct dolls. American Doll believes that as the first male doll offered in the company’s 31 years of doll making, Logan will be a big hit among their audience, and the company hopes that Logan is the answer for kids who have been trying to diversify their collection for some time.

Here at Gigi’s Dolls, we agree that it’s pretty exciting to see such an historic brand finally release a male doll. Both Logan and his pal Tenney are available now, so keep an eye out for these dolls and even more new and exciting dolls from the company expected to be introduced in the coming months.

As the American Girl collection grows, so too will your need to get them – and new accessories. Keep checking our available American Girl accessories and American Girl-sized clothing or stop in and shop our inventory today at our storefront on North Northwest Highway in Chicago. You can also call us at 773-594-1540 to learn more or for help finding any specific clothing or accessories you’re looking for.

Bringing Favorite Shows to Life as Dolls

Do you watch “American Horror Story”? Fans of season three, called “American Horror Story: Coven,” can now have a piece of AHS memorabilia all their own with dolls from Integrity Toys. Lucky for you, we’re offering each of these unique pop-culture inspired dolls here at Gigi’s.

According to Vanity FairAHS Coven Dolls, the collection includes six dolls, and they expect die-hard fans to vie for their own set to bring home. The dolls featured in the collection include Jessica Lange’s character, Fiona Goode, Frances Conroy’s Myrtle Snow, Angela Bassett’s Marie Laveau, Taissa Farmiga’s Zoe Benson, Evan Peters’ Kyle Spencer, and Emma Roberts’ Madison Montgomery.

Each doll is beautifully detailed, from their facial expressions to their outfits. The sassy Madison Montgomery portrays her spoiled nature with pursed lips, while the eccentric Myrtle Snow’s perfect glasses and unique costume give her an air of mystery as the Head of the Witches Council. 

These collectibles are available here at Gigi’s for $130 each. With only a limited number available on the market, the potential for these dolls to grow in value as AHS becomes more and more popular is huge.

Fans of AHS know that each season is a new horror story, so the characters featured in “Coven” won’t be back to do another season of the show, but their stories live on in the form of these dolls. Some of the infamous characters from season three are missing from the collection, but the speculation is that the American Horror Story franchise just might produce another season of dolls for Integrity Toys – maybe even season five, “Hotel,” which featured the stylish Lady Gaga.

With shows like AHS gracing the silver screens and gaining huge followings across the world, it’s no wonder the doll world is itching to tie-in dolls more and more to pop culture franchises. AHS is just the most recent case, but we have no doubt that even more collections of dolls from other television shows will come to market soon.

To stay up to date on the latest doll trends, follow the Gigi’s Dolls blog, and check out our events page to see if we’re visiting a doll show near you. You can also stop in and see us in Chicago, or learn more about dolls in our inventory by calling us at 773-594-1540 today.

Bisque Dolls: A Classic Style for the Modern Age

If you’re a fan of classic dolls, there’s a good chance you know of – or have heard of – bisque dolls. These dolls are a Victorian type of figurine, but the materials used to create them dates back to ancient China. Let’s dive into some of the unique history that makes bisque dolls so interesting and long-lasting.

Bisque DollsBisque porcelain is an unglazed white ceramic made from clay deposits, says WiseGeek. Since first appearing in products produced by Chinese crafters, the material found acceptance in Europe in the 1800s, with French dolls made of bisque beginning to appear in the 1850s, according to Collectors Weekly. Bisque was used as a more advanced form of china, providing a look that was warmer and more lifelike, but the material is very fragile upon its first firing. Because of this trait, it became known as “biscuit ware,” which is where the name “bisque” derives.

Originally, these dolls were created by hand pressing bisque into molds. This technique gave the dolls a more personal touch, but it was nearly impossible to mass produce them. Today, the material is made into a thinner liquid that is easy to cast in a smooth and seamless way. This makes it much more effective at producing larger numbers of dolls.

While this is considered an advancement in the production of bisque dolls, creating figures in this style is still an older method, but one that still has a devout following of collectors today. This beautiful crafting style is distinctively Victorian, and the method lives on as an effective way of creating dolls in this high-quality style.

Looking at a bisque doll, it is easy to think “they don’t make them like they used to.” That is why Gigi’s Dolls is proud to offer several examples of dolls made in the classic bisque style. We offer antique bisque dolls made in the same classic style of 1850s France. We believe that these dolls are relics of history and their manufacturing is a rich tradition that is important to be kept alive.

All of our bisque dolls are authentic and affordable, and can be seen at our location in Chicago on North Northwest Parkway. To learn more, stop in and see us or give us a call today at 773-594-1540.

New Year, New Shows: Doll Shows in 2017

Doll Shows With the coming new year comes new doll shows to attend! Gigi’s Dolls is excited to get started on the 2017 doll show circuit. Here’s a list of where you can find us from January through April 2017. We hope to see you there!

Naperville Doll & Teddy Bear Show

The Naperville Doll & Teddy Bear Show will take place in Naperville, Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 22. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Marriott Hotel at 1801 N. Naper Blvd. This show features more than 50 doll dealers, including a great selection of antique, vintage and collectible dolls. Admission is $5, but kids 12 and younger can get in for free. The show will include door prizes and visitors can bring their rare and classic dolls to receive free appraisals.

National Antique Doll Dealers Association 2017 Doll Show & Sale

The NADDA 2017 Doll Show & Sale will take place in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday, March 31 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is being held at the Embassy Suites Hotel at the Kansas City International Airport and features certified NADDA dealers from around the world. There will be dozens of vendors presenting their classic dolls for sale, and members of the NAADA will also host an exhibit and an informative program about their organization.

Grant A Wish Fund Fashion Doll Show & Sale

The Grant-A-Wish (or GAW) Fund, Fashion Doll Show & Sale takes place in Livonia, Michigan at the Marriot Hotel on Laurel Park Drive from April 21 to April 23. Gigi’s Dolls will be selling our dolls from our room on the second floor on Friday and Saturday ahead of the show on Sunday, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public. Browse a huge selection of vintage and modern Barbies, fashion dolls and much more as well as a variety of fashion dolls, outfits and accessories. Admission to the GAW show is $5 per person, but young ladies in Girl Scout uniforms get in for free!

Gigi’s Dolls hopes to see you at these and more upcoming shows! For more information on Gigi’s Dolls, shop our inventory online, give us a call at 773-594-1540 or stop by and see us in Chicago on North Northwest Highway today. 

 

American Girl Introduces New Civil Rights Doll

American Girl recently announced a new doll, named Melody. Her bio on the American Girl website reads, “Fairness and equality for all people sound like music to my ears. More than ever, I need to lend my support at home, at church, and around my neighborhood. It’ll take courage, but adding my voice to others can really make a difference.”

American Girl Doll ClothesMelody loves music, and she’s a Civil Rights activist growing up in 1960s Detroit. Her story and look were crafted by a team of experts, including historians who have thoroughly studied 1960s Detroit and the June 1963 Walk to Freedom with Martin Luther King Jr., as well as ‘60s hair and clothing styles.

American Girl dolls were conceived with the goal of telling important stories from history while encouraging young girls to connect with each other.  Melody’s story will encourage young women to share stories about their race and how they interact with the idea of race and skin color and activism in their daily lives. A doll is such a special toy and, as JSTOR Daily notes, American Girl puts a dedicated focus on ensuring that each of their dolls has a rich and historically accurate background that young girls can discover as they get to know and love their new doll. 

If you know someone special who would love spending time with Melody, you can now order dolls directly from the American Girl website – just in time for the holiday season.

While this special new doll is not yet available at Gigi’s, we do offer some clothing that would be a great addition to Melody’s wardrobe. Check out all of the American Girl clothing we have here at Gigi’s, and also stop by our American Girl page to see what other special items and accessories we have in stock.

For more information on Gigi’s Dolls, and to find out where you might run into us next at a doll or toy show, give us a call today at 773-594-1540.