There’s more fun as well as safety in numbers. Collecting dolls is as social as it gets; great shows, conventions, shopping trips, museum tours, “collection hops,” the fun never ends. So, how do you find like-minded doll friends to share your hobby with?
Join a doll club! Here’s how:
1. UFDC. Indeed, the mothership of all doll clubs is The United Federation of Doll Clubs, or UFDC. UFDC dates to 1949 as an umbrella organization sheltering a host of doll clubs all over the country divided into regions. As early as 1937, Mary Lewis, a passionate doll collector, went on the radio encouraging other collectors to join her in founding the National Doll and Toy Collector’s Club. Lewis toured and lectured, encouraging collectors all over the country to form the smaller clubs that would become members of the National club she founded. These morphed into the UFDC by 1949.
The easiest thing to do if you want to join a doll club is to visit the website of UFDC, www.ufdc.org. There, you will find information on the various regions and their clubs, information on how to join, annual convention information, and much more. There is even information on the site for how to start a club, or how to start an online club. We also like www.dollclubs.com
2. Attend a doll show. You can look up doll shows on The Internet on sites like Doll Shows USA, or you can just surf search engines. Read doll magazines or publications like Antique Doll Collector, Antique Week, Doll News, and many local publications for doll shows. There are usually information tables at doll shows, or you can ask the dealers set up or the show’s promoter if they belong to a doll club. Magazines like Doll Castle News routinely publish information and activity reports for doll clubs.
Also go to flea markets and antique shows, even auctions. If dolls are there, strike up a conversation with dealers and their customers. Networking in the doll collecting world is just as important as it is anywhere else.
3. Go to Facebook and find a doll group or doll page to join. There are pages for vintage dolls, Barbie, artist dolls, antique dolls, doll parts, baby dolls, ball jointed dolls, international dolls, etc. Don’t be afraid to do a search on Facebook for doll collecting groups. “Friends of the UFDC Doll Museum” is a favorite of ours.
4. While the Ruby Lane Dolls Facebook page prides itself in being one of the top places to for doll information of all kinds – also do a search online for Doll Blogs or Instagram sites devoted to dolls. Look for online doll newsletters and magazines as well. If you don’t have a computer or IPad, you can use an iPhone or Android phone to search. Try visiting an Internet Café, or your local library. Talk to the reference or information librarian, too.
These are a few ideas for joining a doll club. If you like particular dolls, e.g., Madame Alexander, American Girls, Barbie, go to the websites for the companies that make them. Many include information for clubs about their dolls. If you go to quilt shows or craft shows, you may find doll makers there that have started their own clubs for doll makers who like what they make.
Use your imagination, have fun, and spread the word when you can, about how wonderful doll collecting is.
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