Dolls to go on display

DENISE PIPER
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012
Dolls
DENISE PIPER

DOLL DELIGHT: Owen Main says collecting his 2,000 dolls has been a lot of fun and he is looking forward to sharing the collection with the public.

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Two thousand dolls is a bit too many to fit in a small apartment, admits collector Owen Main.

The Tikipunga man's collection has taken over virtually every wall of his flat after just three short years of collecting.

"I've run out of shelf space so now I just leave them in boxes," he says.

Owen now hopes to set the dolls up at Kiwi North, with the collection forming part of Whangarei Museum.

A garage sale next weekend will help raise money to get the collection set up as a public display.

But he will keep his Dolls' Hospital at his house where he will continue to offer a rare service of fixing much-loved dolls both for himself and the public.

Owen says he never had dolls growing up - one of four boys his childhood was spend with "cowboys, cars, trucks, guns and jumping in the creek".

But the beneficiary bought his first doll, Sandy, about three years ago with the intention of fixing her up and selling her.

"But I kept her too long and started talking to her and then I didn't want to get rid of her.

"Then another one came up for sale in a garage sale, a 1-metre high porcelain doll, and before long it turned into a hobby, then an obsession."

But Owen says he is not crazy - the dolls have never talked back - and the doll collection has been a great way to make friends.

People love coming to his house to look through the collection.

Friends help Owen buy the dolls, with most found at garage sales for a nominal price.

The collection now covers a wide range of dolls including anatomically correct babies; babies that cry, crawl and suck; porcelain dolls, Disney characters, a large number of different Barbies and modern-day Bratz dolls.

Owen has clothed many himself thanks to his trustee sewing machine and he has made full bodies for some of the larger busts by using a stuffing of plastic bags.

Some of the dolls are up to 90 years old and worth a lot of money.

Owen has set up a trust called The Dolls House Museum with secretary and treasurer Jennifer Plunket.

He is looking forward to having the dolls in a public display.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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