The Good Stuff is never out of date

Anne's Victorian Manor Dollhouse


The Victorian Manor dollhouse kit was produced around 1978, the build has just been finished

Yesterday was a clear, sunshiny day; a good day to open the windows and sweep out the closets.  Spring cleaning time at the Real Good Toys help desk always gets me to dive into the box of old files for anything that can help a builder who has found a treasure from the dim recesses of Dollhouse History – a picture, a partslist, or (can we dare to hope) a set of instructions.  Ellen's Batrie dollhouseIt is one of the few moments when I win a point in the “you never throw anything away” discussion.  Sometimes it’s a chance to rub elbows with a craftsperson with confidence who doesn’t need much to get going like Anne who built the Victorian Manor above from a bin full of parts and a picture from our archives.  Sometimes it’s a ‘first contact’ with a person who has been looking with trepedation at that dollhouse kit for years, worried that there are so many pieces and it’s so complicated and “I’ve never done anything like that before…”

Building a dollhouse (building anything, for that matter) starts with a leap of faith.  It’s an investment in money and time, of course, but it’s even more an investment of pride.  Will I make something that I can be Tom's Newport dollhouseproud of?  A first-time dollhouse builder has to wonder if the finished product will be a good investment of ‘self’, will make them proud, will be a “wow”.  When that person steps up to the task and opens the dollhouse kit box, it can be the start of a process that I’ve seen again and again – one that very often ends with a triumphant “I can do it”.  It’s one of those golden moments when life is good. 

The process itself is what calls miniaturists to this craft, the hands-on creativity of making something extraordinary.  I received a letter from Tom, a first-time builder this week: 

“I am retired and wanted to build something for my eleven-year-old grandaughter.  I knew she enjoyed playing with [a dollhouse] at a relative’s home so I decided on a dollhouse.  A friend who has built several for chartities told me that he had good experience with Real Good Toys.  That turned out to be great advice.  I was not looking forward to the project.  I just wanted the end result but, once I got into it, I could not leave it alone.”

 So, when the dust-bunnies settle and that old kit sees the light of day again, haul it out and take the leap.  Make something extrordinary.  You can do it!


2 Responses to “The Good Stuff is never out of date”

  1. John B. Says:

    I can relate to the article. I inherited a BOSTONIAN from the generosity of a dealer that went out of business. I have not started it as yet, but when I do the keyword across the board will be “customize”. I plan on adding and deleting to suit my fancy. That is the beauty of this hobby. (And this is just the outside!)

  2. Colleen Says:

    Good for you! I am finishing my Bostonian and I bashed it a bit. It’s turned out to be my best dollhouse yet. We’d love to see pix when it’s done!