Valley of the 9,000 dolls: One man’s incredible collection
For the parents of the world who refuse to let their children play with gender non-confirming toys, Jian Yang from Singapore should serve as a warning to what may happen if you don’t let kids be kids. The 30-something professional wasn’t allowed to have a doll growing up, but started collecting them when he got older and is now the proud owner of roughly 9,000 dolls.
While he hasn’t gone as far as some doll enthusiasts to sate their obsession, he has spent at least US$350,000 in the last 20 years on his ever-growing collection. Click below to see pictures of Yang’s enormous stash and to learn more about what drives this self-described “toy nerd” to buy this many dolls!
Yang says that the start of his collection began at age 13 when he saved up his allowance to buy the “Great Shape” Barbie doll, complete with a turquoise leotard and striped leg warmers. He now has 6,000 Barbie dolls and even painted the floor of his doll collection room in Pantone 291 C, or Barbie Pink.
His friends and family have come to accept Yang’s unusual hobby and will even call him when they see a doll they think he might not have. A friend visiting Hong Kong once made an “emergency phone call” to Yang after spotting a rare Comme des Garçons Barbie. But Yang admits that his love life has been negatively affected when some ex-girlfriends couldn’t handle the 9,000 pairs of plastic eyes staring them down.
Yang says he has paid anywhere as little as US$10 and as much as S$3,600 (US$2,879) for a single doll. During a trip to New York last year, he bought 65 dolls to add to the room with nine mirrored cabinets displaying the collection. Most of it fits in his home, but his (now) very understanding parents’ house the rest of the dolls at their place.
Check out some more pictures of Yang’s doll collection below and be sure to watch the video at the end to get an inside look of Singapore’s unofficial doll museum. Let us know in the comments below what you think of the unusual hobby and if there’s something you would spend $350,000 collecting!