My obsessive collection
THE COLLECTOR OF LIFELIKE DOLLS
Shannon de Jager,eight, of Brackenhurst, has more than 100 Baltorina reborn dolls, says her mother, Sylvia:
‘Five years ago we read an article in a magazine about Rina Muller, the owner of Baltorina’s Unique Dolls. We tracked her down and asked her to make a doll for Shannon. Rina sent us photos of the types of dolls she had. That’s how the collection began.
Shannon loves her “babies”. She’s very maternal with them. She’s very caring, soft and looks after them well. She loves all of them, she has no favourite, but she definitely notices if one is gone.
If one of the doll’s hair needs to be re-rooted, I have to send them back without her knowing because she’s afraid that they won’t come back.
We don’t mind making space for them at our home. We love having them. Half the dolls are in her room and the other half are in a baby nursery which has four cribs.
Shannon shares her dolls easily with her friends and she’s very popular in school, because she’s kind.
She takes turns to play with a different doll every time.
It’s an expensive hobby – the most expensive doll cost about R3 500 – but it doesn’t bother us.
We never imagined that she’d own so many. But there was nothing else that she wanted. No other dolls could compare, because they look so real, so we don’t buy other types of dolls because Shannon is simply not interested.
Most dolls were shipped to us, but we also buy them from Reggies or Toys R Us. They even contact us when they have a new collection. When we go to places like Durban, we’ll visit stores there to see if they have anything different.
I also get excited when we buy a new doll. They are fun. I think Shannon will continue collecting them.”