Jian Yang, a 33-year-old man from Singapore, has enough dolls to open a museum or at least a super awesome girls’ playhouse. The “toy nerd”, as Yang describes himself, has no less than 9,ooo dolls: 6000 of them are Barbie dolls, and the 0ther 3,000 are other types of girly dolls, such as Bratz Girls and Monster High. His huge collection is valued at about $500,000.
Yang’s passion for dolls began in his childhood days, when he wanted a doll but wasn’t allowed to have one. As he recalls, “before I knew anything about social norms, I was a boy that watched this on TV, liked it and wasn’t allowed to have one. As I grew older, got my own allowance, that’s where I started getting the freedom to buy whatever I wanted”. Step by step, a simple wish became a “crazy obsession”. His friends support him, his family have understood and learned to accept his passion, but his love life is affected, since his girlfriends see the the doll collection as the competition. As Yang confesses, “I’ve also got the ex-girlfriends who get insecure about this kind of stuff … They look at dolls and go ‘OK, that’s the competition’, which is quite troubling but it’s a reality”.
Indeed, it may be surprising for everyone, not only for women, to see a regular man collect that many dolls and displaying them in his apparently regular house. Yang describes himself as “incongruous”. “When you meet me outside of this, I’m not that kind of guy. I’m not what you expect from a guy that collects dolls.” What appears from the outside as a manly house has the interior every little girl dreams of. Three of Yang’s four living-room walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling glass cases full of dolls, and the 9 cabinets and the shelves in his study are also packed with plastic toys. Moreover, nothing suits Yang’s living room collection better than its pink floor, which is custom painted with the Barbie signature Pantom 219 C color.
The owner of this impressive collection notices how tastes shift away from traditional items, such as the Barbie dolls, and move towards unconventional ones, such as Monster High. “That’s where Mattel has taken it. They have taken the craze of ugly is hot and made Monster High because they know Barbie will never be the monster” Yang explains. However, the man believes that despite the 12% fall in the Barbie doll sales registered between April and June 2013, this brand will continue to be popular. he sure won’t stop buying them.