Fan Dolls

Fan Dolls for Adult Collectors are Becoming Increasingly Popular

Remember when dolls were for kids? They came in many varieties and girls and boys always had them on their Christmas wish lists. From Barbie to Action Man, there were plenty to choose from.

Palitoy Action Man five figures. Photo credit:

Now, as adults, we’re supposed to grow out of all that. Aren’t we? Well, most of us do (although some toys never lose their appeal – LEGO anyone?). But the nature of a doll can change too. It doesn’t have to be a toy anymore.

Custom art doll of Tsubaki from Bleach anime by Whisper of the Pipit

Fan dolls for grown-ups

The past few years have seen an explosion in the number of people who buy fan dolls. These dolls aren’t designed to be played with – they’re designed to take pride of place on shelves across the country.

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Star Wars dolls in store. Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

There are plenty of adult collectors who pick up toys and other items related to a TV show or film series. Think of Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead and all kinds of other popular series and characters. People with a passion for a show will collect all the memorabilia they can find, and nowadays that includes art dolls.

Wonder Woman by Whisper of the Pipit


Art dolls take centre stage

You can buy plenty of dolls and bobble heads linked to plenty of adult TV shows. No young child will want to get dolls they can’t play with, and few would need dolls designed to look like zombies and other characters from famous TV shows.

But adult collectors are willing to pay significant sums to add dolls to their collections. Furthermore, an art doll is on another level entirely compared to regular dolls.

Marilyn Monroe by Whisper of the Pipit, 18cm tall

An art doll is generally made by hand. This means it’s possible to order an art doll designed to look like a character from a scene or show – even if you couldn’t find anything like it anywhere else. It’s even possible to have it made in a certain pose, so even if you could find something similar, it wouldn’t be exactly what you wanted.

This level of personalisation elevates the art doll above anything else on the market today. Knowing you have something unique gives you a chance to add a true original to your collection. It will be your pride and joy. The scope for originality is clear too – you could even get your own likeness dressed up as your favourite character for a truly unusual crossover!

Custom art dolls by Whisper of the Pipit

In a league of their own

I’ve seen more and more orders coming in for dolls based on famous characters, rock stars and superheroes. With no limit to what can be created, collectors are starting to realise they can order something specific if they can’t find it anywhere else.

Photo credit:

It’s an exciting time from my point of view, and being able to fulfil the wishes of adult collectors who are looking to expand their memorabilia collections is a great thing. I’m expecting the run-up to Christmas to be busy again this year. How many famous characters will I be creating, I wonder, and who will they be?

Anime character by Whisper of the Pipit

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