Avid and casual doll collectors and admirers alike will descend upon the Lantern Reception Hall, March 24 for the Spring Fort Wayne Doll & Bear Show & Sale. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! The Doll & Bear show provides a spacious venue packed with a myriad of dolls ranging from adorable antique baby dolls to perennial favorite fashion dolls like Barbie.
The Fort Wayne Doll & Bear Show has been a can’t-miss event from the very first show in the early 1990s. Located in Southwest Fort Wayne at 4420 Ardmore Road, the Lantern offers the perfect spot for the many attendees who eagerly look forward to the ever-changing dealer inventory and latest “hot” toys. While strolling among the well-stocked tables, patrons are likely to see such classics as Shirley Temple, Cabbage Patch Kids, Gene dolls, and the ever-popular Barbie, a favorite of many dealers and still the most popular fashion doll after half a century.
Barely a show passes without collectors asking dealers for the 1988 Happy Holidays Barbie; she launched the annual collection of Holiday Barbie dolls and remains the most desirable doll in the series. Mattel is releasing the 25th Anniversary Holiday Barbie later this year. The world’s foremost expert on Barbie dolls and author of seven books devoted to Barbie, J. Michael Augustyniak, will be selling and signing his books during the show. Among the most popular categories of Barbie doll collecting today are Silkstone Barbie dolls, which have the weight and feel of porcelain, and Barbie dolls wearing ensembles created by renowned designers such as Bob Mackie, Oscar de la Renta, and shoe maven Christian Louboutin.
Fashion Royalty dolls, similar in size to Barbie dolls, have a loyal following and enjoy the unique distinction that their creator Jason Wu of Integrity Toys received acclaim as the designer of Michelle Obama’s two inaugural gowns. While often hard to find due to their limited production, Fashion Royalty dolls are usually found at one or two dealers’ booths at the Fort Wayne Doll & Bear Show.
Celebrity and character dolls are another popular staple of this show. Collectors have long treasured dolls based on notable persons, whether they are the Dionne Quintuplets, who enjoyed immense popularity in the 1930s, icons of the 1950s like Lucille Ball and Elvis, or royalty like Prince William and Catherine, who were immortalized in a wedding gift set in 2012.
Whether shopping or just browsing, one is certain to enjoy the myriad of dolls and bears on display and available for purchase at the upcoming Fort Wayne Doll & Bear Show & Sale. Admission is $3.50 per person, and it’s easy to find a new life-long “friend” among the many orphaned dolls and bears there. The Lantern is located at 4420 Ardmore Avenue. Show hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 24.