A House Is Not a Home Without a Doll

When most people think of dolls, they think of curly headed, doe-eyed, bow-lipped, apple-cheeked impersonations of human babies. With such a narrow definition, it’s no wonder that many people claim to dislike dollies. The true meaning of doll, however, is far broader and encompasses several types of toys outside of the tiny little cherub most people think of when they hear the term “doll.” When you consider what a doll truly is, you may be able to agree that the little collectibles truly are a staple of any home.


Types of Figures That Fall Under the “Doll” Category

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed doll hater or a lover of all figurines porcelain, plastic and stuffed, there is the very real probability that your home contains at list one collectible. Toy soldiers, plastic horses, model trains, barbies and even holiday cookie cutters all fall within the doll motif, and likely impact your home in some way. Below are five dolls that are probably sitting on a shelf, in a drawer, on a bed or in a toybox somewhere throughout your home.



Popular collectibles such as Dresden, Precious Moments, Hummels, Cherished Teddies, Royal Doulton and Lefton are all series that are crafted after the doll model. In fact, many of the manufacturers made traditional dollies as well. Hybrid collections include Frozen Charlottes, penny dolls, piano babies and pincushion models. These figures are typically crafted of porcelain or some other fragile material and are designed to be decorative rather than for play.


Stuffed Animals

No matter how the majority of society tends to feel about the traditional doll, you will be hard pressed to find a person who dislikes stuffed animals, and just as hard pressed to find a home that doesn’t have at least one plush toy. Boys and girls, adults and children alike love to cuddle and collect stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes. While many plush toys are made for play, there are some doll makers that gear their stuffed teddies and other creatures toward collectors. Some such makers include Steiff, Louis Vuitton, Farnell and Beanie Baby.


Toy Soldiers

Ask most boys how they feel about dollies and they’ll be sure to wrinkle their noses and tell you that dolls are for girls. However, ask them how they feel about toy soldiers and they’ll likely give a whoop and say their army men are their favorite toys outside of Tonka. Toy soldiers, railroad figurines, Native American models and the little green army men in Toy Story all fit the bill of certified doll.


Action Figures

Attention all Star Wars, GI Joe, Marvel and WWF fans: if you have a doll-sized replica of your favorite character, you have a doll. Though most small boys and grown men alike would be loath to call an action figure a doll, that’s precisely what action figures are: dolls. You may not be happy about the categorization, but it’s a pill that has to be swallowed — just like the one graphic novel enthusiasts had to swallow when books stores started cataloging magna as “comic books.”



If you grew up watching Sesame Street, Muppets or Lamb Chop, or if you’re a fan of Jeff Dunham or other adult puppetry, then the doll motif has been and may continue to be a very active part of your life. Puppets are considered dollies as much as Raggedy Ann’s and Cabbage Patch Kids are. This particular type of doll is so ingrained in world culture, in fact, that Plato even alludes to shadow puppets in his “Allegory of the Cave.”

Dolls, whether one likes it or not, are a very integral part of society and of almost every home throughout the world. From the traditional baby doll to toy soldiers and action figures, the dolly takes many forms, making it an universal toy beloved by all.