Stamps, coins, little China sculptures of cats: It seems like everyone collects something. A study from the Association for Consumer Research tells us something we've known in our gut all along -- collecting can be satisfying on a deep level, bringing the collector joy and, in some cases, a stronger sense of self.
Stanley (whose last name is being withheld) knows the feeling. That's why he's been collecting Barbies since 1997. With more than 2,000 dolls in his growing collection, he estimates that his "museum" of devotion is worth somewhere around $80,000. His nickname? "The Barbie Man."
Stanley spends up to $30,000 a year on his collection, searching everywhere from yard sales to eBay. You can get a peek at Stanley's gigantic collection on his Facebook and Flickr accounts, and perhaps get a glimpse of a few of his many rare dolls, including the "Pink Splendor" Barbie, which retailed for $975. In addition to the Barbies themselves, Stanley has a Dream House that's valued at $1,000 and 3,000 Barbie outfits in storage when he wants to spice up his dolls' various looks.
Stanley shares his passion for all things Barbie with his partner, who also collects related items and attends Barbie conventions with him. When it comes to Barbie, Stanley says that he doesn't draw the line at just dolls. From Barbie mouthwash to Barbie vehicles, he wants it all.