Jayn Coburn at the Barbie Convention

Yesterday Jayn and I went to the Annual Barbie Collectors’ Convention sales floor, during the hours that it was open to the public.

Jayn had a wonderful time, and I was able to solidify an idea about how at the present time, Barbies and similar dolls are the conduits of all knowledge for Jayn.

As we turned into the room she sprinted off, vocally excited, to the first large display of boxed dolls. Several conventioneers, said smilingly to each other, “That’s what we like to see” as she dashed past them. So that was the first good part – a kid’s enthusiasm encouraged by adults! Wow.

Jayn spent much of the time we were there exclaiming enthusiastically about the different dolls that she has only seen in pictures, pointing out the particularly rare, and noticing the varying condition of the really vintage dolls. She noticed the repaints and was able to tell me what the original character had been that had been done over. (Amazing! While I stand there going “erm”.)

She conversed with many of the vendors about their stock, telling them about what she had at home, and more than one said to me, with some admiration, “she really knows her dolls.” I’ve always said that she has a collector’s mentality about her dolls. We met the lady who was the original voice of the first talking Barbie, which was a doll that I had back in the day.

It was tough to pick out what she wanted to buy at first. Using her budget with care, she chose a European issue vintage doll with amazing opposable thumb hands, a Project Runway My Scene (another rarey), and a convention special (amazing bargain) leather look wingback chair for future background use. Our only disappointment was the lack of dioramas or backgrounds on the sale floor. There was one that was very cool though.

Dolls take Jayn into history, into movies, into physics, into fantasy, into arithmetic, into computing, into reading, into geography, into art, into conversations with people who share her delight. What a wonderful thing, her special thing is.

Robyn L. Coburn



Jayn's Romeo and Juliet, starring Barbie
(also on that page, Color-Magic Barbie picnic, with fairies)

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