July 10, 2009

Barbie-Con visitors split on boxes

Visitors to the 2009 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention in Washington said a rift has formed among doll fans surrounding a key accessory: the box.

The more than 1,100 visitors to the convention at the Marriott Wardman Park, which ends Saturday, were split on the issue of whether Barbie dolls should be taken out of their boxes or kept in pristine, store-shelf condition, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Molly Cruse, a Baltimore nurse sporting a pink heart tattoo with Barbie's name in the center, walked the aisles of the convention wearing a pin declaring: Debox! Debox! Debox!

I collect them because I love them and I don't plan on reselling them, Cruse said. You can't appreciate the full gown or the detail of the cloth (when it's) in the box.

However, some at the convention described themselves as proud NRFBists -- students of the Never Removed From Box school of collecting.

I collect a lot of dolls from the '80s and '90s -- the pink boxes, said Sherri Schuck, a prosecutor and Barbie fan from Kansas. And a lot of the time the boxes themselves were actually part of the doll's scenery, the allure. You could cut them up, you could take things off the box and use them as props for the doll. They just remind me of when I was a kid.