A Barbie superfan has forked out more than $5,000 (£4,000) on his 1,000-doll collection after claiming he was banned from playing with them as a child and told “they’re only for girls.”
Jay Roberts first started collecting Barbie memorabilia after he moved into his own home in 2018.
The 33-year-old snapped up his first doll after researching Barbies from his childhood online.
What started as a one-off purchase snowballed into a vast collection that took over what used to be his bedroom and is now a dedicated doll room.
Now, he has his eye on expanding his collection with even more sets and creating a Barbie city.
Roberts claims that he wasn’t allowed Barbies as a child, as a family member said they were “for girls only,” so the doll enthusiast played with his friends’ toys instead.
But now, the fashion stylist has turned the tables and amassed a whopping $5,076 (£4,000) Barbie collection, so far, which consists of stylish dolls, books and accessories from the 90s and 2000s.
Jay says that collecting Barbies evokes childhood nostalgia and that he feels happy being surrounded by the toys that he wasn’t allowed to have as a kid.
The Californian buys the fashionable toys from thrift stores, flea markets and online, and even re-styles some of the older dolls to give them a new lease of life.
Jay shared his latest purchase on his Instagram account on June 1, where he shares the best of his Barbie collection with more than 25,000 followers.
Jay, from the L.A. area of California, said: “I never had a Barbie when I was young, [I was] prohibited from having them.
“I was told they were for girls only.
“A lot of my friends had them, so sometimes I’d get to play with them when I was at their house.
“Since I moved into my own space in 2018 I have more room and privacy, so I started buying dolls and researching them.
“I started buying some online, going to thrift stores and flea markets and I started finding a lot of the stuff that I remembered from my childhood and building up my collection.
“Now as an adult, it makes me really happy just having all these dolls that I didn’t have as a kid.
“I love that Barbie brings back so much nostalgia from my childhood. Anyone can see themselves in her because she’s just so many things now.
“I try not to think about how much I’ve spent on Barbies, but I want to say £4,000—but it could be more.
“I have over 1,000 Barbie dolls and merchandise. I have a small doll room that used to be my room, but they took over.
“I restyle the dolls sometimes. I fix their hair, I make them look brand new again. Sometimes I find it very therapeutic to fix them up.
“Barbie is that good feeling. It reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel happy. It’s almost like a mood booster, like a happy pill. It raises endorphins for me.
“Whenever I’m having a bad day I look at my dolls, and it makes me feel better.”
Although Jay is happy with his collection, he admits he would like to display more of his play sets if he can get a bigger doll room and create a “Barbie city.”
Jay claims that he gets a lot of positive reactions to his vast array of merchandise and believes that you are never too old to buy a Barbie.
Jay said: “My family [is] okay with it now, they’re very supportive.
“I feel like right now, I’m really happy with my collection. I feel like I have most of the things that I remember wanting as a kid.
“Once I get a bigger doll room, I think I would be willing to buy more of the sets because there are a lot of Barbie play sets.
“I want to display them really nicely. I’d like to have a room with all of my sets, and just have a little Barbie city.
“I get a lot of positive reactions to my collection. I haven’t got a negative reaction. A lot of it is from people who also never had dolls or who want to get into collecting.
“It’s always nice when they send me a message asking how they start, or say, ‘oh, I want to start, but I’m 40 years old, and I feel embarrassed.’
“It’s nice to motivate people. It’s never too late to buy a Barbie.
“If you never had one, you can buy it now. If you’re an old person or young it doesn’t matter, you can still buy a Barbie.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Joseph Donald Gunderson and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld
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