Creepy / Awesome: A Visit to the Northwest Doll and Teddy Bear Show

We attended the Doll and Teddy Bear Show – and you should too!

Like most adults I think antique dolls are creepy. When I decided to attend the Northwest Doll and Teddy Bear show, I expected it to be full of weirdos and old dolls with dead eyes. It was, but it was also fascinating, impressive and charming.

After about 40 minutes, my friends and I moved past the distressing boxes of doll parts and warmed-up to the experience. Our nervous incredulity and exclamations of, “look how CREEPY this is” changed to admiration and fun. The vendors welcomed our questions and curiosity and shared their delight in their collections and the history behind them. After I became obsessed with the beautiful and intricately tiny hats on the antique dolls, the exhibitors pointed out the best hats and and shared tips for preserving them. I am searching for the perfect fur turban to match my winter coat after seeing one particularly awesome doll ensemble.

One of the loudest gasps from my group was for a Dennis Rodman “Bad as I Wanna Be Edition” Barbie outfitted in a basketball uniform, and accessorized with an interchangeable pink-haired head and dress. The obsessive recreation of famous personalities was not uncommon and other famous cameos included:  a thirty-inch Marie Osmond, several Shirley Temples, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and J-lo. And yes, I still slightly regret not purchasing the Dennis Rodman masterpiece.

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Getting out of my comfort zone and opening up to an afternoon with people who have a passion that I don’t share was an awesome experience. While I didn’t end up buying any dolls, I left the fairgrounds with renewed respect and appreciation for people who are enthusiastically committed to their hobbies and crafts. What began as a whim, ended up being a delightful day - well worth the entry cost of $8. I highly recommend attending an odd event whenever you have the chance, and in Seattle that can be any weekend.

-Rachel Ullstrom, Blogger