I am a 34-year old Barbie collector
hobbyist originally from Finland, but now living in Australia. I've been collecting since 2004, although I have been a big Barbie fan since childhood. I remember clearly seeing a Barbie collector interviewed in the telly in mid 80's and I thought to myself: "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen and ONE DAY..!" My collecting started, when a friend of mine bought me a playline Snow White Barbie for my 27th birthday as a joke... It turned out that the joke got both of us, as we BOTH started collecting as a result!
My favourite doll has been the same one almost from the start, and the first collector doll I bought: The Raider Ken. (The Barbie came too, of course, but I've kicked her to the curb a long time ago. XD She wasn't good enough for my Alex!) I think though, that now that I found the perfect match for him; the On Location Monte Carlo Barbie switched into a Fashionistas Artsy body, I can stop looking for new dolls and just focus on / start creating a world around them. Yes, I PLAY with my dolls, so I call myself a hobbyist rather than a collector. My main focus is not in the numbers but creating new things around the dolls, photography, stories, little funny things I do with them. (For that reason I don't like model muse bodies and other "display dolls" which bore me to tears!) I think I'm kind of an anti-collector really, as I don't focus on the fashions, glamour or numbers... I even leave dolls undressed and piled on top of each other in a drawer after a play, which is kind of a sin, isn't it?! I'm not eternally after some holy grail doll that will "complete" my collection, but rather I buy what works for my imagination and creativity, which are the main things about the whole thing to me.
As a big part of my hobby, I've been running a collectors online community in Finland ever since I started collecting, but now I thought I should broaden my horizons a little and see what other people are doing. I think our little community is fantastic, but as the leader of it I feel responsibility to go out there and find new ideas, websites and things for them to do and to broaden their hobby as well. (More ways for them to waste their time and money in addition to my own. :D )
I'm also a member of the official Barbie Fan Club, rejoined after a long break there as well, but I do find it really hard to find my place there... Do you know what I mean or is it just me? There's so many people there that getting your voice heard is like fighting for a spot in a ferry while being chased by a group of flesh eating zombies. (Love zombie movies. :D )
Other than that, I own a dog, love the net, write stuff (a book is coming out very soon, like counting hours) and I am a big Australian rules football fan. (Our team just got on top of the ladder so I'm so stoked I have to mention that even though I'm sure most of you haven't even heard of such sport!)
Would that get us started? :)