This man has spent over $500,000 on his Barbie collection
Even though most of us wouldn't admit it, we all have things that we collect that other people may not see the point in. You may not frame and display them for guests in your home to see or make big bucks off trading them, but there's bound to be some things around that you just can't get rid of.
For instance, I still have boxes and boxes of comic books from when I was growing up. They're new enough to not actually be worth anything (and will likely still be worthless when I'm old) and I don't ever get them out for a read, so there's no point in them - right? Well, I still can't bear the idea of not owning them, for whatever reason.
But, at the end of the day, I didn't spend half a million dollars on my comics, like this man did with his Barbie collection.
Jian Yang's home has been completely taken over by his collection, with more than 10,000 dolls in his possession, purportedly costing him over $500,000. The 38-year-old business director even designed his home in Singapore around the dolls he owns, which he has been buying for more than 30 years. And by this point, he's just stopped counting.
"I’ve loved Barbie since 1984, when I accidentally opened my sister’s Christmas present," Yang explained. "Great Shape Barbie started it all." He continued:
"I’ve been buying Barbie ever since. So I never started 'collecting'. I just continued buying. I would estimate that I have more than 10,000 dolls. I stopped counting at 9,000. I think I have spent over £350,000 [$500,000]. But I don’t really want to know.
"My house is designed around the doll collection by Visual Text Architects, one of the best firms in Singapore, and even they knew that this collection very much defined my design sense.
"I think there will always be a social stigma for guys who collect dolls, and I’m very proud to say I probably don’t fit into any of those stereotypes."
Yang explained that he buys the dolls from "everywhere", but has his regular visits to one particular doll shop in Singapore. His vocation requires him to travel across the world, which gives him the opportunity to find rare dolls from different corners of the globe.
Eventually, a friend convinced him to create an Instagram account to showcase his hobby, and for the last few years it evolved from a "life photo album" into a doll-centric account. However, Yang doesn't think of himself as a collector, or feel any need to connect with others that have the same passion.
"I don’t really have any friends who collect. I must be one of the few collectors who has never been to a convention. I’ve never even seen myself as a collector. Just as a guy who likes dolls."
"Honestly I don’t even see the need to find like-minded people who want to “play” dolls. I’ve always seen it as a private thing. Anyone who’s known me for a while knows I’ve always had dolls. To the point it’s not even shocking anymore. It’s become intrinsic to my personality."
The most he has paid for one doll is $3000, but he claims that "she's not the most valuable". For Yang, "rarity is also subjective" - and since he doesn't consider himself a collector, his favorites have nothing to do with the price tag or the idea that it is a one-of-a-kind doll.
Either way, it must be a little strange the first time someone visits his house. I'm all for his hobby, but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the easiest house to relax in, with 10,000 dolls staring your way at all times.