In the old quarter of Mallorca, Spain, there is a doll museum. Its collection of about 500 dolls from Italy, France, United Kingdom, and Germany belong to the years between 1840 to 1940, a period known as the golden century for dolls. Seeing the oldest known toy in the world made from ceramic, wood, terracotta, cloth and even wax tells us about the craftsmanship and cultural lifestyle of the times in Europe.
In Pasig City, we have Dolljoy, a store-front operation where dolls and stuffed toys are manufactured for domestic sale and for export. Its owner put up the Dolljoy Museum and Gallery within the sprawling doll factory to exhibit a vast collection of toys, mostly dolls.
To warm us up for the tour, we were invited into the auditorium to watch a cartoon about the Three Little Pigs. Off course, the presentation is meant for the children who came to visit the doll museum as part of their educational field trip.
Just outside the auditorium is a wall length of dolls grouped according to theme. Interesting pieces were the dolls wearing school uniforms. We later learned that Dolljoy designs dolls wearing the school uniform of students who came to visit the museum. More of these dolls in school uniform are displayed in another gallery.
We were then led to the another building where we were shown an assembly line for dolls. Like Santa’s elves, each worker is assigned to a specific process in doll making. From the sewing of the hair to coloring of the dolls, each identical piece is handmade.
Joaquin has been thinking that the tour is for his girl classmates because of the girly stuff he seen so far. But Dolljoy also manufactures action figures like Voltes V, Power Rangers, Starwars, and toys which we thought were all made in China.
In same building are more galleries including one for the owner’s Precious Moment collection. We’ve learned that Dolljoy is a licensed manufacturer of this expensive kind of doll. As of our last checking, a simple Precious Moment doll costs somewhere around $500. Converting that amount to our local monetary unit based from the current exchange rate, that’s about twenty two thousand pesos.
What we found fascinating was that many of the exhibits are aimed to introduce visitors to different cultures such as in the gallery that shows dolls wearing traditional costume from around the world. The Filipiniana section of this gallery exhibits dolls in different national costumes, including a limited stock Cory Aquino doll.
For those who want to take home a souvenir after the tour, there is a well-stocked DollShoppe that sells all kinds of dolls except for that one kind that comes to life and utters Namamasko po.