Small Size, Big Play Value

10 Dec

I recently discovered the wonderful world of eBay and it has added a totally new dimension to my miniatures collecting. Since I started my Sylvanian Families collection, I have learned a lot about market prices and commercial values of miniatures.

I won this lot of dollhouse furniture in an eBay Philippines auction and paid a relatively small amount for it. I fell in love with the details of the furniture; they reminded me so much of SF furnitures. I inquired on the scale and while they were a little bigger than currently released SF furniture, for the price tag of  a little more than US$20 for the lot, they were serviceable for the larger SF characters.

I did a little more research after purchase and was pleasantly surprised that these were Tomy Products. The design of the furniture still calls to mind current SF designs, perhaps in part because Tomy also had a license to produce SF items in the late eighties till 1993.  Aside from being Tomy products, the furniture was around 30 years old, having been released as part of Tomy’s Smaller Homes and Garden Series in 1979 and 1980. Further research showed that individual pieces go for as little as US$5 and as high as US$10, the furniture set can fetch as much as US$120 on eBay, and the dollhouse and furniture for as much as US$300.

The furniture I got were not complete but were in perfect condition. There were no scratches or color changes in the vintage pieces. Moreover, the kitchen set came with a complete set of plates, saucers, and cups, not to mention, a pitcher and sugar and cream bowls. The wardrobe also revealed a few surprises- vintage clothing, some in hangers and others folded in drawers. I had a great time setting them up and pretending the Evergreens were shopping at their favorite furniture store.

Papa Forrest checks out the sound system on display.

 The living room set comes with a five-piece sectional sofa with cushions, coffee table, side table, lamp, plant, record player and speakers, record player stand, and a Bentwood rocker.

Mama Honeysuckle wonders how she will bring all these home. Do they deliver?

 The kitchen comes with an oven and sink & combo, a stove and hood piece, cups and saucers drawers, table and four chairs, and a variety of kitchen accessories.

Brother Preston loves the bed and thinks it's perfect for jumping!

 The bedroom set consists of a standing mirror, a vanity and stool set, wardrobe and a four-poster bed with linens.

Sister Ashley has always wanted a desk like this. Will her dad buy it for her?

 The study comes with a bookshelf, a potted plant, and a study table and chair set. At the back, you can see the bathtub, a toilet, and a bath counter with sink.

It pays to have a working knowledge of the market; that way, you don’t pay over the set market value. Of course, certain items may carry premiums, but it would be wise to do some research before bidding on anything.  The key to buying online is to realize that while good bargains abound in the Net, you need more than just money to make the experience worth your while.

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14 Responses to “Small Size, Big Play Value”

  1. Joanna December 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    Wow! Fits with your Oakwood Manor and Evergreen Family! I think the Evergreen families are slightly larger than SF that are in the malls now… so those vintage furnitures are perfect! Great buys!

    • Kittymama December 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

      The Evergreen family members are a little taller and bigger than the usual SF families, true, so they didn’t seem so lilliputian compared to the furniture. 🙂 I haven’t tried them out with the Manor yet but I just will, one of these days. ~♥Kittymama

  2. Vivian December 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    They’re so cute, Pinky. I’m hoping to have a collection like that, too. My girls find them soooo adorable.

    • Kittymama December 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

      They are, and the nice thing about them is that they can be passed on as heirloom pieces too. I’m sure your daughters will enjoy owning their very own doll house and furniture. 🙂 ~♥Kittymama

  3. Nancy December 10, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    Aw I so love owning them too 🙂

    • Kittymama December 11, 2009 at 9:21 am #

      Take pictures of your collection, mare, and please share them with us. It’d be nice to compare notes. 🙂 ~♥Kittymama

  4. Daddy Forever December 11, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Looks like a nice collection you have there. My wife use to collect Beanie Babies and I use to collect tiny action figures (until my son stole them and broke off their arms).

    • Kittymama December 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

      Thank you so much! It took me a while to get started on this; I had to wait till my boys were big enough (they are in their teens now) before I could indulge in these tiny things. Beanie babies are cute, but we don’t have much of them here in my country. 🙂

  5. harriet jara January 6, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    hi kitty mama,

    i’m 26, and a mother of two pretty girls.we’ew also fron tha Philippines. my friends and office mates said that im wasting money in collecting the such. i just ignore them, especially now that i find people older or as same age as me aso collecting SF. btw, i also add DIY stuffs for my SF. i just recently created pairs of slippers for my SF. and im looking forward in creating a hammock. heheheh.

    i’m just curious on what kind of paint that you used for your refurbished furnitures? thanks and happy new year!

    harriet

    • Kittymama January 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      Hi, Harriet! Would you believe you beat me to a Buy-It-Now SF item (birthday set) on eBay Philippines around a month ago? Small world indeed! 🙂

      I think if your friend knew that there is a real market for miniatures in the world, they’d think twice about saying it’s a waste of money. Aside from being heirlooms, they do have commercial value. More than that, however, if it makes you happy, then let them be with their criticism. Some people like expensive bags, others jewelry, and others (like me), Hello Kitty and Sylvanian Families. Live and let live, as I always say.

      I hope you’d be interested in joining a mini-club (unofficial, we’re only just three- me, J, and her mom- for now). I will send you email through the email add you left here; please expect one from okasaneko@hellokitty.com. I would like set up a local SF club, and I am asking people to join. So far, my friend and I have shared tips on crafts projects and hunted for SFs. We’ve bought items for each other, without mark-ups. 🙂 Hopefully, we can forge friendships based on common interest and not based on financial gain.

      Back to your question: I use model paints like Tamiya. I hope you can share pictures of your projects with us. We’d love to see them!

  6. harriet jara January 10, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    thamks for the reply prettymama i mean kittymama! heheheh!
    i hope i could share my stuffs with you, but like ive said with the other people that ive talked to, i dont know how! i think your already friends with kit online. she could also be one of US!( of course i love to join ur club… its hard to talk to people that are not interested in my facination!) you know what, my mom just bought me a house for my SF. i think its just the same as yours, because when i look the furnitures, its the same as the one that you’ve painted.

    i hope to see you soon in our forthcoming “gatherings”.

    c u! tnanks and God Bless!

    btw,you might want to check rustans shangrila. they have new stuffs for SF there.

    • Kittymama January 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      The furniture came with the bootleg Courtyard Restaurant and they were in such hideous colors I had to recolor them to make them fit into the scheme of the kitchen. Fortunately, my new playsets arrived this December so I have more furniture to fill up my houses.

      I sent you email via your email add. Please reply so we can contact you for the next meet. If you are in touch with Kit (I also left a message on her multiply account), please invite her too. I met her at the Sylvanian Families Party. Were you able to attend too? 🙂

      P.S. I was just there last weekend and I did get some new stuff. Same with Kidz Station Rockwell and Toy Town Eastwood.

  7. iceklicky January 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    This set of furnitures is AWESOME!!!!
    Do you find them on ebay as Toy or as miniature?

    • Kittymama January 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

      I found them in eBay under “dollhouse furniture.” I really just got lucky with this set. 🙂

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