I have always wanted and longed for dollhouses since I was a little girl. The first dollhouse play set I spied was in the old department store Gazini Plaza, in Cebu (Philippines) when I was 7. The packaging was ingenius compared to boring unimaginative blister packs. The sets were packed in boxes and sectioned to look like rooms. It was called My Dreamhouse.
The whole set cost 50 pesos. I begged my mom for it but she said it was too pricey for a toy. Growing up, we didn't have a whole lot, food and clothing were more important than toys. Whatever toys we had, all four siblings shared. I pined for that set but I eventually settled for a P20 fake Fisher Price Little People set, no house just furniture and people in blister packaging. It was better than nothing. Fast forward 7 years later, I saw the same set at Rustan's, this time it was for P125. Again, I asked my mom for it. I was already 15 years old, old enough to be paying attention to boys but boys were still gross to me. :-P My dad was working overseas at that time and was bringing home a Fisher Price dollhouse for me... again I get foiled by Fisher Price :-P so I let go of that second chance. I did enjoy my Fisher Price dollhouse and got hours of fun with it. For a time, I forgot about My Dreamhouse.
I got by with it but I still couldn't forget my first love ;-)
Compared to the sets I lusted for, the Fisher Price play set looked very childish, with its rounded corners, bright colors and very simple lines compared to the My Dreamhouse sets that were more detailed and actually looked like exact replicas of real furniture.
I expressed my remorse about not getting those sets. So on my 25th birthday, my brother Rico tried to search and scour for these sets with no success. He got me a pink toilet seat instead for my bathroom. Haha.
The dollhouse gods finally smiled upon me and decided to end my plight for I found this set on ebay about 5 years ago. Although not the exact thing because the rooms have a different style but still, imagine my heart overflowing with joy and childlike fervor when I saw this listing! It was like seeing an old friend. That original set I saw had a music room but in lieu of it, the listing had a bathroom, a den and a study. Six sets instead of the original four!
I was mildly surprised that they were made by Bandai. I didn't know Bandai had been around that long since I only heard of Bandai when I started collecting Japanese vinyl toys. The subsequent releases were made by Blue Box.
Here's a closer view of each room set:
So there you are, my first dollhouse saga. I have managed to collect and even build a more elaborate dollhouse (that shall be blogged in the future) but this is how it all started. If there's one thing I've been consistent about, it's dollhouses. They fascinate me to no end.