His doll collection gets media glare

His doll collection gets media glare

The New Paper's story on Mr Jian Yang catapulted him into international limelight.

News agency Reuters came calling. So did BBC News, The Huffington Post, Daily Mail Online UK and various other media groups from the US, India and New Zealand. All thanks to Mr Yang's doll collection - 6,000 Barbie dolls and 3,000 others.

In the four months after the article was published, he's acquired about 500 more dolls.

His collection is now recognised as one of the world's largest.

The 34-year-old director of strategy for Ominicom Media Group Singapore, a media and communications company, says he is not affected by the publicity nor the comments online.

But fame has helped in some ways.

Fellow hobbyists have got in touch and last month, a woman living in the US sent him three dolls made in the 1960s.

She paid for the overseas shipping, which amounted to US$55 (S$70).

He says: "The dolls were among the first few batches ever made. They must be worth thousands. The woman wrote me a note saying she wanted to find a good 'home' for the dolls.

"I felt very honoured because she was entrusting her prized possessions to me." The dolls dominate his 1,500 sq ft terrace house in the Bartley area.

He keeps them - many still in their boxes - in glass cabinets in the main living room. They also spill over to fill nine mirrored cabinets in his dressing room and the shelves of his study.

In August, he estimated that his collection was worth more than $500,000. But since then, he has "lost count" of the amount he spends on dolls.

Some of his new purchases? A limited edition doll carrying a Coach handbag, which was released earlier this year.

Another, also made this year, is modelled after the Audrey Hepburn character in the 1954 film Sabrina.

It cost him US$150.

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