December 20, 2001 - Doll House

Mansions in miniature, a tour of homes for dolls, But these aren't just kids' toys. These are prized possessions of dedicated collectors. Ray Winter makes dreams come true for little girls. Of course, many of those girls are in their 20s, 30s, even beyond.

Ray takes infinite patience and puts together thousands of tiny pieces, and builds truly collectible doll houses. When I visited Ray, he had just put the final touches on a nine room plantation home, his biggest one so far - 58 inches wide, three feet high, two feet deep, 54 light bulbs, and even the outlets on the wall really work. It took him 5 1/2 months to build it!

Ray takes the long hours in stride. "I imagine you have to have a lot of patience. It just doesn't bother me. I don't even think about it." There are nine doll houses scattered around Ray's house, not too shabby for a fellow who didn't even think he was going to like this hobby when he took it up as therapy after an accident a dozen years ago.

He says finishing a really good house "Puts me in Hog Heaven. You ought to see the faces of the people when they do see a well built doll house." He has built 45 doll houses, and always looking forward to the next. Ray sells his collectible doll mansions from $450 up. If you're interested in buying a Ray Winter doll house, the number is 357-0961.