I love the Victorian replicated era dollhouses that are so popular today. The furniture and related items that I build are geared toward the historical period that I love.
This era of history, which is so well represented in the dollhouse industry are too far removed from the young people of the world today to hold much interest for them.
Recently, I asked my 24-year-old son and his friends (male and female) about dollhouse collecting. Collectively, they all said that while they like my miniatures they would not buy them. However, when I asked them "what if I were to build you a miniature Stargate?" Since all of them are huge fans of the television series, 'Stargate', every one of them said "oh wow, I would buy a miniature of that!"
Again, I asked, "how about a recreation of the 'Stargate' room with figures for it?" Surprising, they all were very enthusiastic about that idea! Then when I pointed out that, in effect that would be a dollhouse with dolls. They all looked confused and said, "no it wouldn't". The kids just didn't get that.
In reality, it would be a dollhouse or roombox. The primary difference from what the kids see as a conventional idea of a dollhouse is today verse what this new generation's idea of dollhouses are is the era and way it would be presented. Personally, I will not abandon building miniatures to fit the historical eras that I find so interesting. However, it is not a bad thing to perhaps look to the future also.
For those of us that sell our creations, how then do we market to a new era of younger people that may be interested in collecting? My thoughts are you must go where they go. YouTube, Facebook, and many of the other social networking sites could be a way to introduce new, more modern miniatures to this group of people. This opens an entirely new avenue of possibilities with the next generation of artisans and collectors. Direct your new customers to your CDHM gallery where they can see even more wonderful miniature art. Show the younger generation a new world that they probably have never considered outside of manufactured dolls and action figures.
Expand the arena of possibilities - for example, I see some of our food artists are actually making jewelry of their food creations. They are adorable! It is another creative use of miniatures.
I've heard doubt that dollhouse miniatures have a future because the younger generations are simply not into them. My personal opinion is that they will be into them but it's up to us to insure that the industry as a whole goes with the flow.
There is a need to seek out and learn about this next generation's interest and create a new era of miniatures that will draw them into art and show them that their imagination and interests can be tapped into. So many potential collectors are out there just waiting for the industry to tap into those interests and bring history and the future alive but in a miniature format for them too.