Collecting Rare KAWS Dolls: Top 5 Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Learn about the artist
  2. Identify authentic KAWS dolls
  3. Where to buy KAWS dolls
  4. How to care for your KAWS dolls
  5. How to value your KAWS dolls

Are you fascinated by the world of urban vinyl toys? If so, you're probably no stranger to the appeal of the KAWS doll. These collectibles, with their distinctive X-marked eyes, have become a global sensation, coveted by collectors and art enthusiasts alike. But how do you go from admiring these creations to owning a collection of your own? Let's dive right in with our top five tips for collecting KAWS dolls.

Learn about the Artist

Before you start your collection, it's important to understand the man behind the art—Brian Donnelly, better known by his artist name, KAWS.

Who is KAWS?

KAWS is an American artist and designer celebrated for his work in the field of vinyl toys and contemporary art. Originating as a graffiti artist in the 90s, KAWS has since left his imprint on everything from murals to fashion collaborations.

Signature Style

  • Companions: The most recognizable KAWS creation, these characters, often portrayed in a reflective pose, are a staple in any KAWS doll collection.
  • X eyes: One of KAWS' signature motifs, the X eyes are a common feature on his dolls, making them instantly recognizable.
  • Color: KAWS dolls come in a variety of bold, vibrant colors, which add a playful aesthetic to his pieces.

Evolution of KAWS Art

Over time, KAWS' art has evolved, moving from graffiti to vinyl toys, then to larger-than-life sculptures and museum exhibitions. This evolution is also reflected in the design and variety of KAWS dolls over the years. By understanding this journey, you'll be able to appreciate the progression and significance of different pieces in your collection.

To make informed choices in your collecting journey, understanding KAWS—the artist, his style, and his evolution—is the first step. Up next, let's look at how to identify authentic KAWS dolls and avoid the pitfalls of counterfeit pieces.

Identify Authentic KAWS Dolls

With the rising popularity of KAWS dolls, the market has seen an unfortunate increase in counterfeits. So, how can you ensure that the KAWS doll you're eyeing is the real deal? Here are some things you should pay attention to.

Check the Packaging

Authentic KAWS dolls come in a box with clear plastic on the front and the artist's name prominently displayed. Additionally, on the bottom of the box, you should find the year of production, the name of the doll, and the manufacturer's details. Any deviation from this could be a sign of a counterfeit.

Examine the Doll

  • Material: Genuine KAWS dolls are made from a high-quality vinyl that has a specific feel to it. Counterfeit dolls often use cheaper materials that might look and feel different.
  • Detailing: KAWS is known for his attention to detail. If the doll's design or paint job seems sloppy or off, it's likely not an authentic piece.
  • Marks: Authentic KAWS dolls have the artist's trademark "X" marked on the hands and feet of the dolls. Make sure these are present and correctly shaped.


If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Authentic KAWS dolls can be quite pricey due to their high demand and limited availability. A significantly lower price might indicate a counterfeit.

Identifying an authentic KAWS doll takes a keen eye and attention to detail. But don't worry—with practice, you'll become a pro at spotting the real from the fake. Now that we've covered authenticity, let's move on to where you can find these sought-after dolls.

Where to Buy KAWS Dolls

Now that you know how to identify an authentic KAWS doll, you might be wondering where to purchase one. Here are some trusted places you can explore.

Official KAWS Online Store

One of the best places to buy a KAWS doll is directly from the source—the official KAWS online store. Here, you have the assurance that you're getting a genuine product. However, due to high demand, the dolls can sell out pretty quickly.

Art Galleries and Auction Houses

Art galleries and auction houses often have a variety of KAWS dolls for sale. These places usually have experts who can authenticate the dolls, providing you with an added layer of security. However, be prepared to shell out a bit more, as these venues often have higher prices due to the added services they offer.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces such as eBay can also be a good place to find a KAWS doll. But, be cautious. Make sure the seller has a good reputation and reviews. Don't be afraid to ask for additional pictures or information about the doll.

Remember, wherever you decide to buy your KAWS doll, do your homework. Make sure you're confident in the authenticity of the doll before making a purchase. Now that we've covered where to buy, let's talk about how to care for your new collection.

How to Care for Your KAWS Dolls

After acquiring a KAWS doll, it's essential to know how to care for it to maintain its value and condition. Let's explore some simple, effective ways of keeping your KAWS dolls in top shape.

Protect from Direct Sunlight

Just like any other piece of art, your KAWS dolls should never be left in direct sunlight. Extended exposure can cause the colors to fade and the material to degrade. It's best to display your dolls in a well-lit room, away from windows and direct sunlight.

Avoid Excessive Cleaning

While it may be tempting to keep your KAWS doll spotless, excessive cleaning can actually harm it. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. Instead, opt for a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dust.

Handle with Care

These dolls are not only collectibles but also works of art. When handling your KAWS doll, make sure your hands are clean and dry to avoid transferring oils or dirt onto the doll. Remember, they are not toys and should be handled infrequently to avoid any accidental damage.

So, now you know how to care for your KAWS dolls. It's not a complex process, but these simple steps can ensure your dolls stay in great shape for years to come. Next, let's move on to understanding how to value your KAWS dolls.

How to Value Your KAWS Dolls

Now that you've learned how to properly care for your KAWS dolls, you might be wondering: how much is my KAWS doll worth? Well, let's find out together.

Consider the Rarity

When it comes to a KAWS doll, rarity is a key factor in determining value. The more limited the release, the higher the value. For instance, a KAWS doll that was produced in small quantities will likely have a higher value than a widely distributed one.

Check the Condition

The condition of the doll plays a significant role too. A KAWS doll in mint condition, with no visible signs of wear or damage, will fetch a higher price than one with noticeable flaws. Remember, a well-cared-for doll maintains its value over time!

Just like stocks, the value of KAWS dolls can fluctuate based on market trends. Keep an eye on auction sites and collectors' forums to get a sense of what people are willing to pay for a KAWS doll like yours. This can give you a ballpark figure on its current market value.

Now you know how to value your KAWS dolls. It's not an exact science, but with a bit of research and observation, you can get a good idea of what your collection might be worth. Remember, the value of a KAWS doll doesn't just lie in its price tag, but also in the joy it brings to you as a collector.

If you enjoyed this blog post about collecting rare KAWS dolls and are looking to expand your knowledge in the world of art and collectibles, we encourage you to explore Daisie's classes. Discover a wide range of workshops and classes from some of the most talented artists and creatives, ready to help you grow and thrive in the world of art and design.