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Niece restores aunt's vintage Barbie for collection, then 'unrestores' it; AITA?

Niece restores aunt's vintage Barbie for collection, then 'unrestores' it; AITA?


Vintage toys can be beautiful when they're properly preserved, but unless you take the time to restore them, that Barbie from 1965 will probably look like she had a rough night at the club...

So, when a conflicted niece and doll collector decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her aunt's vintage Barbie, people were eager to help deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for “unrestoring” my aunt’s Barbie?

My mom and aunt had a handful of Barbie dolls (5) from when they were kids in the 80s. They’ve been played with by me and my 3 cousins over the years, so they were in quite rough shape.

At the time, they were all in my grandparent’s toy box at their house. However, about 6 months ago, they called my mom and my aunt to let them know they were getting rid of all their old toys, and if they wanted any, they should come and collect them.

They were separated by who the toys belonged to, my mom or my aunt. Neither my mom or my aunt wanted any of the toys, so me and the cousins were called down to take from our mother’s stashes.

(I am 25f, my cousins are 30f, 19f, 15f, and 12m). We took from our own parent’s stash first, then were allowed to take from the other stash if there was anything left over.

My 30 year old and 12 year old cousin didn’t want anything from their mom’s stash. 19 and 15 took a couple of little things, but I’m really the only one who took a significant amount. 4 of the Barbie’s + the play sets were my moms, so those were unquestionably mine no matter what.

However, my aunt’s one Barbie was not wanted by any of the cousins (she had a broken neck/ratty hair/looked awful), so I took her in the final round after everyone else grabbed what they wanted.

I collect vintage Barbies, so it was a dream to get these all and fix them up. I gave the broken ones new bodies, fixed their hair, bought their missing outfit pieces online, all of it.

I posted pics to Facebook about a month after I got them all and my aunt and cousins loved the restorations I did. They told me I brought justice to the dolls who served our family so well.

Two weekends ago, our whole family went out to see the Barbie movie. Afterwards, my 19f cousin asked if she could have her mom’s Barbie. I was sad, and knew I could technically say no, but I agreed because I really didn’t mind that much. I told her I’d drop it off in a few days.

Before I did, I removed all the extra clothing/shoes/accessories I bought and gave her back the doll (which was still on a new body with fixed hair, but was only wearing her original shirt she came in).

My cousin and my aunt were pissed. They said this wasn’t the same doll, they pointed to the picture I posed on Facebook and asked what happened to her shoes/earrings/outfit/etc.

I told them I bought that stuff separately, originally she only had the one shirt. I gave it back to them exactly as she came (though she was clean and fixed).

My cousin just gave me the doll back, saying she didn’t want a half naked doll. My aunt is saying that I stole those clothing pieces, she knows her doll originally had all that stuff (which yeah, it did, but she lost it all over the years and I had to re-buy it separately).

I didn’t mind giving up the doll originally, but now I kind of don’t want to give it up. AITA for giving my cousin back the doll without all the accessories?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this Mattel mess...

DisneyFoodie20 said:

It's not fair of them to try to play take-backsies now that you've invested your time into fixing them up. If they wanted the barbie, they should have accepted it when it was originally offered to them. NTA.

newfriend836639 said:

NTA, but they certainly are the AH for demanding you give them the restored doll. It was very nice of you to say yes, and you were not at all obligated to include all the extras you purchased.

basicstove1336 said:

NTA. You were still going to get use out of the things you bought so you kept them. They didn't want it until you did the work and spent the money to make it nice and only then did they want it.

My guess is they were going to sell it online and got pissed that you didn't just provide them with everything they needed too do it. Efffff that. Tell them to screw off.

duckingridiculous said:

NTA - It was kind of you to give the doll back at all. Get the receipts for the clothes you bought and send them to your aunt. They are being so tacky.

buildersent said:

NTA. Don't worry about. They gave you the doll back, it's yours. They had no use for the doll until you made it worthwhile and they see some value in the top now that the barbie movie is out.

So, there you have it. Note to any greedy family members who only want their dolls when they're all dolled up: back off!

Sources: Reddit
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