The Dolls Awards of Excellence (DAE) competition (also known as the Diamond Awards) recognizes and encourages excellence in the design and creation of dolls. Photos of all the entries are reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges, who evaluate each submission on overall aesthetic appeal, excellence in concept, design, and execution, and quality of material and workmanship

The highest-scoring creations in each category receive the DAE Industry’s Choice Awards and become the nominees for that year’s Public’s Choice Awards. DOLLS readers then vote for their favorite nominee in each category to determine the Diamond Award winners. Show the doll world your talent — enter this year’s competition!

Entries that do not conform to the following rules will not be processed or seen by judges. Entry deadline is April 17, 2017. If you have questions not addressed here, please contact Joyce Greenholdt at or 715-445-5000 ext. 150.

For the purposes of this contest, dolls are defined as jointed or unjointed playthings or collectibles, produced from any materials, in a human image (anthropomorphic designs may be entered in one of the Fantasy categories).

Entries in categories 1 through 14 must be designed by the submitting artist or manufacturer from original sculpt to finished doll. Collaborations are permitted, provided contributing artists are credited, but dolls made from kits or altered versions of an existing doll must be entered in the appropriate Special Category.

Collectible, Custom, or OOAK? Limited- or open-editions in which the dolls were offered for sale with the same outfit and/or accessories must be entered in the appropriate Collectible Edition category — minor variations, such as ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) sold with a random pair or eyes or wig, are permitted in the Collectible categories. Dolls produced in a limited or open edition but given a unique costume and other finishing touches must be entered in the appropriate Custom Edition category. Dolls with an original, unique sculpt and given a unique costume and finishing details must be entered into the appropriate One-of-a-Kind (OOAK) category.

Play Dolls
1. Play Doll
Open editions primarily marketed to children 15 and under. Suggested Retail Price must be $150 or less.

Collectible Editions
Limited or open editions.
2. Collectible Fantasy Doll
3. Collectible Baby Doll
4. Collectible Child Doll
5. Collectible Teen/Adult Doll, less than $500
6. Collectible Teen/Adult Doll, $500 or more

Custom Editions
Limited or open-edition dolls given a unique costume and finish.
7. Custom Fantasy Doll
8. Custom Baby/Child Doll
9. Custom Teen/Adult Doll

One-of-a-Kind Dolls
Unique sculpt and finish.
10. OOAK Fantasy Doll
11. OOAK Baby Doll
12. OOAK Child Doll
13. OOAK Teen/Adult Doll, less than $1,000
14. OOAK Teen/Adult Doll, $1,000 or more

SPECIAL CATEGORIES (Categories 15-19)
Dolls entered in categories 15 and 16 can be made from kits or altered versions of an existing doll. In both cases, the original artist or manufacturer and doll or kit must be named in the Additional Credits portion of the entry form.

Dolls used to model entries in categories 17-19 should likewise be properly credited. Doll fashions, accessories, and furniture/props entered in the competition must have been offered for sale separately from any doll if released by an artist or manufacturer OR have been created by an third-party artist or designer not collaborating with the doll’s designer.

Special Categories
15. Reborn Doll

16. Doll Repaint/Face-Up
Depending on the extent of the customization, you may choose to submit two close-up photos rather than one full-length and one close-up photo.

17. Doll Fashion
A single item of clothing or a complete outfit. You may submit two full-length photos showing the fashion from different angles or one full-length and one close-up showing detail.

18. Doll Accessory
Includes wigs, jewelry, shoes, miniature food or drink items, or other items intended to be worn or held by a doll.

19. Doll Furniture/Prop
Includes furniture, appliances, vehicles, or other items that a doll might be displayed in or with.

If there are insufficient entries in a category, DOLLS reserves the right to eliminate the category from this year’s DAE competition and move entries for that category into another appropriate category.

In order to ensure that the awards reflect the diversity of the field and to encourage new artists, we reserve the right to restrict the number of awards an artist may win in a single category.

Once you have read the full rules, click on the DAE 2017 link at the bottom of this page or on the DOLLS home page to purchase your entries. Once you have purchased your entry or entries, you will be able to access the online entry form.

Entry fees
Entries in the Standard Categories (see 2017 Categories below) cost $79 for the first entry; additional entries are $49 each. For the Special Categories, the first entry is $39 and additional entries are $19 each. Payment must be made by credit card or a PayPal account. These fees are nonrefundable. Fees are applied to the contest’s administrative and publicity costs. Entries must be purchased by April 17, 2017.

The cost of the first entry in the 2017 DAE Awards, regardless of category, includes the offer of a discount on your next ad in DOLLS magazine as well as a free one-year subscription (or renewal) to DOLLS (print and digital editions for addresses in the United States; digital-only for foreign addresses). Limit one discount and subscription per artist or company.

All entries for the 2017 DAEs must have been first introduced on or after Jan. 1, 2016, and made available for sale during 2016 or 2017, provided they were not entered in past DAE competitions. Dolls introduced and made available for sale in 2016 or 2017 which have already been sold are eligible to enter.

Each entry must be a new, original design and not a variation or re-costuming of a previous design. Any substantial changes made in costume, materials, or retail price from the original entry are grounds for disqualification of the entry.

You may submit as many entries as you wish in any category, but each doll can only be entered once.

For your protection, please do not submit entries in the image of or with the name of trademarked characters unless you hold a license to create the characters.

If a submission entered into a category is deemed inappropriate by the staff of DOLLS, the magazine reserves the right to disqualify the entry or move it to a different category.

Entry Information
When preparing to enter online, have the following information ready for each entry:
• Name of doll
• Height (in inches)
• Edition size (examples: Open, LE35, OOAK)
• Retail price (in U.S. dollars)
• Body material
• Eye color and material
• Costume materials and description
• Special features (including credits for any collaborating designers/artists)
• Two photos (see Photo Requirements)

Make sure the information entered into the online form is complete and accurate, and that you have uploaded both photos (see below), before submitting each entry. The information and photos will be used in the magazine and in promotional materials for nominated and winning entries. Any entry form that is not accompanied by photos and an entry fee will be invalid and not viewed by the judges. A separate online form must be filled out for each piece entered.

Photo Requirements
Each entry must include two clear color photographs. One must be a full-length photo showing the dressed doll. The second photo should be a close-up — or, if the doll is sold as nude or in basic undergarments, the second photo can show the undressed doll. See individual category listings for other exceptions. Each photo should be taken at a resolution setting of 1280 x 960 or higher or with a quality setting of at least “high.” Please contact Joyce Greenholdt at if you have questions regarding the photo requirements or if you have any problems uploading the photos to the entry form.

Entries must be photographed in front of a plain background. Each entry must be photographed separately. Only props or accessories sold with a doll are permitted in the photograph.

Entry photographs become the property of Jones Publishing, Inc., and may be used for promotional purposes or in DOLLS. Photos of award-winning entries will be published in DOLLS.

Judging Criteria
Entries must be received by April 17, 2017, to be considered. Judges will rate dolls based on the following criteria:
• Overall aesthetic appeal
• Excellence in concept, design and execution
• Quality of material and workmanship
• Value represented by the price and quality

April 17 – Deadline for 2017 Dolls Awards of Excellence competition entries
June 23 – Dolls Awards of Excellence Industry’s Choice winners announced at the International Doll & Teddy Show in Asheville, N.C.
Late July – Public’s Choice nominees and ballot appear in DOLLS August/September 2017 issue
Sept. 25 – Deadline for Public’s Choice voting
Late November – Diamond Award winners announced in DOLLS January 2018 issue