By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Videographer / director: Kendri Rodriguez
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Joshua Douglas
Mario Menendez and Lazaro Roque have been together for six years and bought their first doll - a Cinderella figurine - three years ago, but the duo have spent at least $30,000 each on the figures since.
The couple bonded over their love for dolls and Disney and now they share their collection with other Disney doll fans on Instagram and YouTube.
Lazaro said: “The entire collection, Disney and non-Disney, we’re talking in the 65-70,000 dollar range. As long as Disney keeps producing them then I’ll keep buying them but if Disney stops then that’ll be it for me.
“Honestly, unless it was like a dire emergency where we needed money quick I don’t think I’ll ever sell them.”
Both Mario and Lazaro work six days a week to invest in their ever-growing collection and they have no plans to stop any time soon.
Mario said: “The most I have ever spent on a Disney doll is actually Elsa, I spent $1000 on her.
"I was not really able to have dolls as a child, just because when you’re a boy your parents tell you - especially Hispanic parents tell you - that you’re not supposed to play with dolls - it’s for girls, it’s not a thing that’s considered normal for most people.
“I decided specifically to collect Disney Dolls because I’ve always loved Disney since I was little.”
Amongst their prized possessions are a Snow White Doll that originally sold for $99 - they paid $1000 - and now sells for an eye-watering $1600.
While Mario has always harboured a love of dolls, Lazaro’s passion only truly emerged in the last few years.
He said: “I never really had a big thing for dolls because my sister’s a tomboy - so there were never really dolls in the house.
"I got my first doll when I was 24, we had just moved into this apartment, I was searching through Amazon and I found that they had a blue Cinderella doll - she was like 200 bucks - so I took a shot and I bought it. The love was just instant after that and it’s been non-stop.
“Disney’s always been a huge part of my life. I’m a big fan of the movies, I used to watch them over and over and over again. If you put on a movie I can tell you all the words to those movies like that back of my hand. I watch them all the time!”
Although the couple are immensely proud of their treasured dolls, they do occasionally think about what they could have bought with the money they've invested in their vast collection.
Mario said: “I always think about what I could’ve bought instead. We probably could’ve travelled anywhere if we hadn’t bought the dolls.
“But I wouldn’t want to imagine my life without them.”
Lazaro added: “They think I’m crazy, that I could of paid off a car, I could’ve gone to Italy. They do appreciate it and they see how much it makes me happy, so it makes them happy, but I know deep inside they’re like, ‘You know you should’ve bought a house’.’’
“When I look at the collection I feel really proud and they make me really happy because it required a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of dedication to have these things and I’m really grateful and I’m thankful that I can have them.”
Now that they have amassed such an impressive collection, the couple share their dolls on their instagram accounts and review all their purchases on Mario’s YouTube account - MMDisney200.
He said: “It means a lot to me to share my collection with my audience, we’re a big community and we all share what we purchase. It’s really fun to be able to share.
“To share my love for dolls with Lazaro means a lot just because we always have each other to ask about prices. He looks out for me and I look out for him.”