Lately, between discussions in my local BJD community group on Facebook and threads in the Den of Angels forum, there has been a lot of conversation in regards to finding the right BJD. What do I mean by this? Well…let’s talk about it!
Just like in the reborn doll hobby, there are many independent sculptors who work with companies that cast their sculpts into vinyl doll parts; the same is true with ball jointed dolls. There are hundreds of companies that create various doll sculpts in different sizes. I briefly went over the main three size categories for BJDs in my Understanding BJD Sizes article, but frankly, even those three categories can be divided up into subcategory sizes as the proportions of dolls can vary. Just because two dolls may be labeled as MSD (Mini Super Dollfie) size, doesn’t make them exactly a like. My girl’s Yoko and Miyoami are prime examples of that, as seen in my BJD Size Comparison video (you can check it out below if you like 🙂 )
With all that being said, it seems the main consensus for most collector’s unhappiness with a doll, is the overall cohesiveness of the collection or the proportions were not as expected once it arrived in the mail. It can be quite a challenge to shop online, but even more so for BJDs. I’ve came up with a few helpful tips to make the search for your dream ball jointed doll easier, but honestly there is no fool-proof way of finding it.
Tips in Finding The Right BJD For You
💡 Find Your Doll Type – Browse several doll companies’ websites to narrow down the specific type of doll you want. Are you more interested in fantasy dolls like elves and fairies, or something more natural and closer to humans? Possibly you like animal/human hybrids like cat-girls, or even anime style characters from your favorite TV shows. Browse company photos and decide which category you prefer.
💡 Choose Your Doll Size – Once you find the type of dolls you prefer, it’s easier to narrow down the doll companies you can possibly shop from. Once you’ve settled on a doll type and a company to purchase from, now you can think about the size of doll you want. Would you prefer a big doll that you can cuddle, or something smaller that’s easy for taking out-and-about with you?
💡 Research Owner Photos – The last tip, is one I find to be most important and one I wished I had done more research on. Research owner photographs of the doll you plan to buy! There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to wait months for a doll to arrive in the mail and it not look exactly like you envisioned it to, based off the company’s professional photos. Products are photographed to look good in special lighting, but to get an accurate view of a doll you need regular owner’s photos. Video depictions of the doll you want to buy, is even better! You can search YouTube, Instagram hashtags, and even Google for owner photos. I highly recommend joining Den of Angels (DoA) as they have no shortage of owner photos for practically every BJD ever created. (Somebody is bound to own the doll you want to buy and has taken photos of it!)
💡 Visit a BJD Meetup – There’s only one sure fire way of experiencing a certain kind of BJD before you buy it and that is seeing it in person. Being able to see and hold dolls in person at a doll meet up is your very best option to figuring out what dolls you prefer and at what size. It’d be a shame to have your hopes set on an SD (1/3) size doll and then you are horrified at how large it is, once it arrives in the mail! Try and find a local BJD community near you and make some friends. 🙂
That’s all I have to share with you today, dollie lovers! I hope some of it was helpful in making your decision easier when jumping into the BJD hobby!