Getting Started In The BJD Hobby

Hello Dollie lovers! I have researched and pined away for my first ball jointed doll for years. Now, I want to share what I have learned with you all. I hope that this article and those to follow in relation to the BJD hobby will be helpful to you all. Even now, I am still learning and growing; we can do it together! This article are my very first tips for anyone interested in BJDs!

Your First BJD: What To Expect

I am happy that my fellow doll friends are excited about BJDs and are interested in the hobby, but what can you really expect from this type of doll collection? Here are the facts:

  • Everything is measured in centimeters (cm). Your doll’s measurements and proportions as well as clothing. Keep a cm to inches converter on hand, like this one.
  • Resin ball jointed doll prices can range anywhere from $100 to well over $600 depending on the size of the doll, resin color, any extra accessories, and it’s availability (like, limited edition releases). Keep into account international shipping fees if you order internationally.
  • Most all ball jointed dolls are blank and completely nude. This means, they do not come with a face painted on, eyes, wigs, or clothing! It is up to the buyer to request these additions (if applicable) or seek the needed accessories and face up artist’s services, once you receive your doll. Most websites offer face makeup options (called faceup) and/or body blushing at checkout.
  • The majority of BJDs arrive put together, or strung, with their elastic strings and S-hooks. However, some companies send them in pieces for your assembly. Assembling a BJD is a learning process.
  • Unless you purchase an in stock doll from a retailer in your country, the wait time for a resin BJD can take anywhere from 2-8 months (depending on several factors). BJDS are made-to-order and faceups are done by hand! They are truly, unique works of art.
  • Doll accessories like wigs, clothing and shoes cost just as much as human sized items. It is common to spend $10-30 USD on any one item. You can bargain shop by purchasing second hand on BJD Sales and Commission groups on Facebook or purchasing items for BJDS on Etsy and Ebay.
  • Lastly, BE AWARE OF FAKES! Recasts are low quality replicas of legit dolls. If you’re looking for a good quality doll for your hard earned money, avoid shopping for dolls on AliExpress, Wish, and Ebay.

Tip #1 Do Your Research

If you’re coming from an already expensive hobby (reborn dolls, Blythe, etc.) you already have an idea of how much quality work can cost. Things are no different with resin ball jointed dolls. Explore and browse company pages for various styles of BJDs. See what type of doll you gravitate towards. Watch YouTube videos and browse hashtags of BJDs online; make note of their creators and sculpts. Here are some questions to ask yourself in your research process:

  • Is the wait time worth it for me? Can I be patient?
  • What is a realistic budget or savings goal for my first BJD?
  • What size doll do I like, or have space to accommodate?
  • Do I like lighter skin toned dolls, darker tan, or fun fantasy colors?
  • Am I capable of D.I.Y. doll projects or will I purchase all of my items?
  • What is the resell value of these dolls, if I decide it isn’t for me?

Tip #2 Learn BJD Sizing

As mentioned before, BJDs and their accessories are measured in centimeters. There is also three general size groups for these dolls measured from 1/6 scale to 1/3 scale. For the breakdown on sizing visit Understanding BJD Sizes.

Tip #3 Set A Realistic Budget

There are so many amazing dolls on the market, both big and small. Be sure that your budget will fit the type of doll you have your heart set on. If you want a large size doll (over 40cm), know that it can cost over $200 USD before shipping and taxes. Also, keep into account the added cost for face up, wig, eyes and clothing.

There is no rule stating you have to do everything at once! BJD collectors take time with their dolls to complete them and collect more over time. Patience is the key, in this hobby!