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A decline in the doll hobby?

Sep 16, 2011

    1. Over the past year i've started to feel that there has been less interest in the hobby. It seems to me that there are less posts when check in and look around, and a generally more quiet atmoshphere on DoA than there has been in the past. I would like to hear peoples opinions on this, whether they feel the same, or the complete opposite. Do you think there has been a decline in the doll hobby?

      Mods feel free to delete or move if this is in the wrong place.
    2. Well I just got here and I must admit it's not the most liveliest of forums I've been to, but it's definetly far from dead.

      I suppose the fact the place is invite only is to blame, I mean, I remember trying to join a year ago when I didn't know anything about BJD's or anyone who had BJD's and it was practically impossible for me to find anyone(who was a member here and had the ability to invite me) because I didn't know the term BJD.

      So the interest in the dolls were there and the curiosity to learn more about them too, but there was simply no acces.
    3. I feel with all the changes that have been made to the FORUM many members are not posting as much... I know I'm not. Things that were somewhere are no longer there, others have been deleted and things are not as easy to find so I just check in and then leave.

      - ShadowHawke -
    4. It's probably just the economy. This is an expensive hobby and with money being tight I bet a lot of people are just cutting back a bit and have less to chit-chat about.
    5. Frankly, from my own selfish POV, my GOD I hope so. I've found the sudden influx of new companies and the attention the hobby was getting to be entirely overwhelming and while it was nice to be able to get my hands on things more easily, I'd LOVE a return to the days of this being a seriously minority thing that barely anyone had heard of, much less wanted to join.

      I miss the peace and the days before customs had ANY.CLUE. what we're all importing. That and the general level of excitement a new release from a company OTHER than Soom could generate because such things were a rare moment.

      TBH, I suspect the general downturn is based on a combination of monetary issues the world over and the huge amount of change occuring on the forum. Luxury hobbies are the first things to go when money is tight and this is about as luxury as it gets isn't it! When there's no money to spend and usual haunts are changing daily, people are naturally going to have less to talk about and be less inclined to start new chatter.
    6. I know I'm personally drifting away from the hobby. It's probably just because of time but I know a huge factor is the money involved and the money inevitably lost through things like shipping costs. You can recoup a bit on dolls when you sell them but as with any hobby, you're going to lose a pretty substantial amount of money. I've just lost a lot more in BJDs than any others because of my love for selling my old ones to get new ones. xD

      Also, what ShadowHawke said: the forum has been changed quite a bit and I don't post terribly often. I think it also has something to do with having been in the hobby and on the forum for a while though. You can only see the same, "Is it okay to do xxxxxx to my dolls?" and "Is xxxxxx wrong?" before you just roll your eyes at every single one and move on.
    7. I'm w/Lulu - don't care if interest drops a bit (although hope enough people buy the dolls to keep companies in business). However, a bunch of baby boomers (like me!) are retiring/getting ready to retire, & will have money & time for hobbies like this. I'm thinking that a percentage of those people have known about BJDs but didn't have time or money for them until retirement :D I guess we will see.
    8. I do believe it's the economy, but if you rack up the posts from one day to the next here on DoA and other bjd related boards, it's still very active. Perhaps just not in the forums some people are interested in. I stick to specific threads and subscribe and had to reset notifications to once a day or my phone would be pinging every hour. It seems to me that the trend now is more small dolls piling up, rather than saving for one big doll. And a lot of bjd fans are students and the cost of edu is going up all over the place, too.

      The amount of dolls coming out is overwhelming, and it does seem like the companys are racing to find something that will draw customers, but so many more people are finding the dolls match their tastes now. Or, it could be the hobby is shifting to other social networks than this board, like Flicker and YouTube? *shrugs* It's something you might consider a poll for? ^_^ good question though.
    9. The following is NOT a criticism of the boards, simply my own circumstances.

      I know that after two on topic dolls whom I love and post about I've switched and gotten two off topics which are wonderful but I just plain haven't been posting as much as I can't post progress shots or pics of them. I don't think this is the case for everyone of course, however I can't help but feel that at least a few noobs may wander away when they find out that their particular doll isn't accepted here.

      Also, where I'm at the summer is wrapping up and a multitude of things happen in the summer: family reunions, weddings, camping, theme parks, hiking, moving, and other things that kept me and millions of others farther away from the computer. I always think forums pick back up in the winter as not only are you stuck inside, but also tax returns and chinese new year doll event happen shortly after, kicking the boards into high gear! :D
    10. I agree with Raichi about the "invite only" stuff most likely being the main cause for a quieter DoA. I don't think it's necessarily a BAD thing, I can understand why they do it. Too many people wanting to join, getting lots of less-than-savory people signing up, etc. And I'm sure the mods appreciate that the forum is less hectic than it used to be, as it makes their job much easier.

      But yes, the drop in activity is most likely due to restrictions on membership. I happen to be a part of another doll forum, and people there have asked so often for someone to invite them to DoA that there's actually a rule saying that you can't ask for an invite or advertise giving away invites to DoA. So there certainly isn't any LACK of people wanting to join up. If they ever open up registration here again I'm sure there will be a GIANT boom of new people registering and a lot more activity.

      And as a third thing to note, I'm notorious for being a lurker ever since I got my marketplace access. xD And I'm sure there's a whole group of people like me who are just shy lurker types. Maybe it's just coincidence that DoA has had an influx of shy people like me. ^.^;;
    11. I don't think it's a restriction in membership. I feel it's more due to just the time of day. Usually, I'm on the forums at night, and I tend to notice the forum is practically dead (at least where I go). There also seems to be a lack of new threads, so the threads I've already seen and posted in are left.

      I think it's a time-of-day thing - especially now since a majority of members now have to go to school, and need to adjust their schedules and sleep times. Even during the summer, I somewhat expected some kind of lull at certain times.

      I tend to spend a lot of time on DoA, but there's just nothing I want to respond to, so I just kind of look at other parts of the forum that I don't usually look at.
    12. I just think that lots of people are very busy at this time of year. In the US, school has just started for members who are students and members who have children in school. Chatting in the threads is discouraged, so I think most people are here just to check out the news section, glance at the galleries, or look through the marketplace. I personally lurk a lot and search the forum for information or photos of specific dolls that interest me.
    13. Over the past 2 Months I've seen a HUGE number of new members joining. A decline of
      chatter on the forum, which is only a perception, is in no way a reflection of decline in the
      hobby:) People are definitely STILL buying ABJD's!! Personally I've stopped posting as
      much in the past few months, I used to be interested in every Soom MD release, and now
      while I love seeing them, I don't really care to post in their discussion threads anymore.
      I still love reading through threads, seeing everyones pictures, and occasionally I'll post a
      comment if I feel there's anything I could add...but for the most part I just look around.

      Honestly I feel this happens every year (since I joined the forum) where it gets a little quiet
      and it might seem like interest has faded...but it always returns with a new release or event,
      you just have to go to the right threads to see the activity.
    14. There are also a growing number of OTHER BJD forums. I belong to 4 now, so I admit my time at DoA is more divided than it used to be.
    15. A lot of factors, IMO, make it seem as if there was a decline in the hobby.

      First would be that not every one is on DoA, like many said, the joining restrictions may slow down new members but even then a lot of people are simply not interested in communities or this one in particular (I know many).

      Second would continue from there: some people are simply not computer/internet friendly.
      I have recently seen a lot of my friends that were always on certain websites a few years/months/weeks ago slowly giving them up for newer/shinier ones.
      Others have simply other hobbies, jobs, friends, etc. that take more of their time and they do not always feel the need to post whenever they do come.
      Then you have those that simply "give up" on this hobby, that join for the information and never come back, the lurkers (I'm one of them!) and those that live in certain sections of the forum and never get out of them.

      The economy may stop some people from buying dolls, but I do not see why it would stop them from coming here and discussing.

      I'm almost always on DoA; at my breaks, at home, when I have internet anywhere else, but I never post if I do not really want to or have no interest in the subject.
    16. Its nice to hear everyones opinions. I was going to put a poll with this but the thought came to me as i was clicking the post button... derp. And yes, I too am a lurker, i ceck in religiously for a few months, disappear for a few, on off. But lately it just seems the case that theres less activity. I must emphasise that i'm not putting the board down or anything, I personally favour DoA over other sites.

      One thing I have considered is there feels like there is a pretty heavy amount of pressure to have the most realistic dolls out there to feel comfertable posting. Perhaps that is just me.
    17. I noticed a decline. I remember joining and posts would be thrown up everywhere. I don't particularly miss it. I'm not saying I'm a veteran or anything (there are way more individuals here that have been here longer), but I have seen things come and go. I feel like myself is included in this.

      I generally tend to lurk around, but this is because I like to instigate things. If I see a particular want to need for something on the forum, I want to help fulfill it. I like creating exciting new types of swaps, like the Prop Swap I held last year that was a hug success. I also find myself hosting GOs--if it wasn't for the fact you NEED to order something in order to host it, I'd be hosting stuff left and right. Its fun, relaxing, and it gives me something to do, and I like to be involved in the community.

      Now, as I say "I like to be involved", its usually from the "big brother/sister" stand point. Its interesting to see what others post. If its interesting, I'll comment, or look through it. However, I come to DoA more to scope out the marketplace for great bargain finds on second-hand or the shops, maybe take a glimpse to see new stores, or read up on company reviews, and that's that. Perhaps the decline is for different reasons.

      One, there is always the economy. The economy they say is "picking up", but I honestly don't see it. My own job is a good way to look at it, as I'm a receptionist for luxury retailers. You can tell my how many people come in and out, ask for gift card orders on off-holiday seasons, etc. The sales have gone up since last year, yes, but in comparison to a few years prior, the numbers are pathetic. As collecting BJDs is a very luxurious hobby, in the end it all boils down to the following people: those who can afford it and love it, and those who love it enough to keep pouring money into the hobby. For myself its the latter--lately, I'm finding it harder to drop a good $500+ to make sure a new doll arrives with everything they need: wig, glass eyes, at least one set of clothes and underthings, face-up, etc. However, I find myself still thinking of the hobby even when I can't afford to spend money on it. If anything, doll owners will find a way to get thrifty in efforts to continue on with their hobby.

      The second is the information given on DoA. There is the saying that you can always keep learning, but when I first joined DoA, it was for the information. It wasn't until a year after I joined I finally got my first doll. I owe this place a lot in the things I have learned about doll care and maintenance, how to use paypal, ordering from another country and deal with customs, etc. I've learned a lot. However, now that I've learned what I needed to know, the boards and some threads on DoA don't interest me as much anymore. I do see the same thing again and again, things that people who had been here years before me looked at and rolled their eyes, because I was new, and they had seen it already! As long as people keep coming in, the cycle continues. It was a good addition to add the Newbieland section, in my opinion. But, as new blood flows in, so do new topics and possibilities. Its give and take.

      Now that DoA is invite only--well, I personally think it was a good move. It really allows though truly interested to join. I can only imagine how many idle accounts we have floating about. I don't mind the decline. I kind of feel as if it makes those whom do it truly exceptional. And! I love when I get compliments on how lovely my dolls are and they want to buy them for say, their young daughter. When they ask for a price and I'm able to politely give them a quote, the expression on their face goes wide and they say, "You are a true collector, then". Its a good feeling, to know you are collecting something prized and beautiful that can make people's heads turn in wonder.
    18. That's how I used to be before I bought my dolls. I joined in 2008, and didn't stick around for long (it was also my first-ever forum experience). I then got back in when I was trying to save for a BBB or RS Mei in 2009, and when that didn't go over well, I checked out. Since the summer of 2010, however, I've been on it almost daily.

      I joined two other BJD forums. One I found was just not going to be a good fit for me at all, so I never participated. The other I found quite disorganized when compared to DoA. I was going to try another forum that I'd heard about, but it seemed like very few people were on it to begin with. So, I've stuck to DoA for a number of reasons.

      I still stick to what I said before about people's obligations now changing. Especially people in some kind of school environment. Most students are probably more school-oriented at this time then they will be in a month or two. They're getting used to the swing of things, new teachers, new schedules, new expectations... In time, we'll probably see the board come to life again because people now know how to handle things.
    19. I have noticed a decline in the community as well. I'm not a huge veteran or anything. But I have really noticed it in the marketplace. Threads barely move, and less parts are being put up for sale. I go on DOA everyday, but I dont post as much.

      Usually just to look at the gallery, or the MP, or things like that to pass the time. Also its a very expensive hobby and I think people just don't have the money right now to be dishing it out on $500 dolls. Especially the younger generation who are just realizing money IS super important haha. I myself can vouch for that. I buy a doll (usually a nice pricey SOOM doll) then realize -face palm- there's no way in hell I can afford keeping it with school. So I end up having to sell it then try to avoid DOA to beat out my temptations for another doll.

      Buuuut then you have companies like SOOM who are going ahead and re-releasing old limited's in bronze skin...I dont know if I can turn a blind eye to that lmao.
    20. I'm known to mostly lurk doa, sometimes I do feel intimidated about posting what I say or post my doll in fear of no response or where suddenly no one posts after I do but that's my little insecurities. I have joined other forums but they don't last long and there's more people and things to read/search on doa. I'm also in college which somewhat hinders my activity on here.