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ABJD's vs. Other dolls

Dec 21, 2011

    1. Mods you may take this down if there is something similar to this.

      Hello DOA,
      I have been in a recent discussion about buying a ball-jointed dolls and my partner in this discussion has brought up some valid points.
      She has told me that everything you can do with BJD you can do with Barbie dolls
      Such as
      *box openings
      *making wigs and clothes
      The only thing I could bring as a defense was
      *they could stand
      *they are pretty
      How do you feel about paying the money you do on dolls when you could do those same exact things with barbie dolls and other less expensive dolls on the market?
      Does this deter you from the hobby in any way?
      Do you have any good defenses about why you would spend the money on BJD's Than regular factory produced dolls?
      Thank you for your time,

      [EDIT 2]
      Thanks for your response already I now have a good defense against the other debater.
    2. Here's a big one you missed: Customization. A BJD you can customize nearly any way you want, while a most other dolls probably could not stand up to the same kind of abuse. You can also buy many different types of BJDS, whereas a Barbie, for instance, is pretty much the same as every other Barbie.
    3. You can't. You cannot do with a barbie doll what you can do with an ABJD, it's just not possible. You're comparing a mass-market vinyl doll to a completely customizable potential piece of art, made of a material far more durable than vinyl, that will allow you not only to paint and wig and clothe it, but take things away from it, add things to it, change its eyes and its personality at the drop of a hat. Sure, you might be able to do photostories and so forth with barbies -- but photostories and box openings are far from the be-all, end-all of this hobby. We're talking apples to oranges here.

      No, because as I said, they're not even remotely the same thing.

      Yeah, a really easy one -- I don't want any regular factory produced dolls. I don't like them, they do nothing for me, and they certainly lack the sheer customizability of a BJD. They also lack the poseability -- I defy you to try and find me a barbie that can hold the poses a BJD can. They're simply not made to do so. So many collector fashion dolls are not meant to be interactive, whereas BJDs most certainly are. This is not to say BJDs are better or worse -- it's simply to say they're different, and thus you can't compare them.

      It's like -- trying to compare a compact car to a high-powered sports car. Yes, they're both cars. Four wheels, rubber tires, engine, transaxle, they run on gasoline (well, most of them do) and they'll get you from point A to point B. However, it's really impossible to compare a small, economical car with a car designed purely for performance, speed, and power. They have wildly different purposes, and setting them head to head would be silly. You cannot do with a compact car what you can do with a high-powered sports car. It's physically unable to deliver the same performance. This is not to say the sports car is better than the compact -- it simply serves a different purpose and a different market entirely.

      Really, the 'I don't want factory dolls' argument ought to be the only one that matters.

      That's a GOOD one. Barbie is Barbie is Barbie; Malibu Barbie only differs from Holiday Barbie in that they wear different outfits and possibly have different hair colors. My Shiwoo, however, is most assuredly NOT the same as my Red.
    4. How do you feel about paying the money you do on dolls when you could do those same exact things with barbie dolls and other less expensive dolls on the market?
      But you cannot do all the things you can do with a BJD with a barbie, it isn't comparable. A barbie can be modded in some ways but not nearly the ways a BJD can be modded. Not to mention the sheer variety of BJD's available. Barbies come in a few sizes, BJD's come in a range from 11cms to 90cms and everything from childlike to very adult and fantasy creatures with hooves. You may be able to paint a barbies face, dress it up and change it's wig but you cannot begin to do the kind of modding you can do on a doll made from resin. I'm not saying that barbies and other dolls don't have their place, but they are not the same thing at all. Trying to convince a person who loves BJD's that a barbie is just as good is ludicrous.

      Does this deter you from the hobby in any way?

      Not in the least. I actually never liked dolls as a child. I didn't have barbies. People bought them for me and they laid in a closet ignored. I find barbies unappealing. I am not interested in any other type of collectible dolls either. What attracts me to BJD's is their ease of customization, their weight, the quality they are made with and their aesthetic. I have never come across another type of doll made like BJD's. These dolls allow me to connect with my original characters in another way and that is something no other type of doll does. I can't see why the ability to paint on a barbie would change how I feel about BJDs.

      Do you have any good defenses about why you would spend the money on BJD's Than regular factory produced dolls?
      Because they are not a regular mass produced doll. They are not even comparable. I don't know if you can explain something like this to some one with this sort of attitude. When some one values an item based on the idea that "you should just buy whatever is cheapest" they can't see the difference or value in a doll that is artist sculpted and built with so many joints.
    5. While there are many things you can do with a Barbie that you can also do with a BJD the two aren't really comparable to me because of the aesthetics, the level to which they can be customized and the sheer number of very different BJDs on the market compared to the very limited variation in look of barbies. There's also the fact that many BJD companies represent very small, artist led companies where as companies like Mattel, obviously aren't within that same sphere. There are larger BJD companies of course, such as Volks but at the end of the day they're still not anywhere near on the same scale. The hand made, almost art doll nature of BJDs is a big factor in their price and for me that's also a big factor in their appeal.

      For me the two aren't even in the same league, Barbies have their appeal sure, if you're into repaints and fashion dolls etc but the aesthetic of Barbie just doesn't appeal to me, if it did I'd probably still own my BJDs just a bunch of Barbies too.
    6. I was just like you when I was younger. Which is one of the reasons why my "debater" is flipping her skillets over this hobby.
    7. Not the same level of modification that you can do on a BJD. If tomorrow I don't like my BJDs eyes I just pull them out and put in a new pair. If I want him to have cat ears I put magnetic ears on him, no big deal. If I want him to have hooves (and one of mine does) I can string those on too. I can change their hands for a different pair on a whim, carve out their faces for a new look and do a different face up every day. Check out the customization forum here. It isn't that you can't modify a barbie, it is that a barbie could never take the kind of mods you can do to a BJD and live to tell the tale.

      My mother thought it odd that I would be interested in these dolls as well because I hated dolls so much as a child. However after seeing my boys she can understand. There is nothing about them that is even vaguely the same as a barbie. The quality is just plain different. Even if I had girls it wouldn't be the same. My mom doesn't totally get it but she can see how they are different from a barbie.
    8. I actually came to BJDs after failing miserably to customize Barbies into my characters. You just can NOT customize a Barbie the way you can these dolls. At least, not without a LOT more work! There's also a lot LESS variety in Barbies when you don't want them all to have the same/similar faces without going into the more collectible dolls that can easily cost $100+ to get. To be able to wig a Barbie, first you have to get rid of their rooted hair. Either by cutting it super short, and close to the scalp so a wig will go on over it, or by pulling it all out. To change their eyes you'd have to re-paint them constantly, or els cut the head open, and cut OUT the eyes, so that you could put in eyes like you do in a BJD, and THAT means you now have to find a way to easily keep the part you cut off in place between eye changes. you're also REALLY limited to either human characters/dolls, or have to do a LOT of modding for even a simple elf-eared doll, let alone dolls with horns, or wings, anthro dolls, or dolls with hooves.

      Then there's the posing. Even the best, most jointed Barbies can't pose the way a BJD does. They aren't MEANT to. At least, not without, again, a whole LOT of intense modding.

      Then there's the variety of body types and sizes. Just like in faces, these are REALLY limited in Barbies. As are the available colors.

      So in the end...to do with a Barbie what you can with a BJD...well, it would mean a LOT MORE modding to get them right, and in the end, to get them to do what a BJD is MADE to do, would probably cost about the same as just getting the BJD in the first place. While the base cost is so little, the materials, the time, hiring the people needed to do the modding you can't do yourself...the trial and error of getting to a level where you CAN do it yourself, the cost of it all adds up, and fast.

      So in the end, for me, I first tried WITH Barbies, and quickly found that I just could NOT do what I wanted to with them. So I moved to BJDs, and have had nothing but success in creating doll versions of my and my husband's characters. They look right for their characters by the time I'm done, and there is so much variety between them all, in sizes, faces, bodies, hair, eyes, clothing, that I could never be satisfied with trying to do the same thing with Barbies again. Then there's the posing...I would NEVER be able to get a Barbie to pose the way my BJDs do for photography. Never.

      And so, I still have some Barbies I collected over the years, and I still love them, along with other dolls I own, but they can't hold a candle to my BJDs in terms of what I can do with them creatively, and how they make my characters come to life when I get them just right.
    9. How do you feel about paying the money you do on dolls when you could do those same exact things with barbie dolls and other less expensive dolls on the market? Don't really feel anything at all.

      Does this deter you from the hobby in any way? No.

      Do you have any good defenses about why you would spend the money on ABJD's Than regular factory produced dolls?

      Asian aesthetic. From child to adult. From cute doll to realistic.
      Handmade brings in the art factor.
      Highly poseable. (Is poseable even a word?)
      Resin is a flexible material to work with, is durable, unlike dolls made with other materials like vinyl.
      ABJDs come in many sizes and shapes.
      Retains value if looked after well.
      An abundance of eyes, wigs, clothing, etc in all types of styles from casual to Lolita to historical to fantasy. There's no limit.

      If I had the choice between 50 Barbies and 1 ABJD, it is no contest. The ABJD would win. ABJDs are far superior in terms of looks, customization, longevity, beauty, flexibility and production. They are in a league of their own.
    10. Nope. I certainly had Barbies as a child. Then my little girls (the one who really liked to use red nail polish for faceups, & the one who turned Ariel into a perkie goth) had tons of Barbies & other dolls - American girl dolls especially captivated me (ok, it was their THINGS that captivated me, & still do).
      But this was all basically for the KIDS.
      Then I saw some BJDs & it just amazed me. So incredibly beautiful - the only other doll that ever took my breath away like that was an antique Jumeau BeBe doll I once saw. They looked real (which is different than realistic - BJDs look like they might walk & talk any second), could STAND, pose beautifully - amazing!
      There is NO WAY a Barbie, or any other fashion doll, including Tyler OOAK ones, that could possibly do a mature, intriguing, ongoing photo story the way BJDs can. And that's my main interest - telling my stories. So I figure it's money well spent!
      And as someone said, it is comparing apples to oranges LOL

    11. I actually collect another type of doll - 18" play dolls like American Girl and Gotz - and I do quite a bit of customization on them. I restring, re-wig, steam wigs, swap eyes, take apart and repaint eyes... all that good stuff. So yes, other dolls can be customized quite a bit.

      That said, there is a pretty major difference: BJDs are meant to be customized, so the whole process is a lot easier. (Hearing that I could restring a BJD without a hemostat and a crimper, or change the eyes without pouring kettles of boiling water into the neck opening, is very appealing to me!) That's actually one of the main draws for me.

      It's not that other dolls can't be customized... it's that BJDs are much more customization friendly. As someone who customizes other dolls, yes, there is a difference. Customizing BJDs is much more accessible and less risky.

      Actually I'm quite happy enjoying both. :)

      I don't see any reason to choose only one type of doll to like.
    12. well Ive seen some pretty amazing monster high doll customs and they are mass market toys so I think it can be done in the hands of a good artist.

      For me its the same reason some women buy $500 shoes or handbags when I think the $20 bag I got from Target is just as good. Or people who drive luxury cars vs Kias. It all comes down to personal preference and aesthetic.

      As long as you have the financial means to support your lust for expensive dolls I say go for it!
    13. You could just as well ask yourself why you're collecting bjds when you could collect porcelain dolls, or rag dolls, or tin soldiers, or whatever. It's because they are different kind of dolls and different hobbies. The size, the material, the body proportions and the overall aesthetic are totally different.

      Personally, I object to Barbie dolls (and Bratz, and so on) on aesthetic grounds: the vacuous look on their faces (or alternatively a sexy come-hither look on dolls that are supposed to depict minors), the cheap construction of the dolls, the ridiculous triangular torsos and pointy feet, the shiny cheap-looking clothes with a surplus of pink. I do own several obitsus and one dollfie plus, though, and all of them have better poseability than a classical Barbie. Besides, they're designed for customization, you have several different heads to choose from, from anime-looking to realistic, and some of them with eyewells that take doll eyes.
    14. Is your partner aware of the difference between Ken and most boy BJDs? ;)

      On a more serious note: You can do a lot things with a Barbie that you can do with BJDs, but holding a BJD is different than a Barbie. If you want a BJD, you want a BJD and not a Barbie. What if you see a pair of pink shoes and want it? Would you buy the green pair, because shoes are shoes or do you get the pink pair you want?

      I'm diving into a new hobby (to me it's new) of customising vinyl dolls (like Monster High) and yes, I can do a lot of the things I do with the vinyl dolls that I can also do with the BJDs that I already have. So why get vinyl dolls? Because I want those.
      You shouldn't buy something that you don't want and risk wasting money on something that you won't use. It's as simple as that.
    15. How do you feel about paying the money you do on dolls when you could do those same exact things with barbie dolls and other less expensive dolls on the market?

      I can also drive a go-kart to work in the morning, instead of my car. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. ;)

      Does this deter you from the hobby in any way?

      The only things that will deter me from the hobby are 1) running out of money and/or 2) me getting bored. My hobbies are part of who I am. A stamp collector doesn't need to justify their collection. Why should I have to justify my dolls?

      Do you have any good defenses about why you would spend the money on BJD's Than regular factory produced dolls?

      Because I want to? Because I can? Because it's nobody else's business what I do with my own damned money?
    16. Me neither. Let me say I'm in awe of you for pouring boiling water into your doll's neck, though! Dang!
    17. As plenty of others have said before me, none of those are particularly valid points if their sole arguement is that one is better than the other. It's the age old apples and oranges arguement, neither is "better", they're just different and personal choice will decide which, if any, you end up owning. If the money is your own, your responsibilities are cared for and you're not a minor, it's really no one's business but yours what you choose to buy or for what reasons and I'm staggered on an almost daily basis by posts here that demonstrate just how much some people are swayed by the opinions of others on the topic.

      I can't even answer your questions because in all honesty, they're not even questions to me. It's been amply demonstrated by the answers of others that BJD's are not the same as other dolls for a plethora of reasons and the opinions of others on my TOYS doesn't affect my hobby choices in the slightest.

      The final question is the one that stuns me the most. Why in the world would I need a DEFENSE for spending MY money however I please?! You don't need to DEFEND anything here, it's not a crime, it's a DOLL. It's no ones business but mine what I buy and anyone that tells me differently is either denser than a fence post or trolling. Both will be met with exceedingly short shrift and I can only hope that the majority of others here of adult age who earn their own money will tell you precisely the same thing.
    18. I could go to McDonald's for lunch and get a cheap, mass-produced burger and fries... or I could go to the little independently run health food cafe and get a salad and home made soup. The second one is twice the price, so why would I eat that, they are both food right? My answer - it's to my taste and I can afford it. Simple really.
    19. How do you feel about paying the money you do on dolls when you could do those same exact things with barbie dolls and other less expensive dolls on the market?

      The simple answer is that I do not find Barbie dolls or other less expensive dolls as aesthetically pleasing as BJDs. Plus, I prefer male dolls, and Ken does not suit my taste at all. I personally don't mod/customize my dolls much or do intricate posing with them, but being able to change the hair/eyes is also a benefit. I collected Pullips before BJDs, and, though I still think Pullips are cute, BJDs are much more beautiful in my opinion. Plus, there seems to be more variety in BJDs that in other types of dolls, even if no customization is done by the owner.

      Does this deter you from the hobby in any way?
      Not presently. To me, no other dolls compare to BJDs. However, if a less expensive type of doll was available that I found just as beautiful as BJDs, I would definitely buy that type of doll instead.

      Do you have any good defenses about why you would spend the money on BJD's Than regular factory produced dolls?
      I think a good defense is simply, "I like BJDs far more than factory produced dolls". Spending a lot of money on something I want is far better than spending a small amount of money on something I don't want.