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Age Discrepancies in Mini sculpt figures

Dec 16, 2010

    1. After much time spent browsing through doll sites, finally receiving my own doll, and spending even more time looking at pictures of other people's dolls, I've noticed a recurring trend with most companies' Mini sized sculpts; it seems female Mini sculpts tend to look like teenagers to young adults while male Mini sculpts tend to look like older children to pre-teens. Basically, female Mini sculpts tend to look older than male Mini sculpts.

      Am I the only one who sees this? Or has other people seen this too? I know people occasionally complain Mini girls do not look like "girls" in terms of body type and facial features, but no one ever seems to point out how child-like Mini boys look.

      I was wondering about this because one of my friends jokingly suggested I get a boyfriend for my Mini girl. I joked back she would have to be a pedophile in order to get a boy who is in scale with her. This set us off wondering and browsing the Internet only to find that my joke seems to be true. She suggest a 50 cm boy for my girl, but it doesn't seem most companies make a 50 cm late teenage to adult male doll, except for one out-of-stock Souldoll boy.
    2. Part of this is also how you perceive the dolls. To me, even the less 'mature' mini sculpts both male and female can be made to look quite grown up looking depending on things like faceup, hair, eye size (not the eye socket, the actual eye itself), and clothing. When I look at minis I don't necessarily see them as kids at all. My own minis vary in age depending on what I wanted for their character.

      What you might be reacting to is the softer looking face on a boy can seem less traditionally manly, and therefore be read as 'young' while it's more 'normal' on a female (or maybe it's something else? It's not an issue that I've had with mini boys). BBB did have a 50cm boy out a while back.
    3. I know a good faceup can change a lot, it's just that it seems most male MSD sculpts look very childish; chubbier cheeks, wider eyes, and a few other features too.

      I don't think it's a personal reaction; I'm quite used to "softer features" on a boy (being a fan of Japanese rock for over a decade starting at a young age tends to change one's perception of "feminine" and "masculine" quite drastically from the general population's perceptions!). Also, I'm not really planning on getting my girl a boyfriend; she's already eating up enough money as is!
    4. ((I'm not saying anything negative about anyone's dolls. I'm just commenting on the apparent ages of them, and the possible reasons behind this, so... I hope no one takes offense. ))

      Male MSD's look a lot like children, in general, to me, too. Now, I don't know the history of bjds, so I don't know what was originally supposed to be the "adult" size, but for Luts, 40cm are called "KID-Delf, Dollmore's 40cm group are "Kids," and Souldoll has 40cm listed as "Kids," too. I think there's a reason for that. (Yes, I know there are more companies than these; I didn't check them.)

      I think the reason for the apparent age discrepancy is because, I could be wrong here, that the MSD size was initially meant to be child-like. Perhaps popular demand later called for adult MSD's and all the companies did was change the bodies. Then the reason female dolls look older is because females are typically softer at all ages, even in adulthood, so a soft head could be perceived to be older when on an mature body. But like I said, I could be wrong- this is mostly speculation. In fact, I sort of hope I am wrong. It's a bit creepy to think that companies are selling child-like heads as adult heads on purpose. And when I see a doll with a super manly or womanly body and a child-like head, I just tell myself that perhaps this particular doll owner is more into anime aesthetics than I am, and I leave it at that. Oh! This age thing could be a part of the anime aesthetic, too. Some anime characters look very young when they aren't. That could be a part of the reason. I think I have heard that bjd's are based on the anime style, now that I think about it. . . but I don't know.
    5. Years and years ago, dolls that were put into the MSD size range were all child dolls. So ouimissymari's assumption is correct. For a long time, the only mature minis out were Unoas and Naraes-- then later Minifees, which weren't even that popular for a long time until more was done to them. In fact, Dream of Children and Dollmore Kids at one point were sometimes regarded as mature minis, because they were thinner and slightly older than most MSDs at the time. Same goes for Little Fairs and Blue Fairies (since they have the same body sculpt, though their faces were young just like the Dream of Children and Dollmore Kids). The Kid Delf body that is out now is new and slim, considered to the original body-- which was around the same chunkiness of Volks MSDs. Volks MSDs these days are considered pretty tubby looking compared to other minis, when that chubbiness was the norm for a long time. Newer dolls that came out with larger bodies, such as Leeke minis, were not as popular because the chubby kid look is out of style like-- even if the childish faces contrast greatly with the slimmer, sometimes older looking bodies. An example would be the current Minifees, for instance, and how some of the younger looking sculpts look a bit odd on the extremely muscular boy body.

      However, I'm discussing bodies and not facemolds. I think for facemolds, it's more about perception too.

      I don't think it's creepy that companies are selling child-like heads on adults bodies-- I think it's because while BJDs have their own aesthetic, they are still very "anime-ish" when it comes to facial proportions. The moe trend has resulted in a lot of ambiguously aged "adult" anime faces on sexualized bodies. If you are familiar with the Haruhi light novel series, you could see that you can easily snip the head off "young" Haruhi and glue it onto "old" Haruhi's body and it wouldn't differ by much aside from hairstyle. Even an artist like Arina Takemura has said before that the way she draws kids is to do her normal way of drawing adult heads and then attaching different sized bodies to it. (She's said this about how she draws men too-- that the men don't really differ from the women, they just have a different body and slightly different details on the face.)

      I don't really think there is a disproportionate amount of young male doll heads compared to mature female doll heads, though. I would say that all of the Kid Delves look to be about the same age when you glance at the face, just with different personalities. Same with the Dollmore Kids-- I don't think any of the Dollmore Kids really look that much older or younger than each other aside from having very stylized features to really push a personality in each mold. Some of them look drastically different from each other from having different sculptors, but they still look like they're around that ambiguous age that Dollmore Kids are with their slim, elfish bodies but chubby kid cheek faces. The companies themselves may have different intended ages for their mini-sized lines so there are definitely age differences between companies. Within companies though, I think the relative deviation of alleged ages of head sculpts looks reasonable and that I don't often see a head mold that looks seventeen (the recent trend of mature minis) alongside one that looks ten (since the original minis were intended to be around eight to ten year old children) on the same body. And if I did, I think upon second glance it would look more to me like it's because one character is being marketed as the "cool, older, mature" doll and was sculpted to have small eyes with a thinner face and other workings, and the other doll was being marketed as the, "cheery, wide-eyed, young" doll with big eyes and their own workings. It's pushing the "values" of a doll to really get the message clear about what the intended personality of the mold is.

      Head molds are just head molds anyway, and regardless of what gender they are intended to be as long as the alleged gender is not sculpted too heavily into the doll you can do what you want with it. I wanted my Unoa boy to be younger because the character he's supposed to be looks more around twelve than maybe fourteen to sixteen (which is what the L-bi and B-el heads look like), so I used a Lusis head because the eyes were lower set and the cheeks fatter.

      When it comes to minis, it seems that the gender ambiguity is desired too because often there are limiteds released that are the same head mold, just a different gender body. I think a limited Luts Cherry boy was released before Cherry was released as a basic boy. BlueFairy is really well-known for that too.
    6. I think the age appearance of a doll really depends on different things like the clothes they wear to the faceup. Like my doll Fynn for example. He is an Resinsoul Song. Despite having a soft face and big eye sockets(not nearly as big as some others I've seen of course!) He looks about his age(well technically he's over 200, but he looks between the ages of 16 and 19. At least more so now that I have redone his faceup. I haven't taken any pictures of him >_<) mainly because of the clothing he wears and his faceup. (again the new one that I haven't taken pics of. I really need to take care of that!) Because he doesn't have rosy cheeks and huge eyes and now his eyebrows are placed lower and his lips not so red, he looks much more mature. With the right creativity you can make an MSD look anywhere between a small child and a young adult!
    7. I've noticed this too, and that is the reason why I decided to get my teen-and-older characters in 1/3 size (despite my utter love of Minifees). ;_; It was easy to find the teen-looking girl that I wanted as a mini, but I just couldn't find a tall, manly fella for her. You know, the guy on the high school football team, not the one on the cheerleading squad. So my Minifee became a Delf, and I have a huge range of choices for her now. :|

      There are relatively few mature mini boys compared to girls, though IMHO this has to do in part with that fact that it is easier to make a not-so-mature bodied mini girl look older. If you want to make your rather flat and non-curvy mini girl look older, give her the right faceup and viola, she can be a teen instead of a child -- plenty of women and teens aren't curvy at all, especially skinny ones. But with boys it is harder, as that skinny leggy look that so many minis have does not translate so well to manhood as it does to womanhood, and nor does a cute soft-featured face. ^_~

      Also, it is a scale thing. Sometimes what we consider "mature minis" are in fact 1/4 scale grownups while "immature minis" ("kid" lines) are more like 1/3 scale children . . . just stick a MNF and a Volks MSD next to each other, and then next to a 1/3 doll and you can probably see what I mean. Of course, there is a lot of overlap and some dolls can work as different ages in different scales. But I sure would like to see more 1/4 scale adult-ish males! <3
    8. MSD sculpts are usually boys and girls 12 to 17. Boys in that age look young and childish or like "normal" teenagers when nearing the older marks. Girls become very womanly at young ages and look the part even at twelve, by the time a girl is 17 she will be almost a complete woman and will look that way, it takes longer for men to reach the physical appearance of an adult. Not always of course, I've seen 14 year old boys look 18 before, but just saying in general.
    9. Well, I feel the same way very often, too.. I suppose people who want a "man" are typically just expected to get a bigger doll? I also think the issue lies, like others have said, in the fact that men can look a LOT different in their midteens to their preteens, and that can make it hard for sculptors to make a doll that's as "flexible" in the age range for that sex. Girls develop much differently in a wider range of years, so it is easier to make a MSD girl age flexible.
      For instance, I have a JID from iplehouse, and although the large bust is a very mature body, the face is very "soft" and it took some serious macgyvering to make her face look grown up. The JID boys have more mature bodies but their faces are all teenish.

      For other companies, I think cheek sanding on the boys might help someone who wants him, but would like to make him older looking.
    10. To me it all depends on character. I have two Volks MSD boys and their characters are not children at all. I like Volks and don't have space/$$ for a 1/3. Besides they're clothes most of the time, so their face-up is really what matters most.

      To be fair, they are "teens" and not ... older men for example, because that would be a stretch.