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Anybody NOT want to go to a meet? (Social aspects of the hobby)

Jul 6, 2011

    1. (Disclaimer: I've noticed that activities such as conventions and BJD meets are a positive way for people to come together within the hobby, so this thread is not meant to discourage anyone from that. Just FYI. ;))

      In response to threads that headline with such titles as: "Con this Saturday at [blank]! Who's attending?" or "Dolly tea party at [blank]'s house!" (Speaking of which, I totally heard that Luts is holding a tea party in Europe somewhere. :o Just...wow. Kind of cool and delightfully dorky, but...wow.) Despite its quirkiness, this gives the impression that this is a very "social" hobby, which I can understand given that there are only so many things you can do with a room full of dolls all by yourself. It's fun to fangirl online about favorite sculpts, outfits, and characters.

      There are also, however, the sorts that quietly post photography of their crew or leave an off-comment to a thread and never return to it; others just classify themselves as "anti-social" and keeping to themselves even in the hobby is part of their habit. This proves that BJD collecting is a hobby with multiple dimensions; creating an account with Den of Angels is a "social" thing to do in itself; it's sort of strange to imagine that thousands of other people exist that are essentially "secret" BJD owners, so to speak.

      What I'm wanting to know is your guys' thoughts on the social aspects of the hobby.

      Are you one that hits up (or hosts) BJD meets and conventions? What do you think makes this so appealing?

      Or: Or do you prefer to keep more to yourself and enjoy your dolls without company? Is it due to shyness or feeling as though you don't feel fully apart of the group, or is it due to your overall personality in all facets of life?

      As for myself, I'm socially awkward; always have been when I was a kid, and probably always will be. And if not, it'll still be a difficult process to put up a facade that comingling comes naturally, which, for me, doesn't. It's not that I don't enjoy talking to people; I just come across very weird when I do, sometimes to the point of seeming rude, and that's never been my intention. Thus, I've never "fit in" at school and don't enjoy social events very much. (Not to say I don't have friends. I'm just a bit quirky and don't normally get along with people my age.) Anyway, I read threads about everyone getting together and look at group photos and I feel weird. It's sort of a mix of shyness and just a general lack of desire to "get out there". Again, I'm not knocking it; it's just my personal preference. Nor am I saying that I'll NEVER go to a meet or con...that's just not why I got into the hobby. If I weren't just a little social, I wouldn't be making this thread. :lol:

      Your thoughts? :chocoheart
       
    2. For me, I both host and attend meetups whenever I can. ^_^

      It really wasn't a big thing when I first got into the hobby. But once I had 4+ dolls, I started wanting to share my hobby with others.

      When I was a kid, my sister and I, and a friend of ours, collected model horses together. We would all play with them for the better part of a day before getting tired or anything. When I started the BJD hobby in college, a friend of mine got me interested in the first place, and another friend was interested too. We all hung out and had fun with our dolls, and I had a grand old time.
      Once we graduated though, I kind of got a little more reclusive, and didn't have that many friends anymore. While I still talk to my college friends online, they don't live near me, so I don't get any real social interaction anymore. :P

      So, when I can, I try to meet up with other BJD people. We all have the same interest, so it's actually surprisingly less awkward than one would think. I think I'm a little shy too, but within minutes of everyone getting together, I am always totally at ease; everyone talks about the same BJD news stories (new dolls and new limited dolls, new clothing preorders, etc), talks about the same goings-on with different companies (one of the last meetups I was at we all spent a good hour complaining about wait times), and generally has most of the same knowledge as the others.

      I think it also helps to get to know a few people online; while I don't chat with too many people, talking to some while setting up the meet helps me feel like I know them already when we actually do get together. ^_^

      While it isn't a necessary part of collecting BJDs, I personally feel like it's a great way to meet like-minded people, and develop meaningful relationships. :)
      /end soapbox :XD:
       
    3. Are you one that hits up (or hosts) BJD meets and conventions? What do you think makes this so appealing?

      Well, I do organise meets and attend them when I can...I met one of my best friends at a new job, she introduced me to this hobby, so I am pretty sociable...I guess. However I think it really only applies to this hobby, which is really strange to think about. In general I'm pretty opposed to meeting people I don't know really well (I'm a strange little hermit girl...I get it from my mother ¬_¬) and outside of the hobby I'm usually seen avoiding being invited places, stumbling over my words...the usual. Once I get into my comfort zone of this hobby, I'll certainly go to meets and speak to people on forums, but I'm still always aware of the fact that I'm awkward and loud (and maybe a little obnoxious) when I'm nervous, even if it's just typing out a reply to a topic on this forum ;P

      I can completely understand not wanting to go to meets and can relate to the feeling that enjoying your dolls by yourself is enough. I always have that moment of panic before I leave for a meet (what if I say the wrong thing? What if I look like a weirdo D:?) but I get over it and I'm always glad of it. But I don't think it's a necessary part of this hobby. I can cope without it but meets are always an excuse to get out of the house I've been cooped up in for days.

      I think it's just the same as any other situation in life...some people like to party, some don't, some like to join clubs, some don't...No one is wrong for thinking either way ^____^

      ^ As you can see, I don't explain myself very well...and I contradict myself constantly...sorry :(
       
    4. Im one of the antisocial people here. Im ok with posting but i hardly ever share my doll photos or meet people in person. This is in part the result of my parents drilling the stranger danger/internet is full of scary people idea as well as the fact that my family has never seen my bjds(to avoid price discussions etc) so getting them out is more difficult than getting their big boxes in. Plus i like to make my own doll clothes/face ups and i get nervous because i know elitists are out there and my dolls arent factory faceups in 100$ outfits. Its not that i dont like or want to meet people, my social awkwardness and fears get in the way
       
    5. I've been to a few meets and I've been to a few at anime conventions. It's nice to see the dolls but...heh. The question is what do you talk about once dolls have been exhausted? In my own group of friends we'll bounce from dolls to cheese to video games and more. It's hard for me to do that with strangers. Add in being the newcomer to the group and it's almost more work than it's worth, lol. I'd much rather hang out with my own friends since I've pretty much converted all of them. XD

      Aroura, we seem to have the opposite experience! I can't sew worth a darn; I'm one of the people that is willing and able to shell out money for company made outfits. I've done some of my dolls face ups, but the majority are factory done and I got them that way because I liked them. From my point of view, it is the owners that make everything for their dolls and do all the faceups that are the elitists/snobs! :P I also feel a bit overlooked because of the companies I buy from sometimes. -shrug- Ultimately, it's all my own insecurities and nerves. ;)
       
    6. Or do you prefer to keep more to yourself and enjoy your dolls without company? Is it due to shyness or feeling as though you don't feel fully apart of the group, or is it due to your overall personality in all facets of life?

      I'm pretty anti-social and I blame working in retail. Also my personality comes into play because I can easily 'open my mouth' and offend people, which is never my case if you knew me in real life, because I try to understand both sides of an argument. This behavior has gotten my butt handed to me more times than I can count and quite frankly, I get very very sick of it. Seeing as I really don't feel like part of the 'group' as I try to interact with people, I hardly ever participate because views and ideas get thrown out of the window because, simply put, I don't know people nor have I ever been what would be considered 'popular'. I like odd things and much prefer books to people in the majority of cases. Well, I know one person here and she's my BFF in real life.

      I was at a meet once with her, and I did not like how she was treated with her doll. Simply because there's a stigma associated with a doll, should not reflect on the person that might be his 10 or 11th owner AND was her first. There is no need or reason to be rude to others.

      I also know others who've gone to meets (in Canada) who've been rather rudely criticized for their choice of doll and dress and was shunned from any talk or even to look at the other peoples dolls. So what that she made her own dolls clothes? A lot of us do. I view that as inappropriate behavior and it really irks me as someone who’s been a social outcast nearly every place I go. I hate to see others subjugated to the same thoughtless behavior. I found nothing wrong with her doll. He was quite handsome and the only conclusion she could come to was because they were acting 'elitist' and she was 'taking away from their dolls'. *shrugs* each their own, though, and I am SO not a people person.
       
    7. I've never been to any. When I just started there was a meet very close to where I live, but I didn't feel comfortable going there. I have the feeling that I'll probably be the oldest person present. I'm not very social.
       
    8. I'll admit to finding regular meetups exhausting, so I tend not to go to big ones, or to any particularly regularly. I went to a small Tokyo meet earlier this year, and a couple of Yorkshire ones a few years before that, but that's about the limit of doll-related socialising that I can cope with. To be honest, I treat my dolls more as curiosities to faff on with when I'm stuck for ideas than toys or works of art, so I often feel like an utter fraud at meetups - As if I don't "care" enough (even though I think they're fantastic!) to be a proper collector.
       
    9. Or do you prefer to keep more to yourself and enjoy your dolls without company? Is it due to shyness or feeling as though you don't feel fully apart of the group, or is it due to your overall personality in all facets of life?

      I pretty much keep to myself. That's not to say I don't enjoy people's companies, its just I have a hard time getting comfortable and end up stuttering and stumbling all over my words and thoughts. It's quite embarrassing and I might end up saying something stupid and rude. I have a knack for saying corny things without thinking when I'm feeling awkward and in my experience, not many people appreciate that.

      I have thought many times about going to meets but I always find some reason to back out. Like 'oh, I don't know as much as they do, I might end up as a total noob!' or 'this hobby is so small and tightly knit, I don't want to be the weird one out' and etc.

      In the end, I prefer staying on DoA only. It lets me think out my thoughts and let it all out in a clear and concise manner. :)
       
    10. Are you one that hits up (or hosts) BJD meets and conventions? What do you think makes this so appealing?
      I don't host. I'm way too lazy and disorganized for that. But I DO like going to meetups. I like seeing dolls in person. I like getting my dolls dressed up for a special occasion. I like actually doing something with my dolls--as a change from dressing and posing them for myself. I like sharing my dolls with others. I like talking with other doll people. I find that lots of us have more in common than we think and I'm curious to know who else is into bjds.

      Or do you prefer to keep more to yourself and enjoy your dolls without company? Is it due to shyness or feeling as though you don't feel fully apart of the group, or is it due to your overall personality in all facets of life?
      I can understand just doing things on your own with dolls. I do that, too. And I've got a bit of shyness--although I can pretty easily overcome it by NOW, since I'm older and worry less about what other people think. I try to always do what I think would be fun and try not to let fears or worries get in the way. Life is too short for that!

      Fortunately for me, although I'm not really easy in social situations, I can deal with them without really making huge social gaffes... I can understand that interacting with others can be tough. The best thing to do is to try and relax. You don't HAVE to interact all that much at some meetups, so the quieter folk can just come and look at dolls and take pictures if they want. And it's best to check things out like that at first anyway. Most people really are more tolerant than people think. They really aren't thinking horrible things about everyone--they just want to come and talk about and see dolls themselves. Of course, there are always a few people who might be problems or have problems--but really, they are very rare.

      This sort of thing comes up from time to time. I swear, it's mostly insecurity about your own skills. I have $100 outfits and default faceups--but I LOVE seeing people do their own faceups and make outfits on the super-cheap. I think that is ALWAYS very creative--even if it's a sock dress! I NEVER think badly of it at all! And I'm not the rare person who thinks like this. --There have been threads about it and most people are very cool about it. ... Of course there are some people who may be too opinionated and don't really express themselves well enough to make sure they don't say something hurt by mistake... but these people are just socially awkward in a different way, so we should give them a little break, too, and not jump to the conclusion that they are evil, hateful snobs. These dolls are ALL expensive things. And they are all beautiful. Is there really THAT much difference between spending several hundred dollars on a doll and then worrying about someone spending a few bucks more on clothes??? I don't think so!

      I'd hate to think people were worried of being judged that way. The majority of us do not care about such things. Really, if I could spend LESS for stuff, I'd LOVE it. I don't think there's anything good in spending tons more for something. AND--anyone can save up to spend a lot of money. It just takes longer for some. So you can't tell if someone has saved up years for their hundred-dollar outfit or not. Maybe people who worry about others judging them on their dolls or clothes are actually doing that to other people?

      Anyway, I think there's all sorts of people in the world and I can definitely understand those who don't like going to meetups! I think that's cool! People should do what makes them happy. (I just hope they aren't staying away and being UNhappy about it, worrying about things that aren't really problems.)
       
    11. I don't think I will ever go to a Doll meet. It's hard to explain because I am naturally quite a sociable person, but I tend to think that just because a group of people have a shared interest in BJDs doesn't necessarily mean we will have anything else in common. The age range on DOA is vast and also the type of BJDs we all like is pretty diverse too. Therefore, I don't see why a cross section of those members who happen to live in geographic proximity to me is likely to spring up a room full of kindred souls.

      As I said before I'm pretty sociable but can think of nothing worse than umming and ahhing a few awkward hours away with a group of people I don't know just because we own a certain type of plastic. I would prefer to keep my relationships with fellow doll enthusiasts to the keyboard and spend time in the real world with people I share a lot more with.

      I keep rereading this and thinking it sounds harsh, and that isn't the way it's meant to come across, but as much as I love my dolls, I can think of many things I would rather talk about :)
       
    12. I think the last one's a money issue; the case with most people is that they won't buy a doll unless they absolutely love it for cost reasons. HOWEVER that doesn't mean they have a reason to judge you and think you're not "proper" enough. You can still be a fan and collect them without being obsessed. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, either.)
       
    13. I totally understand where you're coming from, though it may be a new idea I haven't seen before. I think what makes doll meets so important is that, to be totally honest, most people on the outside of the hobby are completely weirded out by the concept of it all, and it's a relief to go somewhere and be surrounded by people on the same page. (I, by chance, once saw two strangers holding dollfies at my state's Renaissance Faire and wibbled over to go talk to them just for that. xD) I guess it's all just a matter of whether or not you care at all what people think, and if you don't, you don't crave that kind of company. ^^
       
    14. I love going to meet ups -- and this is coming from a very shy person. I find that I do best meeting new people when it's through a shared activity (such as dolls), because I know that I'll have at least one thing in common with them (and what I've found is that often I have more in common with abjd people than just dolls -- the hobby seems to attract a lot of quirky creative types). Also, because the hobby has a big on-line presence, and there are actual threads for meet ups, it has made me feel more prepared -- like I know more what to expect. It's a very different situation for me than a lot of other typical social settings that cause me to be nervous.
       
    15. This. I was really really into the idea of going to meets last year, I just couldn't find one close enough for me to get to. I finally ended up going to a 'sort' of meet, at an anime convention and it was totally horrible. No one would talk to me- apparently because I was the 'new' person, or at least it seemed like they'd all met before save for me. It was just weird frankly, and I don't have problems getting along socially although I can be shy at times. I just don't think I'll be going to anymore meets around where I live now because I'm pretty sure I don't have anything else in common with other BJD collectors here.
       
    16. This, exactly. I'm also shy, but the dolls make things much easier as they are an instant icebreaker. I also find that I have other things in common with most people at meets, some of my favorite meets are ones where the dolls pretty much sit on a table on one side of the room looking pretty while all the people are hanging out on couches discussing all SORTS of (mostly non-doll-related) things.

      I really enjoy meetups, they're a great way to meet interesting people and also to see dolls I would never get to see in person otherwise. I don't know if I'm just very lucky to be within driving distance of two really great groups or what, but every meet I've been to has been fun and I've never felt excluded.
       
    17. I've been to a few local meetups. Some were pleasant, most felt awkward and a little forced. I am shy and nervous around strangers and as I am much older than most local owners, I have little in common with them except that we all own dolls. There also seems to be bad blood and ill feeling among some local people and I dislike drama with stuff that's supposed to be fun, so I have stopped attending. I do like the convention we have had every couple of years, mostly because people come from out of town that I know from other doll forums and I enjoy their company. I have volunteered to help for the last few conventions and have had fun with it. I like the idea of going to meetups and occasionally drop in on the small ones held at a local doll shop, but I don't stay very long unless someone I know is there.
       
    18. Part of me wants to go to a meet...but a bigger part of me does not. I am not good at all around a lot of people. Especially people I don't know. So, I try to look for smaller ones. But, I'm just not at all a people person. I've even been called a hikhikomori (sounds so much nicer then shut in >.<) multiple times and it's probably true. I'd love to make some friends especially ones who enjoy the same hobbies but I am at odds with the whole thing. I hate to sound rude and I'm not trying to be mean at all but I've been to a few conventions and I'm a complete otaku and such but I'm just SO different from most of the people at cons they kinda scare me. I think it's just people in general..

      I completely agree with Linakauno though, I've also been to a few meets and maybe one out of the whole of them was nice the others just felt awkward. My biggest problem is everyone always seems to already know one another...and I'm usually the odd one out.
       
    19. I admit that it is hard to find a niche in a community where most of the people who go to meet-ups already know each other, and are friends. Jumping in to meet-ups and trying to compete with that is not only awkward, but it makes me feel a little rude. I think I prefer, at this point, to attend meet-ups that are held at neutral locations, such as doll shops or conventions, so that I can come and go as I please, and meet many different people without feeling that I have committed to spending several hours with them when we don't know each other as people yet. Perhaps as I have more experiences with the people in the local BJD circle I will be more comfortable joining more intimate gatherings, as well. I do enjoy going to meet-ups, however, as it's a great place to leanr things from long-time doll owners, and seeing things in personal is always much more exciting than just seeing pictures online.
       
    20. Like Shai, there's a part of me that wants to go to a doll meet, while the rest of me says no.

      I'm not good around people I don't know, especially large amounts of people I don't know. I feel awkward, and I feel like I'm not very good at talking to people I hardly know. I've been told from several people that I don't give off the impression of being awkward, but it's how I feel the entire time so... maybe I'm just good at covering up? xD I don't have any IRL friends into BJDs in my area, and walking into a group full of people I don't know, by myself, is entirely out of the question.

      I do think it would be awesome to have more doll friends, though, because I don't have anyone IRL that I can regularly talk to about BJDs. I basically do just have a room of dolls that only I enjoy. I mean, I take pictures and post them online, and while some of my IRL friends like my dolls, they're not "doll people".

      Now, I do go to cons, and I'll occasionally talk to other owners if I run into them in the dealer's room or wherever, but I don't go out of my way to go to the meets or anything there, and I'm not one of those people that has "con friends" either... I generally just go to hang out and be nerdy with the friends I already go with. xD