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Are ball joints ugly?

Sep 30, 2008

    1. My friend cannot understand my new found interest. He cannot seem to get his head around the joints. He was even saying he thought Barbie dolls were more appealing. His attitude is that in this day and age the technology should be there to have more realistic joints with equal or more poseability and that paying so much for a doll with what he calls 19th century bodies is crazy.

      I told him about some silicon bodies they make but to me they are less poseable and their softness lacks the appeal. I like the look and feel of the resin on my new doll.

      Covering up the joints with clothing is one way of hiding them. But you cannot do that with every outfit. I felt a little like I was being attackec about it as he was very forceful with his point of view and I did not have much of an argument to counter his attack.
    2. Your friend is entitled to his opinion, even if he is being pushy about it.
      If you look at a human skeleton and see how the joints are they're very similar. So I don't quite understand how they could be any more realistic.
      • x 2
    3. Your friend sounds very close minded to me. If he cant get over something so simple as the joints.. although it doesnt matter what he thinks since he isnt in the hobby. If you like your doll, that is all that matters. ^^
    4. Well personally, I love the ball joints! Especially the ones that are more round rather than some of the flatter joints out there (just my opinion). It gives them character, and highlights the reason I love BJDs when I don't like any other type of doll; the moveability.

      I don't need my doll to be terribly realistic in that particular manner, because he IS a doll :sweat And like you, Lyddia, I love the feel and look of resin.

      And it's not like no thought goes into the joints/bodies in order to get them to balance and work properly, so calling them '19th century bodies' is a bit short-sighted, especially when the bodies have changed and improved so much from the beginning of BJDs.
      • x 2
    5. I don't think ball joints are ugly, but I do think they look strange. At first I wanted to cover up my dolls' joints, but I gradually realised that their joints are a part of them and I like the way they look now. I'm slowly getting used to the bizarre-looking Soul-Double knees on Thia's body, I will be covering those at first until I'm used to them as well :)

      You can tell your friend that you are not really paying for 19th century technology (ball joints go back a lot further than that anyway - Romans had ball jointed dolls :D), you're paying for the craftmanship that goes into sculpting the doll's face and body, the careful engineering that ensures the dolls pose well and have a good centre of balance, you're paying for the resin, which is not a cheap or safe material to mess about with, and above all, you are paying for something hand-made and fully customisable.

      Ask those questions of a Barbie. Craftmanship? Check. Careful engineering? Uh, no. Resin? Nope. Hand-made? Nope. Fully customisable? Definitely not.

      Don't let your friend get you down :)
      • x 1
    6. But Barbie joints are horrendous (they ones that did have joints, anyhow...) from last my recollection...

      >_> Though I tend to dress my dollies in all long sleeves and long pants.
    7. Don't get me wrong. I love my doll but I can see his point. However the joints don't bother me that much. They seem to bother him though and he cannot get his head around the idea that there must be a better way to make joints look more realistic and more flexible. I've decided to avoid talking about it with him from now on. He's a very stubborn person and has his mind set in it's ways. Very difficult to change his point of view once set.
    8. I don't mind most joints, just the posable hands.

      They have these big, obvious joints all over the hand, and I really hate how it looks. I'd rather have to change my doll's hands whenever I want them to be different.
      • x 1
    9. I like the joints. o_O It's one of the main appeals in these dolls for me.

      I personally wouldn't put much stock into what your friend said. Sure, he's entitled to his opinion but it's up to you whether or nor to be affected by it. =)

      Though what your friend said somewhat reminds me of this one thread not too long ago with a Japanese student(?) who built in a robotic system in his doll. The effort was admirable but I don't think it would be same anymore if these dolls didn't have these kind of ball-joints. I feel like it would lose the whole purpose of being these dolls being dolls. >_>
    10. I don't think any of us would be in this hobby if we didn't like/mind the joints. I wouldn't worry too much about what your "friend" says- it's your interest and it's up to you. I don't find the fact our dollies have visible joints to be dated,- they have to move somehow.

      Having met yourself and your two beautiful girls,- your friend is likely to just be jealous and trying to make you feel insecure. They are dolls at the end of the day; and no matter how realistic we try to make them, I personally still like a little bit of "doll" left in them and the joints are part of them.
    11. well im going to be honest here. when i first found out about bjds i was still stunned and still wanted one but i only wanted one if i could find clothes to cover all the joints because i loved how realistic some of the dolls are and i felt the ball joints took away from that

      however now that im much more used to them i dont mind them at all. i actually like them i dont think they are ugly

      i would leave your doll around him so he picks it up and plays with it a little i think eventually he will get used to them and maybe even learn to like them
      • x 1
    12. I think your friend demands a bit too much from these dolls. Must they look as pristine as people, and yet be able to pose however you fancy? There's an obvious tradeoff for the sake of poseability, and we all accept that. I think we've grown to love joints; they're a beautiful reminder that these are in facts dolls.
      If dolls were fleshlike and smooth all over, I think they would fall too far into the uncanny for many to enjoy.
    13. Your friend is entitled to his own opinion, as others have said. He's not into the dolls, so what? It's YOUR likes and dislikes that matter, isn't it? Do your friends have to be into every thing that you are?

      It's a good question, though--are joints ugly? I think it's up to the person, right?

      Personally, I barely notice them. The only one I don't like is the leg-hip joint, which often shows the ball so obviously and doesn't conform to the shape of a human body. I think it's the ugliest joint. The others, I don't really see and I think they are pretty subtle, really.
      • x 1
    14. I recently saw a picture of a barbie next to a 27cm BJD. I went, Whoa, did Barbies always look that freaky? @_@; I didn't remember the proportions looking so... weird. D:

      Anyways, I actually kinda like the look of the joints myself. And they're usually pretty easy to hide with clothes anyways.
    15. I think your friend is looking at this all wrong. The production of a balljointed doll includes a measure of science and calculation, but the fundemental creation process is an artistic one. If these dolls did not have balljoints, they would not be balljointed dolls. Asking the type of engeneering that one would gear towards a completely different kind of doll altogether doesn't really make sense.

      These dolls were created with the science of elastic tension to aid a doll in holding poses, and ball joints for mobility. Whether your friend thinks this is outdated or not, it's the nature of the art. Like porcelain dolls are tied together by the fact they are made of porcelain, balljointed dolls are tied together by the fact their engeneering is similar.
    16. Ball-joints, peanut joints, those weird elbow plate things, jointed hands, they're all beautiful. It's what makes a BJD a BJD. ;)

      Frankly, I think the weird poppy-joints in the knees of Barbies were the worst things I have ever handled in terms of flexibility. The jointed Barbies were... difficult to manage. Jointless bodies still lack the same poseability as the raw resin ball-joints, I definitely wouldn't pay $600+ for those.

      Honestly, I agree with Arkaya, not only would the doll not have that same amount of poseability, it would definitely cross the uncanny valley. At that point, I don't think many people would want to be involved in the hobby anyways. I can understand where your friend's coming from, though.
      • x 1
    17. Its interesting to see everyones take on this, but I , like most of the community will agree they are beautiful.
      To be honest I just saw a new body sculpt and the knees, I said "OMG those knees are so desireable" in my head. I am so extremely attracted to them. Dont get me wrong, some joints are ugly, but thats a sculpt personal taste, not the joint itself.
      • x 1
    18. Well, resin is solid so unless it were covered with some kind of "skin" (plastic, silicone, etc.) the joints are going to show to some extent. I just prefer to ignore the joints, just as one ignores the strings when watching a puppet (marionette) show. There are some very nice silicone elves (I've forgotten who makes them), but they don't have the posing ability of ball-jointed dolls and I don't think they can be customized by the owner. Maybe someone in the future can design prettier joints for ball-jointed dolls, but in the meantime, they do have very nice faces.
    19. Personally...aesthetically, I don't prefer larger, round joints that stick/bulge out when a limb is straight. However, I don't DIS-like them enough to call them ugly. I just don't like how they 'break' the graceful line of the limb. So I prefer the more square, double joints, as those that I've seen so far don't stick out, and don't break that graceful line.

      *shrugs* for pure aesthetics, I prefer the more square joints, but the round ones don't make me love the dolls any less, and I'm not about to change a doll's style (my current and future dolls will all be characters I've had created for a while, in doll form) to cover them, as they are still rather charming, and quite cute.
    20. I excitedly told my mom that my Sard would be coming soon. Instead of being happy for me, she asked if he would be naked with all his joints showing. When I said yes, she said "oh, well then I don't think I'll like him". She can't stand the boy I already have because his joints show (he doesn't wear a shirt). She likes my two girls though because all their joints are covered by clothing.