Beautiful design, freebies - how cool are they (really)?

Aug 17, 2017

    1. As a designer and artisan I love beautifully made, functional things. As a customer I’m positively thrilled when my doll comes with great designer stuff. :)

      Imagine:
      Your doll arrives in a beautiful shipper with a carefully designed company logo. The actual doll box is made from wood, has hinges and a handle also serves as a carrier. The box is equipped with cushions to keep your doll safe, they have the cutest pattern. The doll comes with free glass eyes and a screen printed T-Shirt with the company logo.
      The CoA is a cool plastic card with a hologram and has your name on it. It comes in an envelope sealed with a real wax seal of the company. You also get a dog tag style metal pendant with the company logo and your doll’s data engraved plus a top-quality photobook style catalogue.
      Not to forget the freebie plushie, calendar and stickers.
      (not to mention the doll is just what you wanted and of superb quality)
      Everything is carefully wrapped in huge amounts of packaging materials.

      I have received most of these things from companies myself and they are wonderful.
      So what is there to discuss anyway?

      · Some of these things are quite cost-intensive, especially in small editions.
      · Someone has to get paid to work on the corporate identity, the design and the printed material.
      1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?

      · Some things are mass-produced by ”cheap“ workers, others have a bad impact on our environment.
      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?

      · Some of these things you paid for you will never use, they are beautiful, but will clutter up your space. You’ll probably not get rid of them, just in case you might want to sell your doll with all their equipment in the future.
      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …


      I’d really like to hear your opinions. I’m trying to come to a conclusion myself, but I’m trapped between the purist who’d rather not have any packaging material and extras I didn’t ask for at all, and the irrational plastic-loving child who appreciates every single little snippet of prettiness. I’d even pay more to get free screen-printed T-Shirt (love printed T-Shirts) - if only I’d not be aware of it. :doh
       
    2. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      Being a web and graphic designer myself, brand identity is always something that's a plus for me. Although I will overlook any bad design if the doll itself is amazing, I will admit that I get that extra bit of joy when I get a box that's been beautifully made or includes extra special things based on the brand.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recycled stuff?
      I do think about work conditions and environmental hazards when buying products. Any type of manufacturing has an effect on these things, even such a small hobby like BJDs. This is why I enjoy seeing behind-the-scenes photos and hearing stories about how BJD companies do their production. It helps put at ease most fears with this stuff. If something like boxes or CoAs were recycled I'd be very happy. :)

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      I'd still love the little trinkets or special things. Even if they're things I keep more for memories than anything else, I still like them. It feels like there's a little extra something that was put into the doll. I've had dolls come in fancy boxes with lots of extras and dolls that just come in bubble wrap within a cardboard box, and I'm always more prone to do box openings of the dolls that come with the extra things. It makes it feel more like a little person coming home rather than just another part I was waiting on.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …
      While I never think of anything as truly "essential", I do consider packaging for safety of the doll to be VERY important. If the doll box didn't come with even just pillows I'd probably be less apt to buy it. Otherwise, most other things are just a plus for me, but not absolutely required.
       
    3. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?

      It's of absolutely no interest to me at all - All I'm interested in is the doll being the one I want, not how it's branded, or even what company produced the one I decided to buy.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?

      So long as the packaging was adequate to protect the doll I ould happily receive it in reused and recycled materials rahter than specifically produced for the company. All I'm going to do with the packaging is put it in the recycle bin anyway so it might as well be recycled once-or-more already.
      i
      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?

      Not really - I have a wooden box with a handle that a doll came in, ut it has sat unused in the roof for years bacaeys it's not very practical as a carry case - it's too heavy in and of itself so that by the time a doll or two is put in for transporting to an event, it's too heavy to carry for long. My dolls mostly dress in old fashioned styles so a company logo t-shirt is unlikey to be of any use, I prefer cheap acrylic eyes that look realistic over expensive glass ones that look bland or fake, and most of the other free gifts are of even less interest to me, and end up languishing in my swaps-and-sales box (with nobody else interested in takign them off my hands) or being binned or recycled, depending what they are.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      On ONE occasion the extra item has been really worthwhile - My husband's Iplehouse Ryushin came in a cushion-filled-carry-bag that has been the single most useful "freebie" item ever, it's big enough for SD sized dolls and (the way I pack) I can get several dolls in it to take to a meet without the bag itself adding much to the overall weight of carrying the dolls. Generally speaking, I'm not buying with an eye to reselling the doll so just get rid of everything except the doll unless it's somehting like the great carry-bag I mentioned above. Many of my dolls came to me before CoAs were an issue, so they never had them to begin with (I think I have the one that came with my Narae somewhere, but wouldn't know where to lay my hands on it anyway so I might as well not have it) and since most Fullset dolls include something I don't like or I'm not interested in, I refuse to pay through the nose for all the full-set extras when I'm just going to change those bits anyway, and if I ever did buy a fullset, I'd just keep the bits I wanted and sell on the rest, so keeping all the bits that came with a particular doll just in case I ever decide to sell it on at some distant point just isn't an issue with me. If i sell the doll on, I sell it as-is.

      Teddy
       
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    4. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      Honestly, I care more about they having a pretty and functional site than a pretty package to send the doll.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      Everything influence the world around us. I would love if they were all sent in recycled stuff. And I would be more interested in a company with recycled boxes, plastics and environment conscious but the doll is still the deciding factor.

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      Depend of what is it. Body pillows and face masks are great, I always like the free eyes and doll prints as well. But don't like the free wigs as much since I'm pick about it.
      I got a fake wax seal in 5SD that was neat and plastic COA is great because is better to keep, as long they don't have my legal name that would put me off.
      I wouldn't like things with the company logo, I wouldn't use it, and a wooden box would be a nightmare. I much prefer get ridden of the boxes.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      I also prefer the doll to be safely packaged over anything else. Beside that none of it are essential and would make me like a company more.
       
    5. Ooo very interesting topic, I can already tell they will be a large range of answers.

      1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?


      Important. Firstly because I like my dolls to retain or increase in value and secondly because companies with strong branding signify to me a flourishing business that will be able to provide customer support, quality product and resale appeal.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?

      Often! When I was new to the hobby I jumped in head first and made some purchases without much thought. As I've matured and owned dolls from many companies Ive begun to appreciate more then just the dolls themselves.

      I keep all of my dolls boxes in prestine condition and would love to one day own a doll with unique packaging, like Maskcat doll, I seem to recall they have lovely boxes.

      I've always been a sucker for gifts. I exspecually love that Alices collections includes practical items like cleaning sponges, eye putty, etc. Though I also love stickers and post cards or even small accessories and such. The gesture has a big influence on me the next time I order :)

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …


      Strangely I care very little about the COAs, some branding and a signature is good enough for me.

      Boxes, however, I adore. One of my favorite parts of ordering from a new company is seeing the box for the first time. I'm always impressed by foam packaging as well, my Fairyland F65 Elf Chloe had ingenious cut spaces to accomodate her ears and a special face protector to match. Very cool!

      I also loooove when eyes come in fancy boxes, I have a whole drawer deticated to these :aheartbea
       
    6. Hm, difficult. Though such stuff is impressive, IMO functional, i.e. protective and sturdy packaging is much more important. Simple cardboard boxes with only the company logo are fully sufficient for me. I liked Impldoll's box with the cut-out handles. Makes box opening mich easier.

      As good as foam cut-outs are, I am sure there are better forms of biodegradable options available. Just a thought. Pillows are nice, but I consider them less effective protection-wise than foam.

      I do not need tons of packaging material, but rather effective one.

      Regarding extras: a CoA is essential nowadays, no doubt. But instead of a high-gloss catalogue and a dog-tag (which is prone to get lost):
      What about a good manual about doll maintenance? If you want to add some extras, maybe an extra set of elastic in the right length, a set of s-hooks, and a set of exrtra magnets? Or a stringpuller? A ribbon to get the elastic through the channels? Maybe a USB-stick (of course with your company logo) with a video in which you explain how to care for your product? This way, you also do not remain a faceless company, but establish a personal connection with you customer.

      These are items you will need one day. Not as fancy (although you could equip e.g. the stringpuller with you company logo), but really useful.
       
    7. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      Brand identity is definitely a way to sway me in favor of a company, but it's not the most important. For me, the most important factor is customer service. When a company can show that they are personable as well as professional, I am instantly more attached to them/inclined to buy from them in the future. This goes for their 1:1 messages with a customer, or the way they present themselves via social media. I particularly applaud HaruCasting, Granado Doll, and Enchanted Eyes for going the extra mile to connect with their customers.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      I admit I don't really think about this very much, but since many of my dolls have been secondhand I can say that I truly don't mind recycled packaging. It's definitely better for our environment. However, I feel that if the doll itself wasn't up to my standards, having packaging that didn't look aesthetically pleasing or wasn't functionally the best would further lower my respect for the company. But if a doll is good in the first place, I don't think packaging would affect my thinking.

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      Absolutely! I am a fervent hoarder at heart and I love all the extra goodies that come with dolls. Free eyes and doll pillows are especially nice. However, my all-time favorite instance of doll branding/freebie/great design is SWITCH's dolly user manual:
      [​IMG]

      Words cannot tell you how incredibly happy/amused this made me, even more than any other pretty/functional freebies I've received. It tells me that SWITCH has a sense of humor, and that's so refreshing to me as a customer!


      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      Like an earlier poster mentioned, I buy with the intent of not reselling, so boxes or cut foam packaging aren't truly essential for me. They are more bonus aspects. I do really love CoAs, however! Even if I don't plan to resell, they are just so pretty to look at! But again, not an essential as long as I can verify that the doll is legit.
       
      • x 10
    8. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      It isn't important as in, making a difference when I plan a purchase. I do enjoy receiving a nice box and nice CoA though as it makes the whole experience feel more "complete" and enhances it.
      I have a difficult time to phrase this properly, but I prefer to get a head/doll with a minimum of care for the extra stuff versus for example a bare head that doesn't even come with a CoA with no outer box and some newspaper as wrapping.
      Not to mention that in times of recasts it's a bad idea to skip on all those things.

      But I also prefer buying new versus used, maybe this is part of the reason why I expect at least a little care put into packaging and identity.
      More at 4.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      It depends? I think some things can't be used in recycled form, but if the paper or the material of the box would be made from recycled material I wouldn't mind. In some cases it proably could work well for the design too!
      If you mean sending used bags or re-using boxes from other goods I would probably dislike it simply because when I buy new I, well, expect new. It would feel too much like a second-hand purchase and/or like the company doesn't care about their product (there is more to the product than just the doll after all).

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      I personally don't care about freebies (as in, free eyes, wigs, clothes, putty, calendars, photos etc.) and don't mind receiving the bare doll with package and CoA and nothing else.
      Artists/companies shouldn't feel obligated to add those, especially when it ends with them just adding something for the sake of it. Looking at Iple and their cheap acrylic eyes that break due the wrong putty during the shipping anyway.
      In case of Iple it feels a little like an insult too, their dolls are so expensive and they are kind enough to ship them out with a pair of damaged, ill-fitting 2$ eyes :roll:

      I do appreciate it though when extra strings/s-hooks are added (or in case of clothes, spare buttons) but this is really not a must.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      While I love the fancy boxes from Dollshe I do think those are a little overkill. I mean black embossed boxes with full color photos, foam cut out, hard plastic "credit card" like CoA and so on.
      There was an artist a while ago who actually made metal CoAs with a real gem, or Nabarro with their gorgeous wooden boxes, and that too is in my opinion gorgeous but really pushing it.
      It not only adds to the price but shipping gets more expensive too (in case of wooden boxes).

      What I care about:
      >sturdy packaging
      Granado for example ships out their heads in those flimsy, clear plastic boxes that tend to get damaged fast and have no branding. The certificate inside is also too big, which means it always gets bend.
      I prefer a box that is sturdy, it's safer for shipping/storing the piece in and it also means the outer packaging survives storage in case I ever plan to sell that piece on. Also prefer it if the container isn't clear and made of thick carton.

      >at least minimal branding
      The branding should be non-removable, which doesn't mean I expect a "for this company printed" box but at least something like a stamp or really difficult to remove sticker.
      Just something that makes it look like "yes, this box belongs to this product" and cannot be easily replaced/copied.
      Oh, the branding should also not be damaged by opening the box (i.e. not some sticker seal that needs to be ripped).

      >proper padding
      Foam cut outs are nice, even if I sometimes feel the dolls still need extra bubblewrap, but of course expensive and at times hard to get.
      Flimsy pillows (no matter if it's the kind with single bottom/top or those bag pillows) I personally am not fond of and would rather receive just bubblewrap than those. Honestly, as long as it's well packed I am happy.
      While I DO like the idea of getting a bag with your doll it annoys me greatly when this is all there is. My Spiritdoll bag is the only way to proof that my Spiritdoll body is legit, so when I sell the body the bag has to go...great that Spiritdoll picked a material that slowly starts to fall apart even though the bag is rarely used. Can't keep the bag for myself and need to be careful I don't lose my only certification of authenticity, which means I can't even use the bag :doh

      >certificate
      To me a lot more important than a special box.
      I don't expect ultra fancy stuff here, but at least a nicely printed card with all needed information. I'd rather people put in more care into those than adding a pair of eyes or something.
      They are, in my opinion, also the easiest way to bump up the whole experience to a new level and to add a brand identity. They are a lot cheaper to get in bulk than customized boxes too.
      I can get a bunch of highly customized "business cards" from a website with full color pictures, both sides printed, special paper and whatnot for dirty cheap and just use those as CoA too. Helps the customer when he needs to sell later too.

      What I don't care about:
      >personalization
      i.e. I really don't want my name on the certificate (thanks again, Iple) and I honestly don't need the company/artist to personalize my order (like adding the name of my doll's character to anything/writing a personal note).

      >paper freebies
      i.e. calendars, photos, little cards, whatever. Spare yourself the printing cost.

      >other freebies
      Unless they are universally useful (the mentioned strings, spare s-hooks etc.), else save yourself the extra costs too. Sweets or the like count here too, not only doll stuff.
      Same for clothes (one size fits all never works), keychains or whatnot.
      I guess most freebies are appreciated for a second, because of the gesture, but then either tossed or ignored and never used. There are cheaper gestures that produce less waste and still give you a fuzzy feeling while unpacking.
       
      #8 Ara, Aug 17, 2017
      Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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    9. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      It's not super important to me per say- but I do think it's sweet when the box has just the company logo/company motto. Simple yet effective.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recycled stuff?
      It's a niche hobby which means small companies and one-man production situations, so I really don't mind if stuff is recycled so the company saves a bit of money as long as it's packaged securely.

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      I greatly appreciated Resinsoul's carrier that their doll came in. I really needed one. I also appreciated the little magic eraser and the eye putty from Alice's Collections; and receiving spare string or some hooks would be great. But, taking from your example, I wouldn't really appreciate receiving a tshirt, dog tag, plush, calendar, or stickers. Especially all at once. Unmentioned spares like eyes or wigs are a welcome surprise because I can always use them down the line. I don't mind and appreciate 1-3 extras, but anything more just feels... excessive.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …
      A sturdy box and at least a sturdy paper CoA are all I really consider "essential". Otherwise, as long as my doll arrives safely and securely packaged, I don't really care what it's packaged with.

      All-in-all, receiving the correct, undamaged order is far more important to me than any amount of freebies I might get.

      EDIT: Someone above mentioned a well-designed website. That's extremely important. If I don't know where things are or how to pay isn't clear, then I am far less likely to order from a company.
       
    10. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      Brand identity is contained exclusively in the doll and the CoA to me, anything else is just trinketry as far as I'm concerned. As stated above, a great website is a huge plus, but I feel like these questions are geared more towards the physical aspect of doll collection. I can see the appeal of dog tags and merch, but I don't feel they fit with how I collect dolls and relate to dolls so I personally don't need them. I collect dolls to go further into my own world, not to go further into the doll maker's brand, if you see what I mean, so I'm not going to use doll calendars or dog tags.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      I respect any doll maker that ships in recycled stuff, and I don't believe we're small enough to be exempt from environmental considerations. The exception is a box- I want a nice, new, properly sized box for my doll to fit in because they spend a lot of time in storage at my house. You have to ship the doll in something anyway, why not a perfect box? It doesn't have to be made of wood for me to like it, but I do want it to hold the doll in a standing position.

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      I appreciate it when doll makers include eyes with the doll. Even though I change them out, for some reason, that is the one extra that really really gets me, the one I don't care if I pay a little extra for. I also think it's nice to include one unexpected thing- one company shipped me a doll with a to-scale little teddy bear and I was over the moon for that. I never even knew I wanted it til I had it. It probably cost them very little to throw that in and I was nuts for it.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      I prefer laminated or plastic CoAs and, as stated above, a perfectly sized box. I love when doll companies ship with cushions instead of foam, but any packing material is okay with me as long as it's keeping my doll safe.

      Thanks for asking these questions, they really helped me examine my beliefs around packaging in this hobby. :)
       
    11. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      Branding doesn't mean a single thing to me (dolls or general life stuff). I buy the doll because of the way the sculpt looks and what need it fills for the character it will be. If I knew that the base price of a doll was jacked to cover fancy branding, I'd be annoyed and possibly avoid buying new and look instead for a 2nd hand one without all the fru-fru.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      As long as the doll is safely/well packaged, I don't care what's used as far as packaging goes (as long as it was clean). I do prefer sturdy, well made boxes as my dolls are stored in their boxes when I'm not actively doing stuff with them. I also NEED boxes that are the appropriate size to hold the doll with the head on (I'm looking at you 5Star).

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      Depends what the extras are. I'd prefer practical items over things like flashy photographs of the dolls (I'd likely never dress my guy like how they display him in the photo) or calendars or their idea/story of character for the doll or whatnot. I have received free wigs and both times, while the wigs were very nice, they were also very much girl wigs and I don't collect girls so... Like someone else mentioned, a string puller would be awesome. Extra elastic appreciated. Heck, even a magic eraser would be handy. I'd take any of that over photos or wigs or what-have-you.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      I hate those cut foam packaging things. I store my dolls fully dressed and wigged and generally can't do that with those cut foam things. I throw them out, keeping only the bottom full foam piece and the box. I'll make a pillow to fit in the box if I didn't get one. Many of my dolls pre-date CoA's so that's not a big deal to me either. It's nice to have but not a must have for me.
       
    12. · Some of these things are quite cost-intensive, especially in small editions.
      · Someone has to get paid to work on the corporate identity, the design and the printed material.

      1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?

      Brand identity means absolutely nothing to me. I get that the concept of brand identity was developed to appeal to some aspects of human's unconscious or subconscious wiring, but when I really think about what I want in a BJD, I'd actually prefer if what people gathered from my dolls was not "Ooh look an X (really expensive doll)," but rather "Ooh look there's a clearly-loved and unique doll in its own right." I want my dolls to be recognizable (and hopefully enjoyed), if they are going to be looked at, before the viewer even realizes the company that made the sculpt.

      When you see Anu or Arial or Secernere, you should recognize them by name or as my dolls (or perhaps just as someone's dolls, I'm not picky about how well I'm recognized online), not there's a Dollshe Amanda/EosDoll hybrid, a SimplyDivine Harlequin/Doll Legend hybrid, there's a Dollshe Arsene/Dollstown hybrid.

      Honestly, I'd rather have the cheaper doll, or a more expensive doll that's more expensive because the materials cost more, not because the company is well known. If I wanted designer inflated prices, I'd buy handbags, where that sort of showboatiness is prized more (which would be a struggle, because I hate purses--backpacks all the way).

      · Some things are mass-produced by ”cheap“ workers, others have a bad impact on our environment.
      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?

      UniverseDoll recycles boxes (from other companies). When I received my doll. I thought it was the dealer, Legend Doll (not Doll Legend, the company) who packed it in a Dollzone outside shipping box, but I recently bought parts directly from the company and they were also send in a different company's box (2D Doll).

      I like recycled shipping containers but would hate recycled doll boxes because I keep those (and I like being able to look at a box, if I've packed up a doll, and knowing what's in it). Any little bit of recycling helps (although I honestly think the real push to recycle should be through means which actually result in the most waste and pollution--it is not an individual problem, it's an industry problem).

      As for nice working conditions, if I heard something horrendous, I'd be less likely to buy from the company period, regardless of price. However, I tried looking into going completely sweatshop free with clothing, and I'd have to buy fabric from decades ago to be sure (if something--like Levi's--is made in the US, you better bet the minimum necessary is done in the US and the rest is done in a sweatshop; in Levi's case, the jeans are cut out and the pockets and stuff added before sewing sideseams in the USA; only their red line selvedge denim is woven in the USA in Cone Mills). So, while I try to minimize the harm I'm causing, I also try to point out and organize to influence something which will actually serve to address the concern for safe and healthy working conditions--large scale (international) policy change.

      · Some of these things you paid for you will never use, they are beautiful, but will clutter up your space. You’ll probably not get rid of them, just in case you might want to sell your doll with all their equipment in the future.
      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?

      I'm not a fan of freebies. I'd much rather take a shipping discount than a free event doll. I want to be the person who chooses what causes the clutter and mess in my house, not someone else. If it's worth the effort to sell, I sell the free things I get, but otherwise, I give them away or toss them--I have to draw the line at collecting somewhere, and it's much easier to do it with things I don't actually want.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …

      Like most others have said, I like sturdy packaging. My favorite is foam cutouts to hold the body, but pillows and bubblewrap are OK. I'd still rather make due with a sturdy, but less aesthetically appealing box and a cheaper doll than a ridiculously decorated and elaborate box and an expensive doll (everything else being equal).
       
    13. 1. How important is brand identity for you, considering that it will actually make your doll more expensive in the end?
      I like to have a nice box and CoA, if for no other reason than to help prove my doll is legit, and it gives me a place to store her if/when I need to do so. It also makes shipping much easier if I decide to sell her, and I love the boxes with the foam cut out that don't require a lot of packing materials (BlueBlood Doll, Fairyland and Iplehouse do this, for example). It also depends on what it actually is. A nice cardboard box is enough, I really wouldn't like a wood box because it would greatly increase shipping fees, and the only time I ever do put my dolls in their boxes is when moving or selling them. It could also be harder to store a bunch of heavy boxes. Other freebies, just depends. I love free eyes and underwear, and I can almost always use them. A t-shirt with the company logo...while that sounds really cool, my doll characters are not dolls, and so they'd never wear a doll company t-shirt. I'll probably never use stickers or a catalog, but I do use my calendar from Dolk US. I don't like anything sealed in wax because I can't open it and look at it without damaging the pretty seal. Other extras, like shoes, clothes, wig, etc are nice to have, but if they don't fit my dolls' styles, I sell/trade them. I don't care much for free carriers, as I already have one I really like and will just end up selling or giving away any more.

      In short, I don't mind paying a little bit extra for a good sturdy pretty box and CoA, but the rest isn't really necessary.

      2. Do you sometimes think about these things? Do you think our hobby is just such a small niche that it doesn’t have much of an influence? How would you feel if your brand new doll came packaged in recyled stuff?
      Recycled packing material and shipping box are perfectly fine, as long as it's clean. I usually don't throw away packing peanuts or bubblewrap--I save them and any good boxes for when I sell things, then reuse it. We may be a small hobby, but any recycling helps.

      3. Do you appreciate them anyway?
      I appreciate the thought of extras, and I do find a lot of them nice to have and even useful.

      4. Is there any design item that you find essential? Like a great box, a plastic card CoA, cut foam packaging …


      Definitely a nice box, CoA and I really love the foam packaging. This might sound elitist, but receiving a doll-mummy stuffed in a shipping box with no card or anything just doesn't feel as special as opening that pretty box and seeing your doll for the first time. Even play line Barbies have pretty boxes, so it feels weird to me that an $8 mass produced doll has a nice box and logo, but a $100+ doll doesn't have even the simplest of boxes or CoA. I understand it's cheaper and easier for mass produced items to have packaging at a low cost, but I really do like having it for my BJDs. It makes me feel like the company/artist takes pride in making their dolls look good for the new owners and ship safely.
       
    14. I love beautiful designs omg
       
    15. Wow, thank you all for your elaborate comments. Very interesting to read and food for thought.

      @kamikakushi I love the Switch molds, but I've never seen the hilarious user manual! Didn't think Switch had such a great sense of humor.

      @Ara Oh those Iplehouse acrylic eyes gloating over the customer who's just spent a fortune on a doll …


      I have to admit I sometimes wear my dog-tag style Domuya CoA as jewelry …:whee: I'm also using my Spiritdoll carrier a lot, and it's slowly coming apart.
      I also love it a lot when there is a little personal note from the artist. I like to be reminded there are passionate people behind the businesses, not minions doing their jobs.