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Bringing my Doll to a Con

Aug 13, 2017

    1. Hello everybody!! :)
      I just got done reading the "Stolen Dolls" thread in the general discussion and it made me so so sad to hear the stories of these poor people who had their babies stolen from them!! :( I cannot imagine how horrible that is for someone to have the cruelty to steal someone's precious bjd :atremblin

      Now I am paranoid. I am planning to bring my sweet baby bjd to Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) with me. Should I be worried? AWA is not a bjd con so there are some people there who probably have no remorse for bjd matters like stealing them :eek: Should I not bring her? Have you brought your bjd to a con before? What safety precautions should I take? <3
      Thank you so much!! :aheartbea
    2. The only safety precaution I can advise is to not let the doll out of your sight, not even for a second! Always know where she is at all times and keep a mental note of the very last time you saw her.

      However, if I were you, I would personally not bring her. Since it's not a BJD related con, most people you will encounter won't know the basic care and etiquette about these very expensive dolls. If you have something "weird" or unusual like a BJD, some people are going to be curious and will want to handle her.

      I'm not sure what type of convention you're going to, but a lot of conventions have cosplayers who wear things like body paint. Some people will not understand that resin can be easily stained. Some people won't know how expensive or personalized these dolls are - they might not know that they're not supposed to touch the faceup, someone could drop her, etc... just a whole mess of things can happen to your BJD just because other people outside of the BJD hobby don't understand the limits or technicalities of these dolls.

      Basically, the safety of your BJD is going to come down to you knowing where she is at all times and not letting her out of your sight, and being very careful in monitoring any interactions people might want to have with holding or touching her. Regardless of if you decide to bring her or not, I hope you have fun at the convention you're going to! (And if you do end up taking her, some amazing photo opportunities can arise from conventions! We would love to see!)
      • x 1
    3. I recommend not to bring her to the con because yeah, people don't understand how to treat the dolls, how to, I don't know, touch them or something and you can have an accident, but not just because of that. I recommend yo not to bring the doll to the con because well, It's a con, you would like to do so much things and having to take care of a doll can be so annoying like, everybody wants to touch them, play with them, or they just want to bother you for fun (obviousl, I'm talking from my point of view as a person who has brought a doll to a con)
    4. I'm pretty surprised people are advising you not to bring your doll just because it's not a BJD con. Maybe it's because I've been taking my dolls to anime conventions since before there were any BJD cons in existence. :lol: It's very common and there's a good chance there will even be a doll meet or a panel you can go to.

      In any case, if you want to bring her, go ahead! Just be sensible about it.

      1)You most likely will not want to carry her with you all the time, so make sure you have a a safe, out of the way place to keep her where you're staying. It's not a bad idea to buy a lock for your luggage (for your peace of mind if nothing else).

      2) when you have her with you in con space, carry her close to your body, or in a carrier. Conventions are often crowded, so it's better to minimize the chance of your doll being knocked around if someone bumps into you. If there are pieces on her clothes or wig that can fall off (or mag-on pieces like horns) it's easier to take them off and stow them away until you get to a resting point.

      3) Obviously, don't leave your doll unattended. If you're at a meet and you trust the people there... still keep an eye on her. If someone wants to hold her and it makes you uncomfortable, don't feel bad about saying no (politely, of course).

      Keep in mind that the incidents you read about, sad as they are, are rare. In the decade-plus that I've been bringing dolls to conventions, I've never seen or heard of a doll being stolen at an event I was at, nor have I had anyone be rude or try to touch my dolls, get body paint on them, or generally do anything other than say "oooooh, can I see your doll? :D" People who don't have interest in BJD will most likely not even look twice at you since they aren't an uncommon sight at anime conventions. And if someone does try to touch her without your permission, a firm "Please don't touch" will solve most problems.

      In the end, you should do what will make you feel comfortable, but don't let paranoia get in the way of enjoying your doll!
      • x 4
    5. In my experience, people were very thoughtful at a con i brought a doll to.

      I had a table for selling art, and set her up near the back of it. lots of people were curious, but nobody tried to grab her and everyone asked permission first if they wanted to touch (they didn't get mad when i politely declined and explained why, too)

      i mean, any time you are surrounded by so many people, you never know what's gonna happen next, but most strangers don't go up and put their fingers all over people's stuff... even by con standards that's pretty rude. It's usually only little kids that get grabby and they're pretty easy to dodge.

      every cosplayer i know that wears body paint goes out of their way not to get it on anyone else. they're usually the most respectful about not touching without permission, since they have to deal with so many people wanting pictures with them.

      definitely don't leave a doll just sitting somewhere, it's like a wallet or a purse. not everyone is honest, but most people don't go out of their way to steal. it's still best not to make it easy.
      • x 2
    6. I think it could be fun to bring your doll, but it all comes down to how much effort you're willing to put in for her...

      For example, I know I'm the type of person who wants things as easy and streamlined as possible at a convention because I know I'll be tired, with sore feet, maybe hungry and cranky, carrying a billion bags, talking to a heap of people, wanting to browse all the stalls and touch/handle things, visit panels and workshops... I pretty much know I'm going to be flat out busy for most of the day and so I try and keep things as light and easy as possible. For this reason, I wouldn't bring a doll to a convention unless I perhaps had a table in the artist alley or somewhere I could easily put her (like a few other people have mentioned). This is because I would have to dedicate a lot of effort to making sure she was safe, not getting knocked around or scratched or lost, and there would be so much other stuff happening at the convention that the thought of doing this sounds exhausting!

      However, if you think that bringing your doll will heighten your con-going experience... say, giving you the opportunity to meet other BJD enthusiasts or maybe there's a panel or a stall selling doll-related things (even if it's not a doll-specific convention), then I would bring her if you're confident you can put in the time and effort to ensure her safety. So long as you understand that bringing her is your own risk, if the reward is worth it... why not? :kitty1
      • x 1
    7. I personally think you should bring your doll, if that's what you want to do. I used to go to anime cons fairly frequently and brought my dolls, and other people brought their's too. It was fun! We had little impromptu meetups and talked and had a good time. Don't deprive yourself of that if you want to being your doll!

      Like others have said, all you really have to do to avoid your doll being stolen is to keep your eyes (or preferably hands) on her at all times. I recommend having a carrying bag that you can always hold on to, and when you don't want to carry her around, then lock her in your hotel room. (You could even put her in the safe if you're super concerned.)

      In my experience, even those people who don't have experience with BJDs are respectful at cons. If you love a hobby enough to go to a convention about it, then you tend to be respectful of other people's hobbies too.

      It's really up to you in the end! But I think you'd have fun id you brought her. And if you brought her down to the con the first day and didn't like carrying her around or didn't feel comfortable, then you can always keep her in the hotel room thenrest of the time. There's no rule that you have to carry her around the whole time. :3nodding:
      • x 1
    8. Take the same precautions you would with anything else that's valuable. You wouldn't leave an iPad unattended on a table at a con, right? It would either be in your bag or in your hands. You want to do the same with your doll, or at least make sure you can see her if she's say, on a table with other dolls, and are close enough to intervene if someone's doing something with her that you don't like.
      • x 1
    9. Ok thank you so much!! :) I really appreciate your advice I will definitely think about that <3 I might make a little strap thing under her outfit so that she is attached to either my hand or a little hammock thing around my neck or something <3 it still appalls me how people would steal dolls :( so sad </3 but you're right about the body paint and all I will defiantly think about that!!! (Btw I LOVE your icon :D )

      That's a good point-- but I'm not one to go crazy at cons :) I like having my doll with me as a distraction from the anxiety that large social events bring me :frownyblush: I think she'll give me something to calm my nerves :chibi but thank you so much!! I will definitely take that under advisement <3

      Aww thank you so much for this advice!! <3 I am thankful you said that because as you are a bjd-con-bringer for a long time I very much trust this advice!!:) Yes I will definitely bring a carrier for her and will keep an eye on her at all times <3 yes I will defiantly politely ask people not to handle her if I am unsure just cause I might still be a little paranoid lol xD but thank you! I will not let paranoia get in the way of me enjoying my sweet Xenia :aheartbea :)

      Thank you for your advice!! :D yes defiantly people in my expirience at this specific con are very respectful of "props" and such <3 but you're right I would never leave my baby unattended <3 that's so good to know though! Thank you!! :)

      Thank you so much for this!! Yes I am a person that at a con doesn't go super crazy like I did in my early con years xD I actually like having something to distract myself from the big social setting :shudder I can't wait! We will be in matching outfits so I would feel incomplete without her <3

      Aw that's a good point thank you!! :) yes I will always have my hands on her just in case <3 I would LOVE to meet other people with their dolls!! :D

      Thank you for that!! Yes I will defiantly keep her on my at all times! <3
      #9 stormi, Aug 13, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2017
    10. I've brought my doll to an anime con before and it was fine, granted I kept her in her box for most of the time until just before and after a ball joint doll panel I went to. But even in the short time I had her out in the hallways and stuff no one tried to like take her away from me or anything.
      Like other people have said just treat her like something valuable and keep an eye on her but in general you'll most likely be fine.
    11. Oh cool thank you!! Aww yeah I'd defiantly keep an eye on her all the time <3
      • x 1
    12. You'll be fine as long as you keep your doll with you. Don't put it down anywhere. I've heard, one time at a convention, of a girl who put her doll down for a dolly photograph. The event progressed with all the dolls still safely on the table. Then when it was time to leave another girl tried to nonchalantly scoop up the doll with her doll as well as if she owned both. Luckily a friend( if I remember correctly) stopped the would be thief. Just be careful and you'll be fine :)
      • x 1
    13. I go to Anime North every year (I'm actually staff for an event and have been for the last 8 years). Every year I bring multiple dolls with me. Yes, multiple dolls. From my tiniest at 5cm to my biggest 68cm. Depending on the sizes I bring, that'll limit my dolls. So if I'm bringing 2 of my biggest, I'll probably only bring 1 tiny as well. Smaller dolls means more dolls. At AN is also Doll North, which is part of my reason for bring the numbers I do. I've also got quite a few seldom seen dolls so bring them so others can enjoy them, too. At every con I commission an artist in artist alley to draw whatever dolls I bring, which gives me a lovely picture of my boys, which is always nice.

      With all that being said, I've never had a problem with others touching my dolls without permission. Most non-doll people will glance at them and that's it. A few might approach and ask questions but it doesn't happen too much. Everybody is generally doing their own thing and unless your doll is cosplaying or is a highly unusual sculpt, most attendees are all whatever if they notice it.

      DO keep control of your doll at all times. This cannot be stressed enough. You'r under no obligation to let anybody touch/hold your possession(s). You wouldn't casually hand someone you didn't know your glasses or purse or laptop and generally, people wouldn't expect you to. Same thing with a doll. Be firm but polite when saying no and don't let someone pressure you into letting them hold your doll. You also don't owe them a reason for saying no since, again, it's your property.

      DO bring a carrying bag of some kind. Even an MSD will get heavy if you're holding him/her in the crook of your arm for hours on end. Most knapsacks can hold even a large doll with some pillows or towels around them for padding if they're curled up. Your arms will thank you for it. Also use common sense. The dealer room is the most crowded place of any con. Unless you have a specific reason to have your doll out, it might be safest for all if they were either left in your hotel room or in a padded bag. Bumping/jostling happens almost constantly and all it takes is one wrong bump and tired arms and your doll could take a tumble to the floor. And as someone mentioned, anything that is prone to come off easily be that a wig or mag parts, should be removed and placed safely in your purse/bag because there is nothing quite so dread inducing than the thought that you're lost a part (this happened to me twice with mag ears although I was fortunate to find the "missing" part after a lot of frantic searching).
      • x 1
    14. Oh my gosh that's awful!! Dx aw I will definitely never leave her alone D: thank you so much for the advice!! :D

      Awww a 5cm doll??? Cuuuuute!!!! :D aw thank you so much for your advice!! :) I will never let her out of my sight I'm too paranoid xD aww I'd love to get my Xenia drawn by an artist in artist alley! That's an amazing idea!! :D
      #14 stormi, Aug 13, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2017
    15. The 5cm is OT for DoA but she's part of a family grouping so when I brought the parental figures (the relationship is unusual), she came along, too. And because I knew I was going to Doll North, I brought along my Soom ID51 to try and find him shoes (no such luck *sigh*) and my SD Azrael skull head to find eyes for him (the eyes I bought are gonna end up in another doll). So this con past it was a 51cm, 2-30cm, a 5cm and a 52cm head.

      Lots of artists will do commissions and many really seem taken with BJD's because they are so life-like. The artist I had this year is actually going to be doing some book covers for me, which is win/win for both of us since she gets work and recognition and I get some snazzy new covers for some of my novels when they're re-released.
    16. That's amazing!! Aww too bad the 5cm is off topic I'd love to see her/him :D
      That's awesome oh my gosh! :) artist alley is usually my favorite place at cons :)
    17. The Cynara is the 5cm is a DollZone Little Bean. She belongs to Iwa-Xine, a Soom Boehm Smoke Sprite, as she was born from his tree (he's a Dryad). His partner is Sondo, an Akhmel Nathan, who is a psychopomp to Ra-Sui (the SD Azrael skull). Ra-Sui is the God of Decay & Guardian of Souls. The Soom ID51 Gluino is Rhas-Khan, God of the Abyss and brother to Ra-Sui.
    18. That's awesome!! :D you should make doll profiles for them so that people can read more about them :) xD
    19. Other than treating it like any other valuable, having a way to carry your doll when your arms get tired, and taking off anything from your doll that is easily lost, I'd say don't feel like you need to take the doll out with you the whole time. Have a dolly day, then give yourself a break.

      Just to mention another security thing at Cons: I know that some vendors with dolls at their table will use clear fishing line and run a thread around their dolls ankle and secure them to the booth. Thieves can be very opportunistic, so some strong fishing line in your doll bag couldn't hurt in case you set your doll down on a table and think you might lose track.
      • x 3
    20. That's a great idea with the fishing line!! :D thank you so much for your advice :)
      • x 1