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Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Other BJDs...does it matter?

Jan 25, 2016

    1. Since being back on DOA with a BJD of my own (finally :kitty2) Ive seen some conversation about less expensive bjds versus more expensive and well known bjds. Ive even seen some less than favorable comments about dolls that may or may not be the priciest. :sighI mean, besides aesthetics, whats the hoopla? I love my Magical Angel girl and actually ordered another from them. :loveI also own a Doll-Leaves boy. As a doll collector of over 20 years I use the golden rule "If you love her/him, your doll is priceless". :love:D:hug:

      Is there a feeling that if you own a Volks, IpleHouse, or what have you that your dolls are better? Is there a real difference in the construction or resin? :aninja:
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    2. there are differences definitely,especially considering body sculpting and joint mobility and overall posing stability of the doll. Some companies do have better posing stability. But indeed, it all depends on owner's preference and aesthetics. I don't think volks dolls are generally "better" than others, though I own a bunch of volks since I love the sculpt and the smooth feel of the skin. I also own dolls from chinese and korean companies and i love them as well. It is just personal preference.
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    3. You know, I've heard a lot of talk about doll elitism and snobbery, but I've actually seen very little of it here at DoA.

      As for cheaper dolls, yeah it's generally true that you get what you pay for, but honestly if a doll has some flaws, or is just of lower quality, isn't it reasonable to pay less for it? And besides, no company in any price point has a monopoly on cute (or sexy, or beautiful, etc.) If you fall in love with a doll and it's at a lower price point, that's just a bonus. So what if, it has posing problems, or bad elastic, or a poorly designed hip joint (looking at you, Dragondoll!!!)
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    4. Generally I personally find less expensive dolls have less detail put into posing, and the looks of the joints. But then again there's Dollshe which is more expensive than the dolls I have purchased and I think their joints don't look well thought out at all, so that easily dismisses my point about price indicating quality. Resinsoul is one of the go-to cheaper companies but they've had some of the sturdiest resin out there, amazing customer service for special resin color requests, color matching services, and mixing and matching parts in ways they don't advertise, but they'll do.

      So I agree with what @Redfaery said above, if you love the doll, the price doesn't matter. And if it's got a lower price, that's a bonus! The dolls I have gravitated towards are mostly in the $500 range, because hey, I found out I have a thing for SDs :XD: Part of what makes them worth that to me is first loving the entirety of the sculpt, head and body. And then I make their clothes, and while I'll also treat them to already made clothes, I know I'm going to personalize their wardrobe.

      I only have Luts dolls in person right now, but I've seen other companies' dolls at meets, and so far I haven't seen difference in resin quality, but resin differences can exist. Seam lines are one area where companies can differ and it's not a functional problem so much but rather the company's own quality control and how detailed they want to go for the dolls they sell. My Luts dolls have varying degrees of seam lines but that's not a negative thing to me, since they're minima. I do have two other dolls from different companies on layaway and I'll see how those compare :3nodding:
    5. My collection is a mix of Chinese and Korean dolls, and I have yet to have anyone say anything negative to me about any of my dolls. Several of them are heads from more expensive Korean companies hybrided onto less expensive Chinese bodies. In general, you could say the Korean companies often tend to have more detailed/realistic/less stylized sculpts than the less expensive Chinese companies-- but like any generalization, that's not even remotely a hard and fast rule. Take Impldoll for example. They are a Chinese company, a bit more affordable, and yet the sculpts they have been producing in the last year or so are highly detailed and realistic. My Impldoll Azalea looks completely at home with my Iplehouse, Elfdoll, and Souldoll heads in terms of realism. I have an inexpensive body from 5Stardoll, a Chinese company, that has beautifully heavy, solid resin and is FAR easier to pose and handle than my April Story girl from Korea. And there are plenty of Korean sculptors whose aesthetic is very stylized and not at all realistic. (Fairyland, Luts) Doll Chateau is a Chinese company, yet they are known for pushing artistic boundaries with their inventive, unique sculpting.
      Trying to sort BJD companies into tiers of quality based on where the company is from is futile and inaccurate. The Chinese companies do not have uniformly inferior resin, or poor sculpting. In fact there is a wide range of styles and aesthetics from one company to another that has little to nothing to do with where the company is. So no, it doesn't matter whether your doll is Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. Or from another country altogether. As long as it's a legit doll, people should choose what they like and not worry about what country the sculptor is from. And like I said, I've never experienced any elitism at all.... no one has ever made me feel like my dolls that are less expensive or hybrids with "cheap" bodies are inferior in any way.
      #5 thedarkeststar13, Jan 25, 2016
      Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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    6. Oh no is the elitist thing still rumored to be happening?

      At first I didn't want any Volks because I heard about that but over the years I have four! And I love them!

      But I also LOVE "cheap" and used dolls! Most of my dolls were under $150-200 because I shopped eBay and found dolls that no one really wanted or were hurt in some way.

      But having Volks and less expensive dolls I can say that yes, there are differences. The resin is heavier in Volks. It's more uniform and softer to the touch. It does tend to mellow faster. It's not yellow, but a cream color?

      I do have a basic Soom Yo, too, and he's adorable. He's one of my favorites because he's small like my Rosen Lied Yo, and they're both lighter than Volks, but they haven't yellowed/mellowed at all. I've had my Rosen Lied for about four or five years, too.

      Honestly I think what's most important isn't price or whatever, but what draws you. :3
    7. @KohakuTenshi
      So there are differences in quality between the different brands! That would make sense, but it's nice to know. The sculpt is the most important thing to me, so I probably wouldn't even notice the differences in the resin unless I was specifically looking.
    8. I think there are different qualities in dolls, but there is no rule about what's best. That's going to vary wildly! For example, people rave about ResinSoul's resin, but I personally find it too lightweight and shiny and would prefer something heavier more like Volks. Others absolutely hate the posing in Iplehouse bodies, but I haven't found it to be bad at all and think they slouch and do lying-on-stomach poses really well. So, even in things that most people think are good or bad, there will still be some who disagree.

      The best thing you can do is research the companies that interest you, decide what factors mean the most to you (posing, aesthetic, price, resin type, etc) and then make your choice based on that. You're buying a doll for yourself, not other people, so the only opinion that matters is your own.
    9. In my experience, you get what you pay for. The more expensive dolls are generally nicer sculpts, more detailed, etc. But the plus side of having an inexpensive doll is that you won't feel bad when you cover them up with pretty clothes since the body isn't all that great. My girl has a very nice head sculpt but her body is quite plain so I don't mind covering her up with nice clothes. But I love her more than the expensive dolls I see because I customized her to suit my tastes.
    10. Well, I have Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese dolls at the same time. Where the company is from is never a factor to be considered before I purchase the doll. Usually it's the sculpt itself that attracts me, then I will take the body shape (muscles) and perhaps the size, and of course the price into account.
      In my opinion based on my experience, the prices of dolls of different companies differ from each other not only becasue of the resin quality or body details. Some company has very thin resin but still sell dolls at a relatively high price (I'm looking at you Soom). Some has very beautiful bodies but the price is resonable, like Spiritdoll.
      I have a Volks limited sd ( used to be two, sold one ) and I like him, but I can say he's not my most beloved one among my collection (sorry dear). I think nobody would suspect the quality of Volks resin. It's just so soft and smooth to touch. And it yellows very slow. It's also quite sturdy. However, the entire impression of Volks dolls just doesn't appeal me as much as some other dolls.
      I actually like dolls made by individual doll sculptors such as Kappa(Dollgru), Another Secret, K-doll, Nino, Msdoll(Soolee) LLT and Nabarro. They sell heads only, so of course they're not expensive. Normally the resin they use is just the most normal resin. And I can't say the quality of those heads are as good as the ones made by big companies like Dollzone or Luts. But I just like them and my Volks or Soom equally.
      For elitism and snobbery, I don't see much on DoA. But I'm pretty sure these exist and I have been through. But whatever, I don't give a crap about what others say.
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    11. Each doll is different and each owner has different tastes and priorities (for example, I prefer a doll that's sturdy when standing and sitting to a doll that's flexible and can do a lot of poses). Of course people are going to analyze each doll when deciding if they'll buy it or not, but for someone else's doll, who cares? As long as you like your doll and it's not stolen or a recast I'm not going to look down on you even if you choose a doll I don't personally like.
    12. I also have a mix (though my only Volks is a DD body so I can't comment on their resin). My two best posers - in terms of ease of play, holding a pose, and having a natural-looking "resting position" - are my Ringdoll Dylan and Rosette Fir. Ringdoll's resin is gorgeous and smooth to the touch as well. I have quite a few Sooms, and while their sculpts are lovely and detailed, their engineering is pretty limited and their resin is just the average. The worst one, by far, is my beloved DoD Delphine. She's beautiful, but her body constantly flops and snaps this way and that. :sigh

      I adore my Resinsoul Fei - I think her sculpting is lovely and ethereal - but she mostly lays around haha.

      So I'd say it seems to depend heavily on what the company prioritizes. Some companies are aesthetically wonderful but less than great when it comes to joint engineering, and others are awesomely innovative with sets or jointing but can have a lot of "same face" sculpts, and other make solid dolls that are beautiful to touch and hold. Some of that might have a connection to cultural values, and some of it is down to the artist's preferences.
    13. Less expensive dolls may not be engineered the best, so they may have mobility and posing issues. I've also found that the bodies from less expensive companies don't always have the detailed sculpting I like to see. But I'm not about to trash someone else's doll just because it's from a less expensive company.

      I hear a lot about this sort of 'elitism' off and on, but I really don't see it (outside of counterfeit buyers, honestly). From what I have seen in doll groups and the various doll forums I've browsed, people share the same mindset of 'if you like it, go for it.' I've yet to see people in the hobby be talked down to or treated badly for having dolls from these cheaper companies outside of anonymous trolling on Tumblr.
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    14. I think most of the differences between different cultures is just their aesthetic; we have good and not so good dolls from each culture.
    15. I have dolls that were made by companies and artists from many different countries and I haven't noticed that one region dominates as far as quality. But I'm also a new collector so maybe things were different 5-10 years ago.

      I also don't think that cost as an indicator of quality necessarily. Some regions might have cheaper labour costs, better access to resources or are located in areas where the cost of living is low so their prices reflect that.

      I buy the dolls I buy because I am fortunate enough to and they bring me joy.
    16. It seems like most of us end up with dolls from all over the place if we stick with the hobby long enough, so I honestly don't think there's anywhere near as much dolly bias going around as people seem to worry about. Most collectors just aren't going to make a huge fuss over where a doll was manufactured, or take swipes at someone because OMG-they-bought-a-toy-from-there. Not when so many of us may well have dolls from there ourselves (No matter where exactly "there" happens to be-).

      Seriously. There are not, and never have been, hordes of Elitists hiding around every corner just waiting for an excuse to bash people. After more than ten years in the hobby and on this site, I've met exactly TWO of those mystical, elusive creatures. (One of them was a sculpt-purist who got herself banned pretty quickly. The other eventually grew up and figured out on her own that she'd been acting like a nitwit. :lol: ) It's a pretty safe bet to simply think of Dolly Elitists as our own version of Bigfoot. The myth doesn't match reality.

      As for quality...
      Yes, often you do get what you pay for with dolls, just like with a lot of other consumer goods. A less expensive product typically means one produced with lower-cost materials, in a lower-wage environment with less initial development investment. So, the resin may not be quite as nice as a more expensive brand's, the workers who made it might not have gotten paid as well and the sculpting and engineering might not be so polished. It doesn't mean the doll is bad. There are some really nice ones on the less-pricey end of the spectrum... but it does usually mean that costs had to be cut *somewhere*... labor, materials or design. That's just economic reality no matter which country you're looking at.
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    17. This will always be a matter of of preference, of course. There are differences, sure, but that doesn't mean one country of origin is better than any other. I find the universal truth is that in the world of BJDs, you get what you pay for.
      Japanese BJD companies are kinda limited to the big names Volks and Alchemic Labo, and their resin tends to be thicker, their dolls limited, and their demand high.
      Chinese BJD companies tend to be cheaper, both in terms of costs of production and the retail price of their dolls.
      Korean BJD companies, I think fall somewhere in between, as there are "luxury" brands but there are also more affordable companies.
      Personally, I prefer Korean BJDs as their aesthetic is more appealing to me and I like how there is more diversity across companies.
    18. The debate between doll companies being better or worse if they're more expensive is something that nearly everyone hears about but personally I haven't come across it too many times. Most people would agree that if you love your doll then that is all that matters (and if it happens to be a standard from a less expensive company that's fantastic).
      I have a VOLKS doll and I love VOLKS dolls (as well as dolls from other companies, both more and less expensive that VOLKS) but that doesn't mean that I think that my doll is better than someone else's BJD from any other company just because she costs more/ is from a very well-known company. There are differences in the construction and resin between companies but that isn't necessarily a bad thing and doesn't necessarily have to do with the price of the dolls and/or how popular the company is. Some people prefer lighter resin and others resin with more heft to it, some people are happy with single joints and others are not.
      In general, you love your doll for a reason (expensive or not) and most people would agree that that's all that really matters.
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    19. So well put Chibi Rat! Thank you!! ;)
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    20. In a community with so many people, who make up different age groups, income levels, reasons for being in the hobby, aesthetic tastes, etc. it is no wonder there are so many companies out there for us to choose from. It is a wonderful thing, to have options, and also a fickle thing, as trends come and go, as prices fluctuate, as collectors and companies appear and disappear. I have had BJD from China, Korea, and Japan, and none are bad, just different. Don't worry about anyone saying a doll didn't cost enough or cost too much; even the "cheap" dolls aren't exactly "cheap." If you're happy, that is the bottom line. As far as I'm concerned, your own enjoyment is the only reason to do it in the first place. :)
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