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Do they really hold their worth? How "old" are YOUR dolls?

Sep 15, 2009

    1. Hi everyone. I've been thinking about this for a while and it's really been bothering me, since I have devoted so much time and money to these dolls. Mods, feel free to delete this if the topic has been discussed already. I couldn't really find anything that concerned this issue.

      Multiple times, I have heard people refer to their dolls that are around three-four years of age as "very old" or even "ancient" and "damaged". Perhaps it depends on how well you care for your dolls, but I must say that four years time to me is nothing and considering how much money we are paying for these dolls, shouldn't they keep their quality or overall value for more than a four year period?

      I'm pressed to find anyone really, who has kept their dolls for more than two-three years before selling them (though I'm certain there are people out there who have held on to their dolls much longer than this, which leads me to create this thread). It causes me some anxiety, because I would really like to have my dolls around longer than that and because I payed this much money for them, I expect them to last a long time as well.

      I know the dolls are very delicate and need a lot of care. And I realize many of them have been "well loved" and played with often, which can hasten the wear on them.

      Please feel free to come forward with your opinions. Here are some questions:

      What do you consider to be an "old" doll?

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?

    2. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?

      None of my dolls seem very old to me, honestly. I also collect antique and vintage dolls from about 1880 to 1950, so these dolls seem quite new to me.

      Do you think the dolls hold there value?

      Two or three of my dolls are worth more than I paid for them (as they are no longer being made) and most of the others are probably worth about the same as I paid for them, more or less, depending on their condition.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?

      My dolls are undamaged, although several of them have been modded slightly to conform more perfectly to my taste.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?

      I bought my first doll in 2004, several more in 2005, and have continued to buy a few every year since then. I am very happy with my collection and plan to keep them indefinitely.
    3. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      One that was made before my grandparents were born. Seriously, these dolls aren't old, and while they may be damaged by improper care/storage/etc, that's not something that's determined by their age, but rather by how they're cared for (or not) by their owner.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      Some of my dolls are worth more than I paid for them, others less, but most have a current market value of right about what I originally paid.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      See my earlier answer - I don't consider any of these dolls "old." And I have a few dolls that are heavily modified, but that doesn't reduce their value (in fact, in some instances, it increases it), it just changes who would be interested in purchasing them. I don't plan on selling my dolls, unless I find a doll that better suits their character in the future. And that doesn't happen very often (though I'm more likely to switch out original bodies for new bodies, and keep original heads).

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      I purchased my first large resin dolls in 2003, and while I've sold some dolls over the years, and bought others, I do not intend to stop collecting. I also still own the first doll head I purchased, though it sits on a shelf and I don't do anything with it, since my tastes have changed.

      EDIT: I've owned several of my dolls for 5 years or longer, and I adore them (and work on and play with them) just as much as my more recent purchases. I think if you look around a bit, you'll find a lot of people who haven't been selling off their doll collections, and who have been in the hobby for quite some time. Take JennyNemesis, for instance, or Green_Judy, idrisfynn, St. James, Kellyhime, etc. And those are just a few of the people who I myself know well and can list off the top of my head.
    4. Thank you. I hope that I didn't sound accusing. My personal opinion is that none of these dolls (ones that are four-five years of age) are "old". And I feel if they are properly cared for and modified, they will hold their value and perhaps may even be worth more than what they originally were.

      However, it isn't really my opinion that determines their market value, and what the standard age of most BJDs are. So, I am curious about other people's experiences.

    5. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?

      If you’re talking about antique dolls—those are really old.

      BJDs are a different story…

      A 10 year-old BJD is quite old to me. Although, “old” can be a doll that has been in my possession for the last 3-4 years. But “old” seems to be a relative term. :lol:

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?

      Not necessarily. I guess it depends on the popularity of the sculpt, how many was made and the overall demand for a particular sculpt.

      Sometimes, the popularity of a sculpt can diminish over a period of time and when one decides to sell, people might not be interested in that doll anymore.

      It seems the chances of selling would be greater if the “old” doll possess one or all of these traits:

      1. High demand.
      2. Popular sculpt.
      3. Limited edition.
      4. Only a few were manufactured.
      5. Never to be released again.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?

      Yes, I own a damaged doll. He was repaired by a professional artist. I don’t think I can sell him because most collectors don’t like “damaged goods.”

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?

      My oldest doll, in terms of release date, is the one that got damaged and was expertly restored. I plan to keep him indefinitely because I love him.

      The second oldest doll I have I got in 2006—so about 4 years old. She’s just a head now and I’m actually selling her for the EXACT amount I paid for her head.

      I plan to keep my dolls indefinitely; maybe selling off the ones I don’t feel attached to anymore after a while. Perhaps the ones that I keep would go to relatives if something happens to me and I cannot look after them.
    6. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      Haha, a doll older than me, I guess. [I'm 18] A relatively new doll kept by an irresponsible owner can look years older than a doll four times the age of the newer doll if it's being kept by a caring owner.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      I would say yes, mostly. Some dolls go down a little in value, but mostly they seem to hover around the price you would pay for a new doll of the same kind.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      No, my oldest doll is a little over a year old [I'm still a little new at all this dolly stuff] but I would keep an old doll if I still loved it and as for a damaged doll, I would try to send it to someone who does damaged dolly rescues or attempt to fix it myself.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      As I said earlier, my oldest doll is about a year old and my other doll is about 6-7 months old. I'm currently selling my first doll because she doesn't quite suit my tastes anymore. I intend on keeping my dolls as long as they still suit me. If I don't love my doll I'd much rather sell it to someone who will.
    7. Good topic! Bjds have not been around for very long - the very first bjds were released 1998 I believe, so it's only been 11 years. That might be one of the reasons skewing the perception of "old" when it comes to these dolls; in relativity to the age of the whole hobby, even a 3-4 year old doll is "old." Another factor is that within the last few years, there's been a huuuuge influx of not only new companies, but new styles of doll, and so I think many people are changing their personal bjd aesthetic ideal as more options become available, and replacing their sculpts with new ones that are x amount more perfect for their character/aesthetic/joint engineering/etc. This might explain the worrying turnover rate for buying/selling dolls; I don't think people are getting rid of dolls because they've gotten used/damaged so fast, but because they find a newer mold that they prefer. Especially with bodies, the very old ones seem outdated by the new widespread double-jointing and/or greater realism available nowadays, so that even excellent condition older bodies may lose value.

      It's hard to tell what the future will hold. It may be that the bjd phenomenon will fade away entirely. Or maybe old molds that are currently out of fashion/unpopular will become coveted as the bjd hobby itself becomes older and more established. I really, really hope that if nothing else the resin doesn't become ugly after many decades of aging! D: I could live with it if the hobby shrank or the dolls' monetary value dropped, but just like OP I worry about the resin. I know it's strong enough to stay intact, but I worry that it's not going to look good any more 50 years down the road.

      What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      -At this time, 5+ years. But the longer the bjd hobby exists, the older a bjd will have to be in order to be considered old. Then again, if you are considering all dolls in general, as others have said every bjd is new. I own a few tiny porcelain dolls/figures from the mid-1800s, so that's truly old.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      -Depends on the doll. Also, there's always a doll-craze of the moment - I remember when everyone was hunting for Bermann or Woosoo and they were snatched off the marketplace almost as soon as they got there no matter how high the price. Now I see them still going for a high price, but not as high as when the interest was at its peak. Right now Soom MDs and Williams seem to be the ones we're all crazy about - but who knows they'll still be worth as much as they are now in 2-3 years time when another sculpt has the spotlight.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      -A year and a half. Obviously I answer "forever" but so many people say that, mean it, and then end up selling their dolls and/or leaving the hobby in a few months/years. :lol:
    8. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?

      None of these dolls are really OLD I don't think, they've just not been around that long. For BJD's 5 years is old, but that'll change as time goes on.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      A limited edition or discontinued doll? Yes. A standard still available? May hold MOST value, but only for those willing to pay it in exchange for speed or convenience. For me, a price for a standard needs to be lower than retail (not including the original buyer's shipping) or near retail but include shipping for me to be willing to pay that for it (barring extenuating circumstances). If I can get it brand new from the company for not much more, I'll do that rather than risk getting a damaged or yellowed older doll, in almost all cases.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?

      I don't know the true age of many of my dolls or doll heads, honestly. I buy lower priced ones from the marketplace often. I have a couple heads that are a bit yellowed, but I blush them to match the bodies more closely and they are working fine. I plan to keep them.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?

      Don't know the true age on most. My Dolkot boy will be 2 in January, I think, and my Dollzone Mo is 1. My newest ones I just got new a month ago. I don't buy a doll if I don't plan to keep it, though. I have no plans to sell any of them. The time may come when I do, but I currently have no plans for it.

      If I do sell them I will not expect to get the full amount I paid back for most of them. Any depreciation in value is more than worth the amount of enjoyment I've gotten from them. It would almost seem greedy for me to get a year or two of enjoyment and use from them and then expect to get the full amount I spent back as if they were brand new.
    9. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      It depends on the look rather than the age. I have a WS Sharmin that is probably about the same age as my MSD Magie and MSD F-06 which were made mid-2005. The MSDs are yellowed to the point that when a knowledgeable doll collector looks at them, they look old despite being in perfect condition otherwise. However, my Sharmin has only changed color very slightly and looked practically brand new after cleaning.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      Financially, some more than others. An old yellowed Shizu/Madoka is still going to get well over her original price on the secondhand market, although not as much as one of the newer Shizus. But I have a lot of formerly limited and standard dolls that have no chance of getting what I paid for them originally. My Myu Sweet Dream used to be a rare oldskin limited edition Volks doll and you could still sell them for $350+ on the secondhand market. I sincerely doubt the oldskin LE version will go for that much now that she's a Sumika FCS option! After all, no one pays more for Lilith, Phyllis, or Noel than they would for an MSD F-06, which is the same head mold.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      Keep them. Aging adds character IMO. Yellowing has never bothered me as long as it's even. Although if I could sell my Myu Sweet Dream for a decent price I wouldn't mind having her "redone" in FCS so I could finally have a suwarikko body XD.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      My dolls range in age from over 6 years old (Myu Sweet Dreams) to just under 6 months old (Buddydoll Raphael). I don't plan on selling any of them at this time.
    10. Here is an example to put your mind at ease about investing in a BJD and whether that doll will hold it's beauty, value and condition over time if taken care of properly and loved. Pictures speak a thousand words, my friends. Be sure to read the poster's comments along with the photos.
    11. The oldest of mine is 4, cause I got him in 2005. Kyo might be older, cause he was owned by another first. Old I consider to be the first ones made...mine are more middle aged, lol. I don't plan on selling most, certainly not some!
    12. I think this is very pertinent. I'm sure anyone, even people you might find describing a doll they have on the market as "old," will agree that five years is nothing, even compared to vintage toys from the 80s, let alone antique dolls that may be hundreds of years old. However, most people who describe their BJD as "old" are not thinking of it in the context of all things, but only in the context of the hobby (just over 10 years old) or even in the context of their own participation in the hobby. They may be referring to the fact that their doll shows signs of aging (yellowing, imperfect condition) or they may be referring to the fact that the sculpt or body has been re-worked by the company. I was recently looking for an "old" minifee body...not because I actually think that a doll made in early 2007 is old, but because I wanted to differentiate between that and the new bodies produced in the last 18 months or so. Similarly, if I wanted to sell my MNF Shiwoo, I might mention that he's "old" so that nobody expects him to have the new system of magnetic hands.

      As to whether or not the dolls hold their value, that depends in part on whether or not they possess certain qualities (as outlined by Alithéa) and also on what you mean by "holding" the value. Most standard dolls that have not been discontinued will sell below the price they were originally purchased for, simply because most people will choose new over secondhand for the same price, and even the savings on shipping are usually only about 50%. However, if you consider a drop of a mere 20-30% to be "holding" value, then yes, most well-treated dolls hold their value, regardless of how long ago they were purchased (with the exception of dolls that are renewed/re-released, which generally drives the price up or down depending on which is more popular).

      I only got into the hobby in 2007, so my dolls are not that old, even for this young hobby. However, I don't plan to get rid of them, and if I do it will not be because they are "old," but because they don't fit with my collection any more.
    13. Personally, I don't think dolls always hold their complete value, particularly standards. (Limiteds are another issue entirely, because there's a "collectibility" aspect to it, and a higher demand than there is a supply.) Even excluding the condition of the doll, the economy and fluctuating exchange rates have had an impact on the price of brand-new standard dolls, which affects the price of secondhand ones.

      For example, several doll companies and retailers have lowered their prices. A blank nude Delf girl sells for $390 on Luts now. If someone bought a blank, nude Delf girl several years ago for $550 or so, there's no way they would be able to sell that doll for what they paid.

      I think standard dolls used to hold their value much better than they do now, in part because the dolls used to be harder to get. It was more convenient to buy secondhand when the only way to get a CP doll was through a representative or shopping service (pre-Luts). Or the only way to get a Volks doll was in Japan or on Y!J (pre-Sumika). Now, the availability to order one brand-new with few hassles is much more common.

      As for "damaged" or "old" dolls... I own a couple of dolls from 2004 or 2005, one of which has yellowed pretty dramatically. Personally, I don't really mind... it's just part of owning a doll that's been around for a while.
    14. I agree with your points - with Minifees though, it would be far more pertinent to state "B-line" rather than "old" - old is subjective, but stating "B-line" or "Beauty Line" lets everyone know automatically it's the body with the non-magnetic hands as opposed to the "A-line" or "Active Line" body which does have those. Approximate age is helpful for resin matching, but not for identifying the two different body types, since the B-line is still available to buy they both can be brand new.
    15. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      I guess I would consider it to be "old" if it hasn't been sold for a significant amount of time (discontinued or what have you) or is a previous version of a doll that's still sold. I mean modern BJDs have only been around for like 10 years, so it's not like we have any antiques here.

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      Normally yes, but we're in a recession and these are luxury goods.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      I bought a doll that was 5 years old and very yellowed, I painstakingly restored him to his original color ^_^ As far as damage on dolls I have owned from new, I haven't had any damage. My 4 year old NS delf is somewhat more pale than my 1 year old NS delf, but I don't know if that's age or lut's resin inconsistencies.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      I have one 5 year old doll, one 4 year old doll, and a 1 year old doll. I dont plan on selling any of these three. (though I have a 2 year old doll on the marketplace right now)
    16. I actually wasn't aware that the B-line hadn't switched over to magnet hands when (or soon after) the A-line introduced them. If it makes the statement make more sense, I was actually looking for a body for a head purchased from Luts, before the MNF dolls moved to FairyLand's site.
      In any case, there are several other companies where the "old" version might be different in some detail from the one currently sold standard from the company, and while there are often other words you could use (type 1, non-renewal, original) I think in context "old" can be a perfectly valid descriptor.
    17. Actually, there is a Picture Requests thread focused on exactly this question, with some wonderful pictures of (relatively speaking!) older BJDs: http://www.denofangels.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237790
    18. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      Well, my oldest doll is from the 1790's, but you may have guessed she's not a bjd!!
      My oldest bjd is a first-issue Volks Sara (she's got 1999 etched in her headcap).

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?
      This is hard to say. I think they have so far... but what about 20 years from now? I think there's a good chance that they will, but who can say what standards bjd collectors of the future will judge them by... Sculpt popularity/rarity? Brand name? Default faceup/etc? Some caprice of taste that hasn't evolved yet? The first bjd are 10 years old, and this is when things tend to start their phase of "unfashionableness". Yet the Four Sisters are as popular as ever. Can a customizable doll then ever go out of style? Perhaps not! Keep in mind the old dolls become rare, but this is balanced out by the newest hottest technological advance, engineering gimmick or style trend.
      And don't even start considering the law of supply and demand. Will bjd keep being made indefinitely? Or will some other hot amazing thing come along that leaves them in the dust like Bratz and the 16" fashion dolls did Barbie.

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      Volks oldskin ages very well. Not all resins do, but aged dolls have a special character and I prefer it over new. None of my dolls are damaged. My plan is to keep them in the best condition possible while they are in my care.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      1999 (Sara), 2001 (Mimi10), 2003 (MSD Mika), 2006 (DT Mari), 2007 (YoSD Hina Ichigo), 2008? (DT Elf Soph, MSD F-11).
      I plan to keep them until I decide to sell them. That's the best I can do, I'm afraid! I hope to keep them indefinitely, but life has a way of changing on you. ^^;;

    19. I will agree with you, you have a point. However, I am perfectly aware of the context that the term "old" is being used pertaining to the rather recent development of this hobby as a whole. (As it was pointed out, the hobby of collecting these particular dolls has only a 10 year history thus far). But the fact that the term "old" is being used in this context is not any less significant. It confirms the fact that there is intense development going on in the BJD world and that, perhaps the dolls AREN'T "holding their value" (I am referring to not only price, but quality) as we may have expected.

      Many of them are becoming "obsolete" by market standards, very quickly. However, that is really a general term, which I don't agree with. I'm not trying to attack or accuse the producers of the dolls, nor am I complaining about the cost. I really don't mind if my doll becomes yellow, or it's body doesn't have the best engineering in the market. But, I would like to know what other people think. And perhaps get some insight on how the aging process works, as my dolls aren't more than a year old yet.

      Thank You, everyone for posting. (I found the thread with the SD13 Four Sisters to be quite heartwarming.
    20. What do you consider to be an "old" doll?
      I wouldn't really consider any BJDs 'old' in comparison to other types, but I guess one from the first or second years that they were around (10 or 9 years, from what I've read, right?)

      Do you think the dolls hold their value?

      Not when the company lowers the prices, especially on limiteds -somewhat peeved-.
      I got my lu-wen in 07 and paid at least $100 more than what someone would pay today.
      Limiteds that do sell out quickly or are over a short period of time do raise in value though -depending on popularity and how many were sold-
      Standard editions even of the best quality will not fetch store price (most likely).

      Do you own an aged or damaged doll? If so, what do you plan to do with it?
      Nayo's going on two years old (not that aged, but hey), possibly a little yellowed/mellowed (I don't have anything to compare him to). He has a few expected *tiny* scratches and an extremely small indent on one of his feet (hardly noticeable), other than that he's in great condition. No plans, he doesn't need major repairs or anything.

      How old are your dolls and how long do you plan to keep them?
      Nayo and Lye are two in october (as said above), iiru's two in december, kelli's one in december, and so on and so forth.
      Most definitely keeping them <3