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Does OOAK exist?

Aug 13, 2007

    1. First off, I preface by saying I understand the concept of "oneoffs" coming from the actual companies marketing. I also equally respect, love, and drool all over the LE's that come out. I always felt because of the fact they come directly from a company and oftentimes are released in conjunction with celebratory events etc they are a wonderful jolt of excitement and interest.

      Then on the flip side I kinda just get confused and *_* when I see a modified/customized doll being sold or labeled as "OOAK" (One Of A Kind) either on ebay or in the gallery or marketplace here. I mean the community encourages taking these and making them 'yours', and customizing one way or another to your hearts content. As a result I'd say the label is just redundant and not really a descriptive/selling point. And I don't mean to be unkind and step on toes or anything, but does anyone feel the same way? Or am I missing a bigger picture here?

      And for that matter, what are people's feelings on buying a Oneoff vs. a really well done full customization? For artistic value personally I feel I'd pay the most for what I liked the most, whether it be something collaborated on by a larger company or a project from a member here. Do people consider a completely created fullset and modified/customized doll to still be a oneoff if it is not released by the maker company?
       
    2. "OOAK" is just a buzz term mostly, I don't hold it to much merit. However, I do consider a unique (fullset and customized) doll a "one off" regardless of its origin (company or individual).

      Sera~
       
    3. The term OOAK originated not with BJD or other dolls intended to be customized, but with repaints and remakes of manufactured character dolls, like Barbies, Genes and Tonner's Tyler Wentworth. For those dolls, artists needed to distinguish items they were selling as not being a mass-produced item. The term has come to be absorbed into the BJD community both because of the incoming of doll collectors from those groups, and as a way to catch the attention of other types of doll collectors. Selling a doll or outfit on ebay as OOAK will catch the eye of buyers who are otherwise unfamiliar with the BJD hobby, and who may just be looking for general limited artist items.
      Oneoff was a term that really originated with Volks when they began commissioning popular artists from the customizing community to created OOAK unique pieces for auction or sale. These oneoffs were used more for display and marketing to show potential buyers the possibilities of the doll bases by artists of professional calibre, and are even now often displayed in stores past the date of their purchase to invite interest and garner admiration. As the artists became more popular and less available for commission, it was a way to get a beautiful doll (and/or outfit) by someone not normally available. I think because of their growing international fame, the oneoff creators have come to be seen less as individual artists and almost more like companies or Brand names themselves.
       
    4. Personally, I think the concept of OOAK makes sense. If you were to buy a doll from the company with no faceup or a default face-up it's just like every other version of that doll around. However, buying from a seller who fully customized it by themselves, it truly is the ONLY one in the world. Making it One of A Kind! However, BJDs are often advertised with the point that it's very easy to make your doll one of a kind. Which is very true. As soon as you sew something for your doll of your very own pattern, or you do a custom face-up based off something you created and have never done before, it becomes a OOAK right away. Which is a great thing. You're doll is now unlike any other doll in the world. It's different, which is a great part of the BJD hobby, because, unlike Barbies or Brats or any other mass-produced doll, everyone's doll is different, making it much more diverse, whereas with Barbies, they're not meant to be customized, and most people don't, therefor most collectors will have the exact same doll as another collector.

      Although, when buying a doll, I would rather buy a plain, non-customized one, so I can customize it to be my OOAK and not someone else's. Even if I can't do face-ups or sew, you can commision it the way YOU want it, not the way you bought it. So, personally I would never buy a OOAK, but other people do, and the dolls are truly, OOAKs.

      EDIT: I just re-read the first post and so I would like to add to mine based on what I missed the first time. I would like to say I do agree with the poster in some respects, as it's obvious when a doll is OOAK and not straight out of the factory. However, by making the point, it gets people excited, even though it could easily be customized themselves (easily meaning they could easily do it in some respects, but not easily to extent of the seller, usually). Also, the seller put lots of hard work into that doll, so their work needs to be rewarded, and by stating OOAK, it may sell for more, which is obviously deserved, due to the labor, talent, etc put into the doll. But to the question "Does OOAK exist?", I think it most certainly does considering, it is one of a kind.
       
    5. Should I ever be in the position of owning a doll which was truly one-of-a-kind and wanted to sell it, I think I would probably use the term "unique" to avoid confusion with the very fuzzy meaning "OOAK" has acquired.

      Unique, after all, does mean the only one. ONE. You can't have degrees of uniqueness - either something IS unique or it is not.

      Come to think of it, maybe it's time to think of a new term for that concept... ;)
       
    6. I'm pretty positive the word 'OOAK" is the dumbest phrase on the doll circuit. Artwork- it makes sense. you can't make the same piece of art the same again, you can make it similiar but then that would not make it 'one of a kind' cuase..there is one KIND of like it.

      but dolls... even with the whole 'buy it from teh company blah blah' omg. it's not one of a kind. it's a carbon copy of the master mold. It's not one of a kind. a doll with one release. THAT is one of a kind. Selling your regular release CP, Elfdoll, DOD with 'modded vampire teeth', elf ears or something and doing a face up doesn't make her/him "OMgg OOAK!!111"

      Even if you do a nice face up from a big highend artist won't make it one of a kind. the FACEUP is one of a kind and even THAT is skeptical. The doll isn't one of a kind.

      So...no. OOAK dosn't exsist on a "doll circuit". giving your regular doll a nice face up wont make her/him OOAK. People just tack OOAK on their sales thread for perks. They think it'll make their 'ZOMG OOAK!!11" El more valuable than the el below there with a similar face up, that is also cheaper. and people will buy the "OOAK" one because... you can figure it out.
       
    7. I am in agreement with Naruto Chibi. OOAK IS a viable term and it did come out of the Fashion Doll remake arena.

      I have three dolls that I consider to be OOAK. Why, because their faces have been heavily modded via altering the sculpt, as well as having original face-ups by me. There are no other dolls that are quite like these, so they are in fact, one of a kinds.

      I think it helps when using the term OOAK, particularly if you are selling the doll, that you define exactly what IS OOAK about them. To me, this just avoids confusion and makes it clear why the doll is OOAK.
       
    8. Hmm.. I think that if the doll is customized to the point where the origional mold is no longer discernable, and has no resemblance to any other doll out there, then it becomes OOAK. I agree that just by slapping a new faceup on or sanding the cheeks down or something doesn't quite justify "OOAK," seeing as how most people do this, and it's easily reproduced (even if the looks are a little different -- think of all the Els out there).

      A doll to your liking where you customize it more to your liking is one thing, but developing a completely new doll from scratch or a base mold is entirely different.
       
    9. I think any special faceup or outfit that the creator intends to never do exactly the same could be termed OOAK.

      But some people don't know what OOAK stands for and use the term to describe anything they create, even if they intend to make mutiples of the same thing.

      Carolyn
       
    10. I dont think OOAK exists. I believe it's just a term tacked onto sales threads as well. The only reason to mark up a doll, is if its Limited edition, or if has had Mods done to it by the owner. Modding to me makes dolls more special than slapping a face up on it. Anyone can do that and call it OMG OOOAK and charge more for it.

      The shape to every doll is so consistant that how can you call it OOAK!!1!!?
      I dont know.. The term OOAK seems a bit silly to me when all the molds are very standard. I have a tendancy to want to click on a "modded" doll opposed to a doll that says "OOAK" in the gallery OR marketplace.

      You can make your doll your own simply by owning it. Its how you dress it that makes it special to you. Its how you treat it that lets you love it.
      If you believe your doll is special, you shouldn't need an OOAK tag to it.;/.
       
    11. As the owner of an actual OOAK (artist-created head, she will never make another), I think it's silly to say there is no such thing. There is no other head like his. Even if he was copied, he'd STILL be one of a kind as that uniqueness lies with his original artist. The body isn't OOAK, it's just a standard body that was airbrushed, but note how I never claim his body is unique. Just his head, and his head's shape is NOT "consistent" with every other doll.

      I understand basically what people are trying to say in that every doll is "one of a kind" in a way, but to say there are no one of a kind dolls is quite silly and rather myopic.
       
    12. well if the head shape is not consistant with the mold as all the others are, then he is indeed, unique.
       
    13. There was no mold in the first place and he is not a human doll (please see my avatar where I am holding him) so....yeah.
       
    14. i probably should've clarified. artist made heads, made 100% by themselves, with out the use of aides or molds (to base a head off of) then yes, those are ooak. but.. i know some artsits make 2 or three of their doll and sell them as 'one of a kind' and that's not quite right. if you made one, and just that one and didn't make anyother taht even LOOKED like it. then yes. it's one of a kind.
       
    15. OH well if you mean it that way. I thought you had one of the standard molds. hah. ^+^
       
    16. There are a few doll where there were only one ever made. DOD Black Ducan, Domuya Van the Vampire (at least until they offered to recast his head durring the recent event, and still there is only 1 fullset of him out there). These dolls I would concider to be one of a kind.
       
    17. In my opinion a face-up alone never makes a doll a 'one of a kind'. Neither do clothes, really. It's in the mold - a face-up can be wiped, and clothes will be changed, but if a doll has been modded in a way that the customizer never plans to do again, that's 'one-off'. Even if someone else takes it and mods it after, it was a one-off.

      Also, with dolls like the DIM Minimee heads becoming available now, the term OOAK is more realistic, and will probably show up even more than usual on the MP (though two-of-a-kind is more accurate in their particular case). And the idea of owning a sculpt of such limited availability is attractive to me, personally, along with the level of customisation allowed by getting a custom-sculpted doll.
       
    18. I think the term OOAK, as it is used in the fashion-doll hobby, is pretty redundant for ABJD collectors since most of our dolls go through multiple face-ups and changes in eyes, hair and clothing. There definately needs to be more done to the doll than usual to make it OOAK, but I wouldn't go so far to say that, for example, a OOAK Vampire Mod or a OOAK Padme Amidala Doll couldn't be created from a modified company mold.
       
    19. Working with Korean dollmakers, I'm pretty interested in this issue because there is much confusion with the terminology. As OOAK is an English term and mostly used in the Fashion Doll arena, we weren't quite sure how broad the usage was for BJDs. Since 'one-off' is mostly a term used by Volks (as Super Dolfies, "SD"s), we were quite reluctant to use that and couldn't come up with an alternative term.

      If you just think about the 'meaning' of the word, it seems apt and proper (for those who aren't native English speakers) but there seems to be hidden nuances that we aren't catching.

      What should be used when issuing a full-set (unique makeup, outfit, packaging) doll that is limited to only one?

      In Korean, the word used for individual sales/auction posts for BJDs with modified molds and/or unique makeup is 'custom', so there isn't any confusion there, but I'd really like to know what the correct term is for the English speaking community.
       
    20. Wow, I love reading out everyone's thoughts on this subject. I'm glad I'm not the only one too that has been feeling the term ooak to be a bit hazy.

      angmasuzy, in regards to what your said, at first when I was learning I thought perhaps "oneoff" was some sort of literal translation of the term OOAK, but then I realized that personally I believe the two terms to be completely different in my own interpretation the more I read and watched.

      From how I see it:

      oneoff: company endorsed/produced in conjunction with artist limited edition of only 1 doll in fullset. Frankly I think volks too, as they are who I hear it from the most.

      OOAK: Loose term applied to dolls that have possibly been painted, modified, dressed in creation to make unique. May or may not be fullset. Unfortunately as others have pointed out, many bjd owners by nature are making their dolls able to carry this label without meaning to. A bit of an unwieldy description for the community, but others here do feel it works, so to each their own.

      (as a sidenote I guess instead of OOAK I'd like to see more clarification as in "Heavily Modified sculpt" or somethign of that sort, if that is what was done with the doll. )

      I don't think in english we have properly addressed or found explanation for a doll that is a full set limited to only one aside from volks "oneoff". I agree, I would be reluctant to use that as well as it really does seem to be entertwined with volks particular marketing.

      If I was to toss out a guess or suggestion though I would refer to it like a "vision of one" to represent the fact that you are talking a company created doll mold and having an artist or set of artists collaborate to present a vision on that one doll. Or perhaps refer to it as a "collaboration" or a "vision" each time. Perhaps someone has a more refined way of saying what I'm thinking LOL!