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Doll research *or* Buying too soon?

Apr 15, 2008

    1. I've three boys at the moment, and before they came home I did MONTHS of research; how to handle them, paint them, what mediums were safe or not, techniques for face-ups and modifications. I chatted at several people, asking questions and getting a feel for what I was getting myself into. Before #1 came home I made sure I had Magic eraser, pastels, Testors, acrylics, sandpaper, alcohol, etc; all the things needed for basic doll maintenance. It's just how I do things: Information is a powerful thing, especially when a $600 doll is concerned!

      Onto the debate subject:
      I keep finding folks that own a doll, but don’t seem to know ‘what to do ’ with it. People asking whether spray varnish\sharpies\oil paints (:oWTF!) are okay to use on the $500 toy sitting on their lap as they type; people who have the doll in hand but don’t know what to color it with or how to maintain it.

      I’ve even seen owners who want to use wood varnish because they can’t afford a $4 bottle of dullcote.

      Keep in mind that I’m not referring to the things that come up naturally through trial and error of ownership. Example: Asking, ‘what is a face-up?’ when you’re first learning of BJD verses asking that same question when you’ve already purchased a doll. ('What is it?' being drastically different from 'How do I?')

      Or even better: I wouldn't expect someone to build an engine before they purchased a car, but I would at least expect them to know not to smoke while filling the tank because gas is explosive.

      Personally, I feel (especially with a hobby that involves so much financial\emotional investment) that perhaps some people may purchase ‘pre-maturely’. That the excitement over the beauty of these dolls overrides sense and they get them before they fully understand the hobby they are jumping into. Perhaps some are just hopping on the hobby bandwagon to fit in with friends and acquaintances? Maybe some are afraid to ask questions for fear of being perceived as a 'newb'? What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

      Honestly, each to their own. Everyone has a different way of doing things. Its part of what makes this blue and green marble we're on go 'round. It is not my intention to anger anyone or seem pretentious or elitist, I’m honestly curious (and maybe a little confused;)). It’s not in me to jump into something so expensive and time consuming without thoroughly informing myself, so I’m looking for others perspective on the subject.
    2. I agree with you. If others feel okay jumping into the doll hobby without doing any research then that's up to them. Personally, I had to know at least the basic information about them before I decided to even save for one. For me there's too much involved financially to just buy one of these dolls without knowing how to take care of them. (Keep them from premature yellowing, acetone horrors, sharpie markers *shudder*) I think the minimum amount of research people should at least do before they buy is read the information posted about the doll on the actual page. x __ x; So often I see people that don't realize they are buying a doll without clothes or wigs when it clearly states it on the site.
    3. To be perfectly honest, I didn't do ANY research before I bought Aleksei. I didn't even give it much thought. It was after Christmas, I had money to spend, and remembered that some of my friends had introduced me to these dolls YEARS ago.

      But through Aleksei I learned everything (or most everything) I needed to know, and I made TONS of friends.

      I guess different people have different ways of learning.
    4. True! I feel for Denny (of DIM) because he has to explain to people (over and over) the Minimee policies when they are clearly outlined on the DIM site.
    5. As you can see, I joined DoA in August. That time up until I started posting in late February/early March was spent reading the many tutorials here on how to do faceups, what to use, what NOT to use, and the like. Sure, I was compelled to up and buy the doll of my dreams (at the time a CP Kid Delf ANI), but after months of looking around and seeing pictures I can safely say I have decided, and after I convince my dad I will be placing my order. =D
      I agree with Korebeast that people want to be a part of something cool. Everyone always ends up jumping on bandwagons to fit in and be 'cool'. Most people who have BJDs are avid Anime/Manga fans, if I'm not mistaken. So of course something that comes from Japan would appeal to us! ^_~ Japanese girls carry their Dollfies around with them everywhere they go, and that influences the American anime fans to want one as well. But some people might not take into consideration how much work it will be, and how much money it will cost if in the end they find out that BJD is not the hobby for them. When I first saw BJDs, I squeed because it was a Kadaj and Sephiroth pair from Advent Children and immediately wanted one. If I had had the money, I would have quickly looked up some info and bought one, not even taking the time to see if the doll I wanted was really what I wanted. Sure, I mightn't have my doll yet, but after reading so much on the maintenance they require and how sometimes difficult it is to do faceups, I would tell anyone who just saw the dolls to read around and think about it for a few months. It really is a lot of money to be putting out on something that can easily be ruined by a careless or unknown mistake.

      lol, my 2 cents~
      I've never posted in the Debate section, hope I didn't kill myself xD
    6. Which is why I started this thread. :) Jumping in isn't how I do it, so I'm curious about the owners that do. It's enlightening to read other people's process of learning.
    7. It all depends--I mean, as long as they're asking if something is safe to use rather than just going ahead and using it shows that they do care and are learning. They're just learning as they go along.

      I didn't do a lot of indepth research before I ordered my first doll, but I intentionally bought a fullset, because I knew I wasn't going to be comfortable doing my own faceups just starting out. Over the waiting period I did a lot of reading (it was a one month wait), and I've continued to learn knew things over the course of the past two and a half years. There is a lot of information out there, and its a lot to take in all at once. As long as people are willing to ask questions and find out answers, then I see no fault on their part. On top of that, it is possible to find out about bjds through other places than DoA where this information is less readily available.

      Also, for people just coming into the hobby, asking things about oil paints isn't that weird. Resin does very badly with anything oil based, but other plastics don't necessarily.

      Now the example hisuiyui gave about not reading the info on the order page to know what you're getting--that there is less excuse for and should be pretty common sense to read the description of what you're buying.
    8. I agree. This hobby is a huge learning process. Although, asking about the oil paints when you're first learning is one thing, asking the same question with your oil-paint-covered brush hovering over your baby's face is a little different, I feel.
      Like I've said: Everyone has their methods. None of them are 'Wrong' per say, I'm just interested in what makes people jump into something like this without seeming to do even the most elementary research.
      I don't know about everyone else, but I don't have hundreds of $$ floating around to make mistakes with!
      (P.S. Taco, I love your avatar pic! :))
    9. Usually I read the basics on how to take care of a doll, but I feel the best way to learn is to obtain and go from there.

      Though it wouldn't hurt to know what to do and what not to do/use before buying a doll.
    10. I can agree that jumping in isn't the best way to do it. I was just a lucky case :lol: I've seen WAY too many dolls on the marketplace because "BJD's just aren't my thing".
    11. Or poor things that got jacked up by sharpies and drywall sandpaper due to no research and (perhaps) being afraid to ask questions!:o
    12. I did quite a bit of research before finally ordering my first bjd in Dec 2004. There wasn't all that much out there then, so it was easy!
      Nowadays it would take you a lot longer, but the info is probably better organized and more easily searched.
      I guess it comes down to how impulsive one is, or how compelling they find that first doll whose "order" button they just pushed!
      I've met people who seem to have bitten off more than they could chew though, despite careful research... who just can't bring themselves to deal with the basics of bjd care and maintenance once they have the doll with them.
      Luckily I enjoy (or at least can cope with) all of that stuff... and I don't have any disabilities (eg arthritis) that prevent me from doing whatever work I need to do on them. I'd never be able to afford this hobby if I couldn't paint/maintain the dolls myself.

    13. I didn't do much research beforehand, just looked at some sites & played with a friend's dolls a bit. I hadn't a clue as how to do a face-up (though I had learned the proper term was face-up not repaint) but it didn't matter as I wasn't planning on buying a blank doll & I knew acrylics were safe on just about anything. (I'd done some putzying around painting vinyls.) I'd searched Ebay & hung about on some forums but I was still a rank newbie when I purchased my first dolls.

      I'd been debating with myself about them because of the price. My comfort level was only about $300 at the time & most of the ones I really wanted were twice that. But one evening I just decided I needed one NOW, called a US store & had the most amazing conversation with one of the folks there. She answered my millions of questions & I placed an order for two Elfdolls as I both liked them & their prices weren't complete sticker shock.

      So I guess you could say I did a little of each, looked around a bit beforehand then jumped right in with 2 feet. I'm kind of a spur of the moment gal anyway. I'll get an idea, it'll obsesse me & I'll act on it all the way. No dipping my toe in the water so to speak. I plunge in head first.
    14. I guess it's true that you can read about a thing until your cross-eyed, but never know what to truly expect until you've had a chance to experience it yourself, though basic research should just be common sense.:lol:

      Shoot! That's half the reason I got into this in the first place! The customizing of the dolls pulled me in. Perhaps that's why I have a hard time understanding the 'dive right in!' method. Learning customizing techniques is sort of a necessity.
    15. I think you did it well! At least you had friends with dolls, held one in your hands and became aware of some of the little things involved. I suppose one could say that you 'dove right in', but from my perspective you had a decent leg to stand on before you started.;) Heck. I'd only ever seen one in person once before Ajax came home, and that was the day before he arrived! (Though I had read up on the subject until my eyes bled. )
    16. I bought my first doll on ebay. She was not in the right category and I didn't even know these dolls existed until she arrived in a Souldoll box. I googled "Souldoll" and found out that there were others, and within a few days I found DOA. I did my research afterwards.
    17. I've been researching for a long time, you could say. ^^; I first learned about bjds when a friend showed me someone's site in 2003-ish. I didn't like them, but then some doll magazine had a really pretty f16 on the cover and I fell in love. But when I researched bjds, I was scared away by the price and the level of maintenance! They're bald under their wigs? You have to put their eyes in? Their faces come off???? :lol: It's pretty funny in hindsight how appalling this was to me as a bjd-n00b!

      So... I just didn't feel confident buying a doll back then. It sounded too hard, not to mention so expensive. I think that was the right choice for me then. Over the last five years, I've lurked on and off DoA and other sites/forums, and learned a ton about how to care for bjds and make them look beautiful.

      But the most important thing I learned was about myself - did I really want a bjd, or was it just a phase? Was I prepared for the long waits, the expenses, the work and skill it takes to put together a bjd that was up to my standards of bjd beauty?

      I ordered my first bjd last month. I'm still nervously reading tutorials left and right, and especially the "what NOT to do" threads. I have purchased everything I (think) I need for my doll, and I think I can rest assured that at least I won't damage it by accident.
    18. **edited**

      Me too. I had seen dollies thu Google image search and when I got a nice fat tax return and thought to myself that I wanted one. I found out later you could buy blank dolls and DIY. I felt that as I suck at painting something as delicate as a dolls face I would pay the extra - that way I would not feel dissapointed when the face I saw in my mind didn't come out of the brush!
    19. it's hard for me to see people just buying a doll on a whim, they're expensive little buggers lol When I got interested I did research, and am still doing research since I am rather new. Something that's this expensive I see as a pretty big investment and I want to take care of it proper and know the ins and outs before laying down that kind of cash
    20. I think you gotta understand BJD's are awefully attarctive!
      It's very easy to see one and decide you HAVE TO HAVE IT on the spot before doing any research. XD

      And the impulse buy thing - the dolls listed on websites are showed in professional shots with amazing outfits and everything. You suddenly get the urge to press the buy button (I know, I feel for it before) but then it takes over a month for the doll to arrive. And during that time owners can research their dolls.

      And another thing, people usually forget about something till a problem arises. So they order a doll and realize they dont like the nose so they ask about sanding.
      Then they decide they wanna do a face-up so they ask about that.
      then they wanna try their hands at clothes so they ask about sewing.

      Sometimes its more fun to pick up things as you go along rather than spend months and months jamming your head with the info beforehand.

      So the thing about buying "prematurely". I don't really think its a big issue. You can learn stuff as you go along. ^^