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Doll trends ... past, present, and future

Jun 15, 2012

    1. Batchix Machina. Souldoll Souloid. Iplehouse Bianca Cyborg. Even Ringdoll Frankenstein. It seems that robotic or cybernetic dolls are a fast-growing trend in the BJD world. What trends have dominated in the past? What trends do you look for in the future? And how do you feel about them, both aesthetically and as a collector?
    2. I'm not a big fan of the non-humanoid dolls. The only one I actually plan to eventually buy for sure, is Limwha Half-elf girl, where only the ears are "non human". I do not like (most) of the elf dolls, vampires, anthromorphic, centaurion (although when they first came out I really, really, really wanted soom glot and glatti), mermaid, robot, monster, etc. I dunno why, because I love scifi and horror and fantasy, from which the dolls are derrived, I just don't really have any plans for such a doll. I don't think it will increase (or decrease) their value (as a collector), and aesthetically, they are not for me :)
    3. Yeah, there are a few interesting trends going on in the bjd world right now. I've definitely noticed more cyborgs coming out. I've also seen an uptick in zombies (Ringdoll, Angell-Studio), and I'm sure that'll continue right up until Halloween.

      Personally, I find the current 'planthro' trend to be the most interesting. Leeke's Ents don't really do it for me, but I think Dollzone's Moment is simply stunning. ^3^
    4. I'm kinda disappointed that I missed out on the vampire trend, having started collecting a year later but I do have a soft spot for elf dolls.

      The robot and cyborg dolls, and the zombies, don't really do anything for me unfortunately. That zombie doll ringdoll is doing is scary but oh so cool for what it is but I couldnt buy one
    5. I'm not a big fan of the mechanic direction that the doll world seems to be turning to {or, well, I'm not a big fan of how they're doing it so far} /BUT/ like Genesblues said, I hope there are more Planthros like Anson and Moment :D I'm so sad that I missed out on those two but yeah.

      Also the general Steampunk aesthetic seems to be on the rise as well, not just in the dolly world but like...everywhere. e__e
    6. When I got into the hobby, it was mostly anime type...then went to realilistic, now to fantasy...
    7. Yes, but it seems like the Victorian component was there since the first days via the gothic lolita aesthetic. It's just that there's this new substyle that's browner and has brass cogs glued on. ;)
    8. Fantasy was/is a big staple. However, there are only so many hoooved/horned/clawed bjds I can take before I get bored.
    9. I think there's a growing trend in 'Art-Dolls'. Not necessarily, 'artist-made'/'one-person-studio' dolls; but stylistically dolls that are ART- as mentioned the stunning DZ Planthros; also Leeke seems to be heading in that direction now too. I think Companies are are also experimenting with the human form (Doll Chateau), and also new casting techniques (crazy colours, and transparent parts).
      Personally, I find 'plain human' dolls a little boring! xD I need a bit of exciting fantasy to escape into every now and then.
    10. Would just like to point out that I don't think you know what humanoid means. Elves, robots, vampires etc are all humanoids.

      Now on to the question at hand.
      Elves and vampires were the big thing back in the day and then it was hooves, hooves and more hooves. Let us not forget the darned Dark Alice in Wonderland theme that keeps coming back every other year. Steampunk has been a thing for quite some time now though most don't do it very well.
      There has been some plant-thingies. Remember those flower tiny tinies from... Elfdoll I think? Zombies or undead themed dolls has been a round for some time also. Glorydoll has done a few before.
      I would love to have a cyborg or android but it has to be done well, from a company that knows how to do joints properly and has more personality. For me personally I still have not seen one done really well yet. If it has to be a female one then give me an android that looks like Lady Armaroid from Cobra Space Adventures and I will buy one.
      I think we will keep seeing companies ride on the fantasy parts bandwagon for a while longer and maybe cyborg/android is the new thing.
      Vampires and elves? I believe they will always stick around, at least I very much hope so! My Universe is packed with them. :lol:
    11. Splitting hairs eh? Really I think thats a pretty unnecessary clarification :P Non-human then I guess is what I meant. Although I would argue that since the definition of humanoid is "Having an appearance or character resembling that of a human." it would depend on the doll in question, clearly, some of the elf/vampire (and maybe even some robot) dolls could be considered to have a human like appearance, but clearly others like the anthromorphic, centaurs, and mermaids and undead zombies and such would not fit in such criteria. But then again I suppose its subjective to each owner/viewer of the doll.
    12. No, that wasn't splitting hairs, it was pointing out the definition of the term humanoid. It's not subjective. Zombies are also humanoid, if not completely human! (undead human, to be sure, but still human). Elves are humanoid - they simply have elongated cartilage in their ears. Centaurs and mermaids are also humanoid. They're just not *entirely* human. What's not humanoid would be... um... a spider. An animal that had no features recognizable as anything but an animal. I have yet to see a non-humanoid doll (at least not one that was on topic).

      However! We know what you meant. :) You prefer human dolls.

      On the topic at-hand, though, the trends that I've seen come and go most frequently are clothing and faceup styles. Heavy, heavy black airbrushed eye makeup, for example. I still have one of those guys, and I love the style, but when every. single. doll. used to have that, it was a bit much. Now we have the irritating (<--statement of personal taste, I don't expect agreement) dark streak in the middle and on the corners lip style.

      For a time you could not find a dress that wasn't over-the-top frilly cupcake girl style. Gorgeous they are, yes, but not everyone wears it well, you know? Or a pair of boys boots that weren't platform soles. Yikes, blast from the mid-70s glam rock period, anyone? Another look that is wonderful when done well but not every guy wears them, now or then. Fortunately we seem to have a fantastic range of possibilities in clothes these days.

      Oh! and there's been a definite shift away from the young boy body to a more muscled, more realistic style. I love that. I still have a bunch of type 1 CP/Delf boys with the traditional, 14-year-old looking bodies, that sleek style, and there are some head sculpts that insist on it because they just look foolish on muscle bods. But it's definitely a trend.

      How about the trend toward smaller eyes/bigger mouths as opposed to the reverse?
    13. I think vampire, gothic, emo and elf dolls are trends and i think this trend will never end. In the present i think FL MNF hippie girls are trendy. In the future i think very realistic human dolls are trendy or like the mini porcelain dolls who have very realistic face-ups but instead of eyeballs, the eyes were painted etc.
    14. Cool responses, everybody!

      Baakay, I've noticed the lip-streak trend, as well. It's so stylized that I have to wonder about its source (or if it even has one, besides one face-up artist experimenting). It reminds me of the skin break in a "fat lip" (due to injury).

      I enjoy the more experimental offerings of Dollzone and Doll Chateau, but as a spectator rather than a buyer. I like to see the exploration of the fantastic in new, non-codified ways.
    15. I'm quite partial to the goth trends (being one in real life myself). I don't care for the planthros, as they are being called. Many of the new trends just don't fit my personal aesthetic; some I enjoy looking at, like the centaurs and pear-shaped bodies, but I don't think I'd ever own any. Steampunk has been around for a number of years now (at least a decade, I think, but I don't feel like researching it more specifically), and I do enjoy seeing it in the doll world because I don't have the dedication for it in the real world; the current pop culture obsession with it drives my inner rebel nuts, but what can you do? :P I am enjoying the mature looking girls, and I do hope boys continue on in this way (maybe I'd actually end up buying another...).
    16. I got a Frankenstein. I've always been a fan of 'monsters' like Mr. Hyde and Dracula, and they're sort of 'old world' and 'classic' to me - much like the darker side to a fairy tale. I never thought of them as trendy, but I suppose they could be!

      On the other hand I saw IpleHouse's new cyborg girl and I really don't like her. I think she's sexualized in a degrading way and she kind of makes me sick. She's a doll. If it's someone's personal belonging and they want to give it a tragic backstory to work through their own pain, that's their business. But if you're a major company and trying to promote a product, one that should be fun and exciting, don't use a rape factor like it's a selling point. That's just a trashy, insensitive, base thing to do. I love science fiction and I would be happy to see something like a Terminator or Borg, but seeing a backstory to the effect of Cinderella being raped and having her corpse is mutilated just makes me feel rather ill toward the topic.
    17. To give credit where credit is due, Batchix's Machina line far predates any current trend for robot/cyborg dolls. I've had my Machina Alpha since 2008 and I was by no means one of the first to get one. Even my Gamma is over a year old now.
    18. Some of the trends I see are not my idea of desirable (pear shaped dolls, limbs like twigs). Some I see I admire for the out-of-the-box thinking but wouldn't want to own one (Ringdoll zombie, Leeke Ent, DZ planthros). Others, I'm very much in favour of (mature minis, new colour choice of resin). Some I really like the idea of owning, but I'd have no idea what to do with them if I did own one (centaur, mermaid, cyborg).

      Basically, it's all about personal opinion and what appeals to you. I do hope though that companies continue to push the boundaries of just what a doll can be. That sort of creativity from them fires up the creativity in my head to come up with new and unexpected characters with stories demanding to be told.

      I'd love to see a Wemic doll. Or a company produced naga doll. Or a doll with octopus arms that are jointed from the hips down. I'd love to see a sea sprite with purposefully marbled blue and green resin. Who knows? Maybe at some point we will see such things.
    19. I'm not sure this is a fast-growing trend. It's more of a slow burn. Echoing Glyndon, Batchix made Machina Alpha, Gamma and Epsilon and Enaibi made K-rose-N years before the Souloids or Iplehouse Bianca Cyborg were even a gleam in their sculptor's eye.

      Batchix and Enaibi are artists working alone, producing the dolls they like to see. I suppose there is some thought towards marketing the dolls they make, but ultimately they sculpt what they want to see. Multi-person companies like Iplehouse and Souldoll took longer to come out with a cyborg doll because unlike independent artists, they want to be certain a concept will sell well before they invest a lot into it. Companies are creating dolls to sell, independent artists are creating dolls whether they sell or not (I don't think K-rose-N has ever been available to order, I think she was a personal doll created for Enaibi herself, but I could be wrong!)

      I have an open-mind when it comes to non-human dolls. Not all of them appeal to me, but I do try and think of what someone else could do with the doll as a blank canvas and that gets exciting.

      One part of trying to spot trends is looking at upcoming dolls and thinking 'is this a new style of BJD, or does this doll belong to a whole different hobby entirely?' A lot of the big headed, little bodied dolls brought out last year were BJDs that tried to appeal to Blythe and Pullip owners...so they were walking a strange line between two established but very different hobbies.
    20. I remember when the boy dolls trend started! And don't forget the skirtboi trend, the make-dolls-tall trend and beefcake trend. Back when all boy dolls were 60cm and right around the time we started seeing Elves and Vampires released from Luts there was a huge trend for making very girly cross dressing boys. (I count that as a trend as before there were many company made non-humans all trends were personal customization - not something that was sculpted that way) Of course that was a part of the hay-day for the original Delf line, those boys had a small frame, cuvy legs and big butts. The forum was inundated with El and Shiwoo. I had an El myself so no crit on that!

      Then started the parade of tall boy dolls, Hyper made a 65 cm boy and Dollshe released Bermann and Hound. Hound was a big hit. People new to the hobby may still see websites that call all 70cm clothing "Hound Size" and wonder why, that would be the reason. Then the flood of tall boys.

      I would say beefcake started with the SD16. They were immediately copied (um, literally) by DZ and the market trend of making big muscle boys exploded. Heck that one is still going strong.

      So if Vampires and Elves started with Delf back in 2004?, it wasn't until Soom released Sard that the more classical Myth fantasy dolls started. Hooves, centaur bodies, horns, etc.

      I can't say I am a huge fan of the anthro or fantasy doll trend even though I have a Chrom, had a Euclase and a Sard. >###< I am a fan of the hopefully growing planthro and cyborg trends. I love a cyborg! Horror trends aren't for me but I met a RD Frankenstein and he was awfully cool. Pear shaped trend won't grab me until they get that curvy body balanced with more mature heads.