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Dollfie: A Generic or Specific Term?

Apr 19, 2006

    1. I've read that the term "dollfie" is used as a generic term (I seem to recall the article I read said it was used generically in the countries where these dolls are manufactured). But I've also read that it's mistakenly used as a generic term ... that "dollfie" specifically refers to Volk's Super Dollfie.

      Which is it?

      (who apologises if this has been asked before, but develops MEGO looking for this through the search function :) )
    2. Dollfie was orginally a term coined by Volks to describe their 1/6 dollfies (doll+figure).
      They then released the Super Dollfie: a big version that was made of better material and strung and using ball joints.
      Since they were the first, the terms dollfie, and SD, and MSD have been used to describe that style of doll.
      Kinda like how Disney princess dolls are called Barbies or pepole use q-tips to describe cottonswabs or whatever.
    3. That was the best example XD
    4. I think 'dollfie' is being used as a blanket term, but Volks really discourages it. And since there are people who also are involved with the 1/6 scale dolls to whom the term actually refers, it can be confusing. For clarity's sake, it's best to just use 'BJD' to cover the genre, and then the measurements to denote what doll size you mean. (Like 60cm instead of SD.)
    5. Dollfie and Super Dollfie are legally trademarked terms by Volks. I believe Volks does not like the terms to be used generically. However, lots of people do. It's really up to the individual in the end. :) Personally I just use BJD or ABJD when referring to these types of dolls in general. If I'm talking about a specific brand, then I use that brand name.
    6. On eBay, you're often going to see "Dollfie" referring to non-Volks dolls, simply because it's the brand that most people are familiar. It makes searching for stuff easier, even if it's not correct.
    7. Under what circumstances would Volks discourage usage of "dollfie"? Being blinkered in matters such as these, I would think in many ways it would benefit them. Kind of the way fan fiction benefits the creators of Star Trek - the names and characters are obviously copyrighted, but the creators generally turn a blind eye because they benefit.

      Accessories for your dollfies. Dollfie-quality face-up materials. That sort of thing. And of course, I bet far more people perform web searches for "dollfie" (I certainly do on eBay) rather than BJD or ABJD.

      On eBay, for example, I get 750-some-odd results for dollfie, but only 101 results for BJD and a measly 1 result for ABJD.

      If you were hoping to be found by people looking for BJD-related items, you'd really be undercutting your business opportunities if you didn't acknowledge "dollfie" as an identifier.

    8. They discourage it any time the term is being used to sell something that is not made by them. It doesn't matter if someone thinks it helps or not, they've made it publically known that the term is trademarked and they don't appreciate it being used.
    9. So you never use "dollfie" as a search term, unless you are looking for something made by Volks?

    10. Basically - Dollfie are 1/6 articulated dolls+figures made by Volks. Super Dollfie are the resin versions also made by Volks. In general, BJD is the blanket term for all resin ball-jointed dolls in this particular style.

      I think it should be pointed out that other companies do not refer to their dolls as "Dollfie" or even "Dollfie-like". CP/Luts uses "Delf", for instance, and CustomHouse uses "Ai". Clearly, the companies themselves have come up with their own terms to describe their dolls, just as Volks uses "Super Dollfie". Not all BJD are "Delf" or "Ai", so not all BJD should be called "Super Dollfie", either.
    11. Thank you, Valentine, for locating those reference posts. I appreciate it.

      I fully understand the distinctions now. And I understand that BJD or ABJD are the accurate terms.

      However, if I need to find a doll stand well-suited to BJDs, I'm going to search for "dollfie stand" not "BJD stand." If I look for goblets sized for a 60cm BJD, I'm going to type "dollfie-sized goblet" not "60cm BJD goblet" into the search engine. And I get considerably better results when I do this. And purist though some of us might be in our ideals, I'll bet everyone here has performed a "dollfie" search.

      So if we righteously and correctly insist they are not dollfies, but are in fact BJDs, how do we get the business community, clearly infringing on trademark, and other consumers of these items to change horses? Because until everyone starts thinking of them as BJDs, they are going to remain dollfies to the unsuspecting many. And it's going to continue making business sense to keep it so.

    12. Like I stated earlier, the history is that it is made by Volks.
      But, people are gonna use the term dollfie or Super Dollfie whether volks wants them to or not.

      Not saying it is right, but when is the last time you heard someone say. "Could you hand me a facial tissue?" no you hear, "Could you hand me a kleenex."

      Terms like Q-tip and Kleenex are copyrighted too, but people are gonna use.
      That is just how languauge works. If you are the first to introduce an idea, the name you use will be what it is called by the public (not other companies because they can't legally).
      That is just how it is. Companies can start the trend, but cannot control it.
    13. I don't really care what brand of cotton swap or facial tissue I use, whatever works is fine. They are interchangeable in function and appearance.

      But this isn't true of dolls at all. If I see 'Dollfie' used, either referring to 1/6th dolls or Super Dollfies, I fully expect to see a Volks doll. If the term is misused by a doll owner or someone on eBay using the keyword to sell a pre-owned doll, it doesn't bother me so much. If it's misused knowingly by a dealer, I would contact Volks and avoid anything to do with them whatsoever.
    14. to throw my two cents in, "Dollfie" is also a poor generic term because people who dont have volks dolls might like having their brand respected.

      It's like the Cola wars. With Dolls. Like pepsi and coke are the same thing basically, there's enough diffrence to make a prefrence of one over the other, albeit an entierly personal prefrence.

      When people call either my Dream of Doll or my Mythdoll a dolfie, I correct them.
    15. I think what Lisa is trying to ask is something more like... if you were to start a business aimed at selling items for BJD's, would you be turned off if the business used the term "Dollfie" in it's name, even though the products are not specifically for Volks dolls? For example.... "Dollfie Dreams" or "Dollfie Designs"?
    16. Thanks for the clarification, arafel! Now that I'm clear about the distinctions, I'm not asking what terms people prefer to use and why. I think we'll find a spectrum of answers that reflect what people have posted here.

      I'm wondering now how the usage of terms relates to doing business. On this board, we may use the terms with pin-point accuracy that comes as a result of a deeper understanding of the situation. But if the business goal is to reach as broadly as possible, what do you do?

    17. If you notice in this thread Valentine linked:

      It discusses calling things SD-sized or MSD-sized. On the whole, it seems no one has an issue with saying something is Super Dollfie sized when selling things. So long as the item actually IS Super Dollfie sized that is. It's just calling a CH AI a "dollfie" that people don't like. I prefer to call the actual dolls by what they are.

      Well I think it would be a bad idea to call any legit business anything with "dollfie" in it. Like I said, it's a tradmarked term. It's better to come up with an original name. However, say if you are selling clothes or wigs and say they are "SD-sized". That's fine. I don't see a problem with that, so long as the things actually fit Super Dollfie! :)
    18. I agree, I don't think the Volks company enjoys the fact that dollfie has become a blanket term across the bjd community, but that seems to be the case to me. It's kinda like when you ask for a Kleenex intead of a tissue, you're using the brand instead of the generic term because it's more familar or understood. OK, that's my two cents...*_*
    19. The reality for Volks is that if their trademarked terms Dollfie or Super Dollfie become the "name" used for all dolls of this type, no matter which company manufactures them, they will lose the rights to their trademark and the term will become a generic, non-exclusive name that any company can use. Thus most companies take action to protect their trademarks, even though it may seem that it would hurt the awareness of their brand to do so. It is only their brand because they have taken steps to protect it.

      Though customers may use the term to search for information (such as searching Ebay for dollfie) and find more entries than searching for BJD, Volks can legally stop sellers from using the term in their advertising. Though, likely they would not take legal action unless the competitor was very blatant about the usage.

      Even the Olympics stops others from using the term "Olympics" in the name of something they haven't approved. Some twenty years ago I was involved with national school competition called "Olympics of the Mind." This competition was forced by the Olympics to stop using the name. It is now known as "Odyssey of the Mind."

      So it wouldn't violate trademark laws to post doll clothes for sale and state that they fit "Super Dollfie," but it would be probably be wrong to advertise them as "Super Dollfie Clothes."
    20. Have you ever went to a restaurant and asked for "Coke" and they replied "We don't carry Coke, but is Pepsi OK?"
      That is Coca-cola actively trying to protect their trademark "Coke" from becoming a generic term. If the restaurant gave Pepsi instead of Coca-cola without the disclaimer (and does so constantly), Coca-cola will sue the restaurant for misuse of its trademark.

      Volks may not be as active (that may change) but that doesn't make it right to use "dollfie" as a blanket term. In a legit business, (though I don't specialize in legal stuff, I just had a seminar on patents and copyrights) I would think it is very risky (or outright illegal) to use a trademarked name without permission.

      I agree with Zalem that using SD-sized or MSD-sized or "Super Dollife-like" would be enough to reach the wide audience. After all, all the generic drug brands have a little caption that says "compare with ingredients from (insert brandname drug here)TM" without ill-effects.