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Dolls vs Figures

Feb 22, 2017

    1. I'm someone who has come to appreciate figures and I love sculpting. Sometimes I see BJD of existing characters, like Hatsune Miku, and think I would rather have it as a figure instead of a doll. Similarly, I would rather sculpt a figure if I wanted my dolls to sit around and look pretty without being touched at all. But the line between what I would rather collect as a doll or as a figure is still blurry for me, and it's made me wonder why I draw a line at all, and why I have such preferences.

      So for those that collect dolls and figures, where do you draw the line between what you want as a BJD and what you want as a figure, if you draw the line at all? What do you prefer to do with your BJDs that makes you want them instead of a figure, and vice versa? Is there a reason you have that preference?
    2. Personally, I love having existing characters as figures, like Figmas of Vocaloids and stuff (even though I do ADORE the Kagamine DD twins <3 ), and my dolls are my personal OCs :) Thats because the figures are something that I can get of a specific character easily, and character goods from anime and games exist, but my OCs only exist in my head or on paper, so shelling them into dolls gives me a more physical enjoyment of them that no one would ever make besides me (unless somehow my OCs became super famous haha)
      • x 4
    3. I'm not a hardcore figure collector (I mostly have pop figures, but actual figures too) but my views are simple:

      They're both an art piece to me, meant to be looked at and admired -- it's just that one isn't art until I make it my own.
      I buy figures because I love the character, I buy bjd because I can make it my own and turn it into my own characters. (:
    4. I am an avid anime figure collector. I have scale figures, nendoroids, figma, capsule and keychains and plush. I also have a large space in my room just for bjd and their furniture. I love both hobbies, and go back and forth as far as what is my current priority (aka all my money lol.)

      So this is an interesting topic for me. I have taken to using my 1/3 bjd to make anime and game characters (specifically otome). I think a large reason is because these characters do not have scale figures (or any figure at all), and never will. Also, because I want them to play out more of their story or an AU of the characters I love and adore. I agree that it wouldn't be worth it to make a custom bjd of an anime character I can already buy a good figure of.

      I also have to really want to expand on their character through their doll form. Kind of like fanfiction writers. I find it a lot of fun! And choosing clothes that they would wear, that would suit them, that didn't appear in the official source.

      My 1/4 bjd are original characters only. They are just themselves, the personality they appeared to be when I met them (when they arrived.) I think they are lovely and have no need to give them a new character. I think my 1/3 dolls just didn't boast much personality so I was able to use them for pre-existing characters that I kind of made into my own (with things like diverging timelines or expanded info.)
      • x 2
    5. I really have no idea where the line is...I do collect a few figures but I wish I also had the BJD counterpart of those. I love Hatsune Miku but, unlike you, I rather have the BJD than one of the many figures and I really have no idea why.

      I guess the line can be drawn when it comes to accuracy and details. If the BJD can be as accurate as the character in the anime/videogame/comic than it's all good but if it can't than I rather have the figure.

      BJDs are also much more expensive than figures so even if I would rather have the BJD most of the times I have to settle for the figure.
      • x 1
    6. I have tried may times having dolls of game/anime/etc characters, but it doesn't work for me! I like them as my own characters. Even my absolute favorite anime character whom I own most existent figures of (she's even my avatar!) didn't work for me as a doll. I thought she'd be my dream doll, but once I finally got her...meh? Maybe Dollfie Dreams are too different from resin BJD for me.

      I love seeing other people's renditions of famous characters, though! They're so cool.
    7. For me it's this way: figures are the characters, for example, I have Kirito and Asuna from Sword art online, and they're Kirito and Asuna. However, if my doll were wearing Asuna's outfit (+hair +eyes), she wouldn't be Asuna, she'd be wearing a "cosplay". So buying one thing or another depends on what I want: the character itself, or a new cosplay.
      Maybe it would be different with dollfie dreams, but I don't know, I think I would end up buying cosplays again, so the character she was supposed to be would diaappear.

      This is a very interesting topic, by the way!
      • x 1
    8. My figures are existing video game/cartoon characters, but my BJDs are shells of my original characters. I think for me, so many existing characters have specific things that really make them who they are--I have Final Fantasy figures, but if I had a doll of Cloud, stripped him of his character outfit and stuck him in something completely different, no one would recognize him as Cloud--he'd be just another pretty blond boy in the hobby. That's why I draw the line where I do. I like having full wardrobes for each of my dolls, and changing their clothes and accessories a lot. My figures need to keep the same outfit or hairstyle to be recognizable, so I don't want to spend a fortune creating a doll of them just to have it on display in the same wig and clothes forever.
    9. Honestly, I used to hate the look of anime style bjds with decals on the face, but now I think they're pretty cute :aeyepop:Before I would have said I would rather get a figure than an anime style bjd, but now I think I prefer the posability and customization of bjds a lot more. If I had to distinguish, I'd definitely want an existing character to be a figure compared to a bjd, like a miku figure rather than a miku dollfie. It makes more sense for it to be recognizable as a figurine to me, but if just having figures for the anime aesthetic, I'd rather get some anime style bjds (if that makes sense)
      • x 1
    10. Personally for me, it depends! I've seen some gorgeous BJDs made to look like anime characters, and I've always been tempted by them. But figures are significantly cheaper than dolls, so personally I find buying them more reasonable over buying a doll just to make into a character. I'd have to REALLY love a character to dedicate the time and money. I'm also really fond of a lot of the official anime BJDs! I love the Black Butler dolls and the Levi (Attack on Titan) doll in particular.
      • x 1
    11. Truthfully, I've always loved anime figures but I've never been able to justify paying for them and it seems like the deep end of geeky so I've never bothered. I always see such great figures online and at anime cons though--some day I'd love to have a collection of them! I'm not quite as attracted to them as I am to BJDs though, so for now I'd rather have BJDs. :)
    12. I am way more into BJDs than figures but I do collect both. I only get figures of characters I REALLY like, and then they must be good, poseable ones from Figma or SH Figuarts, lol. I second those saying you get figures of preexisting characters and dolls as OCs. That's what I do as well. I am not really part of the figure or general anime community either, while I am part of the BJD one and spend a lot of time on here and on the BJD side of instagram.
    13. I collect both.

      I tend to lean towards dolls since I started collecting them. The only figures I really make an effort to get now are limited release, special figures, or nendoroids. I prefer the endless customization ability with dolls and I feel that dolls have better looking faces in general. I can also do more with dolls than figures when it comes to outfit changing, posing (never really was impressed with figma), and photography.

      As someone that has gotten custom painted face ups based on anime characters I tend to only do that with favorites or when a doll just practically is created to be a character (such as Xaga Doll Ximigo practically almost being Cyan from Show By Rock). If I really love a character then a figure may be super nice but I'd take a full doll any day.
    14. I also collect both.

      I view them both as artwork.

      If the doll/figure is based on a character, I won't buy them unless I've seen the source material it's based on and and I like the character.

      Otherwise it's just whether I like it or not.

      Among other things I've got a bunch of anime scale figures, a few dozen Nendoroids, 20ish Pullips, some Azone dolls, and only two resin BJDs. I've only just started with the BJDs though, so give me a chance :)

      If I really like a character I'll get it in whatever form I can. For example, I have the Rozen Maiden Pullips and Nendoroids and a scale.

      I've also got several Saber scales, a pile of Fate Nendoroids and three Fate Azone dolls. I entered the Dollfie Dream Santa/Saber lottery recently too, but I don't think I've won that unfortunately.

      Dolls have much more versatility (especially if you're into photography) and I kinda prefer them, but figures are much easier. So in conclusion, if I like it (and can afford and justify the cost...) I buy it :chomp:
      • x 1
    15. Wooow!! I've recently ordered a Tohsaka Rin cosplay from acbjd for my girl!! awesome anime and visual novel :)

      Everytime I see Levi at Dolk Station I think "ooh I'm in love!" The doll is sooo real! It's absolutely him :D
    16. Well, BJDs are a lot more huggable! If you play around with a figure too much you can damage it in ways that aren't easily repaired. Though the same can happen with BJDs, but I think it'd be a bit easier to fix them since there's an active community, whereas once a figure's busted, it's gone for good.

      I'm planning for my first doll to be based off a manga character, and I occasionally collect figures, so it is hard to draw the line. But like other people have said, I feel like a defining factor for me is whether or not a figure of the character already exists... If I could just drop one payment on a 1/8 scale figure instead of customising my own doll, I might go for that instead, ha. /lazy

      But for a series I really really love, maybe even if a figure did exist, I'd go for the doll anyway....? As a way of saying "look, I love this thing so much, I spent so much time and effort to create this!" (Buuut that might just be my fannish insecurities talking.) And, like I said, it'd be much easier for me to hug a BJD of my favourite than a figure!
    17. @Youzen I am so with you lol. Like, I just might make a bjd of a character that has a figure, if it is someone I just love SO much. But I want to be lazy too, and just get a figure that is already made.

      Also I seriously thought about getting a Dollfie Dream of Ren Kagamine (vocaloid) but that was partially because I was excited to see Volks make a boy DD. In the end, I wanted to spend that money on other stuff instead lol.

      I guess I don't draw line anywhere, I just have to want to create a doll version of a character I love enough to spend that kind of time and money.
    18. That's a good question. I have both as well. I guess I view one as interactive art and the other as more decorative. I mostly have resin statues- but I also collect various action figures and Hot Toys. The figures and statues are all in trophy cases and aren't really touched unless they need to be dusted.

      I've customized a lot of bjd to look like those same characters I have statues of because...well, I guess it's fun to play with them? It also gives me a chance to sculpt and photograph something. Many of my dolls are OCs so those (obviously) don't have action figure versions kicking around my house.
      • x 1
    19. I'm in the "both" camp here, too. I regard the figures I have as "art," even the articulated ones, because they aren't particularly poseable or durable in comparison to my dolls. The BJDs are what I can take out to pose, mess with, construct clothing for, take photos of, etc. They're like a variation of fanart, in a way. Instead of drawing the characters, I'm building and photographing them out in the world.

      My rules for what I get in either side, though, are very similar. For reasons of both space and price, I limit my purchased figures* to only characters/properties I really, truly love. And, of course, the dolls have to be characters I like enough to spend that much time and money on, as well! The main difference between them is that the figures can cover multiple properties, as long as that property falls into my "yes I do really love this thing" category. The dolls, on the other hand, share a world with each other, and fall into "it makes sense that this character is here so I will add them." (Though, admittedly, the structure of the shared world does open it up to quite a few characters, I'm also artificially limiting it to "this group would view themselves as a family.")

      * Pops and figures I get from subscription boxes do not count here.
      • x 1
    20. For me, figures are preferred when I want a physical embodiment of a character; my own or from a video game etc. Figures show more personality in the dramatic and powerful way that they can be sculpted, unlike dolls can. Even though dolls can pose beautifully, they are restricted to human poses that can be bland, in my opinion. Even though I prefer figures for characters, I still like dolls; they are interactive pieces of art and are too cute to resist.