Feeling weird about reshelling?

Nov 16, 2020

    1. So, my first doll was a gift, right? And his sculpt was not one I'd have picked out on my own. But I fell in love with him almost immediately nevertheless!

      I've known for a while that I wanted to get him a new body, but lately I've been wondering if maybe I want to reshell him completely. I'm very attached to the "character," but honestly? His sculpt is still pretty meh. It HAS grown on me, but...I still don't actually like it. Which is so weird, because I LOVE the doll overall. I just?? Don't like his body?? Or his face?? What????? *_*

      So anyway, I've been thinking about reshelling. I've seen a particular other sculpt that I REALLY like, and that fits his character and style perfectly. It looks similar to his original sculpt, but is much prettier and better sculpted.

      But every time I think that I've decided to reshell him, I feel weird and like I'm somehow betraying him. Like, because that is my First Doll (and a gift to boot!) it seems...wrong? to get rid of it?? And since his character didn't exist before I got him in doll form, can I even reshell him? Or would I just lose him, and the new doll would be "someone else?"

      And then there's the fact that his current sculpt is discontinued, and for some reason that makes me feel worse about wanting to reshell him. Like, the company doesn't care about this doll anymore, so I should care extra??? I don't know, it's hard to describe...

      I'm so conflicted. And it's such a strange thing to be so conflicted about, I feel like I can't talk to non-doll-people about it! Like, I know I'm being a little ridiculous over here, but I just can't help it! :sweat

      Advice, similar stories, telling me an idiot...all welcome!
      • x 3
    2. How about this. Get the new doll, see if reshelling the character to the new doll works. If not, switch back to the original doll and sell-on the new one (or restyle him to have his own character)....?

      • x 6
    3. I was in a similar situation.

      My first doll was a gift from my father, and while I did pick him I also picked him between other choices because he was the one my father liked the most too. Without that, I might have gotten a different doll.

      I loved him when he was with me, and I had gotten attached to his OC.
      However, his body was horrible, and after some thinking around I decided to change it. However, I too then thought "but what about his face...", because while I liked him I also kinda did not.
      I think it's just normal to realize your taste can change, while you still have fond memories attached to the doll.

      In the end I bit the bullet and reshelled him.
      However, what I did and still do today, is that I kept his old head around first just to see if it works. I know it's common for people to sell old dolls to buy new ones, but in such cases I wait with the selling until I am sure the new shell fits.

      I have reshelled that OC several times more until I have put him into the archives, so to speak.
      I don't use this OC anymore. However, I still own this very first head/the head of my first doll to this day, 12 years later :)
      I kept him as a memory of sorts, and because he was a gift from my Dad (who is still alive, no worries!).
      He's always in storage, but it's just nice to know he's still here nonetheless.

      So in your case I'd say, maybe try something similar. Get that new shell for your OC, sell the old body, keep the old head and put it away for the time being. That way you don't have to worry about it being discontinued, hurting the person who gifted it to you or realizing the new doll doesn't fit.
      • x 6
    4. I have a character that I originally shelled as Supia Hayul, who definitely didn’t look anything like the character, but she was affordable and I was sort of desperate to get the character as a doll. I still have her and her original body (though the body is my partner’s now). Like Ara, I think it’s better to just hold on to the doll, just in case you change your mind, or reuse the head for another character.

      It’s also cheaper to keep what you have than to try to buy a replacement if you regret selling the original, especially if your current baby is a limited!

      My partner also has at least two characters that have two dolls each because he couldn’t stand getting rid of the old dolls, so if you have the space, that’s an option :) He had the same problem with worrying about making the doll feel bad, for lack of a less nutty way of saying it, but I’m sure they still feel loved because they’re still with us! If you do sell, the new owner will love them too :)

      Good luck!
      • x 3
    5. For me it depends on which was first - the character or the doll. Re shelling a preexisting character is a no brainier - it's a lot like changing an actor you cast for the role in a play - if someone else fits better, you go with them.
      When the doll was first and the character was developed from them an around them it's a different thing... I don't think I'll ever be able to stop thinking about that doll as a character I developed for them, so even if I get a new one the first doll will still be there and in consideration...
      Which is not necessary a bad thing - one character can have multiple "shells" after all - I know people who have the same character shelled in dolls of different sizes - have SD, MSD and sometimes a tiny version of their favorites.
      Some people have human and non human versions of their characters, especially if the character is a shiftier of some sort.
      I personally have a character that plays a part in a long story set up - she starts out as 15 years old teenager and she is 31 by the and end of it. So I'm strongly considering "double sleeveing" her - one doll is not very good at being both a teen and an adult :)
      So if you want a new doll to represent your character it does not mean you have to discard the old one - no one stopping you for having a slightly older version of them, for example :) People grow and change, having that represented with dolls is not a bad idea necessary :)
      • x 2
    6. I had similar feelings when I reshelled my first, whose character (and indeed the world where most of my dolls ‘reside’) was created especially for the doll. I had written so much about him and his friends and he’d become so fond to me that I was terrified of messing him up somehow. But I realized the fact I was even considering reshelling meant the character had already expanded beyond the limitations of the actual sculpt. Those feelings weren’t going to go away (and I had squashed them for years, trying new face ups, new eyes, new outfits, etc!) and dissatisfaction with him and all my failed attempts at transforming him into something he could not be was making me less inclined to engage with the hobby as a whole.

      I decided within a hobby meant to bring joy, I had to protect that joy at all costs or there was no point to owning any of them. So I took the leap and bought him a new head. In the end, it took three tries to get him right—and oddly enough it was only after I’d finally committed to selling his original self that the correct one came. Those memories with Doll 1.0 and the pictures we took will always be there, but now I get to further develop his character without feeling held back. I went from feeling guilty whenever I saw him on my shelf to happy nostalgia whenever I see another of his sculpt online. I am so glad I pulled the trigger and didn’t let the past hold me back. Eventually we all die, and then who benefits by us having held onto inanimate things? The ‘things’ don’t benefit, they don’t care who owns them, that is projection on our part. The whole point of an indulgent hobby like this is the enjoyment you get out of it while living, so don’t be afraid to prune back to give better things room to grow.

      I’d say if you’re so bothered by his current self as to make a thread on the topic, deep down you may have already decided. Like others said, keep the discontinued original if you like, but I’d suggest packing it away out of view so it doesn’t mess with your enjoyment of browsing and imagining how would [character] look if he did not have to look like [sculpt]?
      • x 2
    7. I've changed my doll's characters a few times when it wasn't working out and reshelled the old characters in new dolls. There's nothing weird about that. And maybe your new doll with the old character and your old doll with a new character can be related in some way? Or if they look enough alike, maybe the same character with different expressions, and the old and new heads can share a body?

      I'd also suggest looking at what other people have done with similar sculpts. If there's nothing special about his faceup, maybe try finding an artist you really like and getting his face redone? Maybe a new wig and eyes might help?

      Either way, there's no reason to get rid of a doll you're attached to, and there's no reason you can't buy this new doll and keep the old one around (or at least the head).
      • x 1
    8. I don't think there's anything wrong with re-shelling a character you have in mind into a new doll. Especially if you think the new doll would do a better job of actualizing the character. Perhaps you could think of a new character for your old doll. Some completely new personality you hadn't thought of before. I think this could be a good opportunity to get those creative juices flowing.

      Myself for example. My first doll was a Smart Doll. She was kind of a tomboy at first. But now I think of her as my Otaku/Japanese culture girl and I like to dress her up in cosplay from various anime's and other forms of Japanese fashion ie. kimono's, kawaii etc.

      I would have a hard time departing with my first doll. All my dolls are special to me, but especially my first one. You may later regret getting rid of your first doll and since he is out of print, would have a hard time finding him again in the second hand market.
      • x 2
    9. To me, dolls are all about the joy that they bring you. It’s not hard to form a personal connection with the doll and there’s nothing wrong with reshelling the character you intended for that specific doll.
      I recommend, if you’re hesitant to sell the doll straight away, to put it away for a bit or commission someone to give him a new face up. You may very well be inspired to make a whole new character or see the character in a different light. I find that changing small things about a doll from their wig, to face up, to clothes, can absolutely transform my connection with them. It’s also easy in this hobby to get a sort of “grass is always greener on the other side” mentality. I know I always have an eye out for characters I want to shell or have already shelled. Sometimes this ends up for the better, sometimes not.
      • x 3
    10. Just because you once thought a doll was right for a character, doesn't mean you will always think it is right for the character. I myself will likely be reshelling my first doll's character into another doll (Soom Gneiss, or maybe Breccia) at some point. Not because I don't love the doll, but because she just doesn't work for the character.
    11. I've reshelled a LOT of dolls, and only once have I ever reverted back to the original doll, and that's a special case. If the original shell feels wrong for whatever reason, and another feels right, then I reshell. It usually makes me love the character a lot more. I usually hold onto the original doll until the new one is home and painted, just to be 100% sure of the reshelling before letting the old one go. Sometimes, I'll keep the old doll to rework as a new character, if I really liked the sculpt.

      My only exception was with my first doll, Amir. His first shell was an Angel of Dream Chen. Though I loved the doll, I realized I don't really care for 1/4 dolls much, so I upgraded him to Angel of Dream Gu, and it definitely felt like the same character, just bigger and better. I still kept Chen because he was my first, but I "retired" him to a box in the closet. For a few years, I saw Gu as the "real" Amir. But, times change and after awhile, I kind of lost interest in his story, and started a whole new crew and story, and I ended up selling Gu. A few years later, I pulled my Chen back out, repainted him, got him some new clothes and accessories and now I see him as the "real" Amir again. He still doesn't fit in, he's not a doll I'd buy today, but I think of him more of an independent art piece than part of my current doll crew.
      • x 4
    12. I did consider re-shelling (at least partially), my largest male BJD; I kept looking at his OC's artwork and I didn't like how he didn't look anything like him. I then thought about purchasing other head sculpts, because his head was too large for his own body anyway. I never settled on any alternative head sculpt, although at the time there weren't that many option anyway. I'm a bit picky when it come to accuracy, so it would probably not have worked even now. I gave up purchasing an alternative head, then decided to try modifying the head sculpt to look more like his artwork and that worked pretty well for me.

      I have had feelings of re-shelling my one and only mini-sized male BJD because he is meant to be the above's character brother, but I decided to modify him instead. Later I learned he had been discontinued, while I was in the process of modifying him, so I'm a bit torn between actually completing the mod or trying to "restore" him (for a few years now). DX I don't think modifying a head would work for most people, but it has worked for me when it came to my largest male BJD (and all my floating heads so far). If my mini hadn't been discontinued, I would probably have been happy modding him as well. Some people manage to change their dolls enough with just brand new face ups, but I'm not good at those, so modifying them works for me -- which is probably extreme for most other people.

      Having said that, I would probably never sell any of my BJD heads regardless, so I agree with most others who have suggested to keep the head, and see how a new doll works out for you. It seems like the change with the least amount of loss, in a sense, because you would still keep the head, even if just for a while. Good luck! (:
      • x 2