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How careful is too careful?

Oct 14, 2019

    1. Hello! I am finally back on this forum after an almost 2 year long break from the hobby :).
      The reason I am back is that I finally decided to put my favourite boy Theodor on my shelf in my room. And boy did it do things! I am super motivated to get into the hobby now that I see him every time i wake up. But that leads me to my question, how careful should one be with their bjds?

      To be honest I have always been very very careful with my bjds. I joined the community back in 2016 and not a single time have i touched any of them without wearing gloves or at least not washing my hands. But I have also been super scared of yellowing. For 3 whole years my three bjs have been sitting in my closet on a soft little matress where they have been sheltered from the outside world. Is that really the right thing to do?

      Of course I am careful with sunlight and stuff for Theodor but I really do believe that I shouldn't be too scared. Should I for example not light candles in my room? Will the smoke from my candles make him yellow faster? I would really like some tips and points of view on being careful with bjds! Please share your opinions and tips here! Thank you! :)
    2. BJDs really aren’t as fragile as a lot of people make them seem. I take my dolls outside for pictures all the time, they get in the sunlight, they fall and get some dirt on them; in ten years of being in the hobby, I’ve never had a disaster.

      Now, some things are common sense; don’t take your doll apart on the kitchen table where they might fall onto tile, don’t stand/sit them where they might fall on a hard surface, don’t rub their faceups, don’t sit them in sunlight for weeks. But there’s no need to ensconce them. I’ve had my first doll for ten years and he’s barely yellowed, and has never gotten broken on his various outings. Lighting a candle here and there won’t hurt them at all. Gloves aren’t necessary.

      If you’re worried about dirt or oils, simply give your dolls a gentle bath with some warm water and a magic eraser every so often. Make sure the shelf they sit on doesn’t get direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Take their wigs off if they’ll be stored for long periods of time, get a silicone wig cap if you’re worried about staining. Little things here and there can help, but you really don’t have to worry too much.

      You have your dolls to enjoy them! Do whatever makes you happy, and don’t let fear hold you back. Be cautious, but not over-protective. :3nodding:
      #2 KiyoshiSenshi, Oct 14, 2019
      Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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    3. I’m not really very careful at all. I’m not careless or intentionally destructive or anything, but I also don’t go out of my way to shield them from everything. I wash my hands first if they’re dirty but to just randomly handle my dolls, I don’t. No different than picking up stuff to see or video game controller. They’re out on display but in a room without direct sunlight. I’m a hands-on owner and I wouldn’t enjoy my dolls at all if I had to be too delicate with them.

      About candles—I wouldn’t burn them around my dolls. Same room, across the room would probably be okay, but not too close as smoke or wax residue in the air wouldn’t be good for them. Don’t leave him direct sunlight, like sitting in a window, but out of sunlight in a room with a window is fine. I would try not to touch his face up if you can avoid it, but handling your doll without gloves is fine as long as you don’t have dirty hands. Enjoy your doll! :)
      • x 2
    4. And in addition to what was already said: it comes down to what you prefer. If the thought of damaging them has you so anxious you don't enjoy handling your dolls without taking a lot of precautions, there is nothing wrong with being a little 'too' cautious; if on the other hand all the protective measures stress you out more than the possibility of damage over time (that would be me), handle them a little less carefully. After all, the point is to enjoy them, right? ;)
      • x 4
    5. Ahah I relate soo much on that! Thank you for asking ^^
      I've personally always been scared for my dolls, but I'm starting to let go. I'm tired of taking measures that just seem unnecessary in the end. Thank you all for your answers, it has ended to convince me. Like With-a-curl said, the point of having dolls is to enjoy them, whatever that means for you. I've come to think that if they're to get scratched or yellowed over time, that'll just mean they had lived, and that makes them more unique, if it makes sense. Well, I say that, but I'm still protective ahah :sweat
      • x 3
    6. Invest in UV-blocking window film for the room where you display your dolls; that way they are just as safe from sunlight as they are in a dark box, only you can still admire them. :)
      It's not too hard to apply the film to the windows, either; the brand I got came with all the necessary tools.
      #6 RinSetsua, Oct 14, 2019
      Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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    7. I don’t wear gloves when i touch my dolls :> since i take photostories it would be too much of a hassle while changing their poses! I’ve only had a disaster where by my switch boy fell while standing up and chipped his faceup! After that, i made sure to take pictures indoors witthout wind or with a support item! This way you don’t have to worry about any casualties haha
    8. What's the point of owning something you don't enjoy? I don't leave them sitting where they get direct sunlight and I wash my hands before handling them (I live with parrots, the rules are similar).
      • x 3
    9. It's obviously a very personal thing involving the level of care you are happy with, but I personally don't think they're nearly as fragile as people make out. Thye're dolls - dolls are toys and as such are meant to be played with.

      I obviously don't leave them in direct sunlight or anything like that, but they're going to yellow whatever you do, so I just accept it as part of having resin dolls, so they aren't kept in boxes or shut away in a cupboard. They are on open shelves and a glass-fronted cabinet none ofwhich get direct sunlight on them.

      And they don't damage that easily either, I've never bothered with gloves (clean hands, yes, but I don't wash my hands every time I go to pick one up, only if they're grubby from something I've been doing like cooking or eating or whatever). I carry them around in my regular backpack with a silk scarf around the head (the faceup is probaby the most delicate part of them) with whatever else I happen to have in there at the time, and take them all sorts of paces - in to work with me, to conventions, and reenactments, and visiting friends, and on picnics.

      More often than not they're not carefully posed on their shelves when not being played with but are in whatever positing I plonk them own in when I'm done playing. They're overcorded so it's always a bit of a squish anyway. I do tidy them on occasion, arraging them nicely before visitors come (they are all in the living room) or I'm hosting a doll meet. But that generally lasts only until I pick up one of them to show to someone or play with,
      and sometimes picking up one causes the domino effect of a whole shelf of them tipping over.

      One of them even went home from a convention with a friend's toddler and didn't suffer nayting more than a mussed wig that needed combing.

      #9 Teddy, Oct 15, 2019
      Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    10. I am careful when I handle my own BJD and extra careful when I handle those of others.
      Some are are on shelves others in a glass case (my glass case is not big enough fo all, so a couple gather some dust, haha), some are next to my sewing machine, a lot come out with me for pictures. I don't want to be too stressed out, because I wouldn't enjoy them, but I take care about how I carry them around etc... I like them to stay nice, but it hasn't to be pristine, either... if that makes sense.
      • x 1
    11. I try to be as careful with my dolls as I am anything I care about. I don't want to let them drop, or be put anywhere they can be dropped, or get messed up somehow. I keep them in a darker room, and I don't really handle them too much. I am always way more careful when I handle some one else's doll compared to mine. Which is amusing to me. But I am a little on the clumsy side due to some slight vision issues. Luckily for me BJD's are not as fragile as they seem. The only time I've ever damaged my own dolls was due to my cat doing what cats do, and knocking a minifee off my table while I had them out for a photoshoot. He only suffered a broken pinky finger which wasn't the worst thing to happen because I have other sets of hands for him, but it did kind of suck that it happened. Luckily in nearly 10 years of collecting this has been one of my only mishaps. And I've had my dolls take a spill now and then. So yea do be careful and mindful with your dolls, but don't worry too bad about anything terrible happening, unless it actually happens. Preventative maintenance is really useful with these guys. If you are posing a floppy doll get a stand. Don't leave them standing anywhere on their own. That kind of stuff! I've heard of people having left their doll in it's box since they got it, and over the years there has still been yellowing, so it is just something that happens as resin ages. But sunlight really can speed this process up, so just keep them out of direct sunlight and you should be fine.

      I don't have much advice for scented candles around dolls. I do know they emit a bit of an oily film as you burn them, so maybe just light those in a different room of the house and you should be fine. But for the most part these dolls can handle a lot of handling!
      • x 1
    12. I used to be so paranoid about my dolls when I first got into the hobby, but thirteen years later I’ve relaxed quite a bit. lol

      I keep them all stored in a cabinet with doors to help keep out light and dust, and before that I had a large bookcase with bedsheet “curtains” to help keep them dust-free. I do have three of them displayed on stands out in the open, though. They’re near a window but the cabinet blocks the light from their position so they don’t get anything like direct light. They do get dusty though so I have to wipe them off every once in while.

      As for falling and breaking, they’re really not that fragile. Yes, fingers and long pointy ears can snap, I’ve been lucky to not have that happen yet and If I take them out I always wrap hands and heads very carefully. But I’ve had a few fall over and the worst they got was a smudge on their nose or something that wiped right off.
    13. Honestly, with a few common sense precautions, they'll basically last forever. Don't go scratching at parts that are painted, wash your hands before touching them if you just rolled around in dirt, if you're standing them up keep a hand on them or a soft surface underneath, but otherwise, you don't need to do much. I once dropped a thigh with relatively thinner resin on a porcelain tile floor from about shoulder height, and it was fine. Now, I'm very short, but dropping a piece from a few feet up in the air won't shatter it, even thinner parts. Ears and hands are really the only part that I've ever been worried about breaking, but the hands on my 70cm are as tough as the rest, same with his nose, which sticks out quite a bit. Unless they've got elf ears, or an intricate faceup that's irreplaceable, you should be a-okay by just not actively attempting to damage them.
    14. My first doll got too much sun exposure and has yellowed unevenly, so I'm careful to keep them out of direct sunlight. I usually wash my hands before handling them, but have never bothered wearing gloves. I've knocked a tiny Fairyland Real Puki off my desk a couple times and she's fine.
    15. Since reshelling Chaeri in an MSD body, I find that i am a lot more careful with her. I even use a face protector now, to protect both her faceup and those lovely eyelashes of hers. I don't use gloves, but I always make sure my hands are clean. I try not to handle her face too much; it's sealed but I'm still careful. I don't treat her like glass, but I don't sling her around either.

      It's about more than a price tag. When something is precious to you, you want to take care of it. You shouldn't get to the point of being afraid to touch it, but find a level of caution you're comfortable with.
    16. For me it is when being careful prevents you from getting the enjoyment you want out of the item. It is one thing to keep your doll tucked away in a box if that kind of collecting is what makes you happy. It is another thing to do it out of fear when you much rather be enjoying them out with you.
    17. I think it's best to be as careful as you want to be. If someone genuinely prefers to keep their dolls in boxes when they're not posing them, that's cool! If never handling them is making it hard to enjoy the hobby, you ought to touch them as much as you want.

      I'm not super careful with mine. I have Tourette's, so it's unavoidable that I'm sometimes a little rough with my possessions, and I did a lot of research beforehand to make sure I wasn't going to destroy my doll as soon as he arrived. It seems to me like they're pretty durable -- at the end of the day, resin is just another kind of plastic, and to be understanding it's a fairly strong one. I've dropped him a few times and it's always been fine. I did get lucky, dolls do get broken or chipped from falls, but this is just to say that isn't not necessarily a disaster if something does happen.

      Also: I keep him in a very sunny space, but with indirect sunlight. If I'm going to be out all day, I put a sheet over the shelf to minimize sunlight, but if I'm in the apartment I like to be able to see him. I burn incense in the same room as him, which is probably harsher than candles -- I always put a sheet over his shelf when I'm doing that, but I know it's not foolproof. There just isn't much of an alternative, since I live in a one room apartment! So far, I haven't noticed any ill effects, but we'll see what happens in a few years. I also bring him to conventions and let strangers handle him, which again might not be the wisest choice, but it makes me happy.

      I guess I just figure ... the absolute worst-case scenario, which isn't even especially likely, is that your doll breaks in a way that isn't fixable. And obviously that's not something anyone wants, I would be really sad if that happened, but it would be okay. I'd save up and get another one. (Maybe a different sculpt since mine is discontinued, but still.) So personally I'd rather take the slight risk and be able to enjoy them in the way I want than to lock them away.
    18. Too careful is when you're afraid to treat your dolls like you would treat any other object in your house, like your computer, phone or things like glassware and plates).

      These are designed to be handled quite roughly. Cured resin stays flexible, making it much less prone to breakage than porcelain for instance. If there's damage, it's mostly surface dents, scratches, or - if you're very unlucky - a broken finger. Nothing a bit of sandpaper or superglue can't handle. And some modders on this site have shown projects of severly damaged dolls that were repaired to almost as good as new.

      The downside to resin is yellowing. It's a natural property, caused by uv-radiation (same reason why tattoos fade, by the way) and can only be avoided if we keep the pieces in an airtight, pitch black environment... which just isn't a practical way of dealing with dolls. Keeping them out of direct sunlight is sensible as it prevents uneven and accellerated yellowing, but your doll's color is going to change slightly over the years.
      Candlelight shouldn't be a problem, unless, of course, you set your doll on fire ;) and smoke isn't going to have an effect on yellowing, although it is possible your doll can get a bit dirty, if you leave it in a smoke filled environment. But that's why we have soap and water.

      In short: Don't underestimate the sturdiness of BJD's :).
      #18 Silk, Oct 20, 2019
      Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
      • x 3
    19. I'm not particularly careful with mine, but I'm careful enough. I take care with how they're placed so they don't take big falls and I make sure my hands are clean if I'm going to handle them, and I handle them a lot. I'm not really worried about yellowing and keep them out but my room doesn't really get a whole lot of light to begin with (night worker, blackout curtains) and they're not around my pets who I'm sure would love to chew off fingers or eat wigs haha.
    20. If you're putting more energy and effort into "preserving" your dolls than enjoying them, you're being too careful. That's really all there is to it. If these were meant to be display pieces, never to be touched and ensconced in glass, they wouldn't be articulated and able to stand on their own, much less designed for customization.
      • x 3