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How do you decide on which dolls to ultimately buy?

Jan 27, 2011

    1. I'm sure everyone realizes that, if we all went out and bought all the dolls that we thought were pretty, we'd go broke so bad that we would have to start having AA meetings for dolls.

      So what guidelines do you have for yourself before you commit yourself to a good 4-5 months or so worth of paying off something?

      I haven't bought my first yet, so to remedy that I made a wishlist. At one point it was 61 dolls, and I only remembered about 20 or so of them. So I started making myself go through these steps:

      1. Is it pretty? Do I like the facial structure?

      2. Do I actually want it?

      3. Is there another doll on my wishlist that I like more and kind of looks like this one?

      4. Can I see myself actually playing with it and changing its clothes? Is it actually a doll that I'll carry around and interact with? Is it a doll that I'll never let sit and collect dust?

      5. Do I want it enough to spend [insert huge amount of money into here]?

      And thus my wishlist slowly went down to 30, then 20, then 11. It was hard, but generally the dolls got kicked off the list by step 4 and 5.

      So I wanted to ask everyone: how do you decide on which dolls to buy? How do you choose which dolls to sacrifice, and which dolls to keep? Doll standards? Personal criteria? What?
    2. I collect dolls specifically to fit original characters. Because of that, they have to fit some pretty strict criteria before I will bring them home. Each doll I choose will have different criteria. Almost all are male (there is only one exception). After that facial structure comes first. The next consideration is height. If the body the head goes with is not the correct height for the character can the head be hybrided on to a body of the correct height? I am as picky about bodies as I am about head sculpts. I want not just correct height but also muscle build and posability. I research a company and learn as much as I can about how well their dolls pose and about their resin matching. If the character is part of a couple or interacts with other characters (and they almost all do) I research how the doll I am interested in looks in perspective with the other molds I have that represent those characters (if I have those characters). Many of my dolls wind up as Luts dolls because I love their sculpts and I am familiar with them. This way I can assure that they all look good in perspective with each other.
    3. Well, I started with a very small list( originally only six dolls) and over time I have made my way up to a grand list of 14. I've learned to truly never say never in this hobby, as I originally told myself that I would never get an SD and never a fantasy doll, and yet the final two dolls on my list are both SDs, and one a fantasy doll ( Soul Doll Shiva, I seriously can't resist the four arms.)

      My criteria tend to be a bit different from most people.For me, I honestly don't find horribly many dolls so pretty that I feel compelled to buy. Don't get me wrong, I love looking at gallery threads and I find many of the dolls here on the site gorgeous, but because I tend to do my own face-ups those lovely dolls I see don't usually make me *want* because I know I most likely couldn't absolutely duplicate how they look in the image.

      Also, most of the dolls I've found myself leaning towards for the remainder of my list have very few pictures here on the forums. The most pictured of my wants would be the four armed Shiva, and pictures of that sculpt tend to be used around here to show how unique the body is.
    4. I guess I got lucky enough to have my dolls jump out at me.
      When I'm starting to accumulate a decent amount of cash, I'll look around and if one jumps at me, it's the one I get. Sure there are several dolls I'd like to get eventually, but there's always one I want the most.
    5. Likenoir said 'never say never,' and before I said to myself "I'm never going to get a girl." I've made four male characters that I want to get in a specific order but this girl doll just popped up and now I'm saving up for a girl. So, you make adjustments along the way.

      As a super picky person, I do have some preferences: Do I like the doll based on the face up or the mold? Is it realistic enough? Posing abilities. Body appearance. How much time will I really get to play with it? That's one of the reasons why I'm not into Soom or Volks so much, I want to play with my doll, I don't want to have to worry about protecting its faceup/mold/clothes. I have two wishlists, one for the "Really wants, let's save up for that" and the other for the "I kind of like, let's check back on you" list.

      I'm always looking around. I save pictures of all the molds I like and wait two, three weeks or months later if this doll is the right one. And I still haven't narrowed it down. The gallery, bjd database sometimes help but I stopped looking because then I'd put them on the list but later take them off because I only wanted a copy of that doll. Go with the one you really want
    6. Most of my dolls have to fit a certain set of rules, because they're meant to represent characters of mine that I've been working with for years, so they have to be RIGHT. I'm usually concerned with do the facial features match up, so I HAVE to see blanks of the sculpt, because a lot of the time the doll will need a specific face-up and I find it easier to do my own. Criteria....

      1 - The eye shape - is it wide enough? Too wide? To droopy? Too round? Will I want lashes or not? Will the lashes interfere with the shape of the eye?

      2 - The mouth shape - Does he need to pout? Smirk? Laugh? Glare? Scowl? Does he need to look like he's being put upon or does he need to look like he's planning something potentially sneaky and mean? Is he serious or is he a tease?

      3 - The SIZE - Is he one of the shorter males, do I need an MSD? Is he one of my tall guys, demons or one of the very tall elementals, so he'll need a more expensive SD form? Can I find a sculpt in the appropriate size to make me happy?

      4 - The body - Is he athletic or just skinny? Should he look like he works out or just like he's a runner and lean? Flat out Ripped or just Flat?

      Mostly by the time I get to number three I've narrowed it down to only a few faces, and then I can start figuring out what else I need. In the case of MSD's I have more trouble with the body-types, because I can't find enough bodies I like with heads I just don't. Or don't fit. XP Most MSD's are just too child-like. But I don't need a horder of MSD's, since some of the characters are so much TALLER than everyone else is. About five or so will be TALL. So they need SD forms, and that's just going to be... A trip.
    7. I just keep looking and looking, until i find one that i instantly fall in love with :)
    8. The thing that attracts me first and foremost is the doll's face, no matter which brand; I prefer to collect SD size to fit in with my collection but if a face attracts me, such as the face of Iplehouse's tiny Byuri, I will find a role for the doll! Resin colour does play a small part, I prefer tan and white, rather than pink toned. Price doesn't really figure for me, if I like a doll I find a way to get the money (honestly and legally of course!).
    9. How is this a debate?

      ETA: Because this was originally posted in the debate forum.
    10. Quite easy. First points I consider:
      Do I have enough money? And do I have enough space?

      If the answer to both is "yes" (at the moment, unfortunately, it's "no" ...), I go on figuring out if I really, REALLY want it. Sometimes it's just the "WANNA!!!!"-factor that's so high that I simply HAVE to get it. That happened with my Akando. Luken, I just got because I had been saving money for several years (I kept using it for other stuff) with the specific goal of buying "one of those cool dolls" - and he happened to make me like him most of the three I was considering (and I'm quite happy I got him cos ever since, I've gone off the other two sculpts quite a bit, now). Cassie - I wanted her. Really wanted her. I made myself wait for several months to find out how much I wanted her. When the "WANNA!!!!"-factor was still high after several months, I finally ordered her. As for Celaran, well, he was something I wanted for quite some years. A doll that looked like Celaran, the main character from my huuuuge "epic" fantasy tale. So I finally did get him.

      So, one could say, that I always get the dolls I really want. Those that stay on my mind for longer than the initial "ooooooh, cooooool - WANNA!!!". When the "WANNA!!!"-factor's still high after several weeks or months, chances are I really, really want that doll. OK, so basically, I only got them to have them sit around and gather dust and I only change their clothes now and then. But I still wouldn't ever sell them. I'm not much into playing with dolls (not even as a kid, as far as I remember) but I still do love them. :D
    11. For me, it's pretty easy to figure out which ones I really want and which I just think are pretty. I go through all the dolls I've ever thought were pretty (you know, the long list of dolls you would get if you won the lottery :sweat) and try to picture what I would do with each individual doll.

      Most commonly I just see a gorgeous customized doll and think "Oh, she's so pretty! I'd love to have one of her!", but then once I think about what I would do with her if she was mine, I realize I don't really want her. If I can't think of what style and color of wig I'd put on her, what kind of clothes, which eyes and what kind of face-up then I know I am just wanting her because this individual doll is pretty and I don't really want one.

      I know when I actually want a doll because I know what I'd actually do with them upon seeing the mold. I will have already had an idea of what sort of wig they would have, etc. I can look at a doll and think, "Oh, she'd be cute with a short blond bob and a really stormy color of blue eyes." and that is how I know I really want it. Then when it gets to that point, I list the 'surviving' ones which got to that point on my list and put them in order of which one of those I want most. "Do I want this beauty with blond hair and blue eyes first or this sweet little thing with gumdrop-pink eyes?", that is how I know. :)

      What I've noticed over time by doing this method is there actually aren't many dolls I truly, truly want. I think I could survive just fine with only getting the twin girls on my wishlist because I know without an ounce of doubt I want both of them, while the other two dolls on my wishlist are a bit more iffy than that.
    12. When I first started collecting, I wanted almost everything. To some extent...I still do *_* , but now I can see more clearly, over time, which dolls have a greater and more lasting interest for me.

      I work backwards, I create characters after I am inspired by the doll. If I never form a character for the doll, chances are it's here short term and it gets re-homed eventually. Often the character emerges while I paint the face, that seems to bond them to me somehow.

      I know I prefer certain sizes so some dolls, even though I adore them, I know there is little point in my getting them as they will get little active attention. I still keep some dolls that I love and can't part with, even though I don't normally spend time with them. They are such beautiful dolls, I get enough enjoyment out of seeing them and that's worth it to me.

      Things I look for- is the doll well made? How nice is the resin? What's the reputation of the company that makes it? Is the sculpt done thoughtfully? Is the body really poseable? Are the body parts in proportion to what I'm looking for? Have I got the money to spare? Is there enough room for them? Then there is the "wow" factor.

      I still have dolls on my list after several years that have never made it to me. I still hope they'll come at some point, but I have enough dolls in my collection now that I am much more picky and not everything makes me jump to purchase.
    13. I buy dolls strictly on emotion. I don't pay any attention to price, brand, etc. The face has to speak to me, and it has to be expressive but neutral, so the doll can express emotions based on body language, etc. I like dolls that are more thoughtful-looking. If the doll is cheaper, I get him/her sooner. If she's expensive, I save and wait or put her or him on layaway.

      I used to have characters figured out in advance, but I've learned that often the dolls refuse to be the character I had in mind once they get here. So I buy dolls that I react to emotionally, look at as many owner pictures as I can, and then wait til he/she arrives to see who they will decide to be.
    14. The face has to say the right thing, the doll has to embody this certain vibe that I look for. Like others have said, the "never say never" thing is true. As soon as I said I didn't want a tiny doll, I found tinies I had to have. As soon as I said I don't want any dolls that are too mature, I found a ravishing grown-up girl I had to have. As soon as I said no boys, I found a boy I couldn't live without.

      There has to be this "breath caught in your throat" moment. My jaw literally drops open a bit due to the beauty, uniqueness, or whatever combination of factors works in my favor of a given doll. I sit there, I stare. Then when I find myself returning again and again to check the doll out, I know there's a chance they'll work for me. Of course, this tendency has veered me off of my goals. When you find too many bright, shiny objects you must have, they'll completely demolish the goals you've set for yourself.
    15. I go one of two ways. First, character dolls. Does the face look like how I imagine/have drawn my character? Will I have to mod the head to look like the character, and if so, will it be minor? How difficult will it be to get the eyes/wig I need for this character? Do I even like this mold? This company? Do I have the money/inclination to get this doll? Will my girlfriend be willing to get his/her pairing? Will it matter in the long run?

      As for the other way... It's a simple question. Do I like this doll enough that I don't care about all the other questions, I just have to have it now?
    16. It's either an OMG WANT NOW or I go "meh" but for some reason keep going back to look at the doll, so I really go with emotions, not methodical decision-making. I can talk myself through any limiting factor I might set up for myself. The other key factors are suitability to character and availability. I prefer to try to get limiteds directly from the company, not the aftermarket, so I'll leap on LEs I want.
    17. That's a good method. For me, I can't save iffy dolls, or I'll never shrink down my wishlist. xD I'd go broke so fast...

      If I like the doll in the end, even after I don't save it, it's because it will have made a lasting impression on me, and I remember it. So then it's good. If I don't remember, all the better. I still need to eat at the end of the day.
    18. Wow, lot of people with character-in-mind designed dolls. I just can't see my characters as dolls, because to me my characters are alive, but the dolls seem to be like Rozen Maiden to me: most definitely dolls, even if they talk or whatever.
    19. So what guidelines do you have for yourself before you commit yourself to a good 4-5 months
      or so worth of paying off something?

      I never put things on layaway, so I don't have to think of waiting to pay for them then waiting for
      the doll(s) to be made/shipped – that would probably kill me. I do however stick to only buying the dolls I love.
      I had in the past purchased some dolls I liked aesthetically, but now I know better – I don't have a lot of dolls
      considering the years I've been in the hobby and I only plan on getting 2-3 more, if they are still around
      by the time I am ready to acquire them. So, I think it has been a good plan for me so far, only buy sculpts/dolls
      that I know I love, if I only think they are "pretty," then they are not for me. (:

      - Enzyme
    20. I've never consciously gone through steps like that. I guess if I've made any rules for myself, it's to never get a doll that I don't absolutely adore; and to think long and hard before actually giving in and buying it. I only just got my first doll this past December, and I'd been waiting 4 months before actually ordering him, even though I fell completely in love with him at first sight. (Granted, it wasn't my personal decision to wait, it was a forced gesture given the circumstances; but it did help prove to me that I really did love him.) Looking at owner pictures is always good, too, if they're available. I really hate the idea of ever having to sell a doll, so that's another reason to put thought into one I'm considering purchasing. Like many of the other people involved with this hobby, I can't see myself buying a doll unless its purpose was to shell one of my already-existent original characters. So far I've made plans for 5 more dolls (and it's worth noting that I'll probably never get my hands on one of them), all of which will be made to resemble one of my specific OCs. There are several dolls I find gorgeous, but if I don't have a character for them, there's an extremely small chance that I'll ever actually buy them.