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How you got started

Apr 5, 2010

    1. There's a thread of why you chose your first doll, but I couldn't find one of how you got started with BJDs in general (though apparently I suck at choosing search terms, so we'll see how this goes).

      I'm pretty new to this whole thing, and I'm just curious how everyone got into them. Some people were introduced by friends, family members or acquaintances who are hobbyists, some like me came across BJD photos online, some are from countries where it is more common, some may have migrated from a similar hobby or just stumbled upon it randomly.


      How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?

      I don't remember when I first saw BJD photos on deviantART, but it was quite a while ago. I think my first reaction was "well... that's odd, but kind of cool-looking." Recently, for no particular reason, I started really seeking out doll photos and looking at the different companies, and the more I saw, the more I though, "this is something I really want to do." It ties in some other hobbies I have or plan to pick up again when I have extra money (creating characters and stories, photography, sewing, making stuff in general) and I actually didn't have much sticker shock when I first started looking, because I have grown up around artists and artisans and understand the value of a well-crafted item, be it the doll itself or clothes and accessories.

      Since joining DoA I've finally gotten to see the really human side of this you only glimpse on deviantArt or company sites, and I really can't wait to get my first doll this summer.

      So what about you? I'd love to hear from fellow newbies and veterans alike :)
    2. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      I had a friend in high school who loved all things Japanese. She once posted pictures on Facebook of some male BJDs styled to look like a Japanese music group, saying "I just came across these pictures, aren't they amazing?" or something to that effect. I thought they were really artistic and realistic...almost too realistic. I also figured they were in some art gallery or eccentric's private collection somewhere. I looked at the pictures several times, then forgot about them.

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      I've been into Pullips for a while now. One time on my Pullip forum of choice, I started a topic called "Where do they go?", wondering why people seem so into Pullips for a while, then totally disappear from the online communities. We got talking about how some people consider themselves to be "graduating" from Pullips and moving on to BJDs. The conversation then turned to the differences between Pullips and BJDs, and several of us decided that we liked Pullips because they're cute and smiley, whereas BJDs always seem moody or sad. One girl who owns both pointed out that BJDs can look cute and smiley too, and showed us a picture of her lovely Miribyeol. It took several months, but that picture totally changed the way I saw BJDs. Recently, after looking at tons more BJD pictures on Flickr and elsewhere, I decided that they really were for me after all.

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      I'm learning that although I love the dolls themselves, I don't think I have much in common with many of the other people who collect them: I'm a (straight) girl who prefers female dolls over male dolls, I don't think BJDs are superior to other dolls, I don't like "alternative" fashion, and I really can't stand most fantasy. Maybe I just haven't found my niche yet, but I'm not leaving the Pullip hobby any time soon!
    3. Bohemian, I actually mostly agree with how you view dolls (mostly)... other than the two tiny elf-like boys I want, I tend to prefer females and plan to keep them pretty average story and style wise, and I am definitely not elitist with BJDs--everything has its place in the world.
    4. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      the very first knowing is saw some unbeliveable beautiful pics randomly. but didn't pay more attentions to these dolls. several month ago, saw one pic of hua xi (angle studio) fall in love with him in second= =~~~~~~~~~~~~~. search the net to find out where and how to get him. then .............

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?

      hang in one chinese bjd formns all the time, checking the doll studios all the time then...........

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      heard one of my high school classmates bought one bjd doll (he just told me it's a dd) cost him for thousands of dollars in china . that's 3 years ago thought he's totally crazy. now i just don't look at the price tag= =~~~~~~~~~~
    5. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      I believe I first saw pictures on DA. The pictures were really artistic too and really just displayed the beauty of BJDs. It wasn't like anything I've seen before and really drew me in. I didn't believe they were dolls at first but then I found out. At that moment, I knew I wanted/needed (haha, especially seeing them at a convention from farrr away) one but lost hope after learning how much they were (then "forgot" about it for 4 to 5 years). I didn't know of the "more affordable" ones either and only thought that BJDs were limited to the SD sizes.

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      I've always wanted but didn't have the money before or the courage just to order one. One of my friends wanted to cosplay some BJDs outfits on DoD's website, so she linked me 'cause she was trying to get me to do it too. I ended up browsing the dolls instead of looking for an outfit to do and let the want of a BJD to come out again after hiding for so many years. I wouldn't blame my friend for finally make me "pick up the hobby" but I'll definitely say that she gave me the push and final decision that I really wanted to be part of the BJD world. And with the money I have, I wouldn't spend that much on something unless I really wanted it. And I knew I wanted a BJD.

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      I still see them as beautiful and amazing. The prices don't scare me that much anymore (they just make me cry for the ones I cans afford, hhaha) as I'm used to seeing relatively similar prices from some companies to others. I've learned a lot during the research prior to ordering my first as well. Also I suppose that before it was just the dolls that I saw in the hobby, not the ownders themselves. But now, I have to say, I love sharing "dollspasms" with other BJD loving people! (Hopefully that made sense).
    6. Itsuka, it's cool to see someone who came into it a similar way I did. And I understand about the research for your first doll--I was thrilled to find one that I adore the look of, from a company that's well-reviewed, in my (meager) price range, and I'm loving getting involved with other people :) I've always preferred social hobbies to solitary ones.
    7. >>foxdragon:
      C :! Because I cosplay and have "cosplay buddies" I was scared of having no doll people in my area. When I joined DoA and found how many doll people there are around my area that I could socialize with, it made me happy! I really thought that I was going to be "alone" and could only enjoy the hobby over the internet with other people. I slo felt really hopeless for wanting the really higher-end dolls--in terms of price--but when I saw a vast amount of people saving up here for having the same "wants" that I had, I'd have to say it was pretty inspiring. (Also considering that even though the prices were so high and they didn't have a constant amount of money coming in regularly for their doll funds, they still went for it). So I guess I'm in the boat-wagon, too, now. I hope you get your first BJD this summer too!
    8. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      at the time I was collecting vintage and modern fashion dolls. I'd seen bjds but wasn't interested at first as they seemed expensive and for the most part were too anime looking for me. However as the mature, realistic looking sculpts were released, I was excited.

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      when Rainman released Ryung and Soah. I was won over. Their fashion look appealed to me and I love sewing for dolls. I ended up selling Ryung and Soah and kept only Sooah and Lydia.

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      I've been away from the hobby for the last couple of years. Getting back into bjds, I've realised that I'm no longer phased by the price and that I'm also more selective about the dolls I buy. Personally, I like my dolls to have a mature/realistic/fashion look. It seems that once I find a company whose dolls I like, I tend to buy more than one from them. It's certainly not so much company/brand loyalty on my part as it is about discovering dolls that really appeal to me.
    9. Itsuka: Thank you very much :)

      Norma: It's interesting to see people who came from other doll collecting hobbies. I prefer realistic dolls as well, other than the few tinies I want (which still are, to me, on the more realistic end of tinies)
    10. Well lets see I got started in this hobby last year by a friend who had several and her collection has grown since then and mine has too heehee I now have two with another on the way. I collected American girls as a child and Teddy bears and I still collect teddy bears in fact my one boy BJD collects them as well but only stuffed I collect cherrished teddies too I love this hobby though because things are so changeable.
    11. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      Well the first time I encountered BJDs was at an anime convention, some girls were holding some punk or goth-dressed ones and I admit, my thoughts were "ew they're obsessive fangirls with dolls of their favorite jrock stars!" XD; Then later one of my online friends got into BJDs and was talking about it and her first doll, I followed her link to Dream of Doll and was smitten by Tender Shall!

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      Well I had decided BJDs were too expensive, so for a long time I just admired BJDs from afar and collected 1/6 dolls instead and treated them like BJDs. It took visiting the BJD gathering at last Otakon, and a once in a lifetime opportunity for a secondhand Dollfie Dream Sasara, for me to take the plunge for real!

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      Like some others have said, I no longer get so much "sticker shock" from BJDs- a couple years ago I'd never have imagined I'd spend $600 all on one item! Also, while alot of the dolls I fell in love with at first I'd still like to get eventually, my greatest love is now for Dollfie Dream. Plus almost all the dolls on my wishlist are now girl dolls, where at first I wasn't sure which I wanted to collect.
    12. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      I first learned of BJD's in my sophmore year in high school. Towards the end of school one of my best friend showed me pictures of the dolls from DoD. At first I was like "why are you looking at dolls?" But as she showed me more pictures I was like wow they are very beautiful, but very pricey. I wasn't interested in buying the dolls, I was too busy enjoying my high school life as a teenager.

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      What drew me back into the world of BJD's was boredom. I one day got bored and said.."hm...what were those doll like things again? what were they called?" so I tried searching up DoD again. I looked at the pictures, thought they were pretty. Still didn't want to own one. Then some how I came across Blue Fairy INT and that's what made me go crazy over these dolls. You know the feeling of wanting so bad that all you think about is the thing you want most. Nothing else matters. well When I saw special may I wanted to get her so bad, so I did more research into BJD's. The more researched I kept on finding about more companies and more dolls that I just knew that I have to be a part of this doll world. I had to. Isn't that weird? But I still want May, but not as much as I want these other dolls.

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      My view of dolls has changed. I always thought of the dolls as oh they're pretty, but too expensive. Also I was like dolls are for kids, you know? I'm not a kid and if I was a collector then I would but I wasnt. Now I'm all about the doll and I have seen what you can do with these dolls. They open up so much oppurtunities for me, since I love taking pictures, I like to be creative. I love fashion so I could dress them up. I like to try the face-ups. It's just a great hobby that can really allow you to try all different parts of the artworld.
    13. GO Dream of Doll! they really know how to pull you in with their amazingly beautiful dolls.
    14. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      It was mostly by accident that I first learned about BJD's. I was browsing around ebay one afternoon after school (this was when I was a Sophomore in HS). I think I was looking for some anime character hats and I saw this hat being worn by this really pretty person with ball joints. I ended up clicking on the picture and saw that it was a doll. I wanted to learn more so I searched and searched around ebay and I ended up running across a doll called a SWD Nana. From there I found Volks... and well, the rest is history I guess.... XD

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      The beauty of the dolls, and the endless possibilities for customization. I was one of those art kids in HS who spent 99.9% of her day in the art department (or in my case, the painting/music departments). I loved that I could create a doll to my standards without being limited to just what the company had manufactured.

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      Hmm. I guess Ive come to the realization that its better to save and buy a really expensive doll that you've wanted forever and that you will cherish rather than buying the first doll that catches your eye that you can afford.
    15. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      Rozen Maiden, the show lead me to noticing the beauty in dolls, and the occasional awesomeness they can have. When I bought a porcelain one I didn't know the difference between any doll except size (didn't do any research lol)
      What drew you to pick up the hobby?
      I donno...to be honest it sort of just happened, then I saw Clover for sale and had to have her!
      She came in less then 2 weeks! Cutest. Doll. Ever (sure I'm biased, cause she's my doll) :)
      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      No I like this forum and think "doll people" are like the nicest people I've ever met
    16. Well I learned about BJD's by talking to a very friendly cosplayer on DA. She put up some pictures of her gorgeous dolls , and I fell head over heels. So I sent her a message , asking about them , where she got them , ect. ect.
      She was very very helpful ,and awfully sweet.
      I believe she was the one that pointed me to DoA.
      And I've been hooked ever since. XD

      So I'm picking up the hobby now because. . .I didn't get to do it sooner ?
      Due to certain events , the obsession was put off , and nearly forgotten.
      But recently I was able to get back into it , with a vengeance might I add.
      And my opinion ?
      Hmm. . .Well it's changed in the fact that I like much different things now , then I did in the begining.
      I was into the fantasy dolls , mostly vampires , and my favorite spot was blueblooddolls.
      I never really go there anymore , because I'm not fond of there style anymore.
      Though I still do like fantasy dolls , I lean toward the more. . .Streched reality ? Kind of dolls.
    17. I learned about BJDs after seeing pictures on DA. I was amazed at how realistic they could look, but for the most part I was just moderately curious. After reading a DA user's doll FAQ I found a link to LUTS, and after a while, I was like "this is something I could get in to."

      I finally got into the hobby after seeing just how customizable BJDs are. I love the idea of having tangible representations of characters that I usually just draw. Sadly, I don't have my doll yet, but I will be ordering him over summer, and I get more and more excited the closer it gets to that time.
    18. Ethra: I know how you feel, I have 8 weeks of school, then moving out-of-state and getting settled before I can order my boy, and I can't wait :)
    19. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?

      I think the first time I ever saw one was at an anime convention manymanymany years ago. If memory serves, there was a girl in the art vendor area that had one, and as I was browsing through I asked about it. She told me what it was and a bit about them in general and, while I was very shocked at the time for how much they cost, I was also very interested in getting to know a bit more about them. Not an immediate "I need to know because I want one" kind of thing, but more an "I've never seen one of these before, I feel compelled to study up" way. I have this tendency to just like knowing about things. |D I think it also helps that she was so friendly about it, or else I might not have taken time to look things up or even get into the hobby myself.

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?

      After getting to know about them, I realized that I really, really wanted one of my own. The only problem was that I was a bit young at the time and didn't have the finances on my own to get one, and as my family didn't have much to spend on luxury items, that was out, too. So, for quite a while I sort of gave up on the idea that I'd ever have one of my own and just admired from afar. I'd still look and look and want, but that was about it. But earlier this year, by turn of fortune, I had the monetary backing to finally get one and at the same time found the elusive perfect doll for me. So, dream come true!

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?

      A little, I think. I started out thinking they were a bit strange, but over the years I've fallen completely in love with them. And, god willing, my doll family will continue to expand. c:
    20. How did you first learn about BJDs? What was your initial reaction?
      The first time I ever saw a BJD was outside the Toronto Fan Expo in 2005. I walked up to the owner and had a lot of questions because the doll looked SO REAL and SO intricate. She was a real jerk to me. She obviously didn't want to answer any questions, and I was immediately turned off. (Knowing what I know now, I can't for the life of me understand why you'd take a doll to a con if you're that opposed to questions...). So in 2008 I came across an article on "Creepiest Dolls". I read it, and they mentioned ABJDs. I realized from the pics that ABJDs where what I had asked the girl about. So I did a google search, and low and behold... DoA popped up! I immediately joined, started searching companies, fell in love with molds, and ordered my first doll at the end of 2009.

      So my initial reaction was interest, but I was turned off by the owner. Upon discovering them myself and being able to research on line, I remembered why I was so intrigued in the first place, and intrigue turned to love...

      What drew you to pick up the hobby?

      Once I started researching... I fell for ABJDS hard. I've always been a doll person, but gave them all up in my teens. I gave away barbie collections and would give my dolls to my younger cousins as I grew (I'm the oldest girl in my family). I found ABJDs to be a great way to reconnect with my girlie side, my childhood, and to do it in a creative and artistic way. What drew me the most was the customization. I could instantly look at a mold and see my own version of that doll. I knew pretty immediately that I wanted to invest in this hobby...

      How has your view of dolls and the hobby changed since then?
      I never thought that the hobby would be so social. I really thought "I'll buy these dolls, and have them, and no one will really know about it but me since no one I know is into it." But I've made friends here on DoA, shared pics and stories, and I really feel like it's opened up a network of wonderful people that I never would have come into contact with before. It's so personal, but so social at the same time. If anything, my perception changed completely from that first, rude, owner I met back in 2005...