Is having many dolls a good thing?

Jan 8, 2021

    1. Is having many dolls a good thing?

      When i browse here, i always feel like it's nornal to have many many dolls, but the normal folks always freak a bit when they hear how much my six SD/70s cost. I feel pretty happy with my collection. I might try adding one more in the future. I originally thought I'd only have three but i already have six. I think many people here get those feelings where they just have to buy more.

      But do larger collections really make you happy? And when is a good time to stop?

      Honestly I'm also an anime figurine and nendoroid collector, hoarding is in my family. I wonder whether that's related to the amount of dolls you want....?

      EDIT: with normal folks I mean non-doll owners. And also those who do not collect figurines. That's my experience at least.

      Also, I'm looking mostly for your personal experience. What does it feel like for you? That'll be most helpful for me to hear how it feels for you personally. :)

      I don't buy dolls if i don't have the money for it. I'm on hiatus from buying anything now because i just had my first child and i have to figure out how budgeting will work with a little one. :)
      #1 Qianna, Jan 8, 2021
      Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
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    2. A big thing is space. If you have enough room for 10+ dolls, then it's fine (so long as you can afford it and don't feel overwhelmed as well). Personally I love having a large-ish collection. I don't think I'd like only having 2-3 dolls at this point because I have too many that I absolutely love and never want to sell. But I also still don't see my collection as large even though I have over 20 dolls now. :sweat
      • x 10
    3. I like the way you differentiate us from "the normal folks." :lol:

      Yes, having many dolls is a good thing - but only if you want many dolls. Having one doll is a good thing - if all you want is one doll. Same for seven or one hundred. It all depends on why you buy them! For me, I fall for sculpts and create characters, and I don't really see a definitive number in sight. Some just like spoiling one doll with tons of clothing and accessories, while others shell specific characters from their own stories. Like any hobby, it is only worthwhile if you make of it what you want, rather than being influenced by others. :thumbup
      • x 13
    4. I get the general impression that it depends on what type of collector you are. Some people are proud of having a large, valuable collection, and the number of dolls is important to them. Other people prefer the neatness, intimacy and minimalism of a small collection.

      I have a pretty large collection (60+, I've lost count tbh) and I would say it's really not a good thing for me. I love every one of my dolls individually, but as a unit they give me anxiety. Having more dolls isn't really valuable to me, but I do like the fact that I've had the opportunity to handle and paint so many different sculpts from different companies.

      It's difficult to estimate a good time to stop, since I'm still asking myself the same question. :doh I guess if I had to say when I wish I'd stopped, that would have to be shortly after I hit double digits...
      • x 10
    5. I also hoard anime and video game figures, so I know the feeling of wanting to inhale any and every other toy/doll kind there is. However, when I discovered this hobby, I knew I wouldn't want to hoard these types of dolls from the very beginning. Mostly because I did want to invest a lot of time making them look just right. I wasn't as young when I discovered them, so over time that desire to customize them and spend countless hours modifying them, or making stuff for them has dwindled. I still love all the ones I own (six full/complete dolls and eight floating heads), but I don't do much with them anymore, when six or seven years ago I couldn't stop myself from repainting them or modifying some of them, every few months.

      I don't want to keep owning more BJD, and I always had a limit of ten full dolls and a few floating heads (I don't mind owning a thousand floating heads, but I probably won't purchase many, if any at all!). I am eyeing a mature tiny male, which I am still a bit on the fence about because his facial features are a bit too young for what I prefer, but I regret not getting another doll with very similar features and size, many years ago. Now it's probably impossible to get him in the condition I would want, so I think I might get this new one, even if I regret it later, just so I don't regret not getting him at all. DX

      I don't believe that people are all the same, or collect things for the same reason -- I always believe that whatever makes you happy, as long as you're not harming other living beings, go and do as you please. For me, as far as hoarding BJD, I feel like I wouldn't be able to own a million of them, because I don't have the energy (or desire to own so many), I don't mind owning a thousand Barbie fashionistas (or other mass-produced child-toy), because I don't feel I have to pay attention to them. I feel like I do have to give some attention to my BJD, not in the physical affection kind of way you would a living being, but in the kind of attention you would a continuing piece of art work. That's the reason why I purchased my BJD in the beginning, to work on them or heavily customize them. So, I feel like I would be a terrible person if I purchased more, just to keep like I would any other toy -- in that case I would just purchase other types of dolls instead (which I already do, sadly!). I don't have the time, energy or desire to customize or own more than ten full BJD, so I wouldn't purchase anymore. However, if people want to own a million of them, and that makes them happy, it's not wrong. It's their choice and lucky for them, I say. (:
      • x 4
    6. How many is the "right" number is a very individual thing, I think. I'm a collector, so I was pretty much always going to end up with an extensive crew, limited only by my specific "fun money" budget and available cabinet space.... For someone else? The "right" number might be in the single digits. Neither of us would be doing it wrong. It's just a difference of preference.
      • x 8
    7. I find people respond oddly if you have lots of anything they don't consider appropriate to collect. Lots of camera lenses, guitars, action figures, dumbbells, art supplies and so on will all get unwanted advice or concern or scorn.

      Years ago, I had a couple friends who collected antique dolls. Because they were antique and presented like art in glass fronted cabinets, I never heard anyone say anything negative about them. In many people's eyes, it's okay to collect anything as long as it's antique. I can't see why that should be any different for something that brings happiness and doesn't have any negative impact.
      • x 10
    8. Well, some people here have been part of the community for a very long time, so I guess it's normal for them to own many, many dolls - but it's not always like that.
      In some cases people just have a lot of dolls because they buy every doll they like.

      Personally I own a lot of heads, 10 or more (never counted them tbh), and only two bodies (one for the heads with a neck size of 9-9,5 cm and the other one is for heads with a 8 cm neck size). I have many fulldolls, but recently I've decided to change direction in my doll's collection "theme", so I may have to sell every company related doll, considering that I just want to own dolls made by artists.
      Plus, I have to say, I don't really like to own many, many dolls. First of all, it takes a lot of space (I only buy SD), my wardrobe is stuffed with doll boxes which I find unnerving. When I buy a figure I just throw the box away and put the figure in the display case, but I have to keep the dolls closed away because there isn't enough room.

      So, yeah, as you can see, it really depends on people' habits and character. You can stop any time you want or never, really.
      • x 3
    9. I currently own 6 dolls I intend to keep for at least a year or so, then I want to downsize to maybe 2 or 3 dolls. Half a year ago I had 12 (2 MSDs & 10 SDs).

      My minimalist/downsizing tendency is not a time or space issue, it's simply that I need (and like) moving, so I need (and like) to be a minimalist.

      Also, I felt overwhelmed as freak at 12, and I still do when I look at my 6 big ladies, but I truly like the ones I have now and I don't want to resign from any of them <3

      When having plenty, I feel like every new one is just a little variation of some other doll I already have anyway, better or worse. I always have this feeling deep in my heart that I know which doll is truly what I love and which one doesn't 'spark joy' and is just a pretty doll, but feels like any pretty doll I see online and would click the 'like' button, scroll down and forget if it hadn't been on my shelf. Having fewer makes them more special to me.

      That being said, I go by 'live & let others live' and 'whatever makes you happy'.
      • x 4
    10. Yes:

      • x 26
    11. I currently own two dolls and have three coming my way :D Two Maskcat dollies and a Harucasting one. My goal is to buy two more from Harucasting this year and then I am done with my collection for now. There are other dolls I find pretty but none that I actually want. I feel like that will be a good collection size and from then on I just wanna build characters. I like having few dolls but really good ones. I don't like going overboard because I want to cherish each doll. And I feel like there would be less excitement if I just bought them whenever I felt like it.
      • x 2
    12. First the size of your dolly family/collection is very much a personal thing. There is no "right number" for all, some folks like having just one or two dolls, and some like having ten, and some like many many more then that.

      I myself have a dragon hoard/resin army, at 85 and growing. Many of my dolls are based on my RP characters and I use them as art refs. (I also love many sub hobbies that come with BJDs sewing, photography, etc.) I also use my dolls as kind of a therapy for my depression and anxiety. I hold and cuddle with different dolls depending on mood, they help ground me. The fact must are characters of mine there is some aspect of self in a lot of my dolls that gives me a bond to it. Is my group big? Yes. Is it too big? Not for me, for others it might be, but these lovelies are mine and make me happy. I should also note I've been in the hobby a very long time, since about 2008 that's 13ish years. (85 dolls didn't happen over night XD) And I saved and worked for each doll, or was gifted it. (My S.O. and mom have both gotten me dolls over the years.)

      So really you need to figure out you max numbers based on you, your space, your budget, your wants, your likes, and you own happiness. If smaller is better for you stay small. If you find you like a mid size doll fam go for that. If bigger is better then go big. But whatever size you go for do it for you, not based on what others think.

      Lastly to address this so called "Normal folks" thing, I will now quote my favorite superhero Impulse. "I am normal, it's everyone else that's weird." I have very much taken an outlook of reacting to people's negative reactions to my hobbies (not just BJDs but like also cosplay, comic collecting, role play, etc.) By being shocked they don't do X and reversing their not normal shaming on them.
      Everyone has hobbies and things they are into, might be cars, might be fashion, might be music, might be toys. Folks shouldn't shame you for any part of your beloved activity, be that sticker shock price shaming or OMG your dolls are creepy.

      You do you. Too each their own, and may we all find happiness! ^_^
      • x 10
    13. I agree with the notion of "it really depends on your own enjoyment".

      I personally always knew I would certainly own more than one doll (I like things in pairs :lol:). But I also knew I would never be the type to have a really huge group, because a) I don't like owning a lot of stuff, b) at one point it's hard to store and take care of so many individual dolls.

      A couple years ago I decided that 20 would be my soft maximum. If I see a 21 I really wanted to have I would still get it, so it's not a case of not allowing myself to breach that maximum, just that I knew more than 20 would probably become hard to enjoy for me. I yet have to reach 20, since I rarely buy dolls and also sold some through the years. I just don't see a lot of things anymore that still interest me, and it's also a case of "even if it's pretty, I don't need to own it". There are too many pretty or interesting dolls and I can't own them all anyway. And most of the time I am actually just curious to customize a doll, take pictures once and then sell them on. BJDs are sadly too expensive for that and take too long to be delivered as well, so I don't do that.

      With my Blythe I never had a set number, but I reached 8 now and that feels more than perfect to stop. I am running out of possible ideas for them, so I know buying more would be a bit moot. The group I have now is just perfect, and the idea of having more than that is actually very unpleasant. So I stop.

      In short: other people will probably always have an issue about you collecting something. Unless they are into having a collection of something themselves, they will never understand. But only you can know how much you're comfortable owning. There are good and bad sides about both. A big group means you got a lot of variety if possible, and you can scratch whatever specific aesthetic itch you have. But you also need to be able to store them for example. A small group meanwhile might restrict you more, but the upkeep is easier and cheaper (if you are one to buy new clothes etc. for dolls more regularly).
      • x 6
    14. Depends on each person and their personal circumstances.

      For me, one doll feels a bit lonely but I like "complete dolls", so with head, body, wig, eyes and at the very least one complete outfit, shoes included. I have currently two, one in the works, one "complete" and a third on the way. I may get one or two more, but I don't think I will get past ten, because I don't have the energy, will or monetary resources to "maintain" more.
      • x 3
    15. Just speaking for myself, I don't think it's a good thing. It's a huge money sink, and I don't think I would enjoy my dolls as much if I had a lot of them. My collection will cap out at about six or seven, at least for right now.
      • x 1
    16. Normal is a subjective term. A lot of my friends and I grew up on pork steaks. In my life I've had to explain what a pork steak is to almost every person I've met who isn't a native of St. Louis. So who is normal in this equation?

      Are your "normal" people people who aren't into BJDs? Do they know how expensive other hobbies are? People who collect figures and statues don't even blink at the price of dolls when I tell them.
      Different people spend a lot of money on a lot of different things. I would never pay four digits for shoes or a purse and people do it all the time. I've been collecting comics since I was a kid and there isn't an issue in the world I need $100 worth. Or even $25 for that matter. Price is relative to how much you want it.

      "Many dolls" is also subjective. For some people 3 is a lot, for some who may be terrified of becoming a hoarder, 3 is too many, and for some 3 is just the start of their collection. Some people have already ordered 3 dolls before they've even gotten their first.

      However many dolls an individual owns is the right number of dolls for them, and if it isn't, they have the power to change that. If they don't change it, maybe that was the right number for them after all and they just need to accept it. I used to think it was the number of dolls that bothered me in my collection, but it turned out to be certain dolls that bothered me every time. Once that doll was gone, the rest were fine!

      Personally for me, owning a lot of dolls was never about owning a lot of dolls. It's not about buying every doll I like (if I did that I'd have like, three thousand dolls). It was about owning that doll. Or that style. Or having something different than what I've already got. Or trying a new thing, a new faceup, a new mod. Seeing if I could do this thing with a doll. You can't do everything with one doll, so I have a lot of dolls.
      • x 10
    17. I’ve been in this hobby since 2006, and have slowly amassed a collection of around 45 full dolls, which I consider large. They are all on display, spread throughout my home in smaller groupings in artistic vignettes. It’s a little like living inside a fantasy world where you wander through an enchanted forest encountering magical friends at every turn. It’s a beautiful way to decorate my home (using multiple 3-dimensional displays that are fun to artistically create and capable of being easily changed on a whim.) So for me, this larger group definitely enhances my enjoyment of the hobby. And that’s really what it’s all about...with this or any experience it the way that makes you truly happy.:)
      #17 PoeticSoul, Jan 8, 2021
      Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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    18. I’ve struggled with how many is too many since I joined the hobby twelve years ago. Originally, I just wanted two msd’s -a boy and a girl. Well, I’ve had many bjds since then, some sold, some still here. I think I’ve had over 30 bjds at one time. A couple years ago I had a bjd ‘break down’ and sold off half my collection. I almost left the hobby... This is all due to my personal issues with money and giving myself permission to have/buy luxury items (bjds). I’ve come to a personal realization about ‘the issue’ and am ok with my collecting and have decided not to put limits as to number of bjds. I still have plenty of issues, but I’m working through them and still here collecting. It’s complicated...
      • x 2
    19. @PoeticSoul I’d like to visit your home! It must be so pretty and relaxing. How do visitors react?

      I would have to be in this hobby longer to know exactly what I really want. But I always felt like having less is a way to truly enjoy every doll. Although I’d like to have a group so I can make photo stories.
      • x 1
    20. It's highly individual, as mentioned, so I'll just discuss my own feelings and experience.

      I ebb in and out of this hobby as my interests shift-- and they do shift a lot. The good thing about dolls is they're fine to be put away and ignored as long as you'd like. I have no grief over not thinking about a doll for weeks, months, even a year. They'll be there.

      That said, there's absolutely a difference between "this doll is fine put away," and "I don't want this doll." My collection is ever-growing, and I know there's dolls that aren't on my mind, and there are dolls that will never be on my mind. The former can stay, the latter should go. Theyre usually free event dolls that I never bought to begin with.

      There are dolls im happy to simply own, and there are dolls I'm driven to interact with and change. I have a growing collection, but it's important to remember that not all the dolls serve the same purpose.

      If I were the sort of person who needed all my dolls to be complete, to be interacted with, to be "mine" wholly in every detail and minutiae, then I would say no-- no way, a huge collection would not make me happy! It would be too much! (For me personally)

      Having dolls that aren't "on my mind" is fine to me, because I know they're likely to come back within my ping-pong interests some day. But there are people who would be stressed out by that! Unfinished dolls? Just sitting in their box? Or sitting unfinished on a shelf?? Not within some people's interests, and that's ok.

      Does having a larger collection REALLY make ME happy?

      At this present moment in my collecting lifestyle, the answer is yes.

      I love seeing a new doll for the first time. I'm gaining an interest in doll modification and character visual design, so having a lot of different dolls means a lot of different options. Different themes. Different stuff. Doing wig ventilation one day, designing historical bushcraft outfits the next, working with robot parts the next day, working on modifications the next, then jumping to my sparkly and lacy high-fantasy girl... I never have all of them "active" at once.

      And I've also started to collect dolls that I don't need to do everything in the world with. Fantasy sculpts and unique dolls and such. Just having them is fine by me. Some are even displayed blank.

      When I first started? The answer would have been no! I was a one-doll person, I thought having a ton of dolls was wasteful, and not necessary! Spoil a few, and all that. Why have an unfinished doll? Or a doll just for looking at?

      Once I start completing things, start getting a feel for what I like to own (and not just what I like), I suspect the answer will return to being "no" and I'll pare down the spares.

      Or not.

      I'm equally likely to ping-pong around forever and always find new things to buy and new projects to explore.

      It honestly seems like a really common cycle for people to collect, remove, collect, remove... and I suspect I'll do the same. And in doing this self-discovery process, the "when will you stop" may or may not make itself apparent.

      So, my takeaway: the answer changes!

      Also worth noting: big collections don't always contain dolls with an infinite to-do list. Having 40 dolls (hypothetically) where they all need work is different from having a collection of 40 dolls where 3 need work, and the rest are fine as-is, one way or another, and simply being enjoyed
      • x 4