Limiteds- Are they really so limited?

Oct 24, 2007

    1. This is a restructuring of the former limiteds debate a little further down the page, if you wish to know what the original thread was about :)

      Now, onto the topic:
      Many of you, I'm sure, have seen limited dolls from many companies- Luts' tanned dolls when they first came out, the Delf Art and full package series, DoD's elves, tans, fullsets, and Volks limiteds.. as well as countless other companies I couldnt possibly name.

      This debate is, essentially, is it right to claim something is limited, then produce more of it as a normal edition? Or produce more in general?
      What if it is just modified a little bit, and resold?

      I am going to give a few examples- Please don't think I'm being biased, I'm not, these are just the first few instances I can think of off the top of my head.
      So, lets say.. Volks? Volks makes a lot of limiteds.. :) They're usually very pretty~ But typically, even though the website will say the doll, whatever limited it is, is no longer produced, they will often have sales at events, or through special time periods, at dollpas.. Perhaps a Volks limited is simply viewed as a doll that, instead of no longer being produced, is only produced in limited quantities?

      Or, how about DoD? They make a few limiteds too. But as was the case in the other thread, they will, sometimes, change the ears or face style and outfit of a limited and make it a general edition. This is understandable.. Because that one specific thing, ears or just a 'look' is limited. Not the doll itself, right?


      Nevertheless, this is a debate thread and I would very much like to hear your opinions~ :) If you have any examples of your own, please add them! Remember, the debate questions are:

      Is it right to claim something is limited, then produce more of it as a normal edition? Or produce more in general?
      What if it is just modified a little bit, and resold?
       
    2. Its true, how can we justify slapping a label on a doll marking it special when in fact the only thing special about it is a modification? Can we buy these dolls and truly feel we own something limited?

      Now I don't want to sound like i'm completely bashing LE dolls, I still see their appeal. But honestly I think that if a Limited doll is still available in some form or another it takes away from the elite idea of what should be a more unique and individual doll.
       
    3. Exactly--I think Volks is pretty loose about re-releasing 'limited' dolls, but in their defense, they usually do something very different from the previous versions... frequently the do re-releases for dolls that were in the old body type, old skin color, and they do different make-up, different outfit, etc. And at the very least, the re-release is always limited itself. When they release an LE that's going to be released as a standard, they do it at the same time (and last time the LE had the same price as the standard), so it's totally clear that what's 'limited' is just that make-up/wig/etc. Similarly, as far as I can remember, Luts and DoD are very clear-cut about 'there's a standard edition of this doll, its the way its packaged that's limited.'

      But I think it's really unacceptable, and pretty sleazy to release a doll under the premise that there is a limited amount and it won't be for sale again, only to turn around and release the same doll as a standard the next day.

      My [very specific] example here would be when Bambicrony did the LE Blue Elf sets, saying there would only be 10 of each. And then once they were completely sold out (was it a day later? Maybe less than that...) they released what was essentially a 'standard' edition (only limited by the time frame you could purchase them--about a month I think it was--but regardless, for however many needed to be produced) of the exact same dolls. Except without their outfits, and thus, about half the price.

      It just seemed absurd, and offensive to me (I suppose I only have my own naiveté to blame, but it felt like I had been tricked into purchasing something extra.) It probably wouldn't have bothered me if it had been a year or even 6 months after the event. And I would have been 100% okay with it if they had just said, "There'll be 10 each of these clothed/face-uped sets, and then a release of just the dolls." They still would have sold all the sets, just maybe not as quickly.

      Of course as far as elves/sleepy/whatever dolls go, I think it's all fair game. If the mold being used to cast the doll is different, it's a different doll. ;)
       
    4. I think in terms of Volks and DoD, they're pretty clear about their Limiteds being special for their outfits/wig/eyes/face-up etc. Or, at least, most of everyone is aware of how they release their Limiteds and standards. Modified a little and resold is still not too bad in my books. The point is, at least the standard and Limited does indeed have some changes. For example, the Elf Lishe 2006 actually looks rather different from the Elf Lishe of the first release, even though I don't think the modification was extensive. In other words, it still makes both of them limited in their own different ways.

      The Bambicrony release though is an example of what I think shouldn't be acceptable. Same as the Latidoll release of Adel and Laches Yellow-line again when they very clearly stated a few months before that the dolls (the sculpts themselves, not only the outfits) will only be released once and once only (causing a stampede of people rushing to buy the dolls). The only consolation for the Latidoll release is that it happened several months later, instead of the very next day.

      I'm actually all for companies producing standards. Please, please do release more standards. What I dislike quite strongly is the usage of the word Limited carelessly. Instead of producing Limiteds, why not just stick to releasing standards? I think this is one of the few hobbies where the companies can get away with basically lying about their releases.
       
    5. I would love it if the companies would provide a further breakdown of what type of "limited" a certain doll is when they're released.

      If it's just a limited number of "full set dolls" then release it as that, or if you're going to release more of the same in the future, please label it as such. If it's written as "LE 10" of a certain sculpt (as in there's nothing truly special about the outfit, wig or face up, the attraction is all in the sculpt), I find it in very bad taste and downright dishonest to re-release it a couple of months later as a general non-limited doll.

      Example would be the SDF Dion and Delf Lu-Wen I just got. Luts specifically labelled Dion as Limited, but included "100 released this round" while Lu-Wen was just...limited.

      While Luts has replied on their Q&A that they plan to release Dion again around X-mas time, I'm a bit surprised that they're doing it so soon, but it doesn't infuriate me or anything (although I'm sure everyone would like their limited dolls to be the most popular and in demand, and the more easily attainable the doll is, the less truly "limited" they become). If they did the same thing with Lu-Wen, I'll probably be out for blood since it was a difficult decision for me to spend so much to buy both dolls at once instead of just adding one of them to my "in the future" list because I wasn't sure how easy it will be for me to make another order for him before he sells out.
       
    6. Well you might want to consider what is being made limited first, clothing, sculpt, accessories, face-up/aesthetics?
      When a company releases them again, has anything changed? the clothing, the sculpt e.t.c ? One could argue that the limited doll's sculpt was modified, thereby preserving its "limited" title. Another could suggest that due to an identical "basic" line being offered, the only things that make it limited, should they be removed, would strip the title and thus become a standard.

      Any slight mold could warrant a different in sculpt, yes- even down to a number or the method of applying the company insignia. and yes, a further description of what kind of limited it is would help owners better decide what they want and what to expect. It's all part of the business, obviously, but to be honest to the customers is probably... something that would be appreciated more, especially if the artist is in demand, whose skills do not require any market scheme to raise the value of the sculpt.

      I don't appreciate the concept of a market ploy where you have to rush to get a supposed limited, only to turn around and find out it was in fact, remade, as an identical standard. Especially if owners are anything like me where clothing, face ups, wigs and eyes are useless to me. If that what makes the release limited- i'd much rather prefer the standard version.

      While i would LOVE that every doll on the market was stripped off its limited title so that everyone could access it, if a doll was limited in sculpt- remain that way. If they were released as a standard- remain that way. It's one thing from wanting a limited doll to be released for everyone and another to be jibbed by it as a result.
       
    7. In the case of LUTS, "limited" are mostly standard sculpts with a different, "special" faceup and clothes. IMO, I don't find it very worthwhile to splurge that amount of money for a standard sculpt that's just been given different makeup and spiffy clothes. I'm one of those people to whom clothes/faceup/whatnot don't play as much a part as the sculpt.

      However, if the term "limited" applies to a certain sculpt that is released in a certain quantity and then never ever released again, then that is slightly more justifiable. Some standards are modified (elfin ears, closed eyes, vampire teeth?) and sold as limiteds, along with the usual special faceups and clothing. That's pretty ok for me.
       
    8. I think it all depends on how and in what way they state it.
      For excample my Dollmore Noir asha is a LE 50 because they only made 50 of them in white skin with the dreaming eyes. Sure its not a big change, and she was hardly more expencive then the normal version, but they made it also clear that it wasnt really the sculpt but the resin colour.

      As for Bambi's sale, I think they did sucker people into buying them, I remember when they came out and it said 10 each and I thought "no way in hell I will make it" and then all of a sudden they sold them not only in blue but other colours aswell? It was kind of a slap in the face for the people that bought a fullset. I would have love a fullset, but in Mistyrose for excample.

      I think companies arent carefull enough in their "discriptions" of what a limited is. What buggs me now is for excample Luts MNF elfs... they all have the words "Version" infront of them... is it like a loop hole for them to use if they want to sell it again or what?

      Companies that have been pumping out LE have also had great problems with their ability to cope with the demand. Luts customer service has gone down dramatically, everyone remembers what a fiasco the coloured elves from Bambi were.

      Now if you do a limited just if you know you can handle it.. then fine. Dont swamp yourself. Like Lu-Wen, it just opened and Luts had to close their face up services to catch up.

      Notice also that one of the most populare sculpts out there is the dollshe hounds. The standard hounds are all non limited. Yet they are in high demand. Sure Berman is in even higher demand and people pay rediculous sums for one. They still sell loads of their "standard" hounds.

      LE is just a excuse to up the price of a product.

      Edit: Also remember how the coloured elves from bambi was then and only then... I asked recently and they do plan on releasing their new elves also in coloured resin. Makes ya wonder how limited that will be also.
       
    9. I think it's just the Asian culture of marketing at work *shrugs*.

      There are lots of merchandise, Japanese or Korean, that are labeled as "limited" like that--like a CD that's the same as normal edition, but with a different jacket cover, or something a little extra. The same thing applies to dolls--it doesn't necessarily mean that it's "not going to be produced again forever", the limited version just means that it has something a little more special than what we'd otherwise call a "normal edition". Maybe it's elf ears, or an outfit, or a different skintone.
       
    10. If you want to talk about Limited Edition Dolls check out the Hypermaniac Dolls, I have Gyedo and so far he has not been re issued yet, Ksy and Omicron have not made a comeback yet either. And when Hypermaniac re-issue's them it is for a limited time and the price is usually higher than when they were first released. Right now they have re issued Nahu open eyes on the site and his price is $980.00 and limited to only 5 in the world. If I was a company and wanted to make a ton of money with a limited edition doll I would do just that and never make that doll ever again no matter how many people beg and plea for it, or would offer millions for the answer would still be no.
       
    11. I think when people see the word LIMITED EDITION, it makes you wanna buy it faster.

      It bugs me though, when people constantly tell companies how much money they are losing by "NOT RE-RELEASING" certain dolls. I think dolls who are limited are limited for a reason. :|
       
    12. Sounds like nobody has really grasped the meaning of the word "limited" yet-- everyone seems to be equating "limited" with "unique or special". It's not the same thing; the term "limited" has nothing to do with a value judgment of the doll. It has to do with production.

      "Limited" doesn't necessarily mean "will never be released again", either.

      When something is Limited, that just means it's not regular-stock.

      No matter what makes the doll different, as long as there's a finite number of them made, and they're not regular-issue, then it's limited. Whether you personally feel that the special package-- different ears/ skintone/ clothes/ accessories/ bodypart/ faceup/ etc.-- is WORTH the extra cost & effort of obtaining a limited version vs. the regular version, that's a matter of personal taste. It sounds like many people view limited editions as some malicious attempt by companies to squeeze more money out of innocent people.

      It also doesn't matter how many are released in each edition: whether you have an LE run of 5 or 1,000, it is still limited.

      It also doesn't matter whether there has been more than one release if a limited edition: you can have an LE run of 5 in one year, and then another LE run of 25 the next year, and that doll is still limited. Volks released Shiro Tachibana twice, but both versions of him are still limited. They also released two Isao Nanjous, the first limited run through Volks, and then the extra-special-hyper-mega-limited run through HauteDoll, and both of him are still limited, too.

      Whether or not you take it personally & get brokenhearted when a company claims "will never be released again", and then changes its mind and re-releases a limited doll later, that's also your prerogative. It's the company's prerogative to change their minds, too. For whatever reason. Maybe they discontinued a doll that wasn't selling too well one year, and then a popular demand appeared for that doll next year, & so they want to get back into making some money. Why nitpick their motives?

      However-- I toally agree that companies ought to step up and NOT make ironclad claims that they might not be able to keep! Unless you're going to smash the mold after that LE run is finished, unless you can guarantee "unique" or "will-never-be-sold-again", just don't make any other claims. Label it "LE", tell us what's limited about it, and leave it at that... then people won't get upset if the doll gets another LE release, or becomes standard issue, later on.
       
    13. Think of all of the limited edition Barbies - it's just a combination of hair color, skin color, makeup, outfit, and box. I think that's all you can really expect of "limited editions" aka LE. The word "edition" implies other editions.

      Re "limited dolls" - with Bambicrony, I believe the full sets were limited in number, the basic dolls limited by time. Both are limited in their own way. And I am pretty sure Bambicrony has never re-released a limited mold or outfit. But yes - they may have released the fullsets first and then the limited basic doll event started the next day or so. Last time they started an Elf event and then half-way through the limited sales period they added tan elves - that was clumsy too and unexpected. I consider all of the Elves to be limited, some more so than others.

      I agree that it is hard to tell what exactly is limited, but that's not just true of BJD's.

      Carolyn
       
    14. I agree with JennyNemesis. In regards to limited dolls, I think it's very important to distingush between limited and unique. I believe every BJD is unique. I've seen many "aftermarket" customizations that look even better than the original. I enjoy the company of my dolls - not because they're limited, but because of the memories I have with each one --- be it a doll meet, or a photoshoot, or just plain dreaming up stories about who or what they are. I think that's what makes these dolls so special --- the ability to bond with one is like bonding with a pet.
      In response to the predecessor thread, It's true that DOD modified their mold just a little bit and re-released it. I don't believe all the owners of Elf Kirills and Ivans would be outraged --- especially if they're not into vampires. And if you did want a vampire, why then did you spend the money to buy the elf? Not everyone wants their elves to be vampires, and likewise, not all vampires have to be elves --- so I wouldn't be surpised if DOD released Kirill and Ivan in plain vampires, although DOD hasn't had a history of making elves or vampires into standard releases, so they'd probably still be limited.
      In response to the first question, I think it's best to use an example. Volks Chirs, Lucas, and/or Isou Dolls. They've all been re-released. So did they lie? Not really. Each time they release, they're limited in quantity, and you never know when or if they'll come out next. Each release is either packaged differently or otherwise unique from the last release.
      On the other hand, let's look at the Volks SD10 CHII that is now a very rare and coveted doll --- The head mold for that doll was modified and released as a DD 03 head. Anyone can now make their own "rip-off" version of the SD10 CHII in DD form. Did that depreciate the value of the original SD10 Chii? Not one bit! (I personally think the DD body matches Chii's anime proportions much better than an SD10… ^;^)
      Same thing with the Bermann and Hound --- Hounds are actually modded Bermann heads. Hasn't stopped Bermanns from selling at astronomical prices.
      All in all, I think when it comes to these dolls, if you're really a BJD owner, they're extremely difficult to part with once you've bonded with one, and you often times customize it to your own taste. If you're a doll collector, you're not going to want a modified BJD anyway, so just buy all the variation! ^;^
       
    15. Just to make it clear, I don't equate Limited to Unique (unless it's a limited edition one in the world) and I'm pretty confident that I understand what Limited means. I'm not sure why that came up and I'm a bit confused about the sudden talk about Limited not equal to Unique. If you don't want to use the word 'special', how about 'different'? Of course the Limited Editions have to have something 'different' from the regular runs. What on earth would be the point of releasing a Limited Edition El that is exactly the same with no difference from the regular Els?

      A lot of companies actually do write 'Limited Edition only 200 in the world' or something like that when they sell their dolls. I know Latidoll did actually write something along the lines of this sculpt will never be released again and it's limited to only however many in the world, except of course, they released it again. It's not a misunderstanding on the buyers' part.

      I really don't think it's their prerogative to just 'change their minds'. That's called false advertising. I'm not talking about discontinued dolls though, just the Limited ones that are advertised as never to be sold again only to be sold again. I don't think there are many discontinued dolls that are brought back again by companies. I don't get how it's a company's prerogative to say one thing and do another.
       
    16. I think the prerogative has a lot to do with customer demand. Lots of people ask Luts to remake or re-release molds. A company wants to make money. If they think they can make a quick $100,000 re-releasing a limited head, then they'll do it. They care about those customers who are willing to buy right now, not those who have bought in the past.

      I would have to say that it really doesn't bother me that much. Sure, it would be great if there was less insanity in this hobby if they made more general releases and less limiteds, but then I think the companies wouldn't be making as much money (and possibly not be able to stay afloat because of it), as people wouldn't have that "omg I've gotta have it now" mindset.
       
    17. I think that's a horrible way to conduct a business and I'm not quite sure in what way does this explanation make what the companies do any better. As I've said many times before, this would make it false advertising.

      This issue hasn't affected me personally but as someone who's looking at the whole thing from a potential customer perspective, I find it disturbing. Also, I think that saying that they can't stay afloat if they don't release limiteds is a stretch. Companies make a quick buck from releasing limiteds but the regulars are the ones keeping them afloat. If they want to release limiteds, of course it's their right to do so. But it's the part where they release limiteds again, almost like a breach of contract to their old customers, that's the part which disturbs me.

      If they think they want to release a limited edition again later, it can't be so hard to state clearly on their website that it's more of a limited run. Only how many produced now. The smaller companies' dolls and artist dolls are sold like that and with no misunderstanding.
       
    18. The explanation wasn't about making anything better or trying to give some kind of positive justification, but just more about the way some of the companies work. Anyone just has to look at Luts' rather poor customer service history to show that they don't really care about the customer once the transaction has been completed (and even before sometimes). It is false advertising, but I don't think that they really care. Money is more important.

      Smaller companies and artists are still working up a good customer base, so they tend to care more about treating the customer right. One can only hope that they keep it up.
       
    19. Ah...I thought you were trying to justify what they did because of this first line.
      Prerogative would imply it's their right or privilege to do so. But based on what you said after that, then it isn't their prerogative to do so. They just have a bad grasp of business ethics.

      On a side note, I've only bought from Luts the once but despite a lot of silliness on my part, they did provide rather excellent customer service to me. I'm sure others will have a different story from that, but I can't honestly say that I felt that they didn't care once I forked out the cash. And I can't honestly say that all companies function this way either. Not every company out there has actually reproduced limited dolls so I would say it's just the select few that are doing so.
       
    20. If that company has NOT actually stated "Unique" or "This doll will never be released again"-- then yes, it is their right/privilege to change their mind about future production runs. It's not false advertising if they haven't made the claim. Bad taste, yes, many negative style-points, but not false advertising.

      If they have made the claim, and then go back & change their minds, then that is completely tacky. You could try to sue them successfully for false advertising, but I imagine you'd have a really difficult & expensive time of it, merely to get a little vindication. It would be easier to express your disapproval of the company by not buying from them again. For the company, they'd save us all this hassle if they'd just refrain from making iron-clad claims (unique/never-be-released-again) unless they're sure they'll keep them.

      Personally, I wouldn't base my whole opinion of the company on such a stunt-- it wouldn't be a dealbreaker to me. I might yell "Booooo!" and give a thumbs-down, but if I like their work & service, I'd continue to buy from them. Everyone has their own priority-list of what they expect/require from a company, though, so this issue might be a dealbreaker to someone else.