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Long-timers, What trends have you observed?

Jul 2, 2006

    1. I am new to the BJD world and I am curious about the changes that have occurred since you first started buying your dolls.

      Some of the older bjds appear to have simplified faces, big eyes, small mouths, less defined noses. Is there a big trend in more realistic face sculps? Is it a sign of the times?

      Will the future of bjds become more and more realistic, and perhaps more western looking? Early heads have an "Asian" feel, whereas, some of the current popular dolls (Unoa) have the big american eyes. I also notice a trend toward fuller lips.

      Is this just phase? I think the beauty of ABJD is their eastern feel.

      What are your thoughts on this?
    2. You've nailed the biggest trend I've seen - the trend away from the doll-like/anime faces and more towards realistic/Barbie-like faces. They definitely have a more western feel, and I think that's deliberate as the companies go after the western market and especially go for the more traditional doll collector market.

      Which is a related trend: when I started collecting, those who collected came more from the anime world. Now it's a much wider range of collectors, with a large and growing population of traditional doll collectors. This also feeds back to the companies, which changes their offerings. One affects the other.

      I've also seen a trend of collectors' ages skewing lower. This probably also feeds on the price lowering trend, making the entry point into the hobby less expensive than it has been.

      Another trend is toward more sizes and more unique sizes of doll. When I started collecting, dolls tended to be close in size/measurements, probably to make it easier for collectors who already had dolls and clothes to add other manufacturers' dolls. Now I'm watching more and more companies come out with sizes that really don't fit any of the older sized clothes/shoes - perhaps it's another result of the explosion of the market.

      Which brings up the follow on of companies making clothes/shoes to fit the greatest number of dolls, which means they don't fit any of them particularly well.

      I'm not saying if these trends are good or bad, only that I've observed them. How anyone feels about them is a whole 'nother discussion :).

    3. Maybe it's the Unoa dolls you've seen painted but I find that Unoa have a definite Asian-look to them, to be exact, a Eurasian look to them. If you look at the way that Akari Gentaro paints them, they definitely look asian.

      There are still a number of dolls that have a more asian look to them. Elfdoll Soah, Sooah, Wu and Red definitely have asian features.

      Fuller lips can be found on asians,...I'm asian and I have full lips. I don't equate full lips with just the West. It does seem that newer doll molds are leaning towards a more realistic look but then, that's what the customers want. The more anime-looking molds don't sell as well as they did back then.

      When I got into this hobby, the female dolls outnumbered the male dolls. Nowadays, it seems there are more male dolls being produced than female ones.
    4. I have noticed that when BJDs first came around nearly all of them were girl dolls. Now the number of boy dolls, and the popularity of boy dolls FAR outweighs girls.
    5. If you ask me, we have more asain looking sculpts now as the style of bjds become more realistic. Before there were lots of anime sculpts that are cartoony looking rather then resembling any paticular ethnicity. Elfdoll and Narin Doll are two good examples this, aswell as Dollshe's Hound and these companies are 'newer' in comparasion to Volks, CH, etc.
      There are alot more male dolls these days, and they are a lot more popular. There are also a bigger vareity when it comes to sizes of dolls. We now have miniture dolls with adult bodies such as minifee aswell as the traditional child-like minis.

      I agree that number of fashion doll collectors etc. in the hobby is increasing, but it still seems that overall the biggest group of collectors come from the anime and jrock fandoms. I see more men and couples in the hobby togeather then there were a few years back. I've been into Bjds for 3 or 4 years before I joined here and got my first doll. I'm looking forward to see how they change from here on. Exciting.
    6. The biggest trend I've noticed in the past year has been a HUGE move towards DollShe. When Hound was first unveiled last year there was a slight ripple...but owner pics turned that into a veritable tidal wave of interest! And now with the latest releases of the DollShe Bermann...it's been amazing to see the longing for these very realistic, albeit on the thinner side, boys!
    7. Hm, I've only been in a few years, but the biggest trend in collecting I see is the popularity of Luts and Dollshe. I think the face molds are more balanced now; somewhere between East and West, between anime/manga and realistic (example, Luts' dolls are somewhere between those latter two, IMO). There's certainly more variety, and many companies are trying to develop unique looks.

      I also believe there's a trend towards 'men' dolls, and I think Dollshe started it. To me, all their headmolds look like young men, for better or worse, and now Yukinojo also has that more manly/mature look. If this is a trend, 'men' dolls, then I'm all for it and hope it picks up speed :D
    8. Actually, I think you're really right about this. Most of the new molds coming out aren't totally realistic, you can still see leftovers from the anime/manga style and have a hint of asainess to them. Reminds me alot of the style that Japanese video game art and character designs have been going in on the current gen consoles since Final Fantasy X etc. was released
    9. So agree with this. I was one of the first to get Hound, I have no idea how it's suddenly boomed - they're the new El, almost. As people went bonkers over that pretty boy...
    10. ^^ I haven't been around that long, but I also noticed Dollshe getting bigger. At first I was browsing around and I was like... "huh... 'Hound.'" Now he's hot stuff. Or for original fans, always was, of course.
    11. Yes, the trends definitely have moved in the direction of more realistic dolls. There are younger people in this hobby than ever before, and there seem to be more things that appeal to collectors- ex. Limited Editions. It seems like everybody has a limited "fullset" edition of at least one doll. While Volks always did have these, it seems more common now.
    12. Well im utterly totally new..and i cant spot a trend cos i havent been into all of this for long BUT i never ever like wanted or brought boy dolls of any kind untill i fell for the BJD people...it only seems natural to have a fella in my collection whether this is clever marketing i dont know...or it could be that these "dolls" really are as close to human as possible and so its obvious both sexes are required in a collection xx
    13. 1. There were only girl dolls. Now there are boys and often an occassional popping of asexuals. ^_^

      2. Boy dolls have a competetive fanbase with the girls. Often the boys getting the upperhand. Just look around DoA. You'll find MORE boys often than girls although that's not a very accurate look

      3. From anime-styled/manga look to more realistic sculpts but still maintaining that asian ideal of androgynous beauty. (Taking into consideration that the companies are from China, Japan and Korea --- who have influenced each other muchly on such ideals)

      4. Size variety. We have those from 70 cm to 10 cm and everything else in between. ^_^

      5. Something I noticed: Minis are no longer simply children-type sculpts. After the wave of minis being portrayed just as mature as the larger types... I guess that's what led to the wave of mature looking or versatile mini sculpts. I have yet to find mature tinies save the fashion-doll/Barbie-sized ones. ^^;

      6. We have girls... and now women sculpts. Or so those who look mature now. ^_^ And there's a variation in body/bust and other bodily features now... There's a wave of boy and man sculpts too. Fairly new. This we have all yet to see.

      7. Just for fun. Each company has a certain style of calling their dolls. ^_^
      Volks - angels, Dollshe - guardians/dogs, CP - Elves, vampires...Mythical creatures... Hee hee. ^^;

      8. More skin tones to choose from! From normal to white and now Tan! But I believe Narin doll ATM offers more than one. I do wonder... What else is there to offer from these companies in the skin tone range...
    14. What I've noticed about doll genders is that people tend to be very polarised in their collections -- they either collect girls, or boys. I haven't seen a lot of mixed gender groups. (And I could be wrong -- this is just what I've seen :P

      Also, girl sculpts being modded into boys -- I don't remember who did these, but someone once posted a lovely pic of a DES done in darker browns and masculine-looking, and someone else also posted a F-08 as a boy as well (I remember less about this doll tho :(

      Designer trends? People like Violet Fern, Softly She Walks, Vitta-Vera (I know I spelled that wrong), Christy on ebay etc -- I know I'm missing a whole bunch of people, but these are the folks whose work I desperately admire and lust after. They each have their own separate style, and the work is amazing :)
    15. One trend which changed that I have noticed is that there is not as much doll modifying as their used to be when I first got in to the scene. Not only are the doll companies coming out with smaller seams, higher quality sculpts and offering all customizing services such as face-ups, sanding and sealing but they are offering a wider variety now of faces and hands!

      Many dolls no longer come as unassembled kits anymore either.

      Another trend would be how the market has virtually exploded with sales. Before you could have waited a very long time to see anything, clothes or dolls, or doll parts for sale. Weeks. The dolls used to be so hard to get. You could only purchase BJD through a shopping service so they seemed to hold more value to their owners and would be held on to for a very long time.

      Lastly, when I first got in to BJD, hardly anyone had heard of them. Most came upon them through Aimee's site while looking at art. Now many people know about them from various sources! Magazines, exhibitions, friends. 'Expensive dolls from japan" seems to ring a bell with any anime fan that I know of. And they're popularity is still spreading. Two of my friends now own one!
    16. So I haven't been around since the beginning, but over the past year there have been a lot of new companies starting up and there's such a huge variety in sculpts. Mature 1/6 scale tinies have appeared as well as dolls catering to those who want mature looking minis.
    17. Actually, unoa was one of the first popular bjds, having been around before most companies besides Volks became accessible outside of Asia, and they've always been popular in my memory, too. I don't know about the 'more western' deal; I actually often find a lot of Volks' sculpts, including the older ones, to have a somewhat western look to them (not Nono, obviously). I do see a trend towards more realistic molds, as well as some less ethnically ambiguous ones. There also seems to be a big mid-sized but slim doll release trend right now (43cm area).
      It also appears the dolls themselves have become more 'trendy,' for better or for worse.
      On the owner side, there's a definite ebb and flow over certain molds or traits or details that seem to automatically get popularity boosts on the boards, for people who care about that sort of thing. Things like dollshe dolls, elf-eared delfs (the limited ones), cross-gender mold mods, homosexual couples, freckles/scars on faceups, and the like. *shrug*

      What I *hope* to see is a new trend towards fcs style ordering from more companies, like Luts just did for mini fees. Oh, I hope they do it for Delfs--!
    18. Different dolls are popular than were popular before - I think Volks has dropped somewhat in popularity because there are so many pretty, easily available dolls that are less expensive. The old Volks LEs that used to be dream dolls (i.e. BPN or BtSSB LE girls) aren't as sought after and haven't necessarily maintained their value. The hobby has changed so that it's less about the dolls, and more about the characters living in the dolls. So before they were probably more threads about wigs/eyes/faces/modification, etc... and now there are more threads about what your doll "likes" or "wants."

      I don't think there used to be as much brand-related drama.

      There also seems to be less interest in what's going on in the non-English speaking dolly world. There seems to be less interest in Yahoo!Japan and overseas customizers in general. There are still the name-conscious, but they're relatively fewer.

      Doll owners also own more dolls now. I remember being boggled by people who owned more than three SD13s. Now it seems like 3 is still a starting point, and many doll owners have aspirations of owning 5+. There are still people who only want to own one, but they don't seem to be as big a portion of the dollery anymore.

      The demographic is also getting younger. There are people with dolls now that totally blow my mind - from what I remember, the age range a couple years ago was basically 20+. There also seem to be more people who don't actually own dolls, but enjoy looking at the pictures and participating in the community.
    19. My dream doll is still a fullset Kira Baby, The Stars Shine Bright! I haven't been into BJDs that long but I still think the old limiteds are a lot more fun to look at than brand new ones since they're so much rarer and almost always unseen on English speaking forums. I would also kill for a Sweet Brother Michael, Cecile, and original Lucas and Chris. I miss Volks' sissy outfits on boy limiteds :( It seems like nowdays oldskin is seen as a downside or a reason to completely avoid buying a doll, which saddens me. I don't see my one oldskin boy as 'lesser' than my pureskin ones, he's like a little part of history and I think seeing how much SDs have evolved is really interesting.
    20. I have been into dolls longer than I have had them, but I've definately seen more boys than girls recently and a move towards more realistic (but not completely) head molds.