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Owning 20+ dolls...what is it like?

Feb 23, 2017

    1. I realized today the scary reality that I might end up with 20 dolls someday. It's scary to me because I only ever wanted 2-4, and I'm seeing now how deep I'm falling into the hobby. :lol:

      But I have no idea what it's like to own 20 or more dolls. To me, that's so many! Even 10 is a lot to me.
      How do you manage to give all of them love? What do you do with all of them? What is maintenance like? Did you ever plan to get that many? I would love to hear all about it!:aeyepop:
      • x 2
    2. I have no idea what that might be like, I have yet to receive my first doll but I'm already planning to get about 3 or 4 more (and somehow I get the feeling that i won't stop there).

      20 dolls seems to be something that won't happen to me in a long time and it is so hard to imagine myself owning and loving so many dolls. I hope someone who has such a big family will share the experience D:
      • x 1
    3. I recently hit 19 dolls, which is more then I've had all at one time before.

      I find a few of them really don't get much attention and, like Ive done in the past, I sometimes concider sellling a few of them.

      One really nice thing about owning so many is I constantly feel inspired by at least one of them. For example a few weeks ago I was really into sewing sports wear and my realistic Iplehouse girls were a perfect canvas, then last week it was Lolita I wanted to make; so out came my Angell Studio girl, now this week I'm making men's wear.

      Besides the inspiration aspect I've also collected plenty of accessories (wigs/eyes/shoes/etc.) over the last decade and it's nice to have lots of dolls to display it all on :)
      • x 9
    4. Well, I don't have 20 YET, I have 19, with 2 on order. I thought 6 would be good, BUT so much more happened.

      I started with an SD because I fell in love with Luts delf Yder. Then 2 years later I wanted a kid delf Bory. THEN 6 months later I wanted another delf so tried out a delf Luwen. I didn't really have much 'planned' for them upon buying, just liked them.
      I ended up getting a YoSD and 2 more kid delfs within the next two years. The year after that I was able to get a Kid delf summer 14 head )As seen in my avatar) and instantly fell in love. He actually started my doll nonsense where I started to come up with a story to revolve around his character. each MSD I own now has a large-ish part in his story. I never thought I'd have as much as I did, but every character from this point out has been well thought out. :)

      My SD's are part of a different story. And though I don't know where exactly my original two fit in yet (since my focus is on my MSD story) , I am still coming up with characters for more SD size dolls. In the end, I will probably end up with about 25-26 dolls. But if I find one I like, I wont' stop myself from purchasing!!

      Storage isnt'e xactly easy. I still live at home and have a super small room in a basement. My sister also collects so we more or less keep our dolls in the furnished room of the basement and together. When they do need to be placed in my room, it's pretty cramped.

      I give each of my dollies some love. Yes, some more than others, but If I feel like one is being neglected, I know then there's no room for them here. (I had 2 YoSDs I ended up selling because I barely bought anything for them, picked them up, etc.)
      • x 5
    5. Ha ha! It's like when you are going to do a seasonal photo shoot and you need to change everyone's clothes. You sit there and take things out, then you are changing everyone's clothes, and it never seems to end! LOL! By the time you finish, it's dark out! Or when someone asks for a group shot of your dolls and you only think, "No way I can do that! Too many dolls in different sizes to get a clear shot of everyone!"

      In all seriousness, I do go from group to group when I "play" with my dolls. Sometimes it's a family group I've created, a doll couple, or just a group of doll friends having fun. It gives a lot of variety and my mind sort of processes it like a TV show where you have different groups focused at any given time. I play more with my tinies than my larger ones because I have dioramas and play homes for them. My larger dolls, I change around with the seating area I have of them. One thing that got to me was when I started getting up there in numbers was when I realized I didn't have enough clothes and shoes than for just the set they were already wearing. So I spent a good year or two just looking at shoes and clothing and ignoring doll sales. Very hard to do with so much coming out nowadays.
      • x 5
    6. Well, I definitely have 20+ Dolls (and a lot of rolling heads) and I can't give them always the same love but it changes from time to time which doll I like more at the moment.
      Sometimes it can be a bit scary if I think about how much dolls I own (and how much money I spend) but then I look at them and I don't care anymore. ^_~
      The good thing is I can put them in many different kinds/styles of nice clothing without always changing the wardrop... if you only have 2-3 dolls you are a bit limited.
      But the costs are also higher because you have to make more dolls look pretty.
      The space is also a bit problematic with the bigger dolls.
      Because I'm no good at doing face up myself I need to commission artists and it also takes time to get a slot and to save up the funds for (and with time older face up need to me renewed).
      I'm sure it's easier to own only a small family of dolls but I think I wouldn't change much if I could start again.
      • x 5
    7. What it's like to have a large group depends a lot on what kind of owner you are, and how you like to interact with your dolls... Having twenty would probably be rough if you're one of those people who thinks of them as little resin pets or children, and so wants to interact with every single one every single day. If you're more hands-off with your dolls, or more of a traditional collector type, you'd have a much easier time of it. The biggest time commitment with a large crew in that case is simply maintaining them, and even that's actually fairly easy if you're organized about it.

      I'm much more on the "collector" side of the spectrum, myself. When I interact with my dolls, it's typically just to take a few pictures or change an outfit, and I'll concentrate on one or two at a time. When I clean them and check stringing, I do that in small batches, too... I don't feel like I have to touch them all in one long marathon session.
      • x 6
    8. I currently own 4 and one floating head, but I have at least 6 more planned, so I am well on my way to 20. I love making things for dolls, so I want to own different sizes and different personality's/characters so I can make lots of different things.

      I think it could get over whelming with so many, but I think I will love it.
      • x 1
    9. I just hit 9 and I have... way too many planned :doh
      My problem is most of my dolls so far have developed characters AFTER I got them. Meaning I end up feeling that the character is tied to the doll, and it's hard for me to re-shell them. Hence I don't have an easy time letting go of and selling them. I do have one or two that I really feel uninspired by or simply don't have plans for, so those might go when I need the money or space for new ones.
      I also have one selling on layaway, one with a confirmed buyer and one I'm trying to sell. So that's good. 2/3 of those had no planned character and so it wasn't hard for me to let them go, personally.
      I have a hard time splitting my attention/love/time evenly among them all and I imagine that's REALLY hard for 20+ but lots of people do it and still enjoy their dolls! So I'm hoping I'll have that capability, because I have so many plans! :nosebleed What I do right now is have 1-3 dolls sitting on the headboard of my bed (it's like a big shelf thing and not just a board, haha) which I obviously pay the most attention to because I spend a lot of time watching YouTube or reading in bed with them. The rest are across the room in a little alcove, on their own shelf with some furniture and props. I try to switch out which dolls I keep on the bed and which I have over on that shelf, so that I pay attention to all of them, but I definitely don't do it equally. I nearly always keep my Volks SDMidi by my bed because I'm just very attached to him, hehe.
      • x 2
    10. Having 20 plus dolls is crazy fun and busy. I am constantly repositioning them, changing their poses, changing hair and eyes. I am constantly thinking of outfits. One usually strikes me with an idea and I'm off finding fabric and creating a pattern. Some of my dolls are happy just observing and staying just as I set them but others like to have changes more. I pass by them in the rooms and just smile at their faces and how cool it all is.
      • x 4
    11. I've come to BJDs through "traditional" doll collecting, so I have over 20 but under 30 (I think...) In the BJD category I have 8 dolls now, of those just 2 are resin. Seven of them are under 6 inches, so they all live in an old dollhouse near my sewing machine, so I smile and wave at them often. My Bunny 9 hangs out in a cabinet with an porcelain/composition 1900's girl, as well as a mid-1800's wooden lady. They all get an assortment of love, from enjoying seeing them there, to picking out one to make something for. I'm hoping as Spring gets here to try my hand at some photos. BJDs seem to be where my interest is these days, so I'm saving up. Will have to be careful because the house is small!
      • x 1
    12. I think I'm currently sitting at 20 and one on the way. At most, I had 38. Honestly? It's overwhelming.

      With only a couple of exceptions, my dolls are all connected to each other in some way--family, friends, couples, coworkers, roommates. They all fit in one big story, and I roleplay regularly, switching off on what groups I play. I like to take pictures to go along with that, so that's how I manage to give them all attention. I also can't stand to have unfinished dolls, so I complete one before buying another. I've been in the hobby almost nine years, so that's enough time to know what I'm doing. :P

      As much as I love all of my dolls, I do often think things would be so much simpler with less than 10, maybe around 6. I could really focus on them and spoil them and have a lot more space! But....I'm attached to each one, in different ways. When I start losing that attachment, I do sell them, but if I sell too soon, then I'll regret it.
      • x 4
    13. I've been collecting for 12 years and have about thirty dolls, and I agree it can be overwhelming. For example, I do my own faceups and it seems like I'm constantly looking at a doll and thinking "Hmm, you've had that faceup a while, needs redoing..."

      Also I moved back into my family home and there's just not enough space out of sunlight to display my dolls, so most of them are in the cupboard for now : / Someday I'd like my own place with a hobby room!
      • x 2
    14. Honestly, it's pretty much the same for me as when I had fewer than 20, just with more space needed for them. I don't treat them like pets who need attention (I have cats for that!), so I have no sense of "spoiling" or "neglecting" them. They're just objects and have no opinion whether they're out for a photoshoot, or stuck in a box waiting on new shelving. (Cats...) Really, the only true difference is that I have more projects underway now than when I had fewer.
      • x 1
    15. I have over twenty at this point - not everyone gets attention every day, but I'm fine with that. And I admit a few of them tend to just sit around and look lovely. But even the ones that mostly just sit bring me joy when I look at them and think "Wow! You're beautiful!"

      I do have a core group whose characters are more well-defined, and they're the ones I photograph most. But I don't feel overwhelmed - maybe because most of them are tinies. It would probably be different if the majority of my crew were MSD or SD size rather than Pukifees.
      • x 3
    16. I have several myself and it's more fun to me if you can actually take the time to bond with each, through photography,
      role play, or getting them fun outfits or bringing them with you on trips. You reach a point where you feel like you have too many and maybe a few need to go buy creating the new character is always fun as well.
      • x 1
    17. It takes up a lot of space. For me, I found I started caring less about them all being displayed nicely, and some were in their boxes or in a shelf inside a closet.
      I sold some that I probably would've have if they didn't take up so much space.
      I am nearing that number again, and some of them are piled on top of each other, gently, in a large champagne bucket that looks like a BJD bathtub. I'm not sure if I will sell them off again or not.
      I could see having even more after buying a house and having a room for art, craft, and dolls, but it's kind of frustrating in an apartment.
      • x 1
    18. I have 26 dolls currently, plus a few floating heads. I used to sometimes worry I had too many, like I was being greedy or the like. But these resin creations bring me such joy every time I look at them. Certainly I don't always do things with them, but they're all out on display and every time I look at them they make me happy. Even if I'm not actively taking photos of them, I'm always adding things to their character or stories; which every single one of them have (even the floating heads!)

      I can be a bit slack cleaning them XD I won't lie. But when I do clean them, I take my time doing it and use it as a chance to bond with them again and remember when I bought them and why. It's fun :3
      • x 2
    19. I had over twenty at one point but I've been scaling back recently. I've sold a lot this past year with a few more listed and to be listed because I felt I couldn't keep up with my own collection. For example, when I only had a few dolls I could focus on the faceups and overall look and extra wardrobe. As the collection got out of hand there were many who I planned to paint or who needed clothes or shoes and I never could get around to it. I'm sure being a recent mommy (he's 2 now) factored into my changing priorities as well. I like having fewer dolls, so when I look at my collection I don't just think "oh gosh ugh so much is needed" instead I can think "look how awesome these are."
    20. I'd bet it makes a huge difference if it's 20 SDs or 20 tinys! lol

      I (only) have 8, but 4 are 1/6 or smaller, so they don't take much space. My single SD takes up more room than all 4 of my tinies combined! I can't imagine having space for 19 more SD sized BJDs.

      As far as interacting with them, even with just 8, I find myself focusing on one or two at a time.
      • x 1