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

Feb 23, 2017

    1. I'm getting dangerously close to 20 now, and like... it really is a mixed bag.

      I'm REALLY not a collector and having too many things (especially pricey things) sort of stresses me out. It's just a part of my personality that I don't like to feel like a collection of any given thing is too big- I start to feel buried. So when I actually count my dolls and have to face the fact that I've acquired almost 20 of them, it kind of gives me a panic attack. Like what??! When did all these get here???

      But god I love working on them and bringing them to a level of "completion" (Display ready at least). I like the feeling of constantly having a doll to work on. And then I love the final product too much to sell it... Though I have to start selling soon, since I'm not letting myself actually go over 20.

      And I do have to admit to favoritism- My ~8 MSD's are the ones I give most of my time to. I went through a phase where I thought yo's were my style, but I just don't find myself quite as attached to them. I kind of end up forgetting they're there, so I sorta fool myself into thinking I have less than I actually do.
       
    2. Tinies don't count! :XD:
       
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    3. I have 50+ and I admit they aren't as organized as I would like. They are sort of all over the house, in their boxes, and wedged into any spot I can fit them. I don't have the room to display them all at once, so I generally rotate. I have a few out right now.

      Mostly I just never seem to have enough shoes and socks or underwear! Sometimes I wish I had a smaller collection, but really, everyone's collection is one-of-a-kind and I love that. So while it seems a bit overwhelming at times I can't stop! LOL! Though I didn't add too many this year... And I have found I like MSD sizes a lot. There aren't many SD dolls I would add to my collection right now.
       
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    4. I'm in this hobby since 2011 and have only one doll. In theory I can have 4. It's the number of molds that I really like. Yes, I'm very capricious and selective. Therefore 20 dolls ... it's not about me. It's impossible for me to find so much beautiful (for my eyes) molds.
       
    5. While my current crew is about 40 there once was closer to 100 here. That was way too many so I started to cull the herd. Now I'm comfortable with the amount I have as I love just looking at them. I'll get involved with different dolls at different times & play a lot with that doll or group while the others stand & sit in little vignette displays. They're now all in glass cabinets so that helps. Not so much time dusting. I usually just restring if I'm going to play with a particular doll & they're loose.

      I never set a limit on how many BJDs I'd have & the collection grew until t really was out of hand which I never meant it to do. Now I'm down to dolls that just make my heart beat faster so I'm content.
       
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    6. I have only just started but have gone from none to 2 and one on the way in less than 6 months!
      I think it will be a long time before I’m anywhere near you guys ( but we all have to start somewhere lol!)
       
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    7. An interesting question. It actually made me go and count how many I actually have because I try not to! At last count, I only had about 17 dolls so I was surprised to find I actually have 21. I don't know how that happened. Last time, this was going a few years back, I had 19 and managed to cull the collection back down to 13 but somehow in the last few years, that number has crept back up on me! Plus I have a body for a floating head on order which will bring that up to 22 once it arrives. It's lucky I have a display cabinet I put them all in and it's pretty much reached capacity I think or very close to it. In a way, it limits my collection number but it still surprises me that I will be able to fit 22 dolls in there. Although as @april pointed out, tiny dolls don't count right? Not that I have a lot of those but still ...

      What does it feel like? I feel content, satisfied. All my dolls are, (dare I say it), finished. They are styled the way I want them to be. I love them all equally and some days, I like to photograph certain dolls over others, it's always changing. Other days, I just like to look at them in the display cabinet. And if I'm feeling extra creative, I'll take them out and make stuff for them. It's nice to have the collection on hand for the times I just need to unwind and de-stress. I don't have to do stuff with them every single day, just on the days when I feel like it.

      Also, when I first got into this hobby, my limit was set at 7. I now know better that limits are more of a guideline!
       
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    8. I have 52 with 53 and 54 on the way. I live in a 2 room apartment so there are dolls everywhere. I've been collecting about 14 years. The reason I have so many is that every time I see someone online or at a convention selling a doll that needs some work I want to rescue it and bring it back to it's former glory...which has been working out pretty well so far. I've also won about 5 dolls/heads in sewing contests. Honestly some of them get more attention than others, but for me that's OK. Maintenence isn't a problem. I pick out a few each month to check over and do any fixes if needed so they all get maintenence at least once a year if they need it. I've found that most of the time it takes years before they need stringing adjusted or anything like that so its not as much as a burden as you would think. I enjoy having a big collection and I don't think I would sell any. There have been one or two that I've given away to friends who had really bonded with a particular doll and couldn't afford one (given that the majority are rescues that I got super cheap and repaired this isn't as big of an expense as it would be normally) I'm sure I'll slowly aquire more over time.
       
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    9. How do you manage to give all of them love?
      I don't. They're dolls and they don't need love. I have my favorites and the rest I do things with when I get the time and desire to do so.

      What do you do with all of them?
      Mostly they sit around and stare at me. My favorites are always getting some kind of something done. They're the ones I use the most, so they need the most cleaning, restringing, repairing, redoing re something or another. The ones that sit there get moved around and sometimes I'll get a wild hair and change one and bring it to a meet. A lot of them are on my "list" to get new faceups or something done, but they usually stay on that list for a long time if they aren't blank or damaged.

      What is maintenance like?

      Like it would be if I only had ten. The ones that just sit around most times don't need anything done unless I can't stand to touch them because they're so floppy. And that usually only happens to the dolls that get the most use.

      Did you ever plan to get that many?

      oh god no. I wanted one.

      Where do you put them all?
      In my room mostly. There are a few that are in different stages of work that are living out in the dining room (which is also the craft room) right now, but they stay on shelves in my room most of the time.

      Are you happy with a lot of dolls or do you plan to down-size?
      I downsize all the time, but then I end up getting more dolls for whatever reason.... the downsizing never takes. It's really hard to sell anything right now, so usually I just sort of put the ones I don't want anymore aside to eventually sell, and often I come with new dolls I want and can use those parts. I "got" a "new" doll over the weekend and didn't have to buy anything XD

      I have learned over the years that when I'm unhappy with the number of dolls I own, it's usually not the number at all it's the dolls themselves. Figuring out which ones are the problems and moving them on makes a massive difference.
       
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    10. Twenty is a rather large number right now but I think it is a great possibility in my future! SD is the only size I like so I am sure it would take up a ton of space. Realistically speaking, I'd have ten full dolls right now if my pre-orders were already here and my floating heads had their own bodies. I have also been in the hobby for a little over a year now... :sweat I don't know if I will ever set a limit on numbers, but I do want to make sure I only have dolls I adore. I am super picky about bodies, so that will be a major factor in limiting my collection. I'd rather avoid having duplicates to keep my dolls more unique rather than seeing different heads on the same sculpt.
       
    11. I have 24 dolls, which is down from over 30. I want more. I collect and I love to collect, but I also like making my things look nice. Which is a huge issue with dolls.

      As soon as you admit to yourself that you have a lot of dolls and don't plan on getting rid of them or maybe get more you start thinking things like, okay... I really need to start collecting SIZES instead of dolls. Ultimately I will like who I like, but I try very hard to get dolls that fit into standard sizes.

      Right now most of my dolls are SD17 sized or DD. I have some other sizes, but only TWO dolls don't fit into standard sizes.

      I am running out of room for my growing collection and refuse to have them in boxes. So now I need to spend money to get something to display all of them on. Yet all of them don't have similar sizes despite being mostly SD sized, so they all require different stands and spaces. Some of the more beautiful and "displayable" dolls I have become movable center pieces. It's pretty awesome.

      How do you manage to give all of them love?
      I can't! They all deserve love equally, but it's a custody battle lol. I have most of them at least in one space, so I pat them all on the head before I turn the lights off at night. Seriously. Yes, I'm aware I'm strange. Only one will get played with a day or so but that's mostly because I'm busy having 4 jobs and being an engineering student. Whenever I do something, I make sure to grab someone to do it with me. At the very LEAST they can just sit there with me. When I soak in the tub at night, I set one on a table we have to chill with me. when I do homework, I have BJD sized pillows and stuff and they lay or sit next to me and keep me on track. If I go out to run errands, I sometimes put them in a doll bag and take them with me. If I bake I bring them in the kitchen with me, but not cook because oil and heat. I just try to have them near me :) Unfortunately I don't take as many pictures of them as I'd like, but they're there always.

      What is maintenance like?
      I have a really good air filter, but the dust is still the worst problem. I make a habit of cycling through my dolls even if I have my favorites, so everyone will get some sort of attention a few times a month. I made this habit on purpose to make sure I can regularly check for stains, dust, etc. The only ones I CAN'T touch and play with are my three (soon to be four) Loongsoul fantasy boys but I dust them and fix their clothes every day just about at least. it's not a chore though.

      It is a mess to be honest. A wonderful, lovely mess that I wouldn't trade for the world. I also collect anime figures pretty heavily (my AmiAmi orders could buy my a car by now I swear) and also refuse to put those in storage. So... some day my life will be rows and rows of beautiful shelves for everyone. I'm extremely happy with my collection and how I've refined my taste over the years. I know exactly what I want most of the time and I only plan to add more to the family. I adore my dolls and each of their individual little souls and wish I had time to play with all of them regularly though.
       
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    12. I have been in the hobby since 2007. I have 23 dolls: 7 SD guys, 4 SD girls, 4 MSD girls, 3 YoSd, 4 tiny (lati yellow size) +1 pukipuki. I have slowed down considerably in the last few years, getting only one maybe two a year. Maintenance is on a need to basis it's not that bad. I'm very careful with them no black clothes for long period of time etc...… I don't have glass cabinets and I have some big cats so they are not displayed except 2 or 3 at a time in my sewing room which is off limits. I wish I could display them through the house I would enjoy them more. As it is I take out one or two and sew, make wigs photograph them etc.... while the fancy strikes me. Most of my dolls are stored in their boxes, some of them for more than a year until one day I feel like sewing for that particular doll. I have made an insane amount of clothing for them, I have given most of them a backstory but nothing too elaborate. Sometimes I wish I only had one or two, but then I can't bring myself to sell any of them, I haven't had money problems so have never had to.
       
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    13. How do you manage to give all of them love?
      I think part of it is that they're all in the room I frequent most, my office. I will admit that one of their spaces is starting to get crowded which makes it harder to just grab one out. I often bring one of them to the desk while I work, and it's rarely the same one twice in a row.

      What do you do with all of them?
      I'm an author and they are great for inspiration. They're also wonderful for my other creative outlets- sewing and painting. I do their face-ups and make some of their clothes. I've also gotten into wig-making and eye-making so that I can perfect their looks to how I imagine them. Sometimes I do a quick photo shoot with one or two of them.

      Sometimes I just stand and look at them and smile because they make me happy to have them.

      What is maintenance like?
      Not so bad. I have 37 total, though a couple of them do not have bodies yet, and one body doesn't have a head. Most of them are around 70cm, though I do have two MSD's, three YoSD, and two tinies. If one needs restringing, I restring it. It doesn't happen that often. Since I get them down and move them around, there's no dust to worry about.

      Did you ever plan to get that many?
      At the start? No. First, it was two. Then it was four. Then five. Then I had to limit myself to ten. I just go with it now, though I do think I've neared the end. I DO have a rule about shelling only characters from my book series, and they need to be fairly important characters too. I am running out of characters that I feel like I need to shell. There may be one more YoSD added in the future, but after that and the floating heads have bodies, I expect my actual doll purchases to slow to a crawl, but that means I'll be able to buy some outfits I've had my eyes on. :)
       
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    14. My dolly count is at 13 atm, so can't really answer the question, but I feel overwhelmed already. I feel that they don't get enough attention, it's such a pity to own something so expensive and pretty, and then have no motivation to play with them. I have a few favourites, but quite many "wallflowers" too. Most of them are a part of the (totally unwritten) story though, so I'd be sad to let them go - not to mention the impossible second hand market situation... Hindsight is perfect, I should have kept the collection below 10 or something.
       
    15. Sadly, I notice that the more I have dolls, the less I give attention to each of them.
      I love them all, but it takes time to dress and to display them.
       
    16. 01. How do you manage to give all of them love?
      I'm much more of a collector than an avid hands-on hobbyist, so I basically just stare at them most of the time. They also do a pretty good job of staring as well so I feel like our regard is mutual.

      02. What do you do with all of them?
      I display the ones I've "completed," or at least have passable face-ups, eyes/wigs/wardrobes, etc. Also, for entertainment purposes, please see above. Visitors to my apartment are generally confused and maybe a little scared.

      03. What is maintenance like?
      Infrequent. I'm also very lazy.

      04. Did you ever plan to get that many?
      I have actually never met anyone who planned to get a horrific number of dolls. Like so many things in life, it just kind of happened. Kind of like when you accidentally eat the entire cylinder of Pringles when you probably should have just stopped at one serving, except who really measures "a serving of Pringles?" It's practically the same thing, give or take a few doll(ar)s.
       
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    18. I only have one doll, and I’ve had him for a year.
      When I first started looking to own a bjd, I only intended to get one. (Also, his character is far from finished. He’s kind of a Mary Sue, which I’m trying to fix.) However, I can’t stop myself from browsing the sites and falling in love with more dolls.
      I also knew I wanted to get a male doll, mainly because growing up I only ever had access to female dolls. Plus, learning to make patterns and professional (looking) clothing is a lot easier on a doll with no curves.
      I have my eye on three other dolls, though of them I’d probably only get two.
      I’ve got a character in mind to be his best friend but it’s hard finding a doll to fit her, especially since her character is dark skinned and tan skin doesn’t resemble what I imagine her to be. Not
      to mention wigs. Wigs that resemble natural African hair don’t seem to exist - or at least, I haven’t found them. (None of the other dolls I have my eye on would work for her, either.)
      Unfortunately, I’m a high school student with no job, so I’ll have to find a way to pay for them.
      Maybe someday I’ll have a collection, but for now my boy will be plenty of company.
       
    19. @beancfallon Puka's Paradise made natural wigs, but alas, it looks like they've stopped. A lot of people like Monique as well. Honestly your character pairing kind of reminds me of the two in my avatar, they are also supposed to be best friends.
       
    20. Those two are so cute!

      Maybe I’ll be able to find another natural wig somewhere....