Planning to shell characters?

Jun 24, 2017

    1. Every time I make a plan and buy the doll, once it gets here it feels wrong... Anyone else have this kind of problem?
    2. How long are you taking to plan and buy your doll? My first doll I only looked at her for a few weeks before taking the leap and when she got here I found out I liked a completely different aesthetic. I thought I'd love the big eyed smiling dolls...nope, I like a more 'adult' face with less anime/cartoony proportions. Its a shame, I still think my first doll is beautiful but she just wasn't for me.

      Now I go through a process. I find a doll I like...I spend weeks/months looking for pictures of her/him that people have taken on their own. I do a bit of research on the brand of the doll to see what I need to know about them. (IE: Do they seem to have horrid seam lines? How is customer service? Would I be better buying from the company or trying to find second hand?) After that I think about what her/his personality would be? Who are they? Now, that doesn't mean that is who they remain to be. My Karin was supposed to be a pirate from the seven seas...but the more I look at her the more she seems to insist she is not a pirate from the sea, but of the air and all these time period-esque clothing patterns I've been tinkering and planning need to be soaked in a bit of steampunk or she's going to be very upset (luckily thats not very hard to do).

      Once I've decided how I want the doll to look/their story/etc...I wait. I wait a few weeks and see if anything changes. Then I start saving. If I can't pay for at least half of the doll I won't even make an attempt to purchase. This helps me limit my impulse buys, its not always accurate but it helps from time to time. By this time I've either decided the doll is for me, or I'm just rushing too quickly and need to take a step back and breathe.

      Its not always perfect, I still have impulse buys but usually I'm not impulse buying a more expensive doll so I feel less guilty about it.
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    3. Another thing to try is if you can find pictures of the blank sculpt, make a mockup in an image editor of what you'd want the faceup to look like. The company photos can be misleading. Recently I tried this with a sculpt I was almost sold on and I immediately saw that it wouldn't be right. Saved me a lot of hassle!
    4. My reply is very similar to @errinreynolds': take your time. Though impulse purchases work for some people, they often end in disaster and a sold doll, especially when you're trying to shell a specific character. Don't jump into a purchase right away, no matter how much you want to. Look at lots of pictures, read company threads here on DoA, and see if that desire to have the doll right now diminishes. In my experience, it often will. If it doesn't, then maybe you've finally found the right sculpt for that character. :3nodding:

      Also, if you really want dolls of OCs but are having some trouble finding perfect sculpts for characters you already have, maybe try doing the opposite of what you're trying to do: find a sculpt you love first, and then make a character around it. It's not the same and it's not really what you're asking about in this thread, but you're more likely to end up with a doll and character both that you love. (For example, I found the Dollzone Carter sculpt and fell in love, finalized a character for it about a week after first seeing the sculpt, and bought the thing only a couple days after that. That would normally be considered an impulse buy for me; I never buy things that quickly. But I just knew he was gonna be perfect because his character was literally made for him, and I was right! I adore the sculpt and the character, and now I wouldn't get rid of him for the world.)

      Good luck finding the right dolls!
    5. I bought a couple of dolls to shell characters, only to have them not quite fit. Thankfully I have a ton of characters and have been able to just swap the character the doll was intended for.
    6. I have one character that I'm definitely shelling. He's an important character to me, and nearly every image I've seen of the doll in mind (Dollshe Saint), I've seen my boy. I've seen the sculpt blank, and I see the potential. But, a part of me worries that when he gets here, with the outfit and wig I have planned, he's not going to be perfect. It's just a little niggling problem, but I'm sure he's going to be just right. And, if it doesn't work, I'll mock the Saint up as another character. Because it's a Dollshe Saint, and I have loved that doll since I first started in the hobby.
    7. The more time I take with planning and the more companies I look at, the more likely the doll will fit. I have tried to shove an OC into the wrong doll because it was cheap, got it in a trade, was easy to find, on sale and various other reasons I tried to justify, but it just never works. Sometimes I'm lucky and come across the perfect sculpt by accident, but other times, it's been really hard. When I was reshelling Justin I literally looked at every single company listed in the wiki here and on BJD Collectasy before deciding my first choice was the right choice.

      Sometimes, not fully planning the OC works too. Like with Erica, I just wanted an SD girl who could be Luc's college friend. I knew I'd name her Erica and that she was in the theater program, left the rest up to fate. Oddly enough, I got offered an Iplehouse Erica in a trade! Since it really didn't matter what she looked like, it was easy to accept and build the character around the doll.