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Realistic-Idealized & Mature Vs. Stylized Youthful-Dolls: Which Do You Prefer?

Apr 1, 2008

    1. I am curious now that most companies seem to be releasing more, and more 'realistic'
      sculpts. Not so much human-head/body-proportions, but there are a lot
      of more realistic-looking heads, and extremities (hands/feet). So, I find my self wondering
      if perhaps people are starting to prefer the more realistic dolls now? Or is it something else,
      a new 'crowd/audience'?


      When I fist learned about these dolls back in late 2003, there were a lot less of everything --
      a lot less boys, a lot less variety, and a lot less companies. There were certainly not many
      (if any) realistic head-sculpts, and I believe the only 'mature' looking sculpt back then was a certain,
      kind of rare, and unpopular (at the time ^.^;;) male sculpt. That's what has started my brain to wonder
      what has triggered this change? Why are there so many mature/realistic dolls popping up now?
      I don't believe I see many in the galleries, so I wonder who owns these as well?



      So, I want to put an end to my curiosity, in a sort of "survey" like-style, and ask a few questions, knowing that
      reality is subjective, and everyone has their own independent concept of reality -- with this, I ask that you judge
      doll realism, with that which is closer to human-proportions, not with what you imagine to look as "it could be real if..."


      My questions to specific age-groups are these:
      In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?

      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?
      If you agree, why do you believe this is so?

      Do younger (10?-18-years-old) BJD-owners prefer the younger, "less-realistic" looking dolls? Why, why not?


      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?


      Other less specific, but related questions:
      Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?
      Is it do to the joining of a completely new audience?
      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more
      'real' looking dolls?
      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?



      If you have other views, or opinions of why more 'realistic,' and mature looking dolls are suddenly popping up,
      please give me your insight, I am curious to know what you think!


      (I searched, and didn't find anything close, but still feel free to move, delete, or lock if OT,
      or inconvenient in anyway)



      - Enzyme ^__________^
       
    2. I am quite new into collecting BJDs, I've only had my first for about six months.
      In the beginning when I saw them here and there, they scared me or spooked me, because of their big eyes and often very demonic face-ups, they gave me the creeps. But then I saw one that looked more like a human being and I started to search for more information about these dolls. I then realised that there are actually quite many dolls out there that looks more realistic than others, and my interest in getting them grew. So I ended up buying one that is semi-realistic - mostly because she was a cheap one to start of with. but I am now ready to pay more money to get the realistic dolls that I adore.
      and I have to add, I'm 36 years old, and I could easily imagine that age has to do with dolltypes of bjds that have interest... so I think you have some good points in your questions.

      - Karina
       
    3. Yes, the BJD market has changed & changed quite a bit. It is no longer a fringe market of mainly anime influenced fans, it has taken a huge step into the general doll collecting world with the greatest influx of new collectors being former fashion doll collectors followed rapidly by fans of artist & antique dolls.

      The more mature & realistic dolls are in part an answer to the desires of the current collector market but I also imagine that as the doll sculptors grow as artists they may want to try out new designs & techniques. (That's purely speculative on my part but most artists do grow & change & if the market is ready for them they are undoubtably encouraged to do so.)

      But back to the point... the demographics of the audience has changed as well. There are many more BJD collectors in their 40s & 50s now coming, as I did, from other areas of doll collecting. The more realistic sculpts are appealing to a wider variety of collectors & are really pushing these dolls into the area of playable art. There are both body & facial sculpts now that verge more on fine art than anything ever meant for play & the emerging collectors appreciate this. By virtue of their articulation, these dolls were like little people in their posability & the companies have taken that a far step forward by producing more realistic looking dolls.

      I don't consider it a fad but rather a movement within the market as a whole. Fashion dolls kept becoming more articulated & BJDs became more realistic until the two sort of met. Then add in companies like HyperManiac, Alice in Labyrinthe & Unidoll that imbue their sculpts with character & emotion & you brought in the leading edge of artist doll work as well. BJDs have taken their place in the wider doll collecting community & just as it is influenced by them, so are they by the doll world at large.

      Personally though this influence has worked almost backwards on myself. I started with only the realistic sculpts then was slowly charmed by more stylised dolls. I still can't appreciate the true anime style but those big eyed boys & girls from Customhouse & Peak's Woods have certainly crept their way into my collection along with assorted elves & animals.
       
    4. the first doll I liked(sort of, I didn't know too much about the other companies) and thought about purchasing was an AR Diana:?-not too anime looking but not realistic either. then Lati M was releasexand that was it-my choices for realistic molds were cemented. Between then and now (about two years) i have found and fallen in love with asian bisque dolls, which may be recognized by artists such as Koitsukihime. When Alice in Labyrinth released their molds i saw that it was a close as i would ever come to owning an artist doll or a koitsukihime, and its pretty much the only company i'm collecting from now. I don't see myself stopping any time soon either, :lol: Yep, uber realistic molds are an absolute new trend, and one I hope will continue, so perhaps there will be other companies who will supplant my obsession with AiL*_* Stylized dolls just don't attract me--not sure if its because i fall into your "older" collection bracket--not too old though, i still enjoy lots of Anime:lol:
       
    5. I love a little bit of everything. I love my Mimi/F-01/F-02 just as much as I do my more realistic styled dolls. I do see companies moving towards more "realistic" styles, though I also just see companies refining their sculpts. I'm happy when I see a new more stylized sculpt come out that I find attractive because I like variety and the most important thing to me is the personality of the sculpt.

      *edit* Just to clarify, I also fit into your older bracket if that helps. I've also found myself a little more attracted to some of the more stylized dolls as I've gone through the hobby such as the new Mini Dollfie Dreams.
       
    6. I think the change was brought on by one company releasing a very high selling doll, then the others saw the popularity of that one company and now they are jumping on the bandwagon. Now that there is a selection of the dolls to choose from both realistic and non realistic more people are able to get into the hobby. There are alot of people who have seen one of my dolls and asked if it was an "anime" doll, while another they didn't presume that he was from asia.
      I don't think the market has really changed much, while there are more and more people joining the hobby, there seems to still be the same number of new Delf and DOTs on the boards as well as the collectors who prefer a specific size and there are very few mini and tiny dolls with realistic features.
      The increase in number of realistic dolls is just because of the bandwagon of companies producing more "manly" (as most realistic dolls I have seen are male) dolls rather than the cute girly boys we have previously seen with the delf boys as well as others.
      I really dont think that age has really much to do with the change because within the age group of just the DFW group everyone has dolls that if you put them on a table, brought in the theory of age and dolls, then dolled out the dolls based on that theory 90% of the dolls would not end up in the hands of the owner's age group.
      I personally have about an even split of real and non real dolls, it will lean toward more real dolls for a while then back to the non real as I purchase groups of dolls. To me some of the real bodies creep me out such as the DOI body while the Uni Real body kinda makes me drool.

      The movement of makers in the directions they go is mostly a fad among the makers, for a while they went SD then Mini, then to Tiny, now they seem to be going up and up, with delf seniors at 65 and Modeldolls at 71, and the feeple around 70. The market will go where ever the companies take it. Whatever is new and exciting is where we doll lovers will go...

      personally I want to see more girls with a height between 62 and 66cm, with luck that will be the next fad.

      sorry if I went on a bit much... or repeated anything... need sleep >.<
       
    7. My questions to specific age-groups are these:
      In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?

      ---I think as it has gotten bigger their are more people out their to support doll companies and more people also means a wider variety of tastes. Its also possible that some artists were inspired to try something different.


      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?
      If you agree, why do you believe this is so?

      ---I really don't think its a matter of maturing. That would somehow suggest the less realistic are less mature, and they really don't have to be. I'm not sure that age of collectors has a lot to do with it--I think it comes down to just differences in taste.

      Do younger (10?-18-years-old) BJD-owners prefer the younger, "less-realistic" looking dolls? Why, why not?

      --I don't know (I'm in the older category), but I wouldn't assume so.


      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?

      --Again, I would hesitate to make that assumption. What might be a bigger factor is where people came into the bjd hobby from (was is an interest in anime/manga vs fashion dolls, for instance)

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?

      --I like both (I don't consider my more stylized dolls more or less youthful than my realistic ones). The more realistic head sculpts I have are mostly for a specific set of characters. A lot of my other dolls not from that story line are more stylized.

      Other less specific, but related questions:
      Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?

      --Too soon to tell, but I think both styles will be sticking around.

      Is it do to the joining of a completely new audience?

      --I think that could be a factor. The more people that want a certain look the more likely someone is to pick up on that cater to it.

      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more 'real' looking dolls?

      --I don't know, but again I think the coorellation between mature doll = maturity in owner of company to be kind of odd.

      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?

      --I think to keep things fresh and interesting, artists are going to expirament. I wouldn't expect them all to stick to one style and never deviate.
       
    8. I haven't read all of the replies, but I'm inyour "older" bracket (24) and prefer the cute young stylized dolls XD;

      Although mature sculpts are becoming popular, I think cute and youthful sculpts are still very popular as well, especially if you include sizes other than the 60cm range- YoSDs and other dolls in the same size range have been hugely popular lately, as have Pukis.

      I think it really depends where you're looking.
       
    9. I'm in my twenties. I'd say I'm primarily a huge anime/manga fan, and only secondarily a bjd fan.

      That said, I dislike the early "anime" molds, or DDs (although the new Saber is cute). I collect anime figures, and I think those are a far, far better translation of anime style to 3D form. "Anime" bjds on the whole just look awkward to me.

      On the other hand, I also dislike the trend toward bigger, musclier, manlier (even for female dolls!) bjds... which are starting to look like giant fashion dolls to me, a style I definitely don't care for.

      I suppose art dolls - Koitsukihime, Etsuko Miura, Hizuki, Narutodoll, etc - are my favorite style. Would you call that realistic or stylized? In any case: a youthful, androgynous, strangely beautiful figure.

      I do see that the bjd market is evolving and the fanbase is changing, but I can't say for sure whether I like it or not. Some of the recent sculpts from asian companies look more or less like western dolls, and for me if the aesthetic keeps going in that direction I won't follow. But, you know, that's true of everyone for every collecting-type hobby: there's always a "golden age" when your tastes match up perfectly with what the hobby is offering, and then when the hobby's sensibilities change, you sometimes don't change with it. You can still collect from that old era that you liked, though, staying true to your personal aesthetic.

      I thought bjds were hideous when I first saw them, years and years ago. Then, about four or five years ago, I revisited bjds and saw new sculpts that I liked. And I just recently made my first bjd purchase. I'll bet it's the same for some new fans - maybe they didn't like the bjds that I love, but now the trend toward "realism" and more western-looking dolls has changed their opinion. And that's great. For me, right now I'd like to see less "maturity" and "realism"; but maybe others would like to see more, and still others feel it's just the right balance right now... to each their own. Hey, maybe the hobby can expand in all three directions or branch off. Who knows what could happen? :)

      (To give an idea of my personal tastes, my favorites right now are: 4D Javi, Volks F-16, BF May, Glorydoll Louis, Volks Hewitt, Kdoll (any sculpt), AiL Alice, Ndoll Miru, Supia Roda, Volks Liz, Delf Miyu, DIM Andrea, Delf Abadon, Volks F-34 and/or Okita Souji.)
       
    10. I'm not sure how accurately I can answer questions about the general doll public's age preferences, since I don't usually know the ages of people I've met only online. In my personal experience, my sister falls into the younger age bracket (10) and she prefers younger looking tinies. I suspect it's easier to mother a dolly that looks younger than her...

      It seems to me that everyone is being drawn to more realistic scupts; I don't see many extremely stylized dolls at all.

      Personally, (at 20) I prefer a more realistic look, as opposed to dolls with a more anime aesthetic. And I like anime... a lot of those dolls just look a bit off to me (anime can be hard to properly capture in 3-D). On more realistic doll faces, I like the eyes not to take up half the face; just a bit of personal preference.

      The change probably has a bit to do with the type of people who are collecting now. Before I even thought about getting a bjd, I only heard about them in online anime communities; now they seem to be something of interest to people in the doll collecting world.
       
    11. My questions to specific age-groups are these:
      In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?

      ---There are many more doll collectors now interested in these dolls, especially collectors who know nothing of the "Asian aesthetic" or anime and manga, who like the realistic dolls. Doll companies are responding to this demand.

      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?
      If you agree, why do you believe this is so?

      ---I don't know about anyone else, but I have been interested in bjd's since 2003 and I've always preferred the realistic dolls.

      Do younger (10?-18-years-old) BJD-owners prefer the younger, "less-realistic" looking dolls? Why, why not?

      --I think it depends on the owner's taste in dolls, irregardless of their age.

      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?

      --I think it varies for each person. I know many older collectors who prefer the young stylized dolls.

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?

      --I generally prefer the more realistic dolls, but I also love Notdolls, with their huge eyes and fangs. (shrugs)

      Other less specific, but related questions:
      Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?

      --I think there will be even more varieties of dolls and that there will always be people who like each type.

      Is it due to the joining of a completely new audience?

      --Maybe, and maybe the companies are evolving as well.

      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more 'real' looking dolls?

      --I have no idea. I think it varies from company to company.

      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?

      --I think it has to do with the artist's preference and the customer they are trying to reach with their product.
       
    12. In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?


      I think thereis. I think that many people were attracted to BJD because of the realism in comparison to other dolls, so of course more realistic dolls would become popular.

      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?
      If you agree, why do you believe this is so?


      I do not think it has anything to do with maturity, just a change of style. It happens all the time in all hobbies.

      Do younger (10?-18-years-old) BJD-owners prefer the younger, "less-realistic" looking dolls? Why, why not?


      I do not think it is an issue of age. I have seen all ages with different dolls.

      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?

      I am 20 and certainely do not like realistic dolls at all. I much prefer the stylized sculpts like Dollzone and AE. In fact I find realistic dolls mostly creepy or ugly.

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?

      Stylized, but adult. I prefer mature MSDs, not childlike ones.
       
    13. I'm 57. While I've had dolls all my life, I never realized that BJDs had evolved to anything beyond the vague & geometric artists' models; so it was a considerable shock/surprise to me to run across these 'new' style bjds only last year. I was actually looking at Tonners, & liked them because they were so 'real' looking - far beyond anything I'd ever had or seen as a kid. I loved that they were so normal & human-looking, not with the usual 'doll' look. Somehow I stumbled across bjds - I think it was on ebay - and really fell in love; in fact, the one I saw at first I thought was an actual photo of a 'real' person. That it was a doll floored me. IMO, and to my tastes, the more realistic & natural, the better - however this has ALWAYS been my preference, even when I was very small. I prefer dolls that have some individuality, even to the point of homeliness if necessary, rather than the one-face-fits-all standard 'doll' look. Which is why as soon as I get my hands on a doll, I mod it, even just a little, so it may be a Limhwa, or a Supia, or a Soul Doll - but it's MY unique Limhwa/Supia/Soul Doll.

      Other than that, I don't know enough about the BJD world to judge if the clientele has changed. I should think that as the dolls get more publicity, & better known, it would; besides, nothing stays the same. An excellent point was made, above, about the artists changing as well. My own sculpts, artworks, & other handcrafts are a far cry from what they were even a few months ago. Also, tastes change among the public as well. Instead of adhering to a set standard of Eurocentric beauty - blonde hair, vapid childlike face - dolls are beginning to branch out to other skin tones & ethnic looks, altho they still have a very long way to go & are fairly limited in their scope of available skin colors & features. Whether this is a reflection of market bias or makers bias remains to be seen.

      I can say with certainty that I just could not bond with the (IMO) overly - pretty, 'dollie', girly looks of the soul doll Arhanian face. Fortunately he was placed in a good home that could relate to him, and I was able to get a Rickman DIM Minimee head - a MUCH older, more realistic, less idealized, far more individualistic face that IMO really makes the entire doll far more of a thing of joy to work with, as far as designing, making, & showing outfits, etc. or just having him around. But again, this seems to have been a lifelong preference of mine anyway.
       
    14. I think it has something to do with the fact that bjd owners now come from all over the world and have all sorts of backgrounds, the bjd companies are trying to cater to all sorts of different demands now.

      As someone who's addicted to anime (and japanese culture) the idealized sculpts and faceups are more apealing to me, probably because I'm used to that sort of aesthetics and the looks I want to create are inspired by it. I prefer a middle term between over the top anime-looking and realistic sculpts. So, in my case, it has nothing to do with age. I do think realistic sculpts are beautiful though and if it wasn't for my anime obsession I might have been more interested in them... who knows?

      However, I can see how someone with a different background, especially adult western bjd owners, would prefer realistic dolls. They are more elaborate, more life-like, they demand great skill from the artist and I think they are more suited to the western taste. They do seem more like sculptures, like art pieces or collector's items, which distinguishes them more clearly from other western dolls.

      But this is of course a generalization, it all comes down to personal taste and that has everything to do with the influences that surround you, regardless of age or location.
       
    15. My questions to specific age-groups are these:
      In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      Yes, I think there is more demand for realistic dolls

      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?
      ~~~~I believe as much as anything that it is due to the influx of new collectors who do not come from an anime/manga background collectors of fashion dolls and other sorts fo dolls have gravitated towards BJD's and appreciate a more realistic style. The manufacturers IMHO, are just trying to meet the market.~~~~

      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?
      If you agree, why do you believe this is so?
      ~~~~~~I am not sure about that. I think that those collectors who have been with it a long time, tend to like the more stylized, anime look. That's just my hunch anyway.~~~~

      Do younger (10?-18-years-old) BJD-owners prefer the younger, "less-realistic" looking dolls? Why, why not?
      ~~~~~~~I don't think that is necessarily so.~~~~~~~~~


      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?
      ~~~~~~Again, I don't think the line is that rigid based on age in terms of likes and dislikes.~~~~~~~

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?
      ~~~~~~~Definately mature and realistic. I have absolutely no interest in anime, so the anime looking dolls never grabbed me. I had zero interest in owning a BJD until more realistic sculpts became availible.~~~~~~


      Other less specific, but related questions:
      Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?
      ~~~~~~~Constantly evolving hobby.
      Is it do to the joining of a completely new audience?
      ~~~~~~That has an impact.
      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more
      'real' looking dolls?
      ~~~I think that also has an impact
      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?
      ~~~~~~~those things probably have an impact to a degree, I think younger people who are into anime are really the ones who primarily like young looking anime type dolls.
       
    16. Several times you've set up a false dichotomy of mature/realistic vs youthful/stylized. Kill-U is an example of a stylized mature head. Dollstown does a very realistic child body sculpt, and the heads are stylized. Even with tinies, there are very unrealistic dolls like Pukis and Pocket Fairies, and then more realistic babyish sculpts just recently.

      I don't think young people choose younger-looking dolls or that older people choose older-looking dolls. Anime may be more of an influence on younger people though, and that's a more simplified look.

      I'm 33 and I have a wide range of doll types. I prefer mature stylized sculpts; my least favourite would be realistic dolls of children.
       
    17. In your opinion, has the BJD market changed, is there now more demand for "mature-realistic looking dolls"?
      If yes, what do you believe brought about this change?


      I think there is more demand in general. I do not see more demand for realistic BJD's over less realistic.

      In your opinion, has the BJD "world" matured, are older (long-time) bjd-followers now seeking more mature-realistic looking dolls?

      No.

      Do older BJD-owners (19-100?-years-old) prefer the more 'realistic,' more adult-looking dolls? Why, why not?

      I am in that range and I do prefer more realistic BJD proportions in head and eye size, but not realism toward the fashion type of proportions. I like 6.5 heads on slim mature minis (head still larger than human but not extremely large). I like Narae and Unoa the best and I have loved them since 2005. I also like well-proportioned slim tinies, but I was never a fan of big-head dolls like Blythe and Pullip.

      Regardless of age, do you have a preference (realistic/and/or/mature vs youthful/and/or/stylized)?

      See above.

      Other less specific, but related questions:
      Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?
      Is it do to the joining of a completely new audience?
      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more 'real' looking dolls?
      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?


      I do not see this fad/trend.

      When I joined DoA in 2005, looking at minis... there were immature minis, and for mature there was mainly Unoa and Narae and I think Volks SDC (all slim matures with 6.5-ish heads) and Serendipity Sharmin/Alice who was even slimmer with about a 6-inch head. I think Minifee was introduced soon after I joined DoA, a slim mature with 7 inch head. Since then more sculptors have come out of the Bimong school (Narae sculptor) typically with slim body and 6.5 inch head but they are not as popular as Narae and her various faces. Many immature mini companies have added nice mature bodies (usually for their existing heads), and more mid-range and inexpensive companies have developed. Some of the new companies sell very skinny mature bodies with 7.5 inch heads and big eyes (less realistic imo). I think there is more of everything and more people with every range of spending ability.

      If you have other views, or opinions of why more 'realistic,' and mature looking dolls are suddenly popping up,
      please give me your insight, I am curious to know what you think!


      I disagree. What more realistic dolls are popping up?

      Carolyn
       
    18. Hi, I can't answer your questions because I don't think age has any significance whatsoever in this issue. It's a non-factor. The BJD crowd here in Korea is getting younger and younger - it's mostly teenagers now*, but according to your logic that should mean that the immature/non-realistic BJDS should be all in vogue, but it isn't. I don't get the rationale of this at all.

      What I do know is that the BJD crowd has certainly gotten bigger, accomodating a wide variety of taste, and the companies are opting to cater to that variety. And in another factor altogether, several years back a certain powerful company of the more anime/stylized type started sending out innuendos of legal battle about "copying" to other companies so the other companies had to develop BJDs with different aesthetics to avoid this. It wasn't the only reason why more realistic sculpts were developed, but it did have influence, and since the realistic sculpts were favorably accepted by the BJD community, it prospered.

      Everything is a matter of personal taste, IMO.

      *One of the reasons why I like coming to DOA. Not only is it international, but there is a higher age bracket, so less teen angst related dolly-drama going on.
       
    19. Is it just a fad, in a constantly changing hobby?
      Doll collecting seems to have been around for quite a while, and I think it changes as people change the ways in which they made dolls. A hundred years ago, we'd be collecting porcelain figurines, instead of resin-based ball-jointed dolls.

      Is it due to the joining of a completely new audience?
      New audiences in a hobby will always bring new ideas, new styles, and change the nature of the hobby--to an extent. Doll collecting will probably always be doll collecting, but yes the styles and preferences of the members of the community will affect the overall community at large. I like the idea of having a doll that represents a character that I created, but I also like the idea of having character dolls crafted after actual people (I'm fiendishly plotting an Edith Piaf doll, and also an Oum Khalsoum--she was a famous Egyptian diva).

      Is it just because BJD companies are growing, maturing themselves, and they want to make more 'real' looking dolls?
      As a BJD company has a greater demand for realistic dolls, and a capacity for better craftsmanship, they're going to be more willing to take on the challenge of "real" dolls. I don't think it's just the BJD companies or just the BJD collectors/owners. Pleasant Company makes the Girls of Today dolls that can be somewhat customized to look like you. That seems to have spawned from a demand for little girls to have dolls that looked like them. (I had grown out of American Girls dolls by the time this started, otherwise I totally would have jumped on that trend.) So definitely there needs to be a demand, or an interest, before the company is willing to do something like that. Sometimes, a company might make an offer to do custom dolls to test it out before offering widespread "realistic" dolls.

      Does it have anything to do with age-group, or is it related to culture, region or other?
      It probably relates to all of the above.
       
    20. To just be short on this...

      I like realistic dolls better because they simply..look so real.
      Especially in Photo's you can trick people in making them believe they are
      staring into the eyes of a real human.

      Also the Details in the faces,
      i would rater pay 800 usd for that then get one free limited anime-ish volks head worth a milion. (atleast..if i can't sell it after that)

      And there for i think it also depends on what you do with the hobby,
      i am from the artsy and photographing side...
      allot of the realisitc doll collectors seem to come from that.
      Tho people that have them as characters from rp's or what so ever...
      seem to go more to the other side (just something i noticed)