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The Doll Hobby: Is "Conspicuous Consumption" the Main Event?

Feb 26, 2009

    1. I just went through all the debate topics and I don't think I found one on point to what I'm thinking here, but if this has already been covered somewhere, you can point to the thread.

      I was wondering whether anyone has the same discomfort I do with the idea of a hobby that seems to revolve largely around shopping, buying this and that for your doll and selling off this and that to pay for it, or because you start feeling you have "too much" stuff. I know all hobbies involve spending money to collect things or buy supplies to a certain degree, but at times it seems like dolls just multiply that by N powers and then add a big cherry of an emotional dimension on top.

      I'm not talking about feeling the guilts because doll money would be better spent on something else like a vacation, clothes for yourself, or even a charity. And I'm not talking about overspending yourself into a hole. I'm just talking about the "shopping fatigue" from a hobby that has shopping as a main feature, perhaps THE main feature, much the same way as the fashion industry does. You can get tired from the "must buy this! now buy that! buy the other thing!" atmosphere even if you're very successful in controlling your spending. Plus, it seems like even when people aren't actually spending money, they're wishing, wanting, making shopping lists, changing them around, so it's like vicarious shopping is going on even if they're not actually plunking down money.

      So the questions I had in mind were:

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      I'd be really interested to know everyone's thoughts... :chocoberry

      Just to answer the questions myself to start, I'd say that

      1) Yes, I do get tired from what seems to be overcommercialism in the hobby. I was the type of person who really used to like going to thrift stores to find an inexpensive bargain, so I've never really been the "born to shop" type, and when I was a kid we had only a couple of toy companies bringing out dolls a few times a year, usually at Christmas. In the BJD hobby it just seems like a constant deluge of sales, not just from the companies but from people constantly selling off or rearranging their collections.

      2) I don't feel pressure myself but I've heard other people complain about it from time to time - it seems sort of like "peer pressure" in a way so maybe some people are better able to resist/ ignore than others.

      3) I generally don't get bored because I have a pretty small amount of time to spend with my dolls anyway, but I have run into a lot of other people who have said they get tired of their dolls if they can't afford to get them new things all the time, such as new outfits to be photographed in, or get tired of the doll once it isn't new and would rather have one that's more "fresh".

      4) Yes, I definitely feel like an awful lot of time spent in doll-land has to do with wishlists and wanting and planning and deciding what you do and don't want and how to pay for it. I'm just as guilty of this as everyone else and it kind of bothers me because I'd rather spend more time on making stuff for dolls I already have than on revising my wish-list and doll plans every time Volks, Soom, etc. comes out with a new line.

      5) I'm not sure about this, I see a lot of people who seem to sell most of their stuff within a fairly short time of getting it, but I also know dolls who have been with the same owner for years. Also, I think some people just plain enjoy buying and selling. Some people are like that, for instance the ones who wear their designer clothes for one or two seasons and then sell them all off and buy new things and do that every season, so there's not much "wrong" with it. However, I'm the opposite type who tends to hold on to most of my stuff so it's hard for me to relate to people who seem to be constantly selling off stuff, buying new stuff, selling it off, etc.
       
    2. Hmmmm....there are so many things I love about the dollery and some things that I despise - but the "consumerism" is actually one of the bits I adore!!! I mean, it's such an integral facet of the hobby in that we acquire and let go, acquire and let go, acquire and let go - that non-passive consumerism keeps the hobby exciting and vital. Certainly, acquiring the "perfect" doll is a goal and I've done just that - uh, several times over. ;) But the consumerism, to me - outside of the symbolic and artistic aspects - is what makes the hobby fun - it's not a stagnation, it's not a sterile, glass case kind of thing. It's organic! And the fact that most of the pieces of the dollery maintain their value, makes it feel like everything becomes "equal" in the end.
       
    3. It's like window-shopping. In one sense it's normal, it's what you do when you go to the mall with a friend. But in another sense it's awfully shameful to want, want, want all the time.

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?
      While I'm aware all dolls are part of a commercial enterprise, I'm not really aware of it when I'm falling in love with a sculpt. Sculpts are art, and I think it's okay for artistic creations to be created in order to be sold! I mean, I love reading books, and buying them from book stores. Someone put a lot of effort into writing that book, and it brings me enjoyment. I think it's okay for that process to be part of a commercial enterprise, although in an ideal world it'd all be free :3

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?
      Nope. Never. This one was easy to answer!

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?
      While there's definitely a lot more excitement going on when you're in the market for a doll, or waiting (damn you Amber for stealing my wallet!) it doesn't lessen the enjoyment I get from just looking at my two dolls standing on my computer table. I'll still play with them whenever :)

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?
      Yes. I'm constantly wondering WHY people buy a doll and then don't even take it out of the box, then sell it on the Marketplace for the price they paid for it. Why buy it in the first place? Unexpected financial matters might come up, sure, but if your finances aren't that stable maybe you shouldn't be buying in the first place... *_* But then there are ideas that change, feelings that change, and people who sell off loved dolls I can understand. Emotions are a fluid thing!

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?
      I definitely buy thoughtfully. I agonise for days over the smallest purchase IRL, and I don't even have much in the way of dolly clothes or anything yet. I have yet to experience buyer's remorse, and I don't really want to either ^^ I think that shows maybe a lack of maturity, or ability to handle your own money? I'm not sure. I'd like to haer from others!
       
    4. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby...?

      It's a little tiring, I do worry that something wonderful will come out and I'll miss it. Not so much shopping as just not wanting to miss something I would really like. I don't see it as entirely commercial though.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure...?

      No... although I do try to perfect my own dolls, it's not out of pressure. That's just my interest, I love buying them new things. But I did notice a difference after buying my dreamdoll (Anais) last summer. Before that I would hawkishly keep up with everything Volks released, but now I hardly care what they come out with because I have the one I love. I mellowed out after that, but maybe someday there will be another grail doll to spur me on. For me, that seems to happen every few years, but for some people it seems to be every other week!

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping...?

      The reverse, I become more interested in going through what I have and making things. Then I'm more interested in my actual dolls that I own rather than surfing doll sites online. And photographing them is free, and I love that. And meeting up with my friends who have dolls... it really isn't all about the shopping.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things...?

      I do, and I'm sure my friends have thought it of me as well. But fretting over doll concerns is part of what makes it relaxing, because at least I'm not worrying about all my other problems in life. It's a welcome distraction, and a bit like solving a puzzle. And when you get the right things and it all comes together, the result is very rewarding.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim...?


      Most people I know put lots of thought into their purchases, but a few people I know have the revolving door syndrome and never seem satisfied with anything they have. It can be frustrating as an onlooker, because you want to feel happy for friends when they get pretty new things. But when nothing makes them happy, it becomes tiring to see because I think, 'well it's lovely but I bet she sells it next month.' There's a sense that some people are looking for something they're never going to find, that dolls don't ultimately bring them any joy, and that's draining to a friendship that began in the hobby.
       
    5. Actually, I don't find this hobby overly commercial. Sure there're lots of things to buy but that doesn't always seem to be the main focus of many collectors. Things like modding, doing face-ups, sewing, creating characters seem to be more important than just buying dolls.

      I'm old enough to completely ignore any sort of "peer preasure." I buy what I love whether or not it's popular or the latest thing. In fact I often ignore popular new things on the market simply because they don't interest me.

      I don't get bored as there are so many things I want to do with my dolls & just can't seem to find the time to do them all, though I do spend a lot of time "window shopping" mainly to see what's out there, current prices & often to get inspiration from others' creations.

      Yes, a lot of time is spent on wishlists & wanting & planning for things but this doesn't really bother me. It's fun to just dream sometime.

      I am guilty of buying on impulse but most of those dolls have stuck around for a while & many have become favorites of mine. I'm also used to buying & selling dolls on a fairly regular basis since I've been collecting for eons & simply can't keep everything. If I kept every doll I've ever bought, I would literally be buried alive under them. Also sometimes finances dictate that I must part with some dolls, not merely to get another doll but for real life emergencies.
       
    6. Good questions!

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?
      A little. Not terribly. It's easier for me to focus on the dolls I have, rather than worry about what "could be".

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?
      Yes. However, it's only because I have this need to finish a story, one that may require another doll, or a wig and eye change. As for when a doll is "finished", that's it. They're finished. I may buy them clothing here and there, but I'm not worried about it much.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?
      Nope. I love my dolls. Just as they are. If they get new clothing, or I get another doll, it's just more to love.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?
      Yes. Not to be terribly rude, but yes. There are some people that make me shake my head at them, I wonder if they even spend time doing anything at all with thier dolls, with the time that they spend at the Marketplace.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?
      I actually know a few of both. I can understand getting a doll because you feel you might like them, yes, but to buy a doll, then when it gets here, immediately put up a WTS thread because you realized you wanted.. say, a camera more than that doll, that kind of irks me. What was the point of ordering and paying, and waiting (in case of a straight from company doll), only to take one look at it, and say... " I want the camera instead." I don't think I quite understand that reasoning. But to each his own, I guess.
       
    7. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?

      Nope, I don't feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature, mostly because for me it's not there. I may have my dolly 'wish list', but once my sculpts are settled on, they aren't likely to change, as the dolls on the list are meant to become characters that I love, and want doll forms of right now. Once the perfect sculpt for each is found, it sticks, and when I can, I buy it. In the meantime, I work on making the things I need for the dolls I have so that they can truly be themselves. Yeah, I need to buy the materials needed to WORK on my dolls, and that goes to as much money as the dolls themselves to, but for me it's about working on them, making them perfect, making their clothes and accessories, hunting for dolly sized items for them in yard sales and second hand shops when I want props or furniture I can't make. And once they are themselves, it's about being able to photograph them, play with them. Do I spend a lot of money doing this? Yeah. Is it all about spending the money? Nope. It's about working on my dolls myself, and then playing with them, and photographing them once they're done. Making new outfits for them when I get new ideas for things they'd wear. I'm a real 'do it myself' person, so when I want something new for them to wear, it's infinitely more satisfying to make it myself than run out and buy it. I love to love and play with and work on my dolls. And when I want to make something new, but can't afford the materials to make it? Well, I look through things I already own to see if any of it that I'm not using anymore can be taken apart and re-made into what I want to make.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      Nope. I get the dolls I want, regardless of what the trends in the community are. For eyes and wigs, once I find the right ones (or make the right ones, lol) for my dolls' characters, those are the ones they'll use from that point on unless they get damaged and need replacing. Well...I DO feel the need to get my dolls nicer and nicer face-ups...as I get better at doing them myself. ^-^ I have too much fun working on face-ups to pay someone else to do it for me.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?

      Nope. When there's nothing I'm looking for for a new arrival, and nothing I feel like making, it's out with the camera, and time to photograph, play with, or just 'hang out' with my dollies! I like just having them near me, and sometimes cuddle them (when it's safe too...cats and a 2 year old often claim my free cuddle time, and that's dangerous for a doll already in the lap, lol) Just looking at them when I'm doing something else makes me happy.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      Nope. It's their choice. I don't care what other people do with their dolls and doll stuff. Sometimes I might benefit from it if one of those people happens to be selling something I'm looking for at the time, but mostly, not something I even look at.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      I don't, no. I don't know if anyone I know does, at least with dolls. The things I get, I tend to get for keeps. I mean, there are bound to be times where I get things that I decide I don't like as much in person, it happens, but for the most part I spend a LOT of time researching any purchase I might make, doll related or not, and a lot of time thinking about it before going through with it to be sure that it's the right purchase for me to be making.
       
    8. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby,

      Somewhat. I do agree that sometimes it feels like "buy buy buy consume" but the creative aspect of this hobby cannot be discounted either.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      Oh, yes. For example, I'm in the middle of paying off a Soom Lazule, and Soom just put up their two new monthly limiteds for February. :x I would love to have one or both of the LEs, but I have to keep telling myself I can't have everything I want in life. Either/or, but not both.

      But I don't feel pressure in improving the dolls I have. Why would I feel pressure? I have no reason or desire to compare them to someone else's dolls, which would be the only reason why I'd feel any pressure. I'll improve my existing dolls on my own time.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?

      No. I only have one girl at the moment (well, the only doll I have that isn't a floating head), and I regularly take her out and play with her and use her for photoshoots.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      Sometimes, and sometimes I wonder how some people are able to afford that much, but I figure it's none of my damn business in the end.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      When purchasing something expensive, whether it's a doll or something else, I make certain that my money will be well spent with no regrets. I don't like dropping my hard earned cash on a whim.
       
    9. First off, I'd really like to point out that I don't see this hobby as being any more commercial than any other that involves collecting. In fact, I'd say that it is less so than most. For example, take people who collect M.i.t.B. dolls,action-figures, or whatnot. They never photograph their collection, never customize it, never make things for their dolls. And I promise you, they are just as avid about shopping for more!

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?

      Like I said, I don't see it as being exceptionally commercial. While there are a few things that I don't see the point in purchasing/wishing for/ogling, it really doesn't bother me as a whole.

      For my part, I decided to purchase a BJD (after being in love with them for a couple years) so that I could make things. It's the crafty aspect of this hobby that drew me in. Does that make the reasons of people who prefer collecting more things less valid or too commercial? No, and that's what I love about this hobby. It's a combination of so many different ones - collecting, photography, sewing, sculpting and painting - and I'm sure I've forgotten a couple.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      Pressure? No, not really. I can't answer the second part of the question really, because my girl hasn't arrived yet, but I'm going to say not. If I love something and want it, then I'll get it sooner or later. I don't feel like I have to buy things. Finishing the dolls is a bit different. My shushu already has a very specific character concept in my head. It's not so much finding better or nicer things for her as it is the hunt for the "right" wig, eyes, etc.

      3) N/A yet

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      *shrug* Eh, it's their hobby. They can enjoy it however they want to. I do think that if you're "agonizing" over something, you need to chill. This is a hobby, beginning and end of story. If you worry so much about it that you're no longer having fun, what's the point in doing it at all?

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      I'm assuming that the OP means within the hobby, here. I thought for a long time before I decided which doll to buy, and what to buy for her. Most of the people I can think of did the same thing. I know I don't plan on ever selling my shushu.

      Life in general though? I'm a total impulse shopper if it's under $20 or so. Keep me away from the candy aisle!
       
    10. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?

      To me, it's very easy to ignore the commercialism of the hobby if I'm not interested at the moment. I consider myself very money-cautious and unless I am considering options or actively pursuing something, I do my best to steer clear. Personally, I'm more of a non-play BJD collector - the little play I get comes in the form of clothing changes and repositioning, so to keep myself satisfied with my dolls, I have to buy new things to entertain myself with.So my answer in short, is that I am aware of the perpetual market and the push to buy/sell, but I can ignore it at will.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      Never ever pressure. As far as I'm concerned, new products are simply new options. I've fortunately only suffered "limited love" twice, and gotten lucky with them... I find that when something new comes out and immediately captivates me, that there's usually just one thing about it that is entrancing, and should I like I could easily replicate it/design something around that without much issue.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?

      Combing through the marketplace or stores to find something right is a chore, to me. However, I enjoy the repetitive, methodical process of this 'chore' so it doesn't bore me or intimidate me. I find the most enjoyable part of my dolls is seeing a complete character... so every so often I decide to get a new component for them, whether it's wigs, eyes, clothes, whatever, and that satisfies my shop craving.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      I have ran into people who I think that about them, though not in this hobby. Although my stash of items isn't very large, I know the frustration of getting something and it not working out, so I can sympathize with sellers that I know list new items often. Why keep something that isn't perfect? And as for the deciding part, I don't think that could ever be a bad thing - that indicates to me that they are considering the benefits and negatives of their actions very seriously.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      My partner and I (both collectors) are more of the thoughtful buyer type. It really helps to keep us in check when we can ask each other if it's a good idea or not, as well. I have experience buyer's remorse though, on one occasion, but it only helps to teach the seperation between something I want and something I will enjoy.
       
    11. I just want to say I agree with a lot of what you said here. It might be because I love shopping, and window shopping, but I love a lot of what this consumerist culture of the hobby creates. I love the proliferation of couture fashion by quality designers and the continued refinement of styles amongst talented doll owners. The ability to mix-and-match and sew and sell is just one other wonderful aspect to this hobby.

      I fully admit, though, my dolls spend a lot of time in their signature outfits and while I do invest in more clothes for them, I don't feel a pressure to buy more unless I'm really sparked by a particular outfit/designer.

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?

      As I stated above, I kinda enjoy the commercial aspect of the hobby. I don't feel pressured, but I love seeing all the wonderful new quality things people/artists come out with. Since I don't plan on getting too many more dolls I definitely am not pressured by new dolls coming out and am perfectly content in watching other people buy and share them.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?

      Since I pretty much do my own faceups, sure I feel pressure to make my dolls look nicer but that's for my own satisfaction. I want my dolls to look good and to look how I picture them in my head. Again, as I mentioned above, my dolls pretty much have their own signature styles that they wear and the rest of the clothes I buy are just extras that I buy because I like them.

      I don't feel like other people in this hobby are at all influencing this except in that I feel constantly inspired by some of the amazing things people come out with. I love getting new ideas of how I can make my dolls look nicer for me.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?
      I'm rediscovering my old dolls all the time. Sure, I admit to getting a new doll high and sometimes I feel a desire to get another doll shortly after I've just gotten one, but that feeling usually fades and I end up going back to the crew I enjoyed in the first place.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?

      This I'm not sure about, because I think it's harder because unless it's someone I know in person it's hard to tell how preoccupied someone is by buying and selling these dolls. Constantly shifting wishlists and savings targets to me just are part of the fun of this hobby. If it's actually causing someone distress, sure, that's an issue but I really don't see too many people fretting tremendously over the need to buy/sell dolls.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?

      This can happen easily when most purchases people are making are being done sight-unseen. Luckily it's not too hard to sell off a doll once it's just been bought, especially a limited. I know some people get caught up in buying frenzies, like when Wishels came out, and some people might not put full effort into researching before buying, but I think most people intend to hang onto a doll when they buy it.

      Sometimes people just realize later on that the doll they got just isn't something they want to hang onto, but that's okay. I don't think everyone needs to hang onto every doll they buy and that can open up options for other people to get dolls they might not have had a chance at earlier.
       
    12. Ditto! Seemingly a rare thing here, hehe ^^;
       
    13. I can see what you're saying and I do feel that way sometimes, but I really don't think it's any stronger in the doll hobby than in other hobbies. Hobbies, especially collecting hobbies (which BJDs essentially are even if you don't consider yourself a collector-type doll owner) do encourage people to spend money, and to keep spending money. If you think BJDs are bad, look at hobbies like CCGs or miniature gaming. A doll from a few years ago is generally still a perfectly good doll, and just as good for repainting, dressing up, or whatever it is you like to do with your dolls as a new doll would be. But your deck from a few years ago is probably halfway useless when they've been releasing expansion set after expansion set with more powerful cards, new types of everything, etc etc. I've never gotten into CCGs or miniatures for that very reason- I don't want to have to spend money constantly to keep up and play a good game- but I've known plenty of people who get into them and spend thousands of dollars just keeping up. We live (most of us) in a strong consumer society, so it only makes sense that a lot of the things we do with our spare time involve spending money and buying new things- it's what we're basically conditioned to believe brings happiness.
       
    14. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why?
      Sometimes I do feel very fatigued by this hobby's commercial nature! I don't spend much money on doll stuff at all--and for me that's what's fatiguing. I get tired sometimes of an endless stream of beautiful dolls, outfits, eyes, faceups, accessories, and all clamoring for me to spend money I don't have. It can be very hard on me sometimes to do what I need to do to keep my finances in order.

      That said, this is my first time being in a "collecting" type hobby. It might be much easier on someone who has experienced this type of hobby--as Daeliriel pointed out, it is actually less consumeristic than some hobbies.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?
      Not outside pressure, no. I do have some internal pressure to get my dolls wigs that fit and look right, eyes that look right and photograph well, and an ever-increasing wardrobe (mostly handmade). But Vasilisa was "complete" more or less when I got her--as I'd already found the perfect eyes--and once I have the same success with my other dolls I expect that I won't feel any more drive to get something newer and better, unless I see something that captures the character better.

      I do feel pressure when it comes to LEs, and I don't like that. I also worry sometimes about companies going out of business before I can save up for their dolls. While an LE is likely to come up on the secondhand market sooner or later (albeit at an inflated price), the second one does sometimes keep me up at night, because I have heard how hard it can be to get your hands on a relatively unpopular doll from a company that folded...!

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?
      I sometimes feel less enjoyment from my dolls when there has been no change in their "look" for a long time, but so far I find that any change will revitalise them--whether that means buying a new wig or knitting them a new sweater or hat, or just pulling something out of the bottom of their closet, as it were. Sometimes something as little as shifting their eye position will revive my excitement!

      I do really like the feeling of "pining" for a doll I want to buy, though. I know that since I've decided not to buy any more dolls this year, I should stop looking at company webpages or FS threads in the marketplace or even news threads...but I don't! I still love to window shop for the next couple of dolls I want, looking through commissionable services to scout out potential artists sometimes for dolls five or six purchases down the road!

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?
      Sometimes I feel like we encourage the "resin is more addictive than crack" stereotype in a bad way. On the one hand, it's reasonable to point out to people entering the hobby that many people do end up finding room in their budgets for more than one doll, even if that's not their expectation going in. On the other hand, we all go around reinforcing each other's idea that once you get one you Just Can't Stop, to the point where people can be almost apologetic about not having a doll on their wishlist! So yes, sometimes I feel like we do go a little overboard on the buying and selling front--certainly it feels like, to fit in, you have to think about it.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?
      Most of the people I know are pretty thoughtful about their purchases. I do know a couple of people who always seem to be waiting on a new doll, but they don't seem to get buyer's remorse or turn around and sell those dolls. All I can conclude is that they're financially better off than I am...!
       
    15. I don't own a doll, but i feel some sort of pressure.

      I've wanted one for a long time now, but somehow it feels like "to be part of this you must have this doll!" around here. No one has said this, but I want to join in the photo shoots, meetups, etc, and not feel like a 3rd wheel.
       
    16. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff?
      I've never really thought about it before in this sense. What fatigues me, if you could call it that, about dolly commercialism is the fact that whenever I have no money to buy a doll the molds I pine after show up in the Marketplace. But, as one might expect, the second I get some cash they all disappear. =A=

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.?
      I don't feel pressured, usually, when it comes to buying dolls themselves (luckily for my wallet) but I do honestly sometimes feel a sense of honest to goodness embarrassment when I see other owners' beautiful wardrobes, face-ups, props, and accessories and realize that I can't really hold a candle to an airbrush or Heisenjao fullsets. I think that in the internet/forum manifestation of the hobby a majority of the emphasis is put on showcasing your dolls and showing off how well-dressed, nice, gorgeous, handsome, realistic, or whathaveyou they are rather than actual owner enjoyment. Obviously it isn't DoA or any other forum's responsibility to ensure that I'm enjoying my dolls, nor should it be, but I think it is an example of how superficial/commercialized this hobby can SOMETIMES be. Sometimes I get the feeling there is a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality in some aspects of dollydom.

      Short answer: Yes. XD

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls?

      I enjoy shopping for them, but the most "bored" I get is being tired of seeing them in the same outfit for a month and a half. XD I think a little variety is good, I try switching shirts and shoes and stuff around. Usually I'm pleasantly surprised at how good So-and-so looks in something that was intended to be worn primarily by Somebody-else. In a sense it's like getting an entirely new outfit, so it staves off the "need" to shop most of the time. I mostly window-shop anyway, so it's basically the same.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off?
      I have noticed, not to harp on hobby newbies (as we all were once), that occasionally I'll see someone who seems to have bought their first doll just for the sake of having a doll. And most of the time they end up being sold, so I feel as though it's really sort of unfair, in a way, that they rush headlong into things without any guidance or advice to the contrary. And I have actually witnessed this, and was actually shocked to find out that a friend's first doll was just a doll of convenience. Mostly I get the feeling that people are sometimes overly eager to acquire, not so much to sell.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps?
      Mostly the latter, in terms of hobby friends I know well. My own experience with buyer's remorse is not with buying too quickly (technically at least), but with settling for a doll that "sort of" fits what I'm looking for, or that sort of thing.
       
    17. A "collecting" hobby is, by definition, all about the Getting. It might not even be about the Having, for very long, but it's all about the Getting. It's acquisition and consumption. Everyone's particular style of doing so, of course, varies wildly. Some people love to make and rearrange their lists [of anything!], because it's like window-shopping, which is almost as fun as actually shopping. Some people prefer to shop via impulse-buy only, because it's far too overwhelming to stop & categorize & research every single choice out there. However they do it, I would never dream of saying somebody "spends too much time" concentrating on acquiring things for their dolls-- because acquiring IS the crux of it.

      When it comes to these dolls, I spend my hobby-time any way I feel like at the moment... whether it's playing, shopping, or futzing around organizing the wigbox. I don't feel that shopping or organizing tasks count as a "lesser" enjoyment than dressing or photography. We certainly don't get to grade others on their hobby performance with things like "Oh, you spend too much time worrying about your shopping. You must spend 30% more time per week watching TV with your doll on your lap and cooing at it, otherwise we take away your Official Doll-Owners' Membership Card."

      I don't bother with itemized wish-lists, I have no concept of peer pressure, I love my old dolls anew every time I so much as change their shoes, and I never get rid of anything.... But I have no problem with people whose happy list-making dominates their entire hobby, or who like to buy the hottest item du jour as soon as it's released, or who get bored with new toys quickly, or who sell things as soon as they're tired of them. We're all in the same soup.

      (Besides: Bear in mind that people who sell their things are your FRIENDS. What? Bored with your Soom Monthly Doll already? Fine! All the more for the secondhand market! <3)
       
    18. 1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why? Well lately though it seems there's a new doll company every week, it seems I have been bored for a very long time. I'm just not seeing anything that moves me.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.? I have always been ruggedly independent, and generally asocial. I don't care what people think of me or my dolls. I do what I do only to please myself.

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls? I rarely, almost never shop for my dolls. Only if I have something specific in mind, but it's rarely to be had unless I make it myself. I'm never interested in 'trends' or 'fashion'. Someday (I feel) it will only look stupid. I graduated highschool in 1985, so I know what I'm talking about. People looked pretty dumb at the time. I wasn't one of them, thank the gods. My dolls, like me, heed neither trend nor fashion.

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off? I don't mind what other people do, they must please themselves. I only get bothered when companies seem to cater only to what is fashionable. And who could blame them? ...but still.

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps? I find that even with careful thought, I find I've bought something I can't live with. Cute is hard to resist, but the bland sort of cute that is rampant in this hobby I find doesn't move me for long. ^^;; There's a lot of dolls I >squee< and go gooey over onscreen, yet in person I'm wondering "what the heck was I thinking?!" I've learned since 2005, yet I still occasionally make mistakes. I used to have more play-around money, but now I'm very very careful. Selling comes almost more naturally to me than buying, though... and I have to be very careful to not sell something I might regret parting with. But I grew up with antique dealers, who had a house full of the most exquisite things... who would dismiss it all with a wave of a hand saying "It's all for sale". Things are things. Even beautiful things. These dolls are beautiful, but there are better 'things' out there. and they do compete! So I am less tempted by resin these days and more tempted by other things.


      Raven
       
    19. Oh... You've reminded me I do this too, but mostly in the photography department. I'm always disappointed that I don't have the skills, props or camera hardware to produce the gorgeous photos that so many others do. And it makes me sad and disappointed when people don't comment on my photos :( Which makes me want to buy buy buy a better camera! But I can't XD
       
    20. ooh, I like this one! I feel like I have been on a "spend,spend,spend!" lately and also feeling somewhat fickle with my dolls in the buy it, sell it department. I think it is because I have reached a stage where I finally know what direction I want to go with my dolls and if it dosn't fit in then it goes! Anyway, to answer the questions...

      1) Do you ever feel "fatigued" by the commercial nature of this hobby, regardless of whether or not you spend money regularly on doll stuff? Or is it something you find easy to ignore, and if so, why? not really fatigued, more overwhelmed/ suprised at how much is spent on a doll and more so on doll clothing and accesories. I think we come a bit "numb" to the cost after a while rather than ignoring it.

      2) Do you ever feel pressure to buy the latest new dolls coming out, or to constantly put money into improving/ finishing the dolls you already have with better wigs and eyes, nicer faceups, nicer clothing, etc.? No pressure to buy the newest releases, I have too many "projects" in mind to sort out first! which leads into the second part of the question. Yes, I feel like i am constantly spending money to improve or get the right look for my existing dolls. Once i get there then maybe part 1 will have a different answer!

      3) Do you ever get bored or feel less enjoyment from your dolls when you're not shopping for them, or shopping for new dolls? I can't wait to be "content" with all my dolls in my possesion and feel no urge to want more. No I don't feel bored with them at all, even when the shopping is on hiatis!

      4) Do you ever feel like other people in the hobby spend too much time concentrating on acquiring things or selling things off, or agonizing over what to acquire and/or sell off? No, not at all. I am one of the worst for it at the moment I am sure! I know what I want but am finding it a lot harder to find than originally thought. Dolls can look so different in person than in photos so when they arrive home it can be a bit... eh, not quite right. so back on the market place it goes and lets try another one. It may be a bit fickle but I know one day the right ones will come!

      5) Do you or other people you know often buy on a whim, have "buyer's remorse" or get tired of things in a really short time after getting them, or do you/ most people you know usually buy things thoughtfully and for keeps? absolutely! but funnily enough, the dolls bought on a "whim" are now the ones I love the most and will keep, whereas a few that I have thought it over, created a character in mind and thought that is what I really wanted just havn't worked at all. The ones I have sold shortly after buying I didn't get tired of, they just wern't right for me.