What do you do in the hobby when you don't have a doll?

Mar 9, 2020

  1. No, same boat.

    22 vote(s)
  2. Yes (1)

    25 vote(s)
  3. Yes (2-5)

    45 vote(s)
  4. Yes (6-10)

    28 vote(s)
  5. Yes (more than 10 dolls)

    59 vote(s)
    1. I had a doll before. Due to unfortunate circumstances, it's been about eight years since I've seen him. I finally joined DOA this year and am still waiting to be able to afford my own... I do have one doll that is, unfortunately, not on-topic (azone pureneemo emotion).

      I know I'm supposed to stay active in the forums and whatnot, but more often it's just short bursts of rampant activity and then I fade out again... Because it's just me commenting "Oh beautiful!" on everyone's stuff and talking at length about What I'd Do If I Had The Money.

      I'm incredibly poor. It's going to be a long time until I get the funds for my second doll. Being here until then is disastrously depressing. What am I supposed to do before I can afford to BE in the hobby again?
      • x 7
    2. When I first got in the hobby I had no money, no job and no way to get either because I was a full time student. It was hard but I mostly did research and talked to others about dolls in the discussions. I asked questions and i researched the dolls and accessories and things. I even learned to sew.
      #2 Zavrinas, Mar 9, 2020
      Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
      • x 6
    3. I suppose I would go to meets if there are any in the area I could get to so I could at least hve some time around actual dolls, and I'd cruise the doll sites and plan.

      ANd I suppose the alternative would be to drop out of hte hobby entirely until the money is availabel for the doll then reenter.

      • x 1
    4. Craft projects? Take up hobbies like sewing and learn how to make clothes/wigs/eyes/props for your future dolls - it'll save you money in the long run and give you something to talk about. You can even start by making stuff for your off-topic doll.

      See if any of your local libraries or craft stores have free/inexpensive classes, or look up tutorial videos on youtube.
      • x 6
    5. When I was saving up for my first doll, I spent a lot of time just looking at photos, doing research, and planning/daydreaming. It took around 2-3 years for me to save up, since this was in the pre-layaway days and I had almost no income anyway. I also tried crafting things for the doll I was saving for that didn't require fitting (i.e. I took up crochet for awhile and made a scarf). And I did a ton of research haha. But that was also the time in which I was really learning about the hobby, and I had a goal I was actively working toward, so that made a big difference.
      If you're not enjoying engaging with the community right now, you don't have to force yourself. If you want to just research passively or even just disengage for awhile until you feel more ready to save for a doll again, that's okay! No need to torture yourself if you're not enjoying it.
      • x 3
    6. You're not supposed to do anything. This is not a job or a kind of obligation of some sorts.
      What you can and should do is 100% up to you, what you feel comfortable with and what makes you happy. If having no doll right now and feeling yourself unable to participate gives you grief, especially while browsing here, then...don't come here.
      Don't force yourself to participate.
      • x 17
    7. I might be parroting everyone who's already replied a little, but I think the advice you've been given is really good! First off, don't feel obligated to force yourself to stay active either here on DoA or in the hobby if you find yourself not feeling it or unable to do so. Especially if it saddens you to be here!! It's a hobby after all; it should be something that brings you joy and comfort.

      Before I got my first doll, I decided to busy my hands learning how to craft. Embroidery, crocheting, etc.! I also did research, looked up sites where I could buy doll things on sale, and found a lot of people to follow online whose photographs or dolls I felt matched the aesthetic I was going for, or that I just plain liked. I made plans for the character I wanted to create with art and writing. I even picked up some OT/non-BJD dolls to customize and play with! (In fact, my Mattel doll was what pushed me into buying my first, secondhand BJD.)

      I sincerely hope that you still maintain that good feeling from being in this hobby, and that you're able to get your second doll soon. Wishing you the best, man. <3
      • x 2
    8. I also entered this hobby very young, as just a freshman in high school. I made no money and saved up for a long time before being able to buy my first doll. The doll I bought wasn't even the one I wanted; it was just one I could afford. He didn't make me happy, and I always ended up wanting something else.

      I think while you're waiting to save up, you should do a lot of research to decide on the sculpt you really want, even if it ends up taking longer to obtain. Look at pictures here, look at company threads to review wait times, company quality and sculpt feedback. Is the resin good quality, and is the doll a good poser? What clothes fit this sculpt, if any? Once you decide on one to save for, you can try sewing outfits for it, or if you're into character development, start working on their story. The dream is half of the fun, in my opinion!

      11 years later, I've been able to buy many dolls (some on impulse). But I kind of miss that long saving, pining period if you want me to be honest. It makes the receiving of the doll even sweeter! :D
      • x 1
    9. If you don't have a doll, I'd only use this forum to research dolls you are interested in. Ask questions in the discussion forums related to the dolls you are intrigued with, look for photos/photostories including the doll you are interested in and try to get a better idea of what you want/do not want in a doll. You can also post in the visual concepts if you want help finding good materials/ideas for dolls based on characters.

      Yet none of this is mandatory, as everyone said if it hurts you to be here, by all means, take a break. Unless you're looking to use the market to purchase your doll there is no reason to worry about posting. If you are trying to get forum posts to gain access to the marketplace maybe check out the customization/projects forums and comment on them? I find that a little easier sometimes because its not really about the overall doll journey but on that one person's amazing talents.
      • x 3
    10. Wish I could go to meets but I'm a guy, the only meet I went to was extremely elitist even when I DID have a doll, and I have no way of getting to one. Lol. But good idea.
    11. That makes me really sad, I'm sorry that you had that experience. If you were near me I would more than welcome you to a doll meet! I hope your next meet experience is better. If you have any anime conventions near you, there are often meets there that may be a bit more diverse/welcoming.
    12. So am I, it's never been an issue.

      Ugh! That's just wrong! Not at all not how they should be.

      I was warned that the group running the first DoA meet I went to were cliquey and unwelcoming, but found that wasn't the case at all (even though my little-kid dolls with their old-fashioned styling stood out like a sore-thumb among the goth and emo dolls that predominated, and I was old enough to be the father of most of the other people there) I was welcomed and made to feel part of the group.

      It's such a shame if the elitist element spoil the community idea of getting together to enjoy a common interest.

      {nods} yes, that's a big barrier to going to meets.

      • x 3
    13. So I am one of those people who don't have a BJD yet. I craft clothes for future dolls while doing my research on what kind of doll should be my first. I also keep track on possible events around my living area or check the secondhand market for the perfect deal.

      It is hard to keep myself from just buying a cheap BJD that I don't like so much just so I can get started haha. But since I honestly think I won't ever have more then 1-3 dolls I want to wait and save up for the perfect one.
    14. {grin!} Good luck with that.

      When I got my first, I thought just the one would be enough....

      I had four within a year, and now (over 15 years later) have over 50 of them (not counting the ones I didn't bond with). Having the money available to buy them, of course, will be a factor in how big your collection grows, but they can be addictive so your collection might grow bigger than you initially expect.

      • x 3
    15. It sort of depends on your hobby goals, I think. But I agree I'm struggling (I want to get my marketplace to get a second hand doll, but how do you participate on a forum when you're not quite in the hobby yet, without posting pointless comments? It's tricky)

      As a sewer, what im doing is sewing for £5 off topic dolls. It hones my skills and also reassures me that this is a hobby I enjoy enough to be worth putting down serious money on. It gives me things to contribute in the forums: I can't post my creations, or answer things about particular doll models, but a lot of basic questions about fabric or construction I can engage with. & thst makes me feel like a useful member of the community.

      So I suppose if you're a story person, you could work on backstories and character; or a props person, you could practice with clay or mini carpentry etc. If you prefer shopping for stuff, then looking at fashion blogs for ideas of the pieces to collect to create a look. And in terms of community, you could be offering supportive feedback or concrit (when requested). Finally, looking at other people's pretty things is a big part of the hobby which I love. I can do that without a doll.

      But yeah, great question & I feel you.
      • x 3
    16. That one is easy - follow people's posts about projects they're working on, post comments on those. Post a comment on any thread that catches your interest or takes your fancy. The requirement is for number of posts, not a value judgement on the quality of those posts, or how pointess they are or not.

      Ask questions about things in other people's pictures (what company are those boots from? Did you make the accessories yourself? Did the wig come with that styling or have you moded it?) which will get you double the post numbers when you post a second time to thank them for their reply... The numbers will soon mount up.

    17. Absolutrly, but I guess I don't want it to feel like spam. The spirit of the marketplace post limit is...I assume...We only want people here who have demonstrated they are real members of the community, who are real people, rather than someone rapidly posting "hi!" in all the new member threads to rack up numbers. Not as a value judgement per se ("we only want good people and we will figure out who they are"), but because the latter is exactly what you'd do to build up your numbers if your intent was malign, and so that pattern posting is (I assume) something of a red flag. It takes more time and effort to keep all the posts thoughtful; I've been in online trading communities before, and it is about establishing trust, and making your space into a community rather than an anonymous shop front, or an infinite social media sea. Does any of that make sense? I don't want to cast judgement or police how others are posting; but for my part, the extra effort to make comments which are meaningful feels like following the spirit of a community rule, and that's important to me. These old style communities are so much nicer than modern social media spaces.
      • x 2
    18. I have a feeling the new-member threads are exempt anyway... I knwo some areas of the forum don't count toward your post numbers for marketplace purposes, but since I came through the system before all the restrictions were bumped up, I've only picked up on that through seeing comments about it by others, and not really retained the information clearly.

      Absolutely, but it's still an arbitrary bar that's been set, and it's really not a lot of effort to look through project posts and comment if you like comething - it really doesn't need to be a long post or well-thought-out essay (unless, of course, youre actually moved to write something longer), just a post acknowledging that you like whatever it is, and appreciate them sharing it on the forum.

      I don't need to bump up my post-count, but I still make those sorts of posts often (especially if I don't have time or mental energy to spare for writing something longer) just to acknowledge that I've looked-at and appreciate whatever it is they've posted about.

    19. I wish you lived near me, my group would welcome you in with open arms! We also welcome any doll at meets, on topic or not as long as it isn’t a recast. We also don’t care if you have a doll or not, you can always play with ours. Not all groups are elitist and I’m so sorry you had that experience.

      It took me about 7 years to save for my first and he was only $175. I sold a lot of my stuff just to get him, and 12 years into the hobby, I’m again selling things to fund the hobby. Maybe look at some of the cheaper dolls available and see if any are options?
      • x 4
    20. I remember when I first wanted a BJD was when I was super young and I thought I would never have one. I was scared when I bought my first doll since I thought that its a lot of money even though back then I was spending a lot on that time on things like shoes or cosplay commissions. I think I had to buy my first doll at the time that felt right for me I guess and it took a lot of looking and thinking and then finally I found the doll I wanted and I decided to get him.