What do you do with a doll when you're not bonding?

Apr 7, 2017

    1. So far my solution has been to show the doll to my friend, who ends up taking it. This has happened twice.
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    2. I don't like the term "bonding" to describe how I feel about my dolls, so I haven't used it, but I think my response is still clear.

      This definitely won't work for most people, but usually, when I buy a head and end up not liking it as well as I'd hoped, I usually mod it in some way.

      I do this because, for most heads I buy, there was an aspect of it that I love, and I still want a doll with that feature, so it makes sense to fix the part I don't like.

      My main culprit for not liking a sculpt tends to be 1) a lack of facial detail. I like dolls with temples, browbones, cheekbones, and defined chins. When the doll has a moon face, I find it very difficult to like the head. And 2) when the doll's coloring (resin tone) doesn't match what I pictured.

      For example, I modded my DollClans Vezeto to have cheekbones, temples, and a cleft chin (also the little pudges at the corner of the mouth, and some inner eye detailing).

      I've since modded another head in a similar manner (a Dream Realm Arthur--Human Version) because I liked the sculpt's weird beaked lips.

      By contrast, I loved the sculpt of DollIOS Jade and Dollshe Amanda Beauty, but when the heads arrived, they were too light for what I envisioned. Dyeing the dolls enabled me to see them in a whole new way!

      The only heads that didn't work out for me at all are my OrDoll Orlando and my Doll Factory Lachlan. Both of these dolls I purchased for the engineering as opposed to the sculpt (I like removeable teeth), so I'm not surprised. I'll probably sell them (especially now that I have the OrDoll sculpt I alwsys wanted--I think Dollshe's the only on topic exception to owning more than one sculpt from a company for now).

      My Soom Dia and SoulDoll Yu don't count--I had no trouble liking either of them. For Yu is was simply a matter of liking another sculpt more (I don't want more than one of a character), and for Dia, the head was just too big (not size-wise, but scale wise--the face is bigger on the the head than my other dolls).
    3. Please share your stories. I got a doll and really loved him out of the box but I don't seem to bond with him a month later. I made him a lovely faceup, took pictures of him and when I look at them I think what a lovely sculpt! But still...I don't feel anything. He doesn't fit the character somehow and I tried to make another character for him but it's still...odd.

      What do you do in this situation? Make it work or just sell the doll?
    4. I think honestly this is a very personal decision. I bought my dolls because I fell in love with the sculpt and made characters for them afterwords based on how I felt they would fit in this world. I would try to make it work, as you love everything about the doll and are simply not bonding yet. If of course after another month or so you still feel odd with him, perhaps you should sell him and try to find a doll that better fits your character. Bonding is absolutely important, but I personally feel the bjd community puts a bit to much importance on it, causing people to get rid of perfectly good dolls they actually like just because they aren't best friends with a resin art piece. If you don't love him totally you should not keep him, but please remember that it is still just a doll and a soul connection is not possible or required to fully enjoy him. :)
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    5. I'm in this situation right now actually and am planning on listing the doll for sale. Sometimes it just doesn't work. I know what it is like to really feel attached to and love a doll. My collection is big enough that I have experienced the extreme attachment to a doll, and the inability to connect. I also however think it's best not to be too hasty. I usually try to wait at least 6 months before selling a doll because I have regretted selling one in the past. Most of the dolls I have sold though I know the sale was for the best.
    6. I have owned dolls that I thought (and still think) were amazing, that I admire of others, but that I didn’t bond with. Bonding to me is essential. It’ll be a personal decision you’ll have to make, but one of the things I struggled with was the guilt of selling the doll. I felt like I was abandoning it or something and I had to work through that and realize the doll would make someone else very happy and would get the love and attention it deserved with someone else. And that did make things a lot easier. So, if you come to the conclusion you have to let it go, don’t feel bad and think of it as I did. It’ll make someone else super happy and have a good run in someone else’s life.
    7. Relax, OP. You don't need to "bond" with your doll...
      Not everyone does, and it's in NO WAY a required part of owning one or enjoying it.

      If you like tinkering with your guy and get fun out of having him around, that's good enough. Don't worry about it. There are plenty of people involved in the hobby who just don't do the bonding thing.
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    8. I think the most important thing is to ask yourself if you still like/enjoy the doll and what attracted you to the hobby in the first place.
      From what you wrote it doesn't exactly sound as if you utterly dislike your doll. It would be sad if you started to feel regret after selling it. So, maybe give yourself some time, maybe keep working on/playing with your doll and see whether you feelings change or not. In the worst case, you can still sell the doll at later point in time.
      I also want you to know that it's completely fine if you don't have a character or story for your doll. Everybody enjoys and experiences the BJD hobby in a different way, some people like to take photos or develop characters and stories while others like to display their dolls in a cabinet etc. You do what you like and sometimes it might take a row of trial and error to figure out what is that YOU want most out of the hobby.

      Good luck on your doll journey!
    9. You just have to decide if keeping him until the right idea, set of clothes etc, or other inspiration comes along. Since these are dolls, there is no rush or deadline. You can just put him away, focus on other dolls and take a break. I have done this many times with dolls in my collection. Some of them have literally taken years to develop! There is always the option of selling, nothing wrong with it. The best option is the one that brings you peace!

      My one ‘difficult ‘ Doll is as follows: He was a doll that I just had to get, even though getting one at that time (4 years ago) was difficult due to rarity. I finally got him and was thrilled. But, since he is an odd size and finding wigs, eyes, clothes and shoes is frustrating (especially 4 years ago, how has the hobby changed for the better). This put a damper on my feelings for him, so I sold him, then seriously regretted it. A year or so later, I was able to get another one, but he has been in storage for a couple years. I dearly love the sculpt, but finding a character is useless as finding clothes is so hard in the styles I would like. I like the doll, I treasure him, but I’ve accepted that he might never be ‘complete’ as in the full vision I want. I’m never going to give up, but I’m chill with him now being my most frustrating bjd I’ve ever loved.
    10. I agree with @Brightfires. I've read stories of people who sleep with their dolls and that's cool for them but not something I do. I see people craft intricate backstories and elaborate character portraits and that's all well and good but by no means necessary. I just enjoy working with my dolls, painting, styling and displaying them. That's how I enjoy them. It's different for everyone.

      Alternately the same thing happened with my first dolls and I sold her. I am glad I did because looking back she's still not a sculpt I would choose now. Like everything else it takes trying something to see what you like. Good luck~ :aheartbea
    11. Bonding is such a difficult term, in hobbies, because it can mean different things for different people.

      Most of my dolls have been like that, I like them but I just can't seem to 'bond'. I'll find it difficult to play/create with them despite looking quite nice on the shelf. One reason why I didn't bond is because I had such difficulty trying to pose my resin dolls despite restringing and sueding attempts. But I loved the Obitsu body I had (her face was blank, and it was difficult coming up with a character so she often stayed blank)... Then I had a breakthrough and created a hybrid! I fell back in love with my BJDs.

      But the hybrid didn't work out as well as I had hoped (the neck was loose) so I went through a phase of barely touching her. At least not until I properly modified her neck - which gave me a burst of inspiration! That inspiration spiraled and I managed to create characters and determine the look befitting most of my dolls. Probably because I brought out all of my items (most thanks to my oldbie) and just started experimenting.

      Of course when I first got my dolls I started picturing their character, look and story (for props)... but somehow it rarely ever worked out as planned. I think what my rambling post boils down to is that everyone does things differently, things don't always work out as we envision - and that's okay! Experiment with your BJD, change the wig/eyes/clothes or even their name/character and see if you still like them - or maybe you'll find 'the' look.

      I sold some dolls that I kinda wish I had kept (to make hybrids) but it's not a huge regret - more like those head sculpts are now on my wishlist. I think one thing that made it easier is that I used the profits towards a family trip, so I have good memories associated with it. It's totally a personal choice to sell a doll; but if you do I recommend putting that money towards something you like whether that's saving, a different hobby, trip, a nice meal/coffee, or a different doll.
    12. I had a doll like that as well and I hated it! Because he was so gorgeous, and I had never seen a doll that had a more beautiful profile. He looked amazing from every angle. But the body I put him on was so horrible that I just got fed up and frustrated every time I saw him. And he looked odd next to all of my other dolls. It took a few months of trying, but I eventually sold him because it just didn't work at all, no matter what I tried for him. And that honestly felt like such a relief.
      But parting with him was difficult because I really liked him despite everything I hated about him, you know? So it was hard to decide to sell him, even though it felt like there was a lot of pressure lifted off my shoulders afterwards.
    13. I don't think I have ever experienced the almost love-like feeling that some people experience when bonding with their dollies. I enjoy having all my dolls, and I do have dolls that I enjoy spending more time with -like my favorite vampire dolls.

      I have to admit that I don't understand what bonding entails at all because I can spend months without paying attention to any of my dolls. Still, that does not mean I don't enjoy having them.
    14. Yes... It sounds like you have the wrong sculpt, if you still like the idea of your original character. I would suggest if you really don't like how the doll looks, either set up a sales thread to make money for the sculpt you really want, or a Want to Trade thread, for the new sculpt that fits him better. But if you are unsure and think he might work, you may just need to find out more about your character. Does he have a card obsession? Does he love nature? And then buy him something of his interest. See if he seems to come about more easily. Best of luck and hope
      You figure him out.
    15. Same here. I think the concept of "bonding" is rather overblown in this hobby. I've never felt that way about any of my past dolls - I either liked the doll, or I didn't.
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    16. I would rethink his eyes and then his wig. I have found those two things work wonders!
    17. This can vary so much, depending on what you want from a doll and how you enjoy them.

      For me, most dolls are 3-D shells of my role play characters, for the most part. If they don't fit my character and can't be made into a new character...they have to go. Regardless of how beautiful they are, they don't fit my needs, and by selling/trading them, I can get a different doll who does meet my needs. I really don't want a house full of okay-ish pretty dolls with no meaning to me, and I don't want to spend more money on clothes, wigs, eyes and accessories just to have them sitting around.

      Now. I say this, because it's how I feel about all of my bigger dolls and more expensive dolls, but I do have exceptions! I have a shelf full of tiny pet/fantasy dolls who have names and a very simple basic character that can be summed up in less than a paragraph, but I do enjoy them. They're cute, they don't require wigs or clothes, they travel easily and I like looking at them. Some of them are pets to the larger dolls. I wouldn't say I feel a deep bond or connection to any of them, but I like having them around. Sometimes that's enough.
    18. I feel like @Brightfires summed it up nicely. You don't need to "bond" with your doll to enjoy them :)

      Almost all of my dolls have a story and detailed character profile, because that's just something I like to do. I love to write and create characters. But I also have dolls that have either no story or a very limited one and I just like to look at them and take photos of them. Some of my dolls I've bonded with very strongly, others I haven't; but that doesn't mean I don't want to keep them. They're beautiful pieces of art that I enjoy looking at and appreciating.
    19. Ive got a few~ i like them but im just not into them lately maybe because ive been getting other sculpts and i realize that theyre not really the one i like but i keep them, i dont know why. I just dont have the heart to sell them yet.
    20. Something I'd like to add to the discussion of "bonding" and character creation: you don't have to treat all of your dolls the exact same way, either.

      Maybe some of them are your OCs for a story or something, and maybe some of them are just pretty art pieces you like to photograph and make clothes for. You don't HAVE to have a unified collection. Those are rules people make for themselves, and while you're 100% entitled to make those rules for yourself, also remember that you're the only one who enforces them. It's your choice, your decision, and you can change your mind at any time. Technically, aside from legal matters, there's no rules in the BJD hobby.

      I say give it some time, change some things around, and consider whether or not you'd regret not owning the doll as both a character and as a piece of art. If you still like the doll, then there's nothing wrong with owning it, even if you don't have a character for it, or don't "feel" anything toward it. Who knows, maybe you'll think of one later? I didn't give mine characters for over a year, and some of them still don't have one.

      And I'm going to echo other posters and say it's completely fine if you don't feel strong emotions about your dolls. I don't feel strong emotions about my figmas and I still keep them around. You can own something without sentimental value, if you want to.
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