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When do you NOT buy a (limited) doll? What are your principles/critical stance?

Aug 20, 2009

    1. I have wondered about this - I am sorry if there already is a thread on this topic. If there is, Mods, please feel welcome to delete/lock this thread. :)

      So.

      BJD is a hobby involving very expensive items (dolls); very beautiful luxury items that it's easy to spend a fortune on.
      Companies often present their dolls very beautifully, and it is easy to fall in love with dolls, especially limited dolls, where you have to make a decision fairly fast on whether you are going to buy the doll or not.
      This can border on impulse buying - which is totally fine by me. People make their own choices.

      But, as very, very few (if any) of us have unlimited resources, you sometimes have to be critical - you have to have a little, rational voice speaking up inside of you when you are falling in love with a doll - unplanned or limited. Or perhaps you have some principles regarding buying dolls.

      I would like to target the 'impulse' buying of unplanned/limited dolls, especially as limited dolls are items where you need to make a quick decision (eg. Domuya life project, Soom, Iplehouse Noctarcana etc), and maybe judge more by your feelings and impulses than your brain and reason.

      How are you critical of dolls you technically can afford, but were not planning on? In the midst of all the falling in love with a limited doll, how do you remain rational in the process? Does the little voice speak of economy, that you have no character for the doll, or that it is not the last time an interesting doll will arise? How do you gauge what is a temporary crush, and what would make you really love the doll? How do you keep your cool, and avoid spending all your money on (unplanned) dolls?

      For example - Soom has only just released teaser pictures of their new MD tinies as I type this. Yet quite a few people in the discussion thread for them are announcing that they will buy the dolls - without even having seen the entire doll. To me that seems kind of wild and rushed - I would at least like to see the entire presentation material before deciding. :sweat I know that saying you want to buy a doll is one thing, and actually buying it is another thing, but I still find it to be a very quick decision on a pretty expensive item. ^^

      I also think it's interesting to raise a debate on when *not* to buy a doll though you're in love. ^^; It's easy to become broke in this hobby, and in the midst of all the glee and love for dolls, it would also be nice with some advice for seriously considering what you're buying/spending your money on regarding dolls, and what principles you believe in when shopping dolls.
       
    2. I can understand where they're coming from. I did something similar when Glot/Glati were released. Soom's teasers only showed their faces and horns, but I knew Soom wouldn't disappoint on the rest of their bodies. At that point I was 95% sure I was going to get one. So while I was waiting for the rest of the pictures (and release) I did exactly what you're talking about:

      1. Do I really want this doll? Is it something I'm going to love for a long time? Will he fit into my existing story/world?
      2. Can I afford him? If I buy him can I still pay the bills? Can I pay him off at once, or do I need to do layaway?

      For me the process of buying the doll is the same every time (the above two steps). With limited dolls (like Soom's MDs) the process just gets sped up. So while it seems like an impulse buy, I really do think long and hard about it before hitting that Add to Cart button.
       
    3. 1. Do I have the money, or money to make payments on it coming in? If the answer to this is "no", then it is going to be no regardless of any other conditions.

      2. What company is it? Have I ordered from them before to know the quality of their dolls? Do they have a good reputation with others who have opinions I respect that would mean it would be reasonable to buy with assurance?

      If it's Soom, I tend to be more comfortable than I am with any other company simply because their head sculpts are the ones that appeal to me most of all the dolls I have, and I know I'm going to love the doll. I also know that if for some reason I do not love the doll, it won't be unreasonably hard to sell to recover the costs spent on it. (As of yet, this hasn't been necessary even once -- which is telling enough right there.) I don't feel quite this way about other companies, and it is certainly no slight against them; their design sense just doesn't hit me with quite the same impact.

      3. What appeals to me about the doll, and what options are there for purchase? Is it fullset-only? Can I choose to get it blank and potentially for a much more reasonable cost and handle the accessories and painting and so on myself? I've gone with this option more than once, even in one case when I would have loved to get the outfit, which I thought was stunning, but it wasn't an expense I could handle at the time. There is one fullset-only LE I've bought that has not worn her outfit even once, because it doesn't suit what I want her for at all. I'm sure that outfit was not a tiny portion of the doll's price, and having been given the option to NOT get the outfit, I would have taken it and saved a little.

      4. What, exactly, about the doll is limited? Is it the head only? The body parts? The skin color? The outfit? The 'version of fullset'? It being a fullset at all? When every element of the package is limited, I am more inclined to get it than I am if it is just a skin color or outfit. If it is just the head, I had better -really- love that head.

      5. Is it something I have been looking for? This could be a head style, an over all look, a size and face and skin color combination, and so on, that would fit one of the various RPG characters or themes that fill the shelves. A doll doesn't -need- to fit one of those pre-existing 'roles' for me to order it, but if it does, it will nudge me closer to the purchase, especially if it's been something I've been hunting for and not finding a suitable match for since I started letting myself do that at all.

      Iplehouse Kamau is a very good example of this for me. The character I'd bought him to represent on the shelf of doom actually already -had- a doll (Akando Pierrot) to go with it that wasn't perfect, but was as close as I thought I'd probably get. The character is a fairly central figure in that story I'll never bother to write because I'm already doing too many things at once -- another reason it's nice to have a version of him sitting around in -some- form because I find the character interesting, and like keeping him in mind. (I'm also a bad writer, but it's a good story. I wouldn't do it justice so I refrain from mangling it with my hack prose. ;) At least I know my limits there!) He wasn't going to be made available -- at least 'at any time' in a standard release because of the difficulty in producing the dark tan dolls year-round, so it was 'now or never' on something especially important to me.

      5. Is it going to fit in with the other dolls I have visually, to me? I'm picky about this, perhaps to an unreasonable degree. There are many dolls I adore, and some limiteds I could probably have snagged easily enough financially, that I simply won't buy because they don't visually fit for some reason.

      6. Is it a completely different size? This is a little different than the visual fit issue in that I'm fortunate that most of my dolls can at least trade wigs and eyes without much difficulty, with only a few that tend toward wigs of only a certain brand or type fitting perfectly. Getting a much smaller doll would mean more wigs, and that is an expense on top of the doll that I don't have to worry about too much with my current collection.
       
    4. These two are the big ones for me. The first and most important is "can I actually afford it?" If I don't have a chunk of "doll spending money" already saved or if the company doesn't offer a layaway plan I can afford within my budget, then I have to pass on the doll. This happened with Soom's Vesuvia MD. I absolutely adored her, but I was still finishing off payments on another doll layaway and I just couldn't spend the money in good conscience.

      Sometimes, if it's only a portion of the doll that's limited, I can pass. I love Iplehouse's EID girl, Jessica. The LE release was in their tan resin and had a special outfit/faceup. I didn't need the outfit or faceup as neither worked for the character I would have created from the sculpt. I do love tan skin, but I was able to realize that a NS Jessica would work better for the character (who already exists in one of my stories), and luckily the NS version of the sculpt is not limited. It was a compromise that I could be happy with, since Jessica was released at a time when a large doll purchase didn't fit into my budget. Once I have saved up enough, I'll be able to get a NS version of the sculpt in the future.

      If the sculpt is a time-frame limited (rather than by quantity), I'll usually hold out for most of the order period to analyze my feelings... When Soom's Beryl was released, I found myself looking at her sales page every day, and she just charmed me. I wanted her more and more each time I saw her... so by halfway through the order period I knew she was a "must-buy". With the recent release of Cass, I loved her at first, but the more I looked at her the more I realized she didn't "grab" me the way Beryl had... and I could be happy with not owning her.
       
    5. The reason I've basically limited myself to limiteds now is that my list would be too damn long if I included every doll I like. Although I really would like a couple of Soom MAs. But they're not super-duper-standard (although not technically limited either).

      My criteria are the normal things. Is it ugly? Is it too expensive? Can it share with my other dolls? Is it worth the cost? I really wanted Ryoya, for example, and despite being Volks and all that, I just could not justify the cost especially when compared to Chrom, who came out around the same time as I would have been entering the after event. Chrom comes with two heads! And still costs less! I like Volks more as far as quality, but felt like I would be getting far more doll for my money.

      There's also a certain amount of "do I need it?" I can talk myself out of everything and anything. So. If it's limited it might be "maybe," but with standards it's usually "no."
       
    6. This is a great topic, because current;y, I AM one of those people considering those tinies. I won't make a real decision until I sleep on it, and reason with myself. I really do have to see the entire product, because I have no clue what the rest of them looks like. ((given, of course that the oter tinies seem to be similar so one could assume))
      On the other hand, I'm trying to tell myself no, because I fell in love with the Heliod MD after finding out I could no longer purcase him because he was a one time doll. So I keep thinking that If I wait until sept for their md, that I'll like him better than these little guys. It is very difficult though, because they certainly appeal to our impulse. Its buy them now or never. ((or go to the marketplace.))
      But I do adore limited edition dolls, not because they're LE, but because they have 'quorks' about them.
      Soom is mean and most of their LE aren't even their reg. dolls. So if you liked the face, it's not as if you could just make your own by buying the normal doll.
      ((mostly anyhow))
      Like I said, I keep myself from buying by reminding myself that the next one may be better. These guys are REALLY adorable, but I think I'll just have towait to see the LE.
       
    7. I'm one of the people who's pretty much set on one of the new tinies (well, only if he has hooves.) For me, it's because I missed out on Glot/Glati, and since we've been able to see a good deal of owner pictures of those two, I can get an idea of how they look. The bodies are the same, the faces are very similar, except that from what I can see, I actually like Bygg better. His lips are bigger, and his eyes are dreamy, which I absolutely love. Also, this is the only tiny in grey resin that potentially has hooves. I'm not going to be able to find that anywhere else, so I know that if this doll has hooves, I'm buying it.

      Plus, with these soom MDs, it's pretty much guaranteed that if you end up not liking it, someone will buy it from you. I feel that it's better to take the chance and sell later if you need to, rather than miss out, and kick yourself later/hunt down a much more expensive one.

      edit;; They came out, had hooves, and I immediately ordered Bygg ;)
       
    8. The only MD I have ever bought directly from Soom was my Cass, who I'm obviously still waiting on. The rest have been through splits or 2ndhand. With Cass, I knew from the preview of her face that she'd be coming home. A scroll through the rest of her pics when she was released reinforced my certainty that I wanted her. There was no doubt whatsoever in my mind.

      The face is always the deciding factor for me. If I don't like it, I really don't care how cool or shiny the extras are. If the facial sculpt is not a winner, the entire doll is a pass. My dolls don't need hooves or wings or shiny fishy parts, and one of the best things Soom has done recently is given us the option to forgo those altogether (or at least they did with Cass). I would much rather prefer to save a few bucks and just order the human doll. There are days when it staggers me how many people need hooves for their dolls. It seems like a very bandwagon kind of thing, and hooved dolls are starting to be a major turnoff for me for that reason. But that's a topic for another thread.

      I try to give myself a least a week after the release before deciding if I want to go in on a split, in order to determine if I just have MD Fever or if there is a stronger attraction. In a lot of cases, after those first few days of waiting, the "OMG new, shiny, limited!" frenzy fades from my mind and I can see a sculpt's potential more clearly. I have passed on buying a lot of them straight from Soom, and only really regretted passing on 2 (Glati and Euclase). The rest, though beautiful, were not for me, even if I did want them badly those first few days of release.

      The only split I ever went on straight after release, I ended up selling back to my split partner before I ever even saw it. I'd already figured out it wasn't for me a few days after the ordering period ended, and wish I'd figured it out sooner, so I could've backed out altogether and let someone else have my place.

      In a weird way, I prefer to get my limiteds 2nd-hand. I end up paying more (except, not really, because I usually just pick up the head), but I get to see owner photos before buying. Soom does a horrible job of representing many of their own dolls (IMO), and the owner pics always bring out the true potential (or lack thereof in some cases) in a sculpt. Seeing how versatile one is outside of its default fullset look is often the deciding factor in whether or not I pursue a limited.
       
    9. Regarding "why buy a limited", for me 85% of the time it's because the sculpt or the resin color is unavailable in a non-limited form. The other 15% of the time it's because I really like the whole presentation of the doll worked up by the company - its faceup, eyes, clothing etc. This is relatively rare though because I generally prefer to conceptualize my own dolls rather than someone handing me a completely "done" doll.

      I simply don't fall in love with that many limited dolls. When I do, I know I must buy. When I don't, I don't. For example, of the many many Soom and Volks LEs that are released, I have only liked a few of each. I will have no problem forgoing the latest Soom limiteds because one look made me say "No thanks" for the same reasons I was ready to buy Glot and Glati after one look. As someone noted, you can't get the limited monthly Soom sculpts elsewhere (except for one or two very early ones), so buying decisions must sometimes be made quickly. I tend to be pretty decisive so it doesn't take me long at all.
       
    10. Interesting topic.

      I have only bought two limited dolls. One was just a head thatI had been in search of for over a year. The other was Soom Topaz.

      Topaz was the first time I'd been caught in that dilemma of having to make a rapid decision, and even then I held myself in check pretty carefully. I kept going back to the site and studying her, trying to determine if it was just their presentation of her that was wowing me, or if I could really have a place for her in my doll group. The more I looked at her, the more I could see where I wanted to take her in terms of look, character and relationship to my other dolls.

      I didn't buy her full set, I just bought the doll. Knowing myself, I probably would not buy a full set LTD if I had the option to buy just the doll, as no one stays company stock around here. I pretty much customize everything about the doll.

      I guess in short, I look pretty critically at any doll I might want to purchase, and in genral, I d not jump based on emotion, but rather on very careful analysis.
       
    11. I am completely re-editing my answer, since I've change quite a bit when it comes to limiteds. Of course, if I can't afford a doll, that's an obvious no.

      Limited editions are dolls that I pass up far more often than I buy, even if I really really adore the set. A company needs to be really consistent with their designs in order for me to take the risk. Many limited dolls that I once adored on the website I eventually found that I really didn't like very much in person. Certainly I could resell the doll if needed, but it's a hassle and I really really hate going to the post office.

      There are a few companies that I am quite familiar with thanks to friends who primarily collect dolls from specific sellers. One friend has several Fairyland Dolls, and another has several Volks. Seeing the variety and consistency in pretty dolls would make me quite comfortable getting a limited edition while I have the chance.

      When Fairyland came out with a limited edition version of Chloe this past summer, I decided to go for it because I loved the outfit so much, and because of the familiarity with the dolls belonging to my friend. Certainly I could have waited to get the doll, since that itself wasn't limited. Somehow this was a little more reassuring since I didn't feel the immense pressure to buy her immediately. I'm still waiting for this doll, so we'll see if my intuition was good. :)
       
    12. Sometimes i see some companies just doing it for the chance of a quick profit... i dunno, i have seem molds that look exactly like your basic molds, and they charge u a fortune for the heck of a face up... I dont buy limited editions... i rather make my own doll with parts :P
       
    13. I'm very, very careful with my money. That said, I think that the only way I would buy a limited would be if it truly caught my heart in my throat. There is no way that I can justify buying an entire doll, for instance, if I only like the additional pieces, or (most usually) the outfit. I can go to a split, for that.

      Soom, though... I wish I'd been in the doll scene for Io. Now that is a doll that, the moment I saw it, I saw the person I wanted them to be in my head. So sad I missed it :( Oh well! There is always next LE.
       
    14. I don't blow this much money on anything less than True Love. My gut always knows when it's True Love, and it always has the last word. There have been dolls that I thought were "nice, but I'm probably just infatuated", but after a week or two it turned out to actually be true love... There have been other dolls with whom I was sure I was in love, but mystically, I never found myself able to click the "Buy" button, so it turned out to be just strong infatuation. But in the end, if you have obeyed the right instinct, you just know it; there's a surprising lack of agonizing & soul-searching, because it just feels right. Once the doll gets home, I DO have a brief breath-holding period, where I have to make sure my gut made the right choice about him being Just Right for my collection. But so far, after 26 dolls, my gut has a perfect track record.

      Yes, I am talking about limiteds as well as nonlimiteds. With or without time constraints, the gut always knows. It doesn't care about price, and it doesn't care whether or not the doll is limited. I suppose it's easier to be so sure of yourself when you're older, and more in tune with the kind of things you know you really love.

      I am going to have to start saying No all the time soon, though-- one thing I can't conquer through clever budgeting OR Zen meditation is the finite amount of space available in a 1-bedroom apartment. ^^

      Not necessarily. It really depends how you operate. When I recognize the right face for my collection, I just know, as early as teaser-pics. When Volks put out Yukinojo's first teaser, it was a blurry thumbnail, postange-stamp-sized in a scanned copy of a newsletter, as teasing as you can get-- still, from simply seeing his eyes & hair & cheekbones, I knew that was my Adrian. I could sense him halfway across the globe. :XD:
       
    15. I agree with JennyN...your heart knows when its right...In my case, except for one Volks FCS MSD Boy that I ordered and my Volks Sei-Tenshi that I won at NYC Dolpa 1, all of my other dolls so far have been limited edition full-sets. I've come to the determination that have to be totally smitten by every aspect of a doll for it to really catch my fancy, before it can have a shot at ultimately draining my piggybank. For me this means that I have to be totally enamored with every single thing on a dolls, even those parts like wigs and eyes that can be easily changed, before I even think about parting with my dolly dollars. Most of the time, I just know deep inside that this doll, not any other, is the one for me. I've bought only one doll on real impulse, without seeing him ahead of time, and that was my FCS. And its taken me a couple of years not to feel like a made a mistake, not in going for the whole Full Choice System experience, but in not deciding on a look for him beforehand. Anyway, when I really can't afford to even consider a layaway, I just force myself not to look at any of the new releases, or any owner photos of dolls other than those I already have. ;)
       
    16. How are you critical of dolls you technically can afford, but were not planning on? In the midst of all the falling in love with a limited doll, how do you remain rational in the process? Does the little voice speak of economy, that you have no character for the doll, or that it is not the last time an interesting doll will arise? How do you gauge what is a temporary crush, and what would make you really love the doll? How do you keep your cool, and avoid spending all your money on (unplanned) dolls?

      Well, for me I decided a long time ago it is good to have a doll fund with part of that fund set aside for special dolls that just pop up. I have standard dolls I save up for and money for limiteds that might arise. I learned a long time ago that companies will release a doll I love and it will be limited and so I just prepare for that, regardless of whether I have a character for it or not.

      If a limited exceeds my funds I have saved for it, I decide I might sell a doll was going to sell anyway and just had not gotten around to it. If I cannot afford it or I need something for my home or school, I do not buy a doll no matter how great it it is or how bad I might want it.

      As for your question about "temporary crushes" and so on, I never know until I own a doll if it is meant to be and will last (regardless of whether it is a standard or not). If ends up just not being exactly what I wanted, than I sell it and give someone else a chance to own it (I do this just as much with standards as well as limiteds, it is just too much money for me to hold on to something that I am not totally in love with).
       
    17. I can see getting excited over a newly released doll and feeling the need to make a desition fast since it will be gone soon. it's depressing to look back on past dolls on Soom for example because you can't have them and the regret of not going for it when you had the chanse can be daunting.

      I've never been an impulse buyer for anything. Takes me forever to buy anything because i need to know i will want it later on, impulse buys for me depend on who i'm with when buying. I think even if a limited doll came out that i love to peices i wouldn't get it just for the fact that i doubt i'll ever just have that kind of money waiting for that kind of thing.

      I'm a big saver but i don't like feeling limited with my spending. There's also the question of, what if next month's doll if better. what if i want that one even more.
      Dont think i'd like that kind of stress with buying dolls. I like dolls as a stress relife (at least after i run around like a madman getting the cash) being worried abotu not loving my doll later just dosen't seem worth it.
       
    18. I have two limited dolls and sadly paid high price for them when I fell for the mold. I'm not at all attracted to limited doll sets as no one will stay in the same clothes and wigs they came home in. I'm particular down to underwear, all my dolls must fit their character to a T. My Pipos Alice Jr was outrageously expensive for being YoSd size but I absolutely had to have her. Again, her darling Alice set and beautiful wig are in a box.

      It's usually a matter of me not willing to pay for things I won't use or want with limiteds. I prefer to faceup my own dolls as well, and wiping perfectly good company limited work also seems like a shame and a waste.

      Soom rivals my good sense I have to admit. Offering blank options to fantastic molds is tempting. And who doesn't love hooves? I have a character that sees things that aren't there as well as a little girl who would love an imaginary friend... I'm really hoping I don't get Soomed. Many factors keep me from buying limiteds but there's nothing that can stop me from buying dolls I fall for.
       
    19. If a Limited Edition doll is just a standard edition released with a special faceup/wig/clothing, I'll opt for the cheaper standard edition. If a Limited Edition is a standard edition released in a special skintone or with special optional parts, I'll probably pay the extra cash to get the special version, or try to find the parts in splits (such as with the Soom MD releases). If a Limited Edition is a unique sculpt that is not available in a standard edition at all, then I'll purchase the limited version. (Of course, this all assumes that I actually want the limited edition/limited parts/etc.)

      For me, it's generally about whether or not I look at it (it being a "limited doll," of any sort) and see one of the characters I've been planning to find a doll body for. Then I might do some checking around to find out what about the doll is limited, and if there are non-limited versions that will work just as well for my planned character and are either less expensive or can be saved for to buy later (or both). But when it comes down to it, if I have the money available (or a layaway plan option makes it possible for me to afford the doll), if it's a perfect fit for a character I want, and if I can't get a non-limited version without missing out on some aspect of it that's important to how well the doll fits the character, I'll buy it.

      A great example of this is Iplehouse's Luo Strongman. There are other Luo versions available that are non-limited and considerably less expensive. I thought about it long and hard, and in the end I decided to spring the extra cash for the Strongman version for two reasons - he was made in a darker "brown skin" resin, which I preferred over the standard and slightly-less-limited resin colors, and he had special arms that were extra muscular (YUM). Both of those things were important for the character I intended Luo to be, and I don't regret my decision.
       
    20. These are actually some points I think about whenever I want to think about ordering limited dolls.

      1 is important in the sense that you know, I was at a hardware store yesterday, our house need some maintainece and you know, for the price of a limited doll, I can buy a new dishwasher. If we had needed or foreseeing the need of a new dishwasher at the time then ya. I cannot buy the doll no matter how much I love it because well, water leak sucks, for example.

      When I ordered Bygg I sat there doing the math back and forth and forth and back just to make sure it is a payment I can make for 3 months even allowing room for emergencies to happen. I mean afterall, if you don't have the money then everything else is moot.

      4 is the reason I probably will never get a Soom Sard. He is gorgeous but it is the face sculpt that I really love, underneath all the fantasy parts. Soom Dia is the same sculpt, so... Dia it is going to be if I ever get one.

      Or like, in the case of Euclase... well everything about him is limited. I love the talons. But... I actually don't like Euclase's face. What am I gonna do with a grey talon doll without his head? Nothing. Hence.

      The same thing with Blue Fairy's limiteds. These are the same sculpt in Beauty White skin... skin colour is limited with nice outfits. I love Blue Fairy's sculpts and the white skin looks beautiful... but I am not even a fan of white skin so I am always able to not buy them.

      Lastly the size. I try to avoid large dolls right now too because I don't have any. If I get one, they'll have to have all new everything. >.> The same thing also applies to the teenie gem size but I do have plans to have those in my collection so starting them up with some stuff is okay.

      It is always a hard decision though.