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When You Just Can't Figure Out Who They Are...

Jul 17, 2015

    1. I couldn't find a full conversation thread about this but if it exists please merge. Thanks!

      Have you ever had a doll that steadfastly refuses to tell you who they are? A few months ago I brought home a stunning Loongsoul Evan head that I bought second hand here in the marketplace. He had a custom faceup that was way to pretty to pass up and at first I had hope that he would shell a very important character of mine. He sort of refused to fall into character so I spent the next few weeks trying to figure out who he could be.

      I then had him as a different male O.C. after it became clear that green eyes were his "thing" but that fell through. Then I figured maybe he is a girl and yup you guessed it, that was a no go.

      This evening I had this head and my other new floating head out. The other head was already cast as a different O.C. and I was hoping when I bring home my newest doll that my "problem child" head would finally have a partner and I could give him some structure. Well as I am sitting there deep in thought the two of them decided to be a couple. I have no idea how this happened but it sort of hit me that they were meant to be together and seeing them side by side I could see that they were perfect for a different pair of O.C.'s I had been debating adding to my already overlong list.

      So now it is back to the drawing board for the second head's character which of course means adding MORE dolls to the list. I am kind of relieved that I have an idea who Mr. Evan head is finally, however. Hopefully he stays put in this character now. All this got me wondering if this is a common thing for doll owners.

      Have you ever had a doll that you bought because you couldn't pass them up and then could not figure out who they were?
      What did you do to find out the doll's character?
      Are any of your dolls currently without a character?
      Which of your dolls has been the most difficult to figure out?
      Did you eventually give up on giving your doll a personality and sell them?
    2. Yes, I've had a couple. One was an AoD girl I got from a friend in a trade because she couldn't work her out, it took me almost 3 years too do it. Same goes with my Resinsoul Mei.
    3. Not sure if this kind of thread is allowed but I sure hope it is. (Threads about doll characters are generally closed and/or moved to BJD games hence my remark)

      I have the same issue with three BJD at the moment. I thought I matched an original character to each sculpt but when I executed it they didn't seem to want to go along with my plan. Instead they keep switching on me and one of my girls even demanded I make her a new original character. We'll see how it goes but you're not alone in this.
    4. My Narin hybrid Jack went by Magnus when I first got him. Not only that he refused to tell me who he was, he also made it very hard for me to connect with him. I was about to sell him because of that but waited with it because I wanted to give him another chance and send him off for a proper face-up. Then I brought home Franziska - and she immediately "adopted" Magnus. I couldn't bring myself to sell him after that, even though she's an SD16 and he's an MSD ... Well, soon after it turned out that he's actually Jack (Jack of Spades), not Magnus and boy am I glad he finally told me!

      I'm having a similar problem now with Friedemon, my Dollzone Freddy 2. Absolutely wanted him and I LOVE looking at pics of him - but now that I have him (again, it's my second attempt) I don't quite know what to do with him and he's not "talking" to me. *gg*
    5. Yes, I have had this problem, well..... sort of, I wanted the Iplehouse Carina I bought, my ultimate grail doll, to be the love interest of a doll I already had. I wanted her to be a dancer, a gentle romantic, demure artistic ancient Egyptian princess. I opened her box, and she took one look at him and said," HE IS PUNY! NO, NOT MY TYPE! I AM A PIRATE QUEEN! Not a namby pamby princess!"

      It wasn't that she had no personality...rather the opposite...she was just not the character I had hoped she would be. I still have her, and love her very much. Epiphany is the strongest character I have, totally herself. She is a were-dragonfly, a pirate, and in the modern world, a billionaire shipping magnate....her story just keeps evolving. She is still single...because she insists that her soul mate must be very tall, Iplehouse, and bright blue. Iplehouse doesn't make blue dolls....yet.
    6. When they don't tell me who they are, or when I've got the bare-bones of a personality/backstory but they don't give me a clear sense of themselves, I don't care. They're dolls-- their job is to sit there looking beautiful for me. :chocoheart

      Some of them eventually evolve into more vivid characters; some of them spend a lot of time blank, then suddenly announce themselves full-blown; some start out clear, but never evolve very far; some were never clear to begin with. Sometimes I've got a prepared character that the doll claims as soon as I open the box. Much of the time I don't have much prepared, and I just "meet him at the door" and then learn who he is. But if he never gets around to telling me, it's no problem.
    7. Have you ever had a doll that you bought because you couldn't pass them up and then could not figure out who they were?

      Yes, years a go I thought tender too would be the perfect addition.

      What did you do to find out the doll's character?

      I changed his wigs, eyes, face ups and names a lot. Never found a character for him, or anything that made me click with him.

      Are any of your dolls currently without a character?

      No, they all have a character and style that I love and can relate to.

      Which of your dolls has been the most difficult to figure out?

      He was the only one I had trouble with, my other dolls have been pretty easy to figure out since day 1. Even my 21cm obitsu dolls have been easy.

      Did you eventually give up on giving your doll a personality and sell them?

      Yes, I gave up. After many years trying to like the doll, I just couldn't keep lying to myself and continue to be with a white canvas...so to speak. If frustrated me that I couldn't paint that canvas with something I liked. This doll wasn't speaking to me, he wasn't inspiring me and all I felt when I saw him was guilt. I felt guilty that I couldn't figure him out.

      He's forever gone but sometimes I still feel sad that he couldn't be part of my BJD family.
    8. Sort of. I fell in love with a DiM Robel when I saw him ages ago at a convention. It was YEARS later before I finally found one (just the head) for an amazing price second hand and I instantly scooped him up. To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember who I originally wanted to be-I think it was one of my OC's who was a partner to one of my current dolls. But he stayed a floating head for a long time, and that particular character grew less and less important to me. After awhile I decided that I would turn him into someone else I liked a little bit more, the older brother of another doll I already owned. And yet, for some reason, he never seemed that important to complete and find a body for.

      Fast forward to current time, it's still been forever and still Robel remains a floating head. I've been doing a major (mental) re-haul on my collection as I near it's completion, and I'm realizing that character I was intended for Robel still wasn't important enough to me to warrant his own doll. As pretty as he'd be, he'd just sit there and feel a bit like a waste. So I began to consider shelling my two minis into 60cm form to match everyone else. That idea picked up fast since I love those characters, just not their teeny tiny doll forms. It clicked right away that he'd be perfect for my character Prince. Somehow though, that idea has evolved even further and wouldn't you know-Robel's turning into a girl! Prince has a female counterpart, Duchess, that I'm growing ever more fond of, and I figure, I already have his boy version, let's let Robel transform into the girl! I'm currently in the midst of finding his body, and for the first time since I've bought Robel, she's finally nearing completion :)

    9. This.

      There's nothing that says a doll *has* to have any kind of character or backstory, and there's nothing wrong with just letting them stay pretty dolls. If you like their sculpt, that's reason enough for them to be a part of your collection. You don't have to play the "character game" with every single one... or with any of them.
    10. I don't know if the OP was arguing that everyone's dolls HAS to have a character, but for some collectors it's a big part of our enjoyment and is integral to our collecting style. I could very easily find three dozen sculpts out there I find gorgeously amazing, and if I didn't care about characters I would find myself with a pretty huge collection. But I've learned I don't really like having too many dolls, and by being able to pinpoint only my very favorite characters in which to shell into dolls, it helps me view my collection as cohesive and to give myself a clear path to where I'm going. This doesn't work for everyone, but I know it does for some so in that sense, that IS a reason for every doll to have a proper character that clicks with both it and us.
    11. It's a requirement and a reason FOR YOU... That doesn't mean it is, or ought to be, in any way a requirement for anyone/everyone else, Inky. Plenty of people are able to control the size of their collection without having to limit themselves to shelling OPs.

      I've been around long enough to remember the days when "Collector"-types like me, who weren't especially character-focused, actually got some derision from the folks who were all-about that kind of thing. There used to be a lot of One-True-Wayism going on, and that wasn't a Good Thing. Thankfully, we don't see so much of that these days, as the hobby as grown. I'm still an advocate of reminding people that there really is no one "proper" approach to participating, though, and noting when these discussions come up that while characters are of utmost importance to some owners, that's not a universal approach. No one should feel pressured to conform to it.
    12. Have you ever had a doll that you bought because you couldn't pass them up and then could not figure out who they were?

      What did you do to find out the doll's character?
      Looked at photos and portraits of people with similar features, tried on various wigs, printed out photos of the blank heads and drew on various styles of eyebrows, shaded different features, etc.

      Are any of your dolls currently without a character? No.

      Which of your dolls has been the most difficult to figure out? Freakstyle Drazen and Minimee Cloud head.

      Did you eventually give up on giving your doll a personality and sell them? No.
    13. I am sorry you had to go through that. It sounds like it was very unfair of people to try to force their ways on you. This thread is not meant to make people feel their dolls are supposed to have a character. I simply wanted to create a thread where people who do like characters for their dolls could share. Perhaps you could start a group for people who don't have doll characters? It would be really neat to see the different approaches people have to the hobby. It is one of the things I like about it, that we all have different ways of approaching these beautiful dolls.
    14. The biggest upshot of that is I get to keep all the pretty dolls that I fall in love with, whether or not they turn into anything more than that. They don't have to be "right"/"wrong", they can just be mine. I have greedy eyes! Some have a strong mojo, some don't, but I love just looking at all of 'em.

      Now, if you asked me is there a right & wrong way to do pizza, I would fight you bloody for departing from the One True Way. But dolls, nah, nobody got time for that. :lol:
    15. I'm sorry you feel pressured, but I don't think I or the OP was intending to remind people or tell people they HAD to collect their dolls this way. I saw this thread as a discussion for people who already do collect with characters in mind and how we work with problems that arise when a doll doesn't work out the way we had hoped. I know at least I'm aware that no one is forcing me to create characters for them, but that doesn't stop me from feeling annoyed and irritated when a doll doesn't work out for who I intended for them to be. Again, I don't think I (or OP) was implying that everyone has to collect this way (because I certainly don't feel like that), but sometimes it helps talking to other collectors who do collect in a similar fashion and "gets" it.

      I'm not trying to start an argument, but I feel a little upset that it seems like that I was telling people they had to collect a certain way when that couldn't have been further from my intentions. I simply saw this thread as a place for collectors of a certain type to answer a question, not an announcement that some people are collecting the "wrong" way.
    16. Currently having this problem with a Dimdoll Laia head I got back in February. I've been calling her Sage for now as it sounds much nicer than calling her a blank head. I have a few dolly pieces on the way so I'm crossing my fingers that she starts talking when I start trying on the new eyes and wigs. Does she need a character? Not necessarily, but a look and a name that fits her would be a great starting point.
    17. i want my dolls have a character
      but i usually just buy thrm when they seem pretty in the promo pics
      so often i recoeve them and find out they have no or little character
      if thats the case, i usually feel less love towards those, amd sadly eventually they move out from my collectioj to another loving mom

    18. 1. All the time. Currently, I have at least 6 dolls that aren't "talking" yet.
      2. Faceups & Wigging, re-faceup & wigging, re-re-faceup & wigging, until "somebody" finally breaks through. Then it's like a backstory rushes in.
      3. Several
      4. Several
      5. Once or twice
    19. Have you ever had a doll that you bought because you couldn't pass them up and then could not figure out who they were?

      Allllllllll the time.

      What did you do to find out the doll's character?

      Different wigs, eyes, clothing... I also like to take new dolls outside and take some pictures of them, see what kind of locations I'm drawn to setting them in and what poses they naturally take.

      Are any of your dolls currently without a character?

      One doesn't have a name right now, but she has kind of a vague personalty. A few that I've never been able to bond with, even at the vague personality level, have all been sold.
      Did you eventually give up on giving your doll a personality and sell them?

      Yes, several. I feel like I can't justify keeping around dolls that are "just" pretty... they're too much money for me to just let sit. I also feel bad for the doll if I never do anything with him/her, and I would rather it be in a situation where someone is spoiling it!
    20. 1. Have you ever had a doll that you bought because you couldn't pass them up and then could not figure out who they were?
      Yeah... I figured it'd come to me sooner or later but after a break from the hobby now I'm left having to start all over.
      As someone who creates characters and stories all the time, and who loves their own characters to death, I do feel my dolls have to 'be someone' and while it doesn't bother me too much that some of them are only dolls right now,
      I'm sure sooner or later I'll have it all figured out.

      2. What did you do to find out the doll's character?
      I'm undressing them and all, to start over with trying to figure out what kinda clothes they wear, what wig color or hair style I like on them and so on.
      When playing with them I just go with what dolls I feel have chemistry and then go from there, to make their stories and relationships.

      3. Are any of your dolls currently without a character?
      Yes at least 2, though I have general ideas for all of them, I just have to tinker on their stories and personalities until I'm satisfied.

      4. Which of your dolls has been the most difficult to figure out?
      My former grail, which I finally snatched up in the end... now I'm completely unsure of who he is haha...

      5. Did you eventually give up on giving your doll a personality and sell them?
      I might, actually. I will keep dolls that I am attached to, but if I am unhappy with a doll I see no point in keeping it forever. Then I'd rather sell it and maybe get a sculpt that is fresh and a new start to creating a character.