Which Doll Would You Go With?

Apr 13, 2020

    1. Hi! After a long break and being dead sure I'd never be able to get a BJD ever, I think I may finally be able to start layaway on one in a paycheck or two.

      However, I have a small dilemma. I'm not sure which doll concept to start with. I originally wanted to shell a character for my first doll, but now I'm thinking of going with a "blank slate" and putting together a doll based on things I found that I liked.

      So, in your experience, which type of doll works best for a start: something where you know what you want, or something that comes together as you go?
    2. Something that comes together as you go

      That's what happens with nearly all of mine. I have to wait to find out who they are and what they're like (sometimes I have to wait an awfully long time for their names too).

      Good luck with making the choice.

      • x 2
    3. Yeah, i also recommend putting together a doll based on things that you like, rather than a preconceived idea of a character. I spent a lot of years and a lot of money on wigs/clothes/eyes because nothing quite matched what i was imagining for that specific doll. And for years, i was frustrated with it! But now, I’m just picking things that i like the looks of, and my dolls are “complete” faster, and i like them a lot more. That doll i bought to be a specific character? He lives in his box and i barely open it because I’m still disappointed that he never became what i wanted him to become.
      • x 2
    4. Hm, both can be a lot of fun! it really just depends on what brings you most joy. :3nodding:

      I have many dolls that are only representations of things that I find aesthetically pleasing. Some of these have a name and not much else in terms of a character. They are relaxed and fun to dress. I pick them up when the mood strikes me and I can change their style, wig, eyes, whatever as many times as I choose. I take photos of them that express ideas that pop into my head that don't have to be tied to any personality.

      On the other hand, I also have dolls that are tied to specific characters (either my own characters, or pre-existing characters) and while it's true that there is certainly a period where they just don't quite jive...pushing through that, and slowly but surely tweaking them until they really hone in on the feeling and look I want for those character has been immensely satisfying. In some ways it can be more hard, because there are certain things you need for a certain character, and you aren't guaranteed to find that right away. So it is a matter of patience and the hunt, and luck. But then finding that one thing that is perfect is amazing! I think the key to these types of characters for me is to keep pushing, and not fall into being satisfied with details that aren't just what I want. Hehe.

      I don't know if that helps, but it might be worth thinking about how you want to use the doll to decide which kind would better suit that use. I wish you luck finding the doll that is just right for you! :hug:
    5. I would start with a minifee and try and create something really unique and special with that. Since they are popular and a lot of people buy them out of curiosity and end up really liking them I recommend this.

      I bought a VOLKS standard model when I entered the hobby thinking she was a great starter doll thinking I was going to be collector. I ended up never wanting another SD sized doll because she made me so happy. I bought my minifee Chloe because somehow I think she reminded me of her. I might have them match!

      So you never know!
    6. Definitely the latter.

      When I tried to shell characters, I was always in heartache and super stressed about it. This hobby is suppose to be fun and it was sucking the fun out of it.

      I now just buy a doll I like the look of and then when they get here or while I wait, I think of concepts I like and put that together. I have found much more joy in that.
    7. I'm more a fan of making it up as I go after doing it both ways. the ones that I fleshed out first have kinda been a little on the less enjoyable side cause I'm waaay more picky with them, verse the one that I'm currently working on without any kinda plan. I only bought her cause she was blank and in stock at the time, and she is turning out to be my fav cause just overall shaping her as she goes has been an adventure.

      I honestly couldn't stand her when I got her. she was hard to pose and hard to make clothes for cause her proportions. She was also really creepy looking without a faceup. I was planning on just using her as a test doll for faceups and blushing then reselling if I didn't accidentally ruin her. now if I had to sell any of my dolls, she would be the last
    8. I'm finding it really interesting that so many people say not to start out shelling a character, because that's the only way I bond to my dolls! It's pretty much guaranteed if I buy a doll with no character and just buy stuff I like for it, I'm going to lose interest and end up selling quickly. I need to have a strong idea of who the doll is before buying. My characters mean a lot to me, so I like to be bonded before I even choose a sculpt. The biggest problem with this is when you think a sculpt will work, then when you get it, it's not exactly like you pictured and maybe doesn't feel right.

      But I think a lot of it has to do with the kind of collector you. Are you really into role play, writing or something else that involves creating and bonding with characters with a lot of depth and backstory? Or are you more of a collector of pretty things? I think that may make the difference in what will work best for you.
      • x 3
    9. Thank you for your input, everyone! At this rate, it does look like my first doll will be one that is more geared towards exploration and customization than a set character... I say as I immediately think of several backup character concepts and wig/eye combinations for a doll I might get, haha.

      I admit, I'm very much a role player/writer/creative type, but I also like the idea/challenge of slapping together various pretty things and trying to derive a character from that. Either way, I feel excited!
      • x 3
    10. Ditto. Pretty much every doll I've sold happened because it didn't work for the originally intended character, and I never found any other use for it. I don't enjoy having a BJD just to play dress-up with it. But obviously for some people that's exactly what they do enjoy.
      • x 3
    11. Same for me. I can't start out with a blank slate, and it's less about bonding for me and more of I have no idea where to begin or what to do with the doll and it leaves me totally uninspired. I can't even do a faceup without some kind of concept of character. i know this because i recently tried doing just a basic "cute girl" face and nope. I hated it. No personality at all. Blank Slate dolls are usually the ones that sit there untouched until I eventually sell them.

      It also seems like it could be a huge waste of money. You could end up buying all kinds of things that end up not working out just because you think you like them at first. Clothes, wigs and eyes really add up. And until you have multiple dolls in your possession, who's to say that all the eyes you bought for doll number 1 will even fit any of the other ones? Same with wigs and clothes. Having a character for a doll has never boxed me in, it gives me a place to start.
      • x 3
    12. I'm in the camp that can't start with a blank slate doll. I always have to have a character for them already to be able to properly bond with them. Whether they end up exactly like what I had planned is another story because I find the process of bringing them to life to be more organic and flexible. :D I can have a general idea of the sort of style/colour scheme I want with them, but it's usually quite flexible after that. Character-wise, I give them a base character too, and I find that it makes giving them their faceups much easier :)
      • x 2
    13. Seems like we're six-of-one-and-half-a-dozen-of-the-other on this issue

      I find the whole searching for a sculpt that works for a preconceived character frustrating and a waste of money as sculpt after sculpt is tried and doesn't work not to mention having to try multiple times for the right eyes/wig/clothes/faceup once the right sculpt is finally found. I just find it exhausting and off-putting.

      As an example - With one doll, way back when, I had the exact character in mind for her and how she was going to be painted/dressed/wigged, etc. It's a good thing I didn't shop for any of the stuff in that style befofre she arrived because, from the moment I opened the box, it was apparent she was going to be almost the exact opposite of the character I had planned. My fashionista undercover agent turned out to be a laid-back hippy, and that was that.

      • x 1
    14. I've always bought dolls simply because I love them, never to shell a character. The dolls themselves inspire characters complete with backstory. In fact, it was due to them that a whole universe was created. This leaves room to find each doll's look & what sort of creature they are. The few pre-existing characters I have would be very difficult to shell as I've never seen a mold that really fit them. Also, I'm a bit bored with their stories so I like to start fresh with a new doll.
    15. I do the "shell a character" method more often because it stops me from wanting to buy every single doll or doll outfit/wig/etc that looks pretty (because there is a lot). But then I end up wanting to sell dolls when the character I used them for either stops interesting me.

      But my most recent purchases have been a bit more "I like this face, let's see where it goes" I've recently wanted more child-like dolls but I don't have a lot of child OCs.
    16. I've only had 1 out of my current 5 work when I had a preconceived character. They all where mwnt to be shells, but the rest just didn't click until I kept trying new things till it fit. For me I've found buying scuplts I love and working from there works better
    17. I tend to start with a sculpt I like, come up with a character concept, then see what works. One of my earlier dolls was meant to be a shy wallflower, but blank and bald it was clear I'd gotten it very wrong. She's got a far more assertive personality! Sometimes my original idea works, though wig and eye colors sometimes change. That works for me. Just do whatever works for you!
      • x 1
    18. I pick dolls based on their looks and then find bits and pieces to fit. I don't feel constrained to a particular look and they change quite a bit. I guess my dolls inspire characters rather than become one.
    19. I will go with imda 2.6 co, because it is so tiny and cute:love I love him!!!
    20. This depends on a person and their preferred approach to the creative process. I think you should go for the option you are most comfortable with!

      Personally, I'm not motivated to buy a doll as long as it isn't for a character I'm shelling. The fact a doll is beautiful and I love the sculpt just isn't enough for me. For me, the character is a huge part of bonding and long-term inspiration. I wouldn't be motivated to make and buy stuff for a random doll. In the beginning, yes! Absolutely! But I would get bored and lost interest quickly. Since I'm forever owner kind of person, abandoned dolls would begin to pile up.