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Why are bjds so much money?

Jun 30, 2010

    1. Not only the dolls, but their clothes, wigs, shoes, make up.

      My shirts and dresses cost at most 30- 36 dollars, and they're pretty! So how come something so tiny can be equal of price?

      I'm going to get my first doll soon ( :aheartbea ) but I never thought it would be this expensive.
      With the economy now a days I can barely handle one.

      So I'm just curious, Why are dolls, and all their clothes, wigs, shoes so expensive?
    2. I used to wonder that until I began to explore making resin jewelry. The good resin is incredibly expensive even in bulk quantities. Add to it the cost of making molds and the fact that each doll has to be handcrafted, and you get one very expensive doll. Batchix, creator of the Machina line of BJDs gave an excellent presentation about this at PMX last November.

      Small clothing for dolls is very difficult to make. The smaller the item the more difficult it is to work around on a sewing machine. In addition, smaller trims can cost more such as cotton laces and tiny ribbons.
    3. I'd also like to add that depending on the maker of the clothing, they come in limited quantities.
    4. Plus dolls are (as far as i understand) handmade alot of the time. So you have to think about paying the people who sculpt, cast, sand, string, and paint that new dollie.
    5. I remember reading that the molds that the resin are cast in cost thousands of dollars, and they have to be replaced every couple hundred of castings. So, part of the dolls could be for the molds.

    6. This thread illustrates the issue why doll clothes cost so much. The same goes for shoes and wigs.
    7. This should also answer the question "Why are BJDs so expensive?". Poke around the entries, the content is very informative as well. :)
    8. For some reason I feel like this question gets asked every month.
      As everyone was saying, these dolls are hand sculpted and molds have to be replaced. Also miniature clothing is much harder to sew together than regular clothing (each mistake and off stitch is magnified because of the small scale).
      This hobby is an expensive one, no doubt about it. Eyes (depending on the type one favors) can go anywhere from $6 to $100.
      And that's before counting in wigs, which I would say averages at about 30?
      This discussion sort of reminds me of this one about specifically the doll clothes:
    9. Its totally way to late for me to still be up (or maybe its too early)...*_*Insomnia leads me deep thoughts which lead me to rambling.....

      The ABJD hobby is a high priced hobby because it's labor intensive from multiple standpoints:

      The people that sculpt these dolls are artists, simple as that. The face-up, body blushing, doll fabrication process from start to finish is art and art is not cheap. Especially good art. Art that grabs you and holds you tight isn't something you're gonna pick up at Walmart on the cheap. We're talking about a creator putting their heart and soul into something...not a generic Barbie mold-machine popping out dolls like so much plastic candy at a rate of 30,000 dolls a day. ;)

      On the topic of sculpting the doll: I tried my hand at sculpting my own Asian style ball jointed doll a year ago (I figured "I'm artsy, let's give it a go!") and though I got pretty far I eventually realized just how much skill and knowledge go into just sculpting the first doll that you intend to have fabricated in resin. Just the head is a small piece of art because it can take quite a bit of time to get the face sculpt even close to what you feel to be perfect. In the end I decided to leave the resin doll making to the trained professionals and scrapped my poly clay ball jointed doll mock up, lol:|...Because sculpting and fabricating something that's heart breakingly beautiful isn't easy...and the fabrication costs involved are expensive too since a creator doesn't want to go cheap on materials (quality molds that only last so long, quality materials to make the dolls from so they last the test of time, etc).

      Regarding sewing for dolls: As a seamstress I can say that sewing beautiful detailed garments for dolls is also labor intensive work and materials are not cheap. I may have mentioned this in a different post, but just go to the fabric store and look at the prices for fabrics and buttons and nice thread and such. Absorb the reality of how much a single package of 3 nice buttons can cost and some things become clear. It takes me longer to sew an ensemble for a doll than to create a dress for a full sized human woman sized 6-8. There are also special tools involved in seamstress work and those tools are costly. The gizmo I purchased to set eyelets for corset lacing is no bigger than a shoe box but cost me damn near $100. The professional grade gizmo for setting studs and sequins and the like is another small heavy bobble that costs almost $100+. The person that makes elaborate leather items with studs sure ain't using the Bedazzler, because cheap gizmos won't cut it when you're trying to make a quality product.

      About Shoe Making: I'm doing research on shoe making lately, since I want to learn to make shoes for my ABJD's, and just in the small amount of digging I've done I now understand why shoes for ABJD's cost as much as shoes for people: shoe making is labor intensive lol!:doh Go to YouTube and look up shoe making videos to get a glimpse.

      About Wig Making: Wig making -you guessed it- is also labor intensive, pain-stakingly detailed work...especially for the really nice wigs that sit on your dollies head and look like a head of real live human hair with the right amount of sheen and everything.

      Putting the cost of quality into perspective: :fangirl:I used to judge the cost of dolls based on Barbie doll prices (Barbie was my only point of reference for years, lmao!), so when I started to get into ABJD's and the like I almost passed out when I saw the prices. I scoffed. I laughed. I cried. I made jokes....Then I got a better paying job to feed the nagging urge to buy "THE DOLL". My first doll that was somewhat expensive was a Blythe and it took me like 3 months to get over how much she cost, even with the better paying job. All I could think of back then was that "she's the same height as a Barbie so why the crazy $100 price tag:evil:."... But I did some research and slowly discovered the realm beyond the Walmart/Target Barbie...and the realm of serious doll collecting. I came to understand the fact that ABJD's and similar dolls weren't cheaply fabricated crap-products being pushed off an assembly line like Hot Wheels or Bratz Dolls.

      In the end, it just seems like quality costs you money. I think we here in the states have gotten so used to this "everything must be low cost" concept, that we've been a little ruined when it comes to actually understanding how much quality costs when faced with it. A nice shirt you buy at Target for $25-35 dollars is a "good buy" but the shirt is priced as such because they're mass fabricating the shirts in a sweatshop in Indonesia, paying the seamstresses very little and making a zillions shirts a day. It's different from the artistry involved in a seamstress, face up/blushing artists, shoe or wig maker creating limited edition products by hand and not by quick-fast assembly line.

      This is not to say one shouldn't strive for bargains in this economy...however...:)
      Some things that are truly special just aren't cheap...I've come to a point (after years of observation) where I'm finally ok with the idea that -at least in the matter of Asian Ball Jointed Dolls- I'm gonna pay extra for something that's a hand crafted labor of love...Some thing that is truly awesome...truly beautiful, thought provoking and constantly inspiring.:D
    10. Me too! *_*

      As for the OP, have a go making doll clothes, doll shoes, wigs, eyes, even a doll itself... and you may discover why they are so expensive. I testify that I snapped my mouth shut even THINKING about the expense of doll clothes etc. after I started trying to make my own. It's a darn good way to appreciate it all!

      And this goes for all crafts: you are not just paying for the final product. You are paying for the craftsman's ability, the skill, the time that went into learning how to do these things in the first place - the ****-ups, the failures, the wasted materials behind all the successes - as well as what you, the consumer, finally see in your hands.
    11. If you made something so so so beautiful...so eye catching fantastic.... Wouldnt you want to be paid "REALLY GOOD" for it?
      Paid for your time...your talent and your effort & hard work. (not even including the costs that go into the art)
    12. -things not to forget is that they (if you order with face-up) are hand painted as well as hand strung, so labor costs are also a major addition to the cost.
    13. As other people have pointed out, it's the difference between items that are mass produced and involve less labor, and items that are labor intensive and not mass produced. Those little outfits are hard to make with that much detail on something so small, and they aren't sold in enough quantity to really allow a price discount.

      If you're a human, you can get mass produced clothing pretty cheap at places like Walmart, TJ Maxx, thrift and consignment stores etc. However, doll clothes are more comparable to high end designer stuff rather than the kinds of things you buy at Walmart. So the comparison between an average human pair of pants and a pair of doll pants is often apples and oranges. The dolls themselves are also typically made for you when you order, and the materials they work with don't lend themselves well to the kind of production that allows for a whole bunch of a product cheap.

      It is an expensive hobby, but you're also getting good quality dolls and items for the money.
    14. My mother use to make jointed antique replica teddy bears before she retied from her business. They where made with mo hair, dressed elaborately. Normally in some kind of a Victorian fashion. She was even on the cover of American Teddy Bear magazine (some time ago).
      But back to the point, her bears ran from $200 - $1000 depending on the size, and clothing, and extras. So yeah I can see here they get their price point from.
    15. This topic sounds a lot like a major point made in my college Microeconomics class, namely how supply and demand govern the price of a given product. Take jeans for instance. They're all handmade, by they for people or dolls. Manufacturers of people size jeans have a global demand for their product in hundreds of millions, so even if some of the market has a low price point, the manufacturers can make up the difference in volume sold. Conversely, manufacturers of doll jeans have a much smaller customer base, maybe hundreds of thousands globally, so they don't compete to be the lowest bidder. Instead they use exclusivity to make the buyers compete to get their product. Works pretty well, when you think about it. I mean, how many of us have clamored for this or that limited doll or item?
    16. I also think it's due to all that handwork that goes into making the dolls and accesories. But if you want to limit expenses on clothes and such, it is a nice challenge to develop sewing skills and such, depending on your own talents. I've always been sewing stuff and I've done some drawing and painting so I also began doing face ups too. Spending a few euros on good face up gear and materials is cheaper than shipping heads off to a commisioner.
      I also do LARP and I see people spending hundreds of euros on weapons, costumes, armours and such. The only items I have ever bought is one leather swordholder, a couple of leather belt satchels and a rice hat. All my other stuff, including weapons(european style which are more elaborate and probably safer(honestly, one LARP group states this about weapons to use:"Reminder: Weapons CAN NOT be metal and MUST NOT be sharp or pointy! "<--- is that all?????? SHEESH!) than american LARP weapons) is home made, even an armour made out of couch leather. I am going to buy myself a bow and some LARP-arrows next month, but that's about it for now. I apologize for my rant.
      As for my dolls, I do buy them stuff from time to time, but not terribly expensive things because those are generally items I know I can make myself.
    17. The Top Ten answers (with apologies to David Letterman):

      10. Because it is necessary to prove that it is, indeed, possible to live on Top Ramen for a month.
      9. Because you really needed that third mortgage on your house.
      8. What else are you going to spend your money on? Apps for your phone?
      7. Because resin costs roughly the same amount per ounce as copper.*
      6. Because spending more money on a doll than on a car is easy to explain to your parents/spouse/kids.
      5. Because if they were cheap, they'd be made by Mattel.
      4. Because plane fare from Asia costs an arm and a leg, and nobody likes a doll with missing limbs, do they?
      3. That's why God made income tax refunds.
      2. Because the artists really are starving, and now you know why.

      And the #1 reason BJDs cost so much money:

      1. Because they're worth it. :D

      * Actually, #7 isn't so far from the truth. :B
    18. Thank you guys! You guys have been very helpful. :)
      I'm sorry about the repeated question. :horror:

      I searched up this question, and it seems as if no ones posted it! Sorry, I'm new..
      Next time I'll search harder!

      Thank you again!!! :D
    19. Round of applause and gold stars for you!! Thank you for the common sense!!

      Seriously, if you can't figure out why the doll is so expensive, or even be bothered to search the forum for answers before posting an ignorant-sounding question, you're in the wrong hobby. Please learn to appreciate the VALUE of the hard work and serious talent that has gone into every aspect of these dolls. The artists, craftspeople and factory workers are all highly skilled and all deserve to make a decent living.