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Why do people dislike character dolls or dolls without backstories?

Oct 4, 2011

    1. Please understand that I do not have any sort of problem with or dislike of original characters. I like experiencing others' creativity and imagination in whatever form it takes and some of the lives and worlds people have created are fascinating.

      I have, however, run into people who are condescending and almost rude about the fact that their dolls are original characters with backstories and others aren't. My dollies have personalities; but don't have histories. Even worse seems to be the fact that some of them are anime characters. "All my dolls have backstories - I can't imagine a doll that wasn't original" and "I could never have a character doll and stifle my creativity that way." are just two of the comments that I've heard/read.

      I'm still fairly new to the hobby and have only been involved with doll groups and DOA since last April. I'm trying to understand the attitude. Why do so many people seem to feel superior about having their own characters. Shouldn't we all be supportive of each other's choices? What's your perspective?
       
    2. Now this is only my opinion, and I have no problem with original character dolls or character dolls or uncharacter dolls, whatever floats your boat, but I think the biggest reason I've seen is that a lot of people get BJD's for the amount of customization and personality you can place into them, and I think the people you are referencing seem to think it a waste because you might as well have just bought an action figure or figurine of that character you made your doll to be. I honestly can't speak for any of them as I am not one of them but that is just my best speculation. Hope it can help.
       
    3. Q. Why do people dislike character dolls or dolls without backstories?
      A. Do they? I've come across people who prefer to concentrate on creating BJDs based on their original characters rather than buy a doll just because they like it...but that is someone's own preference for their own collection. I've never come across someone who actively dislikes dolls without backstories or dolls who were bought first and developed a personality afterwards.

      While I haven't come across any condescension towards people with character dolls, I can sort of understand why that could be. When Volks started Super Dollfie, the emphasis was on taking a BJD and making it your own and unique to you, and that aspect of the hobby has remained quite strong with each new company producing dolls. Most companies provide promo pictures of their dolls in certain outfits or with a set face-up, eyes and wig, but very few people seem to keep their dolls completely default. People do feel strongly about their dolls looking distinctive and being 'their' creation. With character dolls, you're trying to recreate someone else's vision instead of your own, and the creative aspect of putting a character doll together is different from trying to put a doll of your own prexisting character together.

      I don't have character dolls and my dolls aren't really based on original characters from 'way back when', I've always written stories and created characters...but when I started this hobby I started by buying dolls I liked the look of, rather than strictly buying dolls to fit my characters. The point I'm at now with my collection is that I'm really happy with what I have and I wouldn't want to sell all my dolls and start again collecting only dolls that fit original characters :) My current dolls were all bought because I liked them and none of them have much of a backstory - I've never experienced any negativity from this. I know others who just collect the dolls they like and don't have histories for their dolls either.

      If you love your character-based dolls though, why let someone else's opinion upset you or change how you feel about your dolls? If you enjoy them, don't let someone else's opinion get in the way of your enjoyment. Hobbies are only fun as long as you're having fun with the hobby.
       
    4. It's because people like to feel superior to anybody. Especially insecure people. So they go scrounging for things that'll make them feel superior to others. No matter what kind of doll you have, you will get Attitude from somebody for some reason, at some point. For example, people also give each other shit because they own only company-faceup dolls ("You didn't paint it, so you have no creativity!"), or because they don't sew their own doll clothes ("If someone else out there owns the same piece of clothing, you're unoriginal!").

      There are actually lots of anime and/or character-dolls, and no-character dolls, around here-- and their owners love them, AND customize them, AND breathe life into them just as much as any original-character dolls.

      The best thing is to just grow a thicker skin & learn to write off such pettiness & smallheartedness whenever you see it. I'm sick to my guts of people trying to dictate how others play with their own toys. Life is too short to even listen to that kind of crap. :roll:
       
    5. I keep hearing about these people but I've never come across that attitude. Never once, I cannot think of a single specific person in this hobby who has been condescending to me about my dolls. Ok, so I do have back stories for my dolls and they are original characters, but I know plenty of people who don't and have never heard of them being snobbed either.

      If I ever said something along those lines it would not be condescension, just simply me stating that for me, my dolls are original characters that I have created nurtured and love. I would NEVER be unsupportive or look down on someone who wants to take an off the peg character or just have a doll with no character at all. I don't understand anyone who thinks they have the right to dictate to others about how they should enjoy their hobby.

      Are you sure that you haven't just taken the comments of other hobbyists the wrong way? Most of the people I have met on DOA and through my BJDs are very supportive and friendly, maybe you have just come across a few grumps and they are colouring your view? I understand how that can be, I have certainly met a few rude people on DOA from time to time, but after I go away and cool down I remember that they are by far and away in the minority. The best thing to do with unpleasant people is let them stew in their own rancid juices and get on with enjoying your dolls with all the lovely people you meet here ;)
       
    6. I agree with JennyNemesis. I'v been told by someone on here that my doll was incomplet so l was like WTF not all dollfies/BJD's have to have a back ground ect also l know of some people that are into this hobby that have incomplet dolls and they are not rude/mean to other peoples about it.
       
    7. People who make up "rules" about the proper way to play with dolls make me tired. There are no rules. You can buy them full-set, stand them on a shelf and admire them or mod them all into rabbits with hooves and make up stories about them. It just doesn't matter. Do what you want and have fun.
       
    8. This one happens often, even if you're not looking for it or sensitive to it! Go check out many of the other Debate & Discussion threads about characters, or limited editions, or faceups, or clothes... you'll find enough of it there to color some people's views. Some of the vitriol that gets spilled in those threads is downright shocking in its vehemence, too. It's all very playground-sandbox-abuse, very my-dolly's-better-than-yours. And it's most sad & tiresome.

      Why does it keep those people awake at night in such fury-- just because someone, somewhere, owns a doll that's an anime character, or has no backstory, or doesn't have a homepainted faceup, or is wearing an expensive LE outfit? Who knows? Maybe it's a dietary thing, given the sad state of nutrition among today's generation... eat more fiber, kids, & your outlook will improve. You'll forget all about bitching on other people's toys. xD Seriously, relax.
       
    9. ...It seems like a waste of time for someone to look down on another for not having a doll with some original backstory or...anything like that. You spent several hundred dollars for the thing, *you* do what *you* want with it.

      Now I personally am into the hobby for the sake of having dolls as avatars for characters in a story of mine. But I'm not about the be at a meet or something and have my "original" doll sitting next to like... an Inuyasha doll, and look down on that person (if anything I'd be like, OMG did you make those clothes? That's effing amazing). When an owner makes a doll based on an existing character, there is work that has to be done to make them look like that character...

      To answer your question directly, I have to agree with JennyNemesis. People sadly do like to find anything they can to make themselves feel superior, to make up for their own inadequacies; I see it and live it all that time, and I can't be surprised that it would be within the BJD community. After all, it is a human habit, and we are all human.

      Now I certainly hope I won't get any flake about not having done my own faceups or my own clothing--though I do plan to at least learn how to do faceups and blushing and maybe even sewing for clothes--because... lets be realistic, BJD clothes are like human clothes bought at the store; are we suddenly lacking in something simply because we don't sew our own shirts and pants and dresses? With how much there is out there, the chances of finding someone with a doll wears the same clothes as yours is... quite slim. Faceups? Well that's hardly enough to make a doll's look. The appearance of a doll can change dramatically with the simple change of its eyes and/or its wig.

      The fact is, people need to chill. Let an owner enjoy their doll with the personally done face, blushing, modifications, handmade clothing, and deep thorough backstory and history. But in the same turn, the owner that has a doll based on Inuyasha, Vincent Valentine, or Android 17 should be able to enjoy their doll just the same.
       
    10. You can run into rude people in any hobby -- and that's what you're describing, just plain old rude behavior. As far as I can tell there is no large group of people who really look down their noses at nonOC dolls. If you read through threads around here you'll see that there are people who have fan dolls, OCs, personalities with no set back stories, and dolls without any personality at all. There isn't a right or wrong way to do things, and I would say that most people do recognize this. However, most is not all, and I can't promise that you won't run into some small minded individuals. I've personally seen this attitude come up most with fan dolls which some people just can't seem to wrap their heads around for some reason. It's so ridiculous for other people to think they have a say in what other people do with their dolls, that I would just laugh them off and see them for what they are -- silly people with nothing better to do than stick their noses in everybody else's business.

      For the record I have some OCs, some fan dolls (currently working on putting another one together now in fact), and some dolls that do have strong personalities but whose backstories aren't particularly set. After trying different ways of doing things, I find that I do best when I have some variety as that gives me lots of different ways that I can play with my dolls. In my own *personal* experience, I actually find fan dolls the most difficult to put together.

      I personally don't care what other people do - it just doesn't bother me. I find that one of the strengths of this hobby is that there are so many different ways you can go about things and participate. It means that there's something for everyone.
       
    11. This so much. I can't stand people who impose rules on how to play with dolls. Come on, it's dolls.

      But to be honest, I've never come across this attitude either. Maybe it's because I hang out the "wrong" places here on DoA, but I've never seen anyone being slightly condescending.
      Maybe I'm just naive, but maybe they're just speaking for themselves? Saying that they prefer original characters, and they would find themselves uncreative, if they made a character doll.
      Of course I believe there must be people of this opinion out there, but I have a hard time imagining it can be that many.
       
    12. I think I might be because I'm forty years old and can't grasp the concept of (mostly) older people dissing each other's toys. There was a thread a while back - I think it was about non-doll people calling BJDs "anime dolls" that had some very....um...emotional responses from both sides of the debate. In spite of the fact that we love hearing other people's doll stories, my 10-year old gets confused when somebody tells her that her dolly can't be creative in spite of the wig she customized and the eyes she designed and had made. As a newbie I'm just interested in the history and mechanics of the debate.
       
    13. I think that sometimes it comes across that people have to create these back-stories and characters for their dolls just because others do it. It definitely seems to be the bigger consensus here that people buy the dolls to create characters, or implement existing characters by finding the right molds. One look at the "visual concepts" forum gives that impression to anyone.

      But I don't personally think people should look down on others for buying dolls as the dolls they are, without having characters or stories in mind. I've encountered the attitude in person more than I have on the forum, many of the people I've met really pour their hearts into character creation. For me though, I don't have set characters for my dolls. I give them a name, some develop a little story and personality, other's just have a name and are nothing more than dolls.

      I admire both types of collectors. If people have the creativity to come up with their own worlds and stories, that's wonderful! Good for them! If people prefer to see these as works of art and collect them for a different reason, that's great too! And then there are people who admire an existing character enough to create a doll of them, and that passion shows through and is also admirable! So I don't see why anyone should be looking down on anyone else since we're all in this hobby for our own reasons, not peer pressure ones.
       
    14. Unfortunately, there are people who have said that and they were speaking for everybody -- basically it's uncreative, a waste of a doll, etc etc :roll: It's not something you come across all the time -- I see it more often than not in debate threads where fan dolls get brought up. I don't for a minute believe it's the opinion of anything more than a minority of people, but it does happen.
       
    15. My dolls don't have back stories per say. They have personalities that shape what kind of character they are.
      I think backstories are great, but lack of backstory really shouldn't bother anyone!

      As with all dolly debate threads:
      It's their doll they can do as they please.
       
    16. It seems fair to me to want to defend your reasons for collecting dolls, and if the topic comes up and comments are invited, I think it's fair game.

      Of course, those reasons are subjective, so there's no cause to condemn anyone one way or the other. I like vanilla ice cream, you like chocolate ice cream. Neither of us are "right". The ice cream connoisseur who's had ice cream from every continent on earth still doesn't have the authority to dictate to you what you should like (though he might have some worldly suggestions if you want them).

      Any time you have a group of passionate people together, you're going to have passionate opinions to go with them. Sometimes, respect falls by the wayside. Then it helps to regain perspective and say hey, look at how much we have in common. If a person is hyper-focused on creating characters, why get into dolls instead of another form of art like writing or painting? Presumably because there's more about the dolls they enjoy. Doll collectors should have much more in common than that, at least enough to make hurtful comments completely unjustified.
       
    17. I have to add my two cents worth. They are your dolls so you can do what ever you want with them and nobody else has to like or dislike it. I for one have tons of dolls, lots of OT and a dozen BJD's and I love every single one of them and none of them have backstories. Some of them are character dolls but mostly they are what I want them to be, a lovely doll for me to look at and enjoy.
       
    18. People get snarky about anything ~sigh~ I am SO about those who do character dolls - man that's like cosplay - those costumed kids are AWESOME & some of the character dolls I've seen - anime or games or whatever - are beyond fabulous. That Big Sister - I'd like to see one of the snarky types knock THAT doll.
      I at first was going to do character dolls - but I quickly realized I couldn't afford it - so I decided to get a group of dolls that could COSPLAY a bunch of different characters. Then (because I'm a writer & saw a lot of people doing these great photo stories w/their dolls which had interesting back stories) I decided to make them a troupe of cosplayers.
      But my first & foremost reason to get BJDs? To make them into my fav anime characters!
      Bottom line, somebody gets snarky or turns up their nose at you, ignore them. They are insecure. Make your doll a character, or not. Dress it up pretty & sit it on a shelf, make it a minimee, mod it into whatever - its YOUR doll. Have fun w/it!
       
    19. If you have a hobby, you'll have your elitists and rude people. You'll have condescending jerks. You'll have people who have misdirected anger. But you'll also have a LOT of good people whose opinions you shouldn't assume are that of a minority.

      I agree that I've never personally ran across this... but I have ran across a lot of company elitism [particularly with volks- you get people over-the-top for them and over-the-top against them] and limited elitism. So, I'm not surprised there is "original doll" elitism. Actually, most of the people I know don't have stories for their dolls- maybe a personality and a name, but nothing else. They're more art forms to them. I know people with character dolls and people with original character dolls. Really, it's all a matter of preference.

      I like both. I can see the appeal of having character dolls- one of my boys is going to be going back and forth between my original character and "cosplaying" a fan character I happen to like. I love being able to see character dolls from series I'm familiar with because there is a shared sense of knowing there. Then again, I also love being able to read tidbits about an original character and think to myself "wow, how cool!" due to the thought put into the personality/backstory. And then, there are some dolls that I just think of as pretty. And it could be a mix and match. Point is, I won't personally judge for why a person wants a doll and how they customize it.
       
    20. Damn RIGHT we do. *cough*

      I actually have seen this particular attitude come into play, though not often. To be honest, this is the only one of the myriad negative attitudes I've seen people complain about that I've actually encountered myself. I own two character dolls, and -- well, to be totally bluntly honest, the majority of the dolls I'd love to own are character dolls. For me, that is a key part of the hobby, and I get an ungodly amount of fun out of chasing down the perfect eyes/wig/mold/wtfever that character doll requires. (You would not believe how many tries it's taken to get Shirou's eyes right, and I still don't have the right ones.) But this is the way I enjoy the hobby. I don't love my OC dolls any less. They give me the freedom to mess around with clothes to my heart's content, for starters. But I love my character dolls and I am not going to apologize to anyone for owning them.

      ...sorry. *mops up*

      I am so in agreement with linakauno here. All the attempts at making up 'rules' for how one should or shouldn't enjoy their dolls are just getting so, so tiresome. There's enough room in the sandbox for everybody; why do people feel they have to go kick other people's castles down because they're not the style they like to look at?