1. Become a DoA Archivist!
    Volunteers Needed!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. The Mod team regrets to inform the community that Mirodoll is now banned from Den of Angels. Please view the following thread:
    Mirodoll Banned from DoA
    Dismiss Notice

Your Doll's Identity - Physical or Mental?

Apr 15, 2011

    1. Hello!

      So many owners create personalities and background stories for their dolls. They talk to them, create relationships with other dolls, and so forth.

      Now, if any part of a doll like a hand, leg, arm, was damaged beyond repair, then the BJD owner would usually replace it. However, what if the whole doll broke in a terrible accident? My questions:

      If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?


      And that leads to my final question:

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?


      Thanks for reading! These are just some questions I was thinking about one night, and now I'm really curious to hear what other people think.
       
    2. For all of my dolls, their characters existed years before the doll versions were created, and will more than likely exist for me long after my interest in these dolls wanes. The characters are entirely mental for me and are not at all derived from the doll itself. I see them as three dimensional fanart really.

      So yes, if something were to happen to one of my dolls, the character would not be dead. The doll would be ruined, of course, and I would probably seek to replace that doll with another. I would not see it as a different character, just another iteration of the same character. I would probably go with using the same sculpt as my current collection I am very satisfied with, though I am always willing to change my dolls to go with a new sculpt I think better captures the character. I have done this many times before.
       
    3. Wow, this is a really interesting question! I had actually never thought of this until you brought it up.

      If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"? I think that for me, it depends on the character. I have one precious character, Lorelai Brambleberry that I have been creating since 2005. It wasn't until I was able to buy Volks Gretel that my vision is now coming true. If something were to happen to the doll itself, like a fire or something, I would do everything in my power to track down another Gretel and start over. If it was one of my "minor" characters that I have made for the doll, then I might just consider them dead forever.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story? Yes, for Lorelai, she would be the same always, even if she looked a little different. I can always come up with why she looks different. But the minor characters, I though I would just start over :(

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind? This is a tough one. To me, SDC Gretel is perfect. But she IS a limited mold, so there is the possibility that I wouldn't be able to get another one sometime in the future. I think that as new molds come out almost every single day, my chances would increase that something would grab me as much as the Gretel mold did.

      And that leads to my final question:

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics? Once again, this depends on the character. I have always had Lorelai in my head, but my new characters haven't gotten a lot of fleshing out yet. Those characters might be based off the inspiration I get from their looks :)
       
    4. If it was possible to get the same mold again (even if limited), I'd just replace it. If I couldn't get the same mold again I'd look for a similar replacement. If a similar one couldn't be found, I would consider it 'dead' and just make a new one with parts of the same personality characteristics as the old one.

      Mine are the type who's personality is mental, but the physical characteristics are of course physical. To explain, let's say there is a male character who has a playful personality, smokes and hates to drive. That is part of his personality characteristics. But for his physical ones he's tall, broad shouldered, has big hands and has a scar under his left cheek. The personality would be easy to recreate with most molds as they're pretty generic, the physical ones not so much. Some bodies aren't tall enough, some don't have broad enough shoulders, some have too small or too dainty of hands, etc.

      If I got him created perfectly within the right doll shell and he got destroyed somehow, I could still bring his mental characteristics back even if I couldn't bring back his physical ones.

      Luckily for me since I really like Volks dolls finding similar replacements isn't so hard. Volks has a lot of dolls that have a 'family resemblance' of sorts. So even if I couldn't get the exact same mold I could probably find one with similar enough traits that I liked it enough to take over that other character.
       
    5. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      I'd replace it if I could. I tend to like limiteds, so it would be very hard to impossible to replace.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?
      Probably. Each doll looks a little different even if they're the exact same mold. A lot of the personality that forms in my head for my dolls is influenced by this, so if the difference was significant enough I would change it.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?
      It still depends. If the doll that I'm replacing the destroyed one with looks simmilar enough, then yes. It'd take me a little getting used to it, but it could work.

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?

      It's a little of both. I buy dolls becuase I think they're pretty. I give them a name, and then based on the impression I get from the doll's features a "personality" gets formed. It's easier to explain with Barbies... For all she's a mass produced doll, there really are little differences in each one. If I see a Barbie I'm interested in, I will stand there and look over each of that particular one until I see a difference that I like. With bjds that are bought sight-unseen, it's trickier. -shrug-
       
    6. There used to be a much stronger physical component -- it used to disturb me to see them headless or taken apart, for example -- but this has largely faded. No, my characters exist independent of the dolls, although they are sometimes influenced by their resin shells. Some characters evolved with the doll, but most pre-existed them, some by several years.

      I do plan to replace my first doll eventually with the same sculpt, to upgrade his body and get newer resin, etc. He will still be the exact same character. This would go the same for a damaged doll. If for some reason I couldn't get the exact same sculpt, I'd look for something as similar as possible. Although damage as severe as that would upset me, meaning I might back off that particular doll for quite a while.
       
    7. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?

      I think that really depends. I have some dolls that where character first before they got bodies, and a few that while they aren't pre-existing characters, they have very strong personalities and have begun to develop stories. Those dolls would simply be reshelled and the character/personality stay the same. I also have some that are based more on the physical doll than a character or personality -- I mean, they have definite personalities, but don't really have the story element and are more fluid in a way. I might not reshell them.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?

      Yes -- it would simply be a matter of reshelling the personality/character in a new body.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?

      That's still not a deal breaker -- I have found that a lot of my characters can work in several different headsculpts.

      And that leads to my final question:

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?


      Both, but how much of one or the other depends on the doll. If a character is in a doll body for awhile, I do connect the two very strongly together. However, their personalities and characters will still reside in my head if something should happen.
       
    8. That's a tough one. (and I actually don't really want to think about it.)
      But if something were to happen to my Zumi... I don't think I could replace her. She isn't one of my fictional characters. I had the doll and then she (and I) developed her character. So no, even if I were to get the exact same sculpt, it would't be her. Her personalty is bound to the shell she's in and if something irreparable happened to her (and that's mostly her head) she'd probably be dead. BUT I will prevent that from happening.
       
    9. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      That would really depend on the character. If it's a character I love then they wouldn't be dead forever to me. I've RPed and such for many years -long before I got into any type of doll hobby. If it was a minor in creation character that I wasn't fond of - then I'd likely just drop them.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story? I dont think I would change their personality or background... but I'm not sure I'd be able to reshell either. Even if it was the same mould - I tend to get custom face-ups now... and to get the dolls face-up, any peircings,etc, the same... it would be darned near impossible. Unless there had been something I'd wanted to change prior I would have a hard time accepting the reshelled doll.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?

      As I said prior - unless it suited the character more... I don't think I would get another doll to reshell the character.

      And that leads to my final question:

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?
      Definitely mental. I lived most of my life without having a physical representation of my characters so even if the character is created because of a doll purchase - it is very easy for them to continue on in my mind.
       
    10. My characters all exist mentally, until I get the doll looking and acting enough like them for the character to become physical too. The doll form usually ends up influencing the mental form somewhat ^^

      If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      I would rebuild the doll. Only one of my dolls at the moment is a limited sculpt- I would try and replace him with the same mould, since it can be found quite easily. The rest, I would just start again, replicating the mods and faceups as much as I could. All my dolls have unique faceups and most are modded, so it would be tricky to get it exactly right again.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?
      Yes. As I said, the mental form can exist without the doll form, but if the faceup turned out slightly different or the body posed and looked slightly different, that would doubtless influence the character. My characters are all very fluid, which I like.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?
      That would kind of suck, because the moulds I have are perfect for my characters ^^ I think I could always find the mould again, so wouldn't be in this situation. Luckily most of my favourite moulds are very common/unlimited :)

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?

      As I said, both, but initially mental. The characters just kind of stroll into my mind, then I find a mould for them, find the right body (some of my dolls are hybrids) and work on them from there until the doll becomes the character, and from then on they are as one, if that makes sense! The character is influenced by the resin to a certain extent though.
       
    11. This is a great discussion!

      If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?


      I'd probably look around for the same doll if I want that sculpt enough to miss it, or just something close. It really depends on the price. But no, I wouldn't consider it dead, more like - DAMN! That sucks!

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?

      Yes, because their personality and background stories are as they are: they are dolls, therefore, they are dolls. No difference.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?

      Then I'd get another kind and mourn the loss of some very pretty resin.

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?

      Every doll's identity is very much so a mental thing, and I am no different. Why is it so cool for us to see other people's doll, especially if they're the same sculpt? Because it's what we, the owners, create with it. Sure, how you see the doll might defend on it's physical characteristics, but if you already have characters, then you will choose dolls accordingly. If dolls are anything more than way-too-expensive plastic to you, it is most certainly a mental thing. For me, dolls are my way of preserving my inner child and linking it to my adult self, so it is a mental thing for me too, even if I don't have character dolls.
       
    12. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      Hopefully, I would be able to fix it. But, since that's not a guarantee... it depends. My Crobi Lance Kitten was LE, and his character has been made SPECIFICALLY for that mold. I wouldn't recast him, and it could be impossible to find another... so let's hope this never, ever happens.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?
      If it was able to be replaced, yes. On that note, I also believe in re-casting dolls if they don't fit their current body... so I am up for moving a character's personality/backstory to another doll.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?
      See above. It depends on if the character was made for a specific doll or if the doll was bought for a specific character.

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?
      Mostly a mental thing, considering MOST of my dolls were rp characters to begin with that I wanted to make into dolls. However, there will be that rare doll that isn't based off of an rp character... in that case, their physical properties are VERY integral to their personality.
       
    13. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      As someone else said, it depends on the character. If it was a minor character I was just messing with, then probably not. But one of my main characters, I'd have to.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?
      yep! I actually REALLY struggle taking a doll of the same mold and changing the character. Most of my dolls who I've let go, went for this reason.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?

      Then I'd deal with it. Almost every doll I own at the moment I could see as another mold, the one exception being my pukipuki loreley and my DiM Archernar. For those two I'd probably bite my lip and suck it up doing without, or get them second hand if prices weren't ridiculous.
      There are some dolls I own that I'd like to change to other molds but can't afford it right now, or I just have other endeavors. So I would change some of them even if they were still replaceable. :)

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?
      for every doll it's different with me. Sometimes I buy a doll because it's cute and didn't really have any plans, so I'll scramble to make some. Most of that is based on size. IE: if it's an MSD then I'm going to make the character more closely interact with my other MSDs so I can do photos with both of them.
      So for the most part it's a mental things, it's all in my head and I can take the character from doll to doll with no problem, but when I see that doll, I see my character. I actually just had a conversation with someone about Zaoll Luv, and had to catch myself from saying "locket" (the name of my zaoll) repeatedly instead of the sculpt name XD
      My characters make my dolls more than the dolls make them, I guess is what I'm getting down to.
       
    14. With the way i attach to things, i just don't think i could "just replace" any of my dolls if something were to happen to them. I mean, i might try to get one but i don't think i could ever see them as the same doll they were before- i'd likely end up seeing them more as a second clone of that doll with completely different memories attached to it or as a completely different doll altogether. But i'm like this with most of my belongings (and to some extent it extends to certain videogame AIs such as a pet raising sim) if the original is lost the replacement just doesn't feel the same anymore and more often then not i will connect the feeling of having lost the original to the new object. Which, in the case of a doll, might affect how i'd bond with it.

      So I guess I'm more connected to them physically, as objects that collect their own memories that get attached to them, than i am if they were just ideas and had more character to them. At least that's how i've reacted in the past to losing a possession, and i was young back then. I've matured a lot over the years so i might not act this way toward the dolls if something where to happen, however that does seem a bit unlikely. :sweat
       
    15. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?

      If that happened, I don't think I could just replace him. If his original body and face were damaged that badly, I might someday get a different sculpt, like a large SD boy, and 'graduate' his character to a more grown-up shell, and I might someday get another An, since I think it's an adorable sculpt, but I couldn't just get another doll of the same sculpt and say 'it's still Vince'. It wouldn't feel right to me...

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story? It wouldn't-- it would have to be a completely different character who just happened to have the same basic facial features. A younger brother, maybe, if I went with the whole 'graduating to a grown-up version' idea...


      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?

      It's a little bit of both for me, in that a lot of his character I came up with while I was initially looking at dolls, but since his arrival, he's really evolved on me, and now his personality is a little more closely tied to his appearance. Because of the utter cuteness of the An sculpt, Vince became more innocent than I would have originally planned, and his sweet side came out a bit more.

      Because of all that, and because I am silly and sentimental about my toys, his character-- while not originally tied into his sculpt-- is very much married to his physical self. I could replace a foot or an arm, maybe even his whole body if I had to, but if his head broke as well, I couldn't just buy another of the same sculpt, or even another similar sculpt. The Vince as he exists now would be 'dead'. (Though I like to think that if that happened, I would try to make the most of the situation by buying a really big guy to be grown-up Vince-- his personality would be slightly different, but his history would be the same. Like anyone growing up, I guess... some things have to change, and others stay the same)

      =^__^=
      Anneko
       
    16. My characters predate my dolls by many years so they are a mental creation first, I don't need the dolls to work on the story. I have always collected dolls so it's more a happy combination of interests that brought me to BJDs. I only buy dolls to shell my characters because it give me some limits and doesn't allow me to buy every doll I fancy - they have to fit a character and/or work into the story.

      If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?

      I reshell characters often enough and it has not been a problem for me. If I was thinking of changing the broken doll out for another sculpt anyway it would be good timing, otherwise yes I would just buy the same doll. I would say there are three of my dolls who would have to have the same doll shell and no other sculpt would do.

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?

      It would be the same character as before. If it didn't work I'd keep reshelling until the combination clicked.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?

      None of my dolls are One of a Kind sculpts so it would never be impossible to replace a doll. A couple of my dolls are really rare and it was hard to track them down the first time, but with patience I could buy them again. I've been in this hobby long enough to know that if you are willing to save your pennies and stalk the Marketplace no doll is impossible to get.

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?

      It's mostly a mental creation but a few doll specific things have worked thier way into the character's identity for a couple of my crew. And I think I have a clearer mental image of a few of my characters having seen what I've done with their dolls.
       
    17. Emma's character came after she arrived, but the character wouldn't die because the doll broke. I just have too many plans, especially since her character is so young, I can do a lot of writing to show how she matures and grows up. Because her mold isn't a limited, it'd be easy to replace. Her mold's been out for two years now, and is still in stock. Outfits would be harder to replace, since they're always removing things, then reintroducing them later.

      If I wasn't able to get the same mold... then there's be an issue for me, because my doll's character was shaped from that mold. The doll is a perfect match for the character because that's what it's based off of. It would be kind of awkward having to totally reshell her. If I absolutely had to, I'd get something to more closely match the BBB Apollo, which is supposed to be her brother, that I'm saving for.

      Part of my doll's identity is the doll itself because of what I said before. Part of it is also mental because it's a character thing, also.
       
    18. If your doll got badly damaged to the point where it can't be fixed, would you replace it with another one that is the same, or consider it... "dead"?
      Most of my dolls (with one exception) are based off of characters that have existed in my head for years, so the only thing that would be dead in this case is the doll itself and probably my wallet ^_^;

      If you did replace it, would it be the "same" one as before with the same personality and background story?
      The personality and story would still remain the same - for me it's more of a 3D version of something that exists in my head. As to molds - it could be the same, it could be a different one, as I have found some other dolls that could suit the characters much better, but had no time / money / desire to reshell them.

      What if you weren't able to get the exact mold anymore and had to get another kind?
      That could very well happen - somehow I ended up with only one doll that is not limited, and even she is sold during very short periods of time, so I would end up spending a fortune getting all the dolls back.

      Is your doll's identity a mental thing, or based off of its physical characteristics?
      It's purely mental. Some dolls don't really correspond to the images I have in my head - they just look nice portraying that specific character :)
       
    19. Interesting question! I suppose if my doll was damaged beyond repair I would consider her "dead". Even if I bought the same sculpt and used the same wig and eyes, it still wouldn't be my original doll. I could see myself buying another doll in the same sculpt though, just because I like that sculpt and would miss having one around. She would have a different name though, and I would probably style her differently.

      A certain degree of her identity comes from her physical characteristics. I had a name, style and general idea of what I thought she'd be like before she arrived, only to change all of that once I saw her. The general image I had in my head of her before she arrived didn't fit with the doll I ended up with, so I chose a name and style based on how she looked.
       
    20. That is an interesting one to me, since I never made a distinction between pure mental projections of my imagination onto my dolls and things that stem from their own physical appearance... I have to say, for me one thing can be more important or the other; it varies from doll to doll. I have some characters that lived and developed in my imagination long before I got a particular doll I wanted to 'be them', so to say, but then of course I added some little things to the story etc. based on the doll's actual appearance. And there are dolls that I hesitate to personalize too much in my mind before they arrive; I want to develop the character in close connection to their physical looks.

      So if anything ever happened to the doll, if I really liked it, I would try to replace it with the same mold - partially to use the same character, partially so all the accessories would fit, and mainly because I grew attached to it :) But if I didn't love the sculpt too much, I'd probably venture for a new one, the one that would fit the dame character - but after a while, I think the character would evolve to fit the new doll as well.