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How to Choose Your First Ball-jointed Doll (bjd)
How did I choose mine?
Before I point out some tips on how you can choose or select the ball-jointed doll that you should buy, let me tell you my personal experience first on how I bought mine.
*By the way, this post are for those who already have an idea what ball-jointed dolls are, but if you're just a doll lover/collector and doesn't have a clue what a BJD is you can check out my other post here.
Okay, so here goes my own story. The first time I saw a ball-jointed doll was from a site called Deviantart. This site might sound familiar to some of you but for those who are not, this site contains lots of artists' works like illustrations, digital arts, artisan crafts and other stuffs including dolls.
When I came across a photo of a ball-jointed doll I immediately fell in love with it, because it's so pretty, so "anime" -like (which I'm very fond of before). But it didn't came to my mind to buy that kind of doll yet. That was years ago. In approximately 3 to 4 years, one of my friends bought a BJD which she brought with her on one of our get-togethers. This event heightened my desire to own this kind of doll because I actually physically saw it with my own eyes, was able to feel or touch it's form.
Another friend of mine was waiting for her doll to arrive as well and so our get-together turned out to be a discussion about dolls, its sculpt, and etc. I was fascinated by how they treat their dolls as if it is their child (eventually, I turned out to do the same as well).
So after that eventful night with doll-owner friends, I did what normal people would do if they want to find out something - research. I went online, typed 'ball-jointed dolls" in google and surprise, surprise, there's a great number of doll companies that appeared on the search results!
So I click them one by one and feed my eyes with doll pictures...however, one of my friends had shown me a picture of a doll. A doll wearing a pink beret hat, with leather jacket and a mini-scale camera hanging around her neck which makes her character like she's a photographer. I'm telling you, I fell in love with her. I am 100% confident that she's the one I wanted. I guess that's because at the time that I saw her picture, I just bought a DSLR as I am into photography at that time. Seeing as the doll is sporting a camera herself, it's like I can see myself in her.
Aside from that, I want the size of that doll, I love her sweet face and I just need her in my life. Lucky me, my friends already has backgrounds when it comes to purchasing dolls online, I get to bombard them with questions about shipping, and payment and other things related to buying that doll.
After several days, I got my salary and purchased my first doll which is now with me for about 3 years. No regrets in choosing her.
Things to consider
There's a lot of things you should consider when selecting a doll. But let me tell you, the budget is not an option. Why? well because if you set aside a particular budget, then you're limiting yourself from selecting a doll you really wanted. I know that there are dolls that are too pricey however that;s where "goal setting" comes. If you really wanted an expensive doll, you will need to put a lot of effort to earn enough money to buy it. But hey, that's just my opinion, it will be up to you if you will have set a budget for dolls even though you don't 100% like it.
Second thing to consider is the sculpt. This I would say is the most important things that you should keep in mind. Dolls look differently especially once face-up is done. So when selecting a sculpt make sure you visualize what you want your doll to look like. Do you want your doll to have small or big eyes? Do you want a smirk or smiling looking doll, or do you want a doll with an elf ears etc. Also consider the body of your dolls. Do you want a doll with slimmer figure or do you want muscular ones? Male or female?
There are some doll-owner who based their dolls from their own characters. This means they have conceptualized a story in their mind and they created fictional characters, therefore to make it more realistic, they buy dolls for that. So if you're one of those people, make sure that the fictional character you have suits the sculpt you are choosing.
Third, size and shape. Ball-jointed dolls came in different size and shape. This is semi-related to the latter consideration I mentioned. for sizes, you need to think which size are you going to be comfortable with. There are SD, MSD, YOSD size dolls, or 70cm and above. For example..If you want a doll that you can bring anywhere, you can lower down your selection to YOSD size dolls. Think about shape as well. You can even consider owning a hybrid doll. You can buy a doll head from one company and buy a different body from another company as well. But let me tell you, if you're going to own a hybrid doll, you need to do a lot of research to make sure that the head and body will go well together. This includes resin matching and of course if the head looks ok with the body. For this you will need the help of other doll owners who owns hybrid dolls.
I mentioned about face-up earlier. Selecting a face-up brings a HUGE character to your doll. When you purchased a doll, you have an option to buy it without the company's faceup (make-up for dolls). If you think the company face up suits your doll's character, then you have an option to buy it with faceup.
For me, whenever I buy a doll, I don't like to avail with the company's faceup. Not that I don't like the company's faceup but because I envisioned my doll differently. Sometimes the company's faceup is too dark or heavy on my liking for my doll's personality but I do love the structure of the face. So I buy it without faceup and I do the faceup myself or I ask a friend to do it for me.
There are lots brilliant, talented faceup artist you can find. Just go over their portfolios so you can determine whose works would you think have the ability to bring your doll's character into life.
Goodluck on buying your first doll!