What is Asian Ball Jointed Dolls 2023?

What is Asian Ball Jointed Dolls 2023?


As a cultural anthropologist, I've been fascinated with Asian ball-jointed dolls for some time. Once I became interested in learning more about Japanese culture, it seemed a good place to start.

People collect all kinds of dolls. Some are designed for little girls, and others are meant to stay on a shelf as collector's items. But others collect so-called "Asian ball-jointed" dolls because they come with a whole new world of surprises.

A BJD (short for "Ball-Jointed Doll") is a custom-made doll that doesn't have a pre-set vinyl head, but instead has a ball jointed body and often specially made hands and feet.

Asian ball-jointed dolls (bjds) are fully articulate with ball and socket joints and are held together with elastic stringing. The size can vary depending on the manufacturer, however they range from 11cm (around 4 inches) to 80cm (around 2.6 feet). Some companies may also sell interchangeable hands, feet, arms, or legs.

The History

Volks is an Asian ball-jointed doll company which was the first to release modern BJDs. The first doll was sculpted by Akihiro Enku and was made to look like a 57cm tall version of his wife. After Volks executive director saw the doll, they decided to release more dolls in larger numbers. In 1999, the first set of bjds were released and called Super Dollfie. Included in this line were four female dolls, known as the Four Sisters because all four of them shared a single head mold. In 2001, Licht was manufactured in small quantities with only 50 pieces produced. It has since been re-released twice. Since that time, many other male and female dolls have been sculpted and released by Volks, including one seirei "angel" sculpt that has no designated gender.

While Volks was the first to release this style of resin doll, it certainly wasn't the last. Several other companies followed in Volks footsteps and released their own range of dolls, including Custom House and Cerberus Project. These days, there are many doll companies available, both those located in Japan, Korea and China.

Modification and customization

One of the great aspects of the bjd hobby is that dolls can be customized to each doll owner's taste. From hand painted makeup and facial features (called face-ups), to changeable parts and wigs, people create dolls that suit themselves. Limited edition dolls are also released by companies, but these have been known to be customized by the individual owners who happened upon them.

The bjd hobby offers many options and choices. But when you first start researching, it can be very confusing with all of the information and different types of dolls available. How big of a doll do you want? What color should the wig be? And more! But after just a little research, most people find out that many questions are easily answered and there are also communities on-line to help teach about the different types.

One of the most common face-up modifications is to give the doll a unique look. There are two types of customizations available: factory face-ups, which although hand-painted, feature little variance in design and run at least $50; or commissioned work, where there are many artists willing to take pride in crafting the perfect face-up for your individual tastes. It's also possible to do your own dolls face-up with various tutorials available online.

When you're new to ball-jointed dolls, it can be confusing to try and figure out what the different abbreviations mean. For example, if somebody describes a doll as "NS CP El," that means that the doll is in a normal skin tone (other options of CP dolls may include WS - White Skin, or Tan). Other terms such as "Face-up" are used to refer to all the painting done on the head of the doll including features and makeup; blushing helps describe additional painting on areas of the head where skin color varies.

The price

One of the most surprising aspects of the hobby is that resin figures can costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. A single 60cm doll could cost around $400-$5000, depending on its make, age, rarity and special features. It's not always a bargain if a second-hand ace is a few years old either - there's also a healthy second-hand market for bjds.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a doll. For example, most dolls do not include eyes, wig, or clothing. Wigs and eyes can be very expensive if you want high-quality, and some people opt for less expensive options like acrylic or silicone, but urethane is always more expensive. Clothing prices also vary depending on style choice and the production costs. One pair of doll jeans could be as expensive as $70!

With Community and Culture

Just like with any other hobby, there is a large community of people who enjoy making and collecting dolls. From this larger internet community, many smaller communities have emerged. In many cities around the world, "meet ups" are arranged that let these doll collectors come together to share their hobby and take photos of each other's dolls.

The hobby of collecting life-sized dolls doesn't discriminate and is open to any interested individual. There are many different common elements seen at doll gatherings, due to their Asian production and aesthetic. Many collectors are fans of Japanese culture in general and will incorporate aspects of it into their collections. Anime, Japanese fashion, or even the use of Japanese language can be observed at many gatherings.

Dolls as Art

Delightful Detail, Beautiful Faces. This is what the BJD hobby is all about. Yes, sculpts are intricately crafted, and often have life-like features. But it doesn't stop there. The painted faces - they can convey any number of emotions and effects. It's also not just about the dolls themselves. Some people get into photography and use their dolls to create stunning images to share with others - in realistic poses or imaginative scenes that go far beyond the simple portrait.





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