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2018-03-29 / \/ \/ / \
/ __/ /_ _/
I think about three hundred years ago I / _/ / /
said I should do at least one phlog post \_______/_\___/____/\___/____/_
explaining the doll stuff so if y'all are / \/ \/ / \
curious, here you go, enjoy this wall of / _/ /_ _/
text. /- / _/ /
A long while back I used to collect anime
figures and was reasonably active on the various boards and groups, sharing
photos and wish lists and all that good stuff. I'd also lurk on the Japanese
image boards, checking out all their photos. Back then the western doll scene
was still very much grandma's bisque doll collection and those weird fabric
and wire ones that always pop up in second hand stores, I had no interest in
any of that at all, but the Japanese Dollfie scene was starting to get pretty
popular over there so you'd see them pop up every now and then on the image
boards and those kind of caught my eye.
I thought the crossover between anime fandom to dolls was kind of
interesting, they were generally pretty and it was fun when you'd see one in a
costume you recognised or whatever, but they were not really my type of thing.
I found Dollfie faces really uninteresting, and still do to be honest, worthy
of a half-interested "huh!" when a doll thread would start on one of the
boards but not much beyond that.
Star wipe to a couple years later and I've developed a kind of tangential
interest in dolls through things like Little Apple Dolls and Living Dead
Dolls, edgy Hot Topic tier kind of things but hey I was young and spooky, shut
up. I still have the first photos from the Toy Fair where they unveiled the
Little Apple Dolls and I completely fell in love with them and I still have
the doll I bought as soon as it was released off the back of that unveiling. I
never did get any of the Living Dead Dolls, I think I had a small wish list
but they always looked better in promotional photos than they did in the flesh
so I'd always end up passing them over.
Now me in love with Little Apple Dolls I started wondering about the big
Dollfie dolls and thinking maybe I could get one to customise into a larger
version of one of the Little Apple Dolls or something like that, so I got back
into slinking around the anime figure and doll boards on Futaba, seeing mostly
the same kinds of Dollfies I was seeing before but then, by some wonderful
coincidence there was a thread on what I assume was any non-Volks (the company
behind the Dollfie dolls) dolls and there were some really nice ones around,
from one photo or another I ended up on the website for Dollmore, a Korean
doll company and there were two dolls on there; one called Momo and one called
Shall and they were so beautiful, that was it, I was absolutely hooked. I
ended up poring over the site for hours, it sounds ridiculous but it was
genuinely life-changing, they were fascinating and resonated with me so
strongly. They were unfortunately also very expensive.
I think a little over a year later Dollmore released the limited edition of
their Torrie doll sculpt called "Sweet Wind Memory Torrie" and she stole my
heart and I ordered her on the spot, price be damned, thus starting my ball-
jointed doll family.
I feel like I should throw in a little aside here to explain some stuff,
like what the heck I'm talking about. Broadly, a ball-jointed doll is exactly
what the name implies; a doll with ball-joints, more specifically though the
ball-jointed doll or "BJD" (sometimes "ABJD") hobby refers to a style of ball-
jointed doll popularised by the Volks Dollfie line and, though it's named
after the ball-jointed dolls, it can include fashion dolls from BJD
manufacturers or that are a similar scale like the Volks Dollfie Dream and the
"Smart" dolls but fuck that shit, I'm a ball-joint purist. Predominately from
Japan, Korea and China, they're usually cast in polyurethane resin and held
together with thick elastic. They come in a bunch of loose size categories and
are customised with face paint (commonly called a "face up"), glass or acrylic
eyes, wigs and clothes.
I think most of the hobby terms are fairly self-explanatory; sculpt refers
to the doll's head, stringing/strung refers to the elastic that holds the
pieces in place, full set means the doll comes with the face painted and an
outfit rather than just a blank doll, etc. Some terms that aren't so common in
the hobby though, but that I still use are "adopt" and "daughter", they always
sat nicer with me than "buy" and "doll" - I dunno, it seem more respectful?
It's hard to explain. More recently, calling your dolls "daughters" has
unfortunately been co-opted a bit by sleazy post-anime Dollfie Dream
collectors to refer to their busty, bikini jerk-off fantasy dolls but that's a
story for another day hahaha. Yuck.
Anyway, I'll plod on but hit me up if I throw around a term that doesn't
So taking that leap from doll scene hanger-on to doll owner was quite a
step and initially there was some uneasiness initially because, obvious now
but it didn't click at the time, the dolls are made and painted by hand to
order so won't be identical to the promotional photos and I was so enamored
with the Torrie on the website that when mine arrived looking close-but-not-
exact I was kind of a little deflated. It's hard to even imagine how that felt
now, because she's such an important part of my life that the idea of ever
feeling any kind of disappointment towards her is so alien. She was truly
beautiful though, and any ill-feelings were short lived and likely as much
wallet-shock as anything else.
For a while she was the only BJD I had and hadn't really been looking for
another one, I once said in a vlog (also a story for another time probably) a
long time ago that I adopt dolls from my heart, not my head. I'm not looking
for the next big thing, it just happens when it happens.
And it happened, boy did it happen. About two years after I got Torrie,
Dollmore released a new line, much larger than most BDJs, called Lusion Dolls
and they were amazing. Standing 79cm or 2'7", beautifully sculpted and
proportioned somewhat closer to a child than an adult, I was in love.
Unfortunately, at over four times what I paid for Torrie, a Lusion doll was
completely out of the question.
Except I got one anyway.
Not right away, I did sweat on it a while, telling myself that I couldn't
afford it and she wasn't perfect blah blah blah but I think a month or so
after they released the line they released a limited edition full set that was
quite interesting, she wasn't really what I was looking for but the way they
did the faceup for her was the final piece for me for what I wanted in a
Lusion doll. Luckilly Dollmore were really accommodating and even though the
faceup for the limited edition one was part of the selling point of the
limited they let me request a couple of small elements from it for the doll I
She's a Dollmore Lusion Black Dahlia doll named Cosette who's eyes I
replaced with a vivid blue and who's wig I swapped from black to blonde, as
far as I'm aware she was only the first or second Lusion doll in Australia.
She's honestly my pride and joy, my girls are all a sight to see but between
her size, her mien and her bright eyes Cosette just draws in attention, even
photos don't do her justice. But I'm just gushing now, hahaha.
At the end of that same year, although she didn't arrive until early the
next year, I adopted my third, a limited "Punky" version of Unidoll's Cupi
sculpt who I named Loretta - the story is much the same as with Cosette,
lightning struck and I fell in love, but there's not much beyond that. Unidoll
were nice enough to change her body, the "Punky" Cupi dolls were boys but they
let me swap out for a girl instead. There were some issues where the full set
was missing some stuff but that was all sorted out.
And then that same year I adopted two more girls. The first was completely
by accident, I was at an anime convention in Sydney and there was a BJD seller
in the vendors area and, I dunno, it's hard to describe, she was really pretty
but at the same time I wanted to make her different? Either way, it was that
same deep-heart click and I knew I wasn't going to leave without her so said
bye-bye to all the money I brought with me and adopted her on the spot. She
ended up riding home entirely unceremoniously, bundled in bubble wrap and
hotel towels in my carry-on luggage hahaha. She's a Dollzone Clovera sculpt,
her name is Ilsa.
The second, and my last, came into being differently to all my other girls,
she's the only one that wasn't pure emotional impulse, she started off as
equal parts doll I liked, doll concept I wanted to create and a desire to try
harder to DIY - unfortunately for her she's been sitting in a box, barely
worked on since, because I am horrible at working on things. She's another
Dollmore but a hybrid I put together from a couple of different dolls.
I haven't adopted another girl since, although there's been a couple times
I've come close. I just feel like it isn't fair to her, new girls coming in
while she's patiently waiting in a box for me to get off my ass.
So there's a quick(?) summary of how I got into the ball-jointed doll scene
and my small family but I might leave this here since it's getting long, and
do a separate file on my interactions with and feelings towards the community
itself sometime in the future... whether you're interested or not! Hahahaha.