Author: Alison Rasmussen

Ball-Jointed Dolls: Body Sizes

Ball Jointed Doll Guide You might see phrases in ball jointed doll terminology including BJD Size Chart, BJD MSD Size, BJD Sizes, BJD Doll Size Chart and more when researching on ball-jointed dolls. Here’s our guide to BJD doll sizes. — Ed. Confused about large dolls, minis, tinies? What do the abbreviations SD and MSD mean? Ball-jointed dolls have their own unique sizing system. I’ll address them here. The most familiar are the Volks brand name sizes: SD or Super Dollfie. This brand is actually a Volks brand of doll, and refers to the line of dolls which are  55 cm tall (almost 22”), but were originally 57 cm (about 22.5”). Sometimes this size is referred to as SD10. SD13 or Super Dollfie 13 are another Volks brand and have mature bodies. The girls are 57 cm (about 22.5”) and the boys 60 cm (about 23.5”) tall. MSD stands for Mini Super Dollfie, and these immature, more child-like bodies stand about 42 cm (16.5”) tall. Yo-SD come from the Japanese word for “infant,” and are even younger looking than MSD dolls. They stand 26.5 cm (10.5”) in height. Ball-Jointed Doll Advice Mailed to You: Subscribe to DOLLS today Many manufacturers will use Volks terms to describe the sizes of their own line of dolls, even if their measurements are slightly different. To describe various sizes, collectors may group their...

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Ball-Jointed Dolls – What Is Quality?

Elfdoll Tiny Olivia, dressed in an outfit by Nancie of Why are some BJDs more costly than others? I’ll share my input. As in most things in life, you get what you pay for. Why do some cost more than others? Here are some reasons: Production location. Dolls made in China cost less than dolls manufactured in Japan. I haven’t yet found a significant quality difference. Materials. Vinyl is less expensive than resin. I prefer resin for its feel and luminescence; plus, it’s easier to clean and customize, and it doesn’t stain easily. Jointing and articulation. Usually, the more articulated the doll, the more expensive. Look for flanged (or covered) joints. This makes the joints less mechanical-looking. In addition, double-jointed elbows and knees are a plus: these allow the doll to kneel sitting on her heels, for example, or touch her face with her hand. Sculpting details. Usually the more expensive sculpts will have more details in their hands, fingers, soles of their feet, and faces. All in all, when comparison shopping, just be certain you’re getting the doll you like the most. Basic doll or full set. A full set BJD includes a face-up, wig, outfit and shoes, plus has often already had the seam lines sanded down. Basic dolls are usually sold a la carte, where you add just the services you’d like to your doll....

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Ball-Jointed Dolls – Choosing Your First Doll

              Wondering what to consider when you buy your very first BJD?  Your first doll may make or break your love affair with BJDs, so choose wisely. There are many choices available, and it’s hard to decide on promotional photos alone. Here are some things to consider: Initial investment. What can you afford to spend? This will limit your choices significantly. Keep in mind your doll’s face-up, outfit, wig and shoes may cost extra, and international shipping may also cut into your budget. Quality. As in all things in life, you get what you pay for. Instead of buying several inexpensive dolls, I recommend buying the best one you can afford. By best, I mean, the one you like the most, and the one with the best customer reviews. I’ll go into “quality” in a later post, but how much time are you willing to invest in your doll? Are you comfortable sanding seam lines or painting a face-up yourself? Research. Go online, to message boards, blogs and websites, and see what you can find for face sculpts. If you’re fortunate enough to live close to a store that carries BJDs, you can see them in person. Attend a BJD meet-up or convention and experience the facial sculpts in person; though, honestly, the more dolls I see, the more I find I love....

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Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners – Terminology

Peak’s Woods Sky, white skin. Wig by Michele Hardy Thinking about entering the ball-jointed world? Don’t hesitate, and don’t be intimidated by the “fragility” of resin. If a klutz like me can collect resin BJDs, so can you! Whenever you enter a new hobby, it’s good to do some research–and ball-jointed dolls are a little different from fashion or antique dolls. I’ll start this series of posts on the terminology of ball-jointed dolls–and really, these are the bare bones basics from a beginning collector. You can learn from my mistakes! First, the terms of the trade: Ball-jointed doll usually refers to any doll that is strung with elastic and “articulated with ball and socket joints,” according to Wikipedia. Many collectors have definite opinions as to what makes a “true” BJD–it must be cast in resin, for example, or it must have articulated elbows and knees. But for my purposes, I’ll use Wiki’s first line definition. Resin is a polyurethane plastic. It’s very hard, but can be breakable when dropped. Most BJDs come with interchangeable wigs and acrylic or glass eyes, which allows for easy customization. In addition, dolls are available as “basic” (nude or in basic underwear) or as a “full set,” which includes an outfit, wig and often face-up. Face-up refers to the doll’s make-up, and this is often available at an extra charge. Most BJDs are available...

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A Renewed Love of Rag Dolls

Alice Plays Croquet, a one-of-a-kind soft doll by Cimmerii Mills. Soft yarn hair, embroidered face, cotton dress, felt flamingo accessory. It’s been years since I’ve cuddled a rag doll of my own in my hands. And as an Alice in Wonderland enthusiast, the ad for the Go Ask Alice show in Santa Barbara caught my attention. The Go Ask Alice show was advertised for the same weekend as my first ball-jointed doll convention, so I couldn’t attend in person. But I was delighted by the eye candy: soft rag dolls, plushies, and other lovely items displayed for the promos for the show’s opening. The show hostess, doll artist Cimmi Cumes, is a graphic designer by training, and started her own line of soft dolls, plushies and accessories (Cimmerii : California) in 2007. She sells her items in a brick and mortar gallery which she shares with her husband, Paul Cumes Fine Art, in Santa Barbara, California. You can also find her on the web, where she has her own blog, Etsy shop, and doll and plushie blog, the Doll Head. I emailed Cimmi, and was delighted to find that not all the gorgeous dolls had sold out. I’m thrilled to have added Alice Plays Croquet to my collection, who arrived today. She has the softest yarn hair, sparkling blue eyes, striped stocking legs–and 100% one-of-a-kind Alice personality of her...

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Ball-jointed Doll Convention in San Diego

I attended my first ball-jointed doll convention, Oberon’s Ball, in San Diego last weekend. It was my first, but it definitely won’t be my last! I read about the convention on Den of Angels, an Asian BJD message forum. A mini convention sounded ideal, as I planned to bring my daughters along–assuming I could extract promises of their best behavior (or blood, whichever came first). The convention started at noon. I was thrilled to meet several dealers, including Pam from Dollovely. Pam presented a super-easy sueding demo, which will save me from burning my hands with hot glue. It was simple, and something that was so much less intimidating to see in person than read about online. My own wish list grew by leaps and bounds at Ms. Cholong’s DollHeart booth (those outfits and Peak’s Woods dolls are gorgeous), and at the Pixiedust Designs booth: Robin’s collection of tiny BJDs were simply amazing. Just seeing the dolls in person–some redressed, some with modifications, some original–made me see they are much more impressive than their promotional photos suggest. There was a costume contest, including best fairy, best steampunk, and best owner/doll combo. The girl who won the last category is someone I “follow” on Twitter. It’s fun to put real faces to screen names. I felt like a new collector–but some were even newer to the hobby than me. Yet...

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