What, Why, Where? The World of BJDs

 

The authors first doll, a Souldoll Sweeney, MSD sized, factory face-up

The author's first doll, a Souldoll Sweeney, MSD sized, factory face-up

Resin ball-jointed dolls, or BJDs for short are amazingly articulated dolls which are customizable.  Most dolls currently come from Asia.  They come primarily from Japan and South Korea but there are also many new companies starting up in China. The dolls tend to be made in a few popular sizes, though each manufacturers’ dolls are a bit different. 

The most popular size of  BJD dolls is around the 60 cm. (about 2′) size.  There is also a bit larger size that has become increasingly popular that are closer to 70 cm. (2’4″) or more in height.  The next most popular general size is about 40cm. (16″) tall. The smallest size is a minute 10-20 cm. (4-8″) size doll.  A few dolls fit between the mini and tiny in size. Some of the smallest sized dolls are made with a mix of animal and human features. All of these dolls are made of hard resin.  Their degree of customization is limited only by the imagination!

These dolls can be expensive, as the companies tend to make the dolls to order. The base price is usually for a blank doll without face painting (called a “face-up”) and sometimes no eyes or wig. The owners are then free to either pay the company to paint a face for the doll for a fee, find an artist to do the work, or tackle it on their own. Doll sites sell many wigs and eyes to customize their dolls. Because the doll can wear different eyes or wigs, it can easily be radically changed in appearance. Some dolls are sold as special editions and they come complete with hair, eyes, clothes and painted face-ups.  They are very expensive and usually a limited number are released. At the other end, some dolls are sold as parts and the buyer selects the body, head and sometimes even hands and feet they want for their doll.

The pose-ability of BJDs is another remarkable feature.  Many companies compete to have the most flexible bodies and most natural poses.  Not only arms and legs, elbows and knees, but even the torso is jointed. The dolls are held together with elasticized cord just as antique ball jointed dolls were.  Some people prefer to replace this cord with wire.

Probably the best and worst thing about BJDs is that they are easily addictive.  Many collectors swear that one doll is sufficient but before long are dressing and customizing eight or ten of them!

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3 Comments

  1. Charles Stephan said,

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for linking our newly established company on your site!
    If I could make one suggestion, since we’re not a doll shop or dealer, more an artist doll company, If you could perhaps link us there that would be awesome!

    Thank you and have a great day!

    Charles

  2. vapalla said,

    Done and done! Thanks C-man!

  3. Charles Stephan said,

    Great Vapalla,
    Thank you ^^*

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