I am sorry for the long hiatus. I'm sure everyone must have thought I was sick or hibernating or something... Well, things have been really busy around here, and finally here's an update on what I've been up to. A while back I saw some pictures online and read about Asian Ball Jointed Dolls, commonly referred to as bjd's. These dolls are different from anything in my collection, and I guess I was bitten by the bjd bug. I have been spending some time researching and trying to learn more about them. I've also been selling some extras from my collection on ebay, so that I could afford one of these beauties.
If you are not familiar with them, bjd's are highly articulated dolls with ball and socket joints. They are super posable, which is part of what makes them look so very realistic. Many bjd faces also look so realistic that when photographed, the viewer would do a double take to ask if the subject were real person or a doll.
Bjd's are cast in polyurethane synthetic resin, which is a hard, dense plastic, and their parts are strung together with a thick elastic. Why does a doll require so much research, you ask? Well for one thing, you won't find them in retail stores, so they are not simple to obtain in the U.S. They are predominantly produced in Japan, South Korea, and China. They can be ordered directly from the company that produces them, or you could buy one on the secondary market. I have only found a couple of retailers in the U.S. that sell them. The Junky Spot and Denver Doll Emporium both sell a variety of bjd's, with some dolls in stock, but many that have to be ordered, which can take 3-4 months to receive.
Another thing that requires a lot of research is that bjd's come in many different sizes. These sizes are divided into three basic categories. Large bjd's are called SD's, and they are usually around 60 cm. or about 24 inches tall. The middle category of dolls are called MSD's, commonly referred to as mini's and are usually around 40 cm. or 16 inches tall. The smallest category, known as tinies, are called YoSD's, and they are under 30 cm. or under 12 inches tall, but some dolls in this category are as small as 4" tall.
So a big part of deciding on a doll first involves deciding what size doll you want. With a size range spanning from 4" to 24", there's a size for everyone. The larger SD's usually appear to be young adults, while MSD's are teens, and YoSD's are kids. The bigger YoSD's are kind of like the American Girl age, with the 10" dolls being around 10 years old. The 6" dolls would probably be around 6 years old, and the tiny 4" dolls are usually elves or fairies.
At first, I really wanted one of the large SD size dolls, because size-wise I didn't have anything like them in my collection. But size and cost are directly related in the BJD world, the bigger they are, the more they cost. So I decided that since I love the characteristics of American Girl age dolls, a YoSD size girl would be at the top of my wish list.
More about what makes these dolls so different, is that you will completely customize your own doll. Because they are completely customized by their owners, no two bjd's look alike. Bjd's are sold without wigs, clothes, or even painted faces (commonly referred to as the faceup). They usually come with a random color pair of eyes, but most owners change their dolls eyes to suit their taste or the dolls character. So once you choose a doll, you will need to decide on a color and style of wig, choose clothes, eyes, and decide if you want to pay extra for a factory faceup, paint the faceup yourself, or send your new doll's face off to a faceup artist. These dolls are easy to take apart to change the eyes and do the faceup, usually with either a magnetic faceplate or headback.
The YoSD girl that I finally decided on was a Fairyland Littlefee, which is a 10" tall size doll. Since I was looking for a bargain, I decided to watch for the best deal I could find on the secondary market. I found a deal on a Littlefee Juri 2013 faceplate on ebay. This was an exclusive Littlefee faceplate from a Fairyland event. Since it was easier to afford just the faceplate, I decided to buy her and look for a body for her later.
She was delivered to me, and even without her faceup, eyes, wig, or a body, I thought she was adorable. Just look at her cute little mouth.
And she has the most adorable little elf ears. ♥♥♥
I have already sent her off to a very sweet face up artist, Trinity at Delicate Reflections. She is going to transform her with a long list of requests that I have detailing exactly what I want her to look like, including adorable freckles!!! I took a few pictures in the new room I am working on for her, just before I packed her up safely for her trip to Delicate Reflections. Now, the waiting begins. Here is a photo of my Littlefee Juri 2013 girl's faceplate in the beginnings of her room, which still needs to be furnished while she's away getting beautiful.
Don't panic, I have already found her a body which is coming with a pair of eyes to use until I can find the perfect eyes for her. I decided on a tibetan lamb mohair wig for her. I found a great price on a piece of mohair in the color I wanted, so I am going to attempt to make her wig myself. I'm not brave enough to paint her face myself, but I will try making her a wig. :)
I am so excited and can't wait to show you my completed girl and her furnished room! I'm still thinking about a name and working on a backstory for her. I am thinking about Kohana Kawaii for her name. In Japanese, Kohana means little flower and Kawaii means cute. I'm not sure if I would call her Kohana or KoKo. Just some ideas I'm tossing around, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and name suggestions.
More to come soon! :)