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Ball-Jointed Dolls - Choosing Your First Doll
Written by Alison Rasmussen   
Wondering what to consider when you buy your very first BJD? Consider these three things....

Anya, by Kim Lasher. A normal skin, full-set BJD, about MSD size.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. If you can’t go in person, search online for real-life (owner) photos. 
There is a fine balance of research and impulse. If you do too much research, you run the risk of giving yourself too high of expectations. However, if you buy the first BJD you see, you may not choose the right doll for your collection and style.

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This is great advice. I'm just starting out with BJDs, and am at the "about to buy" stage. My stumbling block, is the availability of stock on a lot of sites. I found a Luts doll that I thought was ideal, but 90% of the items in the pictures, are sold out, some never to return. This seems a common problem, you see pictures of fantastic dolls, with wigs, clothes etc... only to find that you can't buy those items.

As an artist/photographer, initial impressions are everything to me. So when something captures your imagination, it is frustrating to have that image chipped away, by missing items. Out of the complete doll I saw, all I can buy, is the body and head. I feel that my first doll should be complete, so that if it takes time for my collection to build, I still have that initial inspiration piece to go back to.

Sadly, simply choosing the ideal doll and buying it, is not that straight forward. smilies/sad.gif
Lee C , November 09, 2012

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