The Dolls Awards of Excellence

The Dolls Awards of Excellence (DAE) competition recognizes and encourages excellence in the design and creation of dolls. Photos of all entries are reviewed and rated by professionals within the doll industry, who evaluate each submission on overall aesthetic appeal; excellence in concept, design, and execution; and quality of materials and workmanship.

The highest-scoring creations in each category receive the DAE Industry’s Choice Awards. These winning creations, along with other entrants’ top-rated submissions, become the nominees for the Public’s Choice Awards. DOLLS readers then vote for their favorite nominee in each category to determine the Public’s Choice winners. Show the doll world your talent — enter this year’s competition!


Entries that do not conform to the following rules will not be processed or seen by judges. The period for entering runs from January 8 through April 3, 2024. If you have questions not addressed here, please email Editor Hannah Kelley or call 715-445-5000 ext. 158.


All entries for the 2024 DAEs must have been first introduced on or after January 1, 2023, and made available for sale during 2023 or 2024, provided they were not entered in past DAE competitions. Dolls introduced and made available for sale in 2023 or 2024 that have already been sold are eligible to enter.

Each entry must be a new, original design and not a variation or re-costuming of a previous design. Any substantial changes made in costume, materials, or retail price from the original entry are grounds for disqualification of the entry.

You may enter as many dolls as you wish in any category, but each doll can only be entered once.

Note regarding multiple production runs: It is common practice, especially in the BJD market, to use the same sculpt in multiple production runs using different skin colors for each run. In such cases, only one doll from each production run can be entered. For example: Doll X (tan) and Doll X (pale) could each be entered. However, if Doll X (tan) is a limited edition of five, and the artist gave each doll in the edition a different combination of face paint, outfit, and accessories, only one example of Doll X (tan) may be entered in the competition.

For your protection, please do not submit entries in the image of or with the name of trademarked characters unless you hold a license to create the characters.

If a submission entered into a category is deemed inappropriate by the staff of DOLLS, the magazine reserves the right to disqualify the entry or move it to a different category.


For the purposes of this contest, dolls are defined as jointed or unjointed playthings or collectibles, produced from any materials, in a human image (anthropomorphic designs may be entered in one of the Fantasy categories). The awards are divided into eight Standard Categories and three Special Categories.


Entries in categories 1-8 must be designed and completed by the submitting artist or manufacturer, from original sculpt to finished doll. Collaborations are permitted, provided all contributing artists are credited, but dolls made from kits or altered versions of an existing doll must be entered in the appropriate Special Category (see below).

Categories 1-4 are open to dolls reproduced in open or limited editions. This includes individual dolls whose bodies have been reproduced in any medium and that have then been costumed and finished uniquely, as well as dolls released with minor variations, such as ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) sold with a random wig or pair of eyes.

Categories 5-8 are open to one-of-a-kind (OOAK) dolls. Each entry in these categories must have an original, unique sculpt that has not been reproduced, along with a unique costume and finishing details. 

Standard Categories
1. Fantasy Doll (Limited or open editions)
2. Baby Doll (Limited or open editions)
3. Child Doll (Limited or open editions)
4. Teen/Adult Doll (Limited or open editions)
5. OOAK Fantasy Doll (Unique sculpt and finish)
6. OOAK Baby Doll (Unique sculpt and finish)
7. OOAK Child Doll (Unique sculpt and finish)
8. OOAK Teen/Adult Doll (Unique sculpt and finish)


Dolls entered in the Reborn Doll/Silicone Kit or Repaint/Face-Up categories can be made from kits or molds or by altering an existing doll. The original artist/manufacturer of the doll, mold, or kit must be named in the Additional Credits portion of the entry form. 

Fashion entries must have been offered for sale separately from a doll released by an artist or manufacturer or have been created by a third-party artist or designer. Please enter the name of the fashion in the Entry Name portion of the form, rather than the doll name. Dolls used to model entries in the Doll Fashion category should be properly credited in the Additional Credits. 

Special Categories
9. Reborn Doll/Silicone Kit
10. Doll Repaint/Face-Up (Note: Depending on the extent of the customization, you may choose to submit two close-up photos rather than one full-length and one close-up photo.)
11. Doll Fashion (Note: Entry may be a single item of clothing or a complete outfit. You may submit two full-length photos showing the fashion from different angles or one full-length and one close-up showing detail.)


If there are insufficient entries in a category, DOLLS reserves the right to eliminate the category from this year’s competition and reclassify those entries into another appropriate category.

In order to ensure that the awards reflect the diversity of the field and to encourage new artists, DOLLS also reserves the right to restrict the number of awards an artist may win in a single category.


Once you have read the full rules, click on the DAE 2024 link at the bottom of this page (the link will go live January 8, 2024) or on the DOLLS homepage to purchase your entries. Once you have purchased your entry or entries, you will be able to access the online entry form.

Entry Fees

Entries in the Standard Categories cost $79 for the first entry and $49 for each additional entry. For the Special Categories, the first entry is $39 and additional entries are $19 each. Payment must be made by credit card or a PayPal account. These fees are nonrefundable. Fees are applied to the contest’s administrative and publicity costs.

The cost of the first entry in any category of the DAEs includes the offer of a discount on your next ad in DOLLS magazine, as well as a free one-year subscription (or renewal) to DOLLS (print and digital editions for addresses in the United States; digital-only for foreign addresses). Limit one discount and subscription per artist or company.

Entry Information

When preparing to enter online, have the following information ready for each entry:

  • Name of doll/fashion being entered
  • Height in inches
  • Edition size (examples: Open, LE35, OOAK)
  • Retail price in U.S. dollars
  • Body material
  • Eye color and material
  • Costume materials and description
  • Special features (including credits for any collaborating designers/artists)
  • Two photos (see Photo Requirements)

Make sure the information entered into the online form is complete and accurate — and that you have uploaded both photos (see below) — before submitting each entry. The information and photos will be used in the magazine and in promotional materials for nominated and winning entries. Any entry form that is not accompanied by photos and an entry fee will be invalid and not viewed by the judges. A separate online form must be filled out for each piece entered.

Photo Requirements

Each entry must include two clear color photographs. One must be a full-length photo showing the dressed doll. The second photo should be a close-up — or, if the doll is sold as nude or in basic undergarments, the second photo can show the undressed doll. See individual category listings for other exceptions. Each photo should be taken at a resolution setting of 1280×960 pixels or higher, or with a quality setting of at least “high.” Please contact Hannah Kelley if you have questions regarding the photo requirements or if you have any problems uploading the photos to the entry form.

Entries should be photographed in front of a plain background. Each entry must be photographed separately. Only props or accessories sold with a doll are permitted in the photograph.

There should be no logos or text on the photos. If photos cannot be provided without logos or text or if these cannot be removed without obscuring the doll, the entry will be disqualified.

Entry photographs become the property of JP Media LLC and may be used for promotional purposes or in DOLLS. Photos of award-winning entries and Public’s Choice nominees will be published in DOLLS.


Entries must be received by April 3, 2024, to be considered. Judges will rate dolls based on the following criteria:

  • Overall aesthetic appeal
  • Excellence in concept, design, and execution
  • Quality of materials and workmanship
  • Value represented by the price and quality


  • Jan. 8-April 3: Entry period for the 2024 Dolls Awards of Excellence competition 
  • June 13: Dolls Awards of Excellence Industry’s Choice winners will be announced in an online presentation. 
  • Early August: Public’s Choice nominees and ballot appear in the DOLLS August/September 2024 issue 
  • Oct. 1: Deadline for Public’s Choice voting 
  • Early December: Public’s Choice winners will be announced in the DOLLS January/February 2025 issue. 

The 2024 Dolls Awards of Excellence entrance deadline has passed.