Featured Post

Doll Owner’s Corner: It’s Survey Time!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll

It’s the first of the month, time for another Doll Owner’s Corner.  When I, the doll owner, get to talk about anything at all without the dolls getting in the way.

This month’s topic:

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Or "Why are these dolls so expensive?!"The Cost

Or “why are these dolls so expensive?!” :(

This is the sad cry of every ball jointed doll owner, as well as collectors of certain other adorable yet expensive dolls (American Girl, I’m looking at you).  But it is especially the case with the bjd. 

This is a genre where dolls that sell new for under $300 (here’s a list of them on Den of Angels) are considered cheap and budget friendly.  And that’s the price without any clothes, hair or face up (see Doll Owner's Corner: The Face Up), which could tack on an extra 80+ dollars.  And we haven’t gotten to shipping yet.

Why so much for a single doll? 

Well first off, there’s materials.  Hikaru mentions endlessly how she is finely molded and cast from resin.  She isn’t just being full of it.  Resin is a very fine and rather expensive type of plastic.  One that is dangerous to work with and takes time to properly and safely cast.

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Who makes them?

Second, there’s the companies themselves.  These are very small companies/studios, not big old factories.  No mass production here.  Most of the time, your doll is made by hand when you order it from the company.  Plus most, but not all of the companies that make these dolls are overseas.  This means a high cost of shipping and possible customs charges depending on where you live.  That definitely adds to the costs.

Third, the extras.  Remember, I said that “cheap” $300 didn’t include hair, clothes or face.  And depending on what kind of character your doll has, they can run quite steep.  That’s because if you can’t find an outfit or wig exactly the way you want it and in a size that fits your doll, then you have to get them custom made.

Now there’s a bright side to all this and it involves that term “custom made”.  The point of ball jointed dolls that gets people so hooked on them is that they can be customized.  The fact that you can do much of the “customizing” yourself can help bring down the costs.

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Making doll clothes helps.

For example, the clothes.  If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that Hikaru and her doll friends don’t own a single piece of clothing that I haven’t made myself.  And as I pointed out in last month’s Doll Owner’s Corner, it doesn’t have to cost very much for materials.  And many patterns are available for free (checkout the Tutorial Directory).

It doesn’t stop at the clothes, you can make tons of stuff for these dolls including wigs, eyes, props, furniture, etc. and even do their face ups yourself (if you have the nerve, unlike me).  Plus these are all items/services you can sell to others to help earn money for other things.  Like more dolls maybe.  :)

Of course even if you make/do everything for them yourself there is still that initial cost of the doll.  There is something you can do about that as well. 

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Waiting for sales helps.

Like most things you buy, these dolls do go on sale at times.  And companies will have special events.  Usually things where if you buy certain items you get a free gift, like parts or sometimes a small sized doll. 

That’s how I got Usagi’s “friend”, the head (see Welcome Home: Doll Family-A Unboxing).  He was a free gift when I bought her, on sale of course.  And if I wait for a sale to buy him a body, I will have a complete doll for considerably less than his retail price.

So overall, ball jointed dolls can break your heart with their high costs.  But if you are careful about what you buy and when, then the costs don’t have to hurt quite as much.

No comments:

Post a Comment