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Monday, May 1, 2017

Doll Owner’s Corner: What is a Bjd?

Time for another Doll Owner’s Corner.  When I, the doll owner, talk about anything at all.

This month’s topic:

Let's learn all about ball jointed dolls!

What is a Bjd?

Hikaru and her friends are all bjds or ball jointed dolls which I think are really super nice dolls.  But, I realized I probably haven’t explained exactly what these dolls are to those who aren’t familiar with them.

First a definition.

According to Wikipedia:

“A ball-jointed doll is any doll that is articulated with ball and socket joints. In contemporary usage when referring to modern dolls, and particularly when using the acronyms BJD or ABJD, it usually refers to modern Asian ball-jointed dolls. These are cast in polyurethane synthetic resin, a hard, dense plastic, and the parts strung together with a thick elastic. They are predominantly produced in Japan, South Korea and China.”

Knee joints on ball jointed dolls.

So yes, the name for them comes from their ball joints, but they are not the first dolls made with such joints.  Many antique doll have them too.  However, the joints are just one of the reasons why they are so cool, because they allow the dolls to bend and pose so well.

Ball jointed dolls were first produced by the Japanese company, Volks in 1999 with their line of Super Dollfies or SDs.  Dollfie is short for doll figure.

The abbreviation SD, though actually a Volks thing, is commonly used to refer to ball jointed dolls from other companies in the same size, about 60 cm (24 inches). 

It’s the same with their Mini-Super Dollfies or MSD which are around 40 cm. tall.  Which is why I frequently refer to Hikaru and Usagi as being Msd sized.  Even smaller dolls (about 20-30cm.) are known as YOSD, so Yuna and Sakura are yosd sized dolls.

Another way to refer to these dolls is in terms of scale.  SD is 1/3 scale, Msd is 1/4 scale and Yosd is 1/6 scale. 

What makes these dolls different from most is their ability to be customized to suit their owner’s taste.  They are typically made to order with your choice of head sculpts. 

What to expect when you buy a ball jointed doll.

They usually come without eyes (except for a free random pair) or hair, and you can choose to buy them without any paint on the face (aka a face up).  You can actually buy heads and bodies separately to pair them with parts from other companies if you wish.

Then you chose wigs, clothes, accessories, etc. to create the doll of your dreams.  The downside to all this customization and such is the price tag, which I’ve mentioned before here.  They are after all hand made individually from resin.  A beautiful, porcelain-like but highly expensive material. Sigh.

However, there are other types of dolls out there that are just as customizable and fun, such as Obitsus, Azone dolls, Hujoo etc.  So there are options if bjds just aren’t quite your thing.

That’s some of the basics on these wonderful dolls.  For some more information, and possibly some eye candy, check out these links.

  • Den of Angels – The largest English language forum for ball jointed dolls.  Also a goldmine of useful information about these dolls.
  • Bjdcollectasy – A bjd news blog with updates on the latest releases from companies, sales and events, and even a few tutorials and such.
  • AsenvaBJD – One of the best YouTube channels about ball jointed dolls and related dolls.
  • Nicolle's Dreams – Another YouTube channel.  Lots of videos about face ups and other dolly fun.
  • Antique Lilac – Features several free bjd clothing tutorials as well a some nice patterns for sale.
  • Alice’s Collections – An online bjd store.  They are an official dealer for a large number of bjd companies.  They also sell clothes, wigs, shoes, eyes and just about anything else you need for dolls at great prices.  Their sales are great too.
  • Junkyspot – Another online store for bjds and other dolls.  They are based in the USA, so cheap shipping if you are American.  Plus almost everything on the site is in stock, so the wait time is about a week instead of several months.

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