Seeing how I get a lot of doll related questions, I have decided to make a special page just for them. Please understand if I have directed you here after asking me a question, I am not trying to be rude I just get certain questions with such alarming frequency that it is just easier for me than trying to explain the same thing, over and over again.
I’ve made up a fairly lengthy, very detailed Pullip FAQ, this page is just generalized doll related questions I receive from time to time.
First and foremost my most asked question….
Question: Is the stuff featured on the website for sale? I want to buy _____ doll from you, please sell it to me now!!!!
Answer: NO! I hate to put is so emphatically but unless it is featured on my sales page, it is not for sale! I make an earnest effort to mention where I got something from when I feature it on my website. You can try to tempt me with an insane offer but the answer will likely still be no.
Question– You used some terms I am unfamiliar with what is OOAK, MIB, NRFB etc. what do they mean?
Answer- I know it seems like we dolly collectors have our own secret language at times so here are some of the most commonly seen mystery words..
Custom– Custom means the doll has been changed from it’s default and has received a new face up or other work.
Bait– Doll is in extremely poor condition or damaged that would only be good for restoration or customization.
TLC– Tender loving care, if you see this in a doll’s listing it’s a kinder way of saying they are bait.
OOAK– One of a Kind generally refers to custom dolls as there is not another doll like anywhere else in the world.
NRFB– Not Removed From the Box
MIB– Mint in Box
Grail– Most desired unattainable dream doll normally limited or extremely expensive older release.
Question: Where can I buy Mama Chapps?
Answer: Your best bet is to go through a bidding agency and get one from Yahoo Japan, the official website does offer preorders occasionally but they sell out lightning quick and you would need to go through a bidding agency in order to preorder from them website.
Question: Where can I buy Pullips?
Answer: The vast majority of new dolls I buy come from come from Pullipstyle who I recommend highly. I’ve literally bought over 100 dolls from Pullipstyle over the years and I have no complaints, they are always top notch. JPGroove is another option if you are in the US, their prices tend to be slightly higher than Pullipstyle’s but sometimes they have stuff that Pullipstyle does not. Internationally, Amiami, HobbylinkJapan and Hobbysearch all sell Pullip and may work out better with shipping cost if you are not in the US, just be warned HLJ’s packaging can sometimes leave something to be desired (I purchased Uncanricky from them and she was shipped via ems there was a hole in the box and I could literally see her staring back at me :O ). There is a forum called Dolly Market, the primary focus is on Pullips but other dolls are welcome as well. There is a thriving buying/selling/trading market there but remember to read the rules and contribute. If you need help figuring out something on the forum, you can private message me (Hina Ichigo) and I’ll try my best to help.
Pullip Questions – please see the Pullip FAQ
Question: What is a BJD?
Answer: BJD means ball jointed doll. They are strung dolls with ball joints, any doll that is strung and has ball joints is a bjd by definition. Some people/places such as Den of Angels have a very narrow, focused view and much more stringent guidelines as to what is to be considered to be a bjd such as that it must be made of resin, have a certain amount of joints etc.
Question: Are Pullips, Monster High, J-dolls, Ever After High dolls etc BJDs?
Answer: Pullips and J-dolls are Asian fashion dolls, Monster High and Ever After High dolls are fashion dolls. They all have a ball jointed shoulder but that is their only ball joint and none of them are strung. This does not make them in anyway inferior to bjds it just means they are a different type of doll.
Question: Where can I buy BJDs?
Answer: These are the bjd companies I buy from most frequently, these are not the only bjd companies that exist just ones I have the most experience with…
Latidoll– Latidoll is generally only open during special order periods that happen roughly every 2-3 months, after the event period they generally open regular orders for basics for a week or two. They do not offer layaway. Wait times are absurd, my last order took 10 months.
Fairyland– Always open for orders though certain doll lines/models are periodically unavailable (currently pukipukis, a few select minifees and Feeple60 while they are redoing the molds). Fairyland does not offer layaway directly, layaway is available through their dealer Denverdoll though.
Luts– Luts is constantly open for orders, they do periodic special events where they offer special dolls like the Tiny Delf Centaurs. They do offer layaway for up to three months, they offer a wide range of sizes and their pricing is pretty reasonable. Fabricfriendsanddolls is their dealer.
Volks– Volks has only small variety of standard models that are available to be ordered at any time though they frequently go in/out of stock though some models such as YoSD are only available as limited edition models. Volks’ big thing is special limited releases, these are generally sold via lotteries at special events known as Dolpa. Generally after the dolpa they do a lottery for any leftover dolls, if by some miracle there are dolls leftover after that because someone didn’t pay for their order they do what is known as click wars where they place the item on the website and the first one to checkout/pay for the item gets it. Volks lotteries mean you win the right to buy not that you win a free doll, if you win and don’t pay you will not be able to order from them again they ban your account. They don’t have dealers and they don’t offer layaways.
Den of Angels is the largest bjd forum and has a marketplace sub-forum where you can buy secondhand dolls. The dealers I use the most are Denverdoll and Fabricfriendsanddolls the advantage of going through a dealer is they carry several different brands of dolls ie. not all just from one company, they offer layaway options and if there is a problem with your order they can assist you with sorting it out.
Avoid stores like BJDBaby, BJD-Shop and any Taobao/Aliexpress store selling Volks/Fairyland/Iplehouse ie. multiple brands of dolls this is a major red flag because Volks and Iplehouse don’t have dealers they are selling recast bjds. Another thing to look out for is prices example: most minifee with a face up cost a little over $450 from Fairyland if you find a store selling multiple minifees for under $200 they are selling recasts!
Question: What are recasts?
Answer: Recasts are unauthorized copies of bjds. The name recast comes from the process used to make them, the recaster takes a doll from a company and uses it to make a cast which they then to use to make dolls which results in dolls that are slightly smaller than the originals. There is quite a bit of stigma attached to owning recast dolls as their purchase does not any way support the original artists or the company that owns the rights to the doll.
Question: Where can I buy Dollfie Dreams?
Answer: Be prepared as this is going to be a long and complicated answer ^^;
Standard models ie. Aoi, Miko, Mayu, Yukino, Candy, Mirai and Rena are almost always available directly through Volks USA or Volks International. These dolls are continually produced so they restock shortly after selling out.
Approximately once a year, Volks will do a preorder project for a collaboration Dollfie Dream where all orders within the order period will be filled an example of this would be the Vocaloid Miku DD. Preorders are always available on Volks International and sometimes on VolksUSA as well. The only downside with the preorder dolls is depending on how many orders they receive you could be waiting for your doll for a while.
The other limited collaboration DDs are lottery dolls, they are normally available to coincide with an event such as Doll Party. After the event, Volks International does a lottery for any leftover dolls via their website shortly after the event. An entry in the lottery is not a guarantee, the chances of winning vary depending on a variety of factors such as popularity of the character it’s been my experience that the MDDs tend to be the hardest to win. Do not enter for a lottery unless you can pay, if you win Volks expects you to pay and they want payment pretty much immediately and they do not offer layaway. If you win and do not pay Volks will ban your account and you will no longer be able to purchase directly from them or enter lotteries. VolksUSA no longer does lotteries for the LE DDs but they have in the past.
For past releases your best bet is probably Yahoo Japan. Unless you actually live in Japan please keep in mind that you not buy directly from Yahoo Japan, you have to go through a bidding agency and they will add anywhere from a 15-20% commission fee. Dollfie Dreams show up occasionally on Den of Angels which is primarily a ball jointed doll forum. There is now a forum devoted to Dollfie Dreams which has a marketplace. I can not stress enough that if you are really wanting to buy a popular, limited dollfie dream than you have to be realistic about your expectations of cost. Saber for example is a popular doll, her MSRP was right around $1,000 she tends to sell for more so expecting to be able to find her complete for around $500 is not realistic. Do your research watch a few auctions of whichever doll you are lusting for and see where they end and see if it feasible for you. I understand Dollfie Dreams are expensive, I know they are but to me they are worth it and I own several of them their purchases for me are pretty well planned out and are not something casual or whim driven.
In the past, I used to write about Dollfie Dreams more here but too many people complained about my not emailing them to remind them when the lottery dates were and well that is not my responsibility ^^;
Question: Are Dollfie Dreams considered bjds?
Answer: Dollfie Dreams are on-topic on Den of Angels but they aren’t really bjds, they are grandfathered in because the very first DD models by Volks were actually strung. They have a skeleton system and are made out of vinyl, they can share clothes with some bjds but they are really kind of their own thing.
Question: You are talking that weird doll collector language again what does DD mean etc?
Answer: Here’s a quick glossary of Dollfie Dream terms..
MDD- Mini Dollfie Dream
DDS- Dollfie Dream Sister
DD- Dollfie Dream
DDDy- Dollfie Dream Dynamite
Questions concerning myself or my personal collection…
Question: How do I contact you?
Answer: My email address is pullipsandjunk (@) gmail.com
Question: What are your personal feelings on recasts of ball jointed dolls?
Answer: I generally try to avoid this topic under the theory that you should not discuss money, religion or politics in polite society as it creates unnecessary drama that being said I do not wish to open up a debate about recasts here. In an ideal world recasts would not exist but we don’t live in an ideal world and I recognize that. I am personally anti-recast but I’m also somewhat neutral in that I generally won’t ask about the subject as it’s not my business. I do not wish to start a debate on this subject.
Question: I want you to review _____ type of doll, why haven’t you featured it on your website?
Answer: Do I own that type of doll or have I stated interest in that type of doll? I may eventually feature them here if I said yes to either of those questions. Sometimes I’ll buy something if I’m curious enough about it or if I happen to find a deal but most of the time I have other priorities. A good example of this is Soom Lila, I’ve been aware of her existence for quite some time and she has been on my would be nice to own list for a while but she is quite pricey and while she looks interesting I’m not convinced I would even like her in person so I’d rather spend the funds on something else for now until I either find a deal or Soom comes out with an irresistible release . If I don’t care for a doll line, I’m not going to buy a doll just for the sake of doing a review of it ^^;
If you are from a company and would like to send me something to feature or review please email me at pullipsandjunk (@) gmail.com .
Question: May I use your photos?
Answer: For the most part I do not mind, doll/toy photos for comparison purposes or whatever so long as you link back either to my website or my flickr . These photos are not to be used to misrepresent yourself as the owner of said items or for sales purposes. If it’s not a picture of a doll or toy and it’s one of my rare pictures of people from pictures I’ve posted from vacations or whatever the answer is no, absolutely not.
Question: How many dolls do you own?
Answer: A lot!
Question: Why do you have so many dolls?
Answer: Because I like them, that’s basically it. After a long day, I get an immeasurable amount of joy just going downstairs, sitting in my little studio area and just looking at them all. Doll photography really helps me de-stress as I focus solely on it while I am doing it and it’s something I have complete control over everything else in my life can be spinning out of control but right now I’ve got my light set up, background, camera and a doll and that is what I am focusing on!
Question: How come you don’t photograph your doll displays?
Answer: I don’t like to basically ^^; . I consider my doll studio to be my private sanctuary, why would I share something so personal to me? To me it is perfect, I honestly don’t want to open it up to the community for criticism as photos of larger groups of dolls almost always seem to be met with passive aggressive comments and criticism like “omg you have way too many dolls”, “It must be nice to be rich” or appeals for cheap and/or free dolls.
Question: How do you afford all this stuff? It must be nice to be rich!
Answer: It is nice to be an adult with an okay paying job and not a lot of bills or financial responsibilities! I think sometimes people fail to take into account that I did not get all these dolls overnight, I’ve been collecting for several years. It also helps that I’m quite good at finding deals/bargains. I sell lesser loved dolls occasionally and when I do that well the money tends to go right back into more dolls.