Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive history by any means, but to give a general idea of what I mean when I say “Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls”, let me first say that ball-jointed (ie, a doll having a ball and socket type joint where different body parts meet) dolls are an old concept and flourished in the late nineteenth and early 20th century American and European marketplaces.
In 1999 a Japanese company named Volks produced its first doll trademarked as Super Dollfie. Volks had, before that, been known for producing smaller 1:6 sized dolls (think Barbie-size) for customization as well as intricate model kits for several years. The wife of the company owner is said to have thought up the concept of these dolls, and, as they say, history was made.
Today there are dozens of companies producing modern ball-jointed dolls throughout the world. However, the vast majority are located in Asia (mainly Japan and Korea) and have a particular style to their sculpting that brings to mind Japanese anime. It is specifically this type of doll in which I am interested and which I refer to when I say “Asian Ball-Jointed Doll” (hereafter referred to as ABJD).
Most of the dolls in my collection were produced by Volks, but I also have dolls from the following companies: NotDoll, ElfDoll, Limhwa, Fairyland, SinyLand, GloryDoll, DollsTown, Soolee, and Marchen Waltz. Though ABJD are available in all sorts of sizes (I believe the smallest to date is 10cm tall and the largest about 70cm), I concentrate on the ca. 54cm. adult dolls as well as smaller 27cm dolls representing younger children.
I purchased my first of this type of doll 2003.
Nowadays I have a few smaller dolls (10cm), but none taller than 54cm…I think I am so short that it’d be cumbersome to carrying anything larger. I have only female dolls…I have had male dolls but several years ago gave up on them in my collection.
ABJD are characterized by a large degree of anatomical “correctness”, the ability to wear interchangeable wigs and eyes, and are usually (at least when manufactured on large scale) made of a type of polyurethane resin.
Resin is a material which is easily customized through sanding and sculpting directly on the piece. It can also be painted with paints such as acrylics, which are able to be removed at whim by the doll’s owner. This makes these dolls highly customizable…and is the original reason I became interested in them.
Most ABJD are approx. 1:3-1:4 scale, in measurement. It is much more forgiving sewing for these larger dolls than the smaller 1:6 (and god forbid 1:12 like Azone Picco Neemo!) and I very much enjoy crafting for these “larger” dolls.
Many of my dolls were painted by myself and I enjoy thinking up elaborate back stories as I paint, sew, and photograph them.