Bjd Basics – My First Bjd
- What is a BJD?
- What can I do with my BJD?
- Overall Information
- Companies and more
- Second Hand
- Shipping and custom tips
With the help of this tutorial I want to give you some advice on this particular hobby. Especially because it can be very expensive, so some of you might feel more secure for getting started due to these informations.
I got my first BJD in early 2012, gathering 4 years of experience I want to share with you today please have this in mind, I can’t garantie you that those information are a 100% complete and without any mistakes, it is just based on my experiences and opinion, just as a guidline for yourself, not being rules or anything! I do not know everything myself, but there are some important things to remember and mentionable experiences from my side.
Info: you can click on all pictures to have a bigger view.
2. What is a BJD
BJD is a short word for ball-jointed-doll. (Also ABJD – asian ball-jointed-doll) They have ball and socket joints so that you can pose them as you wish.
Most BJDs are made out of resin, a hard and dense plastic. All single parts are held together with an elastic. There are also dolls made out of vinyl. These special dolls do not need elastic, as they have a „skeleton“ which puts everything together.
Different doll companies produce their own dolls and designs. So there are many types of bodies, hands, sizes, shapes and heads. Even the skin colors are diverse. Also the joints of their body can vary for example there are also “Anthro Dolls” (who look like animals with paws ect) or anime styled dolls out there.
3. What can I do with my BJD?
Most people want to share photographs of their dolls or even make photostories starring them. You can also customize your doll into little details, with a different face-up, blushing, eyes, wigs and so on. You may also want to use your sewing skills or even modding your own BJD. There are nearly no limits to the look you want to achieve. There also are some passionated collectors. They often do meet-ups with other BJD lovers in different areas, so called “Doll Meets”. You can share your experiences there, trade, buy or sell doll related things and so on. All in all it is a hobby full of creativity and a chance to make your own characters “come to life”.
4. Overall Information
Things you should consider first when getting a BJD are:
– What is your budget?
Can you afford to get a BJD right now or maybe you want to buy one with a layaway. There are indeed some companies who offer layaways for their dolls where you can pay off your dolls in different installments. Or you even want to buy the head and Body seperated? There are many ways to make buying your doll a bit easier.
The price between the height and the BJD “brands” among each other variate, and bodies / appearances too. So you should take your time and choose wisely from which manufacturer you want to order.
You will also have to decide whether you want a full set BJD (Mostly comes with eyes, a wig, an outfit and other accessories, sometimes even gifts are included) or just the doll itself. (Eyes are included and chosen randomly most of the time) and any option you can choose from the site. There is also the option to just order a head or a body. Why should you only get one you might ask? It is very easy there is also the choice that you can build a BJD Hybrid. Basically you can put a head from one manufacturer on a body from another company. (this is a bigger topic and another BJD Guide will be written).
A fullset doll: My FairyLand Lacrima Feeple 60 Bjd, and next to is two Migidoll Heads i bought seperately to make a Hybrid.
My both Bjd Hybrids: Both heads from Migidoll and Body from Popodoll.
Important to know is that depending on where you live you have to pay a shipping price, which can be high and so also need to be considered when calculating your budget.
Another expense factor is that your order may come into the customs. This means you have to pay import fees and your doll’s jurney may be lengthened by this step. I made the experience that this can even take more than a week.
– What Size do you want?
Besides exeptionals there are 3 different ranges:
YoSD (Tiny) ~ about 9.5 cm – 35 cm in height
MSD (Mini) ~ about 36 cm – 49 cm in height
SD (Large) ~ about 50 cm – 70 cm in height
– Which style do you want to achieve?
Anthro, human or a pet doll? What clothing style or character will the doll have and what would suit him or her best? Due to this maybe you want to make the face up yourself because the default face up won’t suit the appearance.
– What else do you need?
Your BJD might also need some eyes, wig, clothing or accessories? Also a doll “bag” for transportation is highly recommended! If not concluded to an order a head protection cap can be used for transportation (but you have to take special care and fix it right as it might damage the face up!! If it is too loose on the head it might scratch on the face.)
Useful things which can come in handy
- Doll stand – can be also useful to make sure your doll won’t fall off easily and helps experimenting with your poses.
- Silicone head caps – are used to halt the wig in the right place. It can also be useful when the wig is a little bit too big.
- “Magic sponge eraser” – can be used for little spots or stains on your doll. Attention: Don’t use this too harsh over colored parts of the doll – the sponge will otherwise erase the color there too. So be careful where you’ll use it! (As it is also used for cleaning heads and removing the face up!)
- Eye Putty – This makes the eyes of your doll stay in place. (Mostly already included with your doll – not if you are buying a head only)
copyright (c) Dollmore (Doll Stand and Silicone head cover), Foamspirit (Magic Sponge eraser)
5. Companies and more
I will list down some links here for your information and research. Take your time and browse them, searching for your doll to-be. Those are all legit doll sellers with original dolls. So you can be sure that you won’t accidentally buy an illegal rip-off of the doll of your dreams! From the BJD manufactures below I have also bought myself now and then.
A big archive of all the doll links and news can be found on
Other useful Doll accessories can be bought here:
6. Second Hand
General information when buying things second hand can also be refered to this hobby. I will follow with some advices you should think of. A good place for second hand deals are several forums. You should check out if there is one Doll forum from your country too. (German – dollicted.de)
- How old is the doll ? (Important for yellowing and the whole condition of the doll also interesting if you want to hybrid a doll – combining different heads with other companies bodies. You should also get some information about the strings)
- Are there any damages / stains ?
- Whats included in the offer?
- Is the Authentication Certificate included? (proof of a legit doll, and can be useful if you want to sell the doll /parts yourself later! For many people this is a deal breaker if it is not included so it will be harder to resell the doll without a certificate!)
- How high will the shipping costs be? And what’s the shipping method? (Also remember to ask for a tracking no.)
- Is the seller trustworthy? (Can you see if he has already sold more things, can he send you private pictures of the items and not only stock pictures? Maybe you can ask other persons who bought from XY)
- Maybe the seller has other stuff for sale which you might also want to buy (to save shipping costs)
- Is this item somewhat limited? (Important for the price)
With all these information you you should also search for other offers and options for the same item (also the original price), so that you can estimate if it is a good deal considering all these information’s.
Finally you have your money together and gathered all information you need: It is time to order your first precious Bjd! In this final step I recommend you: Don’t rush it!
Take your time to read and consider all available options when ordering from manufacturers. Often there are maaany different options you can choose from. Just make sure you are getting the right things.
copyright (c) Souldoll (Death Devonia)
Double check if your shipping adress and personal information are correct.
Most of the companies will wait for your payment through PayPal. Usually they won’t send a bill to you and you will have to do the first step, sending the money with order no., date and all relevant information.
Stay tuned if they received your money, due to checking the order status. If nothing is happening you should contact them directly asking for an approval if they received the money.
The last step is: Waiting. Usually the orders will take about 30-60 days to be shipped out. But the processing time is almost everywhere estimated on the manufactures website beneath the dolls.
8. Shipping and Custom tips
Your doll finally is on it’s way after the producing time. Usually the shipping is a piece of cake after the doll is produced and packed. I always estimate the shipping with about one or two weeks but you have to see your tracking information to get a more precise estimate.
You should receive tracking information from the manufacturer 99 % of the time. You surely want to check it out frequently to see where your doll is. I also use the DHL (in germany) tracking service or Deutsche Post, Hermes when I know my package arrives in germany. You might ask why I double check it. It is as simple as it sounds: As sometimes the tracking service lacks you can check the other one out for some new updates, often you can find out that your package arrived the next step in the shipping queue. And trust me every new status will make you more excited, happy and relieved. If you have any problems with the shipping or worrying about an order you can always phone the shipping company in your region to get more information.
You can see if your order is in customs and already get your stuff together to free your doll.
For people living in Germany:
What you always need at the customs to free your order. The letter from the customs themselves (it is also a notice for you), printed copies of the order and the payment itself (Paypal for example). Be prepared to have enough money with you as your local customs service might not accept paying with an EC card.
Contact me if you have some other useful information which should be added here!
Good Lucky and Have fun!
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Thank you and Goodbye