My First Ball Jointed Doll!

blossoms room_edited-1

Notice I said she is my ‘first’ BJD.

There will likely be more, once I am done nursing some wounds (I’ll tell you later).

My kids are quite enamored with her -as in all things cute and small- and now they want a piece of the action! We are already in negotiations and discussing room boxes and props we can make together. They are clever, my girls!  They know I’m more likely to commit if there is a project involving mommy-daughter mini making. Oh very clever indeed

But until the bank account recovers, we introduce you to Blossom. She is a Fairyland PukiFee Ante doll and she is ADORABLE! Photos don’t do her justice, and I will have to learn the art of photographing her properly.

She’s a tiny bjd, at 16 cm tall, she ‘just fits’ into most dollhouse 1:12 scale furniture. As a doll though, she is actually 1:8th scale, and that puts her size almost in the middle of  1:12th scale and 1:6th fashion scale (Barbie).

It’s a bit tricky to fit her with furniture, because it isn’t really possible to buy such things in 1:8th scale. 1:6th scale is too big, dwarfing her. 1:10th scale would work great, and you can find a few of those online if lucky. However, I like using 1:12th scale rooms and furniture with her. The scale works because it actually looks like everything was shrunken down to child-size…and the results are super cute! It appears as she is living in a very up-scaled play house. Dollhouse scale items are also easier to obtain.

If you collect dollhouse 1:12th scale, you know how sometimes you find items to be a bit off? They can be slightly too big, slightly too chunky? More cute than realistic? Well those items are PERFECT for these dolls! Now I have a use for those chunky ceramics I purchased for cheap from overseas *rubs hands together*

I am still working on her bumble-bee bedroom. Blossom is brainy as well as adorable and she really digs bugs, science, and environmental causes. Her character is still evolving 🙂

If you have swooned over these dolls for a long time on Pinterest or Flickr, you should know a few things before purchasing. If that is what you have planned. These dolls look absolutely perfect in those Pinterest photos, and easy to pose in all kinds of positions. I also suspect that the ‘bad’ unboxing videos never find their way on YouTube. Instead, the buyer is too frantic trying to call the store or email the factory between sobs or bouts of cursing. I know from experience.

I had a jarring experience when I took my doll out of the box. She looked perfect at first glance. Then I tried to move her joints around, get to know her workings, and tried standing her up. There was a long list of problems – strung too tight on one side, one leg was very tight and would not move at all, ugly seam lines down all 4 of her limbs, a head that lopped backwards, and a doll that would neither sit nor stand. I felt so deflated, and I actually was close to tears (and feeling foolish for it).

Fairyland, the factory in South Korea, would not help me at all. They referred me to the US based store (licensed distributor) which I purchased her from. After a series of back and forth emails with photos attached, I was basically told to learn how to restring the doll by watching YouTube videos – and that ALL bjds have seam lines.  I was certainly warned that dolls that have a tan colour resin were notorious for seam lines. That is why I purchased the fair tone that they offered. They suggested that the magic eraser would work to smooth the seam lines but my seam lines were too bad for that – quite raised and rough. It will require a fine grit sanding, which I haven’t done yet.

leg seam line
An unsightly seam line that goes from hip to ankle!

 

arm seam line
A nasty seam line on her raised forearm.

That being said, I still love this doll. Aside from the aesthetic flaws (which I think I can fix) and issue with posing her (she seems to be loosening a bit), the ball joint mechanisms are wonderfully made…. But I am still upset that I paid $250 USD for a doll  that was strung poorly and obviously was not sanded. Which I was then told to fix myself!

Though it definitely is theft, I can certainly see why some people opt for purchasing knock-off dolls. Yes, there is another option if you want a doll that is half the price, and sometimes much less. I don’t condone it, but I empathize with other unsatisfied buyers. The copy-righted dolls are not cheap, first of all. And since hundreds (or thousands?) of these dolls are cast from the same mold, it is far from one-of-a-kind. I don’t consider them in the same category as art dolls – but they are collectibles that bring joy and add to a very fun hobby. Because they are expensive despite not being OOAK, I think customers could be treated better. That’s my thoughts on my experience anyway. It was a first time experience and unfortunately I’m left somewhat jaded by it.

It’s not a cheap hobby. There is the added costs of wigs, clothing, and props. Luckily I am able to make my own props. And I hope to learn how to make wigs and clothing in the future.

Well now…with the negative out of the way….

I have managed to play with her a bit more and her strings are loosening a bit on their own. I really don’t want to restring her. Is that reasonable to ask someone with no experience to restring a doll straight from the factory? I’m holding off as long as I can. When I finally get the courage to do it, I will chronicle my experience and share it here.

I have a couple of wigs and outfits that I have purchased. I really am excited to try my hand at making clothes and accessories for the doll. I am fortunate to have a supplier of mohair and other fibers living close to me so perhaps I will try wig making.

But she really is a delight even without the clothes, wigs, and cute accessories. Their joint system is beautifully articulated and their faces are so very sweet. I already look forward to Christmas props, Halloween scenes, and the like.

pukifee7
Here she is borrowing from the Calico Critter’s reading library 😀

She’s getting a bit easier to pose and sometimes I can get her to stand, but rather stiffly. In the photo below, I stood her on a metal stool and much to my amazement I found out she has magnets in her feet! She was able to hold more challenging poses that way.

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I have already started to bake for her!

doll with cupcake5

And my daughter gifted her with a toy panda (a mini eraser!)

doll with toy4

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This well made, sweet little dress is from Trillian and Company on Etsy.

While I don’t think of these cuties as art dolls, they are far from Barbies. These will be well cared for and passed on to my kids, and so there is a lot of value in them. They are sturdy, so if handled carefully, they can be played with lightly.

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