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Curious about BJD? Here is what you need to know:

Modern BJD are Ball Jointed Dolls primarily from Asian Countries; such as Japan, South Korea, and China. They are hand cast and assembled and typically have 14 to 17 joints throughout the body, giving them the ability to be posed and modeled in more realastic ways than your typical run of the mill doll. They range in size from as tiny as 10cm up to 70cm in height. Because these dolls are cast, they do have parting lines from the molds, some companies remove these parting lines before the dolls are sold, other companies leave this to the consumer. Many feel that sanding the seams is a bonding experience between their doll and themselves, others however prefer not to do the work themselves.

The facial details and/or makeup are called a faceup. Most manufacturers offer a faceup option with the purchase of their dolls for a fee (ranging from $25 to $50+) Many of the companies also allow you to suggest the coloring for your doll with this option, others however do not. If you are unsure be sure to check with the company you are purchasing from to determine what their policy is. There are also a wide range of customizers out there that will work very hard to create the face of your dreams. Pricing for private customization ranges anywhere from $15 to $300+ depending on the artist and their skill level. Be sure to research the work of any artist you choose to ensure that you like the look of their work before committing to a commission.

The Modern BJD is typically a bald doll with a 2 or 3 part head, allowing access to the internal eye sockets for changing of the eyes. The heads can easily be wigged, though some come with wigs attached to crown of the head cap. There are a variety of skintones available from different manufacturers of BJD, these vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer; the basic ranges available currently are snow/beauty white (a ghostly tone), pinky/white (very white with a light pink cast) normal/natural (a very light flesh tone could have a a yellow or pink casting to the color), Tanskin (a darker version of skintone the range varies from oranges to browns). A recent, and exciting, addition to the BJD world came with the introduction of the first African BJD, Cocori, from Iplehouse. She is very dark and a holds a realastic tone for African skin.

There are a few types of resin on the market as well; the 'standard' resin is an opaque resin which the majority of BJD on the market are made from. A recent addition to BJD's is 'french Resin'; french resin is a semi translucent resin which many consider to be an improvement over the standard resins used. French resin is also considered non toxic. French Resin does not have as smooth a finish as the standard resin. The choice in resin type is really a personal preference for each individual. Both types of resin are NOT available from all manufacturers.

There are over 40 manufacturers of BJD dolls, each one with their own unique appeal. The dolls available range from Male to female, very young children to Young adults. BJD are not children's dolls, and because of their hand-crafted nature, they are costly. There are some small BJD that start at the $100(usd) range, but their prices can be as high as $1500+ from the company producing them, and frequently even higher on the secondary market. Due to the cost; it is highly suggested that you research the doll of your choice carefully, and if you are not sure find one of the message boards out there dedicated to BJD and ask questions. Most BJD owners are very friendly and love to talk about their dolls and will happily fill you in on their own experiences with the companies they have dealt with. But the choice really comes down to your personal love of a particular doll.

As for dressing your BJD, the number of designers out there are as great as the number of dolls out there. You can find any style your heart desires, and if the style you want is not available, many BJD fashion designers and seamstresses will take custom orders and create something unique to perfectly fit your taste in fashion. Much like the other costs associated with the BJD dolls, the cost of clothing varies considerably. Be sure to shop around and find what works for you.

There are a miriad of other ways that your doll can be customized to help make him/her your own. Many artists offer facial and body modifications and/or tattoos, as well as sueding and wiring services to help improve the posability of your dolls.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If you have questions you would like answered that are not covered here regarding the basics of the BJD dolls, please feel free to contact me basics@realmofresin.com and I will happily try to help you along.

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