BJD - BALL JOINTED DOLL - GENERAL INFORMATION
-BJD101 ------------ ALICE ------------ DERRY ------------ KUROITENSHI ------------ TITAN ------------ WIP ------------ RESOLD-
BJDs are so named for their jointed arms, legs, feet, hands, etc. They are also typically molded from Resin, Vinyl, or porcelain, I've also seen 3D printed ones. The community on the whole only considers certain companies or parts of the world to count as a BJD, I don't personally know which they do and don't so I won't get into that.
These dolls vary in size, shape, design and are customizeable in a varity of ways such as skin tone, hair, eyes, clothing.
Sizes: Tiny (?-18cm), YOSD (20-24cm), MSD (30-44cm), SD (48-56cm), SD13 (58-64cm), MODEL (65-74cm), Larger than that I don't know if there is a group name for, most of those dolls seem to be from Dollmore. These are also rough to give an idea, if you find anything outside of these number I'd say it's which it is the closest.
Types/designs: Humaan, Mermaid, Centuar, Elf/faerie, Monster, Demon/devil/horned, actually animes like cat, dog, mouse, fox, etc. These are just a few of the types out there, as you may have noticed mine are almost all human though Derry has elf ears, I know many that have other types though.
Skin tone: Most companies you can get white, normal (which usually ends up a bit yellow) and pink. Certain companies will then offer tan, gray, green, blue, and other variants. It's easier to get the tone you want directly from the company rather than second hand.
Eyes, hair, clothes: Most sites you can find at least basics of these things to go along with your doll. It's harder if you happen to like certain sites things, like I personally love Dollmore's eyes, but they don't restock much these days and certain sizes are getting harder to find what I'm looking for. Also, Titan's sizes were not what I was expecting and the clothing I picked out from her from a different size most don't fit. These are things to think about. It's always easiest to solve these if you happen to have your/a doll and the things you wish to put on/with them in person.
Collectors I've find either buy a doll because they love the look of its face and/or body. Or they buy it to be a specific character of theirs. My collection is about half and half right now, Kazari, Alice and Derry I got because I liked (or gifted) so I'm working on their background while Kuroitenshi, Titan and what the Kara Klum head will be will are based off established original characters.
What I've noticed from the cons I've gone to, most of the BJD people I've met in person (MIDWEST-OH/MI and SOUTH-NC) MSD size seems to be the most popular, though they are one of the easier sizes to carry around being not too big or too little. I also notice most have a few to several so they only bring one or a couple with them. I personally have just gotten to the point where I can transport all of my dolls that art completed.
Oh yes, I should talk about price. This can be an expensive hobby, it depends on your tastes. There are a few companies out there such as Dollzone which has more affordable prices than the general price. But if you don't like/love their looks you may need to look second hand (thought BJDs themselves don't depreshaite very much) or look into companies that do layaway/payment programs. I did that for Kuroitenshi and Titan. I will probably have to do that for Muerte. I will post up soome random range prices as it will depends on the company in the end how much you'll be spending and some do free shipping after a certain price and some do not. Tiny to YOSD sizes could be 150-300. MSD 200-400. SD/SD13 250-600. MODEL 400-800, any of these could be more if it's OOP and/or Limited Edition. The most I've seen for a limited edition doll was 1200 and that was a Dollfie designed to look like Chii from Chobits.
Not all BJDs are created equal. For a long time people would just call them Dollfies, though it could be true some BJD are Dofflies, since it is a company it wouldn't make sense for them all to be that. The other and bigger problem is bootlegs, like most collectables some companies are sinister by taking an official doll and making molds and recasting it themselves, they do sell these dolls cheaper but you don't know what quality they are made from and they are harder to resell as I've noticed groups on FB are firm about sharing sells of them. I personally do not wish to give people credit and money for something they didn't do.
I hope you've enjoyed this 101 of sorts on BJDs based on what I've learned over the years, there is certainly a lot more to it, like about face ups and how to mod and things like that, those are a bit more adavanced and I've never personally done anything with modding.