We got the parasols in the mall. Many other shoppers went home with pictures of this gang on their cell phones. Sushi or cinnabon was had by some; a good time had by all.
While catching up on the speculation and angst about the theft of seven dolls from the NY Dolpa over the weekend (no links because they're all from the reg-required doll boards - if you visit Den of Angels you can't miss the news), i came across something unrelated, except in as much as it's related to everything about our species.
In a generally brilliant post on Den of Demons, LizzEGirlE, after comparing Mr. Shigeta's reality distortion field to that of Steve Jobs, said Pat Henry (editor in chief of FDQ and co-host of the Dolpa) was in her monkeysphere.
So i followed the link to this terrific piece, and thought, "oh, you mean Dunbar's number", which IS a pretty good explanation for just about any human behavior you might otherwise be unable to suss, even if the actual 'sphere' capacity humans have is still being debated . Who are we connected to, not so much in daily experience, but in our own minds? Why can't understandably saddened doll hobbyists see that there are no comparisons to be drawn between the pilferage of several thousand dollars worth of resin and the Tokyo stabbings? And why does a southern collector believe this wouldn't have happened in a 'safe' city like Atlanta? Why do so many Hillary Clinton supporters think Barack Obama is running for president solely to prevent a woman from doing so? Why does every big disaster story lead with the local angle, no matter how insignificant to the event?
What i most enjoyed about David Wong's piece was his what-do-we-do-about-it wrap-up. The skinny is, we can't fix how we're made, but we can train ourselves to be suspicious of simple answers, and compassionate toward what we perceive as hypocrisy in others. When he mocks human society for malfunctioning because its interdependence and reach exceeds the 150 (or 250) limit, i wonder, do we actually have just one circle, with Dunbar's small, medium and large spheres of relationship stability? Following Wong's hilarious examples, it reminds me that the edges of our circles of interest blend with those of many others... i suspect we humans shift between overlapping spheres of relationship, based on various equally important layers of allegiance and membership, all jostling for primacy. i'm suspicious of all theories-of-everything, but enjoy any practical tools for navigating a world with increasingly clashing worldviews.
Eventually if you talk Asian ball jointed dolls, the discussion turns to Volks, because they're the folks who started the hobby. In fact, people generically call BJDs "dollfies" because that's what the highly articulated vinyl figure kits preceding Super Dollfies are called. We're going to look today at one facet of the Volks line, through an assortment of little characters, including a limited edition, a full choice system, and a gender swap between a limited and a school doll!
This post is coincidentally timely because Volks is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the Super Dollfie, which with lavish and weighty porcelain-like resin and elastic stringing, revolutionized the doll world. Also, Volks is hosting the New York City Dolls Party 3 (or Dolpa) this weekend at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
So, follow us after the jump~
In comments and emails through this website, people ask me where to go for information on purchasing or making Asian style ball jointed dolls. Now, when i google "asian ball jointed dolls", there are least two great references before this site. But, as different searches give different results, here are a few suggestions for the people who come to this site from a search.
Den of Angels Go to the forum. Register, and read all the rules. You will have to be registered for a few weeks and have made 40 posts before you will have marketplace privileges, but that gives you time to get acquainted with this ginormous international board. Yes, it can be a dramatic and frustrating place, but also an indispensable resource and inspiration. Explore the galleries. If you need to know how to make or fix something, someone can help. And there are waiting rooms with others blowing off steam while awaiting their next doll. Also comprehensive links to doll company websites, group orders, and consumer discussions and advice in dealing with Asian sellers. If you really need to know something about the hobby you can find it here.
Resinality is a much more intimate version of Den of Angels. If over time the noise at the big forum leaves you frazzled, you can chill with a slightly more adult discourse and a strong gallery. Another forum worthy of mention is Zone of Zen, which has a friendly, chatty, old school bulletin board feel. Michigan area people have our own forum, Disjointed Images, where you can find out about our public meets - though we mention those on Den of Angels as well. If you like some kink with your resin, ControversialDoll has photos of subjects disallowed on other boards - this is one of those "If you have to ask, you don't want to know" kind of things. Posting is light on this board, so it's nice to bookmark for when you're in the mood. If you're looking for trouble, or just need to rant about the stupid doll fandom, there is Den of Demons, the legendary snark board. A shadow of its former self, it's till fun. Asbestos gear suggested.
There are lots of databases on and off the forums, where you can examine and compare different kinds of dolls and their elements. But big ones to know are Gigglegeek's Modern Asian Ball Jointed Dolls, which isn't complete but is pretty damn comprehensive, and the Volks database Where Angels Lie. Sooner or later, you're likely to look at Volks dolls, and this excellent resource will give you a broader picture than the Volks site.
Hope this helps, and the key players in this post have been added to the blogroll.
A while back we had BJD Portraits #3, Hypermaniac Na-Hu, introducing my doll Bero. He has become Grisha, and now lives with my friend, so this fellow could come from Korea as part of an elaborate transaction which felt more like a very friendly hostage exchange than a sale. A sacrifice was necessary to get such a rare doll, and if Bero couldn't have gone to a friend, i would have passed on obtaining Lander. But eventually everything turned out for the best. Lander is a Hypermaniac Omicron, the doll i've most wanted and been unable to obtain until now. Much of the info about Na-Hu applies to this older Hyperdoll, but Lander is taller (67cm), heavier, and more mature in appearance. His unique faceup is by Mikiko, who also did the face on my Volks MSD Margaret.
Wearing nifty gear and circuit board eyes.
Playing rock star.
His 'everyday' look at present. i can't stop looking at him.