Michelle Tai, also known as Medusa, discovered BJDs not long after they first appeared, but it took her a while to save for her first doll which she purchased second-hand. That doll was enough for her to become totally infatuated with BJDs. As a teenager, Medusa enjoyed sculpting clay figures and painting them. Collecting BJDs brought back those memories, and she wondered if she could create a doll herself.
In 2007, Medusa started work on her first doll heads. She states,”I started BlueBlood Doll in early 2007 as my personal workshop to create my first hand-casted bjd head namely, “Silver”. At that time, it was still a concept and an experimental project. Although I had taken some sculpting classes, hand-casting was something new to me and I had never done it before. I spent most of ’07 trying out different hand-casting materials, learned how to make molds and experimenting casting methods. I started selling my hand-casted Silver head around March in 2008 and at the same time sculpting another head called “Phoenix” as well as working on the design and sculpting the prototype for the body.” Eventually Michelle produced three doll heads; Silver, Waltz, and Draven (a modified version of Phoenix). She began to sell her 1/3 scale doll heads in March 2008. Before the year was out, Medusa had quit her job to devote herself to her new company.
Medusa eventually decided to find a studio overseas to cast her dolls. “My husband and I traveled overseas for several months from the last quarter of ’08 to ’09 looking to outsource the manufacturing process for my dolls. We found an environmental-friendly resin from Canada during the trip. We think this is one of the best resins on the market, so we use this resin for all our dolls. We started producing and selling full-set dolls in April 2009.”
Blueblood is a tiny company. “BlueBlood Doll consists solely of myself, and my husband provides part time help doing shipping and going to the post office.” Medusa designs the dolls, paints the face-ups, and designs some of the outfit sets and footwear. BlueBlood sells all dolls with free items called “combo sets”. Medusa explains, “The idea of combo is a promotion for my dolls. I was thinking maybe it will be a bit more attractive if customers can choose a set of free combo of their choice when they buy a doll. And also, maybe it is more convenient for the customers, especially new BJD owners to have the outfit set, shoes and wig when their dolls arrive. So we offer three combos; A is one free outfit set, B is one free pair of shoes/boots + one free wig, And for $20 dollar extra customers can choose combo C, which is the combination of A+B.” As a collector as well as a doll artist, Medusa understands how exciting it is for collectors to receive their highly anticipated purchase, and she wants their experience to be a happy one, “My goal is to provide the best quality dolls plus a pleasant service to all BJD lovers.”
This year a new doll named Valentine joined the line-up. He is currently offered in a limited full-set. Medusa plans to release him in the future as a standard edition as well. After Valentine, according to Medusa, “I think I have enough boys, so now I’m sculpting and working on my first 1/3 girl.” She is already working on the head for the doll. “I think I will release her in the first half of next year, well hopefully.”
Medusa enjoys sculpting dolls. “Sculpting the doll’s head is my most favorite part and I really love it. And the most happy and exciting moment to me is to put on a face-up for the very first time on a new doll head that you have created (not the prototype head that I have sculpted, but the first production of the head sample send to me by the manufacturer). You will never know how he or she will really look like before you have done his or her face-up for the very first time. It is like metamorphosis to me.”
Photo above, BlueBlood dolls (from left) Rock Star Draven, Valentine, Waltz, & Silver
Blue Blood Doll Company Website