For the last two weeks I have been working frantically, copying old information from the BJDcollectasy Version I website before it closed.
I worked 10 to 14 hours a day collecting posts on dolls released in 2011, 2010, 2009, and the end of 2008. The information needed to be retrieved before the old site degraded further, and before the next monthly bill was due to be paid to the old server company. The old site just blipped out of existence today, taking with it the crazy coding issues that plagued it for years and that had escalated by the end of 2012.
BJDcollectasy began as a free WordPress blog in mid-September 2008 and became a free-standing website at the end of that year. The first Sunday features were videos, as my background in event video allowed me to create project demos for the site in a form with which I was thoroughly familiar. Eventually I began to contact doll artists, companies, fashion designers and face-up artists, asking if they would be interested in an article. My first interview was with one of my favorite pattern designers, gracefaerie. The old feature articles had already been salvaged and have been available on this site for months, but it was harder deciding what to do about the thousands of news posts that had accumulated over the years.
In order to preserve the information, all the text and accompanying photos had to be manually copied. A previous attempt to simply transfer the information digitally actually infected the new site with the problems that plagued the old one. The old site contained thousands of posts. Finally, it was decided that only doll releases along with important and/or interesting new stories would be saved. Most, but not all small limited editions and OOAK dolls were included, along with all larger editions and non-limited dolls. Posts on event gift dolls and many doll body releases and updates were also saved. All of this information will be eventually added to the new site, hopefully before the end of the year. Originally, the archive posts were created by painstakingly creating new posts, each holding one-weeks-worth of old posts, but it took so much of our spare time, it would have taken many months more to complete the work. As we really wanted to shut-down the old site, I decided to go on an information retrieval marathon and then complete the posts later.
All of the saved posts will continue to be added to BJDcollectasy version II going backward in time with one-week’s-worth of news listed in each post. All the dolls and companies mentioned can be found by using the search bar at the top of the site. The purpose of the archive is to preserve the information for research and identification of dolls. We hope that the archive proves to be useful for this purpose.
The one thing I didn’t expect when I began sifting through old posts, was how nostalgic it would be. So many new companies opened in those years, and sadly a number of companies also closed. There were dolls that I wished I had bought, and dolls I didn’t like when they were released that I now think were actually not bad.
Lots of interesting and unusual BJDs became available, and new doll lines were released that became big hits. Sometimes companies created ambitious projects that didn’t quite work out the way they thought.
For fun, here’s a sampling of information on some of the posts of the past:
October, 2008: First Iplehouse EID, Akando
After posting many teaser photos, the first EID doll from the wildly popular Noctarcana Circus theme, Akando, paved the way for a series of hunky males from the company in the 70cm height range. He came with a choice of basic or “Pierrot” face-up.
October, 2008: Film Noir Lawrence
Lawrence was released as a limited edition from Dollmore for Halloween. When the doll was posted, the company was inundated with complaints regarding the imagery. The company apologized and said the would take new photos (but they never did).
February, 2009: The 90cm Doll
Emory Sung, owner of the Junkyspot, suggested to Angel of Dream that they make a larger line of dolls. Not content with 70 or 80cm, the company created their 90cm boy dolls. Wigs and shoes were very hard to find for these guys, so the company ended up adding these items for free for customers who purchased of these giants. Here’s a photo comparing one with a 60cm doll.
March, 2009: Ippo the alien baby
Korean doll artist Domando, who creates unique and unusual dolls, went a step further when she released Ippo the Alien Baby. The tiny doll came with a cloth “rocket ship” case and her “alien”cranium contained an MP3 player.
2009: Dahlia, Dahlia, Dahlia…
Dollmore’s 79cm tall Lusion Dahlia arrived in spring 2009 and proved such a hit, despite her height, weight and cost, that the company quickly added a variety of full-set dolls. A “dreaming” head became available that July. She is still popular, and full-sets of Dahlia are still released occasionally.
June 2009: Unidoll’s big mistake
The now-closed doll company UniDoll decided to break into the anthro doll business by creating a unique little otter. They made a huge error however, when they mistakenly dressed their first releases in costumes based on Superman and Wonder Woman. Threats of lawsuits for copyright violation quickly ensued.
October 2009: The Idealian that never was
Soom tantalized collectors with photos of various details of their new doll line, Idealian. Finally, with great fanfare, the company began taking orders for the first doll to “Guardian Grade” customers only, causing mass confusion. Days later, Soom posted the statement, “From the company: We stop a head, and we sincerely apologize to our customers.” It took months before the company re-opened the Idealian site. Below are some of the photo teasers for the original Idealian, including “the brain”.
September 2009: Strong magnets are best!
A new company, Angelheim, wanted to leap into the BJD market with an ambitious project called Medusa Zion. The company created a complicated system of snake parts that attached to the head with multi-sided pegs and magnets and included a fur wig with holes all over it. Imagine their surprise when, as soon as the doll was released, collectors asked “Why didn’t you just use stronger magnets?”
The Company’s response:
...and that moment we read that, all of our faces turned white and some of us turned into the stone….. And then, we realized that how easily the stressed and isolated environment can stupidify us like that simple.
“That can get rid of these Geniusly Stupid Poking Sticks and Holes!!!!”
Spring, 2010: Real Puki Fever
FairyLand released Real Pukis and doll collectors went wild for the little things. The company considered discontinuing the line due to casting difficulties, but thankfully, they have continued to release more cute sculpts. The first of the 9.5cm dolls were Tyni and Soso. They were inspired by Western-style fairies.
March, 2010: Music video fame
Singer Kerli’s music video for her contribution to the Almost Alice (Music inspired by the Motion Picture) compilation apparently needed dolls dressed like the actors, so the video company brought doll artist Paulette Goodreau to the set to dress a bunch of her dolls for the video. The dolls can barely be seen in the video, but Paulette had a blast.
2010: An armless Venus doll
A new company called Aeyork opened with an art doll called Venus AKA “The Bomb”. She was an art doll created by the artist at Notdoll Lab. Eventually Aeyork dolls joined the Notdoll site. Venus was not accepted at Den of Angels for discussion as she lacked a few required joints.
March, 2011: Re-naming a lil’ stinger
ImplDoll released Colin The Little Dust, a scorpion anthro doll. He wasn’t originally named Colin, however. First the company chose the English word for an important part of male anatomy as the perfect moniker for the little guy. Oops!
The dolls that got away:
Every BJD collector probably has a list of these. Here are some of mine. I liked them when they were released, and I now realize that STILL like them.
I think it is a combination of the wig and that Jrock-style costume.
How I wished I had the money then to purchase this full-set limited doll! She is the best blue doll ever!
OK, he is still available, but I always need to spend for new items for the site, not a really cool but older model doll.
I still adore that carefully painted shock of hair, and that mustache.
Yes, this is not actually a doll; it is a horse, but I still covet it, and I miss Domuya.