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Pretty Ladies: An Introduction to Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs) by Tom  Tonthat

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Book Description


Dolls have a long history. Archaeologists have unearthed dolls with movable limbs that date back as early as 600BC, and have found early dolls from Egyptian grave sites dating back to 2000BC. Since that time, dolls have gone through major innovations to better resemble the people who play with or collect them. 1999 marked a new beginning in doll collecting when Japanese figurine manufacturer Volks introduced the Super Dollfie, the first modern Ball-Jointed Doll (BJD).

With articulating ball joints and a solid resin casting, the BJD is a doll that looks, poses, and feels more intricate than the average Barbie doll. The BJD became a niche hit among anime fans, Gothic Lolita fashion, still life photographers, and doll collectors interested in creating and customizing their own dolls.


With a BS in Business Administration, Tom Tonthat has written anime reviews for "The Escapist," video game and television articles for Yahoo!, and the occasional instructional manual. He loves anime, origami, toys, films, television, and comics.


The titular ball joints in a Ball-Jointed Doll are the source of the BJD’s articulation. The ball-joints are located in the doll’s neck, abdomen, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, knees, and hips. The ball-joints allow for numerous articulation and posing possibilities that, at most times, are similar to human joint movement. The joints connect together through a thick elastic cord housed inside the BJD’s body. The elastic keeps the joints tight and holds the poses together.

Volks was among the first to manufacture BJDs in three popular sizes scaled to human proportions. Other BJD manufacturers have crafted their dolls similar to Volks’ sizes to the point to the point of being standardized among the BJD community. Yet more doll companies may come up with their own designations to differentiate sizes between their doll lines.

The largest BJDs average 60cm tall, are regarded as being ⅓ scale to humans, and are commonly noted as SD-sized (Super Dollfie). They tend to look like fully grown teenagers or adults. On the other end of the spectrum are ⅙ scale, 26cm BJDs that are commonly classified as Yo-SD sized with the “yo” being translated from the Japanese word “infant.”

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  • ISBN: 9781614648833 |
  • Hardcover: 24 pages |
  • Publisher: Hyperink |
  • Publication date: |
  • Language: English |
  • Format: Ebook