Followers of this site will recall seeing pictures of spectacularly dressed up dolls, from my visit to last year’s cosplay event. I’m sure many of you guys don’t know anything about them, and neither did I, until I met sh90, an avid dolfie enthusiast. So today, she’ll teach us all about the allure of dolls! We went for a photoshoot as well, at the painfully cliche Chinese Garden, with her two boys.
tj_han: So sh90, let’s start off by explaining what exactly are dolfies.
sh90: Dolfies, also known as Asian Ball Jointed Dolls(ABJDs), are sculpted resin dolls comprising of 14 or more ball joints(thus the name ball-jointed dolls). The name Dollfie comes from joining the words Doll and Figure, because they really are more than normal dolls. Volks started out with a 1/6 range of jointed Dollfie, then later expanded to include a range of much larger dolls, called SUPER Dollfie(SD).
tj_han: Hmm, it seems like equal number of people spell the word with two Ls and 1 L. For the muggers, we have more information at Wikipedia and Denofangels. It seems that SDs are the more popular type? What are some of the differences between the various makers and models of dolfies?
sh90: Types of dolfies include Super Dollfie(SD, 1/3, 60cm or above), Mini Super Dollfie(MSD, 1/4, or 42cm to 49cm), Tinies(Ranging from 9.5cm to 29cm). Common and popular lines of dolfies in the current market are Cerberus Project(commonly referred to as LUTS), Volks, Dollshe, and Dream of Doll. Traits of dolfies include a total of 14 movable ball joints or more – neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hip(or torso varying from company to company), thighs, knees,and ankles, and are strung together by heavy-duty elastics. Dolfies are generally rather fragile, as they are sculpted entirely out of resin, and require careful handling and care.
tj_han: Cerberus Project and Volks are very prominent in the world of figures. I didn’t know they owned the doll world too. Personally I like LUTS the most. For some comparison shots of the various models, check this page out. So what exactly do you find attractive about dolfies?
sh90: Each and every dolfie is different – just like humans. There may be dolfies which look similar or almost identical, but each and every dolfie has its own unique ‘personality’, and that is exactly what attracts people into the dolfie circle.
tj_han: This must be because they are all handmade. But then again, my figures are "handmade" by Chinese workers too but I don’t sense personality in them. Maybe Japanese craftsmen are still better after all. Tell us about your own collection?
tj_han: I never fail to be amused by the names people give their dolls. Apparently, Ilaeir was the result of destiny – banging on a keyboard. It’s a bit like Bleach’s Zanpakutou, where you discover the name rather than give a name to your sword. If I get a dolfie, she better not have a name like "Hanako", or worse, "Yamada". I think it’ll be great if "Endoplasmic Reticulum Emma", "Shining Black Death Diane" or "Darkillusion". LOL, omg my talent for names! So sh90, what are your dolls like?
sh90: Ryuuki’s fun to be with, while Ilaeir’s a good listener, and Kei’s the little prankster of the trio.
Ryuuki with a cigarette. He looks a bit like Cloud from FF7: Advent Children.
Dolfies are able to stand on their own. Wearing boots/shoes are an option which sometimes lowers their stability thanks to the restricting of ankle joints.
You can make your own props from scratch or improvising. Sh90 earns some pocket money by doing these for others.
The clothes are either leather, PVC, cotton, polyester, basically real clothing materials. There are even metal parts. It’s quite amazing compared to PVC figures.
Shoes are almost like baby shoes.
Smoking is not good for health but he ain’t got no lungs.
Posing is one of the fun activities you get to do with dolfies. The girl is hot.
HAH! I like this picture. Converging lines ftw. Not all dolfies stand easily though, it depends on the tightness and quality of the stringing.
The eyebrows, eyelids and lips are drawn on. It’s up to the owners to do them or they could hire people.
The hair is a wig. Easily interchangeable.
Unlike figurines which can’t look good in direct sunlight, I realised that good dolfie pictures require sunlight. It’s due to their very human nature and the resulting harsh shadows look good. Their hair also shimmers under the light.
tj_han: Anyway, when and how did you get these?
sh90: My first boy, Ryuuki, arrived on 17th April 2006. My second and third boys, Kei and Ilaeir, arrived on the 21st November 2006. All 3 were ordered through a dealer in Singapore.
tj_han: So they are pretty new. Considering they cost about 1500++ Singapore Dollars each, how in the world did a secondary school student save up the money?
sh90: I saved up my allowance, did part-time jobs and sold stuff online. Also, the dealer let me pay by instalments so this made it much easier.
tj_han: It takes a lot of willpower to do that. I’ve been wanting to buy a DSLR for ages but never had the willpower to save for it. That must also be why you’re so slim. Anything interesting that people do, when they see that you have a dolfie?
sh90: Strangers start coming up and asking if they could carry them, touch them, or asking whether they could talk. Or people giving up their seats on the train for you. It’s very common for us. Normally I’ll politely refuse.
This is Ilaeir. He’s a trap.
His hair looks different in all the pictures, thanks to the wind.
Finger and toenails are selfpainted as well.
tj_han: Oh yeah my aunt and mum once saw a girl holding a dolfie and they were telling me how weird it was. Are dolfie collectors misunderstood all the time?
sh90: Rich, impulse buyers, freaks, weirdoes – just some of the things people think dolfie collectors are. But most of us are used to such misconceptions. Truth is, most dolfie owners are not rich kids. Most of us actually have to save up for a long time to be able to bring them home. And dolfie owners are no freaks. Owning a dolfie is just like owning a pet, just with no need for food and training.
tj_han: It’s just like how people think figure collectors are otaku with no life and only love for 2D girls. And like how all anime lovers wear naruto headbands. Or shout "BANKAI!" before they do anything. You mentioned them being like pets, so what exactly do you do with/to them?
sh90: Bring them out for gatherings, photoshoots, and meetups with friends, dressing them up, and doing photostories about them. An example of a photostory I did last October here. To us, having dolfies around is like having kids around you – minus the need for food. Benefits would be meeting of new friends and fellow hobbyists, exchanging tips and information about new releases or current sculpts.
Sh90 drew a dragon tattoo on Ryuuki. It’s supposed to be manly.
Nipples are uncoloured but you can paint them on. Different dolfie models have different torsos. The girls have a range of boobie sizes too, some of which are soft sillicone ones ie squeezable.
This is a silicone eye. There is a great variety in all sorts of colours and shapes. The main material types are acrylic, silicone and glass.
Dolfie neurosurgeons are out of work. This doll has no brains. But yeah, opening the head, we see some funky gunk. The white stuff is not semen but wax used to hold the eyes in place.
Ilaeir’s body looks much better than Ryuuki’s. Example of painted nips. TRAP! OMG.
tj_han: The big question is, do you all talk to your dolls?
sh90: Every doll owner does, I’m sure. Anything that comes into my mind, usually.
tj_han: Are there many dolfie lovers in Singapore? Or other parts of the world?
sh90: You’ll be surprised at the number of owners worldwide. I bet the total number of dolfies out there in the world rivals Singapore’s population. Maybe more. Singapore has a fairly large dolfie community out there too.
tj_han: The number of cows in New Zealand is about twice Singapore’s population.
He’s now in high school girl uniform. TRAP! OMG.
TRAP! OMG. Then again he has more breasts than 90% of Singaporean girls. w00t.
G-string. Ew. There’s a wide range of lingerie/underwear for dolfies but these are expensive. One set can cost as much as one full set of clothes.
tj_han: What are some of the places fellow dolfie fans hang out, both off and online? And what do you guys do during such meetings?
sh90: Den of Angel is an international dolfie forum, with users from all around the globe. There’s a Singaporean dolfie livejournal group sd_sg where mostSingaporean owners hang out at. Offline meetups are usually held at random places, depending on the organizer(s) of the meetup. During these, we catch up on each other and share tips on anything and everything, dolfie-related or not.
This is the secret behind their poseability. From the head, each limb is strung. A tight stringing allows for better standing poses but the doll won’t be able to sit properly.
tj_han: Are most of the collectors female, or is there a healthy mix of both genders?
sh90: I believe there is a majority of female owners in the dolfie scene, but male owners are not exactly rare, probably a ratio of 3:2 I guess.
tj_han: So you otakus out there, this is a good hunting ground for a mate! Are there differences in tastes between male and female collectors? What does each gender normally like?
sh90: Female owners generally have a male doll as their first, and tend to own more male dolls. Male owners usually have a female doll as their first, and tend to have female dolls only. But there are some who have male dolls too.
I wouldn’t say the poseability is good but it’s decent. The leg can’t be raise higher than 90 degrees though, same for elbows.
tj_han: I would only get female dolls personally. Stripping off clothes to reveal a penis is not exactly my type of fun. Ok, so for a n00b like me to get into the hobby, what would I need to do?
sh90: Be prepared to spend. If you’re not willing to fork out at least $1000 for a dolfie, don’t even think about starting. Rather than getting a doll on an impulse, scout around thee wide range of sculpts available in the market before making a purchase. If you’re planning to save up slowly for a doll, scout around first before starting to save up, so that you have a rough idea of how much you’ll need to save up.
tj_han: Money is certainly an invaluable resource. But dolfies are so expensive. My god! And they need clothes and other accessories too. Where can one find clothing, accessories and other parts?
sh90: Optional parts such as separate bodies and heads, hands, eyes and feet can be found in the respective companies the doll is bought from, but most owners buy parts from other companies with similar size and resin colours. Clothes and accessories can be found almost anywhere, from Den of Angel forums to eBay, Yahoo! Auctions, company official sites, official online distributors, and for those living overseas, actual stores.
tj_han: Oooh, I hear that there is no standard size too. So before we buy clothes we have to make sure they fit. I’m a bit tempted to get an Enma Ai lookalike. But I guess the lack of cash is a chronic issue. Anyone here now interested in buying one?
And here’s the NFSW section.
When you have two dolls, they can have sex. In this case, it’s trap yaoi sex.
m4d ya0i s3x.
OH SHIT IT’s A TRAP! CIRCUMCISED TRAP!
This says "Made in Japan". LOL.