hominivorax: (dollz)
[personal profile] hominivorax
Have you ever had one of those days where you wanted to beat the everliving hell out of someone in hopes that a clue-by-four to the head will make them understand something, just a tiny, tiny bit? I'm having one of those days. There's this thread on DoA, posted by a guy who's either the most obtuse person on the planet or is just trolling for the lulz. Either way, he's fucking annoying and I want to tell him to piss off, or go fuck himself, or something equally not sunshine-and-puppies. HE's got this notion about BJDs-that they'r a really really good investment becasue the industry is *totally going to tank in a couple years and his three (yes, folks, count 'em, three) dolls are somehow going to be worth a mint because they have factory faceups and are in mint condition. ....I'll let you get your laughter under control before I continue, shall I?

...Right, now we've all got hold of ourselves, here's the thread:
http://www.denofangels.com/forums/showthread.php?436102-Trying-to-Understand-the-BJD-Industry

It seems, more or less, that he's mainly whinging because Iplehouse had the nerve to shut down for a couple months when Americans (and we must all bow to TEH MIGHT OF THE 'MURICAN NATION, don'tchaknow) have money to spend, and also because he got a pair of option feet from Elfdoll that weren't the exact same shade as his doll's body. My opinion? He's either a troll or a fukking moron. He's also arrogant in the extreme, completely unable to grok a single thing we're saying, and an admitted opportunist who's into these dolls because he thinks he'll make ton of money off them, as they're "contemporary Asian art". LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL He comes in knowing bugger-all about the hobby, the people buying these dolls, why we buy them, the properties of resin and everything else, and then essentially declares himself an expert on art and investments and whatever other bollox he's spouting. Uhm. What.

I've been trying to keep my mouth shut and just bask in the glory of the fuckery that is that thread, because he's got even the brilliant and usually silver-tongued JennyNemesis, among others, utterly gobsmacked. It's absolutely fantastic, really, the level of stupidity this dude is showing. He just does. not. understand. The hobby, the people in it, or how it/they work/think. I'm still waiting for Godwin's Law to be invoked-it isn't truly epic fuckery until someone mentions Nazis! XD

For your convenience, I present a few choice posts by him:
In which the wank begins and he starts on his way to missing the point

Trying to Understand the BJD Industry

Here is a scenario: You walk by the GAP and see some great clothes in their windows with all the spring colors, but when you go into the store you find they only stock white. So you buy a shirt and step out into the sun light, only to find that the sleeves are different whites, and do not match. Would you go back to the GAP?

Iplehouse has a great website, but 90% of what they show is no longer available. The site says that their orders are delayed due to an office move. Sorry, but I've been with companies who have moved, and business goes on.

Elfdoll cannot match resin colors between batches. Their new feet for high-heeled shoes will never match existing dolls. This is like a paint store saying that they cannot even come close to matching a paint color. Polyurethane resin and latex paint are essentially the same thing. Contrary to what everyone believes, BJD companies should be able to match color within 90%. It's a recipe for chemicals, nothing else.

Constant product levels and quality control are business basics. So without making excuses for them, can anyone explain why the manufacturers are so poorly run? Why as a consumer group do we not demand more of them? These dolls are expensive luxury items, but as a group we are saying that we will continue to spend money on an inconsistent product.

Hugo




In which the point of the hobby and the replies being given is passed by on his way to wherever *his* point is going.

Thanks all, I am learning. HOWEVER, even small teams of artists can run businesses that have policies and procedures and quality control (like writing down the resin color recipe and updating their websites to reflect current stock).

Sorry, Miren, but the companies are poorly run, by people who apparently have never taken a business class. Where was Iplehouses' contingency plan for their move? Even, a right-brained artist can understand that having a company essentially shut down for two months means you are loosing money.

I understand that this is a hand made product, but so is the coffee cup I am drinking out of. The potter, my friend Jeni, has a glaze recipe that she follows, so whether she is making one cup, or a series of one hundred, the color is the same. She has a one person shop, but runs it like a business woman, helping to support her family.

Consumers have rights, and when paying $200 to $1,000 for a doll, the product should be perfect. Just like one would expect when buying a painting from a gallery or hand made shoes. I am beginning to think that as a consumer group we are enabling companies to take advantage of us, in a way we would not tolerate in another setting.

Hugo




By the way, I am older and expect more maybe than someone who is very young. I don't expect everyone to conform to my way of doing things, I just think that when someone pay money, they should get what they ordered. This is the same in Asia as it is in America or Europe.

Awesome, so now some of us are too young and stupid to demand our 'rights', I guess?


Look folks, this is about business. Unless you are independently wealthy, and can just drop money into a black hole of artistic temperament, then you should really think of ordering a doll as a business transaction. When these manufactures translated their sites into English, they were opening themselves up to people like me who do not care about "the hobby." I collect these dolls as art pieces, and expect the same from the artists who make them as I would from an painter in Santa Fe. I want a product that is worth the money I spend, something that is flawless, something that I want to continually look at.

Paying $1,000 U.S. for a full set Iplehouse EID should mean that the dark skin tone is flawless. These are hand made after all, an artist should have enough pride in their work to trash spotted product. When I was a working artist, I never would have sold anything that I was not completely proud off. That was my work, my named. So, by logic, if the maker does not care enough to send out perfection then they are not artists, but simply manufacturers. In which case we are all idiots for spending this kind of money on plastic.

When I paid $35 for a pair of Elfdoll feet, I expected them to at least be the same base color as my doll. I understood that they might be lighter or darker, but they arrived a completely different hue. I complained and got my money back. That was $35 for 2 pieces of plastic, which I would have been happy to spend if the "artists" at Elfdoll cared enough about their reputation to have some quality control.

If these dolls seem expensive to you then you need to complain, and complain loudly, if you perceive that you have been taken advantage of. If you think the companies are doing business in a weird way tell them; they are not going to shut down their western business, they have invested too much capital. These dolls are luxury items, which means that they should be perfect.

Saying that I don't get the "hobby" is excusing behavior that has nothing to do with Eastern culture. As I said, when they translated their sites into English the game changed.



Hii everyone. I am not supposed to be on the internet this weekend, but I've been sneaking and reading everyone's posts. Thank, you all. Yes, it's true that I do not really get the hobby, not because I am new to this, because I am not really, but because I am not really approaching BJD's as a hobby.

I did not understand resin. I have played around with doll modifications (on a cheap doll), but I cannot make a doll because I am allergic to polyurethane. So, my bad for having a physical weakness - I did not realize that the medium itself has a limitation.

I am an investor, but I also have a Bachelors degree in Fine Art. My allergy, as you can guess, meant that I had to give up painting when I was 30, so I worked as a costumer and then decided that I might as well earn some real money, and so I entered corporate America. I stumbled across BJD about four years ago, when I was researching contemporary Asian art as an investment.

I discovered BJD after visting VOLKS and realizing that their product, though an investment for someone, was not for me. I then stumbled across Elfdoll's website (this was probably in 2007 right when the company had pulled back from selling through retailers), and was lucky enough to live near Denver Doll Emporium where I purchased an Elfdoll Mir. The next year, I joined DOA to purchase an Elfdoll Hazy and then earlier this year a June. I love to look at my dolls and through them I have remembered that I can sew, I can still surprise myself with creativity. What a gift from a hobby.

This all being said, I cannot deny my business training. So here it goes, I am about to come out of the closet sort of speak.

I choice to invest in BJD because I loved the product, but also because the numbers and industry timing made sense. Let me explain. The art form touched me, and my instinct says that certain BJDs will appreciate in value over the long run. The numbers made sense because the dolls were within my price range for taking a chance on something unproven and I could afford to buy the very best of this particular medium.

The industry timing means that there is a vibrant interest in the dolls, and the hobby, in its present form is nearing it's end. Why do I say that? Welll first of all people in the industry told me it was on the downturn. Why? Because the business model of most BJD companies is not sustainable. Case in point? Elfdoll and Iplehouse - in my mind two of the most talented manufactures of BJD. Elfdoll, as some of you remember, used to sell through stores. Their proprietress made promises to everyone under the sun and then changed her mind at the drop of the hat, until suddenly their business pulled in like Willy Wanka and his Chocolate Factory. I bet that the investors at Elfdoll slapped down their front woman; I don't know this for sure, but it is what I would have done. Iplehouse is an example of why this the present industry is dying. I can assure you that they did not do their due diligence before translating their site into English. They are closed down for two months during a period of time when Americans have millions of dollars of tax return money to spend. Sure, they don't have to cater to us, but I bet their investors don't understand that money is on the table and the doors are closed.

Why would I invest in a dying industry? Because these beautiful art objects will be even more rare after the hobby dies off. The very nature of the hobby means that, untouched factory issued dolls will be the rarest of all. Guess who has three.

OMG HUGOBOPP, you are the Grim Reaper. Yes, I am as are all the investors lurking on this site. Our appearance means that the hobby has been discovered and will soon no longer be cool. That doesn't mean that the dolls value will suffer over the long run, just an adjustment as these BJD become something else. The something else that auction houses are full of.

So, as a business man here is what I see. This cottage industry will die out in it's present form, certainly within five years, but probably within two. I am not saying that all BJD will suddenly disappear, but the golden age of the hobby will be over and it will go the way of hula hoops.

OR the industry can change.

Am I the only one here who sees an opportunity? I don't mean for Hugobopp Toys, that was just a joke, I mean something more like an international cooperative of BJD artists, who share costs and bring this hobby to another level.

Yes, I could be wrong, but just read all the complaints people have. Things cannot continue this way. If you love BJD, then I am saying it's time to get past the idea of them only coming from Asian and being Asian dolls. Yes this goes against DOA, but my point is DOA will be increasingly irrelevant unless it too changes.

Does the hobby need to change? No, but why not let someone in England design the next must have doll? Aren't you folks in Ireland and Scotland hurting for money? Aren't there art students that would like to actually make money at something that does not involve cubicles? Maybe I am just a silly middle aged man typing on a hotel couch when I should be sleeping - but I have had a change of heart. It's a damn shame that I am the only one who sees what is about to happen.

I think I can sleep now, sorry about the typos.


The level on which he fails/is missing the point/is displaying colossal stupidity is mind-boggling.


And my response to his latest post, because I couldn't help myself any longer:

hugobopp;7627587 wrote:

Yes, it's true that I do not really get the hobby, not because I am new to this, because I am not really, but because I am not really approaching BJD's as a hobby.
Then you're doing it wrong. You can't approach a hobby with intent to make money from it without a basic understanding of how it and the people in it work and still expect to make any sort of profit. The attitude you're taking will probably turn pretty much everyone off buying anything from you, honestly.

I call bull on the notion that you're 'not approaching BJDS as a hobby'. You make clothes for your dolls. You photograph them. You give them names and take pictures of them in your kitchen. You are, whether you like or believe it or not, a hobbyist and are approaching this as a hobby. If they were truly just investments, they'd be in boxes, in your closet, naked bald and possibly eyeless to preserve their colour and faceups, wouldn't they. You'd want to keep something you intend to sell on in the best condition possible, not sew dresses for it and pose it by your stove top.



Quote:



I choice to invest in BJD because I loved the product, but also because the numbers and industry timing made sense. Let me explain. The art form touched me, and my instinct says that certain BJDs will appreciate in value over the long run. The numbers made sense because the dolls were within my price range for taking a chance on something unproven and I could afford to buy the very best of this particular medium.
And yet you didn't buy Volks? I can say, based on resin quality, durability and other things, that Volks is one of the BEST companies in this. They are the oldest and most established, possibly the most beloved, the one that makes the most consistent product, and hugely appealing to the vast majority of hobbyists. If you're really in it for profit, you'd buy their dolls, preferably limiteds, preferably popular ones, regardless of whether you personally like them or not.

By the way, ABJDs aren't really contemporary Asian art, as such. They're not the things some corporate bigwig is going to want to have sitting in their office or their chalet in the Alps or whatever. They're big creepy dolls that we dress up and paint and modify. No-one is going to be hanging an Akando on their office wall or displaying it in their den next to their 'cool' contemporary art pieces.



Quote:



The industry timing means that there is a vibrant interest in the dolls, and the hobby, in its present form is nearing it's end. Why do I say that? Welll first of all people in the industry told me it was on the downturn. Why? Because the business model of most BJD companies is not sustainable. Case in point? Elfdoll and Iplehouse - in my mind two of the most talented manufactures of BJD. Elfdoll, as some of you remember, used to sell through stores. Their proprietress made promises to everyone under the sun and then changed her mind at the drop of the hat, until suddenly their business pulled in like Willy Wanka and his Chocolate Factory. I bet that the investors at Elfdoll slapped down their front woman; I don't know this for sure, but it is what I would have done. Iplehouse is an example of why this the present industry is dying. I can assure you that they did not do their due diligence before translating their site into English. They are closed down for two months during a period of time when Americans have millions of dollars of tax return money to spend. Sure, they don't have to cater to us, but I bet their investors don't understand that money is on the table and the doors are closed.
Uh...point out to me the evidence that this industry is dying. (And no, you having a problem with mismatching resin and a company having the audacity to shut down for a bit do not constitute evidence of this.) Shockingly, mate, the whole bloody world does NOT cater to Americans! We ARE NOT the only people in the world buying these dolls, nor are we the only people with the money to do so. I know, it's quite possibly a notion you haven't heard of, but maybe Iplehouse is more concerned with something like moving to a bigger or better location so they can produce more dolls or otherwise offer their employees a better workspace and their customers more and better dolls? That their primary concern may not actually be "How much money can we make this month?" and could *actually* be something like "How can we offer our customers the best product possible so that they might come back?" "or just "How can we give our customers the best product for their money?" That one company is not going to go out of business because they shut down for two months. If people really, really want Iplehouse dolls they're going to wait and save their money and order when Iplehouse is actually open again. The fact that they are moving should indicate that they're doing better, that they're expanding and that, therefore, they are probably not 'dying'. Expanding is a sign of success, not failure, and I've no clue how you could think otherwise.



Quote:

Why would I invest in a dying industry? Because these beautiful art objects will be even more rare after the hobby dies off. The very nature of the hobby means that, untouched factory issued dolls will be the rarest of all. Guess who has three.

Not as rare as you think, actually. People buy lots of dolls, your dolls are not going to suddenly be the only ones around. Unless you've got a doll that's the only one of it's kind (as in, that's the only doll ever cast from the mold, no-other-of-its-sculpt-anywhere-in-the-world), you're not going to make as much money as you seem to be planning. What's more, we *know* how much these dolls go for. We *know* roughly how rare any given doll is. A standard issue, say, Luts El with factory faceup is never, ever going to go for as much as a Bermann, no matter how old it is. A lot of people don't actually value factory faceups as much as you think they would. We like customising our dolls. Many factory faceups frankly aren't that great and don't add much in the way of appeal to buyers. Many, many people will go for a doll with a nice custom faceup over one with a factory faceup that's the same as a hundred others in the world. You're still really, really not understanding this hobby, are you? Are your three dolls standard editions? If they're limited, how many are they limited to? Have they been out of their boxes? Are they from a super-popular company? Is there actually demand for them? If they are standards, is the mold still available from the company? You seem to have this idea that all doll companies everywhere are suddenly going to close overnight and that there won't still be an a abundance of dolls to buy if they do.



Quote:



So, as a business man here is what I see. This cottage industry will die out in it's present form, certainly within five years, but probably within two. I am not saying that all BJD will suddenly disappear, but the golden age of the hobby will be over and it will go the way of hula hoops.

You mean, the industry that's been working just fine the same way for the last twelve years? The one that's growing every year? That industry? Yeah, I can see where it's *totally* on the verge of collapse. That's why Soom and Iplehouse and other companies totally aren't selling out limited editions all the time and why Volks doesn't make thousands of dollars every year.



Quote:

Yes, I could be wrong, but just read all the complaints people have. Things cannot continue this way. If you love BJD, then I am saying it's time to get past the idea of them only coming from Asian and being Asian dolls. Yes this goes against DOA, but my point is DOA will be increasingly irrelevant unless it too changes. ]
What, all of thos *occasional* complaints that people have, that are usually due to one or two bad companies, or bad customer service reps, or a mistake in casting that usually gets fixed very quickly?

Also, you *do* realise that there are loads of other people who collect the many BJDS that *aren't* ABJDs that are on the market, yes? Those people are not always the same people who collect these BJDs, and they have their own places to discuss those dolls. We already *know* that there are BJDs that aren't from Asia. Some members even collect them in addition to ABJDs They just aren't the focus of this forum. We're not pretending they don't exist, they're just out of the scope of DoA, which is not a bad thing. We are NOT the only forum devoted to dolls on the internet, and I highly, HIGHLY doubt that just because we're a forum focused on ABJDs, we're going to become irrelevant.



Quote:



Does the hobby need to change? No, but why not let someone in England design the next must have doll?
Because then it wouldn't be an ABJD? It's like asking why the next great European car can't be made/designed in Nigeria. Once you take away the defining trait of something (i.e. being made/designed/produced in an Asian country, or at the very least sculpted in that aesthetic), it ceases to be that thing.



I'm having a very difficult time figuring out how you're managing to miss the point so very, very badly.





So, what do you good folks think?
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