asian ball-joint dolls
Asian Ball-Joint Dolls, also known as ABJD, are expressive, high-quality dolls constructed of polyurethane resin. A system based off European stringing and ball-jointing techniques allows them to be posed in a variety of life-like ways – however, as their name suggests, they are produced primarily in Japan, Korea, and China.
The company responsible for birthing ABJD is Volks of Japan. Originally, Volks produced resin figures and model kits, then developed a line of 1/6 dolls known as Dollfie. A larger, one-of-a-kind polyurethane version of the Dollfie was created, and after an executive inquired as to the potential for quantity production, this doll became the prototype for the Super Dollfie. Today, Volks remains not only one of the most well-known sources for ABJD, but one of the most popular.
Inspired by the success of Super Dollfie, a number of other artists began producing their own versions of ABJD. Though Super Dollfie, SD, and other related terms refer specifically to the Volks creations, owners and fans often use them to indicate any Asian BJD with similar style. Most are comparable in size, and in some cases, heads, body parts, and accessories can be swapped between brands with little to no noticable difference. A few companies even appeal to buyers by promising to match the skin tones of their competitors.
Despite their name, ‘Super Dollfies’ are rarely considered toys. The extensive customization options offered by ABJD allow their fans to create a doll that’s just for them – the doll of their dreams. Heads and bodies can be purchased with or without makeup, and skilled application results in dolls of the same type appearing radically different. Features such as pointed ears, closed eyes, and fantasy limbs can be added, altered, or removed. Eyes and wigs can be changed at a whim, and clothes are often hand-made by the owner of the doll. ABJD, quite simply, are about creativity and individuality. Many ABJD fans view them not as dolls, but character companions with their own distinct personality. Though some outside the community may feel that this is a sign of mental instability, so long as it’s not taken too far, there’s really no reason to suggest that. How many children have ‘imaginary’ friends that are smiled to, nodded at, and otherwise overlooked by their parents? Growing older doesn’t mean imagination should be abandoned, and through ABJD, the innocence and wonder of childhood can meet the creative spark of a mature mind.
Some of the information in this section was inspired by Aimee Major’s SD FAQ, and is used with the intent of education, not infringement.
It also hasn’t been updated in easily ten years or more, so, yanno.