So, I was all set to write a witty and insightful post about the creator of Minecraft today…

But it turns out that his story is pretty boring- he’s an ordinary young man, who created a computer game and then a company to produce it, and not much else.  I understand that he’s created a few other games, but didn’t recognize their names. Even his screen name is pretty standard: “Notch.” 

So instead I thought I’d talk about BJDs.  I’d talk about Aileen Dolls if I knew a little more about them, but since I don’t, I’ll talk about the company I have the most experience with- Iplehouse.  I’ve ordered twice from them, and been very pleased with the result both times.  The wait time was as expected or less (significantly less in the first case), the faceups and body blushings were exactly what I asked for (if a little more pink than necessary in the second ‘normal skin’ doll).  I have heard that they had some problems with their resin quality around 2008-2009, but both of my BJDs have no resin flaws, and not even strong mold lines (with the exception of one small part of Leona’s resin, just under her head cap, which looks like it has a slight flaw- it doesn’t show unless her wig and headcap are off, though, and it’s not in a location where it is likely to become a problem).  My biggest problem with the design of the Iplehouse body is that the hands and feet are an enormous pain to remove and switch.  There are flat & heeled feet for the girls, and about four or five differently shaped hands, and if I want to remove the current hands and replace them with, for example, the fist hands, then it is a twenty-minute struggle.  Fairyland has a good solution for this BJD issue- their dolls’ hands and feet are magnetic, and super easy to switch out.

At the same time I ordered the dolls, I ordered clothes from the same company.  As much as I love the realism of Iplehouse sculpts, I’ve noticed that finding clothes to fit their comparatively realistic figure is extremely difficult.  Iplehouse clothing fits reasonably well, though some of the pants are a little awkward when trying to get the BJDs to sit.  Dollmore and Tatas Paradise clothes are very hit-or-miss, and it’s pretty impossible to tell without ordering and blindly hoping.  I think the percentage of things I’ve bought which fit versus ones that don’t is about 70:30. 

I think the thing I dislike the most about this hobby in general is how much you have to guess and hope when making purchases.  There aren’t any stores in North America that I know of which carry BJDs, BJD clothes or accessories.  Often you can co-opt things from other types of dolls (I’m using props that came from the American Girl dolls), but they don’t always quite work, and the clothes are a real nightmare.  It would be easier if I was a better (read: more patient) seamstress, but since I’m not…

Anyway, Iplehouse as a company to order from has been unfailingly good with their customer service- questions and issues for me have been resolved quickly and without fuss.  The service forum on their website is quick to be updated and quite secure.  I had a difficulty with my account at one point due to some of the settings on the website, but since it seemed to be a systemic website issue, it did get resolved I believe around November when the company re-vamped the site itself.

If you have any questions about BJDs in general or Iplehouse in particular, please do comment below & I’ll answer as best I can.  Also, if you have experience with Iplehosue or Aileen Dolls, please let me know, I’d be pleased to see someone else’s perspective!

: – )

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