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Volks has been making far fewer collaboration DDs

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BeyondTime
11 hours ago, cfx said:

As I said earlier, I had by default thought December would be more Sailor Moon dolls since that's how it was the past two years, but they could very well do that differently this year.

They could coincide with the release of Sailor Moon Eternal, which is due out in 2020. It's a 2 part film intended to help celebrate the 25th anniversary.


The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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BeyondTime

It occurred to me that one other barometer for MDD would be the way the outfit releases usually remain in stock throughout the after events. Even the shoes tend to remain available for a long time.

It's pretty telling, especially when you consider that those outfits & shoes fit a lot of models: MDD, MSD Girls & Boys, SDM Girls & Boys, SDC, DDP. The SD16 stuff & DD stuff is usually gone pretty fast, and good luck with SD16 sized shoes.

Edited by BeyondTime

The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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foo
On 6/30/2019 at 2:15 PM, BeyondTime said:

As far as the original premise of the thread, I’m not sure it’s entirely correct. At least in the context of fewer dolls.

Yeah, my cocnern isn't about the number of dolls, it's that they've moved away from getting new timely licenses and releasing new dolls with unique sculpts. And, well, hoping that your favourite new anime girl is going to be turned into a doll. I got into the hobby circa 2013 and the dolls that were released in time with new anime & games was exciting. Unfortunately that's just not what Volks does anymore. 

On 6/30/2019 at 5:08 PM, BeyondTime said:

I’m guessing their largest market lies with guys like you and I who have zero interest in an MDD, but by itself the near total elimination of MDD doesn’t fully explain it. They could make more licensed DD/DDS in the smaller quantities they made before, and they clearly decided to make more of each doll instead. 

From visiting several Dolpas (especially the most recent), I'm sure Volks sells more MDD bodies than any other doll. Really the best thing they can do to serve the MDD market is to pump out base bodies. For licensing the MDD body isn't a good fit because it's so child-like. When the DDS came around it was much more useful for licensed characters. DDP is also perfect for many characters but they haven't really used it yet, maybe because they wanted to finish transitioning their product line to the f3 frame. Hopefully we'll get a Hestia pre-order this year because Danmachi is back 😄 They should be releasing a DDP standard model and option parts soon... like last year...

The other thing that's changed since the early 2010s is the PVC market. There's a healthy, competitive market for high-end PVCs that they didn't have to compete with before. In the mid-00s, if you wanted a the best Haruhi Suzumiya collectable, Dollfie Dream was it. Now collectors can expect Goodsmile et. al to to pump out expensive and beautifully detailed PVCs in time with the latest anime & games. Or at least, announced then delayed. I don't think Volks is trying to compete in this space anymore.

IMO the reason why the eroge's aren't done anymore is because they don't really exist like they used to, when major (and minor) publishers produced packaged CD-ROMs. Hello Internet. Also PVCs.

If you're talking about volume, most of Volks sales would come from pre-order/pseudo-limited DDs, and the base bodies they keep in stock at their stores throughout Japan. I don't think the limited collaboration dolls have ever been a main source of profit or revenue, but they're very important for supporting the DD business.

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Guest
On 6/30/2019 at 8:08 PM, BeyondTime said:

I think they are mad not to have made a Sakura Kinomoto doll already. Fans would start hemorrhaging money, and if they did her right I could easily see her aftermarket price being astronomical. The outfit line would be almost endless too, and they would sell like hot cakes.

I completely agree. With the Clear Card arc having just been released, and Goodsmile coming out with tons of merch, I'm surprised that Volks hasn't jumped on this.

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BeyondTime
7 hours ago, foo said:

Yeah, my cocnern isn't about the number of dolls, it's that they've moved away from getting new timely licenses and releasing new dolls with unique sculpts. And, well, hoping that your favourite new anime girl is going to be turned into a doll. I got into the hobby circa 2013 and the dolls that were released in time with new anime & games was exciting. Unfortunately that's just not what Volks does anymore.

And I do agree that seems to be a trend. They have taken on some new major partnerships like Sailor Moon, and Square-Enix. Those have the potential to translate into a lot of dolls, all of whom have the potential to be huge sellers. In a way I think the franchise focus may pay off there. There are 6 more senshi plus Mamoru & Chibi-Usa they could release. The number of SE game characters they could make and successfully sell is staggering. SE has awesome character designers too.

 

7 hours ago, foo said:

From visiting several Dolpas (especially the most recent), I'm sure Volks sells more MDD bodies than any other doll. Really the best thing they can do to serve the MDD market is to pump out base bodies.

I can't comment on Dolpa, but those sales don't seem to be translating into outfit sales to the same degree as you see with SD, SDGr, SD16. I am not at all familiar with the MSD sized SDs, and the popularity of those lines would be a factor in clothing sales. I also can't compare US SD fans to Japan SD fans. In the English speaking community boy dolls are hugely popular.

7 hours ago, foo said:

If you're talking about volume, most of Volks sales would come from pre-order/pseudo-limited DDs, and the base bodies they keep in stock at their stores throughout Japan. I don't think the limited collaboration dolls have ever been a main source of profit or revenue, but they're very important for supporting the DD business.

In this case I am thinking in terms of volume of limiteds as opposed to volume of base bodies, but of course outfits sales are going to be driven by both.

I don't know if Volks has ever failed to move an MDD the same way they have failed to move certain DD, but even if they haven't we don't know how many of each limited they make, or how many entries they get. They may have a set of numbers that just say this isn't a thing, and they clearly don't want unsold stock. The lackluster sales of Len could certainly inform why DDB releases are so sparse, and we'll never know how many pre-orders the got for 9S as compared to 2B.

This is just my own opinion here, but if it were me and I knew the market wanted twice as many dolls in each of the DD/DDS limited releases, and MDD limiteds generated less interest, then upping production of the DD/DDS LE and making fewer MDD LE would be what I did. Of course that doesn't mean this is why Volks has moved in the direction that they have.

Edit: Volks also has things like the Best of the Best vote counts to inform it's marketing decisions. Setting aside the question of which LE got the most votes, it gives them data on which product lines get the most votes.

Edited by BeyondTime

The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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foo
3 hours ago, BeyondTime said:

I can't comment on Dolpa, but those sales don't seem to be translating into outfit sales to the same degree as you see with SD, SDGr, SD16.

I think it is 🤔 The total number of large dolls across their product lines will outnumber MDDs, so there is more full-size doll clothing and I'm sure they sell more of it. But with every outfit collection they include a healthy amount of MSD/MDD products including shoes and accessories, so it's definitely not neglected. The impression from Dolpa is skewed too because people are more likely to bring a small doll, but it does show that there are a lot of MDD owners.

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RainAndSnow

My idea is that they may want to start opening up pre-orders for older, limited dolls as people do spend the high end prices for them. Or maybe it's licensing issues? Then again, not all of us live overseas so it's a lot harder to try and fully customize your doll if you wanted to.

I'm not very knowledgeable about this topic either but it seems really interesting and surprising to me...

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Singer Yuna
4 hours ago, BeyondTime said:

Volks also has things like the Best of the Best vote counts to inform it's marketing decisions. Setting aside the question of which LE got the most votes, it gives them data on which product lines get the most votes.

I cross fingers with Rise’s votes, Volks would jump to do Persona 5 DDs, they have males, DDpretty and Sega licencing.


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BeyondTime
2 hours ago, foo said:

I think it is 🤔 The total number of large dolls across their product lines will outnumber MDDs, so there is more full-size doll clothing and I'm sure they sell more of it. But with every outfit collection they include a healthy amount of MSD/MDD products including shoes and accessories, so it's definitely not neglected. The impression from Dolpa is skewed too because people are more likely to bring a small doll, but it does show that there are a lot of MDD owners.

What I am seeing is they don’t sell out to the same degree. I have little trouble getting stuff for my DDP, but stuff for SD16 is usually gone shortly after the events start. DDP outfits and shoes seem to hang around for weeks. There are some big exceptions like the sneakers they have released this year, but overall those outfits are pretty easy to pickup. 

Now, for all I know they make 2x as many outfits in the MSD size, so it’s just a limited observation. 

I will say for travel a smaller doll like a DDS is much easier than a large resin. It does kind of make sense that people might prefer an MDD at events with long lines, and lots of standing. You can stuff her in a backpack or handbag. 

I’ll bring a resin to the LA Dolpa tea party, but for the rest of the time I’m bringing a DDS


The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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PrinceWolfe

I noticed that Volks has been kind of lacking too. If you look at Danny Choo and Smart Doll, Danny has had like four or five licensed dolls in like a year. Smart doll had, the two Girls Und Panzer girls, Nami from One Piece, Mika Jougasaki, Lalouch, the new Code Geas boy, and now a character from Cowboy Bebop and that's all been within like less than two years. Miho from GUP was made long before but still, Danny is putting out a lot of licensed dolls where as Volks really only did the two Miku's, 9S and 2B, Yuriko Nanao, and they re releasing some of their older limited dolls. Volks is also slow with shipping their dolls, I know it takes a while to make the outfits and dolls and everything but Volks is a big company, they should have enough people working to where they can ship out the pre-orders pretty quickly. It's a bit insane that it takes a year for people to get their dolls, I understand if the dolls have body armor if it takes longer but a dolls like the Idolmaster girls shouldn't take a year to ship. It also kind of sucks that they made another Miku instead of a brand new licensed doll, yes Sakura Miku is pretty but we really don't need three different Miku's. There's also hundreds of different animes for them to pick from for getting licensed dolls so it shouldnt be to hard figuring out who to put out next.

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BeyondTime
On 8/10/2019 at 8:23 PM, PrinceWolfe said:

I noticed that Volks has been kind of lacking too. If you look at Danny Choo and Smart Doll, Danny has had like four or five licensed dolls in like a year. Smart doll had, the two Girls Und Panzer girls, Nami from One Piece, Mika Jougasaki, Lalouch, the new Code Geas boy, and now a character from Cowboy Bebop and that's all been within like less than two years. Miho from GUP was made long before but still, Danny is putting out a lot of licensed dolls where as Volks really only did the two Miku's, 9S and 2B, Yuriko Nanao, and they re releasing some of their older limited dolls.

2018:

Luka Megurine

Yuriko Nanao

Matoi

Kaede Takagaki

2B & 9S

Sailor Mercury & Sailor Mars

2019:

Sakura Miku & Hatsune Miku Reboot

Rem & Ram

Pre-orders (unknown, but could be 1 - 3 dolls) Edit: It was Mash & Gudako

December Dolpa (Unknown but could be 0 - 2 dolls.) Edit: Arle & Ranko Kanzaki

That's on top of all their SD releases. I know the SD's are of less interest here, but they make a lot of limited edition SD's each year.

 


The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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cfx

Yeah, while there were some previous years when Volks had more dolls, this year looks to be eight and the least they ever had was six, so I don't see how that is in any way less than what there are for Smart Doll (info from the history on their site):

  • 10/2016 - Miho
  • 09/2017 - Gourai
  • 10/2017 - Yukari, Lelouch
  • 01/2018 - Nami
  • 05/2019 - Mika

In three years Danny has released what Volks released in one year for the year they had the fewest. I don't think it's meant to be a contest since originally Danny insisted he'd never do licensed dolls at all.

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Monty

Not to mention that smartdolls do not yet have the popularity that DDs have and are definitely made in much smaller batches with a preorder cap. Volks needs to take a whole year for preorders that are open over a month because that’s a hell of a lot of dolls, and even if it doesn’t take a whole year, giving a year gives them enough wiggle room to consistently deliver when they say they will. 

The alternative to this is Azone, who are absolutely notorious for setting dates and then delaying dolls over and over again. (The first pure neemo I got was delayed twice, and then the first my friend got 2 years later was delayed once a month for almost an entire year. They’ve done the same with some outfits and even accessories. There was a pair of pure neemo shoes I forgot I even ordered because they just got delayed all year and then finally came out (was very annoying as it meant I had an entire amiami order that was just those tiny shoes) Volks have had unexpected delays, such as with Luka, but in that case I can let it slide because it was a newish method they hadn’t really tested and they at least pushed the date back enough at once instead of ‘sorry, not this month, next month! Uh whoops, not this month either, next month!’For nearly a year...) So basically I’d rather wait a year from the beginning because I expect to than expect to only wait a few months and end up waiting a year because of delays.

Edited by Monty
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potpourii
On 6/30/2019 at 8:08 PM, BeyondTime said:

 I think they are mad not to have made a Sakura Kinomoto doll already. Fans would start hemorrhaging money, and if they did her right I could easily see her aftermarket price being astronomical. The outfit line would be almost endless too, and they would sell like hot cakes. 

I’m guessing their largest market lies with guys like you and I who have zero interest in an MDD, but by itself the near total elimination of MDD doesn’t fully explain it. They could make more licensed DD/DDS in the smaller quantities they made before, and they clearly decided to make more of each doll instead. 

This! I've been waiting and hoping for them to make Sakura Kinomoto. When they launched the DDP body, I honestly thought Sakura would be the perfect candidate, what with the CCS anniversary and the Clear Card sequel release. I recently ended up buying DDP Ribbon to customize into Sakura. Her smile really reminds me of Sakura ^^ 🌸💕

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BeyondTime

Seeing this thread bumped is interesting given the recent launch of MDD Mochi Ashi. Before, we were talking about the lack of MDD limiteds, but Mochi Ashi seems to me to show Volks may have a renewed interest in the MDD body.

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The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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BeyondTime
2 hours ago, Singer Yuna said:

or a licensed character in MDD mochiashi form too

This wouldn’t surprise me if it did happen, but it would probably come down to where they were relative to each other in the development cycles. 


The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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