When I first started in the doll hobby, I had very little knowledge of how to actually get dolls from Volks. Up until now, the two dolls I had purchased new came from Volks USA. Rin was from a lottery entry while Haruka was made up of off-the-shelf parts. I had no idea that Volks Japan also ran a lottery and sold dolls to the international marketplace. When Sakura was announced, I decided I would branch out and try to get her from Volks Japan!
There were a couple of advantages to entering from Japan vs. USA. First, delivery from Japan was much faster than through US, since purchases shipped pretty soon after winning entries were announced. Second, there could be a slight price advantage depending on the dollar to yen conversion rate. Finally, some of the extra items were only available through Japan (at the time). That knowledge in mind, I entered both the Volks USA and Volks Japan lotteries in the hopes of being able to get her from either! I applied for both Sakura and the casual secondary outfit. Entries were due in mid-May and results would be announced at the end of the month.
I was actually on vacation in Hawaii when I heard the results. Volks Japan only let me purchase her casual outfit but no doll, while Volks USA gave me a slot for Sakura herself. That meant that I would get her outfit several months ahead of Sakura’s arrival. Ah well…
This also marks the beginning of the (still unbroken) streak of never winning a doll from the Volks Japan lottery.
I’ll skip the arrival story, since I’ve already written about that here. It was really nice to have a second doll from the same series though! It started giving my family some continuity. Since I’d also gotten my hands on Rin’s school uniform, it meant that I could pose them together in matching outfits!
Up until this point in time, I had largely taken pictures of my girls at a local garden or at home. It was a solitary hobby and I largely posted pictures online to share with other people. I had never actually met any other doll people in person or gotten together with others with similar interests. Most of my “Anime friends” hadn’t evolved to the doll level, so it was hard to relate with my existing social circles. That all changed a couple weeks after Sakura arrived. On September 4, 2010, I went to my very first doll meet!
I found the meetup section on Den of Angels and saw that one was being held in the Greensboro, NC area at the Doll Market. Since it was only a couple hours away, I decided it was worth checking out. In browsing the thread, I also saw someone from Charleston, SC was interested in coming up for it. Since Charlotte was on the way, I suggested carpooling. He went by the screen name Balldylox on DoA (also Twitter and Instagram) and was new to the hobby just like me. He’d be bringing up his only DD and I had Sakura and Rin ready to go.
The first meetup was interesting, we also met up with another mutual internet friend there and got our first taste of the resin BJD culture. We didn’t realize that there was a pretty big gap between the two camps at the time, but we had a great time anyway!
After the meet, a couple of us kept in touch. Balldylox’s collection has exploded and he has well into the 60 range of DDs. We still do meetups on a regular basis to socialize, watch anime, and hang dolls from chandeliers.
Name: Matou Sakura
Make: Volks Dollfie Dream (DD2), L Bust
Arrival Date: August 20, 2010
From: Volks USA Lottery