As Overwatch comes into it’s second year, it brings millions of players with it- some of them artists. There are many different forms of art and artists, popular in the Overwatch community are cosplayers and digital artists. However some of the non conventional artists have been overlooked.  Let’s bring them into the light, shall we.

This week we will be learning a little bit about BJD or Ball Jointed Dolls!

Episode 1

This week for Rialto’s Gallery, I’ve interviewed Instagram user otaku_toy. His love for Overwatch and his favorite hero- D.Va is shown when he decided to customize one of his dolls, usually called Julia, to look just like D.Va. Despite the size difference, BJD customisation is just as much effort (if nor more) than human cosplay.  It can get just as pricey too!

Ball jointed dolls

In the past few years many might have seen these on social media. A Ball Jointed Doll is any doll that is articulated with ball and socket joints. In contemporary usage when referring to modern dolls, and particularly when using the acronyms BJD or ABJD, it usually refers to modern Asian Ball Jointed Dolls. Creators can do as much as too just dressing up the doll to actually painting and customizing the dolls fully.

Meet the artist!

My name is Todd, I am 27 years old. I consider myself to be an Otaku which means that I’m really into the anime and manga world as well as the Asian culture itself. I enjoy playing video games, although I am not a heavy player, I like to play when I have spare time. I like to attend anime conventions, cosplay and collect figures.

How did you get into making BJD?

Once when I was a convention I had come across what I thought to be these large scale figures but then realized as I got closer they were dolls. I became intrigued, I went and did some research and came across a person on Instagram that had one of these “anime” dolls. Which I then found were called Ball Jointed Dolls or BJD. He gave me information and from there I began my new hobby.

Why did you decide to make a D.Va ball jointed doll? Do you plan on making any other heroes?

There are many types of doll companies out there so there is a variety to chose from depending on what you’re looking for. I became interested in a particular doll company made by Danny Choo called SmartDoll. These dolls are their own characters and they’re sculpted by the company, however, they allow for customization. Being able to change up the doll allowed me to experiment with eyes, hair, and clothes. D.Va came to mind when I started to really get hooked on Overwatch. I really enjoy playing her in the game and love her style. I had the found the brown wig already and eyes I used from the SmartDoll website but still needed the outfit. I can sew but I was not ready for that challenge quite yet and I ended up finding a doll site called DollfieProject that sells cosplay costumes for dolls. The outfit was right on point for D.Va and the fit was perfect. As for other heroes in Overwatch, Widowmaker is on my mind and I think I am going to attempt to make her costume.


Can you tell us a little about the process? What’s your favorite step?

This hobby is can be quite expensive the process of putting D.Va together took a little less than a month because I had to wait to receive the outfit which cost less than $50 not including shipping. The wig, and eyes I had already, they cost together around $70, not including shipping. My favorite part of this whole process is the feedback that I get from when I post pictures of my doll. It brings out more exposure for myself and the doll companies that supply dolls and products. I really try my best to put things together that I think people would like to see and give them ideas on what they would like to do with their dolls or even help get them into the hobby.


You can find more of Otaku_Toy’s work on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube! If you’d like to see other fantastic artists, you can visit The Omnic Art on Instagram.