Do you love collecting BJD (Ball Jointed Dolls) or other collectable fashion dolls like Blythe, Pullip, Etc? Well if you live or are visiting Korea they have a convention just for you~ “Doll Free Market”!   Over the summer I attended a smaller spin-off doll convention here in Seoul, but I was told that this one was the main event here so I waited quietly till the next one came around so I could see if for myself and share the info with you guys! ^^

  Doll Free Market has been going on in Korea since 2002 with events being held in both Busan and Seoul about 4-5 times a year total.  Location and dates seem to vary slightly (although lately the Seoul event seems to have been held at the same spot each time) so for the best info on upcoming show dates and the location you will need to check out the official site HERE ~ or a related Naver cafe HERE ♥ sorry it is all in Korean, but just try to eyeball around for numbers, event promo images, or use a browser translator if you are stuck!

As usual, Nara was my adventure victim and dragged along to see all the pretty dollies! haha such a good sport, seriously!  Actually, he loves looking at them a lot since he is in to sculpture and fashion…just the thought of shelf filled with them staring into space in our living room frightens him a bit lol.

This was the 47th Doll Free Market in Korea, the price to get in was 4,000 won each and it ran from 11am-4:30pm

Just like I had been told, this event was about double the size of the last one I attended~ the room was a small to medium-sized hall, but all the tables were occupied with sellers and the room was filled with eager shoppers of all ages.  It was crowded, but still very easy to browse around and see everything without having to fight through people… thank goodness!  Lots of indie doll makers had booths at this event selling and taking pre-orders for figures, but predominately this event is for buying doll accessories like clothing, jewelry, eyes, wigs, furniture etc. 

Beautiful Kimonos on display! Even though this is a Korean event~ Japanese brands, themed clothing, and accessories are still very present and popular with some collectors.

One booth had a large display showing several K-pop stars in soccer gear (A tribute to the show “Idol Star” where stars compete against each other) These dolls are apparently from a group called “샤인”

and of course, the fangirls had a stand to watch the boys play!  The little signs, fans, and banners are adorable!

Beautiful doll modeling a Korean Hanbok for sale and holding a tiny pair of panties lol…eh, why not?

Beautiful Alice-inspired dresses for sale~ I love the little delicate charms that have been stitched on

I never get tired of looking at dolls shoes… I kinda want to just collect these! So many styles for sale at this event♥

One seller even had traditional Korean shoes!

This seller had dozens of bitty hand-made hats for dolls to wear!

So tiny!! They even managed to get in some itty bitty ears ♥

Of course every fancy doll needs a pair of equally fancy mini panties!

Tiny panties may be the cutest thing ever.

Bitty suitcases for your new bitty outfits

A seller or two had beautiful hand-made food for sale! Most booths used re-ment since it is kind of the go to brand for fake doll food now, but these are amazing and look extra real!!

Plenty of wigs in every shape and size!

Found a cute shop with my name! ^^

Beautiful arrangement by 아토마루 Atomaru

 

“Rooms” for sale that you can connect and set up for your doll to live in!

This seller had tons of hand-made furniture in a range of sizes

This is the new set of indie dolls (mocapinoru) by the talented Kream doll!  Nara and I fell in love with them so much, we talked to some of the artists and I will be featuring them and the studio in a future post ♥ ♥ ♥

Beautiful little dresses, throw pillows, and shirts for your doll!

Doll blank bases for sale and Kewpies… because they are cute!

Putting together a new doll~ ♥

O_o

This seller specialized in painting dolls faces! So beautiful

This booth had some amazing custom sculpts for your dolls~ hoof feet, wings, ears, etc

Realistic and monster hands ♥

Eyeballs!

xxxx

All around the convention we kept seeing these adorable little frog dolls at almost every booth! Korea seems to really love animal inspired doll bases, but these have a bit of a platic toy finish and I had never seen them before!

Finally in the very back of the hall we found the vendor of the doll bases at last! These are”Wonder Frog” dolls from Japanese doll designer Studio Uoo  and come in a large selection of fun colors as well as a more realistic tree frog paint style as well, cute!!  They did not look like much in the bags, but with clothing among the other dolls they really looked so sweet and interesting.

They also had the slightly creepy “New Bone Walker | ニューボーンウォーカー” by Studio Uoo as well!

 

Time for the pretty boys!  The detail in the uniforms was so intracate!

 

Just like at the last event, everyone congregated outside the event hall to eat snacks, take photos, and play with all the new goodies they purchased!  I have a TON of photos from everyone hanging out in my last post HERE

HAUL

 So what did I end up buying this visit? Actually nothing really T_T I still do not have a BJD doll, just can’t commit to one yet!!  I did get these adorable kewpie’s for my shelf and to use in my photos though!!

I grabbed lots of beautiful business cards to hang on to for later ^^

One of the booths was giving out free paper doll packets~ the art is so sweet!  The girl is named Ellie hahaha I keep seeing my name at this expo XD  I put her in a little winter outfit and clipped her to my pin board ♥

When is the next Seoul / Busan Doll Free Market? Wanna go??

♥ LINKS ♥

Doll Free Market Official Site

Doll Free Market + Related Conventions Naver Cafe  <–Much better at announcing upcoming events lately

If you can not read Korean just try to look for the event promo images with the dates!

Do you like collecting dolls? Have you been to this expo before or plan on going in the future? If you want to see more doll-related posts please “Like” or comment below ♥ Korea has lots of indie brands and a few shops I would love to feature if enough people are interested!!

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30 Responses to “Seoul Doll Free Market #47 (image heavy)”

  • I’d really love to see more doll related posts. I don’t own any but for a little apple doll, but some day i can afford it i plan on getting at least one BJD.

  • Custom avatar Deedie:

    Thanks for posting the pictures! Even though I don’t own a BJD I love the way they look. All the little accessories were so incredibly cute too.

  • Custom avatar Maaikeh:

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been to Korea several times, always looking for doll stuff, but except for the Volks Store (that mostly sold expensive Japanese stuff) I didn’t find anything! Seoul seems to lack an area like Akihabara, or do you know of any? I know there’s one street with toyshops, but they just sell cheap kid’s toys.
    I hope to attend a dollshow the next time I’m coming to Korea, the prices seem great! ^_^

    And I have one more question if you don’t mind; I only spot some Little Pullips in your photos, aren’t Pullips very popular in Korea? (their design is originally from Korea, ironically)

    • Elle:

      Hello! :D Aw so glad it is of some use to you! Yes, I find that the prices for the clothing and accessories are extremely fair! The detail in some outfits is quite amazing for what they are asking, a real labor of love for most of the artists I am sure ♥

      You know, Pullip does not get as much love as I expected in Korea, maybe she is not “Fancy” enough? I believe she was designed here, but for the Japanese market if I remember correctly so perhaps she is not promoted in Korea quite the same… Ddung dolls (you can search my old posts above to read about her) is another prime example of the same thing… she is Korean made, but just to be sold overseas as a brand and pretty much ignored here in her home country. I see Blythe on the table displays a lot more, I think the shows are split between kitschy vintage doll doll-style collectors showing tables of liccas, blythe, wonder fog, fawns, knitted things, mushrooms etc and the other half likes the small to medium-size fancy BJDs…. I am not an expert on identifying them though so don’t know which are Volks or another brand all together. What you see in the pics above is a pretty good representation of what everyone had on display. The little table pullips actually had a special sale too, it was buy one get one free! I really should have bought a set :P

      I know of a few kinda hidden nerd havens here for anime goods, model parts, and figures, but its pretty much Otaku stuff if that is what you mean! One is this random building in a random part of town~ I am planning to feature it in the near future since it was a nice little gem assuming it manages to stay open. The “Nerd” markets here are suffering a lot with the internet shopping being so big and shipping being so fast within Korea. The gaming area of Yongsan is just a shell of what it was 7 years ago even.

      • Custom avatar Maaikeh:

        Thank you for your answer! And it’s a shame that there’s not much to be found. I usually travel to both Japan and Korea and toyshopping in Korea has always been disappointing. You’re completely right about Pullips being designed for the Japanese market, still I’d expect to find some in Korea as well, but I never have. I was hoping you could point me towards the secret Seoul Akiba, but it probably doesn’t exist.
        Thank you and good luck with your wonderful blog!

  • BJD’s ftw! :D wish I get the chance to visit such a lovely place, I’ll probably get an headache because of overload happiness xD

  • Oh wow, this show looks huge! And I just cant get over those tiny shoes and hats! So cute!! *_*

  • Custom avatar Moni:

    I love dolls! But I don’t really have the commitment and space to collect them, so I just admire their pictures! lol
    However I have my eyes on a Rosenlied BJD (or maybe a Latidoll, they’re so cute) and I think that maybe eventually I’ll have to get one!
    Ohh and you saw Atomaru’s dolls! Were they available to buy? I found about her (or his!) dolls a few months ago and I’ve been loving them since then.

    I’d like to see more doll related posts for sure! Those animal dolls look quite interesting. By the way, I know another korean artist that makes BJD! Her dolls are called ‘Bambola World’ in case you want to check them out!

    • Elle:

      Hi Moni! You know, I did not ask her, but I LOVE Atomaru’s dolls as well so I am actually in the process of contacting her to buy some or will be going to the next expo especially to meet and buy one of her dolls! I’m glad you knew her name, she is one of the artists I am trying to contact for an interview and studio feature. She puts so much time into her dolls, I was surprised when I found out since for a few expos I thought they were just vintage of some kind ♥ ♥ ♥

  • omo wish I was there to see that. I love BJD they are so pretty. I want one so bad , hmmm but could I stop at just one ? (sigh) indeed not, what’s A girl to do….. save for A trip to Korea of course !

  • Custom avatar Airi:

    I loved this post so much! Thank you for taking the time and effort to take and edit all those photos! Omg, the pretty boys are so gorgeous~ And of course, the dresses are always to die for!

    I really want to go to this event next time I go to Korea :D But given that this event is predominantly for selling accessories, is it weird to not own a doll, not buy anything at all, and just go around taking closeups of their merchandise? Do they give you weird looks at all? :\

    Oh! And when you say there are sellers selling handmade stuff (like furniture), does that mean THEY made it? Or are they just selling it?

    :D Thankies!

    • Elle:

      Hi Ari~ Well I only have a Blythe and I still go, although sometimes I cave and buy a small thing or something haha. I cant say if it is ok or not, some sellers do not allow photos at these events and some do to a degree. The set up dressed dolls are on display for photos though :)

      Many of the sellers are selling things they themselves made, a few vendors are larger doll clothing brands I think just because of the vast selection…. I think most made it themselves though (like the dresses, food, furniture) since they are usually working on pieces behind the table and they have a very fair price to them.

  • Custom avatar Aislyn:

    Oh, please do more posts like this! I love dolls and mostly own vintage ones, but I have two miniature Blythes and one mini pullip.
    I can’t wait until the next doll show comes around this looks absolutely adorable! Did you happen to notice how much the doll blanks cost? I’m wondering if they are the real deal and therefore hundreds of dollars or the more affordable plastic ones.

    • Elle:

      They did not have many people selling blanks at this show, just the accessories and such~ but the blanks I did see cost about $300 USD at least except for the pile next to the kewpie dolls in the photo~ those cost under $100 usd but are just a cheaper plastic. I do not think bootlegs are allowed at this expo~ the collectors would run them out I would assume.

  • Custom avatar RedLion:

    OMG so coooool ;.; The ladies at the Volks store was telling me about this but I didn’t know where to go! I hope to see this place before going back to the States next year

    • Elle:

      Check out the links I posted at the end of the post :) those are some blogs that announce upcoming dates! They will have another smaller event Nov 11th ♥

  • Custom avatar Jessica:

    Thanks for posting this! I have a couple bjd’s, well one and one in the mail. The one in the mail is actually from a Korean company, Fairyland. http://www.dollfairyland.com
    I wish they had doll markets like this where I could go check out clothes, but I guess I’d spend too much money that way, lol. It would still be a ton of fun to check out all the stuff people make.
    They’re having a bjd convention in Atlanta next year, which is pretty close to me. That should be fun, and I hope it’s kind of like that.

  • Custom avatar Regi:

    Ohh these Photos are adorable! Many thanks for sharing them!
    BJD are pretty great! I love them!

    It’s amazing how detailed the clothes are, it just looks like anyone could wear it like on a market and it’s not just doll clothes.
    Would wish to get a BJD also but they’re that expensive.. So thanks again for sharing so I can at least look at those beautiful dolls <3

  • Custom avatar Christina:

    They are pretty elaborate with the dolls they paint on the faces and even have panties and suitcases for them!And OMG THEY HAVE LA LA LOOPSY x}

    • Elle:

      I know, right?? I was shocked to see La La Loopsy at this event, I saw a bunch of people walking around with her so I think she sold quite well!! She is more of a children’s toy, correct?

  • Custom avatar Kelly:

    I love the stockings doll! And I woulda been all over that custom monster booth, cause if I had one it would no doubt be a pretty boy vampire :P

  • Custom avatar Sugar:

    The new mocapinoru are really neat! And the detail painted on each doll’s face, ahh!

  • Custom avatar rose:

    Hi, just want to ask if aside from these conventions-where can one buy BJD dolls in Korea? I would be visiting Korea in 2 weeks and I want to buy one as a souvenir for myself.

  • Custom avatar nagrom:

    when are you going to do a kream doll article?

  • Custom avatar nagrom:

    oh, i meant the mocapinoru animals dolls, by kream dolls. i haven’t see them any where but here, so i was hoping you’d feature them and their studio~ :D

    • Elle:

      Ohhh! I actually talked to them about an interview back when they fist launched the dolls, it is on my todo list! Painfully behind with other features so eventually I would like to feature them and the creators <3

  • Custom avatar Ellia:

    Thank you for this post. I’m going to visit Korea in two weeks and was looking for info on BJD-related events there. You really made my day! And the post itself is so nice and detailed (even though it’s mostly pictures, it still gives lots of info)).
    Thank you once more.

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