Volks, Inc. (ボークス?) is a Japan-based corporation that produces garage kits and mecha kits as well as the Dollfie, Super Dollfie and Dollfie Dream lines of BJD dolls. The company's headquarters is in Kyoto, with some 30 shops worldwide.
In the late 1990s Volks produced a line of 1:6 scale articulated vinyl figures for hobbyist customers to finish to their own taste. Volks named these figures Dollfie, a portmanteau of doll and figure.
The first Super Dollfie was designed in 1999 by the sculptor Akihiro Enku. Enku sculpted a one-off doll for his wife, 57 cm tall, in what would become the Super Dollfie size and style. An executive director at Volks noticed the doll and wondered if they would be made in larger numbers.
At this time Volks was a producer of resin figure kits, and the early Super Dollfie were made and sold similarly to resin kits, in very small quantities (almost build to order), and in parts, for the customer to assemble. Volks has stated that they were trying to create a female market for resin kits, which were male dominated up to that point.
The first generation SD bodies were highly detailed, but had some difficulty remaining standing, and their ball joints were very prominent.
All Super Dollfie dolls were female, until 2001 when the first boy doll, Licht, was released. The first release was a limited run of only 50 dolls, but sales were so successful that the doll was rereleased two times, and many other male dolls followed.
In 2003, Volks released a new 'skin type' (resin mixture) of the dolls called "Pure Skin". Pure skin has a less plastic and more skin-like, translucent look and feel. The Super Dollfie body was improved with better poseability and less conspicuous ball joints. During the change, Volks gradually phased out production of "old skin" dolls in favor of pure skin.
Old skin body parts were available separately, so buyers could easily get pieces and assemble their own custom doll. After the change to pure skin, only certain hands and feet are available to buy as optional parts, and only a few pure skin head molds and body types are readily available as completed standard models. The majority of Super Dollfie models are now only available as limited editions, already assembled, painted, and fully clothed.
Following the 2003 changes of the dolls, Volks expanded their business internationally. The same year they held the first Dolpa (Doll party) in South Korea, and also opened the first Korean store. In 2004 the Super Dollfie museum Tenshi no Sato was opened in Kyoto. In November 2005 Volks USA opened their first American Tenshi no Sumika store in Los Angeles, California, and they have been holding Dolpa events in New York City every summer since 2006.
The standard names of Volks' BJD lines - SD, SD13 and MSD, or just "mini" - are sometimes used to describe the size of BJDs from other companies as well, compare with Ball-jointed doll sizes and types.
Majority of the information about Volks' molds comes from the excessive information source that is Angle Den - don't forget to visit them if you want more details about all things Volks!