Fuwa Fuwa means soft or fluffy; it is a common Japanese name for small dolls with stuffed bodies. Magical Girl Lalabel has also got her doll of this type, and I'm glad to review her today!
This doll (by Popy) was made back in 1982, so her box has faded, but I think you'll appreciate the front window design, as stars and crescents are Lalabel's distinctive patterns.
The left side of the box shows an accompanying toy, Bira the cat, resembling Monchhichi dolls. Bira was sold separately, but you could use the cutout on the back side of the box instead.
The box is quite compact as the doll comes in a sitting position. By the way, she is 21cm tall. Here she is together with her magic wand and a cardboard Bira (just like the cutout on the box).
First, a couple of words about the wand. The way Japanese toymakers make some devices work has always stunned me. Those mechanisms are simple but ingenious, and here is an example. The wand has a ribbed surface. If you take the pink plastic star attached to the handle and rub against it, the upper part of the wand will start rotating because of the vibration. Isn't that clever?
This Lalabel looks different from the regular character. This is a baby or a chibi version, but still quite recognisable.
Her arms and legs are wired, so there are some posing options.
Lalabel's body is made of flesh-coloured terry cloth, and this is why the doll is titled Fuwa Fuwa, or Fluffy.
The fabric of her dress was designed by Popy exclusively for Lalabel dolls. There are five types altogether that you can find in our database, and all of them wear the same pattern, while a Lalabel doll by Robin has to wear a plain pink dress.
I preferred to leave her headband on as it is attached to her hair.
The vinyl used for this doll is thin and very soft. The vinyl parts are, of course, her head and her hands - both of which can hold the wand.
Soft, cute and magical. That's what a true mahou shoujo should be.
- Written by Yoruno
I've recently noticed a certain pattern in my reviews: The older a doll, the more extatic I get. So, this time I'm almost in love with this 1981 Italian Becky doll! She is none other than Becky Thatcher, the famous character of Tom Sawyer book and anime series.
Dolls inspired by this series were exclusive to the Italian manufacturer Furga. You can find all variations of Tom doll at eBay, Huck dolls are not so frequent, but this Becky doll is a rarity. Some collectors even question her very existence, but here she is, 45cm tall and gorgeous!
All Furga anime-based dolls were sold in colourful boxes with flaps showing the main characters as well as some familiar environments. Here we can see a Mississippi steamboat, Tom's school, Huck, Tom and Becky.
Here is the doll. As I said before, she is 45cm tall, and there is a chance that a mini Becky doll was released, too, because other Tom Sawyer no Bouken dolls have variations in size. Becky looks somewhat similar to Furga's Anne of Green Gables. I don't own this Anne doll yet, so I can't claim they have the same mold, but as for the bodies, I think they share the same type.
There is Furga logo on the back of her head.
Yarn hair! (You'd better not undo it). It should have been ginger rather than yellow, though.
My first reaction to Becky was, "Yuk, she's squinting!" But somehow she is quite photogenic, and her design is very Alice-In-Wonderland-ish.
Maybe because of her blue dress and her pinafore? I still wonder whether it used to be white or not. Both pieces are made of a peculiar fabric with a waffle-like feel, only the pinafore is starched. The shoes are plastic, with the right one easy to tell from the left one, and there are kneesocks instead of stockings.
The body is that of a traditional vinyl doll, with not many options for posing.
Unlike her solid plastic legs, Becky's arms are soft and hollow, and I really like the way her hands are sculptured.
Cloud Nine reporting. I am genuinely happy I have this rare doll, and I don't regret the money I paid to get her. She was worth every cent, and something more.
- Written by Yoruno
This dear little Arale by Popy dates back to 1981. She is a 15cm tall mechanical doll that is able to raise her right hand when you press a button on her tummy. She doesn't say her "N-cha!" catchphrase, but at least she performs the action! Due to the fact that her tiny body conceals a mechanism, this Arale is pretty heavy. However, she's well-balanced and can stand on her own. Her clothes come as a one piece, with the exception of plastic sneakers and the Arale cap. Different versions of this doll have different accessories, mine has got a sports bag and two rackets (for whom, I wonder?) The box itself is typical for all Arale dolls by Popy, whith a very clever design. It looks as if it was made of wooden planks, with a window for the doll's head and with a "blueprint" on the reverse side, which seems to be an appropriate design for a robot character. I must also add that this Arale has saran hair which is fading and partly changing its colour from purple to greenish. Anyway, this doll is a good representation of the character, and her funny facial expression was an inspiration for many doll manuacturers in the 80's.
- Written by Yoruno
Dejiko and Puchiko, or rather Di Gi Charat and Petit Charat, are two 5th Anniversary dolls made by Takara in 2004. They have vinyl heads and limbs and stuffed bodies. The box designs are similar, but the sizes are very different, as Puchiko is supposed to be a sitting doll. On the back of each box there is a manga image of each character, while the sides of the boxes have the pictures of the actual dolls.
The accessories are few, just a comb for Dejiko and a brush for Puchiko, but, as a supplement, they both have character cards signed by Koge-Donbo, Di Gi Charat creator. The signature is a faximile, though.
I decided to keep Dejiko boxed, but Puchiko arrived unpacked, so she will be the one to get undressed and examined. First, some pictures of Dejiko. This green-haired catgirl is wearing a silky maid dress. Her cat outfit includes gloves, boots and a hat, and her tail is attached to the back of her dress. The soft giant bells in her hair don't jingle, but the metal one does.
Now to Puchiko. I was able to undress her so that you could see her stuffed body. Puchiko's dress is simpler than Dejiko's. There are also cat elements in her outfit, and her metal bells in her ponytails can jingle, too. Actually, when I moved the boxes, they both made the sound of a tambourine.
I wouldn't say these dolls are very rare or expensive in the aftermarket, but they are both really good as representatives of kawaii style.
- Written by Yoruno
Frankly speaking, I'm not a big fan of Liccarize line by Takara Tomy, and I already have four Kinomoto Sakura dolls, but here it is, the Platinum Costume version. The temptation was still too strong for me. In case you don't know, Platinum is the third opening in Card Captor Sakura series.
I didn't expect the box to be so big. Its window reveals te contents of the set, such as the stand and the Star Wand. No Kero-chan this time, though.
The back of the box is pink, with a feather pattern.
I'm starting the unpacking. As you probably remember, the basis for all Liccarize dolls is a standard Licca body and an original head.
The mold is slightly different from other Liccarize Sakura dolls: this one is smiling (mouth closed), and her chin is more pointed.
You have to attach the bows yourself. I made them hang loosely, as it seems impossible to wrap the elastic bands around her pigtails too many times. But, after all, they look almost OK like this.
Rear view. The ribbon on her left knee is secured on her kneesock!
Sakura's dress is made of polyester, but the lace is cotton.
The petticoats and the bloomers are bound with a thread.
The shoes are made of soft vinyl, and it's nice to see that the stars on them are molded separately, but the painting has minor defects and the design doesn't strictly match the star on Sakura's choker.
The Star Wand is big and looks really good. What a pity the doll can't hold it, because her fingers don't bend.
The pattern on Sakura's stand. By the way, you'll have to use scissors to take the stand out of the box.
All dressed up. These are the doll's posing options which are standard for Licca body: the knees and the elbows are wired, but don't expect wonders. She won't even kneel properly.
This is the new Liccarize Sakura as compared with an older Free Pose Selection Sakura by Bandai. (To tell you the truth, the Bandai doll in the picture is actually the school uniform version wearing the Platinum costume that used to belong to another Free Pose Selection Sakura). You can easily see that the fabrics and the dress designs are different, and I have to admit the older version is closer to the original, while the newer one is more pleasant aesthetically.
I've also compared her to another Liccarize Sakura I have.
With its Liccarize Sakura dolls, Takara Tomy is doing exactly the same thing Bandai did before. Like all the Free Pose Selection Sakuras, these new ones also vary in facial expressions and eye shapes. See, the Platinum Sakura is smiling, her eyes are round and have stripes on the iris, while the School Uniform Sakura's mouth is a straight line and her eyes are notably wider. The Bandai dolls had these differences, too.
Maybe this Sakura wasn't the most necessary acquisition, but a nice one for sure!
- Written by Yoruno