Many people know about Lain Collector's Action Dolls by Toynami (USA), but not many are aware of their predecessor, a rare doll by Noix de Rome (Japan).
The first variant by Noix de Rome that I found in the Internet was either a fake or a customisation, but it might have well been a prototype. Anyway, I've never seen it again.
The version that does exist is the bear pajamas version, even though it's relatively hard to find. It's a Wonder Festival edition, and some sources claim it's limited to 100 dolls.
As I already own a Toynami Bear Pajamas Lain, I was eager to compare them. I had a theory which will be exposed later.
So, this is Lain wearing her kigurumi as shown in the series.
... and this is what I've got. The Noix de Rome Lain is on the right, and she looks considerably bigger than the Toynami doll. Both boxes have the recognisable Lain logo, but the American box is an eye candy, both inside and outside, while there's nothing special about the Japanese box, it's generic for all Noix de Rome dolls.
The series synopsis and some credits on the back of the Toynami box. Noix de Rome has nothing special to offer.
Accessories inside the boxes: slippers by Toynami (no bear decorations on them unfortunately) and a DIY hairclip by noix de Rome.
The dolls look very different!
The American doll has molded hair and painted eyes. Generally, she resembles the character a lot.
The Japanese doll has rooted hair. Her head is made of soft vinyl. As for the resemblance... I don't know. The eyes are good (there are even dark circles under her eyes), but this rosebud mouth just doesn't fit.
You have to make Lain's hairclip yourself with a piece of the wire included in the set. OK, at least I tried. Isn't her lock too... bushy?
Both dolls together. The Noix de Rome Lain still looks bigger, but what if I undress them?
Ta-da! It's the same Ninie body! Only the heads are different!
See, the bodies are labelled as Ninie (the pink inscription on the waist).
So, my THEORY is that the Noix de Rome Lain served as a prototype for the Toynami Lain. Not just a source of inspiration, but probably a licence, because, as we know, the Japanese Lain was a festival release and had no further mass production; and then the next year Toynami makes a Lain doll using the same body! I tend to view these two dolls as an ancestor and a descendant.
Even though the bodies are the same, the bear pajamas are different in size. The pajamas by Noix de Rome look more like a real kigurumi, massive and short-legged, while the Toynami variant is closer to the anime original with its white buttons and the lining inside the hood.
They both have tails, kawaii!
Not sure if the cuffs should stand out.
The bear hoods are surprisingly similar... and share the same mistake. The "bear head" doesn't have a mouth in the original design.
You can see that Toynami's version fits the body better, but the head is too small for the hood. With Noix de Rome's version, it's the other way round: the hood fits fine, but the body sinks in the kigurumi.
All in all, I believe Toynami did a better job, yet it's still exciting to have both dolls!