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
Vispo might refer to her as Asukadoll, Asuka Doll or simply Asuka, but I'd call her The Most Gorgeous BJD Ever.
I bought her second-hand from the Jungle shop. They were selling her in A condition, however, after I had already paid they warned me she had loose strings. Yes, they are a bit loose, and she also had a broken finger. Other owners say that her hands are very fragile and I have to agree. When I was trying to fix it, I had a glue accident, glueing my own fingers to three layers of bedding :)
The box has a festival exclusive feel about it, if you know what I mean. A plain box with stickers, the best one being this:
Inside there is a card with the doll's image and a manual.
The doll is safe between two blankets and wearing a "helmet". Her body is quite realistic and it's a real shame that her loose strings make her legs and feet twist.
An amazing head, very true to Sadamoto Yoshiyuki's design, all edges and angles.
Vispo also added some spares, the back of the head and two plain eyeballs. (There's no way I'm ever gonna change her eyes...)
The clothes made by Vispo aren't based on any illustrations. The outfit consists of red and grey top and skirt, cuffs, a choker, black kneesocks, two rose-shaped haipins and pants that have the same hilarious image we've seen on the box sticker! The top and the skirt look as if they were made of leather, but the red fabric is actually soft inside and the top has lining, so there's no risk of getting your doll stained after wearing these. My dysfunctional camera shows the ribbon trim colour wrong, it's grey not purple!
Asuka's shoes were made by Leeke World, a Korean doll company.
The wig was made in Korea, too. It is already done in two twintails with black ribbons. The colour is closer to light brown than orange or red, but it has a nice natural look.
All dressed up.
What a doll!
It goes without saying she's much smaller than a Dollfie, but it also turns out she's shorter than a Hybrid Active Doll.
The clothes that fit her are those intended for Mini Dollfies (MDD and MSD).
In my opinion, Asuka is the best doll by Vispo and one of the highlights of my collection. I'm really happy and proud to own her.
- Written by Yoruno
I can't stop wondering what Yujin and Tomy thought when they called this line Super Real Type. What can be super real about 20cm tall Yu Yu Hakusho dolls with stuffed bodies? However, I got interested in their only female character, Botan, and here she is.
These dolls were sold inside clear plastic bags tied with an intricate golden knot.
The doll line includes Yu Yu Hakusho characters only. Back of the package.
Botan's waist is attached to the box while her feet are secured inside. That was a bad decision, as we'll see later. Her oar is here, too.
She looks a bit... stupid, with these round expressionless eyes of hers, but the sculpting itself isn't bad, especially if you pay attention to her hair. The paint has become slightly sticky with time.
Body shot. This doll can't be undressed, and her obi is actually an appliqué. Still, her kimono is rather neatly made - if you don't mind this Tomy-Yujin label on her sleeve, of course!
Her feet were stuck when I was pulling her out of the box, and one sole came unstuck. I had to glue it back later. Her feet, legs and body are made of a polyester fabric similar to fleece, and there's wire inside her legs which makes the doll poseable.
The arms have a different, rope-like texture, but are wired inside as well.
Frankly speaking, when I was buying this Botan I didn't expect her to sit, bend her arms or turn her head! She can kneel effortlessly!
But what is more important, she can ride her oar exactly like she did in the series! As you can see, she holds it herself without my help.
I'm not going to buy any other Super Real Type dolls, but it's nice to have this little Botan. Why not catch a glimpse of the 90's shounen style?
- Written by Yoruno