Super Excellent Series (スーパーエクセレントシリーズ), or SES, is a doll line by Marmit. Not much is known about it, although the dolls are still very popular (and cheap) in the aftermarket. SES include popular anime and video game characters as well as an original character doll Etoko-chan.
The first SES dolls were made around 1996 as doujin (amateur) goods and distributed at Wonder Festival. It seems that they had no boxes; at least all ToHeart dolls were sold in plastic bags. Later all SES dolls got white boxes:
Several dolls had silver boxes, but this was a rare occasion:
Although the box design is unified, almost all SES dolls have different bodies, most of which have a limited range of movement, even though they are listed as "Super action dolls". Here are three dolls to compare.
As you see, the bodies, the hair, the molds and the skintones are totally different. Only the third doll's waist and legs can move; the other two have welded seams. At the same time, some SES dolls were fully poseable. This body resembles Obitsu but has visible metal screws on the knees:
Actually, there are even more SES body types, all produced within the same time period.
Another distinctive feature of SES is that many dolls were made in several colours, without any other major differences:
Other doll series by Marmit are Super Action Heroes and Memorial Super Heroines, the latter sharing multiple body types with SES.
It is difficult sometimes to establish the dates, but it seems that no SES dolls were released after 2002.
- Written by Yoruno
Sailor Moon collectors know that there are three so-called Nakayoshi Babyface dolls: Chibi Moon, Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. The oldest, the smallest and probably the easiest to get is Chibi Moon, the one I'm going to review. But she's not the only baby Chibi Moon doll in existence, there is another one made by Igel - which I also have, although her condition leaves much to desire.
Nakayoshi Chibi Moon by Bandai was made in 1994. She comes in a box accompanied by Luna P. She has a stuffed body, so she can't sit properly, but she is able to raise her arms. Her boots are molded and can't be taken off. Chibi Moon's hair shows the signs of discolouration, as it has happened to Chibi Moon fashion dolls; I know that Nakayoshi Super Sailor Chibi Moon's hair is a different shade of pink and doesn't fade with time. The odangos are plastic and rather look like hairpins. Don't even try to undo the twintails, as the doll is practically bald, with a thin layer of hair and a skull painted bright pink.
The German Chibi Moon by Igel was released in 1999. She was originally sold in a clear bag, but I got her loose. My doll is also missing a part more important than a package - her fringe, but apart from that she's almost safe and sound. Chibi Moon's boots, gloves and panties are part of the stuffed body, so they can't be removed. The upper part of her sailor fuku is pale pink instead of white, and her brooch is heart-shaped, which is more correct for the manga. By the way, you can notice that it used to be pearly. As I said, she has lost her fringe, but at least her hair isn't discoloured. Instead of odangos, she has something that should imitate both her hair and her hair decorations, but actually looks more like Wedding Peach's bows. She's technically bald, too, but this time her head is painted very pale pink.
Often collectors don't realise that even though the concept is similar, the two dolls differ in terms of size. The facial expressions are not the same as well. The eyes are painted in very different ways, but still correctly, as you can see both variants in the anime.
- Written by Yoruno
For a long time I avoided bidding on The Rose of Versailles dolls. Why? Maybe because most of them, even the new Pullips, do not convey well the sophisticated character designs. Or maybe because I was waiting for a Drama Doll by Sanyei.
Although these Oscar and Marie Antoinette are called Drama Dolls, no Versailles no Bara drama or anime existed then. Both dolls were released four years before the TV series started; thus, they are modelled directly after the manga characters, which makes them rare, expensive and highly sought after.
Marie Antoinette's box is huge, almost 60cm long, with a piece of artwork by Ikeda Riyoko.
The doll itself stands 40cm tall, which makes her one of the biggest items in my collection.
The doll's feet are secured in a stand.
The Queen's dress is not as lavish as it is in the manga, but at least there were some attempts to make it look rich by using a variety of materials. It is a complex combination of artificial silk, cotton and synthetic fabric decorated with passementerie.
The cuffs are made of chiffon ribbon...
...and the bodice ornament is gilded leatherette with pink sequins and beads.
The dress can be taken off, a well as the choker necklace.
There is a plastic frame around the doll's waist imitating a hoop skirt, in compliance with the 18th century fashion. However, the underwear is modern.
Marie Antoinette has a complicated hairstyle combining locks, curls and a crown of artificial flowers (with some signs of wear).
Her face is pretty, but I would argue that this eye shape and these lips remind of Oscar rather than Marie Antoinette.
Compare the doll's face to the manga images. The doll has exactly the same oval eyes and mouth as Oscar (left), while Marie Antoinette (right) should have round features.
A bonus is a small cardboard tag which can be installed vertically next to the doll if you choose to demonstrate her. I guess that Oscar doll has the same tag because it has the illustration for Oscar's box as well.
Just think of it, this doll is 40 years old. She has lived a longer life than the real Queen Marie Antoinette!
- Written by Yoruno