There are so many inconsistencies in Sailor Moon dolls classification that I decided to bring some clarity into it.
I hope I didn't miss anything, but definitely I'll have to work on the Italian section.
How many Japanese releases are there?
1992 - Henshin! Sailor Moon (no other Senshi)
1994 - Wedding Moon;
Sailor Team Super Sailor Moon ("Butterfly");
Nakayoshi (Babyface) stuffed Chibi Moon;
1995 - Excellent Sailor Team Saturn (her first doll!);
Beauty Change Excellent Pose Eternal Sailor Moon;
1999 - Collection DX (Super Inners and Eternal Sailor Moon in their Sera Myu outfits);
Sailor Moon Collection (Eternal Sailor Moon only, re-released in 2001 in 2nd type box).
Mini Collection House Bag (Sailor Moon only);
2006 - Tsukino Usagi no O-heya Set;
What about Excellent Doll series?
These are not dolls but rather jumbo-sized action figures.
Do Japanese SM dolls have the same body?
Not all of them. Chara Talk dolls are slightly taller than the rest, and Excellent Pose dolls are the tallest (29cm); the latter have wired limbs, while all the other Bandai SM dolls can’t even bend their legs. Almost all Chibi Moon dolls have different height. Also, don’t forget about stuffed Nakayoshi dolls, Mini Collection/Pocket Dolls and Styling Sailor dolls.
Are all Japanese SM dolls accurate?
Pretty accurate, yet neither Usagi nor Chibiusa have real odangos. Mini Collection doesn’t give the names of SM seasons on the boxes. This line can also boast a Saturn wearing Pluto’s boots (but that’s nothing compared to Bandai America dolls where all the footwear was messed up badly).
I’ve heard there were also villains dolls…
Of all SM villains Bandai only made the Amazoness Quartet. Other villain dolls were made by Irwin and Igel. To compensate this, Bandai made Sailor Luna!
Bandai Asia, Bandai Europe, Bandai Hong Kong releases
Aren’t they the same good old Bandai Sailor Team dolls?
Even though some collectors confuse them with Japanese dolls, they’re different. Japanese Sailor Team dolls have hollow bodies with limited posing options. Bandai Asia, Hong Kong and Europe use a solid body with twist-and –turn waist and wired legs. Hair is smoother – and innacurate: Venus has a ponytail, Neptune has straight hair and Mars’s hair is brown. It's easy to tell if a SM doll was made by Bandai Japan or by a subsidiary: in Bandai Asia/Europe boxes the dolls are on the right. In the original boxes the dolls are on the left and the character cards are on the right.
Are Bandai Asia and Bandai Europe dolls different?
No. Only the boxes are different. That's why they all go by Bandai Subsidiary in this database. Yet there are dolls that don’t seem to be released in some countries. Super Sailor Moon and Super Chibi Moon were only released by Bandai Asia, while Talking Sailor Moon is a European-only release. Also, Asian and European Chibi Moon dolls have different contents of the boxes. Anyway, there’s a lot of confusion because many dolls that appeared on European market were also distributed by Bandai Asia.
The releases known to exist:
Bandai Asia/Europe/Hong Kong:
What is special about the Special Edition?
Nothing. Bandai Asia added this sticker to change the boxes from Sailor Moon to Sailor Moon R.
Some boxes say Giochi Preziosi, but the dolls look like Bandai Europe…
Giochi Preziosi was their Italian distributor and simply glued its stickers over Bandai logo on the boxes. The dolls with Bandai SM mold are indeed made by Bandai subsidiaries.
So Giochi Preziosi made no original SM dolls?
At first it simply distributed Bandai Europe dolls, but then it began producing its own dolls. The body and the head mold were totally changed. You can recognize them by their long graceful necks and mild rounded facial features. Back in 1995-1997, Giochi Preziosi made fashion dolls of the five Inners (basic, deluxe “Orecchini” packs and “Abito Magico” sets), Tuxedo Mask, dancing Serenity (named Sailor Moon) and Neo Queen Serenity (named Sailor Moon again), Super Sailor Moon and a very grown-up Chibi Moon. Sailor Moon fashion doll also appeared bundled with a wand and a diary. The first dolls ''Le ragazze Sailor Moon'' have been also followed by a re-release of these dolls with a different box with the writing ''Collezionale Tutte''. 1995 also saw the arrival of Giganti dolls. Later in 2011 a new line was launched to commemorate the return of SM to Italian television.
Are Giganti dolls copied directly from Irwin 17” Adventure Dolls?
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the other way round. Giganti’s mold is close to that of Giochi Preziosi fashion dolls and very far away from the design of early Adventure Dolls. But it’s also possible that both companies used the same doll prototype provisioned by Bandai. It’s really strange then that it wasn’t used in Japan. Also, Giganti dolls have a Serenity doll, which 17" Adventure Dolls don't have.
Did all Senshi appear in 2011 line?
Both 25cm and 12cm “Sailor Moon and Friends” doll lines only included the five Inners. There were plans for a talking Super Sailor Moon doll, but she was never released. The 25cm dolls have the same mold and bodies that was previously used by Giochi Preziosi for Ashita no Nadia and Mermaid Melody dolls.
How many Italian releases are there?
Stuffed doll Sailor Moon (more info needed) .
1996 - Chibiusa e Pegasus
There were also fashion sets called Vestito Sailor Moon.
North American releases
Are all American SM dolls made by Irwin?
It’s a common mistake to attribute all of them to Irwin. In fact, the first “Ugly Face” Adventure Dolls were made by Bandai America in 1995, but in a year it passed the rights on to Irwin, a Canadian toymaker. Irwin started from simply redistributing “Ugly Face” 6”dolls, but its Sailor Moon doll was already wearing different clothes. Irwin’s Deluxe Adventure 11.5” dolls also wore gold-trimmed skirts which distinguished them from their Bandai counterparts. Soon Irwin expanded the line, making original dolls of other SM heroes and villains. It is the only doll line that includes these characters. Irwin also made 17”dolls similar to Italian Giganti dolls (later their mold was changed). In 2000 the “Ugly” mold was abandoned for the sake of new “Pretty Face” mold. Some of the releases were special, which was marked by yellow boxes, and sold in the USA only. Usually all Adventure Dolls were made in two sizes, 6” and 11.5” Deluxe, but some dolls didn’t get more than one release and thus became rarities. The list of North American dolls is as follows:
Adventure Dolls (Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus - also with mistakes, Queen Beryl, Dream Castle Princess Serena and Serena’s Bedroom). There were also prototype variants of the Senshi that were slightly taller than typical Adventure dolls, but they are rare and obscure.
1995 – redistribution of Bandai America dolls and sets under Irwin logo;
Adventure Doll Sailor Moon (an altered version of Adventure Doll by Bandai America with gold-trimmed skirt);
Deluxe Adventure Dolls “Pretty Face” (Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Tuxedo Mask, Minimoon, Wicked Lady with improved faceup. Four Inners were also sold in 2001 in slightly different boxes);
Notwithstanding the variety of sets, there are basically two molds (“Ugly Face” and “Pretty Face” and two body types (Adventure and Deluxe Adventure), and also two types of face and body for 17” dolls. Of course, Minimoon has her own body, even though her boxes claim she’s 11” tall. Trust me, she’s shorter.
Were there Korean SM dolls at all?
Not many. Let’s put it this way: one original Sonokong doll (the so-called “Real Odango”) and two semi-original dolls (“Moon Stick” Sailor Moon and "Sailor-Moon" (“Korean Dream Pocket”), also by Sonokong). Five Inners with Korean text on their boxes were made by Bandai Hong Kong (see Bandai Asia/Europe).
Groove is based in Korea, so the 20th SM Anniversary Pullips (Moon, Super Moon, Eternal Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Luna, Serenity, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Star Maker, Star Fighter, Star Healer, Black Lady, Luna and Sailor V), Dals (Chibi Moon, Small Lady and Saturn) and a Taeyang (Tuxedo Mask) should also count!
How many Senshi were made by Igel?
Is Bandai the only manufacturer who made SM doll clothes?
Undoubtedly, Bandai made the majority of SM merch including doll outfits. There were several lines for these:
Sailor Moon Dress for R dolls;
Stylish Dress, Soldier Power and Sailor Coordinate for S dolls;
Mini Collection Dress Set, Crystal Change Dress, Sailor Moon Boutique and Henshin Wedding Dress for SuperS dolls.
But other companies that released SM dolls made clothes for them, too. There are Sailor Moon Kollektion by Igel and Sailor Moon dresses by Giochi Preziosi; Azone made several sailor fuku sets for Wonder Festival, although it never released any SM dolls; Irwin planned a big SM outfit line, but, unfortunately, it was curbed. Some of these clothes appeared in Bonus Outfit Sets.
Are there any other SM doll accessories besides outfits?
There are numerous playsets by various manufacturers. Some of them are relevant to the story, even if they aren't very accurate, like Serena’s Bedroom, but some seem to be very random (Sailor Moon Hospital or Pizza Bike).
So, if all these dolls are licensed, does it mean there are no fakes?
Alas, there are lots of fakes, because the anime is so popular. You can compare the original products to such fashion dolls as Annie Pretty Sailor, Planet Girl or Galaxy Girl. My all-time favourite is the one called Sale Moon (what’s in a name?)