Monday, September 17, 2012

Tangkou Doll "Loli"

Tangkou dolls are highly articulated plastic ball jointed dolls with large heads and color-changing eyes.  These dolls are designed and produced in China by the 6th Sense Tang Doll Group.  You can read about the origins of the name, "Tangkou," here.  Tangkou dolls have body and head proportions that are very similar to the Pullip line and an eye mechanism that rotates through different eye colors just like the Blythe dolls.  Tangkou dolls cost from $45-$75, which is half if not a third of what most Blythe and Pullip dolls will set you back.

I first saw a Tangkou doll just over a year ago on one of my favorite Flickr sites.  At that time, it seemed a bit difficult to order these dolls in the US.  Now, the ordering process is very easy--from a variety of different countries.  You can buy the dolls directly from the Tangkou website (they accept PayPal) and you can often find a nice variety of these dolls on eBay.  I ordered my doll back in May from the Tangkou shop and she arrived last week, so, if you decide to order from the website, brace yourself for a long wait.  I must have run into some especially bad luck with my order, though, because I think it is more typical for these dolls to take only a few weeks to arrive.

I ordered one of the most expensive Tangkou dolls, Loli.  I chose this doll because I like her promo pictures, I like her name, I like that she is a limited edition (2000 pieces) and I like that she has a wig (some of the dolls are rooted) with lovely light blue hair.  I think she has a goofy Alice in Wonderland vibe abut her:

Tangkou doll "Loli."
When Loli arrived in the mail, she was in a plain cardboard shipper with no bubble wrap or anything.  This fact on its own didn't necessarily make me nervous, but the fact that the box sounded like a Lego set made my stomach drop.  The package literally rattled like it had at least twenty small pieces tumbling around inside.  I was fairly certain I would be dealing with some kind of depressing shipping damage.

Loli comes in a cardboard box with a beautiful decorative sleeve.  The sleeve might have been a later addition to this line because it advertises Loli as being a "bestseller," a fact I assume you couldn't possibly know during the design stages.


The cartoon of Loli on the box is very sweet and appealing.  What makes the drawing even better is that Loli is surrounded by a disarming array of sea creatures: 


The biology teacher in me loves all the critters but has a slight problem with the whale.  Charming as he is, I have never seen a whale with chompers quite like this before:

Also, he has fish fins and lipstick.  
Amidst the adorable box decorations is a typo that makes everyone in my house giggle despite our best efforts:

"4 color of eye/ easy to active boby."
Goodness knows I write a "b" when I mean to write a "d" half of the time, especially when I'm writing the word "double," but still.  Boby?

The sleeve slides off easily to reveal a cardboard box with a plastic window that frames the doll's upper body and head...or tries to:


Loli's green eye is peeking out from a mass of white and blue hair:


On the back of this inner box, there are some pictures and some simple instructions for how to work the doll's eye mechanism:

Realizing all of the doll's functions.
The biology teacher in me is interested in this, too, because they've chosen to translate the eye positions using cool medical terms: orthoptic (normal binocular vision), left strabismus and right strabismus.  Technically, though, strabismus means an abnormal eye position (a.k.a. wonky eyes).  The correct terms are dextroversion (both eyes looking to the right) and levoversion (both eyes looking to the left).  Oh, well.

Wonky to the left, wonky to the right.
I'm scared about the "fragrance doll" feature.  I don't want a fragrance doll.


This part makes me nervous, too.  It says, "press firmly and release till hear the clatter."  I don't want to hear any more clatter!  


Time to see what's going on inside that box.  Inside the cardboard window box is a yellow cardboard tray with a plastic insert that is secured to the doll:

She doesn't smell at all, thank goodness.
The most pressing problem is Loli's very unruly hair, but I don't see anything obviously broken yet.


There she is!  She has a cute elfin face--all in one piece:


Behind the plastic insert are the clatter culprits.  There are several plastic parts that are not secured to any of the box's surfaces.  They make a lot of noise, but nothing is broken.  Phew!


Loli comes with a plastic stand, a comb, a headband a small plastic square of unknown purpose, a plastic heart-shaped button for the eye mechanism, a passport and a pair of underpants:

Why is she not wearing the underpants?

The passport is cute.  It has a leathery cover just like a real passport and is decorated with silver lettering and an odd symbol that resembles an alien astronaut princess:


Inside the passport is a lovely glossy collector's card for Loli:


The passport is also filled with suggestions (demands, really) about how to take care of the doll and a repeat of the eye mechanism information.  There several translation gems, but the best one is in this short description of Loli's character:

"Since she has been beaten by cat, she like to make fun of others sometimes."
So, let me get this straight: she was a kind-hearted and slightly telepathic teenager until she was beaten by a cat and now the lingering trauma of that incident causes her to lash out in unpredictable ways, casting cruel comments at those who are trying to help her?  It's a far-fetched story, to be sure, but she does kinda look like she's recently been in a tussle:

H...h...hey you with the ugly shirt.....have you seen a cat anywhere?
The cat seems to have broken her ankles:

Ouch. 
Optimistic that the feet are supposed to come off, I removed the stockings and shoes to get a better look at what was going on:

That's very Wicked Witch of the East.
The shoes are pretty nice and seem to be made out of real leather.  I don't like the ballet-style lacings, though, and will probably just cut them off.

Off with your laces!
I pulled the disembodied feet out of the shoes and was relieved to confirm that they are designed for removal:

Holy feet, Batman!
Each of Loli's legs has a small peg on the end and the feet easily snap back on to those pegs:  





I guess I'm a bit worried about how easily the feet might pop off again, but for the time being, they seem to be staying on nicely.

Next, I removed Loli's chambermaid headband/hat so that I could try to organize her hair.  I think this hat is the only part of Loli's outfit that I really, really don't like:

I'm not even going to tell you what I think that looks like.
The hair combs out nicely.  It has about the same feel as human hair but slightly less soft.  The comb that is included works well and the hair fibers are not at all prone to tangles.  There was some moderate shedding every time I combed her hair.  In my opinion, the hairstyle is way too long and thin.  It is very difficult to make her hair look neat:


The cut of the bangs is awkward.  The bangs are too long to be in front of her face without hiding her eyes, but they're too short to stay out of her face:


Loli's head wobbles a little and her body is very flexible, so she's a bit hard to handle.  I figured I'd get her set up in her stand so that I could take a look at her eye mechanism.  The stand comes in three parts (the base, the pole and the waist grip) that are fairly easy to put together.  The stand doesn't seem to work at all though.  I tried the waist gripper at several different levels and I could not get the thing to reliably support the doll.  


After struggling with the stand, this is what her bangs looked like:


Time for that headband!  The problem with the headband is that if you part the hair at all, the wig cap shows.



The headband definitely helps get the hair away from her fascinating eyes, though.  Her eyes come in the side-glancing green setting.  Her eyelashes are half painted and half applied.  This looks pretty good with her eyes open and slightly strange with her eyes closed.  

Loli has subtle makeup--her eyes have faint orange shading all around and then she has dark black eyeliner on her upper lids.  She has light terracotta lower lashes.  This doll has eyebrows, which I gather isn't the norm for Tangkou dolls.  Her eyebrows are slightly harsh (why aren't they blue?) but they look pretty good.


Her mouth is painted much more delicately than what is shown in the promotional pictures, but I like it:

Reminds me of Anna Paquin's distinctive mouth.
On the back of her head, just under the wig cap, Loli has a lever that controls her eyelids.  If you slide the lever up and to the right, it locks the eyes into a closed position.


She has black eyelids with blue polka dots and strawberries.  They remind me of Cutie Pops eyes.


Just above the eyelid lever, there's a button to control the eye color.  This button is usually covered by the wig cap, so you have to lift the wig to access it.


The button works just fine as it is, but there's a small plastic heart that can be inserted into the hole on the top of the button.  This makes it easier on your fingers when you push:

Her heart is in the wrong place.
At this point, the long wig became too much of a hassle and so I just took it off.  You can see that although there's quite a lot of hair on this wig, the rooting is thin enough that the unattractive beige cap is visible anywhere the hair is parted.  I would have preferred a shorter, thicker style.



The top of Loli's head is flexible vinyl.  It doesn't match up very well with the lower half of her head.  My guess is that molded vinyl shrinks when it sets and plastic doesn't.

Excuse me while I go straighten the top of my head.
You can push the button on the back of her head and rotate through four different eye colors.  This clear-eyed variation is my favorite:


Here are all four of the eye colors and their positions:

Green, dextroversion.
Clear, levoversion.
Dark blue/grey, forward-facing.
Ah!  Ok, that's strabismus.
Loli's eyes frequently get caught at various stages in between colors.  This can be subtle...or strikingly unnerving.


Here's the last variation:

Purple, forward-facing.
There's not a lot of realistic detail in these eyes (they look like regular teddy bear eyes), but they do have some sparkle and depth to them:


The top of the head comes off really easily, which is great because I have always been curious about how eye mechanisms like this work.  The contraption is made mostly out of plastic and has two little metal springs.  If anything in there ever broke, I'd be in trouble trying to fix it.  It reminds me of an awesome small-scale pinball machine we used to have with springs that were always breaking.


One thing I couldn't figure out on my own was how to access the "two lovely patterns of the eyelids" that are advertised on the box:


Even after carefully examining the inner working of Loli's head, I don't see a possible way for there to be more than one eyelid pattern.  Slightly misleading advertising.  Some of the dolls must have this feature or they wouldn't have pictures of it.  I'd love to see how that works!

No extra eyelids in here.
Loli's dress is a white and blue cotton sundress with a tulle petticoat.  It is well sewn with princess seams and lace trimmings and looks nice with Loli's hair.  If you compare it to the Lolita style PullipDal or Byul costumes, though, you'll see that it has a much less interesting print and nowhere near the embellishments or design details.


I wish the print had marine animals on it.  That would be amazing.  As it is, the fabric has a scant, generic pattern of blue hearts, bows and the random words, "sweet candy." 



The petticoat has a surprising amount of detail for an undergarment.  It has a sheer blue waist that closes with a plastic snap.  The skirt has three layers of tulle and lace.



Loli's body is made out of plastic and described as being ball jointed, but she really only has two ball joints from what I can tell--her two ankles.  She has 14 points of articulation.

Nice boby.
Although there is a seam in Loli's torso, I could not get this area to move.  The box and passport describe this seam as the waist joint, but I twisted it as hard as I dared (pretty hard) and it wouldn't budge.

Her shoulders are hinge-jointed as are her her elbows.  The lower arm inserts into the upper arm with a removable peg, much like a Monster High doll body:

That peg is always slipping out of the joint.
Her hands are hinge-jointed and the hands themselves are made out of a flexible vinyl.  The hands have no rotational movement, which is a shame.  The hips act a bit like ball and socket joints, but they're actually a strange hybrid.  They rotate and also hinge out to the sides.


Loli's knees are hinge joints and I could not pull the lower leg off.  As we know, the feet are removable and the ankle joints are ball and sockets.


 She can strike a ton of fun poses:

The underarm shape is strange in this pose.



Loli has a ski jump nose with a lot of character and a shapely mouth, but I think she has a funny profile.  Not only does the top of her head not quite match the bottom part of her head (both in terms of size and in terms of color) but she's a bit jowly:


Do you see what I mean?  She has nice rounded cheeks, but they droop a little and give her a slightly aged appearance.


Let's compare Loli to her closest relatives: Pullip and Blythe:

Pullip, Loli, Blythe.
In this picture, the Pullip doll (Shinku Rozen Maiden) looks sweet and composed while Loli looks like the taller, slightly dorky sister.  Blythe (Phoebe Maybe), as always, just looks pissed.

Loli's body is most similar to the Pullip body.  Loli is made of lighter weight plastic and so she feels less substantial in my hands, but the two bodies share a lot in terms of scale and flexibility.

Loli's wrists are more flexible.
Pullip's torso is much more flexible.
Loli can add a slight tilt to her head that Pullip can't manage.
How Loli's eyes ended up like this, I don't know.
Pullip can wear Loli's dress, but it's too big, especially in the chest area:



Loli doesn't fit into Pullip's clothes, but she does fit rather well into this Liv dress that my Pullips like to wear:

This dress also matches her eyes.
The Blythe body is very different.  Blythe's arms and legs are a flexible rubbery material and she only has 6 points of articulation.  I make the comparison between these two dolls mostly because of their head proportions and because of their similar eye mechanisms.


Loli's dress is too big for Blythe and Blythe's dress fits, but is pretty short on Loli:

Hey Loli, have you met my cat?

Pullip Elisabeth, who I have reviewed, is an interesting comparison to Loli.  She retails for $115.  I paid $75 plus international shipping for Loli (total price in the $90 neighborhood) and so they are almost comparable.  Elisabeth has Loli beat hands down, both in terms of quality and in term of artistic merit.  There are several Pullip dolls that can be found for under $100 and in my eyes, these dolls give Loli some serious competition.

Are...are...are those cat eyes?

Another doll line that deserves consideration in this discussion is the Cutie Pops.  You know already that I am a reluctant but enthusiastic fan of these dolls.  Despite being solidly in the play doll market, the large heads, customizable hair and changeable eyes of these dolls puts them in a similar category to the Tangkou girls.


In terms of a fun-to-cost ratio, Cutie Pop Candi is my runaway favorite in this comparison.  For $20, she is remarkably adorable and entertaining.  


I much prefer Loli's more realistic eyes (and the fact that they can change color and position) to Candi's strange orbs, but when these dolls have their eyes closed...


It's harder for me to choose a favorite.  I mean, I like Candi's rainbow eyelids better...


But I prefer Loli's long eyelashes to Candi's glittery hearts.


Probably overall, Loli slightly edges out Candi in my eyes, mostly because of her realism and articulation.  Give Candi some bending arms and better eyes and I would probably change my mind.




Despite having some decidedly scruffy moments...

Look what the cat dragged in.
Loli is still capable of some gorgeous poses with her satisfying articulation and captivating eyes:





There.  I have my eyes all nice and blue and my hair reasonably straight....
Wha--?
Oh, give me a break.  Not this again!
Ding! Ding! Ding!  Slot machine eyes! 
Whoa, ok, I've almost got it together...
There.  Gorgeous.
Bottom line?  I probably would have been better off reviewing one of the less expensive Tangkou dolls.  A $45 doll would have given me the full financial benefit of this line.  It seems like the primary attraction of a Tangkou doll is that it's a well-made but less expensive alternative to a Pullip.  At $75, Loli is dangerously close to the price of a number of older Pullips that I'd love to own, and this comparison makes her harder to appreciate.  

Don't get me wrong--this doll has many virtues.  She's wonderfully articulated and her eye mechanism is really fun...if a little glitchy.  The inside of her head is easy to access, and so I imagine that she would be a dream to customize, although I struggle to envision a huge market for Tangkou repaints.  Her wig is long and unruly, but it could easily be replaced or re-styled.  Her dress is nothing spectacular or unique, but it is well made and versatile.  I like her bug-eyed, elfin face, even though it looks comical and a bit inexpensive next to the sweetly refined face of a Pullip or the subtly moody visage of a Blythe. 

Loli will fit nicely into my collection as the taller, slightly awkward, less put-together sister of the Pullips--a position I have some sympathy for.   While she imitates many of the features of a Pullip or a Blythe, she doesn't feel as special or as significant as either of those dolls. With her lightweight plastic and perpetually messy hair, she feels more like a toy.  That's no criticism--I adore toys, I'm just not willing to spend quite as much money on a toy as I would be willing to spend on an art doll.  If the less expensive Tangkou dolls have the same basic construction features as Loli, it's likely that they strike a better balance between quality and price.  Loli tips that balance ever so slightly in the wrong direction.  

Summary:
Age Level
10 and up.  This doll has a lot of small pieces and is not intended for play.
Value
The $45 dolls seem well priced.
Quality
The quality is pretty good overall with some small flaws.  The body is highly articulated lightweight plastic.  Elbow joints are too loose, torso joint is too tight (fused).  The clothes are well made.  The wig is thin and poorly styled but smooth and tangle-free.  The eye mechanism gets stuck in between eye colors. 
Packaging
Nice packaging.  Mostly cardboard, attractive to look at, and the doll is very easy to remove.
Collectable?
Loli is part of a large limited edition (2000 pcs), but the quality level is more like that of a high-end toy.
Versatility
Highly versatile. The doll’s eye color can be changed and she has an easily removable wig.  Her eye mechanism is accessible and could be modified.  Her face paint is subtle and could suit a broad range of characters.  She's easy to dress.  She would be good for play, display, photography or customization projects.
Overall
Overall, this is a fun doll that offers a nice price alternative to other dolls of this style.  I would recommend purchasing one of the $45 dolls, though, as $75 is right on the edge of being better spent on a Pullip.

48 comments:

  1. I was considering for a while to "invest" in one of the Tangkou dolls (China Girl was my option) but I also was considering about a Real Pullip. Yeah, I agree, they are more expensive and to start with a Tangkou can make a good reasonable statement. Reading your review I realised that to start with a Tangkou is an option, but I prefer to invest a little more for a real Pullip, where I can be more satisfied and enjoy more the purchase of my shopping.
    So, thanks you for the great review of the Tangkou. You help me to clarify my choice.

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    1. I'm glad that the review helped you with your decision! It's not an easy choice, but Pullips are lovely. I did see China Girl on eBay for much cheaper than what I paid for Loli (not to get you confused again!) but it's possible to get some of these dolls for under $50 WITH shipping. That's pretty inexpensive! :-O

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  2. Heh, her body looks like a complete knock off of Momoko doll bodies (the Sekiguchi company ones) but with Volks Neo/Beauty ankles. It's a pretty interesting combination parts for a doll that's supposedly trying to cash in on the Japanese doll market (Momoko body, Blythe style eye mech, Pullip Proportions, Volks style ankles, heck if they managed to squeeze in something of Takara Jenny she woul be the ultimate Japanese collectable knock off, lol).

    Speaking of which, if you'd ever consider reviewing a Momoko doll since your point of view is quite interesting when it comes to reviewing dolls.

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    1. Momoko is on my list. It's funny, I've had a Momoko doll in my shopping cart at a dozen stores many times and I just can't seem to hit the "buy it now" button. I have no idea why! I would really like to see the body in person, though, so I won't be able to put that purchase off much longer! :)

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  3. I must say I really like this one! She seems to be much lower quality than pullip, but she is so cute. I like this bighead a lot!!! <3

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    1. The big-headed dolls are definitely appealing! I guess they remind us of babies..?

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  4. I think she's quite interesting! Not as sweet as Pullip but she looks nice. Especially the ones at $45 seem to be a good deal, considering they're 260 yuan on taobao (it's kind of the chinese ebay).

    Had you heard about a chinese doll named Kurhn? Apparently they were sold in Spain under the name Adabela but I never managed to get one! The doll is actually quite cute, but what I really love are the traditional dresses some of them were. However there is only one seller on ebay (flyingannalee) and s/he overprices a little bit. For example, the same doll costs:
    On ebay $35
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kurhn-Doll-9002-Shining-Red-Bride-/120759231607?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1dcfa477

    On taobao only 88 yuan (a bit less than $14)
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=1847137219&ali_refid=a3_420522_1006:1102488714:6::d8ff013438087406e68ee4daaa544d8b&ali_trackid=1_d8ff013438087406e68ee4daaa544d8b

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    1. Hi! About Kurhn dolls, actually they are very famous in China and are called the Asian Barbie, very good seller and a very good fashion doll. They are really cute and you can find them in International Ebay for a very good price. Here there is a link,
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KURHN-DOLL-/221121117558?pt=Modellismo_Statico&hash=item337bd87d76#ht_500wt_716

      actually it is an Italian offer, that I assumed very easy to contact and buy from Spain.
      En otras palabras, se encuentran en el vecindario.
      If you buy a Kurhn doll, please tell us about it, quality, characteristics, etc. I would like to buy one on future.
      Saludos desde Chile

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    2. Hi Moni--those Kurhn dolls are quite beautiful! Thank you so much for the links. I might have to see what I can do about getting one of those for a review. $35 doesn't seem too bad, but I guess if they usually cost $14 it is a bit overpriced. Anyway--that gives me a wonderful new project! Thanks again. :)

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  5. Her eyes are gorgeous, and definitely her best feature :) I wouldn't pay 75$ for her though.

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    1. Yeah, $75 with shipping was a bit too high. :(

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  6. Well Emily, I must say that this review has to be one of your funniest reviews yet, the weird translations, the whale.. boby?! Hahahahaha!
    Ok, back to the doll xD
    I'm not that in to these kind of dolls (mainly because of the price and they are just not my cup of tea) But I really like Loli.
    She looks lovely, though I think some of her eye colors are a bit scary (and don't get me started about those slot machine eyes...) the clear eyes look amazing on her and her overall look just screams cute! :D
    I agree with you that a Pullip doll would be a better buy, pay a bit more and get a really enchanting doll.

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    1. Thank you, Dailey_Star. :) It would be hard to choose Loli if she was sitting next to a Pullip and I had to just pick one, but there's something nice about little Loli. I like that her eyes change and she can get spooky or goofy and then turn around and look lovely again. I'm with you about the clear eyes--they are the best. :)

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  7. Hey there! It's me, Angelfish from flickr, who also is the happy, happy owner of your werewolf sisters..:) The two eyelid thing is just a reference to the two styles the first four Tangkous came with. The two pink-haired girls London and Paris came with rooted hair and had the black design and the the two girls with the fur wigs came with the pink design. That's all it means.. :)

    Thanks for this awesome review, I have Paris and love her, love her pink rooted hair and how she combines the two most interesting elements of Pullip and Blythe. I think Tangkou is brill for her price.

    I would love to read a Momoko review, I didn't care for them although I love their Francie/Mod -esque faces. Body seems cheap for the price, although Tangkou's body is a Momoko copy my girl feels sturdier than my Momoko did and I appreciate the rotating ankle. (Momoko's feet and hands are on a hinge like a pullip type 3.)

    Lastly, my girl's head felt wibbly too so I opened her and took one of those small clear elastics and wrapped it around the neck joint to 'anchor' the head better. Worked like a charm. And......Tangkou eyes sticking is a common problem. Mine sticks on the purple set as well. Again, thanks so much for this particular review!

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    1. Oh, yay! I am so glad to see you here, angelfish! :D Thank you for clearing up the eyelid conundrum--that makes sense. I spent quite a while looking around in that head for another set of eyelids! Oh, well. ;)

      I agree that these dolls have a nice combination of Pullip and Blythe features. That's a great way of putting it. I actually found a China girl on eBay for $35 and bought her without hesitating. The prices seem too good to be true in some cases!

      I've been eyeing Momoko for a while, but they just seem very expensive. I think after doing this review, Momoko would add some interesting information to the mix. Although hearing that you don't like them doesn't encourage me...

      I love your simple solution to the head instability. Recently, I've just been making the head wobble work for me. One thing that has always frustrated me about Pullips is that they can't look up and down. Even if Tangkou dolls are doing this because of a mild defect, I think it adds to their personality a little bit, as do the freaky sticking eyes, strangely enough. :P

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  8. Another great review! I could hardly stop laughing at that card she came with - "beaten by cat" - LOL! Well, I for one would accept a doll beaten by "cat" so long as she measures up in the "cook delicious food" department. I mean, you can't put a price on that feature! ;o)
    Actually, I happen to have two Tangkou dolls. On one, I can't get her waist to twist either, and the other twists just fine. They're cute dolls, but definitely don't measure up to a Blythe or Pullip in quality. Of course, you're not paying Blythe and Pullip prices for them, so that has be taken into consideration. I've seen some nice customized dolls out there, so you can always experiment with them and if they come out great, maybe trade up to a better Obitsu body for them. I agree with your overall assessment of them - it's dead-on. Great job!

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    1. Hi Susan--you're right about the cooking! I mean, what wouldn't I tolerate in exchange for a delicious meal!? My hypothesis is that cats don't like having their minds read (you know they're always plotting something nefarious...) and that's why Loli got targeted. ;)

      I am so glad to hear that you have the same waist joint problem (well, not glad--I'm sorry you have the same problem) but I feel relieved that it's not just a symptom of my weak muscles.

      I'd love to have another Blythe or Pullip doll, but I totally agree that there is something really fun about having a relatively inexpensive doll that you can play with and customize and not have to worry too much about its value!

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  9. Wanted to edit...the first four were named after countries and not cities..I have "Italia" one of the pink-haired rooted gals. The other pink girl is "England" and the with the fur wigs are "France" and "Australia".

    Also my girl's waist twists fine so that may be a defect in your doll although Susan above me says she has one that doesn't turn as well.

    Also there are two other Tangkous on a shorter blythe sized but less articulated body. They have the same head and eyemech; just the body is different. One is in a Red Riding Hood costume and the other is wearing a pink bunny suit. Both are blonde I believe. They came out soon after the original foursome named after countries.

    I bought mine for 45 + shipping so I was very happy with her; I may have felt differently if I had bought a higher priced model although I do like the vampire girl. Again, great review! I would love to read your review of your Phoebe Maybe or of a Dal or any of the other Pullip family characters.

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    1. I didn't realize that there was a different body option! Thank you for pointing that out. As much as I love fairy tales, I probably wouldn't buy Riding Hood if her body is less articulated. The articulation on Loli is great. That vampire girl is neat, I agree!

      It's definitely high time for another Pullip review...or maybe time for me to think about getting another Blythe. Also, I am pondering the merits of a "Blybe" another knock off doll--that'd be a good comparison to Loli. Do you have one of those yet? I can't remember....

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    2. Hey there, just left you a looooooooog message about blythes/knock-offs/clones etc. over on flickr! My book report was too long to publish here..:)

      I did have a Basaak, a similar clone to Blybe and didn't care for her, explained more in fm..:)

      Can't wait to read your review of the Chinese girl! I'm thinking of getting a second Tangkou as well and yes, I'd love to read another pullip or pullip family review..:)

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    3. Ugh forgot to put my name, angelfish 68, sorry about that!

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  10. This was a good and interesting Review.
    I never knew there was a doll called this, She's very much like a Pullip but the cheaper counterpart. Although the doll looks nice in some ways, I don't think I would pay the money for her, even at the lower $45 price. I would just pay the extra money to get a Pullip.

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    1. I think that's very wise. The Pullips are really lovely--you have to be careful about a few of them having ratty hair and things like that, but the nice ones are VERY nice. :)

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  11. Great review, have been looking forward to this one!

    I have a Tangkou "France", less expensive than the "Loli" but the quality appears to be the same. My "France" doesn't have painted lashes, brows or eye makeup, and her upper torso does swivel, but otherwise the features are the same. I really love mine, she's versatile and fun and I felt she was a good buy for the price I paid.

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    1. Yes--I think that's the key. For the right price, these dolls offer a very fun and highly articulated alternative to the Pullips and Blythes. I ordered a $35 "China" doll to see if the lower price changes my overall impression. I am betting it will! :)

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  12. what a fantastic review!Never really liked Tangoku dolls for them shiny heads and weird eyes a'la Blythe, but must admit that Loli looks different in here!She is absolutely pretty!Love her grey eyes and delicate makeup too.Hair could be a bit shorter as well. I would buy doll like yours if I could!

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    1. Thank you, Urshula! I need to give my Loli a haircut, that's for sure! She is much nicer than I expected, and that head isn't quite as shiny as a Blythe head. She does have weird eyes, though--no doubt about it! :D

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  13. As usual, I really enjoyed your review.Thank-you for doing it.
    I may be mistaken, but I think your delay in getting Loli had to do with the release date for this model having been earlier this month. I ordered my first Tangkou(France) from the Netherlands and got her within a week and the eBay seller in Quebec got the two others( Italia and Chinese girl) to me by the next business day (I'm in the same province, that must help a bit;)).
    Mine don't have any trouble with the waist movement, but one of them's eyes do stick a bit on one color although the eye mechanism works perfectly when switching to the other 3 colors- removing the heart-shaped button and just pressing the knob directly improved that doll's problem quite a bit. France's eyes stuck a couple times after I put her heart button on, but once I removed it her eyes were back to changing smoothly.
    Because I have a Kenner I feel a bit compelled to get similar dolls but I quite like these for their own sake, especially now that I've seen them in person. As lovely as I thought they were in photographs, they were even better in reality. To me,35-45$ is a fair price for the doll itself but only because I'd read on Flickr (and now here) that this eye thing could occur, otherwise, I would have thought they were worth as much as Pullips. I have Little Big Eyes dolls with a similar back pressure mechanism and it has never jammed so much as once, so this problem can be fixed if they put their mind to it.
    I wouldn't have passed up on getting a Tangkou to get a Pullip. They're just not the same. Each type of doll has many strong points that makes it worth having.

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    1. I think you are right Maricha, Tangkou Loli was posted as a Pre-Order in May and the doll was available for delivery only from August. I have ordered the Aussie girl from tangkoudollshop.com before and she was delivered to me very quickly! Thank you for the article, it was very interesting and in a funny way ;)

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    2. That's an excellent point. They told me a few weeks when I placed my order, but that could just be the standard email and probably wasn't specific to Loli. I didn't actually mind the wait at all, but I know it can be frustrating in some circumstances. I wouldn't hesitate to order from the website again because they were so friendly and helpful--then, when they shipped Loli, she came straight from the factory and I got a very sweet email. Nice company. :)

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  14. I love the variety in her expressions, from somewhat otherworldly ethereal ones with the grey eyes to some of the goofy and manic ones she can do with the darker eyes. I never had any interest whatsoever in either Blythe or Pullip dolls, but I think I might just get a Tangkou! The thing I like the most about these is how approachable they seem- it's something you can see in the box art too- you can kind of tell they aren't taking themselves too seriously. It's a doll and she's meant to be fun, unlike some of the higher end asian fashion dolls or BJDs which seem to be made and meant to be treated like sacred relics, never tainted by human touch or, god forbid, play and fun.

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    1. Yes--you said it! This doll can just be played with. She's not so precious that she can't be mussed. I love art dolls, but this is a refreshing contrast.

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  15. Charming and scary doll! Congrats

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  16. OMG! OMG! I just can´t write, laughing out loudly, even in tears...you have outdone yourself with this review. The first time I saw this doll, I thought, that´s not my kind of thing (I find them rather creepy and scary), but since you are so funny It´s always worth it, even if you were reviewing a canned soup, i would be more than willing to read that.
    All that cat trauma, misleading translation, and the tong-headband...I´m sure you are completely fulfiled with your current job, but what a wonderful humorist the world had lost with you!... Thanks for brighten those cloudy days.
    Chicovintage

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    1. Hmmm...a can of soup? Not very articulated, but I think you might be on to something.... ;)

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  17. Omg on tangkou doll uk they r selling 4 dolls for 129.99

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    1. Wow, the same set of 4 dolls is USD 149.99 on Ebay!

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  18. Hello from Spain: I really like the doll box. It has some very original drawings. I like the variety of eyes. You're right that the hair is too long. The dress I like. Of the three my favorite is Pullip dolls. Thanks for your most detailed information. Keep in touch

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  19. That random plastic square is part of a jewelry box, and I'm 90% certain the "two eyelids" thing is actually trying to say that your doll could have entirely *random* eyelids out of those two (which is true for the first few at least). I also believe you have to "lock in" the eyes somehow to stop the glitching, I don't remember what I did but I found instructions on Google. I wish I had seen your review before I got mine, she cost way more than fair.

    She was $75 (with shipping?) and is one of the first ones, Aussie. I used tangkoudoll.com and the website was INSANELY misleading. The doll company was apparently so bad eyelid patterns and accessory colors were random, and they changed the shade of England's hair for no reason. Plus the passport only had one doll in it, not Aussie. My doll arrived with her eyes mid-change and her hair a static mess, add that to her having the eyelids and accessory color I didn't want or expect and molded on underwear (on a $65 doll!). . .cue lots of anger and upsetness. I complained and the website was changed (but it was still very misleading with terrible pixelated photos you can't see clearly), but was also sent the right accessory color and most of France's stock at no charge.

    Its been around five months and I'm finally starting to love her, but man she was such a waste of money. I sold a Pullip to buy her so I was incredibly disappointed. But as long as the price is actually fair for the doll (maybe $40 for Aussie) and you're not mislead a crazy amount, I think they're beautiful dolls. I'm very torn because I LOVE their faces and the low price, but so many negative experiences are incredibly discouraging. I'd rather buy a few Cutie Pops or something, or save my money for something like an American Girl or Pullip.

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  20. Dziękuje za przedstawienie artykulacji Tangkou :-)
    Dzięki Pani już nie mam żadnych wątpliwości i na pewno kupię sobie pannę z tej serii.
    Pozdrawiam cieplutko.

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  21. great show! I bought China Tangkou and she is amazing! :] Googd Compare to other dolls :D

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  22. Great review!
    its a shame about all the flaws though, especially with the wig! i bought myself a Tangkou Vampire the other week for only 34.99 pounds which was an excellent deal! and her wig is amazing, its very thick and soft and long, but alas she also has the whole wobbly head thing going on LOL
    also i had the same issue with the torso to turn, it was jammed i swear but with some effort i got it to turn! i guess they fuse together once boxed and a need a good shove to fix it :P
    Vampires outfit also looks a lot better quality than Lolis' i guess each doll they make is improved ever so slightly. i hope in future the quality will be a lot higher though still keep the same good price!

    thanks again for the review! it was very humorous and informative! :D

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  23. Hello! I'm a french doll lover and I must say I looooved read your review..
    I had a Tangkou Loli too (now, it's my 13 year-old girl who have her, because I've already too much dolls, well, not sooo much, but 10 is a very good number for a beginning...).
    I appreciate your style in reviewing the dolls in general, but, in this one, i feel exactly the same with what you said..especialy the feet....^_^
    So, I've modified mine before giving her to my daughter, including make-up, eyechips and a azone pure neemo flex body...But I keeped her shoes which are sooooooooo lovely on my Pullip ^_^
    I've listed all the "mutation" on my site, if you're interested on reading how-to..
    It's here and the 3 posts following:
    http://monamiekoumori.blogspot.fr/2012/08/custo-hydromelle-roud-one-fight.html

    Anyway, this little girl now makes the days of my teenager who is spending most of her time sewing and photoshooting her....
    So, I'll finish this terrible speech saying you : "So much thanks for your work, you are already in my faves and I will follow you because I love the way you turn me 5 or 6 years old when I read you!!!"
    Have a nice day!

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  24. Hi!! I just wanted to thank you for this review. I have been looking for a Blythe type doll to customize for quite some time now... but just can't do the Blythe price tag for my first doll! Your review really helped make the decision easier. I decided to purchase the "Paris" doll, because I like her outfit best and she seemed easy enough to customize. I found her for $44 on Ebay, and the shipping wasn't bad at all. She just came in this week, and I couldn't be happier!!

    I will be sharing more about her, and her customization on my blog here http://artandwhimsies.blogspot.com/. My hubby has been having fun snapping pics of her, that I will be getting up on there soon =).

    I also just noticed that you are from Maine..... ME TOO!!! Hey neighbor!! ;)

    Thanks so much, I will definitely be following your blog.

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  25. I am awaiting England - guaranteed to get a new name upon arrival - and not crazy about pink hair and it just as you said with your Loli looks to long and thin. I prefer natural sort of colors and with her pale coloring am thinking of going with a chocolate colored wig but maybe a haircut will be a better choice, have to wait and see. Thank you so much for the comparison pictures because I always find pictures a bit misleading as to the size of a doll and by adding other dolls into the picture it gives a more balanced perspective. I feel like I will be able to meet and greet my girl with a better understanding of what makes her tick. I would love to know your perspective on her body in comparison to the LIV dolls as I have a few of them. I collect a wide variety of dolls and while I am desperately craving an Alice Pullip, I have my LIV dolls to enjoy in the meantime. LIV was found at a thrift shop for a very reasonable price as at the time I was dying for a ball joint doll. Thanks again for the awesome review.

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  26. I have the Tangkou Grace doll - it sounds like she'd be much more what you're looking for than Loli. Beautiful, high-quality flowing floral dress complete with skirts, petticoats, lacy frills and even a string of pearls. She also comes with a little feathered matching hat and her hair is flawless - a brunette wig of soft ringlets. She's easily the prettiest Tangkou released thus far (although the recent vampire edition comes a close second).

    I've only had Grace a day and I'm in love with her. I paid £30 for her (I think that's like $50?) and she was worth every penny. I'm so torn between not wanting to touch her because she's so perfect, and hugging the crap out of her. Sadly for her ringlets, the urge to cuddle was too strong! Oh dear, better start learning how to tease a wig back into shape without heat treatment :/

    If you want a gorgeous high-quality collector's doll at a good price, Grace is your answer.

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  27. I have Loli and Miss Grace and I've never had the slot machine eyes problem with any of them, maybe I'm just lucky :P but I must say Miss Grace has a much better quality outfit and wig than Loli :3

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.