Sunday, February 23, 2014

Licca-chan and Miki-chan by Takara

Ever since I first reviewed Lottie dolls last January, many of you have suggested that I take a look at Licca-chan, a beloved 8 inch Japanese fashion doll that has a lot in common with Lottie.  Licca-chan has been around for much, much longer than Lottie, though.  Licca was first manufactured by Takara in 1967.  By 2007, the company had sold over 53 million Licca dolls, and they continue to sell about 1 million dolls per year (The Ashai Shimbum, 2011).  Takara merged with Tomy in 2006, and so now the Licca franchise is credited to Takara-Tomy.  Licca-chan is often compared to Barbie in terms of her longevity and overwhelming popularity.

It was difficult to choose a Licca-chan doll for review.  I knew I would not be able to make any sweeping statements about the doll line by looking at a single doll--any more than I could judge the entire Barbie empire by just reviewing Midge.  So, I chose a doll that I felt would make a good comparison to the Lottie dolls I own...and then I added in a little Miki-chan toddler, because I found her too cute to resist:

Licca-chan and Miki-chan
"Kindergarten Teacher" Licca-chan and "Kindergarten" Miki-chan.
My dolls arrived directly from Japan and Licca, in particular, came in a badly dented box.


The writing on the box is in Japanese, which is too bad because I'd love to know what all of the text says.  Instead of reading the box, I read a few websites to learn more about Licca (this site is older, but it's very interesting).

Licca-chan means "little Licca."  Licca-chan's full name is actually Licca Kayama.  She's meant to portray an 11-year-old girl who lives in Japan with her musician father and fashion designer mother.  Licca has a carefully constructed biography, including favorite books and hobbies that have changed over the years.  Licca-chan products are very family-oriented, with the frequent inclusion of Licca's parents, grandmother and siblings (Licca has twin 4-year old sisters and triplet infant siblings).


There are some fascinating urban legends surrounding Licca-chan.  One story warns that if Licca is thrown away, she'll return from the garbage dump to haunt her former owner.  The haunting seems to come in the form of freaky late-night phone calls where Licca reports her progress as she gets closer and closer to home.  This is a disturbing reference to the phone lines that Takara set up so that fans could talk to Licca "in person."  Don't read this story right before bed. 

Another tale involves the appearance of a possessed, creepy, three-legged Licca doll.  I read that there were actually some three-legged dolls made by mistake at one point early in Licca's production, but I haven't seen any pictures of these dolls, and find the whole thing pretty hard to believe.  Where would a third doll leg even attach?


The best thing I learned about Licca is that there was an adult, pregnant Licca doll made in 2001.  This doll sounds even more amazing than Happy Family Midge: she arrived with a large belly, some baby items, and a postcard that could be sent away to order the baby (here's a picture of the doll).  So, kids actually had to wait for the baby to arrive!  Oh, my goodness, I would flip for this toy.  Anyway, the baby would arrive in the mail a few weeks later (the babies were adorable...) accompanied by a key that could detach the pregnant belly and return Licca to her original proportions.  My new quest is to find this doll.  She sounds incredible.

Let's get back to my Kindergarten Teacher Licca doll.  At only 11 years old, Licca seems a bit young to teach kindergarten, but the Licca character has several other themed outfits and playsets that are suited to older girls--including dolls that are employees at sushi bars or burger joints.  There's even a Hatsune Miku vocaloid Licca doll and a Licca-chan bride.

Licca comes with a few accessories and is displayed against a fairly plain pink background:


She is attached to the background with two large wire ties:



All of her accessories are wrapped in their own tiny plastic bags:


Licca comes with white shoes, a checkered hair bow, and a teddy bear puppet:


The bear puppet is made out of yellow felt and has a blue cape with a white plastic bead clasp decoration:



The puppet is unstitched along the bottom edge so that it fits nicely over Licca's hand:



Licca's little gingham hair bow is attached to a clear rubber band:


Her shoes are very plain.  They are made out of white plastic and have a small band of pink across the toe:


Licca's feet are soft and rubbery, so the hard plastic shoes are easier to put on than I thought they would be:


Licca comes with a plastic band around her head to keep her bangs in place:


Here she is completely unwrapped:

Licca-chan doll

Licca has very straight, layered golden brown hair.  She is wearing a bright blue pinafore dress with kawaii decorations and striped trim.  The bow in the back of her dress came out of the box a little deformed:


Licca has an anime style face with large, dark, side-glancing eyes and pink lips.  I love the shape and color of this doll's lips.  

Licca-chan doll

Licca's eye details are unusual. She has large black pupils highlighted on one side with lilac.  She has three white reflective areas on each eye that look good...and one red dot.  The red dot gives her eyes a rich brown appearance, which I assume is the intention, but it can also make her eyes look like they're simply red, which I find odd.  Many (but not all) Licca dolls have these red dots.


The "red-eye" feature in my photo program can eliminate this red dot, and I think Licca looks better without it:


Underneath her bangs, Licca has thin, slightly raised brown eyebrows:


Licca has large holes in her ears, but this particular doll did not come with earrings:


Licca's hair is wonderfully soft and silky.  It feels great and is very easy to manage.  I wish the layers in my Licca's hair were not as severe, because the shorter areas make the hair difficult to style.


The rooting is dense and nicely done:


The only style I could manage with this hair was a simple ponytail--using the red bow that came with Licca.  The ponytail looks cute from the front...


...but the short hairs make it very, ah, broom-like in back:

Quidditch, anyone?
The reason I chose this particular Licca doll is partly because of the style and color of her hair (it resembles two of my Lottie dolls' hair) but mostly because of her outfit:

Licca-chan doll
Licca can stand on her own if she's wearing shoes.
This doll's dress has two detachable kawaii decorations:


The decorations attach to the dress with large rectangles of velcro and can easily be removed and exchanged with one another.  

There's a smiling sun:


And a grumpy cloud:


The velcro is stitched to the felt decorations.  Glue might have been a better choice for attaching the velcro because the stitches disrupt the cute faces and look like they might put too much stress on the delicate edges of the felt.


As you might recall, my Lottieville Festival Lottie doll has a very similar outfit decoration:

Also attached with velcro.

Underneath the decorations, Licca's dress has heart-shaped velcro attachment sites.  These look good even without the felt shapes:



The dress is made out of a thick denim-style material and seems very well constructed.  It opens all of the way down the back and is easy to get on and off.





The bow in back is a bit of a disaster, though.  This is what it looks like after dressing and undressing the doll once: 


I think it must have come into contact with the strip of velcro along the back of the dress.  

The front of the dress has a real pocket, accented with a tiny pink satin bow.  This bow is in very good shape:


Licca is wearing plain high-waisted stretch cloth underpants:

Whew!  Only two legs.
Licca's body has eight points of articulation including internal knee joints and a swiveling waist.  I'm no expert, but she seems to have mature proportions for an 11-year-old girl.  Her shoulders are broad and she has a tiny waist with hips and a noticeable bust:


Her arms are made out of thin, hollow, hard plastic and have disappointingly little movement.  They are only jointed at the shoulder, and have no hinged movement, just simple rotation.

Yay.
This doll's arm articulation surprised me for two reasons.  First of all, Licca's promotional pictures clearly show her arms bending at the elbow:


Also, beastsbelle over at Never Grow Up has written an excellent review of another Licca-chan doll, and this doll has elbow articulation just like what is shown in the picture, above.  

My doll, however, does not bend at the elbows--believe me, I tried to bend the arms again and again (a little too enthusiastically, as we'll see in a bit).

Licca has tiny little dainty hands with all of the fingers fused together:


Her waist twists all of the way around, but does not move from side to side:


Her hip articulation allows for excellent front-to-back splits, but she doesn't have any side-to-side leg movement.



Licca's knee joints are internal, but they're not the click style joints that are found on the newest Disney Store dolls or on older Barbies.  Licca seems to have wire all throughout her legs, and the legs are made out of a rubbery material that bends easily.



She can sit nicely in a chair with these bendy legs:


In fact, this style of articulation is one of very few that allow a doll to sit in a chair with her legs crossed:

Licca-chan doll

Licca's head was wobbly right out of the box.  I am not sure if this is typical, or if my doll is broken.  If I shake her gently, her head bobbles slightly from side to side.  However, her head can be moved around in many directions and will hold most poses well, so perhaps this is how the neck joint is supposed to behave.  I think Licca has great neck movement--whether it's intentional or not.


Here's an interesting feature that's difficult to show in a delicate way: Licca's lower torso is made out of a single piece of hard plastic that is folded over along a thin seam to create its three-dimensional, hollow shape:


Ok, so this is the part where I got overenthusiastic with the arm articulation.  I was so incredulous that my doll didn't bend at the elbow, I held her up to the light to try and see what was going on inside her arms.  Through the very thin plastic, I could see wires running most of the length of Licca's arms.  This convinced me that the arms must be capable of better movement.  So I yanked at one of them a little more...and broke it almost clean off at the shoulder:

Dang it.
The bright side of my stubbornness is that we can get a peek into this doll's body.  I didn't want to pull the arm all of the way off, but it's severed enough that you can see the wire that runs through one arm, and also catch a glimpse of the plastic anchoring mechanism that sits within the chest:

Why have a wire if the arms can't bend??
Because Licca-chan is often called the "Japanese Barbie," I wanted to compare my Licca to a Barbie doll.  Here she is next to Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Midge.  There are significant differences in size and articulation with these two dolls:


Midge has much more realistic, adult facial features.  Licca's childlike, anime face doesn't fit her overly mature body quite as well.

For those who do not own a Barbie doll, here's Licca next to two other popular 12-inch dolls:

13 Wishes Clawdeen Wolf, Licca-chan, Disney Store Rapunzel 2013.
Licca has much more in common with Barbie's younger sister, Stacie.  These two dolls are about the same height, although Stacie's proportions are more typical of a young girl:


Licca and Stacie don't share clothes very well.  Licca's dress looks tent-like on Stacie, and Stacie's dress won't close in back over Licca's broad chest.



Here's Licca next to a few of my smaller dolls.  These three have strikingly different proportions:

La Dee Da, Licca-chan, Pinkie Cooper.
I also wanted to compare Licca to some of my other Asian fashion dolls:

Momoko (Japan), Juku Couture (Japan), Licca-chan (Japan), Kurhn (China).
Of these three dolls, the Kurhn has the most similar facial features to Licca, I think:

They're still quite different.
The Juku Couture doll, Hayley, is the most similar in terms of body size, although Hayley has much, much better articulation:


These two can't share clothes very well, either.  Hayley's shirt is too tight for Licca and Licca's dress is baggy on Hayley:


Finally, here's Licca next to the doll I have been most anxious to compare her to--Lottie Autumn Leaves:


Their bodies are not very similar--Lottie has a childlike body with hinged shoulder articulation.  Licca has more extensive neck movement.  Both dolls have rubbery legs with internal knee joints.

However, the faces bear a striking resemblance:

Licca-chan and Lottie

It took me some time to see past the similarities, but after a while I found some notable differences.  Both dolls have similar hairstyles and hair color, but Licca's hair is much silkier and smoother.  The dolls have almost identical eye reflection marks, but Lottie has more color in her eyes and she is missing the red dots.  I much prefer the shape and color of Licca's mouth and I also like her gradually sloping jawline better.  

Here's a more front-on view of Lottie so that you can see both faces clearly:


I like both Lottie and Licca's outfits.  They have a similar youthful charm.  Lottie's clothes seem to be higher quality in general, and she certainly has more pieces to her outfit.  In this picture she's wearing Lottieville Festival's blue and white striped tights with some pieces from her own outfit:

Licca-chan and Lottie

The felt decorations are interchangeable between dolls, which is fun:


Lottie makes a perfect younger sister for Licca:

Licca-chan and Lottie

Before I move on and show you Miki-chan, here are a few more of my favorite pictures of Licca:


Licca-chan


Licca-chan

Miki-chan is one Licca's four-year-old twin sisters.  She looks more like a toddler to me--maybe three at the most.  Miki's twin, Maki-chan has a huge grin on her face.  I bought Miki because she was being offered by the same person who sold me Licca...and her shipping was free.  I love both of the small sister dolls.

Miki-chan comes in a small, durable box that arrived in much better condition than Licca's box.


Miki is also attached to a thin cardboard insert with two strong wire ties.


This particular Miki comes wearing a simple sundress and a bright yellow hat.  She is accompanied by a separately-packaged pair of shoes:

Miki-chan

The hat is lightly felted hard plastic and looks like a construction helmet to me.  Mine is warped along one side:

I don't like this hat.
The little shoes are soft vinyl and have tiny molded bows in the front:


Miki comes with a plastic band around her head to keep her bangs flat:


Miki's hair is similar to Licca's, with its golden blonde color and bangs.  Miki's hair is blunt-cut in back, though, and feels thicker and slightly coarser than her sister's silky locks.


Miki's bangs have several stray strands of hair that hang a little lower down towards her eyes:

Miki-chan
Easily fixed--hand me the scissors!
This hair is not as densely rooted as Licca's hair, but it feels very thick.


Miki's eyes also have an anime style, but they are not painted exactly the same way as Licca's eyes.  Miki has mostly black eyes and eyelashes, but she has two grey half circles in each eye to suggest a colored iris.  She also has a band of turquoise eyeshadow above each eye:


Miki's light brown eyebrows are almost completely concealed by her bangs:


Miki has a tiny pink mouth that is formed into a delicate "o."


This facial expression reminds me of a real little toddler--trying to form new words or blowing bubbles and making silly noises.

Maybe whistling?
Miki has the cutest little teacup-handle ears hiding under her thick hair:


Miki's sundress is fairly simple, with an un-hemmed sailor collar and iron-on details:



Miki's torso is made out of hollow plastic.  Her arms, legs and head are flexible vinyl:


She has five points of simple articulation, with a head that can only rotate, not look up or down:



Here is Miki next to some of my other small dolls:

Only Hearts Club Jess, Barbie Chelsea, Miki-chan, Barbie Kelly, Ty Li'l Ones.
Miki is the most similar in size to Barbie's Kelly, the toddler precursor to Chelsea.  This particular Kelly doll can drink liquid and pee in a potty (hence the heart-shaped button on her tummy):


Miki and Kelly can share clothes pretty well.  They can even share shoes, which is great because I love Kelly's little pink jelly sandals:


Don't pee on my dress, ok?
Miki is significantly shorter than Licca-chan, and the two can't even reach to hold each other's hands:


Lottie is right in between the two sisters in terms of size:

Licca, Lottie and Miki

Here are a few more picture of little Miki.  She doesn't have a huge posing arsenal, but I think she's incredibly sweet.


Whistle while you work...
Miki-chan


Here are a few last pictures of Licca-chan and Miki-chan together:

Licca-chan and Miki-chan

Licca-chan and Miki-chan

Licca-chan and Miki-chan

Bottom line?  I absolutely love everything about the heads of these dolls.  Both Licca and Miki have fantastic hair that is shiny, smooth, and nicely rooted.  The hair colors are rich and natural.  Licca-chan has a wide-eyed, round face that is full of sweetness and perfect for her pre-teen age.  Miki-chan has a funny, unique little expression that makes me think of real toddlers and their antics.  

In my eyes, Licca's body type doesn't fit the youthfulness of her face.  This doll has a mature fashion doll body that would be more believable with a young adult's face.  In the case of Kindergarten Teacher Licca, the baggy pinafore dress completely conceals the body's curves, and gives the whole doll a consistent, childlike appearance.  I am not sure if my reaction to Licca's body is a cultural artifact or the sign of a real discrepancy.  In the United States, perhaps we are just accustomed to seeing mature, made-up faces on bodies with these proportions?

My other issue with Licca's body is that it has extremely limited arm articulation.  The thin plastic arms can only lift up and down and do not have hinged movement at the shoulders or any flexibility in the elbows whatsoever.  It's been a while since I have seen a fashion doll with arm articulation this poor.  However, it's clear that there are Licca doll variants that do have elbow articulation, courtesy of bendable vinyl arms and an internal wire armature.  Unfortunately, it's not simple to distinguish one body style from the other, and the promotional pictures do not seem to be reliably accurate.  I'm certain that I would prefer a Licca doll with bendable arms, even though wire armature is not my first choice for play doll articulation.

In contrast, Miki-chan's body design seems almost perfect for her size.  She has cute little toddler proportions--much like the older Barbie toddler, Kelly.  Miki also has decent articulation, and the bendable vinyl in her limbs gives her some nice extra movement.

Both dolls come in simple outfits that are solidly constructed out of soft, natural-feeling fabrics. The clothes are not quite as nice as Lottie doll clothes, but they are far superior to the Barbie clothes I have owned.

Licca's nickname of "Japanese Barbie" begs a comparison to Barbie dolls.  Licca's physical resemblance to the newer Lottie dolls warrants a comparison to that line, too.  I have never been a die-hard Barbie doll fan, and while I love certain individual Barbie dolls, I find Licca dolls more broadly appealing.  Barbie is a very mature, adult character with realistic features and a worldly personality.  I often imagine that Barbie is looking at me with a bit of (understandable) lofty scorn.  Lottie is a child, with appropriately themed outfits and innocent, stylized features.  I love Lottie, but I suspect that she appeals to a relatively narrow age range.  Licca-chan seems to sit comfortably in between these two dolls.  She is old enough to pull off some grown-up themes (kindergarten teacher, pop star, employee) and has the versatility to mature with the children who own her.  But Licca also has a youthful, angelic face with a wholesome, appealing warmth.  It is this face, in the end, that has rapidly made me a fan.  I understand why this doll is so popular.  I'd recommend her to a wide range of doll enthusiasts, but just to be safe, I'd qualify my recommendation with a warning to never throw a Licca-chan doll away.  It's not worth risking the curse.  Just, you know, send her to me instead. 

Licca-chan doll

59 comments:

  1. wonderful review emily!
    they do look like sisters. Miki is so adorable.

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    1. Thank you so much! Miki is great, isn't she? The toddlers are really well done. Such an appealing doll family!

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  2. Omg Kindergarten Miki has been sitting in my eBay shopping basket forever. I am so so tempted! xD As always, I'm happy to read a new update from your blog. c: Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Hi Rebekah--I agree! They are sooo tempting! I am eyeing Kindergarten Maki on eBay..but I also like the twins in their coordinating striped dresses and purses. Adorable.
      I hope you have a great weekend, too! :)

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  3. Miki-chan reminds me of Mei from My Neighbor Totoro :3 Se is just so cute!

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    1. I had to Google Mei, but you're right! Definitely a strong similarity. Mei looks like a fun character!

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  4. I actually love the red dot. What a great idea! In the first picture, they gave such a 3D effect that for a few seconds I struggled to understand if they were painted or inset. It only looks weird in extreme closeups. What gave you the idea that Licca-chan was Caucasian? I thought you couldn't translate the box.

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    1. That's cool that you got a 3D effect from Licca's eyes--maybe I was just up too close to them during the review! I can't read the box, I just think Licca looks Caucasian with her blonde hair--maybe that's a bad/naive assumption. I guess there are pink and blue-haired Licca dolls, too! I'll delete that caption.

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    2. This post should help to why you may think Licca looks Caucasian but to a Japanese person looks like Japanese: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/08/30/guest-post-why-do-the-japanese-draw-themselves-as-white/

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    3. Technically, Licca-chan *IS* 1/2 caucasian. Her father, Pierre is French, while her mother Orie is Japanese.

      The basic blond hair is typical of 4th generation+ Liccas, while 1-3rd almost always had red hair.

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    4. Technically, Licca-chan *IS* 1/2 caucasian. Her father, Pierre is French, while her mother Orie is Japanese.

      The basic blond hair is typical of 4th generation+ Liccas, while 1-3rd almost always had red hair.

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  5. You know, that dress is practically identical to Lottie's! Now I'm really curious as to who copied who. In any case, Liccas grumpy cloud is pretty adorable.

    Weird that the arms don't bend. If you want to give her better articulation (or just need a doll project), you could rebody her onto an 21cm or 23cm Obitsu body. Those have a less mature figure too.

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    1. That's an excellent idea--especially at this point since I've broken poor Licca's arm! Thank you so much for suggesting sizes for the Obitsu bodies--it always takes me a while to figure out what sizes to consider! I do love a good doll project. :)

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    2. It is an excellent option many people buy Licca dolls and they change the body by one obitsu
      Sorry English is not English and this was thanks to traducctor of google
      I love your reviews, for some time I want a Licca doll but her body makes me think twice before considering buying it

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    3. I'm not 100% sure of the size, but I think it's a pretty popular mod so finding advice should be easy. :) Otherwise, this pic should give you an idea (naked doll warning!): http://www.flickr.com/photos/35893345@N03/4909954268

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  6. The bright yellow construction-looking hat is a thing they make kids wear at elementary schools in Japan. As far as I can tell it's just to make them visible when crossing roads and while playing outside.

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    1. Interesting! I had no idea--thank you so much for sharing this neat fact. I like the hat much better now that I know that it's both authentic and protective! :)

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  7. I'm officially terrified of these dolls! Although I probably won't buy them, they are really cute! I ended up buying Ashlynn Ella and Hunter 2 pack and my parents surprised me with Apple's Fainting Couch too! I went on Sunday but sadly in my Toys r us there was no sale. My mom went back today to see if they had a sale for president's day but it was for online orders only. Anyways I realized that with Ever After High not only do you have to check for wonky eyes but you have to check for the signature reflective dots on the lips. My doll's dots are faint and pretty good but on my friend's Briar the dots are HUGE!!!! I could swear they were bigger than her mouth! Lol! One last thing, this may seem random but I don't advise storing any somewhere cold for a while. I have my Monster High dolls in a mini suitcase in the attic ( the one place other than the garage where there is NO heat) Now all of my doll's limbs are loose and even Draculaura's leg ripped off! :( Anyways sorry for my lengthy comment!!!!!!

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    1. LOL! The Licca tales are pretty spooky, aren't they? I don't like the idea of a doll calling me on the phone. Eek!
      I hope you are having fun with your new Ashlynn and Hunter! Good choice. I saw the fainting couch at TRU the other day and it looks like a wonderful accessory. The secret storage is great! That's such a lovely surprise from your parents.
      Sorry the sale wasn't still going on when you visited Toys R Us. It didn't last long here, either. That online sale wasn't so impressive--very few dolls, anyway. My store still has a lone Hayden's House which I keep my eye on to see if it will ever go below $24. It's been there at that price for such a long time!
      I will have to look at the reflective dots on Ever After High more closely. A few of my dolls have very faint ones (which I prefer) but I have yet to see really big ones. I will check the dolls at Target next time I go. Thank you for the heads-up about this!
      Also, thank you for the warning about Monster High and cold temperatures! I have been storing some dolls in my garage, too, and with the crazy-low temperatures we had earlier this winter, maybe that wasn't a good plan! Yikes! :-O I am so sorry that your dolls were damaged. :(

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  8. I absolutely adore Licca-chan!! My brother bought me the one with a pink and white striped dress for my birthday last year. I was particularly touched because it showed me that although he didn't "get" my new doll collecting hobby, he did support me. He chose Licca-chan because he had heard a lot about her when he was working in Japan. He too described her as the "Japanese Barbie". I think that she has the sweetest little face and I do hope to get more. Now that I know about Miki-chan, I might have to look out for her too. The arms do bend on mine, but they look very unnatural. I believe that lots of people swap Blythe bodies for Licca because they have greater articulation. The difference is so minimal that I wouldn't be bothered. So just when you thought that the Licca-chan story couldn't get any more horrific, I am here to tell you that people are pulling the heads off them and throwing them away!! Now those dolls really do have a good reason to come back and haunt people, but how would they use the telephone with no bodies? (((shudder))) :/

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  9. I was a bit disappointed about the sales too. I know that if you order Ever after High, Monster High, and some other dolls, you get a free zelf- which basically is a girly troll doll. I need to find somewhere to store my MH girls now but I have no room! Which ever after high doll do you recommend?Oh and the next EAH to be made is Lizzie hearts, plus the next three Legacy day dolls are Maddie, Ashlynn, and ... Cerise! I wish Rapunzel's daughters come in a two pack one day too.=) PS. When are you going to do the review of Honey Swamp and Viperine? (I'm really sorry- I'm REALLY talkative!)

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    1. Oooh Zelfs! I love those! The designs are pretty, and those eyes that follow you around are ingenious, I think.

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    2. I like Zelfs, too, Gale. They look like little Brian Froud goblins. I love that. I have a bunch of them. :) I never liked troll dolls, but I love Zelfs. Zelfs have cuter faces, in my opinion.

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  10. I always love reading your reviews! Very informative, and lots of pictures! I just have to say that if it weren't for your blog (your Meygana review in particular), I would have never started collecting Bratzillaz!

    I really enjoyed your review of Licca and Miki. They look so sweet together! I never owned a Licca doll before but I did own another Japanese playline doll called Jenny. I used to love her as a kid, and favored her over my Barbie dolls. I've always wanted to add a Licca or Jenny to my collection (sadly, the Jenny I owned is no longer with me) but the lack of articulation was a bit of a put-off--until I found out about a Jenny with an articulated body called Super Action Body. From what I've heard, this type of body has been around since the late 90's and the articulation is quite similar to the Momoko dolls, although they aren't being manufatured anymore, which is a shame. I would have loved to own one of these.

    I've read a lot about the pregnant Licca, too. Having the baby doll sent to you separately is a pretty amazing idea. It definitely makes the whole experience feel real. And that baby doll is adorable. I wish you luck on your quest!

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  11. Please review more winx dolls plssssss

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  12. I love you Licca review. I am a huge fan of the Licca doll line, but it does confuse me when I buy the different dolls and only some of them have bending arms or legs. I hope you enjoy your new Licca (even with a broken shoulder).

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  13. As soon as I saw Miki I thought of Kelly, I'm glad you compared the two. I love Licca's face it is so sweet and innocent looking.If you find the pregnant one please share her with us, especially if you can still order the adorable baby. Thanks again for another great review.

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  14. I had a Licca as a kid and I loved her! I remember spending a ton of time looking over the brochure that she came with and wanting Miki and Maki. Don't worry, I still have her--no creepy phone calls here. I've thought about getting her Lottie as a friend. After all these years she must be very lonely. If you do give your Licca an Obitsu body, please show us!

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  15. I think both of these girls have very sweet faces! I particularly like Miki. She's such a darling little todder girl that I almost feel maternal toward her. LOL!

    I do like the red dots in Licca's eyes. It's a very unique, interesting way to do the eye paint.

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  16. Weird, my Licca have poseable arms, it's made out of the same material as her legs; but she was from 2005 maybe they changed it since then, that's too bad.

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  17. The part of the box that I can see doesn't say anything about Licca's race, but I find her name interesting. In Japanese, it is Rika. The only reason for using the very un-Japanese spelling Licca would be to make her appear more Western, so I'm going with the idea that she is meant to be Caucasian.

    The back of the box simply says that girls can change Licca's clothes and style her hair (sidebar to parents: this type of play teaches a "sense of childlike beauty" and good grooming habits), and play house and story (sidebar: this will naturally encourage family and societal interpersonal relationships and roles). I can only read the blown-up portion, though. There seems to be something beneath that about the doll's articulation.

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    1. sorry, was supposed to be "play house and STORE".

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    2. The information site that Emily linked states the following about Licca: Her father, Pierre, is a French musician, and her mother, Orie, is a Japanese fashion designer.

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    3. I found her name kind of odd aswell, particularly since her father is the foreign one (which would mean that her surname should be foreign, but it's Kayama?) They seem to have gone with the half-euro backstory that is stereotypical for models and particularly attractive jp novel characters, but Miki's name is pretty prosaic Japanese so I don't get why Licca's is romanised so oddly. The only explanation I can think of is that her brand's been around for a while and Japanese romanisation (particularly commercial romanisation) is pretty varied, but you'd still expect it to be リッカ or something. Why are there two cs?

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    4. Exactly! Lika or Lica for リカ would be understandable, but the two c's really make no sense.

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    5. Sometimes Japanese words with a small 'tsu' are romanised with two letters to show the 'skip' in sound:

      きて = kite
      きって = kitte

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    6. Yuu, I believe the storyline is, Pierre loved his wife's maiden name "Kayama" so much that he changed his name to Kayama and thus the family kept his wife's name. I want to say Pierre's family name is Miramonde, since they use to make dolls of his parents Albert and Helene. There are not dolls of anyone else in Orie's family.

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    7. Yuu, I believe the storyline is, Pierre loved his wife's maiden name "Kayama" so much that he changed his name to Kayama and thus the family kept his wife's name. I want to say Pierre's family name is Miramonde, since they use to make dolls of his parents Albert and Helene. There are not dolls of anyone else in Orie's family.

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  18. I think I remember reading something about the Japanese having some sort of rituals about throwing away dolls, or even say it shouldn't be done at all. I'll have to research this a little.

    http://mylittledollcorner.blogspot.com/

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    1. According to this website, it's true. There are specially held doll funerals at shrines or temples, which then dispose of the dolls. It is believed there will be spiritual repercussions if the dolls are just thrown away. I'll also include a link to someone who viewed an incredible array of dolls and stuffed toys set up for one of these funerals.

      http://www.wordpress.tokyotimes.org/?p=9848

      http://faustusnotes.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/the-meiji-jingu-doll-appreciation-ceremony/

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  19. It seems like more than one toy manufacturer found the pregnancy idea a good one. There's a doll called Steffi Love on sale on ebay now, item no 201036150402. I think it's bizarre.

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  20. I went to the Simba toy site for Steffi Love and they offer a play set of pregnant Steffi at the doctor with a play ultrasound screen! At this rate, I'm afraid to do any more research...What's next? Steffi in the delivery room? LOL...

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  21. That's really interesting that your Licca doesn't have poseable arms. I've actually never seen a Licca that didn't have arms that bend. Mine has wire in her arms too, but her arms are soft like her legs and bend. I think it's also interesting that unlike Barbie, Licca's arms usually only turn in a single plane. She can't raise her arms and flap them like a bird. I love Licca's face so much though, it's just so sweet. If I put her next to my other dolls, she just makes them look so strange next to her.

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  22. Hahaha I loved the ''Just, you know, send her to me instead.'' in the end xd Like you said, the faces of these sisters are very appealing and cute. Maybe even cuter than Lottie's face. But the body is so dissapointing, it would be a big turn off to me. If her arms were bendable it would be better but I really don't like the feeling of hollow plastic. Of course, I didn't feel her myself so it could be that the cheap feeling isn't that bad. But from my experience with thin, hollow plastic I wouldn't choose it for a doll. In conclusion, the current faces+a much better body= perfect doll. Except for the creepy horror stories though, yuck. One more thing, after reading this sentence: ''Miki's bangs have several stray strands of hair that hang a little lower down towards her eyes:'' The only thing I could think of was: No Emily, don't. You'll regret it. And then came this:
    ''Easily fixed--hand me the scissors!'' AAAAH I knew it! STAY AWAY FROM THE SCISSORS EMILY!

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  23. Licca-Chan has the cutest face of any play doll I've seen. I agree with you about her mouth - adorable. I also like the idea of putting her head on another body.

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  24. Very awesome review. Have you considered checking out the Takara Jenny doll? She's i think the older sister to licca and is actually more like japanese barbie. She's sized to licca the way barbie is to chelsea I'd say. I do love the sweet faces on these dolls.

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  25. Oh, did you have to tell us about curses and possessed dolls? Now I'll never get to sleep!

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  26. I have a huge soft spot for Licca, particularly the earlier generations - though I usually rebody mine on Azone Pure Neemo S/XS bodies. Your review has definitely convinced me I need to add the Kindergarten outfit to my collection! :)

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  27. Not sure if you're still looking for the pregnant Licca mother, but I did see her on eBay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Takara-Tomy-Licca-Doll-Takara-Is-Now-a-Mom-Hello-Baby-/390803859010?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5afdb9a642

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  28. once I requested my husband to bring Licca-chan from Japan as I wanted to give some alternative to Barbie for my little cousin. He got her one in wedding dress, it was pretty well made! I can't remember well, but I think it was less plastic than the one you've reviewed

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  29. Hi! How I wish Licca-chan dolls are available in my native country the Philippines. I watched the anime Super Doll Licca, and I thought if there are Licca dolls, but to my surprise, Licca-chan dolls do exist for a long time after I saw an imitation of Licca-chan at a Daiso store and searched it on the internet. The doll resembles my mom a lot, and me too. She's so adorable. Unfortunately Licca-chan dolls aren't sold here; instead, Western dolls like Barbie and Bratz are sold. I used to play Barbie as a little girl, but I'm not really a fan of Barbie, maybe because she's a adult and she's a Caucasian, not Asian. Even there is a Filipiniana version of her, she doesn't look like the common Filipina but rather a mixed-race Latina, which perpetuates more racism to Filipinas. I think Barbie fits more to adults than to children. Licca-chan, on the other hand, has more Asian features and looks also young, not mature, which makes her more child-friendly. Licca-chan also doesn't look too sexualized as opposed to Western dolls, which is very good because I think sexualized dolls teach girls to be provocative at a very young age, which is not good at all because they will forget their childhood and instead fixate on being an adult. I do recommend Licca-chan more to young Filipina girls more than Barbie or Bratz, so that they can appreciate their girlhood more and appreciate being Asian instead of fixating on becoming Caucasian, which lowers their self-esteem (though Licca's hair is light, her face looks Asian). I imagine if there's a Filipina version of Licca-chan, girls here ill surely love her. I also like Licca-chan better than Barbie or Bratz. If Licca-chan dolls are available her, I'm sure she'll be a bestseller.

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    1. I also would like that. I want to purchase her clothes and shoes; and of course her accessories. I'm not allowed to order anything over the internet without my parents supervision until I get older. 😔

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    2. I also would like that. I want to purchase her clothes and shoes; and of course her accessories. I'm not allowed to order anything over the internet without my parents supervision until I get older. 😔

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  30. It is made in China.
    I am glad when I know the existence of Licca&Miki made in Japan.

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  31. OMG! TheFineBros just released a video about Parents reacting to The Evolution of Barbie, and they had a picture from your blog in it! It's at 5:50 if it helps!

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  32. Did you know? In Japan, you can buy instruction books on how to make Rika clothes? Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  33. My Licca has bendable arms but her head doesn't tilt. (It probably has something to do with the different ways they manufacture it...)

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  34. My Licca is a second-generation doll and her arms bend. I don't know much about Licca "generations," but maybe that's why my dolls' arms bend and yours don't. Just food for thought.

    Also, have you tried an Azone body with your doll? If her busted arm gets to be too much of a pain in the butt you could try that maybe. Just don't steal Mugi's body; she's too cute! LOL

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