Showing posts with label BJD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BJD. Show all posts

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Smart Doll by Danny Choo

Even during the time when I wasn't actively reviewing dolls and tracking trends, I was aware of Smart Doll.  I do a lot of wig shopping for the My Twinn Project, and I noticed over the last two years that several of my favorite wig vendors, who had previously been offering mostly American Girl wigs and accessories, were switching their focus to Smart Doll.  That got my attention because few things in the doll world are more popular than American Girl.  After a while, it became impossible to shop for a wig without seeing a dozen gorgeous photos of Smart Dolls in the process.  So, when I decided to start blogging again, one of the very first things I did was visit Danny Choo's site to learn more about this enticing brand.

Danny Choo (son of fashion designer Jimmy Choo) grew up in England with a fascination for Japanese popular culture.  This fascination led to the creation of a television show, Culture Japan, and the design of an anime mascot for that show.  The mascot's name is Mirai Suenaga, and she's described as a second year high school student with an interest in journalism.  Mirai loves the color orange and is often shown in orange-themed outfits.  The Mirai character went on to become quite popular, getting her own anime series (Mirai Millenium), and even being recognized as the official symbol for Japanese and Malaysian tourism.  In 2012, Mr. Choo began the process of turning Mirai into a 60cm fashion doll: the first Smart Doll.  Mr. Choo currently lives in Japan, where all Smart Dolls are made.

I probably should have chosen the Mirai character for this review, since she's the original Smart Doll, but those of you who know me won't be surprised that it's the smiling redhead with freckles who I couldn't resist.  She's a newer doll from the Story Tellers collection and her name is Monday:

Smart Doll Monday (Tea skin tone, Cherry wig, replacement eyes), ¥52,000 or ~$453.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tangkou Update: "The Chinese Girl"

At the end of some of my reviews, I find myself wondering how my opinion might have been different if I had chosen to review a different doll from the same line.  Over the next week, I plan to do a series of quick "update" reviews.  In these posts, I'll look at dolls that are very similar to ones I have already reviewed, just to see if my initial impressions hold.  It's a good time for requests, by the way, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments if there's a doll you'd like to see up close.  I already have a few requests to look at Billy and Brook-Lynn from Tonner's City Girl line, so I'll be sure to do that.

I am going to start by looking at another Tangkou doll.  If you remember my review of Loli, I ended up feeling that she wasn't quite worth her price ($75) and I was left wishing that I'd purchased one of the less expensive dolls.  I love the idea of an affordable Pullip-style doll, and wanted to give Tangkou another chance to deliver.  I chose The Chinese girl, who cost me $34.99 on eBay (plus $19 shipping).

"The Chinese Girl" by Tangkou.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Evangeline Ghastly "Dark Angel" by Wilde Imagination

Evangeline Ghastly is an 18.5" ball jointed fashion doll designed by Joe Petrollese and sculpted by Robert Tonner.  Evangeline is marketed through Tonner's company, Wilde Imagination, which is also home to the popular 16" vinyl doll, Ellowyne Wilde.  Evangeline Ghastly made her first appearance in 2007 as a resin doll.  Back in 2007, my doll collecting tastes were much narrower than they are today.  At that time, dazzled by Tonner's beautiful new Cinderella sculpt, I had little interest for the bizarre, dark-themed, and relatively expensive Evangeline.  When I saw her bug-eyed, lanky-limbed promotional pictures, I pretty much laughed and shook my head, grateful that I wasn't going to be tempted into collecting a new line.

Evangeline's exaggerated features fit well with her over-the top back story.  She is a mortician's assistant, lives in an attic, dresses with a flamboyant Victorian style and has a humanoid pet skunk.  The Wilde Imagination website says that Evangeline was inspired by Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, among other quirky icons.  This is a fun fact for me because seeing the Tim Burton line of Tonner dolls in person (during my trip to the FAO Schwarz store in Manhattan in June) was a big contributor to my new-found appreciation for the darker, stranger dolls in Tonner's diverse lineup.  If it weren't for this new perspective, I don't think I ever would have given Evangeline any serious consideration.  Two other things contributed to my willingness to acquire an Evangeline doll.  First, in 2009, Wilde Imagination added a vinyl version of this doll to their regular collection.  This dropped the price considerably, and also eliminated the concerns about yellowing and breakage that come with most resin dolls.  Also, I recently found a collector who was willing to take a doll I didn't want anymore in exchange for this intriguing Tonner Con vinyl exclusive Evangeline, "Dark Angel:"

Evangeline Ghastly "Dark Angel" by Wilde Imagination,
LE 200.

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.  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."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Delilah Noir "Pretty in Pink" by Ashton Drake

Well, first of all, I've been having some camera troubles lately, so it takes me ages to pull together a decent post.  Sorry about that.  I think I've got a solution in the works, but in the meantime, please forgive the pictures.

I have been curious about Delilah Noir for several years.  Delilah is a 16" vinyl ball jointed doll made by Ashton Drake.  Delilah was first released in late 2009 and the debut edition earned a Doll of the Year award.  The first Delilah doll was dressed in a modest school girl outfit and wore a long blonde wig, but she also came with an extra, slightly more gothic evening ensemble and black hair.  These outfits were meant to hint at the two contrasting sides to Delilah's personality, a sweet straight "A" student and a dark, edgy wild child.  The subsequent doll releases have maintained this split personality to varying degrees.  Despite declarations to the contrary, there were never any new characters introduced to this line, and I understand that the dolls have now been discontinued.  You can still find the first Delilah doll for $150 at places like Amazon (for full price), and directly from Ashton Drake.  Many of the later releases are still in stock in various doll shops...and lately they are on clearances sales of varying levels.  

I was reluctant to buy a Delilah Noir doll for several reasons. First of all, I have had some bad experiences with Ashton Drake.  Years ago, I was interested in their "So Truly Real" baby dolls (which also retail for around $150).  After about the fifth time I got seduced by incredible promo pictures only to be horrified by the actual product, I finally got wise and gave up on Ashton Drake completely.  The company tempted me back with Delilah and Emily the Strange, but I balked on purchasing Delilah because of her price and also because I found it difficult to get a good sense for what she was like by looking at pictures online.  I was unwilling to take another $150 gamble.  Recently, one of my favorite doll shops had Delilah on a half price clearance, and I decided that the awesome price and her recent discontinuation made this the perfect time to buy.  I chose "Pretty in Pink," one of the dolls from 2011:

Delilah Noir "Pretty in Pink" by Ashton Drake Galleries.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

JAMIEshow's Winter Grace

Ever since I saw the Winter Grace prototype at Angelic Dreamz in February, I have been waiting for this glorious girl to arrive.  Whenever I have to wait a long time for something, I tend to worry that it won't live up to my expectations.  I needn't have wasted any time worrying about this doll.  If anything, she is more beautiful than I remember.  Grace is a 16" resin ball jointed fashion doll who is part of the 2012 JAMIEshow collection.  She is limited to only 50 pieces.  You can read more about JAMIEshow dolls in my Lee post, and you can see Grace and all of the other dolls in the Winter line at Angelic Dreamz. *Update 2017: Angelic Dreamz is closed and JAMIEshow dolls are now available at this site.

I feel like Grace was made for me.  She is the most lovely thing I have seen for a long time. Instead of chatting away as a I often do, I am going to let her pictures do most of the talking.

JAMIEshow Winter Grace
*As with many of these resin art dolls, some of the nude photos of Grace might not be work appropriate.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Resin Ball Jointed "Lady G" by the Tonner Doll Company

You might remember that the Tonner Doll Company's Cinderella face is one of my favorite doll faces of all time.  The Tonner Doll Company, which got its start in the early 90s making porcelain dolls, has been making vinyl fashion dolls since 1993.  By the time I started collecting Tonner fashion dolls in around 2005, the range of vinyl characters was extensive and included not only Tonner's signature character Tyler Wentworth, but also a range of Tyler's friends and some popular fiction characters like Harry Potter and Scarlett O'Hara.  My beloved Cinderella face was introduced in 2006.  In 2007, Robert Tonner branched out into the resin ball jointed doll market with the introduction of 17" BJD Evangeline Ghastly.  Evangeline is marketed through Tonner's other company, Wilde Imagination, which is the home of the woefully fashionable fictional character, Ellowyne Wilde.

One of the most exciting doll announcements of my collecting experience came in 2008.  This was the year Robert Tonner declared that he would be making 16" resin ball jointed versions of some of his most popular fashion doll characters.  Furthermore, the very first 16" resin BJD was to have the Cinderella face.  I practically leapt out of my skin with excitement.  This would surely be the most amazing doll ever made.  The only catch was that this doll would be limited to 125 pieces and would be sold exclusively at the Tonner convention....which I could not afford to attend.  Panic!  Extreme panic!  I have never wanted a doll this badly.  I must have spent days glued to my computer, trying to find a way to buy this doll.  I was rescued by a fellow collector (and convention attendee) whom I shall never forget (thank you, Jennifer!!).  Not only did this dear person buy one of the resin dolls for me, but she knew to alert me when yet another Cinderella face was introduced at the convention (The Blue Fairy).  So.  I am a very lucky person, and the incomparable "Lady G" has graced my collection for the past 4 years:

Tonner-Lady-G-Cinderella
Resin Lady G by Robert Tonner

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Couture Swallow Sybarite by Superdoll

Artists Desmond Lingard and Charles Fegen have been making haute couture for many different doll lines since the start of their fashion design company, Superfrock, Ltd, in 1999.  In 2005, Lingard and Fegen expanded their business to include Superdoll Collectibles, a doll-making operation that introduced the world to a new line of 17" resin ball jointed fashion dolls called the Sybarites.

Sybarite is such a cool and unique name for a doll line.  The online free dictionary tells me that a sybarite is, "a person devoted to pleasure and luxury, a voluptuary."  That first part is very helpful, but a voluptuary?  I have to say, I like that word, but I have never heard it before.  Merriam Webster says that a voluptuary is a person interested in luxury and, "the gratification of sensual appetites." Alrighty then.   That sounds like a good fit for these dolls.

I have the extremely good fortune of owning two Sybarite dolls.  One of them, "Raja," I got on clearance from the now-extinct Haute Doll magazine shop.  When I bought her, Raja was not very popular and was being let go for about $450.  My other Sybarite, who you will meet here, is also a Haute Doll magazine exclusive.  She was limited to 250 (a big edition for these dolls) and retailed for $725.  That's a hefty price for a 17" doll, but some collectors are willing to pay a lot more than that for these haughty fashion divas.

The best way to buy a Sybarite is to join the Superdoll mailing list and be really fast when the new dolls get posted.  Like 5 minutes fast.  If your fingers are fast enough, you'll be one of the lucky 50 or so people who get a new doll for around $500-600.  If you blink and miss the release, you can find Sybarites on eBay most days for around $1,000.  Superdoll actually has a basic doll named Talc still on sale on the website for about $530.

Are they worth the competitive stress and the big price tag?  You tell me.  Meet "Couture Swallow:"


WARNING: Before you take the jump, please be warned that this doll is much edgier than the other dolls I have discussed, both with and without her clothing.  Although I try to keep things tasteful and artistic, the photos are likely not work-appropriate and may not be to everyone's taste.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Joanne Callander's Resin "Fidget" and her Cloth Cousins

I want to show you one of the treasures in my collection and tell you her story.  I love seeing dolls in person before I buy them, and I especially love finding out something new about the doll world.  I saw this doll during a visit to a nearby doll store.  I had never seen anything like her at this store before, and her imploring face kept pulling me back for one more peek.  I'm not sure I would have taken notice of her had I just seen pictures online.  She is so small (about 9 inches tall) and so pale that her features are incredibly difficult to photograph well.

She is "Fidget," a resin BJD (ball jointed doll) made by Joanne Callander:

Resin doll "Fidget," by Joanne Callander.