I’m turning 40 tomorrow. I will officially be “Over the hill” or about half way through the average life expectancy. Although I know plenty of people in my own family who are well into their 90s and approaching even 100. So I think that hill should not be until you’re 50, but nonetheless, society is about to brand me as an old woman. Not only an old woman, but an old woman who plays video games. But that’s OK, because as I’ve gotten older, I have learned to stop caring what society thinks. I remember clearly, the day I turned 25. I’m pretty sure I had a quarter-life crisis. I cried all day and told my family that it meant that I had to give up everything I loved, my toys, my games, cosplaying, anime, etc. I don’t know why, but I suddenly felt shame for my hobbies. Games and anime and cosplay were popular with teenagers and early 20something year olds, but I didn’t know of anyone 25+ who enjoyed those things. Even my closest friends who used to play games with me, had long since moved on to other more adult hobbies.
About 3 weeks ago I saw Parabox Otohime on facebook in a doll group where members share photos or post buy/sale posts or ask questions about asian ball jointed dolls. Someone was asking a general question about Otohime. I had never seen or heard of this doll before, although I’m no stranger to Parabox, with my first Parabox doll being Obitsu Gretel back in 2006(ish). I was immediately intrigued because she’s so big.
Fast forward to today when my Parabox Otohime arrived. I decided to spend most of the evening after work, photographing my new doll. I did a box opening video that you can watch also if it ever finishes uploading.
I used Japan Doll Direct to order a Dollfie Dream Choice boy doll in their tan skin. I used website Dollfie Star Choice to view all the different heads and make-up options. Link here: https://dollfiestarchoice.blogspot.com/
I settled on DCH-16 with M01 makeup.
A few things.
1.) It is very expensive. Dream Choice is a system provided by Volks at 2 or 3 of their stores in Japan. You have to either physically visit the Volks stores or use a Proxy – a person living in Japan who can go to the store for you. There are additional fees – because proxys are a type of business model. There are limited heads and eyes and hands and wigs and skin tones available only through this Dream Choice system.
I have previously reviewed the DBS 1/3 body (larger doll body). And demonstrated how it can be used with a Dollfie Dream Head. The DBS 1/3 body is only available in a pale white color and is best suited for hybriding with the Dollfie Dream Semi White heads.
The problem was I had a lot of Dollfie Dream Fresh (or Flesh) (Normal Color) Heads… and not enough bodies for them… So one Fresh head was always on a pale body and just didn’t look right.
Most recently it’s been my DDP Ribbon head on the 1/3 DBS body because I had a custom Fresh head that looked cute on the DDP body. The DDP body is really floppy but that’s a review for another day lol.
A year has passed now since my first recast dolls arrived, and I have bought many other Recast BJD since then.
View this post on Instagram
My new #recastbjd #recastminifee #minifeesarang #minifee #sarang #recastfriendly #abjd #bjd #doll from #chinabjd.
I make all of my recast purchases from Chinabjd on Aliexpress and would recommend them to anyone looking to own a recast ABJD.
I have over 20 legit dolls, and a handful (but rapidly increasing amount) of recasts, mostly fairyland minifees (although I own some legit minifees too).
View this post on Instagram
My #recastbjd #minifeemio #minifee #mio got a new outfit yesterday. #recastfriendly #kawaii #cute #chinabjd #doll #dolls #bjd #abjd #dollfairyland #fairyland #dollphotography #bjdphotography #abjdphotography
When I first wrote my lengthy informative piece about Pros and Cons of Recast ABJD, it was mostly just research and not much first hand experience. So I thought I’d follow it up with a new post, a year later, to see how my own personal experiences went in regards to owning a recast.
All photos sprinkled in here are of my recast dolls except at the end I share another alternative that is not recast, but can help you save money, and I actually prefer that over recast, but you’ll have to stay til the end to see that :).
View this post on Instagram
#littlemimi #mimi #mimisworld #mimiscafe #catcafe #cats #dolls #toys #doll #lati #latidoll #cute #kawaii #bjd my latidoll Luna is a recast. #recastbjd #recastfriendly
They had a soft launch of Mirai Anniversary and Gaia Complete Cortex dolls earlier this month, which I completely missed.
I am anxious to see what the prices will be on the 13th when the official launch begins.
The vinyl version Smart Dolls cost 52,000 yen, which is approximately $475 USD. For those not familiar with Japanese import dolls, such as Asian ball-jointed dolls or Dollfie Dream, this price may seem shocking. However, for those who are already collecting other similar dolls, these prices are quite reasonable.
I’ve long wanted a Smart Doll myself, but have been waiting to purchase, wanting to see how much cost savings the Cortex version will provide.
The dolls aren’t exactly the same. The Cortex version will have seam lines and gaps and other imperfections. But if the savings justifies the quality differences, I’m all for waiting for the Cortex dolls. I’m completely in the dark here as to what it will cost so I don’t even want to begin to speculate in this blog post.
The official site has much more info about the differences between the various materials that Smart Doll uses for manufacturing.
A few days ago Pre-orders opened for a Hybrid Cortex officially licensed Idol [email protected] Smart Doll modeled after Mika Jougasaki. Of course it sold out quickly. Due to being an officially licensed character, this Hybrid Cortex doll actually cost much more than the vinyl versions of Smart Dolls own characters. So that’s not a very good indicator of how much the Smart Doll Complete Cortex version will cost when it launches next month. We will just have to wait and see.
Are you excited about Smart Doll Complete Cortex Dolls? Do you prefer Vinyl? Waiting for the Model Kits? Share your dolls with us in the comments below.
Around Christmas time I bought myself a “Dream Fairy Doll” on Aliexpress – At the time it was on sale, $59.99 for fullset. I bought it mostly for the outfit as I didn’t care that much for the face. But I figured the outfit alone was worth $59.99 and free shipping.
She comes with a faceup, shoes, socks, underwear, dress, accessories, 2 pairs of hands, rooted hair head (not a wig sadly), eyes, and even a painted manicure on one set of her hands. And she’s huge at 62 cm.
She was packaged very nicely and the doll and her dress are high quality.
From my understanding, and what other people have told me, Dream Fairy Dolls are not Recast, they are a cheap ABS doll similar to Hujoo but cheaper. I don’t really care if it is recast because I’m pro recast or recast friendly, but I know a lot of people are pro artist / anti-recast. So they should know that (from what I understand) Dream Fairy is not a recast which makes it a good solution for a cheap doll body for anyone regardless of where you stand on the recast debate.
It is no longer on sale, and now ranges $89-$100 for a full set, or you can get just the body for around $35. I would recommend waiting for a sale. Aliexpress has sales pretty frequently. I’m betting some dolls will go on sale in a few weeks for Valentine’s Day or in a few months again for Easter. $100 is still pretty cheap for a fullset non-recast doll. But they have sales like super often. By time you read this it may be on sale again.
The following URLs can help you find Dream Fairy Dolls – or you can do a search for Dream Fairy 1/3 in dolls on Aliexpress.
Here is a link to the doll I purchased on Aliexpress:
There are numerous different styles of Dream Fairy Fullsets – here are a few more:
What I noticed though is perhaps the best / most exciting part about these dolls. While browsing facebook, I came across someone selling a dollfie dream body and I noticed that the neck piece looked similar to my Dream Fairy neck piece.
This got me thinking… Could a Volks Dollfie Dream head fit on my Dream Fairy Doll Body? I decided to try a little experiment… And discovered that yes, it fits without needing any kind of attachment.
Note: Some dolls that are listed as “Dream Fairy” are not Dream Fairy – you have to be careful to read the descriptions fully – for example, icy dolls and Dairy Queen / Diary Queen dolls are often listed as Dream Fairy and they have different neck pieces. When in doubt look for the one in my blog post in the pink dress with yellow hair. It for sure has the right neck piece as of time of this blog posting. Of course manufacturers sometimes make changes to their designs if parts/prices change in the future to maximize their profits or improve their dolls.
For my experiment, I bought the DDH10 head from www.VolksUSA.com – Blank heads are available for around $40. So for under $95 you can basically have a Dollfie Dream. The Dream Fairy doll body probably isn’t as flexible, good at posing, or as stable/sturdy as a Dollfie Dream, but for $59, when the Dollfie Dream is about $400 for a body – the Dream Fairy Doll presents a good option for those who can’t afford a Dollfie Dream.
It is not a good color match, the head I bought was a DDH10 Semiwhite. I wonder if just white would have been better.
Also I am a super bad faceup artist – sorry for my amateur work.
And I couldn’t find my MSC Mr. Superclear – I used a can of krylon topcoat that my grandma had… Don’t ever use it on dolls – in my opinion it dries sticky – Even a week later, and I did stand back and only use short quick sprays – and due to the stickyness – it picks up hairs and dirt. And I think it has a slightly yellow hue. If you look at the back of my head with the neck/body the color match isn’t as bad.
The color match is worse with the flash of your camera… (FYI Flash was on in the picture above showing back of head – and it’s STILL not THAT bad – so I think a lot of the yellowness is from the krylon I used for the sealant.) Here are some more photos with and without flash. You’ll see the yellow hue I mention below.
Anyways, having seen that my experiment in creating a hybrid was a success aside from my awful faceup skills, I bought a custom DDH2 head from Buyee.jp and waiting on it to arrive. They are a proxy bidding service for Y! Auctions Japan, Yahoo Japanese auctions.
Even with the proxy fees and international shipping, it was cheaper than I could find any second hand or custom dollfie heads for in the states. I paid about the equivalent of $108 for the head + insurance/package inspection (could have saved about 6 dollars without the insurance, but it was worth the peace of mind, because if there is a problem, the proxy can communicate with the seller in Japanese to resolve any issues).
The proxy just received my package today, with no issues, and I paid about $20 for shipping and handling – cheaper options existed but this one was reasonably priced and said it will arrive in 2-4 days.
So I paid about $130 for the head + shipping + insurance + tracking — which isn’t bad. If you look on Etsy and Facebook and elsewhere rarely do you see a custom head going for that cheap. Most of the custom heads that I see on Etsy are $200+. Especially if they’ve been heavily modded like mine to have mouth parts or sanding/reshaped.
I will use Buyee again in the future. Also for those wondering, someone told me that the auction was from a popular Japanese instagram faceup artist named doll a holic. Some of you may want to check out their instagram here. https://www.instagram.com/doll__a__holic/
So that’s how I am now the owner of 2 dollfie dream hybrids – I will eventually buy another dream fairy body for the other head – but until then they can easily share the one body. the head just squeezes/slides/wiggles over the neck attachment that looks kinda like a grooved pe— err p–iece of male anatomy 🙂 lol.
PS: someone on Instagram asked me if the hands are changeable – I believe the answer is yes. It came with an extra pair of hands which seem to be using a “peg” system. See photo of the extra hands below:
Will it work with Volks hands parts? I dunno – I am tempted to find out.. I believe it will work with this item which on one end has a long peg and the other end has a ball joint and “square” type attachment, and then you order extra hands that I assume slip over / snap onto the square like piece?
I may buy a few and try out this theory – I will update this once I know for sure if it will work, but looks like a strong possibility just from the photos. – They could probably be sanded or cut and/or lengthened/plumped with clay etc if the pegs are too thick or thin or too long or short.
There are a lot of cute hand attachments. The internal piece and all of the attachments can be purchased from Volks at the following page:
OMG… I want to do this. (Maybe Next Year – I don’t have Vacation Time left this year since I will be going to Peru this summer) Their next tour is in just a few weeks, and seems to only happen once a year, in March coinciding with the International Anime Festival AnimeJapan.
Visiting Japan is my life long dream. (sadly, mostly just so I can go shopping for anime, game, and doll stuff lol. Although I do want to do the museums and cherry blossoms and hot springs and other cultural things too – though mostly, I’m just a big geeky nerd who loves anime and wants to go shopping – which is what this whole tour is designed for <3)
It’s not that much money (well OK it is, but it’s cheaper than I expected honestly). Guided 6 Day Anime Tour in Japan which includes hotels and Guides through all the “anime” spots in Japan (since I can’t speak Japanese a Guide would be helpful…)
Only $1,500 a person, includes hotels for each day. I’d just have to have airfare, and LOTTTTTTTTSSSSS of money for food and shopping. Like seriously I’d probably want to have another $1,000 with me just for shopping lol. If I buy a dollfie dream or custom volks doll or something that’d eat half that budget right there. Then there’s all kinds of cheap (but cute) dolls / toys / figurines, etc.
I wouldn’t want to go by myself either – I would hope my boyfriend would go with me but if not then I’m pretty sure that I could find a friend or family member to take… If I had to pay for both of us that’s $3,000… The tour includes several meals but I’d need money for more meals (Let’s say $100 a day food budget X 5 days $500) Airfaire is probably close to $1,000 a person too So not counting shopping expenses I’d need $5,500… I want to mainly go shopping so I’d want at least $1,000 for shopping for myself that’s $6,500…. which still… isn’t that bad because of all the things this tour includes.
This tour includes all of the Ghibli and other museums, the largest anime stores, and even admission to an anime convention for one day. OMG and an anime theme park another day… OMG it includes real life mario kart racing too…. omg…
The number 1 place I want to visit actually isn’t on this tour – that place is Doll Point Akihabara – Volks store where you can buy Dollfie Dreams and Asian Balljointed Dolls and Accessories – including some items available only in the store and not sold online. But that’s OK because the tour gives you free time in the evening and one free day where you’re on your own without a guide.
My dream / life goal / bucket list… lol…
Now that I have my passport I can actually do stuff like this O_O!!! Now I just need money (lots of money) (and to wait for my vacation time again lol).
- 6 DAYS
- 5 nights accommodation
- 7 MEALS
- 5 breakfasts
- All transport shown