A Dolly Rant.

So, I’ve seen a few things that have irritated me lately related to dolls, and I figure this is probably the best place, my personal blog, to rant about it. Rest assured though this has nothing to do with fandom.

I’ve noticed this for a while now since I’ve spent some time on TaoBao, but it’s only recently come to really bother me, and that is the fact that sellers on TaoBao jack up their prices in their English language shops. Take for example this skirt and top set in a Taobao shop (whose name I am witholding for search reasons but you can find out easily enough on your own). The list price is 88 Chinese yuan as you can see below.


88 yuan is roughly $14.19 based on the last check of the exchange rate, which you can easily find out by just googling “_insert number_ yuan to USD”. Google actually has a built in exchange rate calculator that pops up that will even show you the exchange rate trends from the past few years.


Now above we have the exact same item in this particular seller’s English language store and it’s listed as being $39. ( ಠ ಠ ) Yeaaaaah….Now I will give them the benefit that they offer “free shipping” on all their goods. Usually this just means they have calculated the price of shipping into the goods, and this is fine, I have no problem with that, but we all know that a small mailer packet for two pieces of doll clothes is not going to be $25.

Now I am willing to pay good money for quality goods, but I am going to have to say that I had purchased from the above seller in the past and for the quality of item I would have been better off to have bought from an independent crafter on etsy who had a better quality product at a better price.

So now that I’ve had it out, I hope you will be a smart shopper and stop patronizing stores who jack up the prices for Western customers because they think they can get away with it. Go buy instead from independent crafters or doll companies with with good customer service and fair and equitable pricing globally.

Getting my grail doll – Unoa Lusis!! :D

As I eluded to in my earlier post, I ordered my grail doll, a Unoa Lusis off of the Mandarake site. She’s been paid for and now I’m just waiting for a shipping notification. She’s going to be a little bit of a fixer-upper since her face-up is pretty bad looking and she’s had some unnatural pink body blushing, but never the less I am very excited!! The pic to the left is what Mandarake had on their site, and yes, she will totes come with an extra faceplate and small bust part for a price of only 45000 yen!! She will however have some yellowing, but from what I understand after reading about other people’s secondhand dolly purchases with Mandarake is that the dolls always appear better in person and yellowing is minimal (it’s just their photos that are poor). I really don’t care much if the doll has mellowed, afterall I’m pretty sure that my AE Yara has yellowed, but she still has a natural looking creamy beige skintone that’s even, and I think no less of her for it.

I don’t know if it seems strange, but for some reason I’m doubly excited to get a secondhand doll. I think it’s because when you get a brand new doll fresh from the factory there is this “newness factor” that comes into play and it makes me super reluctant to do anything to the doll. I swear for the first month I had Sona I didn’t even want to take off her wig!! XD With a secondhand doll I feel much more comfortable with the idea of taking her apart, cleaning and sanding and blushing and etc…. Right now my big excitement aside from getting the doll sculpt I’ve always admired but never thought I could afford or acquire, is that I plan to customize the doody out of her and make her as beautiful as possible! By customize though I mean blushing and face-up, not actually modifications, because I think Unoas are the most perfect dolls out there and need no modding. One of the great things about a Unoa is that their sculpt is so beautiful that even a terrible face-up can’t hide the beauty of the inherent sculpt. Often with other dolls I find that the face-up can so drastically change the look of the doll as to make me reconsider a sculpt. With Unoas that doesn’t happen…of course maybe it’s that I have probably looked through every Unoa on flickr and studied them with great care. I’m sure there are other people who feel as passionate about their own favorite sculpt though.

Well, enough of this random crooning over Unoas, it’s time to ferry my mother about town since she has been cooped up since her knee surgery. You can expect more postings about my new Lusis when she finally arrives!! Yay! So exicted! XD~

Website “Window Shopping” XD – Mandarake

So I guess I’m “re-discovering” Mandarake after hearing someone gush about a new dolly purchase they made through them. Considering I’m always late to the party it seems, I’m sure everyone knows about this place, but if you don’t then keep reading, heck keep reading even if you do know cause it’s fun! 😀

I had already known about Mandarake and in fact I had ordered used manga from them back in the day when I was a more avid collector of manga. Apparently however back then I never bothered with any other sections of their site, and in truth I was not much interested in dolls back then either. Now that I am revisiting I am discovering they have this huge inventory of pre-owned toys and dolls, that I have been happily browsing for about an hour. In my idle browsing I have discovered that they sell a great deal of second hand Pullips, Dals and Blythes among other things. The Pullips and such though I found surprising because for example I saw a hard to find old Namu doll still in his box going for about $80ish, and an old Pullip Street going for a little less. Now I know that many collectors have paid quite a lot more for those dollies before, and even presuming you tack on EMS shipping, I think you’ll still pay less than you would finding those dolls on the secondhand market here in the US. With this said I think it’s possible to get a good dolly deal if you know what you’re looking for and keep track of the going market.

Aside from finding the occasional bargain, Mandarake also appears to have lots of vintage doll goods. There’s plenty of old school Liccas and Jennies to go around as well as a bunch of older dolls I don’t even recognize. Of course Mandarake knows when they have a good vintage item, so there will be no bargains there….then again I don’t know the going rate for a lot of those types of dolls, so I could be wrong. There’s also a ton of other little toys and knick knacks piled onto those pages, for example I just came across an old 50s bunka style doll, and a cute little egg shaped dollhouse chair, all for reasonable prices and I know it’s nothing I can never find around here. So basically if you have time to kill and some spare moo-lah in your wallet you might go have a browse to see what you can see. 😉

Fufufu….to be honest I’m scouting for something in particular, but I’m gonna keep quiet about it so I don’t jinx anything. 😉 Here is the link: http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/ enjoy! <3

Oh dear, more beautiful MSD

It’s been a while since my last posting, and as usual I’ve been busy with my comic work, or more recently struggling with sleep issues. Anyhow I’ve gotten the dolly bug again, for better or worse, lol. I remember reading about Dreaming Doll’s MSD girls Misora and Airi a while back on BJD Collectasy and I remember being super impressed with them, especially Misora, however I was not in a position at that time to purchase a doll. Though considering dolls are a luxury item and in this bad economy is there really ever a time when we’re in a good position to buy a doll? XD I guess the money I’ve been sitting on in my bank account has begun to burn a hole through it’s virtual wall, because I find myself going dolly window shopping again (which is usually a precursor to buying ^^;;;). So it is now that I have rediscovered these fine MSD ladies.

I think I really like Misora the best, but it might just be the dark eyes and cute wig that are drawing me in, as I have a thing for dark eyes. I haven’t been able to dig up too many owner pics of them yet because they are still fairly new on the scene AND everyone seems very taken with Airi, who is also darling with her little teefers. The thing that puts me off Airi though is it seems her eye fills her whole socket so they just look like black pits. HOWEVER, I did find some owner pictures of her where a girl tried 12mm eyes instead of 14mm which seemed to solve that problem, and it put Airi in a new light for me. Anyway the current free shipping offer is tempting along with the fact that they have a lot of TTYA and Nine Style clothing available for purchase on their site. Oh but derp, do I really need another MSD girl? On the one hand, they’ve got clothes and wigs to share, on the other hand, they are MSD and thus can’t play in the dollhouse. XD I’ll dwell on it a little more and hope the free shipping bonus doesn’t go away too soon!

EDIT: I just looked back through my older posts to see when I last purchased a doll and I came to realize that it appears I’ve been buying a doll a year since 2010, except in 2011 I bought Ash and my Brownie. With that said, I guess I’m due for a doll purchase, lol. XD

Dolly Find – Itty Bitty Clippies XD

When I was at Target the other day, I happened to notice that they have these teeny-tiny hair clips in now. You can find these in the main hair accessories/brushes aisle, which in Midwestern Target stores are located across from the shampoo. Anyway these are the smallest clips I’ve ever seen there, and they work very well for tiny BJD, and are also cute on MSD sized dolls. I haven’t tried them on any SD sized dolls yet since I only have a boy doll who does not cross-dress. XP Back to business though, these tiny hair clips are made by Goody, and they are part of their girl’s line. You get 18 clips per pack, and they are not very expensive at around $2.50 per pack.

Well, happy shopping!