I was not impressed by the first picture I ever saw of Namu. In fact, I thought he looked like a knock-off. But then I learned that he was a genuine doll of the Pullip line, and was, in fact, Pullip’s first boyfriend. (I learned that here.) The company just hadn’t quite mastered the doll-making craft yet. After I knew he was real, then I became more interested. And eventually I went ahead and bought one off Amazon Marketplace, since he was actually affordable.
The difference between Namu (2004) and the other dolls in my Pullip collection (2009-2013) is quite striking. The plastic he’s made of has a slightly glossy finish, as opposed to the more skin-like matte finish now in use, and it even feels different to the touch. His eye chips aren’t as nicely made, and although his eyes can close, the mechanism had not yet been developed to the point where they can stay closed after you let go of the control.
Though you might not think it, looking at the picture above, it’s almost impossible to get this Namu to stand up. (I don’t know if that’s unique to the Kung Fu Fei Namu, to Namu in general, or if my doll is slightly defective.) His leg joints are so loose that he starts falling over if you put him in a generic doll stand, and even in a new model Pullip stand, it’s a challenge and a half to get him to balance. (The metal stand he came with is too narrow-mouthed to go around his waist.)
As to his face, it’s very angular, much more so than Taeyang’s. His face-up is considerably less detailed than those displayed by more recent dolls, as well. His hair is a bit sparse, but most of it’s covered with his hat, so that doesn’t matter as much. His clothes are one of the two high points here; they’re really nice, made of a patterned material that both looks exactly right for the garment and works nicely with his skin tone.
His accessories are a great highlight, too. The glasses have lenses and fold up just like real glasses…but because of the size of his head, they’re larger than his nunchaku! He also comes with a couple of nikuman, for whatever reason. (He’s holding one in the upper picture.) He even came with a promotional image for a Pullip about to be (or newly) released at the time of his own release.
That particular Pullip was one of the ones that got revisited later in the Regeneration line, I believe. They’ve never revisited any of Namu’s costumes, though, have they? Maybe there’s a reason for that:
While a certain amount of the height discrepancy in the comparison shots above is due to the different stands, I think they did make the Taeyang’s body a little bigger when they upgraded it from the clunky joints of the Namu body. (Or maybe they never upgraded it. I dunno. Both my Taeyangs are 100% covered, and I don’t want to wreck up their costumes by removing them to inspect their joints.) The second comparison shot gives you a good idea of how much the eyes needed to improve: there’s a window past the eye chip into Namu’s head when you look at him profile!
You can see how ugly his ankle joints are in this last photo.
Anyway, would I get another Namu, given the chance? It would depend on the Namu. There weren’t many made, and only a few of them look like they’d be worth having. And two of those were limited edition sets with a matching Pullip, of which only 300 were made. Even if I could find those, they’d cost at least an arm and a leg. That being said, if I did find those sets at a price I felt I could afford, I would totally get them.
(It seems important to note here that I did think this one looked like he was worth having even before buying him. I like his costume, as I said. I wouldn’t have bought him just so I could say “I have a Namu!” Though I have to admit that I like the completionism of having a Namu. Having the whole Pullip family represented in one’s collection is a very cool thing…)