Calling any “Revolutionary Girl Utena” Fans!

Desperate help is needed from fellow Utena fans!

There’s a Kickstarter going on right now for some really awesome enamel pins.  I’m not asking anyone to back them, though.  (Although if you like enamel pins and anime, you probably don’t want to miss these!)

From Kickstarter campaign. Click for link.

The pins are already fully funded, and they’ve unlocked the four designs shown above (in silhouette and skintone versions), which is all the campaign originally had planned.  So now there’s a vote for what the fifth and final design will be.

And this is where everyone else comes in.  The update with the poll is actually for backers only, so I can’t send you to it, which is a bit awkward.  I’ll just pass on the links contained within it, then.  The artist’s also polling on Instagram and Facebook, where I can’t vote, as I don’t have accounts with either site.

So, if anyone out there is on Instagram and Facebook and feels generous with their time, I’d like to beg them to go and vote for the Utena/Anthy pin to be the last design.

Because I totally need it.

I mean, like, to the point that as soon as I saw the first image, I thought “yeah, but if you’re doing stained glass, you should be doing Utena!”

(Yes, this has been utterly selfish and possibly a violation of the rules of the vote.  What’s your point?)

(LOL, you could also take up the grass roots plea for a Toya/Yukito design.  One person mentioned that as their true choice, and now at least two more of us have said “yup, I’d buy that.”)


Happy Leap Day!

Leap Year Day?  Well, Happy 29th of February, whatever you wanna call that! :p

"Happy Birthday, onii-chan!"
“Happy Birthday, onii-chan!”

Yep, the 29th of February is the birthday of one Toya Kinomoto.  Sadly, I have no toys of Toya, so all I can do is show Sakura-chan wishing her big brother a happy birthday.  (With Kero-chan hiding behind her, because he wasn’t about to miss any opportunities to sneak some cake.)

So, if Toya only has his birthday once every four years, doesn’t that make him younger than Sakura?  When the manga starts, he’s sixteen and she’s twelve…but he’s only had four birthdays in all that time, right?

(Unfortunately, due to poor lighting and not having time to clear away much space, this sad image is the best photo I can provide.  The shadow on the backdrop is particularly lamentable…unless Sakura’s just used the “Giant” card, or whatever it was called… (considering her fantasy in the very first chapter of the manga, that would actually be rather appropriate…))

Technically, the uniform is supposed to be Tomoyo-chan’s, but I still haven’t gotten a body (or wig) for her yet, so there was no harm in Sakura “borrowing” it. 😛

Dolly Barrettes and Other Resiny Stuff

So, I finally got some pictures taken of my dolls with their homemade barrettes in place.  I’ll start off with the doll who inspired the whole project:

Barbara, beautiful in red
Barbara, beautiful in red

There’s something else to see here, before I get to my barrettes, though.  See?  She’s got new shoes:

barrettes 2

They’re a little bit large for her, being intended for Blythes, but as long as you don’t get this close, they look fine. 😛  They’re by MissBlythe2012 on Etsy.  The important thing is, they match her lovely dress, and they aren’t Barbie pumps, so they’re not going to break.  (Seriously, the white Barbie shoes she was wearing in the earlier shot of her in this dress?  One of them developed a fracture running through it.  All I can think is that they’re not designed to hold up the weight of a Pullip head.)  I don’t have a lot of other red clothes — though they might look nice with Romana’s stock outfit, now that I think about it — but since the red looks so good with the tanned skin tone, I’ll just have to get more red clothes for Barbara and Selina.

barrettes 3

Anyway, here’s the barrette that started this new application of my resin stuff.  Or rather, the barrette whose need started the…well, anyway, the shade of red isn’t quite right, being a bit too dark, but it still looks a lot better than that Monster High barrette did.  And it holds her hair out of her face, which is the important part. :p

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New Wigs

I finally got those photos taken! 😀  So before I get to the two new wigs, it occurs to me that I haven’t shown you Mei-lin’s new wig, which arrived at the same time as Sakura’s.  I still haven’t figured out how to style it, though. 😦

Mei-lin's ready to fight!
Mei-lin’s ready to fight!

It occurs to me that I forgot to credit the Etsy shop where I got Sakura’s wig, so let me fix that error now:  Sakura’s and Mei-lin’s wigs came from fatiao, and they’re very nice wigs.  A tiny bit large for these heads, but the ones from the Junky Spot were a tiny bit small, so…these heads are apparently exceptionally hard to wig correctly.  (Truthfully, the ideal solution would be to root them.  But that would require skill and patience, two things I have none of.  Well, no, I have some patience.  I just don’t have the time.)

Moving on, meet my Parabox/Azone hybrid Li Syaoran:

new wigs 1

Since Syaoran isn’t really a big smile kind of guy, I was going more for a shouting mouth than a smiling one.  (Not sure if that worked out too well or not…)  He’s got big, chunky eyebrows, ’cause Syaoran has big, chunky eyebrows in the manga/anime.  The wig is by evali905, and it looked a bit more Syaoran-like on the seller’s model doll…in part because it actually fit that doll. 😛  It’s slightly larger than the wigs on Sakura and Mei-lin, so it rolls around a bit on his head.  (Yeah, I’m going to do something to make it move around less.  I just haven’t decided what yet.  Velcro, maybe.)

If I’m not careful in dealing with his hat (which is now waaaaaay too small), his hair does this:

new wigs 2

Suddenly he’s gone from being Syaoran to being Ascot!  (Although, actually, I seem to recall my first reaction to Syaoran was to go “look out, it’s Ascot!”)  Anyway, I think the way to fix the hat issue is to cut it open at the back and widen it.  Though that’ll probably look pretty bad, too.  Technically, I think I need to have a new one made, but…no idea where, when or by whom, y’know?

Anyway, there was one more wig that winged its way here from the other side of the world:

new wigs 3

The wig is by FlowerZero, and it’s a nice wig (though a tiny bit thin in the bangs), but I misread the size:  I thought this was going to be big enough for Juliet to wear.  Instead it’s so small that just getting it on Hayley was a struggle.

Back view
Back view

Since this wig was too small for Juliet, I had to order her another wig. 😦  This time I hedged my bets and ordered two.  And they’re specifically Pullip-sized, so they will fit.  They just might not look good, because Pullip bangs might be too long for her.  We’ll just have to see what happens when they get here.

Tomorrow will be a Silent Sunday post (not sure what, yet, but I’ve got a few random photos stockpiled for such occasions) so Monday I’ll post about the stuff I found at Target the other day.

Sakura-chan, more or less completed

So I finally got the face finished up on my Azone/Parabox hybrid doll of Sakura Kinomoto.  I decided to start her off in the iconic pink dress, the one I bought the Japanese bendy doll to get my hands on.  Which meant opening the doll’s package, of course.  And it was so much easier to open than the American version!  (Yeah, I did open the boxed Syaoran to get his clean clothes and sword.  Though the sword’s actually too heavy for the Azone’s loose limbs to hold up, unfortunately.  I can’t show pictures yet, though, ’cause his wig hasn’t gotten here.  I’ll show him as soon as he has hair.  Right now he looks more like Aang cosplaying as Syaoran…)

Sakura-chan 1

So, here’s the bendy-doll version, with her staff and Kero-chan sitting at her feet.  (Her stand is surprisingly effective.  I may end up using it for all sorts of dolls in the future…)  I was surprised when I opened her package, because there was a card behind her in the package:

Sakura-chan 3

And on the back of the card…

Sakura-chan 4
Mini Clow Card!

So I wonder if the later costumes that come with Sakura’s Star Wand have cards with Sakura Card backs instead of Clow Card backs?  (If I ever see one available on Mandarake, I will so be getting it…)

Now, moving on, here’s my hybrid Sakura doll, wearing the outfit, gloves and all:

Sakura-chan 5

So long as she’s not wearing(?) her splay-fingered hands, she can wear her mittens gloves, but — somewhat annoyingly — her holding hands can’t hold her staff through the gloves.  I had to take her gloves back off to have her hold anything.

Sakura-chan 7

The staff was actually a little thick for her holding hands, and getting the cards to balance there was really difficult.  I think I need to trim off the holding loop on the staff.

Sakura-chan 8

Now, finally, here’s a side-by-side of the two dolls’ faces:

Sakura-chan 2 Sakura-chan 6

And once again I failed to get the faces the same size in the pictures. 😦  Also, I still did a terrible job with the eyes.  (The eyebrows are even worse, lemme tell ya.  Fortunately, her bangs mostly hide them.)  At some point, if I ever have a lot of money to spare, I think I need to pay someone to paint proper faces on these dolls.  Because my faces really suck.  The mouths aren’t too bad (though I think Mei-lin’s may have turned out better than Sakura’s, sadly), but the trimmed-down eye decals really look awful. 😦  On the plus side, this wig is really nice. 😀  It’s just the right color, and although it’s a bit simpler than Sakura’s real hair, it’s close enough that it doesn’t feel wrong.  I’m still trying to figure out how to style Mei-lin’s hair, though….

Dal Ciel, Robin version

Before the main attraction of this post, I have some other stuff to say and show.

Firstly, you may have noticed that there was no “Wordless Wednesday” post yesterday (nor, in fact, any post at all).  The thing is, there’s a couple of spambots addicted to the “Wordless Wednesday” tag, and I was getting really tired of having their garbled comments arriving in my spam queue four or five times a week.  So I deleted the tag, and will not be doing “Wordless Wednesday” posts anymore.  There’s a similar thing called “Silent Sundays,” so I’ll try doing that, and hope that there aren’t any spambots targeting that tag.  And I didn’t post this yesterday to say so because I was just having a really lousy afternoon, and didn’t trust myself to communicate with other human beings, lest I say something horrible.

So that was the say, now here’s the show.  The Junky Spot order came in at the same time as Ciel (quite literally, as Ciel had been sent UPS rather than USPS) so I’ve been able to start on Pyrrha’s face-up now that I have MSC (no previews, though), and I got the two wigs I’d ordered, so I can show you the dolls now.

I’ll start with Mei-lin, but her hair isn’t properly styled.

Mei-lin, the Azone/Parabox hybrid version
Li Mei-lin, the Azone/Parabox hybrid version

I like how her mouth turned out, but I had horrible trouble getting the picture taken, because for some reason both of these boy bodies have the most unbelievably loose joints.  Seriously, they’re on Pyrrha’s level of floppy here, which is so odd, because the female body that currently has the Licca-chan Yuki Miku head has very tight joints.  (Fortunately, I got these two boy bodies direct from Japan, so put together they cost about the same as the female one, so at least I didn’t pay as much for them.)

Now, as to why her hair isn’t styled yet:  the wig is the wrong size.  The Junky Spot said that this size was the right one for all the Parabox heads up to those intended for a 27 cm doll, and this head was intended for a 21-23 cm doll, so I figured it was the right size.  But it’s actually a bit too small; if I try to style it, it just pops right off.  Very frustrating.  I ordered another, slightly larger wig off of Etsy, but until it gets here, Mei-lin’s hair is just gonna have to be loose like this.

Ciel 2

Sadly, Mei-lin’s a bit been my “do-over” doll in this Cardcaptor Sakura line.  Her eyebrows — which you can’t see right now, due to her bangs — don’t quite match, and around her mouth you can see faint traces of an earlier, larger mouth that I drew with colored pencil on the untreated head, and then could not entirely erase, and even sanding failed to remove it completely.  (Apparently watercolor pencil directly on a Parabox head is a recipe for disaster.  I won’t make the mistake again, but…)  Then there’s her eye decals.  To give the dolls big eyes like the original characters, I used the largest eyes on the decal sheet, but they were too wide.  Since there’s actually very little whites in the eyes of the original characters, I just trimmed off most of the whites.  (And that’s what it looks like was done on the dolls from the late ’90s, I might add.)  I’m not sure I trimmed them quite right, but it’s passable.  However, you see the slight triangle of lightish color to the right of her right pupil?  That’s an air bubble under the decal.  That was not there when I sealed the decals in place.  The thing is that these Parabox heads are not fully compatible with the Azone bodies.  Specifically, the holes on these particular heads are so small that you have to do a lot of squishing of the head to get it on the neck plug.  Thus was this air bubble introduced underneath the eye decal.  Again, I’ll know better next time.  (Or rather, I’ve already put Syaoran’s head on his body, and have been working on the head while it’s on the body, instead of on the loose head.)

Anyway, comparison of the old one versus mine:

Black Friday 10 Ciel 2

So, bottom line, the mouth is an improvement, the eyes not so much.  Oh, also the body is a huge improvement.  Like, off the charts.  Loose yet properly articulated beats the smeg out of a bendy doll in my book, any day.

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Mandarake Dolly Haul!

So, good news and bad news.  The good news is that the packages waiting at the post office were indeed my massive shipment from Mandarake, and Juliet’s new shirt.  The bad news is that UPS came in the brief window when I went to lunch with my parents, so I missed the Junky Spot order.  (Because of the MSC in the order, I have to be present to sign for it; they can’t leave it on the porch, due to the damage that might be caused to the pressurized components in the can.  Though that’s probably more of an issue in summer than winter…)  Further good news, today’s mail brought the other wig I was waiting on.  Further bad news, the Dal I thought would come today did not.  (I thought the delivery window was Dec. 31-Jan. 4, but maybe it was Jan. 6?  I’ll have to check that…)

So, due to the sheer number of things in the Mandarake order, I’m only posting about the dolls today.  The figurines I’ll probably post about tomorrow.  (I’ve taken the photos — apart from one I should add of another figurine from the same general series that was already in my collection — but it’d make this post too long to add them all here.  Plus it’s time consuming to process all the photos, and I’ll have a long wait tomorrow for the return of the UPS truck.)

I’ll be posting about the dolls in…um…I was going to say rough order of price, but I’m not sure that’s right.  Let’s just go with the more accurate “in the order I photographed them.”  I know the last two were the most expensive, but I’m not sure about the prices of the rest.  (Though I’m sure I could look that up…)

Mandarake Dolls 1
Petit Blythe “Caribbean Jewel”

My very first Takara Petit Blythe!  Until now, all I had in this size category were the Littlest Pet Shop Blythes from a few years back.  (Of which I have a strangely large number…)  She looks a little odd in the package because two of her yarn dreadlocks got caught on her eyelashes, preventing her eyes from opening all the way.  There were several other Petit Blythes in the same sale category; I picked this one because she had a darker skin tone, and because the one with the cool “mod” outfit had really creepy yellow eyes.

Anyway, I had always wondered what the difference was between the Japanese and American tiny Blythes, apart from the sleep-eye feature I knew the Takara version had.  (And yes, I know I could have read someone’s report on the subject, but I’m too lazy to go digging around for reviews that would now be several years old.  Plus it’s always cooler to learn this stuff first hand.)

Comparison time!
Comparison time!

What’s immediately noticeable is the positioning of the head.  (And I’m not talking about how the American one’s head is slightly higher; that’s because of her ice skates.  I picked this one for the comparison shot because she had the darkest skin tone of the Hasbro ones, but I probably should have picked a different one, if I’d thought about the height difference.)  The Takara Petit Blythe seems to be looking downwards, while the LPS Blythe’s face is looking straight forward.  They’ve got different styles of stands — the LPS stand is more like a regular Blythe stand, while the Petit Blythe’s stand has stirrups to hold her feet — and Caribbean Jewel here has painted-on shoes rather than separate shoes, but I suspect that varies within the Petit Blythe line.  (Though I have no basis for that statement…)

The body molds seem to be about the same, except that the LPS Blythe’s limbs are a bit thicker, presumably to make them sturdier for children to play with, since the LPS Blythes are playline dolls, whereas I’d expect the Petit Blythes to be for adult collectors, just like the Neo and Middie Blythes are.  The plastic is also different.  The arms and especially the legs of the Petit Blythe are softer, almost more like vinyl than plastic, whereas the entire body of the LPS Blythe is hard plastic.

Mandarake Dolls 21 Mandarake Dolls 22

The differences in the heads don’t stop at the direction of their gaze.  The Petit Blythe’s head is constructed just like a Neo Blythe’s (and presumably a Middie’s as well); there’s a very visible seam just in front of the ears, and another one at the scalp, so that all her hair is on a separate section, and could (in theory) be easily replaced.  Like a Neo or Middie, the Petit Blythe’s head is shiny, though not quite as shiny as a Neo’s.  The LPS Blythe, on the other hand, has a head that’s a single solid piece of vinyl, and her hair is directly rooted into it, just like on most other American dolls, her head is very matte, and has an almost porous look.

The eyes are also constructed differently, even though the eye chips themselves seem identical.  On the American doll, the lens of the eye is full forward, flush to the edge of the whites, giving her an almost bug-eyed profile, but  putting the irises and pupils of the eyes about where we expect them to be when viewed from the front.  On the Japanese doll, however, the lenses are sunk in below the whites of the eye, which gives a look that’s a little different, and hard for me to describe, but you can see it in the pictures, so maybe I don’t need to describe it, per se.  Presumably, the sunken eye chips on the Petit Blythe are to allow the sleep-eye function.  Additionally, between the sleep-eyes and the slightly downward angle of her face, it’s actually somewhat hard to see her eyes.  I had to hold her eyelashes to force her eyes to stay open so I could get a good look at them.

One more comment, before I move on to the next doll, is that I’m surprised she actually looks better with her rasta hat and yarn dreds; I was sure her looks would be improved by removing them, but it turns out otherwise.  (Maybe if she had more hair underneath the hat…)

Dollcena "Flying Witch Cat"
Dollcena “Flying Witch Cat”

I’ve seen a few of these dolls on Amazon, and had been contemplating one that’s inspired by Lilo & Stitch, but kept feeling the price was a bit high for a doll that was about the same size as a Petit Blythe.  (Though that same complaint actually applies to Petit Blythes most of the time…)  On Mandarake, there were a whole lot more of them.  This was probably the cutest, with the possible exception of the Alice in Wonderland themed one.  (But that one was about $30…)  Looking at this one in the pictures on the site, I wondered what about her was Disney related, and where the “Cat” part of her name came in.


So I guess she’s a Halloween-themed Aristocats tie-in.  Which is weird in all sorts of ways.  Anyway, I believe that kitten’s name is Marie, and even if it isn’t, that’s what I’ve decided to name this doll.

Mandarake Dolls 23

So here’s Marie out of her packaging, and it would be hard for her to be any cuter!  I most definitely made the right call here.  (Though, really, I think it would be hard to go wrong with this line.  They all seemed almost unbearably cute.)  I  only have two complaints.  One, I don’t think I’d be able to get her cape back on her if I cut the thread with which it was stitched on (those black things look like they’re supposed to tie the cape in place, but I’m not so sure it would work), so I can’t show you the cute little white dress underneath.  Two, I think I’d like it better if she didn’t have those cat ears on her witch hat.  But she looks a little off without her hat, in part because of a massive and rather odd case of hat hair.

Like Petit Blythe, she has a sleep-eye feature, and her head is constructed in about the same way, being made of three pieces, the face, the back of the head and the scalp.   Her stand (which is heart-shaped) also holds her in place by means of saddles for her feet, and her shoes are painted on, just like Caribbean Jewel’s.

Mandarake Dolls 24
Comparison time! (Again!)

Since the two dolls had the same height measurement, and since Tomy and Takara are the same company, I had assumed, before seeing one in person, that these Dollcena dolls had the same body as Petit Blythes, and that only the head was different.  That turned out not to be the case.  Since I don’t think I can get Marie’s cape back on her if I remove it, I can’t compare the molds of their torsos, nor can I give a really obvious comparison of their exact height, but I think from looking at this that Marie’s body must be a tinge shorter than the Petit Blythe body, because her head is a bit larger, but their total height seems to be the same.  (I should have taken this photo without their hats on…)  You can also see one of the easily distinguished differences in their bodies in this photo:  Marie is slightly knock-kneed, while the Petit Blythe knees stay well apart.  I had a bit of trouble getting Marie into a sitting position, too; those hip joints don’t move as smoothly as the Petit Blythe hip joints do.  All of Marie’s body seems to be made out of more or less the same hard plastic, which has a slightly different feel to it than the Petit Blythe hard plastic.

Mandarake Dolls 25 Mandarake Dolls 26

Less visible — mostly due to Marie’s cape — is the difference in their hand sculpts.  Marie’s hands are a bit more complexly sculpted than Petit Blythe hands.  Also, both of Marie’s hands are in slightly different poses.  Unfortunately, I really couldn’t get a good shot. 😦  But these little Dollcenas are extremely cute, so I’m sure I’ll be getting another one sooner or later, and I should be able to get good pictures then.

CharaDoll Selection "Fuu"
CharaDoll Selection “Hououji Fuu”

With all the CLAMP dolly activity lately as I’ve been trying to get my revamped Cardcaptor Sakura dolls assembled, is it any wonder that I decided to snap up this Magic Knight Rayearth doll?  (Weird thing:  I went to Wikipedia to confirm Fuu’s last name, and while I was at it, I went to the page about the characters to check out their seiyuu, since the anime credits didn’t say.  And I had never picked up on the fact that all the cast (other than the three heroines and Mokona) were named after cars.  I mean, I’d noticed that in the case of Geo Metro, one of Eagle’s subordinates in the second arc, ’cause that’s kind of obvious, especially since my brother used to drive a Geo Metro, but apparently that’s the case for everyone.  I have no idea why Cephiro would be so connected to Earth’s automobile manufacturing industry, but…)


At this time, I’m not planning on de-boxing Fuu.  She doesn’t look all that well made, and without the other two Magic Knights, what would be the point?  (Even if I did have them, what would be the point of having Fuu without Ferio?  And Hikaru without Lantis?  And Umi without…okay, actually Umi probably wouldn’t much care about the absence of Ascot…)  I do plan on keeping my eyes open for the other two at reasonable prices, though.  (In other words, watching what “new” dolls come in at Mandarake…)

CharaDoll Section "Li Kohran"
CharaDoll Section “Li Kohran”

My history with Sakura Wars (or Sakura Taisen, depending on which localization you’re looking at of which product) is somewhat spotty.  Almost none of the games have been localized, and I never actually finished the solitary game that was brought over.  (It was my own fault:  I tried to listen to every branch of every conversation, and burned myself out before I’d even gotten to the third battle.)  TokyoPop abandoned the translation of the manga adaptation of the original game before finishing it, and when I tried to watch the anime adaptation of the original game, I rage quit very early on, because ADV was being a blockheaded moron about subtitles for song lyrics.  (The heroines pilot giant robots by night, and perform in a Takarazuka-style revue by day, right?  Well, “by evening,” rather.  Anyway, so that means they’re performing in musicals.  Which involves the characters singing.  And even if the songs aren’t important to the overall plot of the show, they’re certainly important to knowing what the heck is going on in the scene you’re watching.  But ADV had this annoying policy when translating song lyrics in the opening and closing credits:  on an odd numbered episode they’d provide the English lyrics, and on an even numbered episode they’d provide a Romaji transliteration of the lyrics, so you could sing along or something.  (Or vice versa; I don’t remember which way it was.)  And the first performance of one of the plays came on a Romaji transliteration episode.  So they didn’t translate the lyrics of a song being performed by the characters in the middle of an episode.  Ahem.  Sorry.  I’m still a wee bit bitter about that.)  Aaaanyway, I did watch the OVAs, and the movie.  And two of the characters really stood out as favorites:  Kohran here (or as my brother calls her, “Chinese Lucca,” for her resemblance both physically and personality-wise to the beloved Chrono Trigger character) and Kirishima Kanna.  So on seeing a cheap doll of Kohran, how could I resist?  Unfortunately, she’s really not very well made; her face bears no resemblence to the character whatsoever.  I’m not planning on opening her.  (There’s a different line of Sakura Wars dolls in their military uniforms that I think is by a different company, as they seem to be better made.  Last time I looked at Mandarake’s site, they had gotten in that other line’s doll of Kanna.  I’m tempted to pick that one up if she’s still there next time I’m feeling in the need to make another purchase…)

Reproduction "Malibu Barbie"
Reproduction “Malibu Barbie”

Yeah.  I bought an American doll from a Japanese site.  Even I know that’s insane.  But they had her for a better price than American sites.  And why did I decide to buy this doll I had passed on at the time of her release?


That little Tokidoki gal was making me feel weird about not having even a reproduction of one of the most famous Barbies ever.

I shouldn’t have listened to the temptation to get her, though.

Mandarake Dolls 14

This one isn’t freakish-looking like the “My Favorite Barbie” reproduction was (that one’s face always looked squashed in, and the skin tone was strange) but it’s still not very well done, and pales in comparison to the beautiful original pictured right next her face.  Also, the paint job (at least on this one) is rather awful.  Her eyes look like they were painted in the wrong place.

I should have just saved my money and looked to get my hands on a real one. 😦  Well, at least next time I’ll know better:  if I passed on a reproduction doll at the time, I probably had a good reason to do so.  (However, until such time as I do get my hands on a real one, if such a time ever comes, she’s likely to stay in my collection to fill in that gap in the history of Barbie.)

Now we come to the biggest expense of the order:

Mandarake Dolls 15

Yeah, I broke down and got her.  Because, I mean, come on!  It’s Sakura-chan’s signature outfit!  How could I not have it for my “remastered” Sakura doll?!  (Adding a set of Clow Cards to her accessories will be nice, too, but the outfit was the big thing.)  I like the packaging much better than the American version:

Mandarake Dolls 18

Yeah, I’ve got two of them in box.  When that used place I’m always going on about first opened, I found these two, and picked them up because, you know, they’re dolls tying in to one of my favorite manga/anime of all times.  It was many months later that I found the huge collection of loose ones and bought one of each character (plus a Sakura identical to this one, so I could have a Tomoyo-chan)…passing up a couple more Sakuras that I now wish I’d gotten for their clothes.  Incidentally, I’m thinking of opening this Syaoran.  The loose one I got had really bad stains on his clothes that I don’t think are going to come out (unlike the stains on the school uniform, which were almost entirely removed via a little hand-washing) and didn’t have his sword.  So I may open this one, take out the sword, and swap his clean outfit for the stained one I already had.  And then either put him back with my other “boxed anime tie-in dolls that aren’t actually very good” or sell him back to the used place as “open with box” merchandise.

Funny thing about the backs of these boxes:

Notice something missing?
Notice something missing?

Either they didn’t bring over the signature outfit, the one pictured on both the front and back of the box, or they didn’t picture it as one of the dolls in the set.  (The loose set I saw at the store had all six of these, but not the signature pink outfit, though, so I suspect these are all they brought over.)

Now check out a sample from the back of the Japanese box:


Look at all the cool outfit packs!  Mandarake had some — including that yellow Tomoyo-chan outfit — most of which aren’t pictured here, and I’m definitely tempted to pick them up.  Oddly, an Etsy seller had that yellow Sakura outfit, but I couldn’t bring myself to order it (even though I was ordering Sakura’s black and pink kitty outfit from that seller) because that dress is faux leather and it was in really awful shape, yet the seller was asking about $15 for it.  That probably reflects what the seller originally paid for it, but I didn’t like paying that much for an outfit in such bad condition that I wouldn’t want to put it on my doll, you know?  (Not that the kitty outfit is perfect:  it didn’t have the ear headband, but I can make one of those easily enough.  Being cloth rather than faux-leather, the dress couldn’t suffer the same degradations of time that the yellow dress did.)

Okay, so that’s the last of the dolls from the Mandarake order.  The gallery is located here, and has some additional shots of the dolls’ boxes.

My mother has some oldish/antique china she wants to be rid of (some of it was stuff like unwanted wedding presents she and my dad got 40+ years ago, while other things came from grandparents and such) and she doesn’t want the hassle of putting it in a case at an antique mall herself, so she told me and my brother that if we want to get some money from doing that, fine, but we’d have to do it all ourselves, and if we didn’t, then she was just going to give it away.  Some of it’s definitely worth at least a decent amount, so after UPS brings my Junky Spot order tomorrow, I’m going to hit the antique malls to ask about case rental prices….and while I’m there, you know I’m gonna be checking the cases for vintage dolls, because how could I not?  (Plus I haven’t done that in forever.)  So there may be vintage doll purchases to talk about in the near future.  Or there may not be.  I need to check my bank balance first.  I might need to go back on a dolly diet after all this binge-buying…  (But do keep in mind that all of these dolls, plus all the figurines, came to less than Sebastian by himself did.  At least before the massive shipping costs, anyway.)