I have been wanting a Japanese ball jointed doll for ages, but the cost prevented me from getting one. I nearly got a really standard one without eyes or wig, but the addition of hair and eyes put the cheap price right back up where I couldn't reach it. Plus it would still be naked! So, when I saw some white boxes on the shelf at Tuesday Morning and opened them up to find sweet and beautiful little Japanese ball jointed dolls, I literally gasped. They were affordable too, at only $29.99 each. They were Ai dolls by Jun Planning.The theme of the series is that all the dolls are named after flowers.They only had two different dolls, and yes, I got one of each. That's my birthday taken care of! (A bit early. It's not until March.) I'll be reviewing both of the dolls I got, but today I'll start with Bee Balm.
The boxes are really nice.
They look like books, and have really strong magnets in the right edge to keep the 'cover' closed. If you hold the base down the cover opens very easily though. The contents are clearly visible, except for a tiny box covered by the picture in the corner.Everything is easy to access though, once the clear plastic is removed. It just lifts up. It's not attached.
|Here she is. She's just about 5" tall.|
Once the plastic is removed, all the contents, except the doll just lift out of the soft, padded box insert.
Here are all her accessories removed from the box. She's a bee, so she comes with a flower,a set of antennae, and two little yellow arms cuffs that I think are supposed to be pollen. And of course, every bee needs black tights, a shirt, and a pair of bright yellow shoes.(I'll detail these in a minute.)This 'bee' also comes with 'eye putty' to hold her eyes in place. That's what was in the mysterious little box. Most of the accessories were in unsealed plastic, but the plastic on the eye putty was taped shut, so I left the store with a mystery to solve. I wasn't wearing my glasses, but I think I did find it written on the box somewhere when I got home. Most of the box writing is in Japanese, but I found it somewhere in English.
The doll has two ribbon ties, one at the neck, and one on her legs. The one at the legs comes untied easily. The one at the neck was pulled very tight though (Ug!) and I was a little afraid I was going to scratch her chin up trying to dig it out.
Here she is right out of her box.
|Her face is so smooth it feels like porcelain.|
Once out of the box, she still needs the plastic removed that holds her arms behind her back. I think that made her fit in her box more easily.
Her bee suit even has a stinger! Her wings need unfolded and rebent ,but it's easy.
I noticed that her head is sort of a peachy skin tone, but the rest of her is sort of gray. It's not terribly noticeable, but it is noticeable.
|Look at the detailed shape of her feet.|
She's wearing a net slip under her bee costume.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be removable. There's no closure or elastic. It's just sewn on tightly.It can't be scooted down over her bottom, or taken up over her shoulders. It would have to be snipped at the waist.
Her hair is very curly, but very soft.I was curious.Was it a wig?
Uhh, yes. It's a wig.When I lifted the hair at the back to try to see, the whole back of her head popped off and her eyes popped out! The back of her head is only held on by a single magnet at the top, so it comes off pretty easily and is loose at the bottom. It should have at least had another magnet at the bottom. The magnet in her head is nowhere near as strong as the one in the box lid! I didn't get a chance to see how the eyes were set in since they popped out so unexpectedly, so I had a bit of a problem getting them back in. The metal ring in her head that holds her stringing together made it hard to just pop the 'eye holder' back in. Plus the eyes kept jiggling out of place before I could get them in and she would end up google eyed.It's not easy to see her eyes anyway because the opening is so tiny,but I could tell her pupils were all wonky.
I couldn't tell until they popped out that her eyes are green.
Back to the wig. It is held on her head by strips of velcro on the skull and the inside of the wig. I find that every time I try to remove the wig, hairs in the back get caught on the velcro and pull the hair loose in the curls. This wig is going to look wonderful after a while.
She isn't as poseable as I thought she'd be. Maybe it's because her limbs are so short, or because she's new and her strings are so tight,but her limbs are hard to get to hold a pose where they're very bent.She can stand on her own pretty well.
|This is as far as she can look up.|
|But she can look down a bit better.|
|It was hard getting her legs to stay crossed.|
|Here she is modelling her whole outfit.I don't want to use the antennae very often though because I know I'll ruin her hairdo!|
|Are those stress marks on her fingers?|
|Look at her little feet.|
She has breast and belly button detailing too, plus other details that are hidden by her slip. She's definitely a girl..
Her clothes are well made, even if her tights don't stay up very well.Her shirt closes in the back with velcro.
The shoes have very detailed tread on the bottoms.
|This coat even has bees on it. Ok, they're ladybugs really, but can't you just pretend?!|
|Watch that attitude Little Missy!|
Looks pretty good!The sleeves are a bit short. You have to pretend they're 3/4 sleeves.
In all I really like her.I wish her eyes had some instruction in English.And I wish the back of her head stayed on better.As I said, I'm hoping her stringing loosens up a bit...
|All this posing is giving me a head ache!|
|Oh all right. I'm finished. You can go to sleep now.|
...but not too much!You have the option of changing her hair and her eyes.That's something I'll discuss more in my review of the other Ai doll I bought the same day.
For more Ai doll reviews click these links: Coreopsis Leptospurmum Phlox Hyacinth Lagrus