By Oona McGee
If you ask Japanese women to recall their favourite childhood dress-up doll, chances are their answer will be Rika-chan. Known in English as “Licca-chan”, the round-faced, dark-haired figurine first appeared in 1967 and has enjoyed an immense popularity on par with Barbie in the west ever since.
Takara Tomy, the company who first created Licca-chan, is now producing a high-quality “Liccarize” series that slightly adjusts the original doll’s main body and look to bring life to a number of cute characters. So far, they’ve reproduced anime stars like Mami Tomoe fromPuella Magi Madoka Magica and Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura and now they’re adding to the range with a 13-year-old girl from the animated world of Studio Ghibli.
Kiki, the star of Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed anime film, Kiki’s Delivery Service, looks like she’s stepped out of the movie and into real-life, with a number of distinctive elements faithfully reproduced as she appears in beautiful doll form.
▼ In addition to her long black dress, Kiki’s huge signature red bow sits perfectly on her head.
▼ The young witch comes complete with her flying broomstick, red radio, large over-the-shoulder satchel, and her faithful feline companion, Jiji.
▼ Jiji may be tiny, but there’s a lot of attention to detail in the cat’s figure and face.
Priced at 10,584 yen (US$99.34), orders for the 22-centimtre (8.7-inch) tall Kiki doll are currently being taken on the Takara Tomy website until 25 July. Unfortunately, they’re only offering domestic shipping, so if you want to pre-order from overseas, you’ll need to get a reshipping service like Tenso or White Rabbit Express to help you. Deliveries, however, won’t be made until the scheduled release date at the end of November, when she’ll also be available to purchase from the store inside Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum. For those who can’t wait until the end of autumn to see the new figure in person, she’ll be on display at the Takara Tomy booth at the Tokyo Toy Show 11 -12 June.
▼ Visitors to the show will also be in for a treat as the new doll will be set up in a special diorama setting that replicates the bakery from the movie.
While she greets customers in the bakery, we’ll have to assume her accessories will be neatly packed away in their place until she has to fly away again at the end of the show. Be sure to stop by to see her while you can!
Tokyo Toy Show/東京おもちゃショー
Address: Tokyo-to, Koto-ku, Ariake 3-11-1, Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight) West Exhibition Hall 1, 2, 3, 4
東京都江東区有明 3-11-1 東京ビッグサイト 西1～4ホール
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Sat); 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Sun)
Source, Images: Takara Tomy
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