my doll Friday – Chihiro

MDF very yellowChihiro name

Chihiro is a 2015 espari Mirielle doll from Barnes and Noble.


Like all espari dolls, she comes with a few looks. Her Meet wardrobe includes the reversible headband which is also a kerchief (blue gingham on the other side), a reversible red and white sweater/jacket, blue gingham overalls, a white skirt and dressy red sandals. One of my favorite things about the espari line is the care taken when boxing the doll including the clear plastic bags between their feet and their shoes so no staining occurs. Having the reversible clothing also allows for white or light to be touching the dolls but still have colorful outfits to see.

Chihiro is named for the lead character in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.


I hope to make her an outfit one day so she can Cosplay her namesake.


espari boxes seem to me to be a large part of their cost. They mimic the Journey Girls’ holiday boxes and need to be cut on the side to release the doll. They also use tiny plastic tabs to hold things in. Glad to be out of the box, Chihiro gives us a few poses.

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Before I show you the back, let’s point out that espari’s Mirelle shares a face mold with Today’s Girl Leah. There are some major differences in the dolls though.


From just the headshots, you can probably see several noticeable distinctions. Mirelle has deep chocolate brown eyes and black hair with bangs. Leah has a lighter brown eye, black hair and no bangs. Both have pretty fly away hair though. Mirielle also has lighter skin and a breast plate (yes, she has the new JG body type exactly and the same color paint on her lips as several new JG dolls) while Leah seems to have been out in the sun recently.


A closer look at the body types shows an even larger difference. The soft bodied Leah has more of a floppy baby doll body and does not like to stand on her own. She has no head/neck control. Mirielle, on the other hand, can stand alone and look towards things. Leah’s vinyl is softer but neither is unpleasantly squishy or too hard (cheap).


Mirelle’s legs are longer and thinner than Leah’s as are her arms. Compared to an American Girl doll, Mirelle looks really tall and skinny.




Oh – there is it! The million dollar marker! Did you catch the back of Chihiro’s hair? What a sight!


Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the back of Leah’s head. She does have more roots but her scalp is also painted dark brown to hide exactly this problem. When Chihiro’s hair is down, it’s fine…well, kind of; I still need to even it out.


How about a better shot of that height difference?



They could definitely be cousins or even siblings.


espari dolls can wear Journey Girls clothes and clothing for other slim bodied dolls. Likewise, they need slim footwear that may be a little longer than some AG stuff.


I think Chihiro is going to fit right in at the dollhouse. She is a very elegant, beautiful dollie. If someone asked me for a recommendation today for an Asian doll, she would be my first pick even with the higher pricetag and hair issue because her quality is an excellent value.  I have heard reports of issues with bangs but I believe those could be tamed with training (wrapping). Pick the best option and if they all have bang issues in store, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!

my doll Friday – Li Mei

MDF redYB MEI name

Look who I found!

may lee

May Lee’s professional photo (click link to source):


So I’ve already come to the conclusion that this little one is really Li Mei aka Mei Mei which means Little Sister.

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Mei has made it out of the box! Do you see what I see? How about now?

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Here is OG’s new face sculpt. It is actually Battat’s sixth face sculpt (3 Collector’s Lane, open mouth and closed mouth OG) Pay attention to those eyes.

Her head is branded as is her side.

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A couple of surprises – her clothes are stitched on and she has awesome green undies!

F IMG_5062 G IMG_5063A quick nip with the scissors and she was free but both the top and bottom were sewed into her. I don’t remember this from my older OG’s. Her body reminds me of a Cabbage Patch Kid. I don’t know if that means the cloth has been changed too or what.

I dislike her meet outfit so I changed her…

J IMG_5067This is the skateboard outfit sans tights (who boards in tights???) and hat. Notice the hair? I tried the ponies free but it’s prone to static so I re-banded the ends.

Side profile:

K IMG_5069Remember that eye I mentioned?

L IMG_5070Ok, so I’m not sure what is going on but I’ve never had an OG like this. Her left eye sticks and her right eye…do you see it? There’s a TON of white showing. This is definitely the face sculpt and not just wonky eyes. It’s almost like they just elongated the closed mouth sculpt and enhanced the lips. Curious but not flattering.

Here’s her apparent good side.

L IMG_5071But the bangs! Others have noticed this in the store too but they really are an issue. I will try binding them to train them down but I’m not sure if that will do it.

Mei asked for a picture of her with the gang who all came down to meet her but not everyone was paying attention for the first shot.

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Clockwise from upper left: Kiki, Leah, Kali, Kyoko, Kumiko, Happy, Joy and Li Mei.

And a shot with the skateboard (which is awesome). “Watch out for the bus, Mei Mei!”

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scoop – May Lee

OG May-Lee-main

Here she is!  This is the Our Generation Asian doll, May Lee.  She popped up on  I just know I am going to go crazy until I get her.


This new beauty is Deluxe doll, Nahla.  She gardens.  Very cool.


Also added were regular dolls Amya (above) and Adrianna (below).Adriana-main

Leah, Lilia, Mayla and Liana are also new in 2015.

I have a feeling these newly listed skates are going to be hard to find too.

roll with itRemember that the photos are links too!

Enjoy drooling, dollings!


my doll Friday – Kiki

MDF paler blueKIKI

Kiki is a Madame Alexander My Life as Hairstylist doll. She has the same face mold as Kumiko.

MLA hairdresser face

Just as with Kumiko, I fell in love with this face mold all over again.  It wasn’t until later that I realized they were even the same.  The girls have very different coloring.


Kumiko’s brown eyes and brown hair with coral colored “make up” and ivory peach complexion are very different from Kik’s blue eyes, black hair and pink skin tone.

I think they’re both brilliant!


Kiki’s original outfit was suited to her career choice.  The apron ties in back.  The little skirt velcros in back as does the shirt. The star tights are actually footless and the solid plastic boots come off and on rather easily.  Her little odango (aka buns aka topknots) and side cut bangs are what really make her stand out.


I will not be taking these out.  I really like them as is.

Shortly after purchasing Kiki, I found a dress at Build a Bear that I thought would be perfect on her.  It is…

IMG_4903bThe garden decoration is another fish tank supply find.  (I think I paid $15 for it but I knew it was perfect so I bite the bullet.  I really want to make a Japanese tea house and garden for my dolls!).


I also picked up this little doll that we’ve named Alice (imagine that!) when I got the dress. (This foo dog was a Target find a couple years ago).


One of the brilliant things about Kiki is her eyes.

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We’ll leave you with two of Kiki’s favorite artsy photos from our shoot.

IMG_4907 IMG_4308and then there’s this one…it’s like she’s watching you 🙂


More around the web (click links):

marshmellow jane

my doll Friday – Leah


Leah wanted to be next after Remi so here she is!

CP Today's Girl Leah bought 2014

Leah is a Today’s Girl from Constructive Playthings.  Her jacket and jeans are the same color in our version. She has no socks or undies (neither did Remi).  I did not purchase her as the deluxe version.  She was purchased before the limited edition Mia came out or I might have selected hr for the dress,

This is Mia.

LE Mia from cptoys available 2014 holiday

She became available for holiday 2014. She’s also similar to Newberry’s Lily who was offered by Sears Canada in 2014 (but not still available, image will link to MDC holiday shopping page).

Lily view 2

Lest you think I forgot any other Lotus dolls, My London Girl does use this face mold for Leila who is new this year.

My London Doll Leila 2015

Obviously, they used a more cafe au lait skin tone for Leila but it works (I know the angle of the face in the photos is different as is the face paint but it is the same mold if you look carefully).  I think the lighting in the photographs of Leah, Mia and Lily probably makes them look more diverse than they are.  Lily also had bangs. My Leah is not yellow as she appears in her promo photo, I think.


Leah’s outfit is pretty much as shown.  The shoes are a nice sturdy solid plastic pink clog.  The little bit of faux shearling on the collar is a nice detail.  The velcro backed logo t is sleeveless and fits perfectly under the jean jacket.  The jeans have an elastic back and no fasteners all making for easy dressing.  Her headband is riveted to her head with plastic ties.  She also has wrench hands and does not have sleep eyes (like all Lotus dolls).


Her hair is about the same quality as the new AGs.

Her eyes are a clear brown (no red starlights like Remi) and she too has a little white on her eyelids.  The pink on her lips seems very natural.  I thought she’d really look good in more pink so I dug around and found something perfect in the doll closet (which came from a local but now closed store formerly in Fraser, Pennsylvania owned by a wonderful old lady who employed local seamstresses and craftspeople).


Looks like Leah got hungry waiting for me to get the camera ready (bowl is a Goodwill find and she is sitting on an unused sushi mat).IMG_4877“Smile!”

I love Asian dolls that don’t look forced.  I think Leah is a great example of this.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Our Generation comes up with.  They have verified to me via email that an Asian doll is in the design stages but that they are committed to getting it right so it will be at least 2016 before we see her.  How exciting!

More around the web (click images for links throughout post):


Note: I really do like to have more links but it seems no one has featured this doll anywhere.  If you find something, please post a link below for us all! 

my doll Friday – Happy


air mail stamp

Excited yet?  I was!  I was so excited when Happy arrived, I photographed the box before I unwrapped her. (A doll’s day blog does a nice job showing the same packaging).  Here’s the sticker so I knew it was my Jett doll before I opened her.

IMG_20140327_212344_980bHere she is right out of the box.  My Jett was ordered with hazel eyes.  I really like them and I think they almost look like Tiger Eyes but to me, this isn’t hazel.  I was expecting more of a blue/green color.  Jett has black hair and fair skin and arrives like all other dolls in a signature pink tunic, shoes and leggings.  These dolls are from the United Kingdom and currently retail for £59.99 which isn’t bad even with shipping.


Here’s her PR photo…


As you see from the photo, this Jett has brown eyes.  Hum…one thing I actually love about these dolls is that you can choose from four eye colors: blue, green, brown and hazel. (I have to admit, I really want Jett to have purple eyes like Elizabeth Taylor and maybe that will happen someday).  I had a really tough time choosing which doll to purpose.  It took over a year before I finally committed.  I also really love Ruby and Star and Jade.

Transition from Jett to Happy…ever seen Scorpian?  Our first episode in, my daughter turned to me and we both knew it was meant to be.  The beautiful Jaydn Wong’s character would be our Jett’s namesake.

Jadyn Wong

Happy’s eyes were troublesome until we changed her clothes.  In a new outfit from The Queen’s Treasures, Happy looked, well, happy.

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Happy has sleep eyes.

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Here’s a close up of those hazel eyes:


I think pink is just not this lady’s color.  Look at those eyes!  Happy has a cloth body and vinyl limbs.  Her head turns but doesn’t tilt.  She is slimmer than an AG but swaps clothes easily enough (these pants are big).


Happy and her pet rabbit, Hoppy

One of the really neat thing about dolls to me is that their sculpt is based on the creator’s daughter.  You can read more about that here.  Ordering was simple and they were very gracious with customer service.  I don’t think there is enough buzz over these beautiful dolls!

More around the web (click image for link):

a doll's day

Doll Diaries logo



my doll Friday – Kumiko

MDF tealYB Kumiko

Kumiko is one of my favorite dolls because she is ethnic, poseable and just plain gorgeous.

Kumiko is a friends boutique doll from Madame Alexander.  She was available at Walmart between roughly 2009-10 (She was $28.00 in store on 8/25/10 – receipt was in her box!).  Here she is with a black horse I got on clearance, (L-R), Gigi and Rayne.


The back of the doll boxes are all the same.


From what I’ve gleaned, she is part of the first issue.  There was a second run of these dolls with the same attributes (featured on the blog Never Grow Up – A Mom’s Guide to Doll and More!).   As far as I can tell, the Asian face mold was only used in the first run and it doesn’t seem to show up again until the MA My Life As a Hairdresser doll circa 2013 from Walmart (my Kiki who has completely different coloring).

 front and back

Kumiko came in a lovely sweater and hat which I promptly removed favoring a less lime green look.  The set is really nice but doesn’t flatter her, I think.


I love the green gold of her molded shoes.  They compliment the knit top nicely.  Advertised as poseable, I tested out her moves.




Kumiko has the full range of motion from an MA neck joint.  She can look up, down and sideways.  Her hair is very soft and could easily become a frizzy mess with overbrushing so I don’t think this doll would be a very good one for little ones.  Her body is made to bend at the elbows and knees. The fabrication (her skin feels pliable – it’s both cool and funky) of her motion ability also leaves her a bit fragrant.  It’s one of the biggest complaints about this line.  If you let her air out for awhile, it gets better but remains slightly always.

If you look carefully, she has an almost white highlight to her eyelids (as does Rayne) and lovely lined brown eyes.


Her coloring is both fashionable and natural looking. I love the lip color and how the rouge compliments it. She doesn’t look overdone.

Recently Kumiko helped me with my Hina Matsuri post.


More around the web:

marshmellow jane

NGU girls sunset header