Monday, November 18, 2013

Finally Back with a Takara Licca Chan Doll Review :}

Thank you for being so patient with me these past couple of weeks, everyone.  That was one of the worst colds I've had in a long time!  Oldest Gal caught it on Tuesday and just made it back to school today, but now Middle Gal is home sick.  Hubby is getting it, too. :{  Why is it that kids always share colds so much better than they share their toys? ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I've been a bit too busy to post anything extensive, but I'm hoping to get back on track this week. :)

Any of you who have read my Barbie Collection Page already know that I have two Japanese fashion dolls from my childhood.  At that time, our family was involved in a program called International Home Missions, which matched American families to Japanese children who would come over during the summer.  The Japanese "students" were always placed in a home that had a child of the same gender and similar age.  It was that "host" child's responsibility to serve as guide and friend to the Japanese child.  The families were also given several sheets of paper with some English sentences (such as "What is your father's name?" and so on), and the host child was to go over this sheet with the Japanese student every day to help familiarize them with English.  (In my house, the rule was that the Japanese student had to teach the host child the same sentences in Japanese...one of the best decisions my mom ever made). ;)

The purposes of the program were to give both the Japanese and the American children a chance to experience a different culture, and to share the Gospel message with the Japanese children who had never heard it.  Our family participated for seven years.  I was the host student for six of the years and was able to get to know four different Japanese children (and later, teenagers) my age.

As a result of this experience, I've always had a soft spot for the Japanese culture.  It brings to mind all of the wonderful memories I made over the summer with my friends from across the world. :)

My first Japanese student, who came two different summers, was the one who gave me my Jenny and Timotei dolls.  Every time I look at them, I think of her. :)  We've lost touch now, but I hope to connect with her again someday.  I think I may have found her on Facebook, but since I'm not on there with my real name, getting in touch with people I haven't seen for a while can be tricky (especially with that annoying "you're not connected, so this message is going to their 'other' folder" thing). :}

Anyway, all that to say, I really enjoy Jenny dolls, and when I heard about Licca dolls, I was very interested in getting one and comparing her to Jenny and Timotei.  The Lottie doll I recently reviewed brought the Licca dolls to mind again, too.  So when I found an adorable Licca on eBay for a reasonable price, I decided to give the line a try. :)

As is usual with my fashion doll posts, there will be a few pictures of undressed dolls with developed figures.  If this is offensive to you, you might want to skip this post.

Here she is! :)  She was purchased from eBay seller winwin_biz.


Like the Jenny dolls, the Licca dolls are made by Takara Tomy company.  There are many different Licca dolls.  I wish I could tell you what this doll was called, but everything is in Japanese except her name. :}

Sides of the box

Here's the back of the box.  I'd...uh...love to give you more info on this, but your guess is as good as mine! ;)  I may have learned how to say a few words in Japanese, but I never learned to read it!

The bottom of the box.

Licca was basically packaged in an envelope, so her box had a few minor scrunches.  If you're really into completely mint packaging, you might want to get your Licca doll from another source.  Since I was opening her anyway, it didn't matter for me. :)

The inside of Licca's packaging slides right out.

She's held in place with some tape and twist ties.

She comes with a little brochure.

I really hope I'm not missing anything super important, because I can't read it to save my life. :}

Here's Licca, free from her packaging except for the plastic around her head...

...and a few twist ties.

I really appreciated that they put protective plastic covering over Licca's panties and legs to keep the red plaid skirt from staining her.

Her hair is super soft (and a bit more red than it looks in this picture).

My Licca had a bit of greasy residue on her face, perhaps from the type of vinyl she's made of.

It came off very easily with a wipe. :)

I noticed that there was also some light spotting on her stockings.


The rubber bands in her hair had also started to break, but they weren't brittle.

I'm guessing all of these flaws were just the result of prolonged storage.  None of them were detrimental to the quality of the doll, so I wasn't bothered (and all three things would have been next to impossible to spot from outside the box).

Here's Licca with all of her clothing and accessories.

We'll start with the doll herself.  Licca stands at around nine inches tall.

She has a darling face.  Much like Jenny and Timotei, she has an anime look to her features.

Licca's profile.

I was very pleased to see how cute her eyebrows were underneath her bangs.  Sometimes you lift the bangs of a doll and the eyebrows are a disappointment, or change her whole face. ;)


Her head turns back and forth but does not move up and down:

A closer look at her outfit.  It is all one piece and has Velcro closure in the back for easy removal.

I love all of the little details, like the red bows on her sleeves...

...the lace trim on her skirt and socks, and the red bows on her socks.

Her shoes are easy to remove but stay on nicely.

Just like Timotei's shoes, Licca's shoes are made of soft plastic and are very flexible. :)

They ended up looking rather uneven in this picture, but I think it's just because one foot was slightly in front of the other. :}

Now, let's take a look at Licca's school bag.

The front of the back has a pattern that matches Licca's outfit.

The back of the bag.

The bag opens at the top.

Licca comes with two books and a pencil pouch for her bag.  All three are made of cardboard.

The pencil pouch is very cute...

...but is just plain cardboard on the back.  Ick...pardon my dirty fingernails in this picture. :{

Here is the first book for her bag.  It is colored cardboard on both sides... 

...but is plain cardboard on the inside.  I thought it was interesting that they made the book open this way, since Japanese books normally open from the opposite side.

This next book opens on the correct side, though. :)

Like the other book, it is also plain cardboard on the inside.

The items all fit very nicely in Licca's bag...

...and can go all the way inside.

I was very interesting in checking out Licca's posability.  I was curious to see if she had similar articulation to my Jenny and Timotei dolls, and was pleased to discover that her articulation was just the same.

Licca's arms can move up, down, and all around.  Ahem.  Apparently I missed the ball with pictures this time...I only got pictures of "up"...

...and forward.  Sorry about that. :}

Licca's arms that can bend at the elbows.  As you can see, they bend the same way as the "My Life As" dolls from Walmart, with the hollow, flexible plastic.  While this still looks a bit odd to me, I think it works a little better on a small scale. ;)  I also remember that this was one of the things that absolutely fascinated me as a kid.  I'd never seen anything like it in America, and most of my Barbies had boring, straight arms at that point in time. ;)

Her flexible arms allow for all sorts of fun poses:

Licca's legs can go to a sitting position...

...and she can do splits front to back.  Her legs do not spread side to side at all.

Her legs have wire inside and are flexible, much like a bendy toy.

Here she is undressed except for her cloth panties.  

Back view.

She is marked "TAKARA CHINA" on her back.

Licca is supposed to be eleven years old, so I was a little surprised at how much of a figure she still had.  I suppose it's not as developed as the regular-sized dolls, but it was still more than I was expecting.

She has a twist and turn waist.

Here's a better look at her leg movement.

Her knees can look a bit odd when bent because of the sort of rounded look that comes from the wire armature.  

Another look at her arms.  I personally would recommend not bending her arms or legs too much, as both will wear out with too much use.  (My older dolls can no longer hold a pose with their elbows or knees.)

I was very interested to see the difference between Licca and my other Japanese dolls.  Here she is next to Timotei.  I was amazed at how much shorter Licca was.

Here's another lineup:  Snow Queen Lottie, Licca, Jenny, and Timotei.

I was surprised to see how much of a height difference there was between Lottie and Licca.  I had assumed they'd be around the same size.

Lottie and Licca together.  I have to say, while I love my Lottie doll, I prefer the softer features of Licca's face.  Licca also has better hair.

Here is Licca next to Jenny.  Similar facial features here...I still like Licca's best. ;)

And here is Licca next to some of my other dolls:  Kelly, Chelsea (the new version of Kelly), Licca, and my Disney Store Belle doll.  As you can see here, Licca would make a great older sibling doll for a Barbie family.  She fits really well with the Disney dolls with her stylized features, too.

This thought led me to taking a few pictures of Licca with some of Barbie's other siblings, Stacie and Skipper.  These two are from the late 80s/early 90s.  (Fun Fact: Skipper, on the right, is wearing Timotei's original outfit.) :)

Here is Licca with the current versions of Stacie and Skipper.  I think her facial features and softer style work better with the older versions of the dolls.

And pardon this slight rabbit trail, but can I just say, wow!  Barbie's sisters sure have changed.  I have to say, I definitely prefer the older, "cutesier" versions of the girls than their taller, slimmer versions.  That's just me, though. ;) (I do realize that the Skipper from my childhood is not the original, either, lest you think I'm completely ignorant.  I'm sure some of you were sad to see your childhood Skipper change to the one I grew up with.) ;)


So, my overall thoughts on Licca?  I'm in love with this sweet little doll! ;)  I love her soft, innocent facial features and adorable clothing and accessories.  She's a great size and goes well with my other dolls.  Licca can be a bit harder to find for a reasonable price here in the US, but I was able to get her for around $20 total on eBay, so it is possible. :)  You can also find her on Amazon.com.  If any of you are aware of other good sources for Licca dolls in the US, feel free to share them in the comments below. :)

Her posable arms and legs might not be the best choice for younger children because they will wear out quicker than other types of articulation.  For careful kiddos or collectors, though, Licca is a great addition to the doll family.  I will definitely consider buying more Licca dolls in the future. :)

30 comments:

Nina said...

Licca is really pretty! I love her outfit, too!

misspiggy=awesome said...

Can she share clothes with EAH? She's so pretty! I love dolls with the "anime" styling. I think she might make a cute little sister for my Liv dolls.

Unknown said...

My sister & I used to get Licca paperdolls all the time when we were kids! It's surprising to see this "actual" doll...brings back memories.
the Paper dolls were a light-weight cardboard, and came in a memo-notebook-sized booklet. You would get between 2 & 4 dolls, many, many outfits & accessories & stands (all from the same cardboard). You wouldn't have to cut out the dolls - the dolls, clothes, and accessories were all scored so that you could "punch" them out.

beastsbelle said...

I think so too, Nina! :)

Good questions, misspiggy=awesome. I'll have to check. She's still a lot wider in the chest and the waist than the EAH dolls, but I can find out for sure. :)

Hey, Unknown...nice to hear from you. :) I never knew they had Licca paper dolls. Now I totally want to go find some! ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow...Licca is pretty! I really like her face.(Also, your fingernails are nothing compared to mine!)

beastsbelle said...

Lol...thanks...I just always forget to check them before I do a photo shoot. :}

Cindybin said...

Great review--she's so cute, with a darling outfit!

Dollygirl said...

She's adorable! Belle and Robby should adopt her! :)

Kathie said...

I loved reading this post! Licca is so darling, and from your comparison photos, she seems like she'd make a wonderful little sister or daughter for Disney Store Belle (though any more family members probably aren't in *your* Belle's plans! ;)).

I've actually bought some Licca brand items before while trying to shop for some smaller dolls of mine -- Licca has two younger siblings about (original) Kelly's size who have/had many outfit packs of their own. I found a pajama/nightgown set and a traditional Japanese garment set (I think for some sort of festival), and both are adorable and fit most of the "tinies" very well. One of my Strawberry Shortcake reroots is wearing the pink striped nightgown right now. :)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, everyone. :)

Nice to hear from you, Cindybin. I love her outfit, too. :)

Good thought, Dollygirl. I'd have to convince Belle, though. ;)

Hi Kathie! Thanks for all of the information. :) I've seen Licca's sisters online but not in person. Hmm, I'll have to look into this...I have some Strawberry Shortcake girls in need of clothing! ;)

cupcakebunny said...

I love Licca too. My sister had a Jenny when we were growing up.

akasailorsea said...

Thanks for posting this! I've wanted a Licca doll for awhile now, but like you mentioned, they tend to be pricey in the US. Timotei and Jenny are really cute too.

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, akasailorsea. :) I was thrilled to find one for such a good price. :)

Anonymous said...

Greetings from France (Licca's father's home country)
Thanks for your review which definitly convinced me to buy a Liica-chan if I can find one at a reasonnable price. Though I would prefer her with a more Asian face and a more child's body.
For what I can see on your pics, the name of the model is "School uniform Licca-chan" (せいふくリカちゃん).

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for stopping by. :) I've always thought it would be fun to travel to France since two of my favorite stories originated there ("Beauty and the Beast" and "The Phantom of the Opera"). :)

I hope you find a Licca-chan that suits you. :) I've had a hard time finding any sort of definitive identification guide online, so I'm not very familiar with the ones that are available.

Thanks for letting me know about my Licca-chan doll, too. It's nice to be able to label her accurately. :)

Mark Patraw said...

Licca is a neat doll and her schoolgirl outfit and accessories are adorable, but I like your Jenny doll more--her kimono is beautiful. The student exchange program you described also sounds like it would have been a lot of fun--I think it'd be good for all children to experience the company of another child from a foreign country--it'd promote tolerance and give them some perspective on the world.

FYI: The green books says さんすう (sansuu, "arithmetic) and the pink one こくご (kokugo, "national language", which I presume would be the equivalent of an "English" text here in America). I'm not even remotely fluent in the Japanese language, but I believe that the small pack-in pamphlet is an offer to join the Licca-chan Fan Club.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Mark! Thanks for commenting.

My Jenny doll was originally dressed as a jockey. I'm a bit fuzzy on the origins of the Kimono, but I'm pretty sure it was an extra Jenny outfit I received from one of my Japanese friends. I've always loved it, though. :)

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to take part in the program. It gave me a connection and love for the Japanese people. I think it's very easy to lump people together in groups instead of getting to know them on an individual level. I'm so thankful I had the chance to get to know the four special girls that stayed with my family. :)

Thanks so much for the info on Licca's books and pamphlet. It's nice to know what they say. :)

supere67 said...

Hi,
I just found your blog. Do you think Jenny doll's clothes would fit on a modern Barbie? I would like to know before I buy any.

Also, in reference to your comment about being sad for the Skipper doll's changes from childhood, I had the Living Skipper doll from 1970-ish and I always thought she was rather homely (sorry Skipper!) The later versions were cuter.

Thanks!
Erika

beastsbelle said...

Hi Erika! I think Licca's clothing would be a little small, even for a modern Barbie...especially in the hips. And even though she has a somewhat developed bust, it's not as wide as Barbie's. Sorry about that.

Very good point about Skipper. I didn't really care for her look in the 70s, either. Part of that is probably because I grew up playing with the late 80s/early 90s versions, so those are the ones I love the most. ;)

Have a great day!

Joanna Foley said...

Thanks, this was a great review! I've been considering buying this exact doll and after reading through this post, it's a definite :)

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Joanna! Glad to help! :D

hyperboyz9 said...

I luv Licca. I have 2-3 of them that I would take them out from he back and show asap.

beastsbelle said...

Licca is such a cute doll! :) How fun that you have some in your collection. :)

aprilperlowski said...

What a nice post on Licca. Just be careful, though, since she can be quite addictive. I bought 1 Licca in 2012, and now I have 23 (I think). And her outfits and playsets are wonderful.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Lol, aprilperlowski, I can completely understand how she could become addictive. ;) I still only have the one doll, but I've been drooling over several of them online. I hope to add more of them to my collection someday. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Licca actually predates Jenny, the earliest Liccas date from 1967 and looked very different from the modern incarnation. Jenny dates from 1986, though she technically started life in 1980 as Takara Barbie. Jenny has over 25+ friend dolls, including Timotei, who got her name from a shampoo brand in Japan. Licca also has lots of friends, a mother (Orie), a father (Pierre), a grandmother (Helene), a grandfather (Albert), twin siblings (Miki+Maki) and the triplets whose names I am forgetting. She at one point had an older sister named Rie, but she got written out of the story, because Takara didn't want Orie to have a daughter old enough to be a flight attendant.

I use to have enormous Takara doll collection. All the dolls use to be manufactured in Japan in Fukushima-ken. Now, most of the playline dolls are produced in China and the dolls meant for "collectors" are still produced in Japan.

Jennys can really vary in how they look and can come in all sorts of outfits. Generally, what defines a mold is the specific eye print vs. eye color or hair color or even skin tone. If you wanted a softer version of Jenny, I would look for Marine or Excelina. My favorite friend was always Erika. :)

Biscuit's Club on Yahoo is specifically for collectors of Takara dolls.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Anonymous! Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information! :) Have a wonderful day.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

P.S. I'll definitely have to check out Biscuit's Club. :)

Boudoir Doll Boutique said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog. I have been on the hunt/search for a doll that would complete a family of 5 sisters and your photo comparisons confirm what i have been picturing in my mind. So Thank You! VerY Much!

Now I'm curious as to whether you might be able to help me further in locating a 6" doll for the missing "step". Currently I have 7" Lottie (by Arklu), 5 1/2" Chelsea (Mattel-the new one), 4 1/2" Kelly (also Mattel & the new one) and 4" Hannah (TY's lil ones). Ideally I would love to find a 6" fashion doll family size. If I could have the face of Licca and the body of the Mattel Skipper I'd almost go up in inches for my doll family rather than continuing to find a 6" doll. Pleasant Company's mini tho they ARE six inches, their soft cloth bodies make them larger in body style than the ones I've gathered. I've been at this for over a year in my spare time and just keep looking.

If you know of a doll that might meet my requirements or can point me in another direction to hunt, I would enthusiastically take your advice!

(P.S. your photo of Lottie & Licca comparison is how i found you!! Wonderful article. Great blog! Been checking it out!)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Welcome, Boudoir Doll Boutique! Thanks for stopping by. :) (Sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment, though.)

I'm so glad I could help! I know how nice it is to get a visual on a doll and how it compares to other dolls before biting the bullet and making a purchase. ;)

Nothing comes to mind at the moment as far as the mystery doll you're searching for, but I'll definitely keep your requirements in mind and let you know if I think of anything. :)

I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog and finding it helpful. It always makes my day to hear that. :)

Have a lovely week!