Dollfie Dream

The Missing piece arrives

Today’s arrival is one that I’m veeery excited about! O(≧∇≦)O I have a grail of each type of the collectibles that I’m into: from BJDs it’s Dollshe SA Husky, from Pureneemos Komorebimori no Doubutsutachi Usagi-san Miu and from figures it’s Alter’s Momohime. All of those three I’ve been able to bring home, thankfully, but I was still missing my grail Dollfie Dream – until now.╰(✧∇✧)╯

I didn’t follow Dollfie Dreams very closely for many years, like Azone’s dolls, because I already had my hands full with BJDs and didn’t want to venture into other types of dolls. So, I never saw the actual release of Mariko-sensei, only after when the owner photos started popping up, I was like “Heeey, that’s a super cute face, what DD is this???” but I wasn’t too keen on the large bust body… then later they released the School girl version and I fell in love – but so did a lot of other people, ahah~ But yeah, I wasn’t collecting DDs then so I missed out on her… and then the second hand market prices have been rather high for both versions of Mariko, so I wondered if I’d ever be able to get this girl at all.

Only in the beginning of this year when one of my flickr friends got Mariko, I started thinking that hmm… maybe it wouldn’t be impossible for me to find her someday, too. I started stalking DoA’s marketplace, Mandarake etc so that I’d get a better idea of Mariko’s pricing on the aftermarket. On Japanese sites her price was a bit more reasonable than on international doll forums and such, so I thought that I’d have to keep my eyes open for when a good deal comes up. Then I heard rumours about a possible re-release of one of the Akihabara girls for DD Fes this summer, and thought that well, maybe they’ll re-release Mariko… although, would they make a third release of her? I didn’t dare to hope for a re-release because I was afraid I might end up disappointed… but lo and behold – the Akihabara girl that they ended up releasing WAS Mariko! And she was semi-white and had M-bust like my favourite School girl version of her. Even the same wig – and with a super cute yukata to boot! This was just too good to be true! ヾ(。^ω^。)ノ

But of course, there were plenty of other people who were after Mariko as well. ヽ(*´∀`)ノ゙ I thought that I’d take part in the lottery, but I wasn’t at all confident that I’d win. Especially when the news of a renewed lottery system was announced – there was a much longer period for applying so I thought that there are gonna be tooooonnssss of entries for sure. There’s no way I’d win. I didn’t even say anywhere in public that I took part in the lottery because I was so sure that I’d loose (I only told Yenna and Aatos). The whole, what, month of waiting for the results I was being a huge pessimist about the whole thing, thinking that because I want Mariko so much, there’s no way I’d be able to win her. Yenna should receive an award for the most patient and best friend ever because she put up with my whining through all that time, ahah! Sorry… (・∀・;)

Finally the day of the results dawned and there was maybe 1% of hope thinking that maybe I’ll get an email… but the rest of the 99% were all pessimistic thoughts. Then Yenna got an email saying she won Kirika and I was all yaaaaay at least one of us won – because I really liked Kirika, too, but wasn’t able to enter for her – and since I didn’t get an email then, I thought that yeap, okay, I didn’t win anything. Well, time to move on…

But a couple of hours later, I have a new email. I go check my mailbox and… Volks… what… WHAAAAT??? щ(゜ロ゜щ) I ACTUALLY WON MARIKO?! MY GRAIL DOLLFIE DREAM MARIKO?! ME???? What in the world???? (」゜ロ゜)」I stared at that email with my mouth open for several minutes before I managed to tell Yenna that I won, too.

I was in disbelief for several days, but once Volks confirmed the payment for Mariko, I got super excited… but then she took several days to ship and I lost hope again, ahah… (-∀-`; ) But when she finally did ship, I got all super excited again!!! ヾ(*’O’*)イ And thankfully the customs & postal service people were quick once she arrived in Finland, so I got her home today – and already at 7:30am! (ノ^∇^)ノ゚ Which was a good thing because I woke up at already 5:50am since I was too excited about Mariko’s arrival and couldn’t sleep, lol~ I waited for the mailman outside, it was a little chilly but luckily I didn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes – and I spotted a little squirrel friend that entertained me during most of that time, haha~

Once I got back indoors with the package, I was super excited to open it and see Mariko’s cute face in person – but I decided to take box opening photos, since she’s the first fullset doll that I’ve gotten from Volks… my other DD girls have been bought as parts, so neither had a proper arrival. There are quite a bit of photos since I wanted to document as many details as I had the patience for, ahah… so, beware!

Wheeee! The long-awaited box~
The shipping box was perfectly sized for the DD box, haha~
Bubble wrap on top of the DD box~
And a plastic bag, too. Not so used to these when opening dolls, but they’re familiar from figures, ahah~
And plastic off! Now I get to have a proper look at the photos on the box~ ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ
Cutiepie Mariko, her type and the Akihabara Girls logo~ (。’▽’。)♡
On the side is Mariko’s silhouette!
And the other photo on the front side of the box~ (´,,•ω•,,)♡
Then it was time to get a look at Mariko herself, as well as her things~
All her things and the lovely thank you rose were packaged neatly under the doll. I was so happy to see that they sent those roses to international customers, too! (*’∀’人)♥ I did wonder if they were only available for Japanese customers who picked up the dolls in the Volks shops. And I got my preferred colour, too, yay! White and creamy-coloured roses are my favourites~ ♥
Of course I needed to see Mariko first. More plastic bags, ahah!
Free from all the plastic and bubblewrap. Her face is soooo cute!! (*´▽`*)♥ And the default make up is much cuter than I expected, but I’ll be repainting her myself anyway… I prefer the soft look of pastels, Volks’ acrylic make up is too sharp and harsh to my taste.
3/4 profile. She looks cute from any angle, though~ I love Mariko’s slightly open mouth, she has some super cute painted teeth! … that I forgot to take a photo of.
And profile! Her little nose is so cute!! (♡ >ω< ♡)
Then, let’s take a look at all the things she came with! I’m so happy about that rose, you have no idea, haha… ! (♡´艸`)
When I was preparing to open up her outfit’s bag, I noticed that she has an awful dent on her right hand’s thumb. ( ゚д゚) It’s definitely not supposed to look like that! But I doubt Volks would care even if I contacted them about it. Thankfully I’ve bought this pair of hands ealier in store in semi-white, so I can switch out the flawed hand. Still, it’s a bit of a disappointment… (ーー;)
But well, let’s get back to all the cute stuff! I managed to blur all of the photos I took of this whole bunch of items, lol… that’s what you get when you’re super excited and your hands are shaking, I suppose.
Leaflets, THE ROSE and Mariko’s cute braided wig (that I’m sure Ume will end up stealing). (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)
Eep, cute Candy & Mirai on the cover of the DD manual~ (´∀`)♡ And then Mariko’s own leaflet.
Mariko’s outfit, geta and the super cute Espresso plushie! I opened Espresso first and got distracted by him, he’s made of this funny stretchy material and has beans or something inside… his face stretches if you push on it, lol! (*≧▽≦)ノシ)) I am so easily amused…
The outfit & wig unpacked… and yeah, the rose is still there! Did I mention how happy I was to get it? Lol~ (●´艸`) At this point I wondered what that random piece of pink lace was…
… but of course, the Mariko leaflet explains everything!
Her wig is made of really lovely soft fiber… and the braids are realistic as they thin down towards the tips of the braids, like real hair would. And I love how neat the parting is! It has some annoying flyaways that I need to cut, though… and I was a little disappointed to notice how small the wig is and how it doesn’t have an elastic wigcap. It almost wouldn’t fit on at all with one of those protective fabric caps that Volks sells. At one point the wig slipped when I was trying to pull it onto her head and she got a stain on her cheek right away, booh! (´;Д;`)
Got her all dressed up~ (´ ▽`).。o♡ I wanted to take a couple of quick photos of her in the default look.
Close up! (*ฅ́˘ฅ̀*) The bangs are a bit thin and long, I’ll have to see if I need to cut them if they don’t suit Umeko… when ever I get around trying the wig on her.
Her ankles are soooo loose compared to Ume’s… she can do a really nice toe point and look super cute when sitting in her yukata! (/∇\*)。o○♡
Such a cutie she is~ ♥ I feel all warm and fuzzy when I look at her sweet face, nuuuuu~ ´͈ ᵕ `͈ ♡°◌̊
Then I started prepping for repainting her… since according to the weather forecast, the rest of the week will be all rain so I had to utilitise the last sunny day for a while. Compared Mariko to my twinnies. You can see how the acrylic face up differs from my custom pastel face ups a bit here.
I was able to finish repainting her without any huge mishaps, yay! (人´ω`*)♡ I kept her style similar to the Volks default because I like it, I just… added a lot more lashes, lol! I love painting lashes… I took WIP photos while I worked on her face up, I’ll make a separate post about that later. In case someone is curious about the way I paint my DDs.

… this is one super long entry, whoa… I’m really tired so I’ll try to wrap this up quickly. But yeah, I named Mariko Megumi, because I’m fond of that name (one of the reasons are some of my fave seiyuus, Ogata Megumi and Hayashibara Megumi ahah) and its meaning is pretty appropriate: a blessing. Because she’s my grail Dollfie Dream and it feels like it was a huge blessing that I was finally able to bring her home against all odds!! (●´∀`)ノ♡ The kanji I chose for her is: 恵弥, which could be loosely translated as “a great blessing”. Her nickname is Megu, or Megu-tan, because… she’s just so cute! So she needs a sickeningly cute nickname, ahah~

Geez, though, I wnt through a real HELL trying to remove her eyes so that I could paint her… Volks uses hot glue to attach the eyes and that stuff is no joke! ( ͒˃⌂˂ ͒) At first I tried heating it with the hairdryer, but it started burning my fingers (despite gloves) and wasn’t very effective anyway… it stiffens right up ’cause it gets cool again super quickly. So I boiled water and Megu’s head went for a swim in the sink… then the glue peeled off nicer, BUT it still managed to cool & stiffen up really quickly, so I had to submerge her head several times… AND boil another batch of water so that I could get most of the glue out. And there’s still some of the glue inside her head, but I. just. could. not. deal with it anymore. (; ̄Д ̄)I’ve got no clue how to effectively get the glue off her eyes, I don’t know if submerging those in water might ruin the eyes…

Now I understand that why when most people arrange splits for these fullset DDs, group the head and eyes together. I mean, no sane person would want to mess with that glue unless they absolutely had to. It’s like, hey here’s your new Volks doll, welcome to the glue hell! (;¬_¬)

… but yaaay, I’m super excited to have Megu home! ヾ(≧∪≦*)ノ〃She’s everything and even more than what I expected her to be! So cuuuute! I could just sit and stare at her for days, lol~ Her wig is on the way and I’m waiting for Lizanna’s custom colour event to order her some pink eyes – in that last photo I altered the colour of the default Mariko eyes because the olive green doesn’t really suit my Megu. Her wig is going to be this natural ash blonde… I only have platinum blonde wigs for now, so she’s a little too blonde… but I’m trying to keep away from all the brown wigs so that even this girl won’t end up as a brunette – not right away at least, lol! (*≧▽≦)


  • Fantasywoods

    Congrats!! I’m glad many people I follow in this hobby got their grails DDs, it makes me excited!

    For a moment there I thought your grail was actually the rose :o!!! haha jk XD! that rose is cute, it makes for a nice ornament and a good memory at the same time.

    I love your face up, it’s soft and cute and all your DDs look awesome so I’ll be waiting for the process pics :D! I’m impressed how you and Yenna can paint a face the day you get your dolls while my lazy ass takes 5 months minimum Dx……. I’ll try to learn from you and be more pro active damn, I need to step up my game because having blank dolls for months is no fun at all, and then I have nothing to show Dx…..

    Thanks for sharing your box opening, made me want to be a graphic designer at Volks xD the box and papers are so cute ~

    • mizya

      Thank you! :D Mariko seems to be the grail of many people. Luckily this time Volks seemed to have more dolls prepared, at least I don’t remember seeing a lottery where as many international participants were able to win a doll, as this one. Although, there were people who didn’t win, too… but at least with Mariko, there are many of them on Y!J and not much above the retail price either. Kirikas and Alisas go for insane prices already, though. :’3

      Lol, I was pretty excited about it! XD You’re right, it makes a great memory! It’s all the more special to get one with such a special doll~ ^^ ♥ The packaging is so cute, too, it’s not decorating one of my shelves. x3

      Aww, thank you! ;u; I still have a lot to learn about face ups, but it gives me confidence to hear such positive comments! I’ll definitely keep practising~ ♥ Haha, I’m sure that if I didn’t do the face up right away, I couldn’t get it done for weeks. XD It’s good to channel that new doll excitement into customising and sewing. Although, I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day, haha!

      But for example, I didn’t make clothes for my Souldoll Vito Berial the day that he arrived or the next couple of days, and now I’ve had him for months and he STILL doesn’t have clothes. >.>;;; Male dolls are problematic because I hate sewing pants… XD Well, perhaps he’ll get clothes… some day…

      The Japanese are experts at everything cute! xD Azone’s leaflets are always super cute, too~ ♥

  • Irene

    Yaaay, you got Mariko too~ :D the more Marikos, the merrier? And it’s nice to see her with a different face-up and eye color too :D I can’t wait to see her final look!

    • mizya

      Marikos all around!! XD ♥ I was so sad to see when you considered selling your Mariko for a while, she’s one of the Marikos that I kept stalking while hoping I could someday have one of my own~ ♥

      I can’t wait to see her final look either! I really fell in love with Emiko and Umeko when they got their Lizanna eyes, so I’m sure Megumi will look super cute once she has the perfect eyes, too~ The Volks eyes are a bit dull and the irises are quite big… they work nicely for the default face up, but with my super-thick-lashes style it’s a bit too much somehow. ;.;

      Hopefully Lizanna will open the custom colour orders soon so that I can get Megu a new pair of eyes! I’ve been planning pink eyes for her for such a long time that I’m reluctant to change my plans, lol! :’3

  • Alasse Carnesir

    Oh congrats! You’re the second blogger I follow who entered for this beautiful doll and won her.

    She has a really adorable profile and I love the pose of those hands, although, shame about that dent. It’s kind of strange that would have passed quality control. The plushie is super cute. Would a silicone wig cap help her wig stay on at all? It is such a lovely wig, it’d be a shame if you liked the wig but had to replace it.

    Okay, I had heard about Volks gluing in eyes but wow, that sounds like a bit of a nightmare to get the eyes out.

    I love your repaint of her. She has a really cute face. Very sweet and sincere.

    • mizya

      Thank you! :D

      Yeah, I guess Volks had a lot of dolls to ship out so they were kinda sloppy… that dent wasn’t the only issue with my Mariko, she also has really loose legs and ankles so it’s a bit difficult to get her to stand. Her wrist pegs were also stuck and I could only move them up and down at first, I had to go through a lot of trouble to get them out and shave them a bit slimmer, so that they wouldn’t get stuck again. I read that others also got Marikos with their wrist pegs stuck and loose legs… and my friend’s Kirika from the same lottery event also has loose legs. A bit disappointing, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to be anything new with Volks, from what I’ve read. :S

      Silicone caps actually aren’t recommended for DDs. Firstly because they let the dye through, so even if you have a silicone cap, the wigs will still stain because the dye gets absorbed into the silicone and then into the doll. My Soom Vesuvia wears wigs with dark wig caps and her silicone cap has turned purple over the years, ahah… so I definitely won’t be using silicone wig caps for my vinyl dolls, fabric wig caps are better for stain prevention.

      I also read that the silicone caps can cause the vinyl to cave in and get wrinkled, because it’s a tight fit. So that’s another concern… and a risk that I wouldn’t take. xD;; Well, the vinyl could eventually bounce back if you removed the silicone cap, but… better not risk that at all! I’m a little more paranoid with my vinyl dolls, compared to resin ones. :’D

      And thank you for your kind words about her face up~ ^^ The Mariko sculpt is such a sweetheart and she was very fun to paint! ♥

      • Alasse Carnesir

        Ah, that’s good to know about the wig caps with vinyl. I hadn’t thought of that. I know even with resin, one of my boys head still has a stain from a wig cap. I use the cap because he has dark hair and I was concerned about the dark staining but the wig cap stained anyway. I have noticed it’s only certain types of wig caps though and others are fine at least for resin (the silicone ones).

    • mizya

      Aww, kiitos~ ;u; ♥ Limited nukkeja on aina vähän pelottava maalata uusiksi, kun joillekin se default on se täydellinen look. xD Mutta kun tykkää pehmeistä meikeistä ja räpsyripsistä, niin… :’D

  • Tiinyan

    Samat sanat kuin Chuigalla: ilme on nyt vielä pehmeämpi ja siten vielä söpöisempi :3 Dear god, tota silmien irrottelua! XD
    Mutta siis onnittelut! Mahtavaa, että onnetar suosi ja sait Marikon kotiin :)

    • mizya

      Kiitoksia kovasti! >u< ♥ Ihana kuulla niin paljon positiivista palautetta meikeistä, itse kun on aina niin kamalan kriittinen tavoitellessaan täydellisyyttä. :’D No, ainahan sitä kaikessa keksii parantamisen varaa…

      Silmien irrotus oli kyllä kokemus, jota en mielelläni kovin pian ottaisi uusiksi. XD Onneksi nämä aiemmat tytöt tuli ostettua osissa, niin ei tarvinnut liiman kanssa taistella.

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