This week on Doll Break, it's (almost) all about Innocent World dolls from Groove. It was fairly recently that Groove started making collaboration pieces with major Japanese fashion brands, but with fan girls like me not balking at the higher price point, the dolls kept on coming. However, my enthusiasm might be waning since Groove seems to be really pushing the price envelope, as you will soon learn.
Also, as you may have already guessed from the giant eyes staring out from the header... my Innocent World Byul Hermine is home! I took way too many photos this week so be sure to check out the gallery on your way out.
Below you'll find my mini-review of Hermine, news of upcoming Innocent World dolls, more Hello Kitty Re-Ment, and some clothes from Wonderland. Hit the jump to read on!
Remember when I was waiting for my Byul doll to show up, and then I didn't say anything for weeks? Well, say hello to Innocent World Hermine! Lovely. I'm such a sucker for these Japanese fashion brand collaborations and I think Hermine probably has my favorite outfit of the three Innocent World dolls that Groove has released so far. She comes with an adjustable head band, faux fur stole, dress, shirt, bloomers, socks, shoes, and the saddest excuse for a petticoat I've ever seen. Saddest petticoat aside, the quality on the clothes is quite nice, though for these more expensive collaboration releases, I really wish Groove would go the extra mile and replace the velcro with snap closures and line the garments. Who am I kidding? Snap closures would be a giant leap forward by itself.
It took a long time for the Byul face to grow on me, but now I just love them. The wig on Hermine is very soft and the quality is beautiful. The exception being the wig "scalp" showing above her right eye, which you can see clearly in the photo above, but it might just effect my Hermine. Still, I've been surrounded by these dolls for years and even I found that distracting. The braid is a cute touch and I think it adds a needed something "extra" to the hair. Another odd thing is that her eyes aren't foiled at all, meaning they are just translucent chips and you can see the shadow of the darkness inside the head coming through them. Man that sounded creepy! Still, not foiling the eyes seems lazy. The painted eyelashes and eyebrows are both very natural and soft feeling, which definitely mirrors the tone of the Innocent World brand.
All my gripes aside Hermine is a beautiful and sweet looking doll with an amazing, deer-covered outfit (they're even on the socks!) so I'm completely happy with the purchase. I love that Groove took the time to actually reproduce these patterns in miniature and the clothes are definitely higher quality than with a standard release. Here, you can see Hermine with my Pullip Tiphona, who I still think is a total knockout, and you can see tons more photos of Hermine plus a few more a Tiphona in the gallery. I went complete snap-happy with these dolls so I hope you enjoy all the bonus photos!
Just when I thought I was nearly caught up on my Innocent World x Groove doll collecting ... boom! The November releases are announced. That's right, another round of Innocent World collaboration dolls! First up is Dal Kleine, looking very sweet in chocolate and rose pink. I like the contrast between the darkness of her outfit and the unusual, caramel-colored hair, though I think I see another pair of un-foiled chips ... sigh! I love the shoes and socks and the wig is very cute; I'm such a fan girl of course this doll is on the wishlist, who am I kidding? Not all sites have her up yet, but for now you can pre-order Kleine on Hobby Search or AmiAmi for around ¥15,500 (a whopping US$198).
The other Innocent World x Groove collaboration doll for November is Pullip Fraulein. I have to say that, as much as I want to like this doll, she feels very similar to Innocent World Dal Clair, from the tiered, dark lolita-esque outfit to the long ringlets of the hair. The only wig difference seems to be the color and this is the only Innocent World doll from Groove that isn't blonde, so it feels almost out of place. The hat looks a bit sloppy; some times you need to make things out of something other than floppy fabric, but the shoes have potential. I'm planning on skipping this release to get Clair and round out Series 1, but if you're interested in Fraulein you can pre-order her on Hobby Search or AmiAmi for around ¥15,500 (US$198). Honestly, I'm still trying to mentally process why these Series 2 releases, which seem less complicated than Series 1, are nearly US$75 more expensive. That makes no sense to me.
If any part of you saw these two dolls and thought, "I want their clothes!" then Innocent World has you covered. As seen in Kera Vol. 170 (thanks Groove blog), Innocent World has coordinated these two dolls with two outfit set releases. Dal Kleine wears the Chocolate Teddy Bear Jumper in pink (though in most shots on the site it looks yellow) while Pullip Fraulein wears the Antique Doll Dress (Ariel). I know these clothes are meant to be worn in real life and it makes me feel a strange combination of old and in the wrong culture. I would love to wear floofy, Victorian-inspired dresses all day while drinking tea in a well-lit room, but I'm also an adult with a job and not 8 years old. These outfits are perfect, perhaps, for a convention or meet up, but I still honestly feel too old for these outfits in any context. Frankly, the girl on the left looks way too old for that teddy bear, while the girl on the right just looks very eccentric, which I approve of.
There's a thin line between cute and creepy, ladies, and while I'm all for giving the middle finger to adulthood and perpetually dressing like a child, I also think there's a time and a place for it, with the necessity of not infantalizing oneself. Remember, if an adult man were walking around in a sailor suit with a giant lolly, you'd lock your doors. Ditch the teddy bear.
The new Re-Ment releases have been announced and it looks like there's even more miniature Hello Kitty food offerings for you to enjoy. This time around, the name of the set is even more of a mouthful than normal: Hello Kitty Warm Eatery Hokahoka Syokudou. What ever you say, Re-Ment! At this point, I'm just wondering when Re-Ment will just come out with an entire miniature Hello Kitty-themed house play set, which I will buy, of course. Warm Eatery Hokahoka Syokudou is scheduled for release in October and you can pre-order it now at eTraders Place for US$42. I'm not sure I'm feeling tempted by this set but I do like #6 and #7, miniature soy sauce = adorable.
Last but not least, the always lovely Brilliant Haute Couture has released a fabulous Alice set for Blythe dolls as well as a very sweet, pink yukata set (see gallery for pics). Alice is a really standard doll trope, so if you don't already have your Wonderland swag on lock, this set might be for you. It runs US$53 and does not include the shoes, but BHC has an excellent reputation for well-made, limited-run sets, so I'd wager it's worth the cost. The yukata set is equally adorable and US$49.
Before I go, I am also very happy to announce that the mint Jardin du Alice Pullip and matching carrying case that I posted about are, in fact, not a Kera Shop exclusive! I've never been so happy to be wrong. Pre-orders are still open for the October Pullip release at HobbyLink Japan, Pullip Style, Hobby Search, and AmiAmi. Lowest pre-order price I found is US$120, which I may have to pounce upon.
Thank you for reading Doll Break! There are tons of bonus photos in the gallery so be sure to check them out. Please remember to leave tips/corrections in the comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For fellow Groove collectors, I'd love to know what you think of the price spike on these new Innocent World dolls!
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