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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Across the other pond: Licca-chan clones

This was supposed to be Part 6 of last fall's "Across the other pond" series, but it took forever and a day the two dolls I'm reviewing to get here.  There were SUPPOSED to be three, but the doll I'd christened Mariko never arrived.  Since it took forever to get this review together, I'm not going to number these Asian doll posts anymore.  I'm just going to post them as they come and let that be that.  So let's start this with an honest statement:  Licca is Takara's girl.  Even with sweet Jenny and her ties to Barbie, Licca is still Takara's girl.  With her being a good seller it should be no surprise that clones exist, and indeed they do.  Here's my two, with Licca thrown in for a comparison.
The little brunette on the right came from Mexico of all places.  I named her Kohaku, which means "amber."  She is nine inches tall.
She has straight, dark hair that needs a little TLC...
...and amber eyes, hence her name.
Kohaku's eyes have the Japanese style present, complete with three light clusters like my others do.  While her eyes are well-painted and fairly conventional for a Japanese doll, her mouth is slightly different.
Her mouth is smiling like Licca's, but it's painted red instead of pink.  This makes me wonder if Kohaku is supposed to be an older child, despite her diminutive size.  The shape of her body adds credence to that theory.  Like Licca, she's got visible breasts and a trim waist.
The quality of Kohaku's body is pretty low, by the way.  Her body is stiff, rough-seamed, hollow plastic with only hip and shoulder joints to keep her from being a figurine.  The poseability is surprisingly fairly good, for the number of joints.  The hip and shoulder joints can only rotate, but they do so with no fuss.  They also hold a pose without me having to hold them in place.
Kohaku avoids the bimbo-on-Quaaludes tag because unlike many of my hollow-bodied dolls, she can sit with her legs together.
Kohaku is smaller than Licca all over, but her feet are a lot smaller.
As a result, Kohaku can wear Licca's dresses (loosely), but not all her shoes.
So far the only pair of shoes I have that will fit Kohaku's stubby little feet are these.
These pink shoes also fit when paired with thick socks.
Seeing as the Japanese don't wear shoes in their houses anyway, I can let the lack of shoes slide for Kohaku.  Or...I can see if Licca's body will fit Kohaku's head.  Both dolls' heads come off with a reasonable amount of force, and their neck knobs are of a similar size.
It's worth a shot.
The fit is not perfect; Kohaku's head wobbles a little on Licca's body and vice versa, but it's a workable swap.  Kohaku is a little paler than Licca so the skintones aren't a perfect match, but again, they're close enough that this swap is workable.  Unfortunately for Kohaku Licca's body is not available for donation, so I may get an Azone body and attempt that for Kohaku.  It'll be an interesting pairing, putting a cheap head on an expensive Azone body, but my doll, my rules.  If I do get an Azone body for Kohaku I'll let y'all know how it goes.

The second doll has a name and a maker, and should be somewhat familiar to those who are ardent Licca fans.  She is Daiso's Elly.  Pardon the flash reflecting off of the cellophane.
Mami, Emiko, Licca, Kohaku...Elly???  Somehow that doesn't fit.  It's very westernized, like Jenny's name is.  It was used in an anime once though, as a nickname for a witch in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, so I think I'll stick with Elly as a name for this young lady.  Elly is taller than Kohaku and shorter than Licca.  Like the Barbie dolls of yore, these Elly dolls come in all three hair colors, and my doll's hair happens to be my favorite hair color, red.
Okay, she's not the only Japanese redhead that I own, as you saw with Emiko.  Elly's hair is a radically different shade from Emiko's hair, though.  It's also a different shade of red from my newest Fashionista, Katherine the Second.
Emiko's hair is copper and Katherine's hair is what For My Doll would call "sweet carrot."  Elly's hair is...heck, I'm not even sure what to call that shade!  One of the images I found online says this shade is "deep auburn."  Good enough for me.  It's nice hair, especially for a clone doll.  Very smooth and sleek.  It's not hopelessly kinked like Kohaku's hair, nor is it stiff and slightly gummy-feeling like Licca's hair.

Once again, the Japanese aesthetic presents itself with Elly's eyes.  Big and round and...BLUE, with pale pink lips.
Overall, not a bad head for a clone.  I've seen better, but I've also seen worse.  Elly's eyes are not as unique as Kohaku's, but they look much brighter.  I wouldn't have picked that lip color either, but again it's not terrible.

Unfortunately Elly's body is on the lower end of mediocre; it's hollow, blown plastic just like Kohaku's.  As a result Elly's posing is predictably crummy, but to my surprise it's even worse than Kohaku's posing!  She sits the bimbo-on-Quaaludes position that Kohaku and Licca both have managed to avoid.
She can make a convincing stretching pose, though.
I used to like watching our school's cheerleaders do that.  I was NEVER that limber.  That's all that Elly can do, though.  No bendy knees or elbows, just pivot joints at the shoulders and hips, plus a neck joint.  She can hold most of the positions I put her in so that's a plus.  Not all of my clone dolls have joints that are tight enough to hold a pose, but Kohaku and Elly both can.
Like many clone dolls I've seen, Elly's head can come off.  Unlike Kohaku and Licca, her head attaches to a ball-shaped knob.
I actually like this method of connection, as it allows Elly to pose her head in ways that the others cannot.  Elly can tip her head, something that neither Licca nor Kohaku can do.  Mami can tip her head, but not as much as Elly can.
I don't recommend pulling Elly's head off a lot, because it's harder to get her head back on her body than it is with some of my other clones.

Since Elly and Licca are of a similar size they can share clothes, and they often do.  Thus why it's not uncommon to hear Licca fans speak of Elly; they may not have the doll, but the clothes are another story.  This little pink yukata is an Elly outfit and it fits Licca like a dream.
The shoes aren't a perfect fit, but due to Licca's rubbery feet they stay on with no problems.
Likewise, Elly can wear Licca's clothes.  As with Kohaku, shoes are an issue for Elly.  She can wear the same shoes Kohaku wears, but Licca's red pumps are a no-go.
I was hoping that Elly and Licca might be able to share a body but alas, Elly's head opening is too big for Licca's neck.  I might be able to jerry-rig a connection with putty or tissue paper, but for now Elly is stuck with her default body.

Since these dolls are so much alike they'll share a good stuff/bad stuff section.

*Stiff as a board, though both hold the few poses they can strike with ease
*Can't wear Licca's shoes without modification
*Kohaku's hair is horrible.  I haven't tried THE PLASTIC BAG OF DOOM yet, but I'm not even sure if that would help.
*Faces lack Licca's charm
*Elly can't be rebodied without some sort of head modification.

*Elly's hair is soft and silky
*Both dolls have a nice root job, though Elly's is a little weird.
*Both dolls can wear most of Licca's clothes, and Licca can wear Elly's
*Well-painted.  Kohaku has particularly nice eyes.

With a few exceptions, clone dolls are usually a sign that a doll line is doing well.  Licca just celebrated her fiftieth birthday (she's a March baby like Barbie is) so I'd say she's doing VERY well.  It's nice to see little clones come out as that often means more clothes for Licca to wear.  Would I recommend these little clones, though?  Not unless you just want a different face like I did, or if you want to experiment with rebodying.  Elly and Kohaku are cute, but there's nothing they can do that Licca can't, and Licca outdoes them in terms of posing.  Elly is accompanied by a cute wardrobe and that's a huge plus, and her hair is good quality, but that body is pathetic.  Kohaku has a lousy body as well, though she can sit with her legs together (Elly cannot).  Her face is prettier than Elly's, but her hair is not as nice.  So it's hard to rank one clone over the other.  When I throw Licca into the mix though, there's a clear winner.  Licca's hair isn't as nice as Elly's, but she has better posing, her clothes are of higher quality, and her face has an innocent charm that the other dolls' faces lack.  Kohaku looks worldly, and Elly looks spacey.  Still, even though I wouldn't recommend either Elly or Kohaku over Licca, it's nice to have these two aboard.  I look forward to tinkering around with them both, trying to find out what sort of bodies they might be able to use.  It's also fun to look at this trio of girls and wonder what kind of personalities they'd have.  When I group my three together I see three fairly strong personalities that compliment one another.  Kohaku looks elegant, reserved, self-confident, and kind-hearted, Licca looks innocent, friendly, and a little on the shy side, and Elly looks like a flighty, fun-loving bubblehead.  They'd make good characters for another blog, and if I were a traveling sort that's exactly what I'd do.  I'd take these three with me and share their adventures.  That sudden burst of creativity makes Elly and Kohaku worth my money and my effort to fix them up a bit.

Much love,


  1. You want bimbo-on-Quaaludes, you should see what the Star Darlings look like when they try to sit down. Gorgeous dolls otherwise, as long as they are standing up.

    You have a nice little collection there of dolls with the Asian aesthetic. Elly's hair looks nice for a clone doll.

    1. LOL, I haven't seen how the Star Darlings sit! That may be worth a looksie. So glad you like my girls; I need to show you how cute Elly is when she's redressed. Her hair is VERY nice for a clone doll. In fact, it's better than some brand-name dolls that I've seen.