“ Brand: Momiji / Type: Doll „
This is a great gift for anyone, personally as I will be going off to uni I'll treasure mine more than ever. It was a Christmas present from my 5 year old brother, he's just started primary school and underneath they have a hidden tiny slip of paper on which he wrote "i love you" with a flower and a stick person. It had taken me a while to realise that was there and when I did it was amazing. It's nice to hide a special message inside for a loved one, especially if you don't see them so much or one of you is going away. It comes in some pretty funky packaging. A cardboard box that resembles a Chinese takeaway and the inside is brightly patterned, and inside the box cushioned away by what looks like a blow up mobile phone holder crossed with a funky plant pot is your momiji. I'm definitely going to be buying one of these as a gift for a friend.
I accidentally became a collector of Momiji dolls after a throwaway comment one day while waiting in the queue at Waterstones.
As we passed a row of little dolls I mentioned in passing to my goddaughter "Oh, aren't they cute?" She then gave me a Momiji doll for my birthday that year, and for every Christmas and birthday and Mothers Day since she has presented me with a new one. I now have nine!
Momiji dolls are made from quite weighty hard resin, they are about 4-5 inches tall, though the height of each different doll varies. They are usually Japanese, sometimes Chinese in style.
They used to be packaged in clear plastic packets tied with ribbon, with a cardboard collectors card included to tell you about the dolls likes. For instance, Happy likes chocolate cake. Happy only has one like, some of them have more.
My first one Cherries (red kimono, chopsticks in her hair) likes collecting buttons and Elton John,
Spike (red spiky hair and a blue and white striped top)likes ballet and dinosaurs,
Pixie (hair in a yellow bob, holding a cupcake) likes escapology and cups of tea,
Giggles (laughing face, hair in bunches) likes jam tarts and ornithology,
Cha Cha Cha (red baubles in her hair and a pink dress) likes peace and love and cha cha cha,
Kitty (in a cat suit with cat ears) likes James Bond and chocolate milk,
Sakuri (winking schoolgirl) likes pirates and koalas,
and Sister(brown bob and flowery dress) likes Florence, twiglets and singing in the rain.
Now the core collection of nine dolls, known as The Randoms (Clever Clogs, Flowers, Funny Girl, Happy Happy Happy(above), Giggles, Pixie, Laughing, Soul and Silly Billy) are each presented in cute little noodle boxes with cushioning inside, to give the dolls more protection in transit.
Each doll has its name written on its base, and also underneath it, you find a piece of paper you can write a secret message on (which has apparently become a fairly novel method of marriage proposal!) If displaying them on a shelf you might want to remove the paper as it can make them a bit unsteady.
While I think of it, if you have a feline friend, make sure you put them on an unaccessible shelf, or as happened to me you may walk into the room one day to find your cat casually batting them off the shelf with her paw one by one. Then you'll need to find the superglue! The dolls themselves are fairly weighty and solid but bits on them like Happys' fan (see above) or Cherries chopsticks are vulnerable to damage by dropping or cat attack.
A word about this specific doll, the one above is actually called Happy Happy Happy, which is a new version of the original Happy, they are very similar but the original Happy has a maroon and yellow colour design and different facial expression. This happens often with these dolls, there is also a basic Sister, and a glam Joanna Zhou collection version. Why they can't give the new dolls new names and new likes I have no idea! Its a little bit confusing.
Happy is one of the larger dolls in design. She is also quite traditional looking with her dress, and she is the only doll I'm aware of that carries a fan. She is not one of the most popular designs as she doesn't stand out that much in a collection. Some of the others have more detail, or they look more delicate or quirky. She turns up quite often on ebay.
There are many different collections now, and limited release special editions. I have two Joanna Zhou Momiji dolls, Kitty and Sakuri, that come in cute metal tins that include little badges and a cartoon polaroid of the doll. The newest collection is a modernistic range of three by Camila de Gregorio, Coming Soon, Busted Bunny and the I Don't Care Bear!
There is no age recommendation on the dolls except the warning, "This is not a toy". They should not be given to children to play with, I don't know if the paint is safe, bits could potentially get bitten off, even the folded piece of paper could be a choking hazard.
You can buy them in lots of places; department stores, Top Shop, Waterstones, specialist collectors shops, and online from amazon, ebay, and online gift sites. The RRP for a standard figure is around £10.
The official website is www.lovemomiji.com, which is very stylish and fun to look around.
I would not have bought a Momiji doll for myself, but now I look forward to getting my next one, which is just as well as my goddaughter has no intention of ever buying me anything else now!
Tiny collectable friendship dolls