Round face, pert nose, beady eyes and straight shiny hair… Her little body is filled with Japanese girls’ dreams and hopes. Licca-chan (リカちゃん), a dress-up doll made by Japanese toy maker TOMY, is very popular among not only children but also among adults. Today, I interviewed a collector of Licca-chan, Littlerabi, and I was shown her correction.
Licca-chan was originally released in 1967. Before the release of Licca-chan, American dress-up doll “Barbie” was available to Japanese girls. But Barbie was not popular with Japanese children because of her western features and grownup fashions. In response, Takara (now TOMY) released Licca-chan, which was a Japanese version of Barbie. Licca-chan dolls have become immensely popular, selling more than 50 million due in part to the fact they are the perfect size for small children to play with in their little hands, and because they have cute features like those of heroines in shōjo manga.
— Your collection is amazing! How many Licca-chan dolls do you have now?
I cannot remember the exact number, but I think about 100.
— When did you become interested in collecting Licca-chan dolls?
Since I became an adult. When I found Licca-chan at events once or twice, they reminded me of the time when I was a little girl. I have been hooked on her again from then on.
↓ Piece of Littlerabi‘s collection.
— What do you like about Licca-chan?
Most of all, she is lovely, and she give me dreams of happiness of girls. Licca-chan is timeless, even though newer Licca-chan dolls feels more modern they still give me a vibe of nostalgia. Sometimes I make her outfits and take pictures, then I update them to my website. Other collectors do as well, and communicating about this with them is very interesting and fun.
— What differs Licca-chan from other dolls?
She is like the girl next door with a cute face, and she fits nicely in the hand. The factories in Japan that make Licca-chan dolls also provides order made service where you can get own custom made Licca-chan. This brings a new dimension of fun as a collector.
You can see more Licca-chan’s photos on Littlerabi’s website!