Dolls are a major part of Japanese culture. For instance, anyone familiar with the country will easily recognize the hina ningyo 雛人形on display every year in March. During this period, a set of dolls meant to represent the emperor and empress and their attendants are placed on a red carpet staircase in houses. Just in case anyone missed it:

As you can see, the traditional dolls are detailed and imbued with significance. Like many things in Japan, they help explain the importance of working together harmoniously in society.

That said, the appreciation of dolls and figurines extends well beyond the traditional. At grape Japan, we have covered the gamut of mainstream dolls and figurines that inspire collectors. This includes Kirby dioramas, an ultra-realistic Attack on Titan’s doll, and even a posable life-size Evangelion companion. Boasting high-quality builds and detailed features, you’d naturally expect such purchases to demand top dollar prices. And you’d be right.

A springtime collaboration

In this spirit, Japanese ball-jointed doll retailer DOLK recently announced a festive collaboration with Korean animal doll maker DEARMINE just in time for spring.

The result of the effort is the splendid Fuwafuwa Lorenz bean—senbonsakura edition ("fuwafuwa" means fluffy, and "senbonsakura" is thousands of cherry blossoms), which was opened for registrations recently on April 2nd. For aficionados or collectors in the know, it is a follow-up to the widely popular Christmas version that was released in 2019.

As a ball-jointed doll, the joints of the figure can be bent and rotated. Like a human, the doll can be shaped into various poses. Furthermore, the outfit and appearance of the product can be customized to consumers’ liking.

As you can see, the collaboration seeks to leverage stylish makeup and costumes to impart a sense of the cherry blossoms of the spring season in Japan. According to a press release, Lorenz's pale purple eyeliner is meant to imply the image of cherry blossoms at dusk. At the same time, the haori coat exemplifies the elegant appearance of Japanese fabric. While certainly not an expert on the issue, I would say the designers hit their mark with these choices.

That said, interested parties should act quickly because the figurine is a very limited edition. Indeed, there will only be 40 of the 12 centimeter, astutely designed doll. The dolls will be distributed via a raffle system which is accepting applicants from April 2nd to April 25th at 11:59 PM. The limited edition figure will set you back a pretty penny, however. The sakura Lorenze doll is set to retail at 42,800 JPY. Anyone interested in learning more can find more information on the DOLK website and the offer page here. Best of luck!

By - Luke Mahoney.