Mixis Rosa, Zica Yvonne 1/8, and a new wooden bjd project!

Funny thing is, the reason I've been nonblogging lately is I've got too much I want to write about and can't decide where to start! As usual, I've dumped all my un-blogged-about photos on Flickr, so if you follow me there you're all caught up on my doll escapades.

This got a bit long so I'm putting it behind a cut.

First of all, I got a Mixis Rosa! Her face is lovely and so is her hair, even though I think it's kanekalon (which I usually avoid because it's such a bother to boil perm, but it really suits her). I got a first edition despite the limited articulation, mostly because of D7ana's post about differences in the face shape of the first and limited editions, probably due to the mold being worn down. I really couldn't say which one I prefer, but I thought it might be interesting to have one that was as close to the original intended design as possible. Also she comes with a really nice outfit and TWO pairs of shoes! And you will need them - I haven't found any shoes that fit her large, wide, semi-high heeled feet. Well, there was a pair of black sandals from a Kim Possible doll that kind of fit, but considering she already had a pair of black sandals that fit perfectly there's really no reason to bother.

ken shoes?
Tammy shoes?
These shoes that I assumed were vintage Ken shoes but have been informed might be Tammy shoes are kind of close shape-wise, although the heel is still too low.

Originally I was thinking of writing a proper review, but these dolls aren't exactly new and there are so many reviews already. Although European collectors might be interested in knowing that the shipping from Canada was pretty reasonable: about $20 for an almost 1kg package by regular, uninsured mail - although it did take 8 weeks to get here. Still, if like me you have more time than money it's a pretty good deal anyway. The bad news is last time I checked the webstore, the prices were back up to about $45 from the discounted $25-30 (depending on edition, although I can't remember which was which), but I seem to remember they've had temporary sales before so that might change again.

The first edition body has pretty bad articulation, so now I'm looking for a replacement. Both the light skin Kenya dolls and regular tan Barbie are a reasonably close match, but I think they both have too slim necks. An action figure might be better, like this Mixis Opal rebodied by Roxanne's Dolls.

Interesting fact: the certificate of authenticity says the name of the designer is Peni Dyer, which is exactly the sort of information I want when I buy a doll, even a mass produced one. There isn't much information on her online, but she has a website and I can definitely see the resemblance between Rosa and some of her OOAK dolls, like this one. I'm assuming she designed the entire Mixis line - owners of other Mixis dolls, can you confirm?

Also, I noticed her site doesn't mention her involvement with the Mixis dolls. FWIW, Joanne Callander's site doesn't mention she designed the Only Hearts Club dolls either. I wonder if there's an industry policy that the designers remain anonymous, or if doll makers just aren't very good at keeping their homepages updated?

Yvonne vs Dinah-Mite. It's no contest really.
Another new addition I'm pretty excited about and which really deserves its own post is the Zica Toys 8.0 Humanoid, aka Yvonne. She's a 1/8 scale action figure - I know, like I need yet another scale to waste my money on. But after I found first a few Hasbro Cassy dolls and then a Mego Dinah-Mite I did a bit of googling and found Yvonne in a couple of comparison shots. Her articulation is superior by far, comparable to the Volks Mini bodies, and she's one of my favorite purchases lately. The biggest problem is her left leg keeps falling off at the slightest provocation. I'm thinking maybe some hot glue might give it a closer fit (but then again that could be because I recently found my glue gun again, and every problem looks like a hot glue problem to me right now). Also she came with a couple of stains. I considered contacting to the seller about it, but ultimately decided it would be more trouble than it's worth.

R-L: Volks Mini, Zica Toys Yvonne, Bratz
Also, I discovered that a 1/8 adult is about the same size as a 1/6 child, and since Yvonne was more tan than the photos showed, I immediately tried putting OHC Briana's head on her body. . The proportions are good, but the muscular limbs and hands don't look particularly childlike. Yvonne comes with three chest pieces so for this I obviously used the smaller one, but she's still a bit too curvy (you could try sanding the parts down but since they're hollow I don't think there's much margin).
Clothes can hide the proportions but do nothing for the mismatched skin tones.
In the end, I think the weird, cartoony, too-adult Bratz body suits Briana slightly better than the weird, realistic, too-adult body, but if you want to rebody a small tan head to make a very short 1/6 teenager, Yvonne might be an option.

Anyway, I felt that Yvonne's wobbly leg and great posing abilities both deserved a video:

Speaking of articulation: remember when I started carving a wooden ball-jointed doll? I made a few attempts and then sort of gave up (radial symmetry is hard, you guys!), but I recently saw monkeygstudios teeny tiny wooden dolls on Flickr, and inspiration caught me again.

Micro wooden jointed doll
Really tiny doll by Megumi Todd aka monkeygstudio
The one conclusion I had drawn from my previous attempts was I should really try to work bigger to solve a few problems I was having - like the channels in the limbs being too narrow for the string and the material being so thin I was risking cutting into the channels when I carved the joints, i.e. everything being SO DAMN TINY - so naturally I decided to do quite the opposite and work even tinier!
Still tiny...
Not quite as tiny, but still pretty small.
I was pleased to discover I had actually learned a few things from those false starts. What do you know, practice really does help! Everything was a lot easier this time around, and at this point it's pretty close to being finished. All the joints have their various problems, like the arms flying up in the air and the knees tending to buckle, but I decided that instead of spending eternity redoing them I'll just start over with a new doll and call this one done. What's left to do is to carve the lower legs into their proper shapes and make her some feet - they're still going to be weird and oversized, because by the time I got to the elbows I realized that doing the hands and feet with realistic proportions would be ridiculous, so that's why she looks a bit like Megaman. One good thing with working so small is it's actually quicker! Plus it feels less daunting somehow - a MAJOR factor when it comes to me getting something done.

The problem is the dust from the sanding - according to bjd-artists.com (which requires login, but the discussion links to this page), contrary to what I initially thought you DO need a respirator even if you work with wood and not resin, at least in the long run. I don't even have a spare room to use as a workshop and no outside area were I can set up permanently (not sure what the neighbours whould think if they saw me sitting in our communal back yard whittling for hours), so I might take a break on this project until I get that sorted out.

And that's what I've been up to lately.


  1. Yay, Anderson's All-Purpose! Your Rosa is lovely! Thanks for the mention! I'm glad you have a Rosa. What about her zippered boots? I LOVE your photos.

  2. Peni Dyer is attributed on the certificates for Emerald and Houda. I checked their boxes. I cannot find Opal's boxes to verify. The artist was listed on the early web pages for the Mixis dolls; I don't know why her name was removed.

    Yvonne is interesting. Lot of detail for a figure that size. The Bbi (Blue Box International Ltd.) "Perfect Body" female action figures had two different sized (full and fuller) breast plates. But they are larger figures.

  3. It is sad how Yvonne's legs fall off. I would probably wrap duck tape around the leg post to try to make a tighter fit. I am also on the search for an articulated body for my Brianna Joy, but don't really like the Bratz body for her. Please do share if you find something for her and I will do the same if I do! I have rebodied all of my other OHC dolls using Pure Neemo bodies, but they don't make a good AA tone that matches Brianna. I used a Keyshia (Kenya's Little sister) body for Kayla Rae.

  4. @ D7ana Normally I actually prefer molded plastic 1/6 doll shoes rather than "real" materials, because it's hard to make them look realistic at that scale (at least if I'll be able to afford them). But I like Rosa's boots more than I expected. The sole is a bit too flat so the heel sticks out at a weird angle, but since she can stand unaided I feel I can't really complain, lol. I'm a bit worried for the zippers since they tend to stick, but all in all the boots seem pretty well made for the price.

    Thanks for the desinger info. Interesting that Mixis removed her name from the page, wonder why?

    I know people buy breast plates separately for their BJD:s (and maybe for Obitsus?), so maybe it's not so surprising some action figures come with spares too. Yvonne has 3 pairs of hands as well, which I think is pretty common.

    Glad you enjoy my photos!

    @Phyllis Hot glue did nothing so I might try some kind of tape. I think it's the way the edge of the joint socket was cut, it's slightly too wide and the ball pops out.

    Briana Joy seems to be tricky to find a match for... Someone suggested using Juku Couture to rebody OHC, but their necks are much thinner and I don't know if Kana matches Briana or Kayla or neither. I like Volks Mini, but they don't come in any AA skin tones either. Good to know Keyshia works for Kayla Rae! I'll definitely share any finds.

  5. I erred - the Mixis site had had the name of a fashion designer, not the doll artist. I'll ask about it.

  6. Your Rosa is lovely - and so is your little carved doll. It looks a little like some Asian carving at the moment and I just assumed the wide legs were wide-leg trousers. There is a definite little character there.