Smart Doll by Danny Choo

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Smart Doll is a Japanese doll created by a company called Culture Japan. She is constructed like a ball-jointed doll but is made of more durable vinyl rather than the resin that is typically used for bjds. Smart Doll is 60 cm tall, and is in the 1/3 doll scale. She comes in a variety of characters. I ordered the Smart Doll called Mirai Suenaga. Smart Dolls are the brainchild of Danny Choo, British by birth but who became so enamored of Japanese culture that he taught himself Japanese and moved to Japan. He started Culture Japan as a way to promote Japanese culture. Mirai Suenaga started out as an ambassador of sorts, the physical face of Culture Japan. Like other BJD dolls from Japan, Smart Dolls resemble anime and manga characters, but I find them more appealing than some of the more highly stylized faces of other bjds such as Super Dollfies.

I ordered my Smart Doll from Danny Choo’s website. Ordering is easy. You pick which character you would like. Other options are available, such as larger or smaller busts, separate hand packs, torsos, and wigs. Smart Dolls come in a standard camisole and undies set. I love how the panties are called pantsu – since I’m one of those people that have trouble saying the word “panties” in polite conversation. Yeah, I’m going to start referring to panties as pantsu from now on. For an extra $100 USD, you can order an ensemble consisting of jeans, a t-shirt, shoes, and socks. Smart Doll clothes look very realistic and are very fashionable. Do they make them in my size?! Smart Doll shoes are also fab, and Danny designed them with the help of his father, renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo. These might be the only pair of Jimmy Choos I could ever afford.

Danny Choo offers an unboxing video for Smart Dolls. They are packed in a special way and for a Smart Doll newbie such as myself, it was very beneficial to watch it before I received my doll. While I didn’t make an unboxing video, I did take pictures of the unboxing step by step. So this review is going to look a little different, more informal, than our usual posts.

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This is the box that Smart Dolls come in. My Smart Doll arrived from Tokyo to New England in only 4 days! Which was great because I was chomping at the bit to receive her.

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This is what greets you when you first open the box.

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The Smart Doll and all of the accessories fit neatly into this adorable and reusable tote bag. And Danny Choo has a message for you:

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The accessories come packed in a box. Danny doesn’t tape the box shut so that it will be easier to open. The box is held shut by the tote bag. The Smart Doll is wrapped in bubble wrap, and placed in a bag in a kneeling position. This is such a clever way to pack such a tall doll, otherwise Smart Doll would arrive in huge boxes.

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The inside of my accessories box looks rather sparse because I didn’t order any extra clothes or accessories, but if I did, they would all be in here.  What I received was the wig, which you have to place on the doll yourself, and a telescoping doll stand.

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The bag with the doll stand also contained two business cards for Smart Doll, as well as a piece of vinyl. I wasn’t sure what this was until someone in a Smart Doll collector group on Facebook informed me that its used to test dark clothing before putting it on your Smart Doll, in case it stains the vinyl. That Danny Choo thinks of everything!

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As I mentioned previously, Smart Dolls arrive packed in bubble wrap, in a kneeling position to save space.

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Thankfully, both the outer bubble wrap and the inner plastic wrap are taped into tubes, so I was able to simply slip them off. I hate having to battle the excessive amount of tape some people use with bubble wrap when wrapping dolls. Don’t you?

Here’s my first look at Mirai Suenaga unwrapped. She sure is a tall drink of water.

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I love her anime face.

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Now for her wig. Danny’s unboxing video had tips on how to place her wig correctly, which I found helpful. The wig is of very good quality. I’m not sure if it’s Saran, but it feels very silky and luxurious.

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Much better! Isn’t she sweet?

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Now for the coolest thing about Smart Dolls. They come with that telescoping stand I mentioned earlier. Smart Dolls have a hole in their lower backs to accommodate the stands:

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The telescoping stand allows Smart Dolls to stand without a bulky stand gripping them around the waist, or with an obvious base. The telescoping stand can be positioned behind their legs so Smart Dolls look like they’re standing on their own.

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Smart Dolls come apart easily, which is necessary for dressing them, or for changing out their busts. You will need to take their arms and head off to put clothes on them. When removing the head and the mid-sized bust that is included with each Smart Doll, you can see the innovative inner skeleton of Smart Dolls.

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Smart Dolls are larger (and more expensive) than most of the fashion dolls I collect, but I like that their larger size means their clothing is more detailed and realistic  – closer to what people actually wear. While the clothing on the Smart Doll website may be expensive, they are hand-made by seamstresses who work for Smart Doll. But if Smart Doll clothes aren’t in your budget, places like eBay, Etsy, and Ali Express have plenty of fashions available for 1/3 BJD dolls. I have quite a few pieces of clothing coming my way from China as we speak!

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All in all, I really love my Smart Doll. I like her cute anime face. She’s really sweet. I also like that her size will allow me to have a lot of fun dressing her up in different outfits. Now I just need to figure out where I can put her to do some proper doll photography. I might have to take her outside and hope that the neighbors don’t see me playing with dolls!

What do you think of Smart Dolls? Would you collect a doll this size?

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 The Smart Doll boy’s t-shirt that I won from eBay arrived the same day as Mirai but I didn’t open it until after I wrote this post, so I’m adding this photo to show that at least she has one article of clothing. She still needs some pants, though.

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