Two elaborately detailed dolls were recently unveiled, that were the culmination of a seven-month long joint project between Aaron Egawa and Chinese doll company Domuya. “The new dolls are a pair of Elf Warriors with intricate costumes and weapons. An elegant integration of Eastern and Western styles, the dolls, named Elwyn and Elvina, are limited to just 11 dolls each. The dolls are available online through Aaron’s business LeDolls, and through the Seattle store Bearzabout.”
Aaron Egawa has collected dolls since he was a teenager starting with Cabbage Patch Kids. Since then, he has purchased “everything from 20th century composition dolls to contemporary dolls.” Aaron learned about BJDs at a doll meet at the store Bearsabout in Seattle, where he once lived. His first BJD was a Volks doll, but soon he accumulated many more of the resin dolls as new companies began to appear. Aaron currently has “around 3000+ dolls total in my collection (the number of ) which I lost track of long ago since I have stuff hidden all over the house, and in closets, plus a guest house filled with dolls!” He currently possesses approximately 50 BJDs. Aaron said “I no longer have any Volks dolls since I like the ones that look a little more real or adult like. I really don’t care too much for the ones that look like little kids. I’m really attracted to the new ones coming out by Soom and some of the other companies like IpleHouse.”
Aaron began to work with Chinese company Angel of Dream in mid 2006. He worked to line up retailers, process orders, and keep the stores informed on updates of doll costs and shipping, among other tasks. “I got started with BJD’s as a business after working with AOD doing orders for the USA retailers. I really liked the line and they are a nice doll for the price. I also love how smooth the AOD dolls are and that all seam lines are removed and still look really nice and have a great weight to them.” After two years working for AOD, Aaron decided to also create a business of his own, Limited Edition Dolls or LeDolls. com.
LeDolls first limited editions were produced in partnership with a Chinese factory that was friends with the Owners of AOD. That company worked with the retailer to produce the first LeDolls called ‘Star Spangled Dolls’ There were five 22″ tall dolls in the line. “We choose a more slender body because we wanted to catch the market of the fashion doll collectors and we also wanted more mature faces. Some of them did look more mature like Kali and Daphne but several of them still looked like kids.” Aaron also had a resin 16″ fashion doll created. “we decided to come out with the resin fashion doll to help attract fashion doll collectors in general and there were only a few dolls made of resin at that time in the fashion doll size. Our fashion dolls can pretty much wear most 16″ fashions and I really like the joints on this line.” Aaron added “It was a real fun project and we hope to do more exclusive Limited Dolls in the years to come.”
Aaron had come to know many people in various doll circles personally. “I’ve attended many conventions and shows over my 27+ years of doll collecting since I’m a collector as well. I know many of the USA store retailers since I had been a customer for many years with some of my retailers for AOD.” He also became friends with the owners of Domuya. “I’ve had the pleasure of Meeting Candy, owner of Domuya, many times at the BJDC convention in Texas . At the BJDC in 2008, I asked Candy and her husband Jack if I could do a Limited Edition doll with their company, and since they had talked to me many times over the years, they agreed to do a special Joint project with my company LeDolls. We also included our good friends John and Carol Graham of the store Bearzabout in Duvall, WA to sell this set as well.”
Aaron described how the project was developed. “We got to give a lot of our feedback but we pretty much left it up to Domuya on most of the doll since they are so good at what they do. We pretty much told them what we wanted and they had many good ideas to build off of what we wanted. The Domuya team did the sketches on the joint project which were our concept ideas which helped us determine what we wanted to do. I told Domuya that I wanted to have warrior-type dolls and they gave me the idea of making Elf dolls since they had not done that yet. They then sketched the ideas out and asked for approval to make them for us. We chose them by looking at the sketches.” The costumes were designed by the company’s in-house fashion designers, D.U.C.K.
The weapons designed for the Elf Warriors are especially striking. “The weapons made by Domuya are made the same way the resin dolls are produced. They make the item in clay and then make molds to produce them. They are all made of resin and very detailed. That was one reason why I wanted the resin weapons after seeing their Dirge of Glory dolls last year at BJDC in Texas in the sales room.”
Aaron will always be a big fan of Domuya dolls, and like other collectors, he looks forward to seeing what they do next. “I know Domuya is working on some new dolls right now called the Domuya Life project and it is taking a lot of their time currently. But I know the dolls will be nice! They do great work and have very nice dolls and clothes from several other partners they work with.” As for his own business, Aaron says “We still hope to do many joint projects with other companies and also we still hope to come out with more dolls of our own down the road. My dream was always to own a doll company that produced neat dolls that make people happy. I have always loved dolls since I was 16 and that will never change! So even if we stop the business I will always have a love for dolls and keep collecting.”
LeDolls Website with Domuya Elf Doll Warriors
Domuya Dolls Company Website
LeDolls Gallery Concept drawings, prototype photos, finished dolls, other Limited Edition LeDolls
Bearzabout Shop also Carrying Domuya Elf Doll Warriors