In November of 2009,LoongSoul Doll opened it’s doors to an international audience. The company released 6 striking dolls including Limited Xuanyan with a ‘mechanical arm’. The company is currently preparing the release of two new dolls, the ‘assassins’ YeFei and YeSha. The company has one authorized retailer outside China,Mint on Card. Lindsey Chan was very impressed with the quality and workmanship of the dolls and she approached LoongSoul about carrying their products. “We learned of LoongSoul Doll on the very day they began selling within China. I was instantly smitten with the dolls, so we decided to contact LoongSoul about being a dealer. Now that we have the dolls in hand, I can say that I am very confident in our decision to work with them. The dolls stand right out of the box and pose amazingly well. Everything is high quality, from their resin to their clothing. You can tell LoongSoul puts a lot of care and thought into their dolls. I have very high hopes for LoongSoul, I can’t wait to see what they release next.”
BJDcollectasy contacted LoongSoul and they graciously agreed to answer some questions about the company, their dolls, and their future plans.
Q. When did LoongSoul open? How did you choose the company name?
A. LoongSoul Doll Art Studio was founded by JiangShangXiaoLong in early 2009 after a long preparation period. JiangShangXiaoLong has been working in the BJD industry for a number of years as a designer/sculptor for other established BJD companies. XiaoLong wanted to enjoy a greater degree of creative freedom, and to create dolls that are more his own style.
We believe that every new ball-jointed doll created holds part of the spirit of the doll maker. The sculptor breathes life into the doll with this spirituality, and that should be what attracts the doll collectors. When collector takes the doll home, he/she will bond and love the doll, giving him his complete soul. This unique soul is what gives the doll his own personality, and makes him different from others with the same sculpt. That’s why we put the word “Soul” as part of company’s name. Chinese are decedents of the mythical creature Loong (Dragon), therefore we are “LoongSoul.”
In the beginning, we were going to translate our name as “Dragon Soul”. However, we found out that the English word “Dragon” often refers to a western creature that is angry and aggressive, where as Chinese Loong brings fortune and peace. We then decided to adapt the phonic translation, and gave our company’s English name “LoongSoul”.
Q. Who designs the dolls? Can you tell me a bit about the design process? What inspires the designers when creating new dolls?
A. LoongSoul has one sculptor at the moment, JiangShangXiaoLong. He’s one of the founders of this company. XiaoLong has been working in this industry for almost 5 years. Before he started LoongSoul, he was the principle sculptor for Domuya. His major work with Domuya includes Fin, Faith, and the “Dirge of Glory” series.
XiaoLong has been the major force behind the scene in pushing the limits of BJD body’s pose-abilities. He believes the body language (pose) of a doll has equal importance as how a doll’s face expresses his/her personality. Our newest doll is very the embodiment of XiaoLong’s creative goal, with perfect balance between form and function. A flexible body that can hold a pose very well without being floppy.
Q. What plans are there for future releases? Will there be girl dolls added at some point? When might the 70 cm line be introduced? Are there any plans for smaller dolls?
A. We are currently in the process of creating new 1/3 girl dolls. The preliminary target is for middle of summer in 2010. We do have a plan to create 70CM boys and girls, and other sizes. That would be after we completed the projects for the 1/3 girls. We are in the process of searching for talented artists to join our team, to give a different look for our LoongSoul dolls.
Q. Will the company be creating a clothing line? What other items does LoongSoul hope to carry in the future?
A. We do have plans to create clothing series for our dolls. We are currently in the process searching for talented tailor to enter contract with to produce the clothes.
Q. Do you have an idea when you may be releasing your newest dolls?
A. We are about the release two new dolls for Chinese New Year. They are from the “Assassins” series, “YeFei” and “YeSha.”
Special thanks to Lindsey Chan of Mint on Card for her assistance on this article.
Photos Above: LoongSoul dolls Jingling, and Xuanyan.
Below: Work-in-progress photos from the company of the soon-to-be-released YeFei and YeSha.