A new Korean Company called AngelHeim opened their doors in August 2009. The company’s first doll, Medusa Zion, was an ambitious project; a 71 cm fantasy character doll. The version of Medusa Zion that the company first introduced, while visually arresting, had a complicated system for adding and removing the snakes on the doll head. After feedback from collectors on Den of Angels BJD forum, the company switched to magnetic attachments as a more practical method for attaching fantasy parts. Since then, Angelheim has created many more dolls with fantasy accessories. AngelHeim’s enthusiasm, hard work, unique style, and receptiveness to their collector’s input makes them a company worth watching.
Q: How did AngelHeim form?
A:One day in spring last year, 2009, two of our designers, Jay H and Jason Y, were having a chat about the BJD world and they were very anxious to form a new studio. One of them had been a main sculptor at another studio and decided to go his own way. The other , Jason Y, used to work for an Ad company and was in charge of creative planning.
They wanted to create something fun to enjoy their creative world and started looking for another founding member for their own team. About a few months later, they found a professional doll clothes designer and face up artist.
The four of us had a long chat, drew up our 1 year plan, and finally opened a studio – AngelHeim.
Q: How did you decide on the name Angelheim”
A: As many people already got the idea, it means “Home of Angels” ‘Heim’ means a ‘Home’ in German. Frankly we got that idea from the city ‘Anaheim’ where the biggest play ground, Disney Land, exists. (We were surprised we were able to buy that domain!)
Q: Who are the main AngelHeim staff members?
A: The staff:
Jason Y – Creative Director & Sculptor
Jay H – Sculptor
Angelia – Clothing Design & Customer Service
Yeon P – Face Up Artist
J Max – Sculptor
J Max has joined us a few weeks ago, and he is mainly charged with Angelheim Body Design. Jason Y & Jay H are both leading the team.
Q: How did you decide on your first doll subject?
A: Our first release of Medusa was the most painful work for all of us because it was our first time to sculpt a 70 cm Body which required a lot of mechanical knowledge. We threw out so many prototypes with lots of errors and mistakes. We all knew designing the body, snakes, and clothing would be very difficult and risky. However, we really wanted to introduce something new first to BJD world.
Our concept of ZION was not only creating a male Gorgon, but we wanted to interpret by ourselves. ‘Medusa’ is known as a deadly monster in mythology, but we found her ‘A lonely girl’ who can not ever find her fiance at all. We just wanted to find someone who can be with her so she does not have to turn people into stones. This means that our recent release of ZENA was planned from the start as a fiance of ZION. (People may find some resemblance with him and that is our intention for her face.)
Q: What was your concept for JuniorHeim?
A: JuniorHeim Dolls were a part of our first plan too – to introduce MSD size fantasy dolls which were rarely done before. We thought smaller dolls might be done faster and easier but that was totally wrong! It took more time than our 70cm dolls, so ZENA was pushed back and released about 6 months later.
It took more time because it was our very very first time to sculpt MSD body & heads. Jay had some experience for SD size head and body (very little though but it helped), but all of us had NONE. So we started from BLANK about the proportion and body lines and also fantasy parts too. Angelia also had no experience designing MSD size clothes too.
So we threw lots more prototypes away into the basket….
Q: Will there be a JuniorHeim girl?
A: For now, we have an MSD size JuniorHeim Girl body prototype, 3 heads, and some fantasy parts on our desk. Our original plan was to release JH Girls in July. But right after J Max joined our team, he pointed his finger out at all the bads over the body. So we decided to spend more time for a fine tune. He has a lot more experience with BJD Body Sculpt. However, for now, we do not want to show a JH Girl Prototype at this point (because we got shocked and he said it is better to sculpt from the sketch….I mean yes ,we threw that away again!)
Q: Will you be making any more sizes of dolls?
A: We think we want to design 27 cm dolls later on. So many people asked us for 60cm boys too, so we’d better consider that too.
Q: What is your main inspiration for the AngelHeim lines?
A: Well, a lot of people were looking at us like a ‘SOOM’ or other fantasy BJD Studios, however we strongly believe we have our own style and always try to find something fun and new. The only thing we need to fight is just ‘TIME , but we can see ourselves and AngelHeim as a unique Fantasy BJD studio which is inspired by Greek myth and Japanimation too, in near future.
Photos Above: Medusa Zion, Detail of Zena Ice Queen
AngelHeim – Company Website