Over a year ago, doll artist Kaye Wiggs mentioned that she had started sculpting a new doll and was thinking of making a new tall thin body for her. When she was almost completed, photos of the 54 cm tall doll, now named “Tobi”, were sent to me. Unlike most of Kaye’s earlier BJDs, Tobi is a character doll with an unusual angular face and gangly limbs. I was intrigued by the first pictures of Tobi that Kaye sent me, and with the help of both Kaye and Grace from Jpop Doll, I was sent a factory prototype version of Tobi to take a further look.
Recently Jpop opened a pre-order for the doll in two resin colors; fair and a light tan “sunkissed” skin. My Tobi is cast in the light tan resin. She came nude with a pair of glass eyes and her face-up. Along with the doll, Grace sent some wigs to try out on her. Tobi is able to wear just about any stretchy 7/8 size wig. She has a high-domed cranium which anchors them well with little slipping once they are pulled on. My Tobi looks great in everything from lavender to black.
Tobi’s face-up, while created by the factory, is a good interpretation of Kaye’s face-up style. Tobi’s head has an odd shape with the eyes somewhat to the side rather than toward the front of the head. This can give her a wall-eyed appearance, so installing her eyes was a bit trickier than usual. Her unusual ears stick out and appear a bit droopy. Kaye told me that to her Tobi looks somewhat like a mouse. She is considering releasing a mouse version in the future.
As she is a factory prototype of the final doll that customers will receive, my Tobi does not possess some details that the dolls purchased by customers will include. Mine does however, include the double-jointed knees and elbows. The knee joint is very cleverly designed. When straight, two points on the knee joint lock the leg so it doesn’t buckle. A central protrusion from the thigh part fits between the two points. The knee part will remain in this position when the leg is bent to sit or kneel. To make the lower leg bend back further, it has to be pulled out then back so it rests on the lower part of the knee joint (see detail photos below).
After reviewing the prototype from the factory, Kaye requested changes to the body to make her pose better, especially at the torso joint. The final version of this body arrived at Kaye’s house the other day and she sent photos to show how the torso works. The upper torso holds position when bent forward or back by resting on the lip of the lower torso piece. There is a u-shaped notch cut in the back of the lower torso part to accommodate the elastic cord when Tobi’s back is arched.
Expecting to have difficulty in finding clothing that fit, I was amazed to find out that Tobi fit in most of my 1/4 size doll clothing. She was able to wear 1/4 fashions from Goodreau, Auguste Designs, Charie Wilson and Nankatts. Various separates made by Nankatts from gracefaerie patterns were an excellent fit. Clothing made for Kaye’s shorter 1/4 girls like my Annabella did not fit Tobi; they were way too loose. Of course the dresses and shorts were much shorter on her, and some tops exposed her belly button, but they looked cute on her anyway. While some things won’t fit, especially if they require a shorter waist, my doll clothes worked just fine.
This doll, even with the limitations of the prototype torso, is great fun to pose. Because her arms and legs are so long, simply lifting her arm becomes a sweeping gesture. Tobi is built a like a runway model, and she has the potential, like a model, to be capable of wearing outfits with many layers without it looking too bulky. Tobi is unusual, but I think her quirky appeal is still capable of capturing the hearts of many collectors. Once she arrives at her new homes, I’m sure they won’t be disappointed.
Photo above: Sunkissed Tobi bald with glass eyes & face-up
Dolls by Kaye Wiggs are sold exclusively through Jpop Dolls.