Sugarble opened in winter 2010. Since then they have created unique dolls in the 1/6 scale for their first line Sugarsleek R, and their more recent line Sugarsleek S. In 2011 the company released a limited quantity of 70cm boy dolls. They are planning to re-release the line soon.
Q: Were your first dolls Juniper and Christine? Unlike many doll companies that create 1/6 dolls as young children, you have designed more mature dolls and several mythical characters. How did you arrive at this creative decision?
A: Just as you have mentioned, since other BJD companies have created 1/6 dolls in the proportion of young children, we wanted to escape that typical idea and try to see and approach from a different perspective. For that, we started to develop models like Minimi, with reference to the proportion of Japanese animation characters. Spontaneously, designing the models is aimed to emphasize the beauty of the human body line, and that is how our first models, “Juniper” and “Christine” got a mature shape, like a character from Japanimation. Now we can say that is the symbolic feature of them.
But somehow, most BJD lovers have been accustomed to 1/6 dolls with child’s features, so there were some conflicts between customers those did not like mature designs, such as succubus and other glamorous models, yet we strongly believe that such stereotype will be cast away in time.
Our only wish for doll lovers, those that read this interview, we need your love for our models without any stereotype. So many attempts to develop new variations of doll’s sizes and styles have been frustrated by restrictive standards of some doll lovers, more than ever they can imagine. Please set us free from such fixed ideas, and watch our attempts to develop new types of dolls. We promise we will do our best to repay your love for our enthusiasm and our products.
Q: You offer 3 body types for your 1/6 dolls. Is there a reason behind not offering a boy body but an “intersex” body instead?
A: We didn’t actually want to precisely determine the gender of body types, since each of the 1/6 size bodies have their own strong features and characters to let doll owners freely determine the sex of their doll by themselves. And as we have mentioned, still many doll lovers believe that 1/6 dolls should look like a child, so the customers that do not want mature breasts usually choose the intersexual model.
Q: Can you tell me step by step how generally your dolls are conceived and designed?
A: When we make a concept or character for dolls, there is no specific way we get an idea. But mostly we get an idea from ordinary subjects, like mass media, or just circumstances and stories around us. Visual media, animation, novels, and artistic exhibitions could generate an idea, and trivial things like ordinary people, scenarios, or any emotions we usually feel as we live a normal life can also be a be a good source for us. We always try to absorb ideas as much as we can and take a memo, since we don’t want to miss any of them. Those ideas often become real when we design products.
Q: In 2011 you introduced 70 cm tall boy dolls. Will they be returning in the future?
A: The 70cm doll is now being re-designed. Currently we are adjusting the total size, improving the doll’s joints, and adding more details to the prototype model. We assume we will bring good news in the middle of this year.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your future plans for doll releases?
A: In the nearest future, the final version of “The She” is going to be launched soon. We believe the dolls of “The She” have very significant features different from other previous products in the market, and each of them has their own storyline and moral message. We wanted to deliver a message about conflicts and wounds from selfishness and prejudices when somebody makes a relationship with others. We hope you love the story.
After we launch several 1/6 dolls, The 70cm model we have been preparing for a long time will be on sale. You can look forward to it.
Q: The clothing on your dolls is beautiful and so are their boxes. Your dolls often have detailed resin accessories. Can you tell me a little about the design and creation of the the costumes and accessories? Do the doll designers also design everything that comes with the doll, or do you have costumers and accessory designers?
A: Thank you for your good words for us. We usually care not only about the doll itself but also the other items, such as boxes and accessories. It is our pet theory that “Everything we create should be beautiful!” We also think that, for making customers satisfied, the creator should be satisfied with the products first.
As we make an outfit or special resin parts, we establish one strong pivotal concept for a doll, and design a variety of items. By keeping that concept and make matching features, we create what we usually call “unity”. Small items like basic outfits are mostly produced by an outside company, but for the full-set dress, we design it ourselves. We are thinking though, that we’d like to out-source the production for full-set dress if we find an appropriate company. It would be great if they could offer a more creative and beautiful design beyond our expectation.
Personally speaking as the owner of the company, my major is Art and I’ve been working on an artistic career, so naturally I prefer designing and producing dolls all by myself from the beginning until the end, and do not actually like to precisely divide whole work. So I’d say I’m more of an artist than a designer.
Q: Do you have any plans to introduce new sizes of dolls in the future, or perhaps a girl doll to go with your 70 cm boys?
A: Honestly speaking, a 70cm girl doll is our ultimate goal that we’ve dreamed about, and we will make sure it’s going to be a masterpiece.
We will pay our sincerest effort to make that dream come true- the most beautiful doll we have ever created.
We assume the project will be started after the launch of 70cm boy.
On the other hand, we are also planning to develop a 10cm model doll which is really small.
What we worry about is we have a bit of difficulty producing such small dolls with an affordable quality, that may make us reconsider adjusting its size. We are only considering it, though.
Photos above (from top): R line Christine, R line Darline, S line “The She”.
Sugarble ~ company website
The Making of Medusa by doll artist Jiae Kim – C may be seen by clicking the banner below: