One of four new dolls from Jakzjewelz
The latest BJDs by American doll artist Julie Kelly of Jakzjewelz are a departure from her previous releases. Julie’s earlier work tended towards slender feminine girls. The new Woodland Whimsies however, are sturdy character dolls with distinctive expressions. While technically in the 1/6 range, the 30cm tall dolls are chunky and heavier than many dolls of that scale.
Four Whimsey dolls were released last November as a first pre-order. They are named Sage, Parsley, Chervil and Blossom. Each doll is a limited edition of no more than 50 dolls. Sage, with her heavy-lidded large eyes has been the most popular of the four so far, but I really liked Blossom, described by the artist as “the baby” of the group. Blossom has distinctive scalloped droopy lamb ears. Her chunky cuteness finally won me over, and I received my doll from Jakzjewelz not long after she arrived to the US from the casters in China.
When I opened Blossom’s box, I was immediately struck by the attractive sack she came in; a muslin bag dyed at the bottom with green and yellow, with an external pocket and a name tag decorated with a cloth flower and satin cord. Inside the pocket was an extra pair of hands and a stringing tool. On the back of the tag was the doll’s name and number and hand written by the artist.
Inside the bag, Blossom was wrapped in bubble wrap. She wore a face-mask to protect her face-up. The doll was dressed in a one-off outfit I had also requested. She came with a pair of blue glass eyes already installed. Blossom’s face-up was factory painted, and it includes eyelashes. Her ears are blushed a pale pink inside. Blossom has a simple body blushing. ( The dolls are sold with face-ups only, but the blushing may be requested for free from the artist if desired.) All four of her dimpled hands were blushed as well. The doll also came sueded at the neck and elbows.
My doll was cast in a very pale pink resin. Blossom is significantly heavier than my other 1/6 size dolls and several centimeters taller than most. The closest doll in height and weight to her is my Circus Kane Humpty Dumpty, and Blossom is still slightly taller and definitely heavier. As a result, the price for the doll is somewhat higher than many 1/6 dolls, and the artist told me that each of the Whimsies takes as much resin as a typical slender 1/4 size doll to cast. Blossom has chubbier limbs, but not a big belly. The doll can fit into Tonner Patsy or Ann Estelle clothes and in 14″ Betsey McCall size shoes. The Whimsies are 1″ taller than Patsy and Ann Estelle, so hems will be higher on them.
Blossom has a sturdy build. She has single knee and elbow joints, a single torso joint and pull-out upper thigh joints. The head bobbles a little which is common in dolls with larger heads for their neck, but as the neck is sueded, this is not a big issue. Blossom has no problem touching her head with her hands. She can stand well on her own. The back of the knee joint has points on the ball to lock the knees and keep the legs straight. The torso joint mostly moves side to side or can be twisted and bent, but it does not bend forward or backward much. The upper thigh joint allows additional posing with the legs. Unlike many upper thigh joints, those on the Whimsey body do not swivel all around on their own when you are trying to pose your doll. Blossom can also sit straight with legs out without falling backward. The extra cupped hands are a nice addition, as they would allow Blossom to hold a toy, a bouquet of flowers, a cookies or to grab the rope on a rope swing.
The only thing my doll did not include was a wig, and to match her coloring and the colors of her outfit, I tried two wigs, one of Tibetan fur from Bergeman Dolls and the other a curly pink-red wig from Jpop Dolls. (As Blossom is a lamb girl, I thought kinky curly wigs would suit her best.) The wigs were both size 7-8 and fit very well without slipping.
While they are not the cheapest 1/6 size doll on the market, they are not comparable to typical Chinese and Korean dolls in that size category. The Whimsies are larger. They come with sueding, glass eyes, extra hands, face-up and optional body blushing added, so the price is really bargain. In addition, there are lots of outfits, clothing patterns and shoes available to fit the doll. Jakzjewelz offers layaway for doll purchases. If you like character dolls, you might just want to consider Blossom, or perhaps one of her fellow Whimsey dolls for your own. After months of dreary winter weather, I really appreciate having a new doll right now with a smile like sunshine.
Photos from the top: Blossom photo by Jakzjewelz, Doll size comparison, Blossom touching face and head.
Jakzjewelz dolls by Julie Kelly