Comparison of two 1/3 dolls by the same company, released at different times…
Ringdoll Pan was the very first brand new 1/3 boy doll I had ever purchased. I loved his first version full-set. Back in 2010, he became the model for several BJDcollectasy projects including body blushing and manicure painting. Pan was also a popular sculpt for Ringdoll too, and he was released in a variety of full-sets.
This year, I decided to add a new Ring Teenager boy to my collection. Like Pan, Misha has also proved to be a very popular sculpt for Ringdoll. Years after Pan was added to my collection, Ringdoll created a brand-new body for their teen line. As it is significantly different from the old, I decided to compare the two.
Misha and Pan are good examples of how BJD styles have changed over time. When BJDs first arrived, the dominant look for 1/3 and 70cm boys was a lean build. Male dolls were slender, many even emaciated in physique (vintage Dollshe anyone?), and they had little muscle definition. Their looks were more stylized. By the time Pan came out, more muscles could be seen on male bodies, especially chest and abdominal muscles. Pan came out between the slender and more muscular periods. Misha, however, is a product of the increasing interest in a more natural but still muscular form.
Before further examining the differences, I looked first to see what hadn’t changed. Both Misha and Pan’s hands appear identical, although, due to blushing, Pan’s hands first appeared slimmer. Their feet also seem to be more or less the same.
The dolls were cast in different resin colors. Pan in a normal skin, and Misha in white skin resin. There is another difference between the resins as well. When my Pan was cast, the company used a translucent environmental resin. Misha is made with an opaque resin.
My immediate impression in comparing the two bodies is that Misha has a more natural appearance. Pan looks more abstracted next to him with his domed head, narrow shoulders, long shoulder blades and long slender neck. Misha is a little bulkier than Pan, but not excessively so. Misha is also slightly taller. They fit in the same clothing.
Pan has double jointed elbows and knees just like Misha. I tested the mobility of the arms and discovered little to no difference in how well they could pose or how well they held the poses. The most obvious difference is that Misha’s elbow joint does not bulge outward when the arm is straight.
The knee joints are really different from each other. The old body has a “cup” that slides to partly cover the solid lower leg when the joint is bent. The pluses to this arrangement is that the knee looks a bit more natural (well, natural for a resin BJD!). The knee did not bend the calf against the thigh completely, something Misha is able to do. Misha’s knees consist of a lozenge-shaped part with long slits in the back for the elastic. The center front of the lozenge has a floating “knee cap”. Bending the knee partially can be accomplished with the lozenge staying in the thigh piece or in the calf part.
Bent to maximum, the lozenge looks awkward. Clothing obviously masks the joint so when dressed he won’t look as strange. The upper thigh joints turn, but not easily on their own on both dolls, which is nice. When the thigh joint is pulled out, Misha can pose with his knee closer to his body than Pan is able to.
The torso joint on Misha is much more mobile than Pan’s. Pan can rock forward, but not really side to side or to the back. Misha can move his torso in all directions and holds the positions well.
And finally, while I still love the look of my Pan, Misha is a very nice face sculpt. Dressing him up and posing him was fun, and his sweet but sad expression has won me over.
It is great to see so many companies like Ringdoll continuing to push themselves to bring collectors BJDs in greater variety than ever before. Many also are continuing to offer new body styles, and they challenge themselves to improve the quality of what they offer. From natural to abstracted, from human to animal, to the fantastical, the artists that create these dolls offer more choices now than ever before. This competition to bring forward the finest of their work and surprise and gratify their audiences worldwide is why BJDs have continued to gain in popularity over the years.
More photos of Pan may be found under two DIY projects: