Toy brand Takara Tomy collaborates with distinguished doll maker Kyugetsu to release a limited 2016 edition of the Licca-chan Doll Festival series.

Japan’s Doll Festival, or Hina Matsuri, is coming up soon on March 3. Now synonymous with Girls’ Day, the holiday is a time for celebrating (young) daughters by displaying ornamental dolls, a tradition that goes all the way back to the Heian Period.

Generally these dolls are passed down from generation to generation, but for families who don’t already have an heirloom set to display, it’s common for parents or grandparents to purchase one before their daughter’s or granddaughter’s first Doll Festival.

This year Takara Tomy, manufacturer of the Japanese, Barbie-like doll Licca-chan, has teamed up with the doll brand Kyugetsu to unveil this year’s Licca-chan Doll Festival series. The series features Licca-chan and her boyfriend Ren dressed up as the imperial Emperor and Empress and are available for purchase individually or as a set.

▼ One of the five different individual dolls for sale



▼ One of ten limited edition Licca-chan and Ren sets



Single dolls start at 66,990 yen (approximately US$590), while sets run from 154,266 yen to 257,123 yen (approximately $1,370 – 2,285) depending on outfit details and how many platforms are included. (A full Doll Festival set includes seven platforms, but many families prefer to display only three or five platforms.)

The most expensive of the series, at 257,123 yen, comes with three platforms as well as Licca-chan’s twin sisters Miki and Maki, all pictured below. Licca-chan’s floral brocade junihitoe (12-layer robe) looks lovely, and the lace appliqué background really ties the whole set together.




▼ There’s even a Swarovski version.


Needless to say, investing in one of these series isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re the kind of parent or grandparent who loves to spoil a child, I don’t know of any little girl in Japan that wouldn’t be thrilled to receive one of these special sets. Plus, for any doll collectors out there, each set comes with its own official serial number.

These special edition dolls will only be available until March 3, keeping in line with the belief that its bad luck to display Doll Festival dolls beyond this date. Right now you can get 10 percent off your purchase in cash back rewards through Japan’s Global Rakuten marketplace, and shipping is free for residents of Japan.

Feature/insert images: Rakuten/hina-sankyo
[ Read in Japanese ]