Sith lord or samurai lord? Darth Vader becomes decorative doll for Boys’ Day in Japan

A long, long time ago, in a country far, far away (from English-speaking territories, anyway), Yoshitoku Taiko made its first doll. Founded in 1711, the company’s history goes back to a time when Japan was ruled by a shogun, and the country sealed off from the rest of the world.

More than three centuries later, Yoshitoku Taiko is still in business, but Japan is now part of the global community. That’s why the company’s latest offerings are two exquisitely crafted dolls of Darth Vader in samurai armor.

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Beautiful video of master Japanese doll craftsman is equal parts inspiring and relaxing

There’s something deeply satisfying about watching someone do their job incredibly well. Whether it’s a master chef putting together a mouth-watering meal, a talented musician making an instrument come to life, or a pro athlete performing at the highest level of the sport, you find yourself unable to look away, both because of how soothing watching things go perfectly is, and also for fear of missing whatever amazing feat they’re going to pull off next.

So if you’re craving that special mixture of relaxation and inspiration, take a few minutes to watch this video of a master craftsman transforming two hunks of wood into a beautiful kokeshi doll with a literally unique twist.

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Sailor Moon candy, dolls, and music boxes! More new merch than you can shake a Moon Stick at

We recently took a look at a new batch of Sailor Moon aprons, but if you’ve been following the celestial-themed magical girls for very long, you knew that wasn’t going to be the end of cool and quirky tie-ins for the franchise. The product planning team of merchandiser Bandai apparently never sleeps, and those aprons were just the opening salvo of another round of Sailor Moon goodies, including one that’ll help fans with the first part of their quest to eat, sleep, and breathe the hit anime.

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These repainted dolls look so good they’ll knock your miniature socks off! 【Photos】

In Japan it is not uncommon to be standing outside a restaurant, drooling over what you think are actual dishes made in the kitchen, when you remember that they’re just pieces of plastic. At times these plastic dishes look so real that you wonder whether the restaurant really did put plates of its food in the window, but more often than not it’s simply that the person who made them is genuinely skilled.

if you’ve never see this fake plastic food with your own eyes, it may be hard to imagine the uncanny feeling it can create. But you might get an idea of what it’s like when I tell you that the photo of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent up there is in fact a painted doll.

We tracked down the creator of this incredible work online and have a bunch of photos after the jump that you really have to see.

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Ultra-cute “chibi” Final Fantasy VII figures now available for pre-order

It may be hard to believe, but it has been almost 17 years since Final Fantasy VII, arguably the most revered entry in Square Enix’s iconic RPG series, was first unleashed on the world. And in honour of the game’s impeding birthday, its creators have commissioned a series of ridiculously cute “chibi” figures for hardcore gamers and fans of all things cute alike to enjoy, with pre-orders already being taken months ahead of their release.

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Rika-chan finds a playmate in cute Kumamoto character Kumamon

If you’re a girl who grew up with Japanese relatives, then this Rika-chan doll probably brings back some childhood memories. Created in 1967, her popularity in Japan rivals that of Barbie in the West and her impressive accessories collection contains all sorts of Japanese-related goods including futons, Hello Kitty hats and kimonos. Now Rika is adding to her collection by collaborating with one of Japan’s newest and most popular characters, Kumamon, the official mascot for Kumamoto city in Kyushu. The new friends, with their matching black, red and white outfits, will be released on February 1 by Takara Tomy.

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Meet the $1,200 Attack on Titan figure that sold out in two hours in Japan

It wasn’t long ago we brought you news of an amazing DOLK doll loved by manga artists for its unprecedented 80 moveable parts and surprising elegance and beauty. Now, the company has teamed up with respected manufacturer I.O.S (Immortality of Soul) to bring joy to another legion of fans, this time with a 60-centimetre figurine based on a popular character from the hit anime series Attack on Titan.

As fans will know, this young man’s name is Levi, and his following is so huge that pre-sale orders for his doll were filled within just two hours of opening, despite a hefty US$1,200 price tag. We take a closer look at the awesome figure and find out what makes it so special.

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Fans in Japan can listen to Lady Gaga’s latest hits by embracing her life-size doll

Lady Gaga has earned quite a reputation for her forward-thinking song lyrics and strangely obscene fashion sense. Japan, in particular, is enthralled with the pop star and quick to embrace her Asian-inspired appearance and catchy tunes.

Now, in conjunction with Lady Gaga’s latest album release, residents of Japan will be able to literally accept the idol’s music and image into their arms, thanks to the creation of the GAGADOLL, an audio preview device in the shape of Lady Gaga, herself. This life-size doll has a softly playing speaker built into its bust, so when someone lays their head upon her chest they can hear her music in place of her heartbeat.

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Hello Kitty delights fans in Southeast Asia — by cosplaying as fairy tale characters!

We all know that Hello Kitty is one busy little cat, but it looks like she’ll be in particular demand in the coming weeks … in Thailand! In what is yet another collaborative effort involving the hard-working Ms. Kitty, McThai has recently started their “Hello Kitty Fairy Tales” promotion.

Beginning last Friday, McDonald’s all over Thailand are selling adorable plush Hello Kitty dolls. But these aren’t just any ordinary plushies. This time, our beloved Ms. Kitty has been fitted with colorful costumes from the world of fairy tales!

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Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier

When it comes to replicating human poses and natural movement, artists often look to anatomical models. Traditional figures do have their limitations, though, with the lack of details making it difficult to recreate the lines of a raised shoulder or a clasped fist. But things are set to change, with a new figure on the market called the S.F.B.T-3, (Special Full-action Body Type v.3). Ten years in the making, this girl has 80 moveable parts in her body, allowing for an unprecedented number of poses and anatomical designs. We take a look at the doll’s amazing details and see how it performs in some popular anime poses for the illustrator’s eye.

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Let’s get cute! Win prizes for prettying up already super-cute new Sailor Moon figure

There’s a whole slew of new merch to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Naoko Takeuchi’s seminal Sailor Moon. With all these new goodies going on sale it can be pretty overwhelming, but RocketNews24 is on the case to introduce the very best, and today is no exception. In the name of the moon, she will make you part with your cash! And that’s not all – there’s also a fantastic chance to win some super-extra-special Sailor Moon-related prizes.

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Hatsune Miku + Rika-chan Collaboration Coming Soon!

Exciting news for both Vocaloid fans and doll collectors – the first details of a collaboration between Japan’s version of Barbie, Rika-chan, and otaku idol Hatsune Miku have been leaked online. Read More

【Video】 These Japanese Dolls Are Creepy, but They Sure Can Dance

Most humanoid robots are made to look either as lifelike as possible, or as machine-like as possible; that is, similar to the robots we know from science fiction.

After seeing the “Dancing Dolls” made by YouTube user RozenZebet, we have a feeling we know why: anything in between would be absolutely terrifying.

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