Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Out of the Box: André (Dollzone tan Alpha)

If this doll looks familiar and you've seen my comments on other blogs, then it's because you've seen this doll next to my name - he's my avatar over here.

Back in 2010, Dollzone released Alpha and Aurora, two dolls that brought in the style change that the company was ushering in - still very stylized, but in a different direction than the older more anime-styled heads that they'd released in the past.  I was intrigued by the doll's appearance, but didn't seriously consider buying him since my collection had taken more of a realistic turn.

Still, I looked at the official photos every couple of months, just imagining what I might do with the doll should I ever decide to take my collection in a different direction.   And then during the summer of 2011 Dollzone announced that they were discontinuing their tan resin - and thinking that I was out of time to grab this doll in the form I wanted, I quickly put in an order, right before the deadline.

The non-jointed chest
As you might imagine, I was less than thrilled when Dollzone brought back the tan option a year later, but by that point my Alpha was home, and while he's never been my favourite doll, I was (and still am) very taken with the way he looks and the versatility of his sculpt.

Dollzone's 2011 tan had an orange tint to it, which means that his colour varies quite a bit depending on the lighting (my understanding is that the new version has more of a brown base).  His body is similarly unique amongst the rest  of my dolls - he's on Dollzone's 68cm body, which unlike most of the taller and smaller ones, doesn't have a chest joint.  This makes him more of a challenge to pose, but does mean that the sculptural details are more clearly designed for form rather than function, which just adds to the visual interest.

An alternate look

Interestingly, despite the lack of a chest joint, the torso piece is not a truly non-jointed, as there's a joint just below the waist.  This is the only doll I have that's jointed there, and while it's not a terribly functional joint (although I suppose if I were doing a photo story about an aerobics leader showing off side-bends it would come in handy) but it's another example of the non-standard style of this doll.

Proportionally, he's nearly as lanky-looking as the Dollmore giants, with legs and arms that are clearly longer than any realistic human body's (although unlike those dolls, he's still within the range of the standard SD17/70cm/"Uncle" dolls, so standard clothes and patterns from that range work for him).  Seated, he's actually not observably taller than most standard SD-size dolls: his height is all in the legs.  And while that's a stylistic choice that many BJD makers go for, Dollzone took it a step farther and gave him equally long and lanky fingers to go with the look.
In a slightly more regal style

The hands are also very nicely sculpted, and as a result I include them in nearly every photo I take of this guy - they're probably my favourite part of this doll.  The finger position is equally well-done, and the position is versatile enough to represent a wide variety of gestures.

If I have one complaint about this doll, it's that Dollzone sands all of their dolls as a matter of course.  And while for many that's a wonderful service to include in the base price (many companies charge extra for that) they also won't skip it, even if you request them not to at the time of ordering.  This means that, as with many tan (or darker) dolls that have been sanded, this one has some colour variation along the tan lines.  The sanding was done well, so it's not hugely noticeable, but undressed and in full light, it is fairly obvious.  Still, that's a fairly minor complaint to have!

Overall, for a doll that I bought without a set plan, I've been very pleased with this guy.  He's a fun and versatile doll with a unique face and body, so I'm happy to have him in my collection.


  1. That is one tall doll! The tallest ones I have are the Cissys and even those are just over 53 cm. I imagine sewing clothes and so forth is a lot easier at that size.

  2. It's true, the bigger the doll, the easier the projects! :)

    My two largest dolls (both Iplehouse EIDs) can actually wear newborn-sized clothing, so it's just a matter of making the same size clothing into a more mature style - so much easier than sewing (or almost any crafting) for the smaller dolls!

  3. Thanks for introducing your avatar :-). It is unusual that he has no chest movement, his body looks very realistic this way. The last picture is just gorgeous (love the wig!!!).

  4. Boy is he a tall boy! And he has very long fingers on his hands, I suppose that's in keeping with the rest of him though. Love him in period costume. :)

    1. Heh, those long fingers really do stand out, don't they?

      Thanks! :)