An Ode to Re-ment and A Lesson on Scale

I love miniature food. Of all the minis in the miniature world, mini food is my favorite, and desserts are a particular favorite.

Years and years ago, I used to buy Re-ment when it was mostly food. I’d buy blind boxes in Little Tokyo for $5 apiece, and I would rip open the box right outside the shop and just marvel at the intricacies of the tiny plastic food. And then I would immediately go back in the shop and buy another one. And then another one. As one of my friends would remind me when I started feeling bad for buying so many: “$5 is well worth it if it brings you this much joy.”

It has been many years since Re-ment made only food, and since their blind boxes cost only $5, but they still bring me so much joy. I still have most of my old food sets in a plastic bag stored inside one of my drawers – after they were temporarily lost and forgotten in a box at my parents’ house. I do still take them out when the occasion calls for it. 

This patisserie set, though, harkens back to when I used to collect Re-ment. It’s mostly food, and all of the food is dessert!

The details of the petit gateau (little cakes) is just incredible.

I especially love the fresh cream cake. It looks just like the type of cakes my mom used to get for my birthday and the types of cakes I get now at Sheng Kee, Kee Wah, or Paris Baguette. It’s totally customizable too: there are two little holes in the top of the cake that allow you to put in two strawberries (which I did), a sign that reads “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” (depending on the side you use), or any combination of one or two numbers, like number candles! It’s incredible!

A Lesson on Scale

Re-ment is well-known for being particularly elusive when it comes to consistent scale. “What scale is Re-ment?” is a commonly Googled question. The common answer is 1:6 or 1:8. As a middle-school math teacher who actually teaches scale, I decided to find out once and for all – at least with respect to this set. (And, perhaps, this might turn into a future lesson when I return to the classroom.)

Let’s get a quick refresher on scale. A scale of, say, 1:6 is called a scale without units and compares the length of the item to the length of what that item would be in reality. So, for a 1:6 scale, the item, as measured, would be 6 times longer in reality. Notice I’m talking about length because a typical scale compares length, not area. So, a scale of 1:6 means that 1 inch would be 6 inches in real life, 1 foot would be 6 feet, 1 cm would be 6 cm, etc. A scale of 1:12 would mean 1 inch would be 12 inches, 1 cm would be 12 cm, etc.

The most common scale for miniatures seems to be 1:12, but playline dolls, like Barbie, are at a 1:6 scale. Pullips are 1:6 scale in body, but 1:3 scale in head. Food is always tricky with big-headed dolls with small bodies, because the food always looks the wrong scale. 1:6 scale food is perfect for Pullip hands, but look way too small for their mouths, and 1:3 or 1:4 scale food (like for AG or My Generation dolls) always look too gigantic for their bodies.

Anyway, let’s get back to Re-ment. Let’s start with the fresh cream cake at the top. That’s 1 inch in diameter. That actually doesn’t help too much because fresh cream cakes are usually anywhere from 6 to 10 inches in diameter. If it’s 1:6 scale, then it’d be 6 inches; if 1:8 scale, it’d be 8 inches; if 1:10 scale, it’d be 10 inches. It does limit our possibility of scales though.

Let’s look at the petit gateau. A quick Google seems to indicate that most are 6-8 cm in diameter. That’s about 2.5 to just over 3 inches for us US folks. Most of the petit gateau here are 0.5 inch in diameter, which would make them 1:6 scale. At 1:6, 0.5 inch means 3 inches, the perfect size for a petit gateau. If it were 1:8 or 1:10 scale, it would be 4 inches or 5 inches, respectively, which would be a generous portion but too large for a petit gateau. 

So it looks like the food is 1:6 scale. 

Let’s look at the display. The front display case is 3 inches wide and about 2.5 inches tall. If it were 1:6 scale like the food, it would be 18 inches wide and 15 inches tall. So that’s definitely not 1:6. We can also see that in the display case, many of the petit gateaus fill the case and nearly touch the top of the shelf. Petit gateau are very small and would not in reality be nearly touching the display case. Let’s try 1:8 scale. That means it would be 24 inches wide and 20 inches tall. Still not right. 1:10? 30 inches wide and 25 inches tall. Still not right. 1:12? 36 inches wide and 30 inches tall. Possible, but still seems short. I think it’s most likely 1:15 scale, which would make it 45 inches wide and 37.5 inches tall. 

The back wall is 5.5 inches tall. At 1:6, that’s 33 inches, 1:8 is 44 inches, 1:10 is 55 inches, 1:12 is 5.5 feet. Seems more like it’s at least 1:15 in scale, which would make it 6 feet 10.5 inches. But since the inside of a room is typically at least 8 feet in height, or 96 inches, that would require a 1:17.5 scale to be most accurate.

So ANYWAY. The tldr is that the food, at least the petit gateau, is most likely 1:6 scale, but the display is at a much smaller scale.

Thank you for coming to my math lesson today!!


My New Releases Watchlist

Somehow, a quarter of a year has flown by, just like that.

So far this year, I have focused all of my buying on older releases. Now that the new Pullips are making their way to Pullip Style, finally, now I can focus some attention on new releases. Specifically, there are currently three that I’m interested in — all coincidentally in various shades of blue, my favorite color.

The first is Yume no Kakera. She is super gorgeous, and to me, she looks like a custom doll turned stock. Her stock, faceup, and eyelids are all so beautifully detailed. I’m still awaiting more owner photos of her. I’ve seen just a few so far, and they look very promising. I think she would look stunning with Fu-Tillet.

The second is the newest Alice doll, Alice in Innocent World. Initially, upon first glance, she was a must-buy for me. A dark-haired Alice?? SIGN ME UP. However, I have since seen a few different pictures and videos of her, and disappointingly, in some, her hair appears red rather than brown. I think I will have to await owner photos of her as well before I make a final decision. But I love her dress so much, and I absolutely will buy her, no questions asked, if her hair is more brown than red.

The last doll on my new releases watchlist is Tuxedo Sam. Holy moly, THIS DOLL IS SO CUTE!! I’m almost 100% certain that this doll is a must-buy for me. In fact, I can’t think of a reason I wouldn’t buy her. I’m not even sure I’m going to wait for owner photos for her (but I probably still will).

Because I’ve spent so much time and energy this year focusing on older releases, I’m almost hoping that Groove doesn’t come out with any more Pullips that draw my attention. And so far, I’m noticing this year that I’m finding the dolls less beautiful than their stock photos, which has never been the case for previous years’ releases, at least in my opinion. I’m quite fine with just these three for this year, but it’s still very exciting every time they announce a new release.

Update and Dolly Diet

It’s weird because when I first started this blog, I felt like I could write in it daily, or at least several times a week. Now that I’ve been entrenched in the dolly world for over half a year, I’m finding that I’m writing here less and less, and at best, I’ve been updating once a month.

I enjoy writing too, so I find this lack of blogging a bit baffling, but I think it’s because I like writing when I have more to say, and I don’t like pre-planning what I’m going to write. It’s always a spur-of-the-moment thing.

Which, I think, is also why I’m still posting daily on Instagram. It’s very conducive to being spur-of-the-moment. Also, at the end of the day, I love my dolls because I love their aesthetic. I love how they look and enjoy just looking at them. Instagram allows me to take a quick photo to capture whatever mood I’m in, or whatever I’m fancying that moment, and put a quick caption to it, or none at all. Sometimes, I do write longer-form entries on there as well, but again, it’s more spontaneous, rather than pre-planned.

I’ve decided to go on a dolly diet. I keep saying this because I’m hoping I will follow it. Originally, I made a goal this year of focusing my buying only on new releases or older out-of-stock releases to curb my spending, but I seem to be spotting these older releases on the daily, and it feels like I’m spending just as much money as before!

Since my last post, my Alice du Jardin Mint finally arrived by registered mail from Europe, my beautiful custom from Hime Hime came in, and I’ve since bought three. more. dolls: Romantic Alice Blue, Dahlia Cinderella, and Eclata (!!). Romantic Alice Blue because after Alice du Jardin Mint, I needed another Alice doll. A romantic, classic one. Then I was on a fairytale kick and needed Cinderella, my childhood favorite, and then Eclata has just been sort of a grail (after Alura, who I’m still searching for and will absolutely break my dolly diet for at a reasonable price).

It’s interesting because, as someone who has now been in several different hobbies, I feel like I generally can be more discerning and that usually the craze of buying-everything-you-see-and-it-doesn’t-matter-what-it-is-as-long-as-it’s-what-I’m-collecting-honeymoon-phase doesn’t last very long with me, but it feels like when it comes to Pullip dolls, the reverse has been true. The more I’m buying, the more I’m discovering new things I like, and it seems the rabbit-hole just keeps going, and the chase is neverending. Before, in other hobbies, it felt like: okay, I’ve bought all kinds of things; these are the specific things or kinds or types I like; let me just focus on those types now.

I’m not even sure what the point of this rambly post is other than just reflecting out loud, which I think is kind of the entire purpose of a blog.

And now, a photo of my collection as it currently exists, because even though this is a blog, we still enjoy pictures:

Out of control. I know!

Dolly Update

So somehow, it’s already been an entire month since I last posted.

First, I want to clarify that TODAY is the actual six-month anniversary of when I started collecting dolls. I made an entire post last month about how it had been six months since Claudia came into my life. Well… I calculated wrong, somehow, because I usually am really good at calculating time. I was off by an entire month and didn’t even realize it until a few days later.

Oh well, it didn’t hurt anyone, and it’s not even like I bought an anniversary doll to commemorate the event and having it turn out to not be an anniversary doll. (Lol. As if I needed an actual reason to buy a doll.)

So, how am I doing with my dolly goals?

I had three general goals: 1) focus purchases on upcoming new releases or older out-of-stock releases at reasonable prices; 2) get another display unit; and 3) work on some dioramas.

I think I’m doing pretty good!

Let’s start with the first goal. So far, during this calendar year, I’ve bought five Pullip dolls. Only the first doll didn’t follow my “rule,” and that was Hello Kitty (but you know what, she was like my new year doll, so I think I get a pass). The rest of the dolls do follow my rule: three of them are older out-of-stock releases, all at very fair and reasonable prices, and the fourth is a custom (!!!). I’ve already received Minervah and Bloody Red Hood.

There is one doll in transit to me and it has been in California for over a week, after making it over from Europe, but I did just find out today that she was being sent by international registered mail. I have never had anything sent by registered mail before, and apparently it takes a reallllly, realllly long time because its purpose is to send mail securely, not quickly (I learned that every time the item transfers hands, it requires a signature, so everything is tracked and entered manually).

The custom is being shipped as we speak, and it’s coming from Asia, so it’ll probably be a little while before it comes to me… although I did pay for express shipping, so fingers crossed it gets here sooner rather than later!

In terms of my second goal, I did get a new display unit! The good news is that it officially houses ALL of my dolls. The bad news is that it is completely full. Like, I couldn’t comfortably fit another doll in it. I suppose I could fit dolls on top of it, but I think I’ll house my everyday gals, Autumn and Ddalgi, in the dollhouse once the mystery straggler and the custom get in (those two are definitely going inside the display unit).

I haven’t made much progress on my last goal. I don’t have any permanent dioramas set up, but now that the dollhouse is empty, I’ve been able to set up dioramas on the fly, and so far, I’m kinda loving that flexibility and that overall rush of creativity of building a mini scene or setup just because I feel like it that moment.

I do want some more fixed dioramas though. I just really want my dollhouse to feel lived in and cozy.

Six Months

Today marks six months since Claudia, my first doll, arrived home. That means I’ve been collecting dolls for half a year now! At what point am I no longer a newbie?

I’m actually really happy with where my collection is at. I like the themes and pockets of cohesiveness that I’ve developed within my collection.

I resisted buying yet another doll — which took quite a lot of willpower. But I resisted because I really want to enjoy the dolls I currently have. I want to experience a period where I’m not constantly buying and opening and unboxing yet another doll. My collection has been constantly growing these last six months. It really hasn’t been able to just pause, take a breath, and just exist.

(Also, I have a doll already making its way towards me. In my defense, I bought it two weeks ago, and it’s arriving from Japan.)

I also really want to nail down a display option for my dolls. Before, all of my dolls fit in the dollhouse, and I could take the ones I wanted to photograph and pose them at the top of the bookcase next to the dollhouse. But now, the top of the bookcase is also full of dolls, and I have to move them every time I want to take some photos, or I have to photograph dolls in front of the dolls already there, which isn’t a big deal, but I really do like the option of having a blank canvas. This means, I need another display option to house the dolls currently at the top of my bookshelf, so that the top of the bookcase can remain empty. Yes, I know… I’m shaking my head too. #DollCollectorProblems

A Dolly Retrospective

Holy moly. Somehow, it is 2023 already.

2022 was the hardest year yet for me. I became a mother, and new motherhood is definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I went through some pretty awful PPD and was so lucky to come out of it alive and stronger AND also to discover dolls, thanks to Juli (@Peekaboorose on Instagram and YouTube). It was that “Decks & Dolls” video, in case you’re wondering.

Dolls brought me so much joy and happiness. They helped heal me. They piqued my interest, made me curious, got me excited, and connected me with a wonderful community of people.

As I have done with all of my past hobbies (or collections), I like looking back on the year with that collection’s lens in mind and do a review and retrospective of sorts. (I meant to do this the last week of December, but obviously I didn’t, and so here we are, already a week into January.)

Some highlights and musings, in bullet form:

  • I started my doll collection in mid-August.
  • I currently have 25 Pullip dolls! (Yes, I, too, am wondering how I got here.)
  • I’ve decided to focus my collection exclusively on Pullips for now. They are my favorite kind of doll, and other dolls just don’t quite scratch the itch for me. I have a few Ddung dolls, but I think of them as accessories to my Pullips (e.g., dolls for my dolls).
  • I was very doll-fortunate in 2022 and was able to acquire quite a few dolls due to good timing. Many of my dolls were gifts (bday, Christmas, anniversary, and other occasions), and most of the rest were purchased with money from selling tarot decks or for commissions paid for print-on-demand decks I’ve made.
  • My first doll was Pullip Claudia. She is still my favorite, probably because she’s the very first one and the one I agonized over the most because I wanted my first to be perfectly perfect for me. She’s the one I would save first.
  • Mistica was my most unexpected doll. She was sent to me by mistake, and I decided to keep her. She opened my world up, and now I just love all the dolls! Because of her, my dolly aesthetic evolved from exclusively dark-haired dolls to include the pink-haired, candy-colored, and pastel-wearing dolls.
  • Some unexpected favorites were Noalura, Nana-chan Calico, Kiyomi, Fluffy CC, and Rose Witch. I really do love all of my dolls, but these were the ones that I didn’t think I would love as much as I do.
  • In 2023, I hope to focus my purchases on new releases that intrigue me or older out-of-stock releases that are reasonably priced. I would also like another display unit of some sort and would like to work on creating dioramas.

And, of course, we have to include some pictures now!

Dolly Confession #2

Is it just me, or do you find any excuse to buy a doll?

My baby turned 6 months! Time to buy a doll.

It’s my birthday!! Time to buy a doll (…or two…or three… seriously, who’s counting!?)

This week was a hard week. I deserve a treat. Time to buy a doll.

There’s a sale going on!! Time to buy a doll.

I went a week without buying a doll! … Time to buy a doll!

It’s my three-month dollversary! Time to buy a doll.

(It really is my three-month dollversary, btw.)

More on My Dolly Aesthetic

I really enjoy categorizing, and my categorical habits tend to focus on whatever hobby I’m into at the moment. Since for me that’s dolls right now, I’m trying to categorize the types of dolls I’m drawn to.

I’m realizing that the dolls I especially like have:

  • Proportionally larger heads and eyes
  • Long hair (preferably dark)
  • Elaborate clothing

This is why Pullip dolls remain my favorite. They have a 1:3 scale head on a 1:6 scale body (aka a very large head). All of my Pullip dolls, except Mistica, have long hair that’s dark. Pullip dolls generally come with elaborate stock. For me, “elaborate” doesn’t mean it has to be fancy, just detailed. For example, Strawberry (Pullip Ddalgi) doesn’t wear fancy clothes, but her stock is still elaborate to me, with lots of fun patterns, details, and layers. I prefer my Pullip dolls to wear their original stock clothing, unless I find an outfit I’m more fond of (Cora Gu dresses are a new fave — lots of embroidery and layers upon layers of tulle).

This is also why I prefer Rainbow High over Barbie or other playline dolls. Rainbow High dolls have proportionally larger heads and eyes. They have long hair, and they have the most elaborate clothing of all of the playline dolls. Also, their hair is much softer and bouncier than Barbie hair, which to me feels waxy, heavy, and slightly greasy.

I’m realizing that, for these reasons, I don’t particularly love Barbies or other playline dolls. They have more proportionally sized heads and their clothing isn’t very elaborate. I do have a soft spot for my Holiday Barbie, because of what she represents, but she’s really the only one.

I recently discovered Ddung dolls. Like Pullip, they are Korean dolls. Ddung (뚱), pronounced “ddoong,” from what I can gather, means “chubby,” but in like an affectionate, term of endearment kind of way. Or, it could also mean: shy, sullen, or dour. She comes in three sizes, and the size I stumbled upon is the smallest size. She’s about 4 and a quarter inch tall, with a large head and eyes and long dark hair. Her costume is fairly elaborate for such a small doll (she represents Pisces in the constellation). She reminds me of a larger Calico Critter, in terms of her body and articulation (and onesie!), although she is obviously a human rather than a forest critter, and her head is much larger in scale.

Now that I’m thinking about it some more, I think the head size and the hair are linked. I think I like dolls with larger heads because it means more hair and longer, thicker hair.

What’s interesting to me though is that Blythe dolls fit all of my requirements — very large head and eyes, long hair, and elaborate clothing — but for whatever reason, I’m not as drawn to them. I enjoy looking at them and following people who have Blythe dolls, but I don’t feel compelled to own one. I’m not quite sure why. I think it’s partly because of the cost. Blythe dolls are similar in price to Pullip dolls, if not more, and for the price, I’d rather get a Pullip doll. The eye chips or eye changing mechanism isn’t what draws me to the dolls; hair and stock outfits are more important to me. If Blythes were significantly cheaper, I’d probably get one to see how I like it. But I do think there is still some unknown aspect of Pullip and Rainbow High dolls that I’m drawn to that Blythe dolls don’t have, and I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet.

Dolly Confession

Since I started collecting in August, there hasn’t been a single week where I haven’t bought or received a doll. NOT ONE!

There was one week where it almost happened, but I caved and ordered a doll at the end of that week. (It was Pullip Daisy, in case you were wondering.)

As of now, I haven’t bought or received any dolls this week. But then again, it’s only Thursday, and there’s still plenty of time for it to happen.

Barbies and Rainbow High, Oh My

So when I first started collecting dolls, I intended to focus exclusively on Pullip dolls. (I say this like I’ve been collecting a long time. Let me remind you that it’s been only two-and-a-half months.) It’s kinda like when I did tarot, I focused mainly on tarot and wasn’t that interested in oracles.

Obviously, the fact that I’m writing this blog post means that I branched out a little. It started with this year’s Holiday Barbie. For me, the Holiday Barbie has always been my dream doll. Since I basically only had Barbies growing up, the Holiday Barbie was like the Queen Barbie each year. Since Holiday Barbies are meant to be collector dolls, they have a higher price point and they’re not really meant to be played with. That meant there was no way my parents would be buying me the Holiday Barbie. And so little old me never got her Holiday Barbie.

I honestly never thought about the Holiday Barbie again until I saw her at a Toys R Us in Macy’s a little while ago. In case you didn’t know, Toys R Us was THE toy store back in the day, it filed for bankruptcy a few years ago because honestly who can compete with Amazon, and was given new life inside Macy’s this year. When I went to go check out the new Toys R Us, one of the first sights to greet me was the 2022 Holiday Barbies. There appears to be one of each race, and I was stunned by the Asian Barbie. I had never seen an Asian Barbie in person, let alone an Asian Holiday Barbie.

Somehow, I was able to exercise discretion. I told myself, as we doll collectors often tell ourselves, I didn’t need a Barbie now that I had my Pullips. And so I left the store without buying anything, thinking about the Asian Holiday Barbie the entire drive home. I kept thinking about her on-and-off again, and a few weeks later, went back and bought her. She really is just beautiful, and she actually looks Asian! I found out her face sculpt is named Olivia, so I have named her Olivia.

Getting Olivia was like getting my first oracle deck. I knew it opened the doors for more non-Pullip dolls, but I realized that I still preferred Pullip dolls. It’s not really fair to compare a playline doll like Barbie to a collector doll like Pullip, but I’ve been spoiled and I can’t help but compare now. The biggest deterrent for me is the hair. Playline doll hair just isn’t as great. Obviously.

Because I had watched a few Barbie videos and because I have been watching a lot of Blackpink music videos (to sing and dance along to with my baby), YouTube suggested that I check out Rainbow High’s Minnie Choi. Suddenly, I was seeing Minnie everywhere — on YouTube, on Instagram — and I couldn’t escape her. I went and checked her out a few times when I was at Target to buy other things, but I never did actually buy her until, again, I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

I finally caved and bought Minnie. She was so cute, and I could feel that her hair was soft, despite the amount of product in it. She was super cute in her outfits, and I really enjoyed being able to mix and match her pieces, even if I didn’t actually enjoy putting on her clothes. After getting Minnie, I was like that’s it, there really isn’t any other Rainbow High dolls that I’m attracted to. I don’t love the idea of each doll only wearing one color exclusively, and probably the reason I was attracted to Minnie was because she was pink AND black, and you know how that combo is just irresistible.

But YouTube and Instagram algorithms are very powerful mechanisms and they had other ideas for me, and suddenly, I was being suggested Lila Yamamoto, and oh my goodness, essentially the same thing happened again. Of course, I caved and bought Lila. I actually love Lila and Minnie together though. I think they match quite well.

And since I seem to go to Target every few days to buy baby items, and the toy aisle is right next to the baby items, I always seem to browse the doll aisle every few days, and on one of those days, I spotted Fashionista 177 (they don’t even get names! just numbers!), and I thought she was so beautiful, a real-life, regular Asian Barbie in the wild, and of course, I had to take her home. (I’m still thinking of what to name her because I can’t be calling her 177 forever!)

And so that is how it came to be that I suddenly went from only Pullips to now having Pullips…and friends.

I do think Rainbow High is more visually like the younger sister of Pullip than Dal or Byul are. I love that you can go to any Target and pick out a beautiful doll with long hair, actual lashes, inset acrylic eyes, and great articulation, with amazing outfits, for like $25-30. It’s quite wonderful, actually. I could buy 5-7 Rainbow High dolls for the price of one Pullip, depending on the Pullip. But again, you do get what you pay for. Pullip dolls are truly incredible dolls. They have amazing hair, the most gorgeous eyes I’ve ever seen on a doll, and wonderful stock clothing. They will always be my favorite, but I love that there is now sort of a budget version that you can easily get!