Review: Volks Lace-Up Top Set

Yesterday I shared my thoughts & observations on Volk’s newly released Sailor Tulle Skirt Set (and I just added a couple more pictures of the outfit to that post!), and today I’ll share my observations of the Lace-Up Top Set (DDTK-179). This was a very popular set and sold out very quickly at the Osaka 7 DP after-event online, and for good reason! It’s such a cool outfit – I would wear it myself! ^__^” Here’s Lily modelling it – she’s a DD3 with an L-bust. This outfit will fit M and L bust (although I imagine the black top would be loose) and also the DDdy.

Volks Lace-Up Top set

In my personal option this set was one of the best values of the sets released at the Osaka 7 DP (retail price is 6615 yen) since it came with so many components!

Volks Lace-Up Top set

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Review: Volks Sailor Tulle Skirt Set

A quick post today to review one of the newly released Volks outfits from the Osaka 7 Doll Party (Dolpa)! I managed to secure several of the outfits released at this event, and I’ll try to review them all promptly so that anyone who likes them can try to obtain them from Volks USA’s after-event in a few months time.

This is the Sailor Tulle Skirt set (DDTK-178) (which at the moment is still in stock on the Volks International web store!) and it features a zip-front blazer, a tank top, skirt and thigh-high socks.

This outfit is designed to fit Dollfie Dreams with either small or medium bust, and here is Sakura modelling it.
Volks Sailor Tulle Skirt Set

Here’s what the inside of the outfit components look like: (oops I left the stockings out! >__<“)
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Review of Volks Dollfie Dream stand

I recently ordered the new plastic stand that Volks released specifically for Dollfie Dreams. There was an “all-in-one” box, and several optional components that could be ordered seperately (extra rods and gripping pieces, clear base without tripod mount, and the X-base). It looks very attractive because it’s all clear plastic. I bought the complete stand, an extra set of accessories and the X-base.

Volks plastic Dollfie Dream stand

I made a quick video to review it. This stand is designed to work as a saddle-stand, waist-hold type stand, thigh-support stand or arm-supporting stand depending on which plastic rods you interchange and how you pivot the claws. I only show the stand as a arm support and thigh stand.
(And at 5:06, I meant to say “a screw and a washer,” not a wingnut >__<” )

Since Dollfie Dreams are fairly stable and can stand quite well, I think these stands were designed to support them in “action” poses, but overall the plastic is very flimsy and wobbly and I wouldn’t recommend using these stands for displaying your doll day to day. My overall impression is that this is more of a “support” stand for taking photos, especially since the base has 2 extra spots to attach a couple sets of rod to support a sword or other type of weapon.

If you were interested in this stand purely because it has a tripod mount, I don’t recommend it simply because it is quite flimsy and the plastic rods can come apart if not pushed all the way into the joints. This could lead to a disaster during a photo session! >__<"

If you have any comments or questions about this new doll stand, send me a message or leave me a comment!

– ♥ Archangeli

Dolls in this video: Rin Tohsaka, Annalise (Rise Kujikawa on DD2 body), Siobhán (Saber Alter on DD3 body) Gabrielle (Akira on DDS body), and Hinata (DD Shino on DDdy3 body) And if you're curious, Annalise and Akira are both on thigh-support stands made by CoolCat, and Siobhán is on a Volks metal-base saddle stand. The other doll stand that I show in this video is the Dollfie World tripod-mountable doll stand.

Lovely Hinata in Something Blue

Hinata recently was upgraded from her DD2 body to the DDdy3 body and wanted to wear the lovely new dress to showcase her new assets.

Hinata

The dress she’s wearing is the “Something Blue Wedding Dress” from the recent Volks Dolpa in Sendai, Japan. It came with the dress, choker arm covers, lovely white thigh-high stockings with white lace trim, and a veil. I rather like the dress just on it’s own as a pretty tea dress – it reminds me of the beautiful silhouette that dresses had in the 1950’s at the height of the Christian Dior “New Style.” I think the next time Hinata wears this, she needs some pearls and a lovely hat!

Hinata

The dress is actually three separate pieces – the bodice (which is lined in white), an underskirt made of a white brocade-like fabric (that has a layer of soft tulle built in for a bit more puffiness) and the overskirt, which has the lovely blue fabric with a sheer white chiffon layer over it and the lovely lace trim. Since the overskirt isn’t attached, it can be worn so that the bow is at the front, back or off to one side. For collectors who own the Volks “Sugar Milk Cookie” outfit from Kyoto 9, the blue to this dress is a little bit lighter. It isn’t nearly as bright as the “Alice Maid” set.

Here Hinata is wearing just the bodice and the white brocade skirt to show the lovely texture of the fabric. I’ve already got a few mix-and-match outfits in mind for this lovely white skirt.
Hinata

I was drawn to this lovely dress because once I looked past the “Bridal accessories” that it came with, I saw a very lovely cocktail dress. I think Hinata looks very lovely in blue, don’t you?
Hinata

– ♥ Archangeli

Dollfie Dream Natsuki v. 2!

Volks recently re-released one of their popular Dollfie Dreams from the Akihabara Girls series – Natsuki! I entered the lottery for her on a complete whim and was completely shocked when I won! 0__0″ I’ve been known to have horrible luck with lotteries and to win was very exciting! As much as I don’t like splitting up full sets, I really wasn’t interested in keeping Natsuki since I already had her twin sister, Moe. Luckily, some friends in the hobby purchased the items I wasn’t interested in.

Natsuki arrived today, and I took a few photos of her box opening since I had to check that everything was ok.

Rin was taking advantage of the nice weather today to take some photos of Gabrielle and Moe.
Gabi, Rin & Moe hanging out
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Welcome home Dollfie Dream Moe II

Moe was originally released in 2009 at a DD event so for me to get my hands on the first release would be quite difficult. Her head mold is the same as Natsuki’s but they have different face-ups. When Kev and I saw the promo photos and information about the re-release of Moe and the new DD III body with improved flexibility we both decided we wanted her in our family.

We had someone attend the re-opening festival at the new Volks Akihabara showroom at Hobby Tengoku enter the lottery for us – and we won! Moe was shipped on Sunday and she arrived today!

Of course my girls  had to come out to greet their new sister! Here are Saber Lily, Airy, and Alisanne all anxiously anticipating her arrival! (Makoto wanted to be here, but she’s visiting auntie Machiko right now).

Here’s Moe out of the box – she’s so adorable! I love her sweet face-up. I’m not crazy about that S-Bust, but I have some random M and L ones laying around that I can switch onto her. I suppose it’s not a bad thing to have a S-Bust for reference when Machiko wants to make DD clothes ^__^b

I seem to have the worse luck with dolls from Volks… When I ordered my Sd16 Daria from Volks USA she was sent to me with 2 left shoes! This was quickly remedied after I contacted Volks – but check this out: Moe has 2 left FEET! For the rest of these photos I’ve swapped her “right” foot with one from another doll. Good grief…

Here she is out of the box. She’s so cute!

Moe is made of the same softer vinyl that Airy and Neris are, so her head cap is much squishier!

I was a bit apprehensive about her outfit since there is so much dark fabric – and knowing about the horrible incidents that other doll owners have had with outfits like Saber Lily’s maid dress and Beatrice’s school uniform I was wondering how Volks would approach this outfit.

Here are my observations about Moe’s new outfit:

Choker: It’s lined in white pvc and closes with a snap closure. The snap is weakly sewn on, so be careful putting it on and taking it of.
Blouse: It would be hard to put a body suit underneath because of the shoulder straps and where the sleeves sit on her shoulders. It’s partially liined in white inside  (the bodice is lined, the sleeves are not). Closes with 3 snaps at the back.
Skirt: A few black threads here and there along the waist and where the snap closure is, but it has a white lining and after studying the construction I’m quite certain it won’t cause stains. I left the outfit on her for over 12 hours today and when I inspected her this evening there were no stains.
Jacket: Made of white, so no risk of staining.
Pantsu: She comes with them. Enough said. I think Volks is trying to eat up their supply of stretchy cotton fabric.
Stockings: There is a dark grey trim along the top of the white stockings so I wouldn’t suggest wearing these for long periods of time.
Shoes: Cute platform loafer-style shoes. I wore something similar way back in the days when I was a high school girl ^__~” These are lined in white on the inside.
Arm warmer: Not  lined in white. I got confused because there is only one o_0″ but that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Bracelets: There’s only (1) bracelet. It’s one long piece that wraps around twice and snaps on. It’s backed in white PVC to prevent stains.
Handbag: Functioning bag -it opens and closes with velcro.

Here’s something interesting – her hand joints are different. DD III on left, DD II on right.

Here she is all dressed – isn’t she sweet?!

And of course, everyone is super curious about the posing ability of this new body type. I’ve taken several photos of Moe to show the capability of the new DD III body. Sorry about the lighting – I did this in a hurry since I have to leave for work very soon!

The arms are much more flexible with the incorporation of the “secret joint” into the frame, however her arm pops out when you bend her arm this far. It’s no problem because you can just push it back in again – but this is what it looks like distended (left arm), and what it looks like when you push it back to normal (right arm).

This new DDIII body seems to be better designed to bear weight in the arms. I tried having Moe play around with Avalon and doing a 10 second test – if she could hold a pose for 10 seconds then I took a picture. Otherwise I considered it a fail. The results are quite interesting:

As a benchmark, this is all I could get Saber Lily’s DDII body to do without the sword falling:

Moe was able to copy that with no effort required! Here are a front and side view – my cat Bubba doesn’t seem too impressed.

So to progress, let’s try lowering the arm and re-distributing the weight and center of balance. Try as I may I could get Saber to support the sword, so it looks like Moe is on her own from now on. So far, so good.

So let’s try lowering the arm even more – it’s straight now!

Also, Moe’s DDIII body is capable of spreading her legs wider than a DDII. Don’t get any ecchi thoughts! T__T

While experimenting with how her legs can move I discovered she can do the full splits!

And she looks quite natural and relaxed in this pose.

The mechanism and skeleton inside the torso have also been greatly redesigned. This is what Moe looks like when I separate her at her waist:

The flat part in her hip piece prevents her from leaning forward or slouching so Moe sits up very straight! The rounded portion kind of wraps around the skeleton mechanism in the torso and I think it allows the back to bend more, without the risk of snapping the peg. The peg fits into the hole in the bust half (as per DDII). Because of the way that piece is shaped, it’s a bit annoying to fit the hips back into place.

And this is the updated neck-peg. No comments on what it looks like, but it allows the doll’s head to bend backwards a lot more than before without any modifications that were previously necessary with the DDII.

So what do these new changes mean in terms of posability? Well, I’ll let these photos do the talking!

Alrighty, I’ve had a super long day and I need to get some some sleep before going to work tomorrow. I hope these pics were interesting! So far the DDIII body is looking to be some great improvements on the DDII body. I’ll taking Moe with me on a little trip this weekend so look forward to more Moe-goodness soon! ^__^