Friday, March 21, 2014

Who Is Licca? (by Takara)


Licca or Licca-chan is a 9" doll by the Japanese company Takara (now Takara-Tomy) and is reportedly a favorite doll to Japanese children. She has the image of a 11 year-old girl, thus making her look much younger than teenage dolls or those in their early 20's, like Takara Jenny or Mattel Barbie. It is said it's because of her young age that children can identify with her more. Tokyo-born and raised and in 5th year of Shirakaba Gakuen elementary school, she has a French father (Pierre) and a Japanese mother (Orie), likes tennis, window-shopping and baking cookies, reads manga/comics like Doraemon and enjoys custard pudding and vanilla ice-cream. Her full name is Licca Kayama.

Her creators have modeled her personality and hobbies in such way that little Japanese girls could identify with her easily. She's of a small frame, 4' 8'' tall and weighs 75 pounds. Her two favorite books are widely-known and popular classics that girls in Japan like to read - Anne of Green Gables and A Little Princess

She was first released in 1967 and instantly became very popular. She had blue eyes and brown hair ending in an elegant curl. At the time she had a different head mold, the type we now call 1st generation Licca. The Licca of today is in her 4th stage and is 4th generation Licca. All the different generations have different head molds and make-up. A good way to set the 1st gen apart from the others is to look at their eye design: the 1st gen Licca has only one white highlight/dot in each eye, the other generations have three. The size of her body and proportions has also changed through the generations. Modern-day Licca is taller and wider at the hips and chest. 

In 1972 Takara introduced 2nd gen Licca with similar dark-brown/reddish hair in an "old-fashioned" style with a curl at the end like the 1st gen had. The head mold changed a bit and "filled out". The cheeks look fatter and give her a rounder face. The eyes now have 3 white dots in them. 

In 1970 we first see Lady Licca which is actually not an older version of Licca from the future but her role model. Lady Licca has been very popular among collectors to this day. She has the head mold of 1st gen Licca but is much taller. Her last name is Kitahara. 

In 1988 2nd gen Lady Licca was released and this one IS an older-looking Licca Kayama and shares the 4th gen Licca head mold. She's also taller than normal-sized Licca. 

There is also an older sister on the scene, Rie (a stewardess), but Takara scratched her from the family line because at the time she was released (1972), Licca's mother was too young to have a daughter in Rie's age. She's the rarest doll in the Licca family/friend line and a big favorite among many collectors. 

In 2001 Takara introduced reproductions of the 1st gen Licca and Licca Club 67 has been releasing them in groups every year. The repro head mold and body are smaller than the original. Repro Licca is highly sought-after by collectors as she comes in limited numbers and is a Licca Club 67 store exclusive. 

You can find vintage Lady Licca dolls and others HERE

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