Saturday, January 29, 2011

All dolled up with Pullips

“All dolled up with Pullips”
Sun.Star Davao, Jan. 29, 2011

Top fashion stylist Otoy Mercado could never forget the magical moment when he received his first Pullip doll.

“I was extremely excited and anxious waiting for the doll to arrive. It was like this certain emotion you have during Christmas Eve when you want to open gifts and check if you have the things you really wanted”, he fondly recalls with a smile.

“It was my first time to purchase online--- a gamble I never do because I have this idea in my head that the package might not reach me or the seller might run away with my money. But, when the package arrived, I never felt so elated! I would compare it to my first bicycle ride when I could confidently ride alone with the wind on my face. I had a grin that simply could not be wiped away, no matter how I wanted to stop it”, shares the Philippine Women’s University Fine Arts graduate.

Otoy eventually named his first Pullip doll, Tiffy, an adorable Audrey Hepburn ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ replica.

For the uninitiated, Pullips are collectible fashion dolls created by Cheonsang Cheonha of South Korea in 2003. They have fully articulated (30 articulation points) hard plastic bodies measuring 11 inches in height with oversized heads and large eyes that can be controlled by a special eye mechanism.

All dolled up

During Otoy’s early years, he was already fascinated with dolls and how pretty, fragile and feminine they looked. He was mystified by how lifelike they were when properly clothed and fixed.

“I used to collect designer Barbie dolls. These were especially issued ones by esteemed designers such as Dior, Chanel and Givency. However, I gave them all away when I started to collect Pullips”, discloses the avid art collector.

Otoy discovered Pullips when he was online looking for a hard-to-find toy. He chanced upon a Multiply user who collected these precious dolls. “The very moment I saw the Pullip dolls, I knew that it was the doll I had in mind ever since I was young…stylish; flexible with expressive eyes; very detailed assembly; and incredibly photogenic!”.

Impressed, the professionally trained make up artist relentlessly went through websites and even mustered the courage to inquire from Pullip collectors whom he did not personally know. After a while, he became friends with them and even joined Pullip Pilipinas, the exclusive club for Pullip collectors and enthusiasts in the Philippines.

“Pullips are not that popular in Davao City. This is because it is not a commercialized item that you can randomly buy in the department stores. Moreover, it is not as reasonably priced as the regular dolls. I would say it’s a toy for grown ups”, Otoy explains.

Playtime with Pullips

Otoy’s extensive background as a fashion designer for 16 years to several local fashion houses as well as a fashion and beauty editor is tastefully reflected in his growing Pullip collection. Playtime with his Pullip dolls would mean staging fun and glamorous photo shoots with them.

The dolls become Otoy’s personal muses as he plays ‘dress up’ with them, creating multiple evening and daytime looks from formal, dainty, playful to fashionably Goth.

“Most of my dolls’ clothes are hand sewn by me. Having quite a good training in tailoring came in handy. Accessories like the shoes and bags are from Barbie, Bratz or Rement which are Japanese miniature collectibles. The jewelry is made especially for them by my tinsmith. I even re-wig them”, he describes.

Otoy also invested in the Pullips’ elegantly furnished doll house complete with crystal chandelier, heavy draperies, French armchairs, and other pieces most of which are made of resin.

The multi-talented artist reveals that Pullip dolls are easy to maintain. “Play with them regularly to avoid discoloration and mildew from lack of moisture and humidity. Being made from PVC and rubber, you should clean them with a damp cloth”, Otoy instructs.

The Pullip makers issue a new doll every month so the collectors get to enjoy the latest choices. However, Otoy considers early doll models as the real collectibles. “These are the limited editions. If you get the rare pieces, they are like prized trophies. It’s a feather on a Pullip owner’s cap”, Otoy relates.

For those who want to seriously start their Pullip collection, Otoy reminds them to be patient and do research on the internet for the latest information on the dolls. He advises them to know the real sellers from bogus ones as there are real online swindlers.

“Just an essential tip, when you collect something it doesn’t always have to be for the resale value of the item. The most important thing is that your collection should bring you happiness and enjoyment. After all, that’s the best part in having these kinds of hobbies”, Otoy cheerfully concludes.

E-mail the author at Visit

1 comment:

Jane Miller said...

Am not sure if there are up for sale but these dolls are so cute..............