Let me start off this potentially volatile post by saying that no creative endeavor flourishes in a vacuum. It’s this writer’s opinion that both Smart Doll and Dollfie Dreams hold a very special place in the vinyl doll market and each pushes the other to make better products. Even though this is a Volks blog and I have my preferences, that does not lessen the importance or impact Smart Doll has on the market.
That said… some very interesting things have been happening in the vinyl doll market- There’s been great, healthy competition between Smart Doll and Volks as Vinyl doll makers. This is fantastic because I believe without Smart Doll, Volks wouldn’t be pushed to release the variety of dolls they have or even create the Dream Choice service.
Unfortunately there’s a hint of bitterness between Smart Doll maker Danny Choo and Volks Inc.:
What Danny Choo presents to his followers as a direct translation is not entirely correct and is presented as a subtle mistranslation. The closer translation should be:
Resin dolls, vinyl dolls, and foreign dolls which violate our trademarks are forbidden.
The *actual* implication is that there are legitimate Dolls, presumably Smart Doll and A-Zone. There are also pirate/recast dolls from other companies. Volks is not taking shot a other competing legitimate companies and they dolls they make. However, Volks absolutely does not allow competitors dolls in their dolpas and this rule has been in effect long before Smart Doll even existed.
It’s a well known fact that Volks Inc does not allow outside dolls at their Dolpas. Ever. They do not allow off brand dolls at their shops. They don’t even allow Dollfie Dreams at Tenshi no Sato any longer now that Doll Point is a flagship for Dollfie Dreams. Volks is very picky about what dolls are allowed to be photographed where. That’s the way it is and how it has always been.
Most people are very supportive of Volks’ standpoint in the comments section. My favorite is the comparison that Henry Ng brings to the table:
Yet others on Twitter have taken to attacking Volks, accusing them of being scared of Danny Choo, behaving in a ‘Trump-anian fashion(???), and just being downright selfish:
Now that it’s been established this Volks policy has been in place for years and is not taking aim at Smart Doll products specifically…
Why would Danny Choo, the proprietor of a very well established doll line, try to make it seem like Volks was throwing him a diss when he’s been aware of these policies for ages? Why try to stir his very devoted fans up against Volks and skew a translation -when we know his Japanese is obviously at native level- to make it sound like Volks is saying Smart Dolls are not legit? Why take it so personally?
Before there was Smart Doll, Danny was a devoted follower of Volks and always had his Sabers by his side. Danny drew many people to Dollfie Dreams in the first place! Remember when gen 1 Saber was the original Mirai? Most people who’ve met Smart Dolls in recent years and become fans generally don’t remember this time as it was almost 10 years ago in 2009. There was a time in 2013 when Mirai was even an official mascot character for Volks.
It’s my opinion he is attempting to keep the nonJapanese literate public from trying to attend HT Sendai 2 with a Smartdoll in their bag and being turned away at the door. That would be pretty awful. I honestly believe he is trying to do his fans a service even though his translation is… a little strange and bitter.
There has been speculation on the Dollfie Dream forums in the past that Danny once approached Volks to make a Mirai into a Dollfie Dream but was turned away. Could this be the cause for the bitterness? Is that the true drive behind making the Smart Doll brand the titan of industry it has become today?
We can’t say for sure but we’re definitely glad Volks has competitors in the field because it definitely makes both products stronger in the long run.
As far as the bitterness Danny Choo is expressing, it’s my opinion that he does his readers a disservice by *seemingly* stirring them up against Volks Dolpa policy. It would be so strange for someone as influential and powerful as Danny to taking advantage of the language barrier and tilting a translation to cause petty drama.
I’m pretty sure Danny Choo wouldn’t appreciate it if people brought their Dollfie Dreams to his Tokyo shop to take pictures or at his convention events… just sayin’.
I’m sure this post may ‘trigger’ some people but let me assure you this blog isn’t an attack. If you find yourself doubting whether or not you should post a hate comment, just check out our super awesome comment policy and ask yourself if it’s really worth your time. Tenshinomon.com publishes news, information, rumors, conjecture, opinions, analysis and commentary. This is one of those posts. Please keep that in mind when reading it! Thank you.