Yamato’s vmf50 lineup hasn’t always had a clear identity. Its closest analogues – Azone’s original and Hybrid Active Figure series and Volks’s Dollfie Dream line – have, in contrast, clearly-defined target markets. The Dollfie Dream and HAF dolls are generally modeled after characters from anime culture, whereas Azone’s original dolls are simply happy-looking female characters, with the occasional scowling Goth-loli character thrown in on occasion. The vmf50 series is, however, much like Yamato’s larger product line: all over the place. At first, it seemed like they were interested in appealing to anime fans, and their early dolls, such as Risa and Yumi, featured anime-like styling. Then they made a doll of Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico, which was quite unexpected, at least by me. Subsequently, they switched over to using artificial eyes in their newer dolls and introduced a host of body types, principally distinguished by bust and leg size. After observing their product line for the last several years, I think one can simply say that Yamato wanted to make really sexy dolls, with costumes and characteristics that frequently strayed into ero classification. This doll, named Shiho, is one of the more overt examples, as can obviously be seen.
Shiho was released last year as vmf50 Original Concept Image Girl #9. Like most of the other vmf50 dolls, she was sold through Yamato’s web shop and at various conventions and doll shows. However, unlike those other dolls, Shiho hardly ever turns up on the secondary market, making her much more difficult to acquire. Many of the other dolls were available at Hobbylink Japan – and some still are, though I would imagine supply will dwindle due to Yamato’s curious present circumstances. The older dolls are also available on Yamato USA’s website, though at significant markup. Admittedly, part of that markup comes from the wig and clothes supplied with each doll; the Japanese releases generally come nude with nothing more than a face-up. That was the case with Shiho; she comes only with a pair of extra hands and the same flat metal disc base included with every vmf50 doll (quite effective when the doll is barefoot, since the vmf50 [and Obitsu] 50-centimeter dolls have magnets in their feet, but it’s useless when the doll is wearing shoes).
Speaking of Yamato’s present state, as most figure collectors know, they’ve apparently re-branded themselves as Arcadia. The vmf50 line has also been renamed “Angel Philia.” I’m not sure how I feel about that; “vmf50” was a bit of a clunky name, rather mechanical or technical-sounding, and it also implied a relationship to Yamato’s earlier Variable Motion Figures, which was not the case. I liked it anyway, though; it was distinctive and easy to remember. Angel Philia sounds a bit odd to me, but perhaps it will grow on me in time. For now, I’m going to continue to refer to these dolls by their old name.
Incidentally, I have no idea why Yamato folded up shop and re-launched as a new company. I suspect the motivation was financial, as it seems that it’s either finances or a public relations problem that compels a company to re-brand itself. While Yamato is perhaps not a well-regarded toy maker – an opinion I don’t hold, by the way – I don’t think they’ve had any major scandals, and I hope that they make it through whatever problems they might be having. I’m thinking I ought to get that TERA Elin figure, just to support the company; I think I’ve been a bigger Yamato fan than many figure collectors over the years.
Also, according to a post on Macross World, it seems that it will be business as usual for Yamato’s North American division. Curious indeed.
Anyway, on to this doll. Shiho’s body is classified as the Type-G model. I have some comparison pictures of the earlier body types in the Super Sonico post, which I’ll link again for convenience. While Yamato has re-used bodies in different dolls, I think Shiho’s body is unique to her, at least when it comes to official products.
There’s a few interesting aspects about the Type-G body that make it special. First, it’s a tanned body type, which is a bit unusual for a doll – though not vmf50 dolls, as not only are Shiho and Yumi tanned, there are also darker-skinned versions of Miu and Risa, and I think Miki has a tanned version as well. Shiho’s skin is lighter in tone than Yumi’s, though, and her skin also doesn’t have its gloss; rather, it has a notable matte finish.
The most obvious visual characteristic of the Type-G body is its impressive bust size. I’m pretty sure that this is the largest bust size available on any of the vmf50 dolls (though I don’t doubt that even larger aftermarket parts are available). Shiho also has very thick thighs and though her musculature isn’t as evident as on Miu and Miki, she does have noticeable bicep definition. While Risa and Yumi have a slender, supermodel-ish look to them, Shiho definitely has a more robust body build.
In terms of poseability, she also feels more solid and well-built than my earlier dolls. I’ve had some problems with loose hips with Yumi and Miu, which causes their legs to swing freely (this may be because I bought them from Yahoo Japan Auctions). Shiho’s limbs, however, move smoothly and stay in position very well; despite their large size, they don’t sink or slack under their own weight. As with all the other vmf50 dolls, Shiho is built on an Obitsu 50cm skeleton and thus features good flexiblity, despite her relatively bulky body parts.
Those same body parts do present another problem, though – it’s hard to find clothes that will fit her. This is particularly true for anything form-fitting; her breasts and legs are so large that it’s difficult to get normal vmf50 clothes on her. Looser clothes – like a kimono or sundress or something – will obviously present less of an issue. At present, this sports leotard is the only fitted garment I have that Shiho can wear, and I cannot remove it from her now since her nipple has poked a hole in the fabric; taking the leotard off would probably result in its destruction. I meant to buy a replacement earlier this year, but then Yamato did their corporate re-launch thing and I’m not sure if they’ll offer their old girl*holic products through their Arcadia web store.
As I’ve said in probably all of my older doll reviews, I like painted eyes. In fact, in many cases, I prefer painted eyes to artificial eyes, and artificial eyes are one reason I never bought a Dollfie Dream. Many such dolls have eyes that feature huge irises and little eye white, and I think those dolls often look like space aliens. Unfortunately, the vmf50 dolls with artificial eyes all tend to suffer from that problem to some extent, which is why I hadn’t bought them, aside from Miu. However, that issue bothers me less now, and I really like Shiho’s face. The early vmf50 dolls – and most dolls in general, I think – had fairly typical cheery smiles (except for Miu, who actually just used the stock Obitsu head that comes with their blank 50-centimeter doll body); Shiho, in contrast, has doe-like eyes and slightly parted lips, and it’s harder to guess what sort of emotion she is expressing. It works pretty well for a number of situations, particularly those involving the tentacle stand.
A few miscellaneous notes before wrapping up: I said that Shiho’s body was unique to Yamato’s product line. There are, however, other dolls that use the Type-G body, including several offered by the Real Art Project. While Yamato’s dolls tend to straddle the line between sexy and ero, the RAP’s dolls tend to be planted firmly in the porny category, as one can see with vmf50 Sayaka and Romina. Interestingly, while such dolls do have a certain niche appeal – there are a number of customizers on Yahoo Japan Auctions who sell modified heads with gaping mouths and extended tongues – Arcadia seems to have made such a doll an official product, in the form of Angel Philia Liza. She can be seen in the background of the official Angel Philia Twitter account, seemingly in the throes of orgasm. In a less lecherous note, there will also be an Angel Philia doll with a head designed by Yoshizawa Mitsumasa of REFLECT, who has had many of his sculpts released as PVC figures by Yamato. That doll is named Maya and has a mature – and rather more dignified – look to her.
I really do like Shiho a lot. She’s probably the second favorite vmf50 doll in my collection. I wish I had more clothes for her – though being that I have a big thing for sportswear, I like how the leotard and Chuck Taylors look on her. I’m not sure what will be my next vmf50 or Angel Philia doll; I like Maya a lot, and it might be her, as I’m a big fan of REFLECT’s work. My next doll review will probably be Azone’s 50-centimeter Inori Yuzuriha; I’m really hoping that she looks as good as her prototype, since I was let down by Azone’s 50-centimeter Saber. Guilty Crown was a pretty bad show, but I think it would’ve been improved had they brought in some tentacles for the female cast, and I aim to make it happen.
Ahh, tentacles. Wonderful.
I’m currently in the planning process of building a custom Dollfie, but it seems to be harder than I’d anticipated. There aren’t as many wig choices as I initially thought, though I’ve found a wonderful site to buy custom eyes, and I know some people who should be able to make an outfit for me. Finding suitable accessories like shoes may be problematic, too.
Ultimately, I probably won’t bother, as they’re expensive no matter how I go about it, and I also lack room to display any without making significant sacrifices to my figure displays (and boxing up a bunch more, since I am unable to sell any).
Dolls are just in a whole other ballpark to figures, in cost, effort and space required. Which is a shame, because I’ve really fallen for Dollfies recently. I used to be totally creeped out by dolls of any sort, but Dollfies and their anime stylings have turned me around. It’s weird, and hard to explain.
Also, I’d need tentacles if I got one. It’s simply a necessity in life.
Building a custom doll is difficult indeed, particularly when you have a very particular concept in mind. It can be frustrating to not find exactly what you’re looking for. I’ve kinda lucked out in my own doll collecting, since as is evident from my earlier posts, I really wanted to put my dolls in bondage outfits and the outcome far exceeded what I expected to be able to do. I’ve had a couple of other ideas for less lecherous dolls, though, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to create them (well, one idea is sort of a goth loli type so I guess that ought to not be too difficult, since that seems to be a really popular style for dolls).
Dolls are sort of an odd subject; they’re kinda like dakimakura covers in that they seem to be on a whole other level of weirdness, and getting into one or the other (or both) seems to take more of a mental commitment than collecting figures. I collected dolls before I collected anime figures, though, so moving up to 1/3 scale dolls wasn’t too hard for me (and I’m too old to really care whether people think I’m a weirdo, anyway).
Tentacles definitely improve almost all situations. I need to plan out my next few figure shoots so I can determine which ones can make effective use of the tentacle stands.
Ah no Im sorry for you Tier, did they have to give her so spiky nipples that it damages the suit.
If I remember right I was looking forward to Shiho’s review ^^ She looks really pretty and I like the healthy proportions on her limbs. Also her skintone is delicious, a matte finish is best for a doll. I like artificiall eyes, mainly because they are shinier than painted ones.
I guess you would have to try what clothes would fit and which not, but don’t give up, the doll looks too good to be left in ripped clothes- There should be something for her. I like the more expressive face expressions of the Yamato dolls, well an orgasm face is a bit too strong when displayed for a longer time 😉
Next month I will get my first Doll, for starters from Azone, even though she doesn’t have such attractive curves as Shiho, Im looking forward to Asuza and dressing her up. Well, the clothes she has are already pretty cute, but I want to make her look more like punk rock 😀
Her XS body makes the choices are a little limited though, lets see what I can find. These clothes don’t cost an arm.
Nice pictures as always, I would like to borrow Shiho and make lovely outdoor pictures =)
Apparently they did! It’s kind of an odd circumstance; I definitely never expected one of my dolls’ nipples to literally poke a hole.
Maybe I’ll find something for her; if I could get another bondage outfit for her, that would work out well, since such an outfit wouldn’t necessarily have to cover her bust. I’m really hoping I can just get another leotard for her, though, since I like how it looks on her.
Haha, yeah, those ahegao faces are something else. Romina is really cute, though. She also doesn’t have the huge irises that almost every other doll with artificial eyes has, and that’s another thing I like about her.
Playing with dolls can be a lot of fun; I have an Azone doll here (their earlier Kobato Hasegawa) and I’m pretty impressed by how well she poses. Unfortunately I have even fewer clothes for her than I do for Shiho (and Shiho is actually slightly less naked than Kobato is). I will look forward to seeing your pictures of the K-On! girl.
That’d be a sight XD As odd as it might seem to carry a gigantic anime doll outside, I bet Shiho’s particular characteristics would make her even more of an attention-getter.
Gotta say, the expression on Shiho is one of the most subdued ones I’ve seen on the vmf line! Guess the body was used to make up the ero points!
Moeyo seems to love the vmf line so there are frequent galleries for the new dolls but most almost look like they have ahegao expressions…
I was caught offguard about the Yamato change as well, but for me, they’re always the macross guys since their transforming mecha from the series are second to none. I just wish they got the chance to try their hands on the macross F units. The offerings from Bandai have left me rather cold…
I really like the contrast between her expression and her really exaggerated body styling. It’s also sort of a unique thing in the vmf line; the other dolls seem to have faces that match their body type (Miu’s aggressive-looking face goes particularly well with her Toshirou-designed bodybuilder physique) but Shiho stands out.
Yeah, I think both Moeyo and Akibahobby get regular press releases from the Real Art Project whenever they put up a new product for order; the RAP is responsible for a lot of those ahegao heads and they seem to get a lot of publicity from the hobby sites. That’s not always a good thing for them since their blog and image hosting service frequently gets overloaded.
Much of my fondness for Yamato comes from their Macross toys; I have the Roy and Hikaru 1/48 scale VF-1S toys, and I really wish I had gotten the Max and Miriya Super VF-1Js. I was in (and out of) school at that time, though, so I didn’t really have the money for them. I was a little bummed when they went to 1/60 scale for their newer valkyries, since I love the 1/48 scale VF-1s (even though they are pretty fragile and rather floppy when you transform them). I guess all the other fighters would be way too large in 1/48 scale, though; I also got a YF-19 toy and I was surprised at how large it is. I was definitely bummed when Bandai got the license for Macross Frontier; I don’t think I’ve seen their toys in detail (though I may have owned one of their VF-1Js when I was a little kid) but I really like the Yamato toys, and I had a hard time believing Bandai could do as good a job.
Another doll review! Yamato’s vmf50 has always been leaned toward a erotic setting and I guess Shiho has got the sexual exhaustion face? She could be very interesting in the proper setup, to realize her true potential. I am glad you showed Yumi along for comparison, she is still my favorite among your collection.
I remember before making the jump toward DD, it was weird at first and felt just like the analogy for dakimakura; it is a whole different plane of matters, thought not quite as severe. I remembered asking myself the very same question over and over again, how do I justify buying a dakimakura and feel ok about it afterward? What about these large scale BAD? They looked HUGE! Admittedly, my first exposure to DD was at Danny’s website and I was utterly fooled about big they really are the first time I had seen them; I thought they were literally 1:1 at first. Eventually, I told myself that I should at least buy one to see what they are made out of and Escalayer provided the perfect opportunity, since I have always like Escalayer and there is little excuse not to get her; the rest was pretty much history.
Possibly! It seems like they are getting away from the anime-style faces, which is a curious decision, since I think a lot of doll collectors – or at least the ones in the segment that Yamato and Arcadia are targeting – are anime fans. It’s also an odd choice since the body the dolls are built off of is definitely anime-inspired.
I think my entry into doll collecting was a bit easier, since the 1/6 scale dolls I was first interested in (Takara and BBI’s Cool Girl/Cy Girl line) was marketed towards males, and one of my favorite message boards back in the day was the appropriately-named Men With Dolls forum (I also like the One Sixth Warrior forum, which mostly focuses on military dolls and is also where I learned about the president doll that I use). It took me a while to get into the larger-sized dolls, though if I had had the money at the time, I might’ve gotten Mai Shiranui.
I’ve been lurking your site for quite some while now and as I see myself in real trouble these days I decided to write. I’ve always wanted to get a BJD/Dollfie and I completely fell in love with the vmf50 type-b body (that’s miu) but now with all that yamato renaming themselves into arcadia coming up I have no idea where to get one. She’s sold out on HLJ, she’s not on yahoo japan, mandarake currently only has the kanu full-set for sale (for around $700) and yamato usa only has a full-set in stock as well for $750. which I could only afford when selling my car and half of my soul.. and as you already mentioned it’s only that expensive because of the wig and clothes (which I actually don’t need). I wouldn’t even need a head. Just the base body… I’d look up the marketplace at DoA but I have no idea how to get an invitation key.. Do you have any advice on getting one? Or would even consider selling yours?
Thanks for writing! Unfortunately, I am not selling mine, and I wouldn’t feel too great about selling it since it needs two hip joint replacements. Also unfortunately, I think the Type-B body is fairly popular, being very distinctive. I would say that saving up to get one from Yamato USA might be your best bet; Miki comes with the white school uniform outfit, which I think went for around 10k yen by itself. If you get that doll, you might be able to hock the clothes and the head and recoup some of the cost. I bought Miu back before Yamato USA carried vmf50 products (I subsequently e-mailed them asking if they’d consider carrying vmf50 products, and I like to think I played a small part in them selling the dolls) and I actually paid considerably more than what she is listed for, sad to say.
Aside from that, I’d just keep checking YJA and Mandarake for a Miki body; Miki was not one of the more popular dolls, I think, and I’ve seen her sell for cheaper prices than what I often see Miu or Kanu go for.
I do have a DoA account (though I have no recollection of how I got it) but I cannot seem to see the marketplace (probably because I never post). If I see one there, I will post a follow-up here.
thanks a lot for the quick reply!
I kinda got myself an invitation key for DoA but…wow… are they paranoid.. invitation only registration, seperate account activation, currently waiting for a mod to approve of/activate my account (takes up to 3 days). THEN you have to be on DoA for almost a month with at least 40 posts and you get LIMITED access to the marketplace… apparently BJD is serious business O_o
I’ll keep checking the sites that sell vmf50’s and wait and see what arcadia’s angelphilia line will bring.
meanwhile I’ll keep enjoying your great reviews 🙂
Yeah, I don’t really understand the basis of many of their rules, but it’s their board and I’ll abide by them (to the extent that I participate on the forum, which is never). At any rate, I’m not a big community person as it is – figure, doll, or anything else – so I don’t really feel compelled to go out and post on other boards.
I don’t really care for the vmf50 dolls. I think their faces look off and I don’t really care for their overall look. Shiho looks sad to me which is something I have never cared for in anime, hentai, or figures. To be fair I feel the same way about most of the other dolls too. I did tempt purchasing the KOS-MOS from Volks (she looks so epic), but I didn’t realize just how much care you have to take with them when it come to staining, etc.
Dolls just aren’t for me. I do appreciate the use of the tentacle stand in this review.
Dolls are a more esoteric element of the hobby, I think. It takes some self-convincing to get into them, both due to their looks and their price tags. Of course, I think some doll collectors had their decisions simplified by a certain bandwagon effect.
What a pleasure to read this review! You’re really the one who got me into VMF50 dolls and I can’t thank you enough, even though my bank account doesn’t share my opinion! 🙂
I really love Shiho, mainly because of her tan skin, but sadly I could never find her anywhere. Thankfully I found Concept Image Girl #6 NAO, who has the same skin, and a beautifully balanced body, with Type E breast if I remember well. She has also the glass eyes that I find particularly beautiful. But then of course, if you know my art, you won’t be surprised that I wanted the really porn ones from Real Art Project. So I bought Sayaka with her really cute orgasmic face and Romina, who was the first I believe to introduce the new very big boobs with a more natural shape on a tan body. They’re both incredible and I managed to get quite a few really cool (and expensive oh my God) clothes. But it’s true that you have to stick with the harness bondages and other minimalistic kinky outfits to fit their impossible tits.
What I love about these dolls is their versatility. If you’re a bit creative, you can give your doll a totally different look simply by posing her in a new way and changing her wig and clothes. And their impressive scale make them truly stunning displays.
I was so bummed to see the Girl*holic line gone from Yamato. Particularly since I wanted to get replacement hands or feet, for new poses. Now I guess I’ll have to dig these through Japanese auctions, but it seems like it’s going to become harder than ever to find new things for my dolls. It really makes me thankful that I bought enough things for them when it was still possible.
I also wonder if they’ve abandoned their Catwoman VMF50. I was really interested with this one and there’s no mention of her anywhere on their new site.
Oh and one last thing. I got their Elin statue and I highly recommend her. She’s of stunning quality, probably one of the most beautiful polystone statues I ever had.
You are welcome! Yeah, Shiho seems to be unusually rare; I saw one for sale on Yahoo Japan Auctions a couple of weeks ago and the bid price increased very rapidly. I think it’s pretty neat how the Real Art Project and Dollcore can offer customized bodies like that (not to mention the heads). I really like Romina a lot though I’d imagine, as you say, that it’s very difficult to find clothes for them, particularly close-fitting clothes.
I really did regret that I didn’t get a replacement leotard for Shiho in time. I’m hopeful that maybe they’ll bring back some of their old products; it looks like they’re making another Super Sonico doll (or rather, just repackaging the old doll with some different clothes), so maybe they’ll bring back other stuff as well. As far as hands go, though, I think you can get the Obitsu 50cm parts and they should fit. There’s various gestures, like clenched fists, peace sign, and pointing finger; you can probably search Amiami, Hobby Search, HLJ, or Parabox and find them. I’m not sure if the skin tones match, though; they’re only available in a light skin tone.
Yeah, I was curious about that as well. They’ve shown a few vaporware dolls before – I remember years and years ago, they planned to make some dolls of the Beat Blades Haruka characters – I was disappointed that they never did, since I like the characters and enjoyed the game. They also showed off an Angel Blade doll, which seemed appropriate, since Angel Blade is a hardcore hentai anime, but I guess they never planned to offer it for sale, as I haven’t seen anything more about it. The Catwoman one seemed odd since it showed up at a US show and I’m guessing they would’ve had to have made a deal with DC; I wonder if we’ll see it again in a few months at the San Diego Comic Con.
Thanks for the advice about parts. I’ll look into it. I just have a new look for my Nao so I thought I would share a coupe of pictures here. Sorry for the mediocre photos. I’m definitely not a photographer like you.
You are welcome! Hmm, I’m getting “this post has been deleted” messages when I click those links?
Oh sorry. I had posted these as a tweet and of course the tweet has been deleted. Here they are again on my website, a place free from the clutches of censorship:
Ah, thanks very much. She looks really beautiful; I love the superheroine outfit; Yamato had some pictures of Shiho wearing the white superheroine outfit and that’s what made me want to get that doll.
Nice review – Shiho is a beauty. I’ve been hooked on VMF50’s for a while ad spent way, way too much cash on them. Its shocking how much money you can blow on dolls/clothes/accessories in such a short time.
Good timing grabbing Shiho, though – she’s gotten insanely expensive on Yahoo Auctions over the last few months. Mandarake Shibuya got one in stock around January and had her at 47,000 JPY – I sat out because they were going for just above retail on YJA and she had some scuffs. Now she’s going for over 100,000 JPY on YJA (!!!!!!) so if you don’t have her now, god luck!
By the by, Azone’s label shops in Japan are currently having blowout sales on the old Girl*Holic clothes -up to 65% off on a lot of the stuff. They had that leotard in stock in Akiba, so you might be able to grab one cheap if you have a middleman who can grab it for you. Lots of other good stuff on sale, too – the fantasy knives/staffs, sneakers, other outfits, etc. Even the kigurumi!
Yeah, I think I’ve spent more money on doll footwear than I have on my own shoes … for my entire lifetime. I was looking at YJA for some Saber wigs (since Azone’s doll comes with an awful wig) and I found it hilarious that real-life cosplay wigs cost far, far less than Dollfie Dream wigs.
I remember noticing there was a Shiho up on YJA a month or two ago; usually it seems like the doll bodies don’t move too quickly but I remember this one got bids right away. I didn’t check to see what the auction closed at but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got near 100k. The demand for this doll (and well, other large-scale dolls) is pretty impressive.
Ahh, man, I wish I could pick that up; unfortunately, my favorite proxy service is somewhere up near Aomori, I think. I’ll have to keep a close eye on YJA to see if some people offload that stuff. That’s a bit of a downer, though, since I guess that means all those product lines are being discontinued. (Though personally, I’d like some of those accessories that Yamato/Arcadia’s Tommy posts on his side blog.)
I wonder why you stopped writing content about Angel Philia (or maybe other) dolls. Is it because of lack of variety or you just no more fan of them?
It’s mostly because it’s difficult for me to photograph large dolls, and also because I didn’t think many people were interested in seeing pictures of dolls in bondage suits. I do still collect dolls; I have a couple of Real Art Project’s bodies and a couple of Azone’s Hybrid Action Figures, though I’ve never reviewed any of them.
I really liked this photos (not necessary bondage ones) and they are main reason why I got couple Angel Philias myself.
Ah, cool XD I am glad to have been of some help then! Maybe I’ll try to review Charlotte one of these days, since she’s basically a complete figure. I just need to remember where I put her shoes. I could also review some of my Real Art Project doll bodies but I don’t really have much clothes for them to wear, aside from bondage suits.
LOL. I have exactly same problem with this dolls. Besides NSFW clothes they have nothing to wear.
There are just few things I was able to pickup on tcdoll but even they are far from safe-to-display-to-public.
Yeah, I just have fetish wear and underwear for my dolls, mostly. Even Inori is just wearing a lingerie set from TcDoll. Which reminds me – I don’t think I actually ever reviewed Inori, and I think she turned out okay (as opposed to Azone’s Saber); I guess I could try to review her, though I suppose I ought to put her head back on her original body.
Looking forward to see new reviews and especially photos.
I’ve been following the vmf50 dolls for years and finally have a Shiho on the way home! Thank you for such a lovely review. (Also +1 for bondage outfits, can confirm at least one more member of the public is a fan xD)