Well, both my doll and I have returned from the land of China safe, in one piece, and with no customs fees. For anyone worried about taking your resin companions abroad, let me attempt to quell your fears with my own experiences. Not once was I stopped by baggage check or asked about what that strange jumble of strings and plastic was. Nor did I have any issues on the plane proper. Atticus (my Dollshe ds18m Saint) remained snugly tucked in my baggage, wrapped up in a blanket next to my iPad. I was cautious enough to not stick him in the baggage compartment, and thank God I didn’t. The Chinese don’t give a shit about other luggage as long as they can make theirs fit… Which made me all the more grateful that my camera gear was heavily padded.
As for the stay, I kept him on a shelf next to the wardrobe safe from sunlight in my dorm. When I travelled with him, he stayed in the bag at all times, which brings me to the point of why I even brought him: doll shopping.
There were two stores in Shanghai I could’ve visited, but with the unfortunate time constraints I was only able to see one. This store is called Paramita Tales, and while the storefront proper was very pretty, the experience as a whole was slightly disappointing to me. I’ll explain why with as little bias as I can afford.
Here’s a couple of crappy camera phone shots from the storefront.
Being in this hobby, you kinda picture an actual doll store as the holy grail. It’s one thing to shop online all day. It’s another to physically be there. I thought, “holy hole in a doughnut batman, this is going to be amazing!” I figured the person would also be excited to see me, or at least mildly interested. That was a bit my fault for assuming, of course, but on with the story.
I was lucky enough to have a group of friends with me, one of which was fluent in Chinese. When we arrived after looking practically everywhere for the basement (it was located under a large mall), I removed my doll from his bag (awkwardly) and explained that I was looking for clothes, shoes, and a wig for him. They were unfortunately out of shoes, which was what I had severely needed. Oh well, I thought and continued onto the clothes. The first thing that put a big damper on my hopes was that you couldn’t take the clothes out of the bag, which pretty much meant you had to trust her word on it that these would fit. Which… I really didn’t. Dollshe, while an awesome company, has some hella awkward sizes compared to other SD13’s. At least, these have been my experiences. Buying clothes for Atticus is like pulling teeth. She did know the company, however, so I figured I’d be alright. All she did was point to boxes and expect me to figure out which ones she meant… So after I had picked up the ones I wanted (which really looked like they’d fit to me), I was told they were SD size. After that, she actually stood up to assist me.
The second thing was wigs. I was really disappointed in the quality of their wigs. I myself have bought a few, both from companies like LUTS and random eBay sellers, so I was shocked when I saw how ratty they were. What really rubbed me the wrong way, however, was when she said my doll didn’t look good in a black wig. The humor might have been lost in translation, but the look she gave me was kinda… Pretentious I suppose? Like I said, it could’ve just been the way it was translated to me and been nothing but a playful jab, but it didn’t really help my experience.
I will say though, she was sweet enough to give me a free little bouquet, and I was clumsy enough to drop my empty bag at her feet (I was herp derping all over that place, I swear). So that was cool at least.
What wasn’t cool was when, surprise, a lot of the clothes I bought didn’t fit. I bought 2 suits of different colors. One had a labcoat with it, which I couldn’t tell from the package and probably wouldn’t have bought had I realized. The pants from both suits just… Don’t work. One of them was ridiculously oversized both in length and width. The other was just slightly baggy, which would imply that all those clothes are completely different in measurements.
I suppose I was expecting too much. Yes, that is my fault. When you’re spending that much on teenie weenie clothes though, it shouldn’t be too far fetched to expect some level of satisfactory customer service. That is my opinion, at least.
Have you had a similar experience outside of the country? Maybe a completely different one? Let me know! If you blogged about it, link that delicious word candy to me in the comments and get yourself some extra views (hopefully). I’d really like to get to know more doll enthusiasts, so feel free to discuss this or ask questions.