Where Angels Lie

Vocabulary List

After Event - an event that is held after Dolpa to allow people who could not attend Dolpa a chance to buy the Limited Edition dolls and clothes, wigs and shoes that were released. After Events are generally held approximately one month after Dolpa. They are held at Volks Tenshi no Sato, at all Tenshi no Sumika and Showroom locations around Japan, at the Volks Korea and LA stores, and on the Volks International website. The number of dolls and items is generally much more limited than at Dolpa and getting them can be more difficult, depending on where you make your attempt.

Beauty White Skintone - see White Skintone.

Dolpa - short for 'Dolls Party', these are regular events that are held in Japan by Volks. At each Dolpa, Volks showcases new Limited Edition dolls that can be bought by attendees of the event, as well as new clothes, wigs and shoes which can also be purchased on the day. Many dealers also sign up to sell their items at Dolpa, each dealer reserving a table space with Volks. Large Tokyo Dolpas have over 600 dealers, while smaller Hometown Dolpas have around 150 to 200. Volks also holds raffle and bingo events at Dolpa, and gives away dolls, SeiTenshi and other prizes. They also sell many One-Offs at Dolpa, the owners of which are decided by lottery. Most Dolpas also have a Customise Doll Contest which anyone can enter. There is also usually a 'tea space' (area to sit, relax and discuss dolls and take photos), a 'beauty salon' (where you can take your doll to the doll doctor to get any problems fixed), and a 'Make A Wish booth' (which sells badges to raise money for the Make A Wish foundation). All in all, a Dolpa is an exciting and fun event to attend, where a lot of money can be spent.

Ebony Skintone - this is Volks' 'very tanned' skintone colour. It is darker still than 'Sunlight', their usual tanned skintone. This colour has so far only been used for Limited Edition dolls, and usually for USA events. It was first released for Ruby at LA Dolpa, and then Irvin at NY Dolpa. It has only been released once in Japan, for the rerelease of Irvin.

Faceup - this is the face that your doll has painted on them, that gives them their unique expression. It includes blushing, eyebrows, eyeliner, eyelashes, lips, and any other special features required. 'Faceup' is the word most commonly used in the English speaking community, however Volks use the word 'makeup' to describe this.

Full Choice System - usually called FCS, this is a special Volks-only system whereby you can basically build your dream doll and have them create it for you. You choose the headmold, body, arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, wig, eyelashes, and makeup style from a wide selection available, and Volks will then build the doll to your specifications, including painting the faceup you ask for. Volks original FCS, started in 2002, used old resin, and had 29 SD heads available, although some were overlaps of the same head. There was no MSD FCS at this time. It was upgraded to pureskin in October 2004, and some heads were removed entirely, while others were added. MSD FCS was also added at that time. It now has 44 available heads for SD, and 27 heads for MSD. More information about FCS and available options can be found at Creating Dreams, our site devoted to FCS.

KIPS - KIPS are flexible silicon discs that are inserted into the neck, shoulder, elbow and wrist joints of SD in order to help improve posing and allow them to hold a wider variety of poses. KIPS stands for 'Keep It Posed System'. KIPS were originally first introduced with the release of Yukinojo in 2005, and gradually came to be used for all Limited Edition model SD. They were later made available for sale separately and added to the Satogaeri service menu and the FCS optional extras menu. In late 2008 they were added to all standard model SD and SD13, and added to the FCS as a standard for all orders (rather than as an optional extra). Although Volks originally used to state which LE models came with KIPS, they now generally do not include it in the details -- it appears to be considered an assumed thing that all models will come with KIPS.

Limited Edition - often shortened to LE, these are dolls that Volks only sells at special events -- usually Dolpa, but sometimes other events have LEs also. They are set dolls with a specific name, faceup, wig, eyes and outfit. (Unlike standards who generally do not come with an outfit.) Their headmolds are usually not available at any other time and so there is often a rush to get the LE that one falls for, as that is the only chance to get them. Volks only occasionally rereleases LEs, so if you like one it is best to buy it when it is available.

Normal Skintone - this is Volks' usual skintone colour. It is a warm, peachy colour. All standards and most LEs are released in this colour.

Old Resin - this is the resin that Volks used to make all their dolls from the start of SDs until they brought out pureskin in 2003. It is somewhat shinier than pureskin, and also somewhat heavier. It is also said to be less malleable for the purpose of modifications. It is usually called 'cast' resin in Japanese; 'old' resin is the name it was dubbed by English-speaking fans after pureskin came out.

One-Offs - thse are special 'one of a kind' dolls that come with a unique faceup by a well-known Volks faceup artist (K. Mayura, Valico, aone, Ciera, etc) as well as a unique wig, Zoukeimura or HG glass eyes, and a unique outfit designed by a well-known designer (Junky Monkeys, Sagazakiya, Love Shock Drop, Gloomy Puppet Show, etc). They are often made with LE only heads and sometimes can be the only way to get a LE other than at a Dolpa. Sometimes they are also done with FCS heads, including Sato-only heads, or painting school heads. One-Offs are made available once a month at each Tenshi no Sumika location in Japan. Each Sumika gets a set number of One-Offs (around 5-15) each time and showcases them on a set day each month (usually a Sunday). One-Off sales are done by a matter of first come, first serve, so Sumikas are often very busy on those days. The headmolds that are made available at each time are totally random and unknown, and the Sumika staff cannot answer questions in advance about which headmolds will be available. In addition to this, One-Offs are also made available at each Dolpa. There are usually a lot more One-Offs at Dolpa, around 20-30. The owners of these One-Offs are decided by lottery. Volks also makes One-Offs available at their major US events, where they are also decided by lottery.

Pureskin - this is Volks' newer resin and was used for most of their LEs starting in 2003. They gradually upgraded most of their standard release dolls to pureskin, and in late 2004 all FCS was switched to pureskin as well. Pureskin is meant to be more durable than old resin and less prone to yellowing. It is less shiny than old resin, and somewhat lighter. It is also said to be more malleable for the purpose of modifications. Many find that pureskin looks more realistic in photos when compared to old resin.

Standard Releases - unlike LEs, standards are available to be purchased from Volks at anytime, provided they have them in stock. All Sumikas try to keep all standards in stock as much as possible, so that theoretically, you can walk into a Sumika on any day and walk out carrying the standard of your choice. Standards come with minimal clothes (underwear) and less detailed faceups than LEs.

Showroom - these are Volks' main stores, where they sell a huge range of items, such as toys, figure kits, and dolls. Some Showrooms are joint Showroom/Sumika, and have the Sumika section as a seperate area for the SD-related items. The rest of the Showrooms have an area of the store devoted to SD, but it is fairly small and there is no separate area. Also, Showrooms can not take orders for FCS.

Super Dollfie - usually shortened to SD, this is the name for Volks popular ball-jointed dolls which this site focuses on. The name has a slightly convoluted meaning; before SD, Volks made a 1/6 type of jointed figure which they called 'Dollfie'. The name was a mix of the words "doll" and "figure", as they felt it was a hybrid of these two types of toys. Later, when they brought out their much larger range of ball-jointed doll, they decided to call them 'Super Dollfie' -- the 'super' implied that they were much larger than the original 'dollfie', while the rest of them still met Volks' original idea of a hybrid doll/figure.

Sunlight Skintone - this is Volks' 'tanned' skintone colour. It is quite a bit darker than their normal skintone. Usually, this colour is reserved for Sato FCS. Cecile the Scarface Ocean of Deep Black version is so far the only LE doll released in this colour.

Suwarikko/Suwaricco - this is Volks' name for their special 'cute sitting pose' body. It literally means 'sitting child'. It was first released with MSD Yuni in 2004, and in 2005 the SD version was released with SD Liz. It was eventually added to the MSD FCS (initially at Sato only, but later at all Sumikas) and more recently, the SD version was added to both the Sato and Sumika FCS. The current Volks English spelling for this is 'Suwaricco' (although their original English spellings were more obtuse) although it is still often called 'Suwarikko' in the Western fandom (this was the name that came into use when there was no 'official' English spelling).

Tenshi no Sato - the name literally means 'Angel's Home'. It is a special location in Kyoto, Japan that Volks bought and remade as not only an SD museum and shop but also a place for SD fans to gather and celebrate their love of SD together. The location is called 'Kachu-an', and originally belonged to Seiho Takeuchi, a well-known modern painter in Japan. It has been kept largely intact to how he originally kept it. The location consists of two major buildings and a large, sprawling traditional Japanese garden with a creek running through it. Entrance to Tenshi no Sato is entirely free but requires a booking in advance. There are many locations within the main building and throughout the gardens specifically designed for you to take pictures of your SD. In addition, there is a cafe, a museum housing all of Volks' thus far released SD, a hall for One-Offs which are available by lottery, a Volks store, and a location to order FCS. There are many FCS options (including heads, ears, and skintones) that are only available to be ordered at Tenshi no Sato. There is also a second building on the grounds that houses the 'beauty salon' where you can take your doll for repairs, and also an area where the painting classes are held.

Tenshi no Sumika - often called just 'Sumika' for short, these are Volks stores that are devoted exclusively to Super Dollfie. Volks translates the name as 'Angel's Nest'. As well as selling the actual dolls, they sell a large range of items specifically for SD, including clothes, shoes, wigs, eyes, carrying cases, paints, tools, accessories, and sometimes things such as jewellery and furniture. As well as stocking items made specifically by Volks, many of the stores also stock small runs of items made by popular designers, such as Cherry Milk, ZoZone, and Love Shock Drop. Sumika stores are also the only places where you can order FCS. Some stores are joint Showroom/Sumika -- in these instances, the Sumika section is separate from the rest of the store.

UV Protect - this is a new variant of pureskin resin that was released in late 2005. All LE dolls since this time have been released in this resin, and as of the renewal of all standard models in 2008, all standard MSD, SD and SD13 are also made in UV protect. In addition, in September 2006 all FCS was switched over to use pureskin UV protect as well. It is said to make your doll more resistant to yellowing caused by sunlight, allowing you to take your doll outside for more photoshoots without worrying as much about damage that may be caused. (see yellowing for more information.)

White Skintone - there are three types of white skintone. The first is 'Beauty White' old resin. This skintone was used for some old resin LE dolls, was available via the old FCS system, and was also available for optional parts. It is a creamy white colour with a yellowish undertone. The second is 'Beauty White' pureskin. This skintone has only been made available for LE dolls. It is similar to the old resin Beauty White, but the yellowish undertone is less pronounced, and it is more milky. The third is 'White' pureskin. This skintone is only available via the new FCS system. (Except for three LE releases.) Unlike Beauty White pureskin, its undertone is more pinkish than yellowish. The two pureskin whites are similar, but the difference is quite noticeable when the two are placed together. To help differentiate between the two pureskin colours, 'White' pureskin is sometimes called 'FCS White' or 'Snow' by the fans.

Yellowing - a problem that afflicts all resin dolls and cannot really be avoided. All resin dolls gradually turn more yellow over time. This is said to be possible to slow down by coating one's doll with MSC or another coating product. Sunlight is also said to hasten the process of yellowing, so less time spent in the sunlight will mean your doll yellows slower. Volks' UV Protect type of pureskin helps avoid yellow damage caused by sunlight.

Zoukeimura - this is one of Volks' affiliated companies. Zoukeimura designs, sculpts and builds Volks Super Dollfies. They also make the special Zoukeimura glass eyes that come with Volks FCS dolls. (Hence the name.) Volks usually write this as 'Zoukei-mura'.

Have a word or phrase you think should be added to this list? Please email me!