I get a lot of questions (mostly from my scrappy friends) about my dolls and other collectables, so I thought I'd collect some basic info about Pullips and other things here.
What are Pullips?
Pullips are collectable Asian fashion dolls that are approximately 12 inches tall. Their articulated bodies are approximately 1/6 scale (the same as Barbie) but their heads are closer to 1/3 scale (the scale of American Girl dolls). Pullips are made by Groove, who releases a few new dolls every month. Pullip dolls come in beautiful outfits (sometimes with accessories), often inspired by Japanese lolita fashion. They have a mechanism in the back of their heads that allow them to close, open, and move their eyes from side to side with the press or moving of a button.
Although they are beautiful right out of the box, Pullips are often customized. Pullip collectors often replace their bodies with more posable (also more durable) bodies such as 27cm Obitsu bodies, and might also replace their wigs and change out their eye chips. A fully customized Pullip would have all these changes plus have new faceup (make-up applied permanently).
The Pullip Family
Besides Pullip, Groove also makes other dolls in the Pullip family. There is Taeyang, Pullip's boyfriend (who is slightly taller and larger than Pullip), and Taeyang's younger sister, Dal (who is smaller than Pullip and has an adorable pouty face). Dal's best friend is Byul, who is frighteningly fish-like in her appearance, but I hear she looks less frightening in person than in photos. Then there is Isul, Pullip's younger brother (who is about the same size as Pullip). Finally, Yeolume is a smaller doll that is not articulated and is Pullip's future daughter.
Where do you buy Pullips?
I buy most of my Pullips at Pullip Style, which has great prices, fast shipping, and a great reputation in the doll community. I've bought dolls at JP Groove as well, but they often have higher prices and I found they took a bit longer to ship. You can find Pullips on Amazon and eBay as well (at either great prices or horrendously high prices), but be careful that you're not looking at "Little Pullips" which are miniature versions of the dolls.
I want to buy one, but how do I choose?
You need to choose a Pullip that appeals to your own style, and since there are so many to choose from, I would recommend really taking your time and looking at lots of dolls. When I'm deciding on a new doll, I start by browsing the available dolls at Pullipstyle (because I don't like having to track down a difficult to find doll at this point in my collecting). After looking at the stock photos there I come up with a short list and go searching for owner pics. The lady who runs the Pullips and Junk blog has almost every doll that's been released, and her blog is searchable, so I usually start there. Then I check out YouTube by searching for the name of the doll and hoping ScarlettB has done a review (as hers are the best reviews). (BTW, if you happen to have shortlisted a doll that I have, all my dolls are reviewed in my YT channel as well). Finally, I check out Flickr. There is a set of groups on Flickr called Pullipedia and within that group there are groups for many many pullip dolls. Flickr groups are great because you can see lots of user pics of the doll you are thinking about. You can see her with different wigs, different eyes, and bodies, etc. It's a great way to get a sense of what a doll is really like in the hands of a user.
Of my own small collection, I always recommend Ally as an excellent starter doll. She is very affordable, has amazing hair that is easy to care for, and has a versatile, but not the greatest quality stock outfit. Her outfit will not give you a good sense of just how detailed most stock outfits are, though, so if you love the frilly lolita style dresses, or the steampunk looks, then you really ought to choose one of those dolls because Ally is a little boring compared with something like Alice Du Jardin or Aurora! The dolls you might want to stay away from as a first doll would include any curly haired dolls, as they are a little more difficult to take care of and can be prone to frizziness. But then again, if you love curly hair, then go for it! Some dolls that are not in my own collection that I suspect would be great starter dolls include Merl for her beautiful and versatile stock and lovely hair and Kiyomi for her epic cute-ness and sparkly eye chips.
more to come...
but in the meantime, check out these resources:
Pullip Wikipedia Page
Requiem Art's 12 part series on Pullip (link is to part 1, you'll have to click to the next entry to see the next part, etc.) She is a popular customizer and has some really interesting things to say about how Pullips and Pullip collecting has evolved since 2003.