The much-loved doll Licca-chan marks her 50th anniversary this year. Since the doll debuted in 1967, more than 60 million units have been sold. For five decades, Licca has been an iconic heroine and friend to girls, who have played with and created fantastic stories with their dolls.
Due to Licca’s long history, she has fans across three generations. Targeting adult fans, official social media accounts were started for Licca-chan to offer ideas about life and fashion. They now have more than 150,000 followers.
Licca Chan Japanese Commercial Set – リカちゃん CM III
The doll was also appointed as a French tourism friendship ambassador for the year to come along with Kumamon, the yurukyara bear mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture.
The first Licca-chan model was released in July 1967 by toy manufacturer Takara Co. (now Tomy Co., better known as Takara Tomy).
According to her character profile, she was born on May 3 to a French father and Japanese mother. Her full name is Licca Kayama. She is 11 years old and in the fifth grade of elementary school. She is cheerful and a little bit careless, sometimes making small mistakes.
Under the theme “Licca meets Licca,” the doll’s fashion and memorabilia are being showcased at the “Licca-chan Ten” exhibition under way at the Matsuya Ginza department store in Ginza, Tokyo, with about 700 items on display.
Items include about 580 dolls, mainly Licca dolls, accompanied by her family and friends, who all wear clothes and accessories representing each era so that visitors can clearly see how fashion trends have changed over the years.
At the exhibition, the doll’s three significant design changes are clearly distinguishable.
The first version of Licca-chan, at 21 centimeters, is slim enough to be easily held by children and has curled chestnut-colored hair, with an appearance exactly like a typical character from girls’ manga from that era.
The second version, released in 1972, has sparkling eyes, thinner, longer eyebrows, and a slightly higher nose.
The third version, launched in 1982, has a subtle smile, long, straight hair that is reddish brown, and is designed to wear earrings.
The fourth and current version, released in 1987, has a round face, eyes angled downward slightly, fairer hair and stands 22 centimeters tall.
About 70 items related to the doll are also on display, such as Licca-chan’s “Dream House,” a miniature room with fine furniture and a luxurious interior, and a white dresser with a three-sided mirror.
Limited-edition items are available at the exhibition, including a set with Licca wearing a high-necked red dress with golden buttons, which is in the military style that was popular in the 1960s and similar to a popular outfit worn by the first version of the doll. The set, priced at ¥12,960, also includes a sleeveless shirt, a pair of pants with a psychedelic pattern, a red hat and several accessories.
The “Licca-chan Ten” exhibition runs through April 3. Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (until 5 p.m. on April 3). Admission is ¥1,000 for adults, ¥700 for high school students, ¥500 for junior high school students and ¥300 for elementary school students. … (read more)