Monday, June 3, 2013

Interview with Fairyland

Fairyland is a ball-jointed doll company based in South Korea. They release dolls sculpted by Cerberus Project, the sculpting team who first gained popularity through LUTS with their Delf and Minifée lines.

Through the years, Fairyland has arguably become one of the most popular doll companies around. It's no surprise why: they almost consistently produce high-quality dolls that are both beautiful and have great engineering. It also helps that their aesthetic is reminiscent of anime and manga, which is a sure way to win the hearts of a huge chunk of the BJD-loving population.

I'm a huge Fairyland fan myself (my first doll, Blair, is from their company), so I got extremely excited when they indulged me with an interview! I was hoping to get Cerberus Project to answer my questions, but they're too busy, so Fairyland's head administrator, Steelknight, answered the questions instead.

How did Fairyland start?
I have been working with Cerberus Project/FairyLand for close to 10 years, which is around the time of FairyLand's foundation. Cerberus Project (CP) has been around for longer than this. CP is essentially a team of sculptors and it was decided that a company specializing in sales and introducing CP's dolls to customers was necessary - this is how FairyLand was founded.

What's the concept behind Fairyland?
It's a rather difficult question actually. Each doll line-ups have its own basic concepts, but in general, Realpuki, pukipuki and pukiFee have fairy themes. Their concepts are generally themed around cheerful, loving and sometimes mischievous little ones.

Dolls larger than LittleFee have concepts depending on their appearances and therefore the theme does become more mature and serious as the dolls become larger (more mature). PukiFee and LittleFee are shown as little children. FeePle line-ups, in comparison have slightly more serious themes and fantasy themes. ChicLine can be thought as the realistic version of MiniFee. These concepts are not absolute rules and can vary depending on each dolls and designers.

Can you share with us the design process in creating a doll?
It varies depending on what comes first - the dress designer can create a desirable concept first, then the sculptor creates a head/faceplate suited to the concept, followed by makeup artist creating the final look. If the sculpt is created first, dress making and makeup styling come later on to match the sculpt. Otherwise, the overall concept is decided at the initial planning stage and sculpting, dress making and makeup styling can happen simultaneously.

What is Fairyland's most popular sculpt and line?
It changes each season, but Minifee is popular most consistently. Chloe, Mirwen and Celine are currently most popular MiniFee head sculpts. Head sculpt popularity varies between line-ups, so even if a specific head/faceplate is popular within a specific line-up, it doesn't necessary reflect on other line-ups. Best example of this would be Ante. This usually happens if the head/faceplate sculpt was originally designed a specific target.

What is Fairyland's primary ambition or dream?
To be the company providing the best dolls of all sizes ^^

Who/what influences or inspires your team?
We are inspired by all kinds of art forms such as movies, musicals, performances, books and exhibitions.

What is your favorite sculpt so far?
My personal favorite sculpts are MiniFee Chloe and pukiFee Luna.

Where did the terms Feeple, Minifée, Pukifée, etc, come from?
These are all compound words - all "Fee" comes from French word "fée" (meaning fairy). FeePle = fée + people, MiniFee = Mini + fée, pukiFee = puki + fée.

As for "pukipuki", the team wanted a name that sounds cute and fairy-like. We had a number of ideas and eventually chose this name, with "puki" being like a surname for this line-up (eg. puki Sugar, puki Pongpong etc). "Piki", which was a close runner-up, became the sculpt name one of the first three pukipuki to be released.

What's the most fun part in creating a BJD?
For me, the most interesting part is where ideas from various different teams of FairyLand and CP come together to create one outcome. This kind of team work makes it everything easier for everyone involved, making the preparation part stress-free without a hassle.

What is your opinion regarding recasts?
For obvious reasons, I can't think any good about of illegal recasting. I do understand that the practice cannot be exterminated completely for various reasons but hope that illegal recasting workshops do have some moral decency to see the shame in their actions.

It isn't that difficult for anyone with right sense of mind to understand that continuous support for illegal recasting will eventually kill the industry as a whole, including recasting workshops themselves. And for this reason, I hope they have enough pride in their skills and affection for BJD to start a new kind business.

On the other hand, I feel extremely sorry for customers who have purchased illegal recast dolls unknowingly. I understand that there are many illegal recasting workshops take advantage from first time buyers by advertising their counterfeit dolls as originals.

What can we expect in the future from Fairyland?
From managerial point of view, our most upfront priority is to shorten the processing time while keeping (or increasing) the quality of our products. Unfortunately, BJD making is mostly hand made work meaning there isn't much cutting corners we can do.

As a BJD company, our ultimate goal would be to upgrade current BJDs using completely different materials, eventually creating a totally new kind of BJD. :-)

All photos courtesy of Fairyland.


  1. Xhanthi Black1:03 AM

    Great interview Kass! ♥♥♥

  2. yldenfrei6:23 AM

    OOOHHH I am intrigued by their last word! I wonder what different material they are researching?? ♥

    Lovely interview Kass! So proud of you being able to get a hold of Fairyland like that! ♥

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this interview! It was so interesting to read. :)

  4. That last line is so intriguing - they're already doing incredible things!

  5. Nice interview, thank you so much for publishing it!

  6. Heather LittleBearries11:10 PM

    Lovely interview, I've always loved Fairyland, and love seeing owner pictures of their dolls!


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