Ever since I first reviewed Lottie dolls last January, many of you have suggested that I take a look at Licca-chan, a beloved 8 inch Japanese fashion doll that has a lot in common with Lottie. Licca-chan has been around for much, much longer than Lottie, though. Licca was first manufactured by Takara in 1967. By 2007, the company had sold over 53 million Licca dolls, and they continue to sell about 1 million dolls per year. Takara merged with Tomy in 2006, and so now the Licca franchise is credited to Takara-Tomy. Licca-chan is often compared to Barbie in terms of her longevity and overwhelming popularity.
It was difficult to choose a Licca-chan doll for review. I knew I would not be able to make any sweeping statements about the doll line by looking at a single doll–any more than I could judge the entire Barbie empire by just reviewing Midge. So, I chose a doll that I felt would make a good comparison to the Lottie dolls I own…and then I added in a little Miki-chan toddler, because I found her too cute to resist:
Licca-chan means “little Licca.” Licca-chan’s full name is actually Licca Kayama. She’s meant to portray an 11-year-old girl who lives in Japan with her musician father and fashion designer mother. Licca has a carefully constructed biography, including favorite books and hobbies that have changed over the years. Licca-chan products are very family-oriented, with the frequent inclusion of Licca’s parents, grandmother and siblings (Licca has twin 4-year old sisters and triplet infant siblings).