Yesterday I was watching Froggy's new video. It's a toy review for Jakks Pacific's upcoming line called Gift 'Ems:
Basically, Gift 'Ems are miniature collectible dolls that represent cities from all over the world. Each doll comes in a unique gift box that actually opens up into a display box of the doll, their city and country.
I happen to notice one of the dolls is labelled Manila. I got excited for that, lol. Here are some screen shots from Froggy's video:
Can you spot the Manila doll? She's supposed to be a Rare type!
I found the Gift 'Ems Facebook page but it didn't have the information I need to identify the doll, but there were some group photos of her with the rest of the gang.
Manila doll on the driver's seat!
The complete Gift 'Ems checklist.
Also the official website was launched yesterday, so I was able to learn more about the Manila doll. Her name is Marisol Manila!
I like that her favourite food is fruit, and they didn't even mention mango but pineapple. It's not a very rigid characterisation of a "national" doll. (Mango is our national fruit!)
I happened to contact Jakks Pacific to know more about Marisol Manila. I'm very happy that they responded and sent these photos of Marisol to me! Check it out!
Very unassuming gift box in teal colour and white stripes and a white ribbon on top.
When you open the box, Marisol the doll is revealed in the middle of the collapsible box. The walls of the box are decorated with what could be photos taken in Manila: a gazebo, what looks like an old building, and a fountain by a garden. Even though I don't recognise those places, I think they are nice photos that represent the city. On the front is the flag of the Philippines, the city and the doll's name.
The box can be folded inside out as a display stand for the doll!
Her outfit consists of the red top with a sun print, blue pants with a yellow star, and a pair of red shoes. I love that the sun on her shirt is similar to the sun on the Philippine flag!
I realised too late that there's another Manila doll, so I wasn't able to ask for her photos, too, but that's OK. Her name is Penelope Playa!
She seems to be wearing a swimsuit that looks like the Philippine flag but without the sun and the stars.
I feel that through Gift 'Ems, the company would like to foster international friendship among collectors, and instill in our collective minds an awareness for both our own and other people's culture. In a way, I think it also encourages travel, especially for the little ones who are just learning about geography.
All the doll's hair and outfits can be interchanged! This is pretty cool, because Marisol can be from Manila and have pink hair and a skiing outfit from the Moscow doll, but she's still the same Marisol from Manila! And have you seen Penelope Playa's eyes? They are blue, which is not normal for an Asian's eyes. As funny as it sounds, I have to say it: the doll is not "boxed" within the country she's from (that is, if you decide to collect more than one Gift 'Ems dolls!).
I feel that both dolls being tagged as Rare would make them more inaccessible, which is kinda sad, but on the other hand, I think this kind of label would make them sought after by collectors, so in a way they'll also stand out.
I hope Gift 'Ems are rolled out in the Philippines someday. I want to see what they look like in person. Given the rarity of the two dolls, I might not be able to get my hands on them that easily, but it's cool to know that other collectors from outside my country can get them by surprise.