For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Sailor Moon phenomenon, Sailor Moon started out as a Japanese comic book (generally referred to as manga). From there the story of a young girl and her friends who’ve been gifted with magical powers to save the world was turned into an animated TV show (an anime). The show and comics were extremely successful in Japan, and moved on to win the heart of romantics in Asia, Europe, and eventually, America, where you can currently watch the English dubbed version on Cartoon Network. The character Tuxedo Kamen (known in the US as Tuxedo Mask) is the mysterious male lead who wins Sailor Moon’s heart. Although dolls were made for the US market, those dolls had all new molds that failed to capture the style and beauty of the original molds. This doll was manufactured by Bandai Japan in 1995, which is about how long I’ve been wishing I had him! If you’re interested in acquiring Japanese Sailor Moon dolls, the best way I’ve found is to constantly stay on the lookout. Since these dolls are no longer in production, you just have to get lucky… or be willing to pay more than retail on eBay.
I don’t normally do this, but since many of you might not have seen these, here’s a scan.
Unlike U.S. fashion dolls, which try to look fairly realistic in their faces, most Japanese dolls are very iconic and done in the anime style of big eyes and tiny noses. Tuxedo Mask’s eyes are big and blue, and angled ever so slightly upward. He has dark brown hair that is very silky in texture, like that of Takara Jenny dolls, cut in a cute bob with heavy bangs. His lips are painted a very soft pink.
Rather than having a mask secured by elastic, Tuxedo Mask’s domino is all plastic and fastens to his head by tiny holes just behind each ear. Ouch!
Here is whether the quality of Bandai dolls falls down a bit, in my opinion. His arms and legs are hollow. He has no bendable knees or twisting waist. The body mold has very little detailing, and he has what is (to me) a really odd looking torso.
Those dreaded stains again! This just goes to prove that leaving your dolls in their boxes is a bad idea.
Doll Scorecard Face: A+ Body: D Hair: A Overall: B
The clothes here are a mixture of good and bad. The pants, ‘shirt’, ‘vest’ and bow tie are all one large piece and closes with velcro. The slacks are nicely detailed cotton with pleats. The ‘shirt’ piece is cotton and rather plain, without any pleating or buttons. The vest is bright white satin and has three cute gold buttons. The black satin jacket is really nicely done! It has grey ribbon trim and big gold buttons. The cape is permanently attached to the jacket, and is black satin with a bright red lining. He has underwear, but it’s made of spandex (?) and isn’t seamed around the legs or waist. The gloves, of course, look like oven mitts. The black shoes are soft plastic with no detailing.
Outfit Scorecard Fabric: C (stains) Style: A Execution: D- (stains) Overall: B-
Tuxedo Mask has only a few accessories, but the quality here is really nice. His top hat is solid, soft plastic. His mask is precisely the right size to perch on his nose. He has a great rose with a wire stem that can be bent to secure it around his wrist. The stand is a little hard to see, since it’s made of clear plastic. Hopefully the scan of the instructions below helps with visualizing how it works. There’s also a picture of the nasty discoloration on the box liner from the rose!
Accessories Scorecard Concept: A Style: B Playability: A- Overall: B+
Okay, so I’m not actually keeping him in this outfit, it’s for demonstration purposes. The T-shirt and shoes came from Skipper’s boyfriend of the early 1990’s, Kevin, and fit perfectly. The cargo pants came with Generation Girl Tori- they’re a bit long, but they still fit nicely!