In the fall of 2009 I made my very first trip to Japan. Since I had never been, I never really knew what to expect. There was so much to see, so many things to experience, and most of all, SO MANY THINGS TO BUY! I didn’t have any expectations of going doll shopping or bringing one home, so what happened next was completely unplanned. After picking up a fair amount of figures from various stores, I made my way to Nakano Broadway, where my second doll was waiting for me.
When I first saw Yoko in the display case at Mandarake, I really hesitated on whether or not I should pick her up. Her price tag was ¥78,000, which doesn’t sound too terrible. Keep in mind this was 2009, with the craptastic exchange rate hovering around ¥80 to the dollar, making her price tag around $1000. Ouch. I wandered around with my friend for another hour, looking at various shops and checking out some second hand goods. Yoko was stuck in the back of my mind until my friend looked at me and said “Just go get her. You’ll regret it if you don’t!” One credit card transaction later, I was the proud owner of a Dollfie Dream Dynamite Yoko Littner, complete with optional swimsuit.
Now, anyone who has traveled internationally with a doll can tell you… they’re quite a handful to pack. Since I didn’t feel comfortable checking Yoko into the belly of a 747, she rode with me in a carryon duffle bag (that was purchased in Japan) while her box came back inside checked luggage. I was fully prepared to get some funny looks going through airport security, but no such conversation happened.
Once home, it was time for her to get put together and displayed! Her outfit was much simpler than Rin’s was, but I also got my first taste of how horrible certain outfits would stain. It didn’t take long for her pleather hot pants to transfer. All that aside, I loved the way Yoko came together! Her gun is a really nice display piece and she has a slightly different body from other dynamites. Her torso is slightly different from the standard model and she is the first DD I know of to not have nipples. Since she had a slightly different torso, she could also sit almost upright! Her curvy breatheren didn’t have the same capability.
Over the years, it was tough giving Yoko a ton of love though. As dynamites weren’t very common yet, clothing choices were extremely limited and she spent a lot of time in her default outfit. It wasn’t until several months later when she got her first real outfit in the form of the Volks Sexy Demon Girl outfit. She also picked up some custom made clothing with sort of an 80s vibe to it!
I also moved away from her default wig pretty quickly, as the ponytail felt extremely fragile. Of all of the default wigs I’ve had over the years, I feel that Yoko’s is the one that’s aged the worst. At one point in 2015, the ponytail came off all together at an event and I had to do some emergency sewing to reattach it. Not a big deal, but it was something I had dreaded for years.
Over the years, I’ve grown to really like having Yoko as a part of my family. She adds a great amount of personality and I love the sculpt of her face. The big eyes are extremely versatile for photoshoots and she has a certain mature look when appropriately dressed. A very odd skill when the charater she’s based on is 14 years old during the first story arc…
The trip where I got Yoko also featured another interesting story. One that I still find very hard to believe and gets some shocked looks when I tell it. This is a story of an extraordinary find at an extraordinary price. It starts when my friend and I were wandering around one of the many consignment shops in Akihabara (people rent out display cases to sell their items). One of the cases had a big box with only the words “Fate/Hollow Atraxia” on it. It was bigger than a standard DD sized box and had a price tag that read ¥17,500. Given the price, I thought it couldn’t have possibly been a doll, so I largely ignored it. My friend decided not to and asked the shop keeper to take a closer look.
Up to the front of the store we go, large box in hand. He places it on the counter and starts lifting the top clamshell up to reveal what was inside. As soon as we saw a hint of what it was, both my friend and I go for our wallets to draw our credit cards, but he beats me to the draw. What was in the box? Well, this:
That’s right, a full set Volks DD Saber. For ¥17,500. Even at the horrible exchange rate, she was an incredible find. For about $200, my friend had purchased the doll that I never thought I’d have. She had a little staining around the neck due to being displayed in the default outfit (it was notoriously bad for that) but it was impressive nonetheless. The only thing we could think of was that the price tag was missing a “0” on the end. It would be many years until I got my own, but I would have paid a bit more than $200. Lucky bastard… I then promptly dragged him to the Volks store and made him buy every single DD accessory I could cram into his basket.
Name: Yoko Littner
Make: Volks Dollfie Dream Dynamite (special version)
Arrival Date: September 9, 2009
From: Mandarake Nakano Broadway (in-person), second hand