The company Mantaro Ningyo has been making kimekomi ningyo (a type of fancy Japanese doll made from wood and fabric) for more than a century. As Japanese site grape noted, these dolls can be used to portray important figures from Japan’s history, or the dolls might fulfill a spiritual role. Or they could be Kirby from the Nintendo video game franchise.
After dipping their toes into otaku pop culture with a Pikachu kimekomi ningyo, Mantaro Ningyo has made a limited edition doll of the pink alien. Only 300 have been made, and they go for about $125 (13,200 yen).
Like the more serious dolls he’s based on, this Kirby was made with great care and consists of wood and cloth. He’s rather small, too, designed to fit into a person’s hand, as this picture with a coin demonstrates.
If you want more looks at Kirby’s many manifestations during the ages, there was also recently a book published on this very topic.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.