ASM Toy Fair 2005
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Bleeding Edge Goth Dolls Report

Amy Lipkowitz, General Reporter

The Bleeding Edge Goth 12" dolls and 7" vinyl figures have been turning heads, thanks to an eye-catching combination of stylized gothic fashion and fantastic character designs. Series 3 is already out in stores, and Series 4 (launching in July) promises to be a hot topic, as the company moves beyond the umbrella term "goth" and explores different branches of gothic fashion, ranging from punk, retro, rockabilly, to cyber goth.

The dolls featured at their Toy Fair booth were all prototypes, but all of them will be using the new improved Bleeding Edge Goth body, developed for series 3. This body features enhanced poseability through 6 points of ball-socket articulation.

Infinity, the red-haired BEGoth with the mohawk, will have many more tattoos in the final product. Planned tattoos include a biohazard tattoo, a spider web with dangling spider on her arm, and a bleeding heart with bat wings on her back.

Hypnotika, the doll with the red yarn "dread locks", features low-slung bondage pants jeans with a corset, with delicately painted bat-wing eyebrows.

Representing the retro-goth look is Devastatia. Next to her is a new rendition of the everpopular Storm doll. This one is attired in an evening gown and is appropriately named "Evening Storm". The final member of series 4 is Fiona Fatale, who carries a skull-and bones theme through her shirt, her eyes, and her eyebrows (a tiny skeleton hand and arm).

The 7" figure line also has various schools of gothic fashion represented in its characters. Luna Bella, for example, is a rockabilly goth with a record album base, and batwings bursting out of her outfit (final version will be different from the prototype). Malice, a series 1 dollm has been reimagined as "Malice in Wonderland", complete with white rabbit, deck of cards base, and Mad Hatter's top hat.

In addition to their signature Bleeding Edge Goths line, there will be a series of figures and fashion dolls based on the popular manga Princess Ai, released by Tokyo Pop. The dolls and figures, slated for a July 2005 release, will include chapter 1 of the first volume in every box, as well as a brief "making of" booklet... a clever way of marketing the comics to people who are drawn to the figures for their sexy-cute charms without necessarily knowing the backstory.

The three 7" figures are all based on scenes from the manga, and come with highly detailed stylized stands. The first figure, Fell to Earth Ai, shows Princess Ai as she first appears, amnesiac and lost in Tokyo. The second, Rock Star, depicts Ai as she begins to discover her musical talents, as well as her mysterious growing wings. The third figure, Angelic Ai, is from a scene in the second volume, not yet available in the US.

As these are all prototypes, there may be some changes between the figures shown in the showroom and the final product. Bleeding Edge Goths has a keen interest in getting every detail right; the figures and dolls are based on color artwork sent to them by Tokyo Pop, with extensive feedback on the colors and textures. For example. the Princess Ai dolls are shown with bright yellow hair, accurately matching the cover art from the books. However, this will be changed to more of a sandy blonde in the final product, as per Tokyo Pop's request.

The 12" dolls all feature rooted hair and removable fabric clothing. As they feature the new Bleeding Edge Goth body, the clothing is interchangeable between the two lines (for those who aren't afraid to re-dress their dolls).

The first 12" doll, Club Cupid Ai, shows Ai as she appears during an appearance at Club Cupid. Evening Ai's dress will be black and white in production, rather than black and pink. The final doll represents Ai in a scene in which she begins to remember her past; a name for this doll has not yet been announced.

The Princess Ai line promises to be an exciting collaboration for Bleeding Edge Goths and Tokyo Pop. Bleeding Edge President Steve Varner tweaked the computer models that served the basis for the figures, as well as aiding in the sculpting of hairstyles and outfit before the final casting process. (Details will be in their "Making Of Ai" booklet.) These are people who take their figure-making seriously, with a commitment to quality and style... and good old-fashioned gothy fun.

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