What is Smart Doll?
Smart Doll is a new standard in fashion doll that not only enables artists, designers and photographers to enhance their creativity, but to also enrich the lifestyles of folks who not only appreciate Japanese culture - but cute things too.
Designed by Danny Choo, the 1/3 scale (60 cm or 2 feet tall) Smart Doll encompasses Japanese cultural elements such as design philosophy, the Anime (Japanese animation) look and feel through to the traditional casting methods used in the manufacturing process right here in Japan.
The physical size of Smart Doll means that we can create apparel and hair style designs that closely match the detail of their human counterparts.
Various eye color and hair styles are also available as customization options. Just as some folks prefer coffee in Grande or Venti, we also provide large cup sizes too.
Check out our customization options for Smart Doll >
Smart Doll Apparel
Smart Doll was designed to be taken outdoors - with this in mind, the range of street apparel designed by Danny Choo reflects this vision and also provides our customers with the freedom to customize the look and feel of their Smart Doll.
A New Standard For the Fashion Industry
The distinct model look of Smart Doll has been recognized by the human fashion scene and has already walked the catwalk of international fashion shows and has been introduced into the curriculum of fashion design colleges.
Fashion brands such as Isetan continue to collaborate with Smart Doll as a fresh new way to show case their human apparel items.
Did I forget to mention that Smart Doll shoes are designed by Jimmy Choo OBE himself?
Footwear designed by Jimmy Choo OBE
It's an honor to have shoe designer and entrepreneur Jimmy Choo OBE himself work on the designs of Smart Doll footwear. I've known Jimmy since the age of zero (work that one out) so it just made sense that we work together on this project.
Check out Smart Doll Footwear >
Diversity & Smart Doll
Smart Doll comes in 3 skin tones to reflect our diverse world - Milk, Tea and Cocoa and we will add green as soon as we discover life on Mars.
Housing an internal frame, Smart Doll strikes a balance between aesthetics and pose-ability. Conventional dolls have a parting line located in the middle of the waist but Smart Doll was designed with the parting located behind the bust line which provides a more natural look.
Smart Doll was also designed to stand on its own without support but for situations where more stability is required - the Smart Support Socket located at the back means that the Telescopic Stand (included with all Smart Dolls) can be discreetly placed without hindering the aesthetic form of the doll or designers apparel.
No need to break vases
Not only was Smart Doll designed as an inspiration to be taken outdoors, Danny's vision was also to create a piece of art that would look great as an interior item too. A vase can't change it's appearance (unless you drop and break it) but with Smart Doll's wide variety of apparel, you can now have something that will look great at anytime of the year - in any part of the house - in any style that you want.
Designed And Made In Japan
Smart Doll is designed and manufactured in Japan utilizing modern 3D prototyping technologies together with traditional casting techniques.
I’ve documented the manufacture processes extensively - folks interested in any form of product manufacture can apply the ideas and knowledge to their own creative projects too.
Precision Apparel Design
Designing apparel for Smart Doll requires extreme precision and patience. While the size that we work with (1/3 scale) enables us to create a realistic look and feel, the techniques involved go above and beyond the skill set of your average human fashion designer.
Our team of designers all hail from a background of human fashion who took the leap out of their comfort zone to take on the challenge to learn apparel design for Smart Doll. Our prototypes are all developed in our HQ and patterns are then sent to our partner factories located mainly in Kyuushu and Tokyo.
Not only do we make Smart Doll in Japan, we also employ Japanese design principles in its creation - there are 7 zen aesthetic design principles known as Wabi-Sabi of which we focus on three:-
FUKINSEI (不均整) Imbalanced. Beauty in imperfection, asymmetry.
SHIZEN (自然) Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality.
DATSUZOKU (脱俗) Unworldly. Unconventional.
Wabi-Sabi (no not Wasabi!) states that beauty can only be achieved if there is a correlate amount of imperfection. Smart Doll is beautiful because it has imperfections which have been factored into the design not only on the 3D modeling level but also because we decided to use a traditional casting method called Slush Casting which by its nature introduces imperfections.
If you are working in design then understanding these values may inspire some of the work you do.
Your perfect photography model
Whether shooting in the city or on a mountain hike - the wide variety of apparel choice and articulation range will enable you to customize and pose your Smart Doll to match the scenery that you are out to capture.
And for those of you who like tech specs - we've got loads for you. Sizes and weight listed below are for our Smart Doll girls.
- Size: Approx 60cm tall / 11cm wide at shoulders
- Size when knees bent: Approx 41cm tall / 25cm from toe to knee (you need this info to figure out what bag to buy)
- Weight: Approx 650gms with wig
- Category: Fashion Doll
- Outer Shell Material: Soft Vinyl
- Inner Frame Material: POM (Polyoxymethylene)
- Wig Material: PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
- Wig size: roughly 8 - 9 inches (wigs standards are measured in inches for some reason)
- Eye Material: Acrylic
- Eye size: 22mm
- 3D Software used for design: Zbrush, Solid Works
- 3D Printer used for prototyping and masters: ATOM
- Country of manufacture: Japan
- Designed by: Danny Choo
- Distributed & sold by: Culture Japan (Mirai Inc)
Designed for simplicity
80% of our customers are first time fashion doll owners for a good reason - Smart Doll is designed for simplicity.
All you need to do is to pick a face design that appeals to you and then choose either a Camisole (boxer shorts for the Smart Doll guys) or Apparel set.
If you are a first timer then I recommend keeping it simple and choose the Apparel set that comes with a full set of wear.
The learning curve to get up and running with Smart Doll is a simple matter of spending a few minutes with the Welcome Guide.
If you are not sure which Smart Doll to go for then pick the most popular - Mirai!
Who is Smart Doll for?
Smart Doll is designed for all races, ages and genders. Owners are from all walks of life from a variety of backgrounds such as tech, advertising, design, etc who are notably creative which can be seen in the way they customise the look and feel of their Smart Doll.
So far we have shipped Smart Doll to thousands of customers to more than 66 regions around the world which include the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, France, Australia, United Kingdom, China, Singapore, Germany, Qatar, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Russia, Indonesia, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Chile, New Zealand, Philippines, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Finland, Kuwait, Vietnam, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, Peru, Czech Republic, Poland, Uruguay, Romania, Brunei, Portugal, Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Slovakia, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, Turkey, Argentina, Estonia, Macao, Mauritius, Panama, Malta, Ireland, Maldives, Jordan, Greece, Colombia, Guatemala, Croatia and Iceland.
You can see some of our customers photos on the Smart Doll Pinterest Board which we look for on Social Media using the tag #SmartDoll.
Smart Doll in Education
Incorporating the Anime look and feel, Smart Doll has been introduced into the curriculum of educational institutes - Toyo Institute of Art & Design, Kadokawa Contents Academy and Yamanashi Gakuin High School and for example uses Smart Doll as a reference to aid students with their character design and illustration while Equator college uses Smart Doll in their apparel design classes.
Smart Doll as a business partner
Smart Doll is chosen by not only companies such as Isetan, Sony, Kinokuniya, Sunrise & Bandai Visual, but also by the Japanese government not only for it's unique aesthetic design but also for our flexibility and speed in creating tailored solutions to compliment the business and promotion of these organizations.
Smart Doll in the media
The Smart Doll concept, design and business model has been featured worldwide not only on news channels such as Bloomberg, CBS, KTLA and Taiwan Sanli but also in newspapers and lifestyle magazines too.
Smart Doll in Entertainment
Smart Doll has been featured in various Japanese variety shows such as "Sekai Fushigi Hakken, Konokao Ga Sugoi" and starred in a Japanese TV drama called "Doesu Deka" starring Mikako Tabe and Yo Yoshida.
Our Startup Story
Our Founder Danny Choo has given talks around the world about our startup at colleges and conferences such as the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry - Mobile World Congress.
Our business is not only fun, creative, rewarding and challenging but unique too. Up until now dolls have either been marketed only at children or a small niche adult group of hobbyists. Danny has re-designed and re-established a new standard of fashion doll and built a whole new global market. Folks didn't realize that they needed a fashion doll as part of their lifestyles until they saw Smart Doll.
About Culture Japan
Established in Tokyo by Danny Choo and wifey in 2007, Culture Japan is an umbrella brand formed under the company Mirai Kabushiki Gaisha [MIRAI株式会社] - the brand is associated with our 3 consumer facing businesses which are TV Production, Character Development and the development of Smart Doll.
Our clientele include the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat, Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, KONAMI, KADOKAWA, Sony Computer Entertainment, Dentsu, Good Smile Company, Bushiroad, Disney Japan, King Records, Production IG, Megahouse, Sunrise, Bandai Visual and Isetan.
About Danny Choo
Born and raised in the UK, Danny discovered Japanese culture in the early 90's through gaming machines such as the Sega Megadrive and anime such as Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
Danny decided that he wanted more of Japan so began to self study Japanese and started off his working career in a Japanese restaurant called Benihana. There he met his wife and started to go to London University to polish up his Japanese speaking skills which got him a job offer at Japan Airlines in London.
The job at Japan Airlines was Danny's entry into the world of technology which eventually landed him a job in Japan where he stayed in IT for a few years working for the likes of Amazon as Website Manager and Microsoft as a Product Manager.
Danny decided that he wanted to spread Japanese culture around the world full time so cut off his steady paycheque and quit corporate life to start up Mirai Inc in 2007. It took him 9 years to come up with a sustainable business which involved him nearly having to file for bankruptcy.
In order to help Danny on his journey to spread Japanese culture, he created a character called Mirai Suenaga who went on to be an official mascot for Japanese Tourism.
Danny wanted his creation to be more than just a 2 dimensional illustration so decided to create a fashion doll modelled after her and thus Smart Doll was born.
Danny's work to share Japanese culture has been recognised by the Japanese government who has appointed him as a member of various committees that are involved in a national movement known as "Cool Japan."
Don't take our word for it
Smart Doll is changing the world not only through our business and design philosophy but also through our customer-centric support too. But don't take our word for it - check out the retweets from our Twitter account or connect with folks who already have a Smart Doll through posts on our Pinterest account too.
YouTube also has quite a few unboxing videos that you can check out too.
Mirai Store Tokyo
Mirai Store Tokyo is our flagship store located in Gotanda Tokyo. Here you can pick up any of our Smart Dolls which we always make sure we have in stock. We also do a workshop where you can make your own Smart Doll and because we don't have to make it for you, you get it for a touch cheaper.
You can also check out our official retailers located in various parts of the world.
Smart Doll in your neck of the woods
We attend various events around the world to showcase and sell Smart Doll. Stand by for the event listing so that you can check out when we will be at an event near you.
If you need more reasons why we call them Smart Doll's then the video below is for you.