The Momiji dolls are modern-age collectible hand-painted dolls that took inspiration from the Kokeshi dolls that were made during the Edo era around 1603 to 1867. The word Momiji comes from the Japanese word of maple leaf but these are not of Japanese origin at all. These Momiji are also called the message dolls as these dolls have a tiny slot on its base where one can hide a message on a piece of folded paper. The Momiji dolls have modern Chinese looking characters and are resin mold that are painted with images inspired by today's anime features. These 3-inch (approximately 8 cm) dolls were initially launched in 2005 by Artforum Limited in United Kingdom and these were not from any Japanese makers at all.
Primarily for children and teenagers, these cute colorful dolls have several collectible series such as the dolls in the Itchy Feet collection which are designed by Nina Zimmerman. The dolls in this collection are inspired by traveling in magical lands. The characters in this series include Mabel, Mika, Sonny, Souzi, Nani, and Luca. Each piece will only cost $ 15 and each character comes with its own accessories along with the special foldable message card.
Other series include Celebration Dolls, Linnea Borjesson Dolls, Adolie Dolls, Heroes Dolls, and The Book Club which is designed by Luli Bunny. The Book Club has several characters that are inspired by Japanese pop art and each doll is carrying a book with her. The characters are Enid, Phoebe, Alex, Danielle, Eve, and Clarice. There is also a series, created by award-winning manga artist Joanna Zhou, which is called the Flock-It-Dolls. The collection consists of Tiger, Tulip, and Pea and each character in this collection comes with a transparent zip-lock pack. Zhou's new edition line of Momiji comes with six dolls namely Kitty, Lolita, Kogal, Sakura, Papillion, and Pinku which now comes with a tin box.
Momiji dolls are also produced in limited numbers and the some of the collections are retired sooner, thus giving the collectors a rare opportunity to own a specific design. Momiji collectors find some retired series to be in demand some of the characters that are rate and limited in numbers are Purrl, Funny Girl, Poppet, Pixie, Silly Billy, Coco, Giggles, Ted, Soul, and Dancing Girl. Most of the characters that belong in the limited edition were only produced in batches of 500 pieces and are individually numbered before they are distributed to be sold worldwide. For those interested with the limited designs, one can get them for around $ 25 a piece online.