Smart Doll

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Sun 2017/04/02 14:21 JST in Smart Doll
Melody Smart Doll taking in the sights at Brooklyn Bridge

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.

Mirai stopping at a cafe in Soho London

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 >

Our casual gear is geared for practicality when bringing your Smart Doll girls n boys out n about

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.

Check out our line of Smart Doll apparel >

Smart Doll on the catwalk at Penang Fashion Week

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?

Jimmy Choo visiting our flagship store in Tokyo

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 >

Pictured from left to right is Eiji, Harmony, Mirai (10th anniversary version) and Sana.

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.

Learn more about Smart Doll body design >

Smart Doll Ebony chilling out by the window - and looking great at the same time

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.

Our soft vinyl casting facility in Katsushika Tokyo

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.

Learn more about the manufacture process of Smart Doll >

Traditional Japanese wear being designed for the Yamagata Prefecture

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.

We work with apparel makers such as Tsujiyosoten and Future Brand who have been empowered by our apparel dev team with Smart Doll apparel making techniques.

Smart Doll makes a great travel companion and conversation piece - meet new friends and even business partners along the way

Design Philosophy

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.

Learn more about our design philosophy >

Some Smart Doll photography at Bryce Canyon National Park Utah USA

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.

Ebony taking in the sunset at Horseshoe Bend Arizona

Tech Specs

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)
30% of our customers are the younger generation who have an eye for quality

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!

Send in your Smart Doll selfies!

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.

Classes at Yamanashi Gakuin High School use Smart Doll as a drawing reference

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 works on a regular basis with Isetan Shinjuku and Isetan at LOT10 in KL

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.

Kizuna Smart Doll at the Sony Alpha showroom in Syntrend Taipei

It's A Smart Doll

Sony uses Smart Doll as a photo subject for their Alpha series of cameras and their Xperia mobile phones too. The fine detail of Smart Doll apparel and hair styles makes them a perfect photo subject to test the abilities of Sony's hardware.

Mirai Smart Doll and Danny on KTLA

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.

Mirai Smart Doll getting prime time TV treatment on a Saturday evening in Japan

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.

Mirai Smart Doll joins Danny whenever he has meetings with the cabinet

Smart Doll serving her country

Smart Doll is modeled after the Culture Japan mascot character Mirai Suenaga. Since her creation in 2007, Mirai has gone on to not only become a tourism ambassador for Japan but also work with the Japanese government on projects such as the Cool Japan Fund.

Danny gives a talk at the Mobile World Congress about our startup

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.

Keep an eye on Danny's Twitter or Instagram to find out where he will be giving a talk next.

Danny and wife Jay taking in the views somewhere in gorgeous Scotland

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 - 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."

Learn more about Danny >

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.

Visit Mirai Store Tokyo >

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.

Made in and Shipped From Japan

Our Smart Dolls & Apparel ships from Japan within 2 - 5 business days

Buy online >

Pick up in store

Meet our Smart Doll girls n boys & buy our products in person

Visit Mirai Store Tokyo >