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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Collection Oddities: Sailor Moon Dream House

This week we're once again going to be taking a look at another hard to find and super ridiculous Sailor Moon toy from our collection of oddities, The Sailor Moon Dream house for 6" dolls. I'm never going to quite understand how exactly sailor moon accessories and items got green-lighted at Irwin. I can almost see that the sailor senshi dolls deserved their own base of operations of sorts as really there wasn't much for a small child to work with in terms of available playsets from the moon dolls. However, much like the vanity case and numerous other releases from this time frame, this bears little to no resemblance to anything appearing in the anime or manga leaving me to wonder who came up with the concept in the first place. But, enough questioning of it's existence. The fact is that it does exist and it's my sworn duty to highlight oddities like these, and so I shall! To the box!

The box is in both English and French and shows of the item in question as well as a cover model. Also like the vanity case, Irwin found one of the most frightening soul-eating little girls they could as a cover model. This one isn't grimacing, she's smiling and making and inviting gesture. However, that doesn't make it better, in fact it makes it much worse and make me much more convinced that she will steal your soul if given the chance. If her smiling wasn't enough to freak you out, there's also her unseen and cunning use of magic to consider. She's clearly keeping the dream house floating in mid air. Sure you can't see her other hand, but there's no way a little girl is steadily balancing an entire furnished house with dolls with one unseen hand. It's just not possible, her evil soul stealing magical powers are the only option.

Steering away from the evil, the box lists the features as being:
Build 2 styles of sailor moon's dream house
Deluxe furniture
Decorative wall and floor coverings (you know because you see so many non-decorative ones, they just had to be clear)
Front door opens and closes
Simple assembly!
So, that doesn't really sound very exciting does it? Apparently, Irwin felt the pretty pictures on the box would be so exciting they didn't need real descriptions. Looking at said pretty picture again, I also have to question if whomever designed the box layout knew anything about the show as Queen Beryl is just hanging out in the house as though she hasn't spent 46 episodes looking for ways to eliminate them and take over the world. I'll just ignore that for now, we have many more inaccuracies to explore so, let's get that box open and harvest it's sweet innards for our own enjoyment!

Inside the box there's a whole pile of stuff. More specifically it contains:
The instruction sheet in both English and french
1 plastic door
12 plastic pillars
1 plastic door frame
5 small plastic floor frames
3 big plastic floor frames
20 plastic wall pins
4 plastic roof caps
4 cardboard floors
3 cardboard walls
4 cardboard sidewalls
1 cardboard roof
2 cardboard roof windows
1 cardboard chimney
2 cardboard fences
1 cardboard kitchen cabinet
and 1 cardboard headboard

You can tell from that ridiculously long list that Irwin may have exaggerated the concept of "simple assembly" a bit especially when you consider that the above list doesn't include the furniture which also needs assembly. Just in case you're already panicking, relax, you've got the instruction sheet. The instruction sheet should help right? Except it doesn't. The instructions are worse than would you get with your latest piece of cheap Swedish furniture, vague at best, wrong at worst. We decided we were smart enough to figure it so we pressed on. As the box touts, there are two ways to assemble the house so we decided to be ambitious and use the L shaped "style B" layout. The "simple assembly" took 3 adults over an hour to finish completely as several sections had to be deconstructed and reconstructed due to a very unclear order of operations. I will admit that some of that can probably be attributed to choosing "Style B" which is a little less straightforward than "Style A".

Once the construction is completed and you take some time to really appreciate your hard work, you really have to worry about the sailor senshi's insurance rates on a house like that. There's overnight construction by inexperienced builders, cardboard and plastic as your primary building materials, no stairs on a 2 story house and huge missing wall fragments? That has got to require some sort of special policy. Likely one that would only be available to super heroes and heroines or possibly super models. You also have to wonder about the giant Sailor Moon logo on the roof. Sure we know the dream house is nothing like anything used in the show, but if it were to be used wouldn't that kind of put a damper on the whole secret identity thing? How inept would enemies have to be not to know where to find them all the time?

Moving on, let's take a tour of the lovely furnishings on the inside of the house.

Looks like the sailor team shelled out extra for all custom furniture. Most everything is pink or purple including the toilet and sink. Looks like all the carpets and drapes must have been custom as well as I've never seen anything quite so awesome tacky in any store I've ever been in. The wall art is also pretty questionable as it consists of Usagi's wands and a giant portrait of Sailor Moon in the bedroom and something that should never survived past 1987 hanging over the TV. Speaking of the TV, apparently the sailor senshi have a penchant for vintage rock, I'm not sure what band this but it somehow doesn't seem to be what Japanese teenagers should be interested in. But hey, who am I to question their eclectic tastes?
When you get right down to it the most important part of any doll house and doll house furniture, is how well it works with your dolls. So we took a couple of shots using the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon dolls (as they were the easiest to get to for us).

Note how we took great care to put the sailor senshi in completely natural normal poses, Mars and Jupiter sharing a chat and a very light lunch , Usagi laying in bed likely avoiding studying and day dreaming about snacks and Venus officiating a Moon Cycle street race between Eternal Sailor Moon and Mercury. (the moon cycles are an oddity I'll go into in a later post)
As you can see though one of the redeeming qualities of the dream house is that the dolls fit very well and actually interact pretty well with the furniture making a good display piece. The only caveat being that we used Japanese 6" dolls which have bendable legs, (as is obvious in the picture below of Mercury resting before her race.) US 6"dolls don't have bendy legs so they may not work quite as well.

Overall this is a completely crazy item, I can't say that I'd really recommend it for a serious collector. It's useless to a purist as there's very little that ties into any real environment in the Sailor moon universe. It squarely falls into the "what was Irwin thinking category", but at least this time you aren't subjected to any terrible demented nephew fan art style decorations. For not so serious collectors it's something I would say is worth seeking out, though it's very uncommon, I've only seen one other in a collection. It's something we had a lot of fun with and is great way to display your 6" dolls.



  1. Aw come on, I want this house! XD

  2. I would send $800 to $2,000 just to get my hands on this wonderful thing!!



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