The Stars Shone Bright at PUDDLE 2012
The theme of the fifth Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event (PUDDLE) was stars with five points representing the five years of the event, and fans in attendance agreed it was a sparkling occasion for everyone.
PUDDLE 2012 took place on June 9 at the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn in the Chicago suburbs. For the first time, a USA representative from Groove Inc., the company behind Pullip doll and her friends, attended the event. Yosuke Oba of Jun Planning USA/Groove USA brought upcoming releases as well as sample prototype dolls from Groove creative artist Mango Park. He also auctioned retired dolls and sold nude dolls at a great price, causing a frenzy of buying.
On Friday night, attendees ate dinner at Mitsuwa Marketplace, a short distance from the event hotel, then gathered in the hotel lobby for informal activities.
Saturday started with registration and adorable gift bags showcasing artwork by Julianne Hom and Carmela Doneza. Morning events included a buy-sell-trade opportunity, a group photo, door prizes for everyone, and a secret gift swap. After a break for lunch, a doll customization contest was judged by Ariel Haynes of the Shifty Lizard Shop, which was present throughout the day selling NRFB dolls.
In the full customization category, Jane Easterly was awarded first place for her Dal Luvvul, customized as a red fox, and second place for her Dal Festive, customized as a festive parrot. Professor Emil won third place for his Dal Anastasia. Christy J. was awarded first place in the modified category for her Pullip Elidia. Second place went to Crayola B. and third place to Utsu~chan.
The customization contest was followed by a dress-like-your-doll parade, judged by Kathryn Huang and Melissa Sowers. Huang and Sowers donated gorgeous prizes for the costume and original outfit contests from their etsy shops, Keely’s Cute Kimono and Quaint Quintessence. The winners in the costume contest were Professor Emil, Megan Gallagher, and Jane Easterly and their matching dolls. In the original outfit category, ByronicHeroine was awarded first place, applecandy” second place, and Professor Emil third place.
An online photo contest took place before the event, allowing fans from around the world who could not make it to the event on June 9 to participate. Manga artist Carmela “Shiei” Doneza judged the contest and chose “Catch a Falling Star” by Desiree G. as the first place winner, saying “The composition is simple but straight to the point. I love its whimsy and the light hearted feeling it gives.” Jessie K. was awarded second prize for her untitled entry and the team of Claire M. and Cecily B. was awarded third prize for their entry “Out of This World Cuteness.” In an online poll, entries by M. van R., Jessica L., and Shannon F. were chosen as Fan Favorites.
The day wound down with drawings for some wonderful raffle prizes, socializing, and clean-up, followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant and an informal gathering in the hotel lobby until the wee hours. Money from the raffles was donated to the USO, in honor of those who serve the stars and stripes, and to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center.
An article on the event and photos from the photo/art contest appeared in the November 2012 Doll Collector Magazine and the Winter 2012 Fashion Doll Quarterly. (You can view the entries and winners online in the 2012 Photo and Art Contest Gallery.)