Living Dead Dolls

ldd011998 two Americans, namely Ed Long and Damien Glonek, crafted some handmade horror dolls which sold on the spot. So they made more dolls (sneaking away mom's doll kits in some cases) and sold them online and on conventions, where one day they were spotted by the owner of the company Mezco which also produces figures of Hellboy and South Park.
Since 2000 Mezco makes the horror dolls and there are usually two limited series per year and irregular special editions for movies and the like.
For a while the inventors still took requests for handmade customs but as far as I know these days they don't anymore.

Living Dead Dolls only know one theme: horror! There might be an axe in their head, they were put together from corpse parts like Frankenstein, some have bad burns or their eyes cut out, some froze to death beneath water or were run over by the school bus and some come directly from the depths of hell and are small demons or killing scarecrows - there is no end to the evil taste and about every horror fan should be able to find one that exactly matches his or her favourite movie.

The dolls are sold in boxes designed as caskets and each comes with a small certificate of death which bears a poem about their demise. They are quite cheap (a bit more expensive than a "new" Monster High doll, usually under 30 Euro) but they are also quite uninteresting for everyone who wants to do more than just collect. Their bodies are very childlike, almost like a baby doll's, and they only have five joints (shoulders, legs and neck). When seated their legs open up like said baby doll's which promptly robs them of their horror flair. So for photographies they are only useful when standing. Futhermore they wear very simple outfits, their hair is quite sparse and they often come with stained bodies. One of mine even has two differently coloured legs that are also of different length. Despite these problems there are some spectacular customs to be found online.

Their big advantage is the theme - if you like it. If you're a playful fan of the horror genre with a faible for blood and splatter you can't avoid LDD and so they fill a gap. I guess more than a few LDDs are bought to annoy the parents, make a weird gift to a friend or because people are simply sick of the cuteness of other dolls. ;)

The picture on the bottom left shows Yuki Onno in her original packaging. The see-through lid always shows the logo and the phrases "I'm Dead", "Pure Evil" and "I sleep with the worms". The picture in the middle shows the opened package. The cardboard casket lid is originally on the back so you can see the doll. You can then either use the see-through or the cardboard lid. The box is lined with soft tissue and behind that is the small scroll with the character poem. On the right is Absynth which was published to celebrate the 13th anniversary and thus got an extra pretty casket.


My opinion on LDD:

ldd02Those dolls that come with an axe in their head or with spilled guts scare me too, so I only own some characters that died in less brutal ways and prefer the harmless scare of Monster High. I bought my first two living deads when I thought that I would never be able to buy a Pullip in Germany. The urge to sew doll clothes made me and back then there was no Monster High yet. Barbie was no option either. Since Mss. Eerie only has white eyes and Dottie Rose died from a sun allergy and thus the worst about her is some shed skin I was okay with them.
My two zombies got company by a snow woman and a green faerie and I don't plan to buy any more of these dolls. Although I want to sew them a few outfits they are just too uninteresting for photos and photo comics due to the poor posability.


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