Saturday was Puddle, a convention that celebrates all things Pullip and friends. Started in 2007 by fans of the doll line, Puddle is held yearly in the suburbs of Chicago and is attended by collectors from all over the United States. While I’ve known about Puddle for a few years now, this year was the first year I attended. Because there’s safety in numbers, I invited my mother along for the ride. She’s the best convention partner around!
Our Puddle adventure started bright and early at around 8:30AM. Once we checked in, we both grabbed our goody bags that included things like original laminated art, candy, outfits, eye chips and other small things.
My bag included an outfit donated by Sewgrandmacathy in cute Hello Kitty fabric and my mom’s had a pair of dolly sized skinny jeans. I don’t have a doll to model this yet, but will post a photo on my Facebook page when I do!
Inside the convention room were various tables. Of course, the center was filled with tables for attendees to sit at and display their dolls. Mingling was very much encouraged throughout the convention. As I’m not the best at socializing with strangers (I can’t help it, I’m a bit shy), I welcomed the initial ice breaker, which focused on us walking around with a sheet of paper getting signatures from people who had brought or done various Puddle/Pullip related things. Upon completion, we received a raffle ticket for a chance to win outfits and other fun dolly items.
One table featured free issues of Dolls Magazine, recent and not so recent! Dolls Magazine even offered attendees a free digital subscription to the magazine. While I have my issues with doll magazines of today, I am not one to pass up a free issue or two.
The area that I was most excited to see was the row of dealers table at the end of the room. You all know this by now, I love shopping, especially at conventions. As Puddle is a smaller fan gathering of under 100 people, I didn’t expect to see lots of dealers. My assumption was right. There were just under 10 dealers selling their wares. I was happily surprised by the vendors that did attend Puddle, though. I was able to pick up some super cute outfits that were not only Pullip friendly, but Hujoo and Makie friendly, as well! Ironically, while I came in thinking I would enhance my Pullip collection, I mostly enhanced my other 1/6 sized dolls closets!
As far as activities went, the morning portion of the convention was mostly mingling, shopping and trading, ice breakers and group photos. The afternoon activities included an open customizing Q and A and a variety of contests. My mom and I only stayed through lunch, because we had to get back home to take care of something, but the morning turned out to be pretty fun! I met a lot of nice people and had the shock of a lifetime when someone asked me if I was on YouTube. It turned out she was a YouTube subscriber of mine! Small world, right?
And the dolls people brought? First off, there were so many! Attendees literally brought suitcases of dolls to show off on their table. I’m positive the dolls outnumbered the attendees! And there weren’t just stock dolls! The majority of what I saw were custom dolls. There was a huge variety of types and sizes of Pullips, Taeyangs, Dals, etc on display. Like my mom and I, people brought other non Pullip dolls, too. I saw many Blythes and surprisingly, I found some of them really cute! (I’m not a huge Blythe fan…) Here are some of the dolls that came to Puddle.
Here are some of my favorite dolls collectors brought to Pullip.
And there were two very large displays that need to be featured here.
So, the question I’m sure your asking, what did she buy?! I went into Puddle thinking I would pick up a Make It Own or My Select set to customize my own doll or even get a head start on my next Once Upon a Time based doll. Unfortunately, none of the vendors had those sets. The backup plan was to find someone selling nude dolls at a price that warranted customizing them. Following suit, no one had affordable stock bodies for me. Two disappointing strikes. In the end, I decided to focus on outfitting my dolls, because most of the vendors were selling clothing and at affordable prices, to boot! (Azone was selling, but while I love the look of their 1/6 scale figures, I can’t pay over $100 for them.)
I brought my Makie along, because, while I love the doll itself, the outfits from MakieLab’s need work. My first purchase at Puddle was an adorable Sailor Moon themed outfit for Siena, my Makie. Being a two piece outfit, I didn’t have to worry about Siena’s strange torso. The top fit really well, too, as it’s not supposed to be skin tight. This outfit was made by Quamara of Quaint Quintessence.
Quamara had a ton of cute pop culture’y pieces at her booth, including two piece sets (a hoodie and skirt) themed around My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Of course, I couldn’t pass those up. I picked up Twilight Sparkle and Doctor Whooves. The great thing about these is that, like the Sailor Moon outfit and my Makie, these outfits fit my Hujoo!
Because I can never pass them up, I picked up four Re-Ment mystery boxes from Sakura’s Blossoms. I’m a sucker for miniature food items, even though I don’t have a doll house to really display a lot of the pieces I own. (The fact that Anime Central had ziltch when it came to Re-Ment aided in me buying these at Puddle!)
My mom picked up an awesome MSD sized jacket for her Bobobie from Kaleidoscope Coats, a newer vendor to hit the dolly market. These coats are super neat and almost otherworldly.
I picked up a cool earthy jacket that cuts off at the waist. Currently, Breena, my Doll In Mind Fantasia is wearing it, though she needs a new skirt or pants to match it!
The last thing I picked up is the piece I went back and forth on most. I went into the day thinking that I wouldn’t pick up any stock dolls. However, Shifty Lizard was at the convention, which made things a little more difficult. I truly wasn’t going to buy anything from their booth, because their prices were high, but then I saw a discounted Catwoman Pullip. The doll was being sold at a discount because the goggles were loose in the package. What really caught my eye was the doll under the outfit. The stock doll immediately reminded me of Regina/The Evil Queen. In the end, I picked her up in hopes to add to my Once Upon a Time custom collection.
My mom made out pretty well in the swap/buy/trade portion of the morning, picking up a handful of wigs at 3 bucks a pop!
I must admit, I did expect more wig and shoe options on the vendor floor and I definitely expected more nicely priced nude dolls or a Make It Own set or two. However, I am happy with the majority of what I picked up, especially in regards to the outfits! My dolly budget is, of course, blown for the month, which means I will most likely see every single new Monster High or Ever After High dolls released recently on store shelves!
More importantly, I had a fun time interacting with other doll collectors! It’s always interesting (in a good way) to be around others who like the same things you do and can relate to the hobby based things you might do! Overall, I’m glad I finally got to attend Puddle. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait till next year!
For more photos, check out my Facebook page. You’ll see table photos galore over there!
Did you attend Puddle or another local doll con recently? What did you think? Did you buy anything fun? Share your thoughts below!