Dolly Review: Siena, my Makie from MakieLabs

Back in January, I ordered a Makie, the brainchild of MakieLab‘s.  Makies are the first 3D printed dolls that you can customize.  When my Makie arrived, I posted a box opening video and post, promising a real review when I had enough time to really play with her.  Here’s the promised review!

Makies Banner

Makies Banner

Let’s talk a bit about Makies in general, before jumping into details about my Makie.  When ordering a Makie, you’re ordering a few things.  First, you’re ordering a custom made head (eyes included) that you create in a special web based app (or on your Apple device) on a jointed stock body.  Because no doll wants to arrive naked, you have the option of a handful of outfits (chosen in the app).  Last, but not least, you choose a wig.  Wigs are non-removable unless you write the company after you order and request the wig be removable.  I did that for my Makie, because I wanted to add that extra level of customization to her.  (We all like changing our hair every now and then, right?)

Screen Capture, Eyes

Screen Capture, Eyes

Creating my Makie, who I eventually named Siena after my favorite Italian city, was really easy.  The website application worked fine and it was relatively easy to see how you were manipulating the head mold.  It didn’t take long at all to create something I loved.

Communication after ordering was fantastic. I e-mailed them with a question and got a response very quickly.  They kept me informed as to what part of the process my Makie was at, too, via e-mail.  As promised, about two weeks later, a package from MakieLab’s arrived from London!  (Apparently, it made a stop in Germany, too!  Siena’s already been to more countries than myself!)

Various Makies

Various Makies

I’ll be honest– there are some Makies out there that I just don’t like.  But their owners?  They seem to love them! I guess that’s the nice thing about Makies– since you are the ‘designer’, there’s a good chance you’ll create something you think is aesthetically pleasing.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

That’s what happened with Siena.  There were things I knew I didn’t want.  I didn’t want a block-like, square face.  I, also, didn’t want very squinty eyes and I definitely didn’t want my Makie to be stark white or a light peach.  I’d seen images of Makies that were light skinned and I wasn’t won over by them.  Plus, I figured my collection needed a bit more diversity to it.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Let’s talk about Siena. I’m sure the burning question on your mind is this: is she a good representation of the graphic I created when I ordered her?  Yes.  I believe Siena looks a lot like her virtual self.  The skin color is a slightly different shade than expected, but as these are hand dyed, I expected so much.

Siena, real vs computer image

Siena, real vs computer image

Siena came with a light face up on her cocoa skin.  I chose to give Siena large eyes  (angled down slightly), round cheeks, a large mouth with defined lips and a button nose.  One of my favorite aspects of her design are her pointy ears!  There was no way she was going to have normal human ears!

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Her eye brows are shaded in with a dark brown.  I made my dolls eye brows pretty thick, so I’m happy the face up included those.  Directly above the eye is a thin line of black eyeliner, topped with an equally thin line of light pink.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

It looks like they used a watercolor pencil or something similar to that for the face up.  She doesn’t have drawn on eye lashes or ‘real’ eyelashes, though I have seen some Makie’s leaving London with what look like ‘real’ lashes. (Don’t quote me on that, though!)

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

The eye make up is very simple.  If you’re looking for something more elaborate, you have to e-mail the company to see what options they might offer you or order the girl without a face up and do it yourself.  I don’t believe there is any blush on Siena’s cheeks, but she does have rosy lips, also done in what looks like some sort of watercolor pencil.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I chose to give Siena bright green eyes.  They are roughly 16″ eyes.

Inside a Makie

Inside a Makie

The look inside Siena’s head is kind of interesting.  The head cap is super simple to take off.  (Just pinch the top and bottom of it and it’s off.)  Once open, you’ll expose a unique eye mechanism.  You’ll also notice the thing that draws this apart from most 1/6 bjd’s– the eyes.  Makies don’t use full round eyes, like you see in other dolls.  They use strange half eyes.  You can remove these eyes and put in eyes of your own, but know that the perfect balance these have might be compromised if you do that!  Also, the eye mech might not work very well, so you’ll probably need putty.  I don’t plan on changing Siena’s eyes because they look great as is, but you can change them if you’d like.

Hujoo vs Makie

Hujoo vs Makie

Siena has a hollow sort of feeling to her body that makes her feel lighter than the similarly sized ABS plastic Hujoo.  I don’t feel there’s a great difference between Siena and a Hujoo, but of the two, Siena is a little lighter.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

She has a number of joints. Her head moves as you’d expect, up, down, left and right.  It takes more force to move it into position than you’d think.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

She has joints in her shoulders, elbows and wrists, as well.  There is no joint in her torso. Of course, she has joints at her thighs, knees and ankles.  Her limbs move more fluidly than her head does.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

As far as posing, I think she holds her own to other 1/6 bjd’s.  There are some limitations to her joints.  Her elbow joint is the most limited when compared to other bjd’s.  It doesn’t rotate left or right, just moves up and down. The knees are similar.  They don’t rotate left or right, either.

Notice the removable limb!

Notice the removable limb!

Because this doll was made with customizing in mind, most (not all) of the joints were made to be removable.  Her head, shoulder, wrist, thigh and ankle joints can be removed from the ball joint and then placed right back on.  The shoulder was a little tough for me to take off, but the other parts were easy.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

One surprising aspect of Siena’s body is her back.  There’s a huge battery compartment like square in her back.  Apparently, this is so you can ‘mod’ or ‘hack’ your Makie.  To be honest, adding wires to my dolls has never occurred to me, but I guess I can see how this could be a fun for the engineering types. Older style Makies had a hollow neck, so you could literally move wires from the ‘battery compartment’ into the head.   It looks like they have modified the neck mold to no longer allow wires to move up and into the head.

For those, like me, who have no interest in modding in any way that would need a battery compartment, note that you might want to limit the number of ‘low back’ tops or back photography you do with your Makie because the compartment goes relatively high on her back.

Besides the large rectangle on her back, I have to talk a bit about the shape of her torso.  It’s not as feminine as you’d expect.  It’s kind of blocky and her bust looks a little strange to me.  This probably has a lot to do with the hidden compartment on her back, though.

Fork like hands

Fork like hands

While proportionate to her limbs, her hands do have a bit of a fork like look.  The fingers are very straight and pointy. I hope they improve on those one of these days.  I should have ordered an extra set of hands.

Makie's Feet

Makie’s Feet

I really like her feet, though!  They’re not too large or too small and they even have toe-nail imprints on them.

Now that we’ve gone over a bit about the body’s look, how does it feel?  And, because many of you asked, how does it compare to the ABS of a Hujoo? Siena’s body feels different, that’s for sure, from a resin or ABS plastic bjd.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

It’s textured, like wood grain.  You’ll see on the 3D printed limbs circular patterns that are reminiscent of the top of a tree stump.

Makie vs Hujoo

Makie vs Hujoo

If you’re a Hujoo collector, you’ll notice a difference right away between the smooth, shiny plastic of the Hujoo and the wood grain like plastic of a Makie.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Siena balances beautifully!!!  Seriously, I never have to worry about her.  MakieLab’s did a wonderful job on creating a doll that stands in various position on both legs or even one leg!  (Disclaimer- it did take me a few tries to get her to stand on one leg, but any doll that can do that at least once, earns a gold star in my book!) Because of the tight ball joints, she holds poses super well, too.

Hujoo Wings vs Makie

Hujoo Wings vs Makie

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

As I mentioned in the beginning, Makies come with an outfit and a wig of your choosing.  This is where the company really needs to improve,  I think. I have a few different Makie outfits and they all look like hard work was put into them.  For that, they get kudo’s.  I’m not a huge fan of the construction of the outfits, though.

Makie dress

Makie dress

The outfit my Makie came in was a pretty purple dress.  The fabric was nice and the color worked really well on Siena, but, sadly, the fit was off in the torso.  It was just too big for her.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Most of the separates I received as part of a special they were running were decent, but nothing to write home about.

Extras

Extras

I do love the little pink apron.  That has a lot of personality.  And the jeans are great!

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

My favorite dress is actually the long, blue polka dotted dress.  It fits much better than the purple dress.  The fabric used on the top portion sticks a bit to the textured plastic, but it looks super cute on Siena!  Add the awesome 3D printed glasses and Siena is ready to go out!

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene

What else can Siena wear?  You’re probably safe with most outfits that fit 1/6 scale dolls.

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

I tried Siena in a handful of Mattel My Scene outfits and they fit well enough.

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

For Siena, I chose a long blonde wig with a side part.  I chose the long wig because after seeing owner images of some of the shorter ones, I wasn’t sure about them. I feel like some of the wigs look much better in the creation app than they do in real life, especially the short wigs.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Long was the safest choice, I thought.  (Again, this is such a subjective point– you guys might love the short wigs.)  I see now they have many more wigs to choose from when ordering.  The purple, blue and red wigs look pretty nice, actually.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I’m pretty sure, if I were ordering now, my Makie would have a fantasy hair color!  The wig cap itself is a little loosely rooted, but it fits Siena’s head well enough and, with a little bit of styling, looks pretty cute on her!

I requested my wig be removable for Seina.  She seems to fit the same wigs my MSD bjd’s do.  Most of those are a size 6-7.

The fact that Makies are created with 3D printer technology still amazes me.  I think it’s so neat that this kind of tech is being introduced in the doll world. The staff at MakieLabs really do deserve a pat on the back for making so many strides and improvements upon their product.  Some of the early Makies are, let’s be honest, not the most adorable things around.  But with any product, there’s a learning curve and these guys aren’t afraid to make the necessary changes to improve on their designs, seen most recently with the introduction of the ‘Cutie’ style faces.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I don’t think you can make a Makie and dislike it.  In the end, the doll was designed by you.  My Siena may look like some of the other dolls on the Makie site, but somewhere in the specs, there is a key difference, even if it’s something as subtle as the bridge of the nose or the angle of the ears.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Makies aren’t the cheapest dolls around, but from what I can tell, a lot of time and effort is put into making the whole experience (from ordering to receiving) enjoyable.  The quality is there.  Makies are a solid doll from head to toe.  I’m very happy with my Makie.  Siena turned out just as adorable as I hoped she would.  I would highly consider adding a Makie to your personal collection!

As usual, I’ve put together a video review.  It’s super long, but I wanted to get as much in as possible!!!

Questions?  Comments?  Share them below!

UPDATE 10/2016: The Makies brand seems to be dead right now. The site never re-opened and social media hasn’t been updated. As of this update, I am considering Makies out of business. Brands have been known to surprise us before and come out of oblivion, so you never know what will happen. But, for the time being, I would try to find a Makie second hand if you’re looking to add one to your collection.

March 18, 2014. Tags: . Uncategorized.

21 Comments

  1. Taswegian1957 replied:

    Thanks for such a thorough review. It sounds a fascinating project designing your own doll just the way you want her. I’d love to try it and if I win lotto getting a Makie would definitely be on my dolly “To Do” list.

  2. ghouliette replied:

    Sienna is adorable. I’ve seen some early Makies and I didn’t like them, but it looks like there are more choices now for customizations that can make them look better.

  3. Blackkitty replied:

    This one looks much better than the earlier design, but I feel they should offer more body options. Right now I don’t think they have any appeal to anyone outside the fantasy crowd with their dwarfs, trolls, elves and other short creatures. I’d be thrilled to design my own doll with good articulation, but the body ruins it.

  4. barbielea replied:

    Still loving them … I follow @officialmakies on Instagram, they are shipping some beautiful dolls. I really want one, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to afford one as I have a hit list as long as my arm right now … But I figure, the longer I wait, the more options they will come up with 🙂

    Kewpie, do you mind if I ask, was the face up extra and if so, was it a lot more? I’m feeling so lazy right now, I don’t really want to have to patient my Makie when I get round to it, but I probably will if it’s expensive …

  5. barbielea replied:

    *sigh* paint, not patient, got got that didn’t you? Sorry, spellcheck issues again . … By the way, I love Siena – those ears ❤

  6. Doll Diaries Picks for the Week Ending March 22 — Doll Diaries replied:

    […] of a Doll Collector’s daughter has a review of her Makie doll Siena. Makies are the first 3-D printed dolls you can design […]

  7. MAKIE IS COMMING? | Pixie Collections replied:

    […] posts about them before and Iv been intrigued and curious to get one myself for a while now. But this was the post that really sinched the desicion for me, and last night I finally ordered my very own […]

  8. Puddle 2014 | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] brought my Makie along, because, while I love the doll itself, the outfits from MakieLab’s need work.  My […]

  9. edenlouise replied:

    Hi. Before stumbling on your blog last night I had no idea there was anything like this out there. I am so going to have one of these, if it turns out good I may have more than one, in fact I’ve been awake all night because I’ve been roughing out ideas for designs. 😀

    The one thing I really like is that Makie is really user friendly. It doesn’t assume that you know all about this gig and explains it to you, a thing which Huju, or even its UK distributor, does not! Here’s some more kudos. I’m totally blind and use a screenreader to use my computer and surf the web and of course, while I love doing design stuff and can design the Makie myself I’ll need sighted help to help with the creation process, I was able to navigate the Makie website and take the first couple of steps like choosing the Makie’s name and skin-tone myself so at least we have somewhere to start from. I love the fantasy hair colours, they even have a white one, I was hoping they might but didn’t expect it. So cool! Have a great day. xoxo

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Did you tell the folks over at Makie’s about your experience on their site? I’m sure they’d love to hear about it! From what I’ve seen, Makie’s really does care about the customer. I can imagine it would be very difficult to navigate some of the asian based websites, like Hujoo, with a screen reader. It’s hard to navigate some even with perfect sight! Share your Makie with me, if you make one! I’d love to see it! I totally recommend them to everyone I meet!

      • edenlouise replied:

        Hi, Kewpie83!

        Thanks so much for your lovely responses to the comments i left on your blog. You asked me to let you know how we got on with makie and to share mine with you. Well, I roughed out the designs for a series of six fantasy elf dolls I could collect overtime. One thing I like about the makie setup is that it lets you design things and save them in your account, then you buy them when you’re ready. So, as I write an online audio drama about magical creatures and have a soft spot for elves anyway, I thought I’d try my hand at them. I call this series Color me Cool. I tried to give each of the six designs a color theme of sorts, starting with the name. I looked up color shade names and there are so many cool shades of paint that artists use I was able to make up some cool names for the dolls.

        My support worker, who is an arts graduate and pretty computer savvy, came in to help me do the actual nuts and bolts. I’ve done various design type games with her before just for fun and I have to say this interface was one of the more awkward ones we used. For example, when you’d selected something, like eye color, you couldn’t see the the result of your selection until you’d saved, at which point a photo is taken. When something is given as a percentage, for example the width of a mouth, it’s hard to have to guess at it and not be able to see what you’re doing. As I said to you in my original comment, I have no sight at all and my friend was careful to let me do all the input work, she would only tell me if something wasn’t looking in proportion or fitting the design notes I had made. She was brilliant at describing the available options and telling me how things worked.

        I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of wig colors available and disappointed by the poor choice of outfits, though I see there are more in the store. Getting the outfits on was a complete horror, lots of pictures of naked dolls all over the place!

        Ok, sorry for the novel, here are the links for my six Color Me Cool elves, starting with the only boy with the golden hair and going through the spectrum. the only one who isn’t quite right is Viridessa who should have green in her silver hair, we’ll have to put that in once she gets here.

        http://makie.me/makie/MCEPDM6T/ http://makie.me/makie/MU66J1UT/ http://makie.me/makie/MLYMVXZZ/ http://makie.me/makie/MCFVN714/ http://makie.me/makie/MM83M9AP/ http://makie.me/makie/MRRUTYK7/ I’d be interested to know what you think. I’ve never owned any fantasy dolls except Avia Trotter who came yesterday and who’s totally gorgeous, so I can’t wait to see what these are like. If you’ve come this far, thanks so much for reading. have a great day. Louise.

        • kewpie83 replied:

          What cute Makies! My favorites are: Aquielle Azure, Jazzberry Lilactime and Shoqra Rose. And the names? All fantastic. They didn’t have half this many wig options when I ordered mine. I totally get your disappointment when it comes to outfits. I brought my Makie to the Pullip convention I attended and bought her some outfits. She’s currently wearing a Sailor Moon cosplay. Thankfully, they fit most 1/6 scale clothing. Anywho, I love your Makies! Share them when they’re real? I want to see them!

  10. Sue Donym replied:

    Siena is adorable! (Squeal)

  11. Dolly Field Trip: Chicago Toy and Game Fair aka ChiTAG | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] my favorite doll lines, Makies by MakieLabs, attended, though.  (See my review of my Makie Seina here.) The booth wasn’t terribly large and there were only four dolls on display, plus one in a […]

  12. anonymous replied:

    ooh! you can make an ever after high cedar wood!

  13. Nicole replied:

    I designed quite a few Makies,they were far too expensive ($150 with shipping)but if I had the money,I would probably get one. My favorite was a turquoise haired girl with a yellow test tube shirt and denim shorts. And don’t forget the elf ears! 😉

  14. Kudos: Doll Lines That Thrived in 2014 | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] evolving, keeping this 3D printed doll line from growing stale.  I currently own two Makies, Siena and one brand new Makie who I only quickly introduced here on the blog last week.  Keep your eyes […]

  15. Ghost of Christmas Presents 2014 Part Two – My Makie, Pocofaux | barbiebeauties replied:

    […] If you want to read a “proper” Makie review, I highly recommend you check out this post at Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter, which (if I remember right?) is where I heard […]

  16. Gabi H. replied:

    I’m on the fence… My b-day is coming up soon and I’m not sure if I should get a makie or not. These dolls look amazing and just pictures probably are only half the fun of this doll. The only thing holding me back is the price.

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