Little, fat, round, lucky – Daruma dolls are an instantly recognizable Japanese trinket that also serve as a source of inspiration, encouraging people to achieve their goals. Daruma dolls usually come with two blank white eyes. You paint on one eye as you set yourself an objective (pass an exam, get a promotion, etc) and then paint on the second eye once you achieve your goal. As such, Daruma are a popular gift given to students cramming for exam season. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could buy a Daruma doll crafted in the likeness of your own ugly face? Well, now you can, and what’s more – they’re three dimensional!
Company MaaYu will craft one of these personalised 3-D dolls for you if you send them a photograph of your face (or the face of a parent, friend, etc). The results are actually pretty realistic, if not a little bit scary and creepy! We can imagine “tiger moms” giving their harried exam-cramming children a little extra study incentive with the gift of a disapproving Daruma crafted in their own likeness.
▼ “Should you really be wasting time reading funny articles on the internet? Exam failure will get you nowhere in life… except perhaps writing funny articles on the internet! Love momma”
But there are plenty of other uses for a 3-D Daruma doll with a human face. You could print up a tiny, tubby replica of your crush to inspire you in your daily life. Or you could print a pair of tiny tubby dolls featuring the faces of both you and your crush, and then make them fall in love with each other!
▼ If you find yourself going this far, it’s probably better to just let them know how you feel.
If you’d like to buy your own Daruma mini-me, you can order them from MaaYu’s website for 4,800 yen (US$40). They’re about 7.5 cm tall, and it’ll take about a week for them to create your Daruma for you using your photo as a reference. Incidentally, the company also creates creepy hyper-realistic masks for some reason.
Personally, we think that real Darumas have faces that are a lot cuter than a mutant 3-D version of our own, so we’ll be sticking with the classic dolls for the time being.