April 12, 2017 5:10 pm JST

Mao Asada's retirement helps toymaker twirl up orders

Tomy doll wears re-creation of skater's Sochi Olympics costume

MIHO GATAYAMA, Nikkei staff writer

TOKYO -- Superstar Japanese figure skater Mao Asada's retirement has sent fans rushing to buy a doll created with her input.

Post offices across Japan started accepting orders for the special-edition Licca-chan doll -- the country's answer to Barbie -- on March 22. The doll, produced by toymaker Tomy, wears a faithful re-creation of the blue costume Asada wore during her free skate at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The three-time world champion helped the company get the dress right.

A representative of Ensky, the distributor, said inquiries have "jumped 40-fold" since Asada announced on Monday that she is retiring from competition. 

The doll comes with a sheet of stamps and a sleeve to hold them. The set costs 12,000 yen ($109), including shipping and tax.

Orders are being accepted at post offices through May 23, and online through May 26. Shipments are scheduled to start on Nov. 10, on a first-come, first-served basis.

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