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TOYS: Licca-chan turns 40, travels the world



Licca-chan, the Japanese answer to the all-American Barbie doll, is all set to embark on a solo journey around the world.

Toymaker Tomy Co. today is introducing the new Licca World Tour series, aiming to present a more sophisticated and fashionable Licca ahead of this year's 40th anniversary of the doll's creation.

The fashion doll's sales have flagged in recent years because of the falling birthrate. In its peak year, about 2 million units were sold, with a total 53 million Licca dolls sold since its introduction.

The new Departure Licca sells for 3,990 yen, tax included, in a set that includes a fourth-generation Licca doll, suitcase and travel goods, such as a passport and camera.

The Tomy Web site offers a Licca blog in which the 11-year-old Licca records her impressions of world centers such as Paris, Milan and Nairobi, along with photos.(IHT/Asahi: April 19,2007)

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