Review: Harumika Fashion Design Sets For Children

(AD - Gifted) My eldest claims she wants to be many things when she is older including: an artist, a pop star, a fashion designer and an influencer. Although when she says them she inserts the word “famous” in front of each career choice. At 9 years old the world is her oyster, but famous implies you are good at it and generally requires practice. She doesn’t really want to spend the time on the boring basics right now preferring to play and I actively encourage that. A "real" fashion designer probably needs to understand the way fabrics fall, be able to draw the images they can see in their mind and sew. M just wants to get on and design, which is exactly what the Harumika sets we were sent to review let her do.

A 9 year old in a believe in yourself t-shirt wrapping white fabric around a toy doll size mannequin
Harumika Review

What is Harumika?

Harumika from Bandai are fashion kits for age 6 and upwards which allow you to easily design miniature dresses.  We were sent a range of Harumika sets to review including: Neon Beast, Asian Dream, Candy Wedding Party and the Bridal Gown Set. Depending on the set you get: 1 or 2 mannequins (about the size of a Barbie), between 3 and 6 pieces of fabric, a stylus and plastic pins. The mannequin has an open section along the back and various holes which can be used to easily keep fabric in place. There is no sewing, cutting or gluing involved.

Originally launched in 2009, new sets have recently been released to inspire a whole new generation of fashionistas. On the back of each box there are various creations to inspire children, but there are a huge number of combinations they could come up with on their own depending on how the fabric is folded and layered. The mannequins have a base which allow them to stand up so the latest design can be easily displayed on a shelf for all to see. 

The contents of the Harumika Candy Wedding Party set  including to mannequins, fabric and pins
The contents of the Harumika Candy Wedding Party set 

A close up of the slot on the back of the mannequin with silicone strip
Fabric stays in place when pushed into the silicone edged gap in the mannequin's back

Close up of the back of a mannequin wrapped in material and a stylus pushing the fabric into the silicone gap.
Using the stylus to push the fabric into the back of the mannequin

The designs obviously can’t be taken off the mannequins and put on actual dolls because they are held in place by the pins and fall apart as soon as they are taken off the torso, but they are a really easy way to have lots of fun designing dresses and they have definitely inspired my daughter to be more creative.

A girl creating a dress design on a Harumika mannequin
Inspiring young fashionistas

2 toy Harumika mannequins with short dress ideas on as part of a review.
You can reuse the materials to make design after design

The Harumika range is available from Smyths with a number of different sets available:

The single torso assortment contains: a mannequin, a stylus design tool, 10 pins, 3 pieces of fabrics and comes in 4 different mood boards including Street Blues, Neon Beast, Charming Countryside and Sweet Peru. These are RRP £12.99. We received the Neon Beast set which has some really fun prints included.

The double torso assortment includes 2 mannequins, a stylus design tool, 20 pins, 4 pieces of fabric and 1 ribbon or belt. It is available in 4 different styles : Frozen Fruits, Cosmic Kawaii, Yummy All Over and Asian Dream. These sets are RRP £19.99 and we received the Asian Dream set.

A close up of a short dress with belt. The material is purple and has leopard print
Part of the Neon Beast Double Torso Harumika set

The wedding themed sets include satin and lace making them perfect for the Big Day. There are two styles to choose from: The Bridal Gown set and Candy Wedding Party both of which have 2 mannequins, the stylus, plenty of pins, 6 pieces of fabric and a ribbon. These sets are both RRP £24.99 and we received them to review.

The Harumika Bridal Gown set in it's box
Harumika Bridal Gown Set

A close up of the materials in the Harumika Bridal Gown set including pink, white and cream satin, a white satin with flowers, a lace netting and a glitter covered netting.
The Bridal Gown set comes with a range of fabrics

A bridesmaid dress design with a white stain top and bottom, pink satin middle wrapped in glittered lace
A sparkling satin bridesmaid dress design with the Harumika Bridal Gown set

Review of Harumika: What We Thought

These sets are a really great way to inspire creativity and cultivate a love for fashion. The silicon strip at the back of the mannequin makes it easy to hold fabric in place exactly where you want it. These sets are designed so you don’t have to use scissors or sew and you can use the fabric over and over again for different creations. My daughter has created elegant ball gowns to short, funky designs. 

After playing with them for some time my daughter said it was a shame that you can’t design dresses with arms, but I have pointed out how hard that would be to do and I think the current design of mannequins is better.

The shape of the mannequin is tall and thin with a narrow waist. They are women, rather than children and don't represent those with a fuller figure. I am ok with this as it's the shape I am used to from mannequins and fashion dolls. With no head, arms or legs this is just a shape to dress, but in the future it would be good to see more representative body shapes in the sets.

I love that you can just keep on creating new designs and you can even use some of your own material or ribbons. My daughter has found it really inspiring and has even used the concept to make some wrap around dresses for her other dolls (but without sewing and the specially designed mannequin to hold the fabric in place the designs are much more limited).

I think Harumika will appeal to a wide age range (even I couldn't help from having a go) and I can see that the sets we received will be well played with.

2 long elegant dresses made with the Harumika Bridal Gown set being held by a child wearing a white t-shirt which says Harumika Styling Your imagination
M loved reviewing and playing with the Harumika sets

***Disclosure: we were sent these sets for honest review***

No comments