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YutakaYumi

In February 2007 I contacted plush artist YutakaYumi about buying a plush of Red XIII from Final Fantasy VII she had for sale in her deviantART gallery. She told me it was already sold and offered to make me another one upon commission for the same price ($110) which I agreed to and gladly paid in full. Little did I know what I was getting into.

She mentioned it would take three to four weeks since she had the pattern and fabric on hand, but by the time May rolled around I didn't see anything so I sent her a PM again asking for progress on my plush and she said it was almost put together and that it would be finished in early June after she moved though of course didn't provide pictures. So once again I waited, sent a few PMs only to be ignored, and finally in September I was told that her materials got lost in the mail while moving and she'd have to wait for the materials to get replaced. Whatever, I was naive and said that stuff happened and moved on. From then onwards I was chasing her in circles for a few months asking for progress pictures and my e-mails were either ignored (and she was obviously online since I could see her online on Gchat) or responded with excuse after excuse- she couldn't find the material for the markings, she or her family was sick, she had pieces for different sizes cut out but didn't remember what size I ordered, she forgot about my commission completely, etc, etc. And yet she kept on making other plushies for directly selling so obviously no progress was being made on my plush.

Around June 2008 my patience wore paper thin and I sent a nasty e-mail about how unfair it was for her to keep commissioners waiting for months on end while she made plush to sell and that I didn't even want the plush anymore but would gladly take it so I would get something for my money. I ended the e-mail demanding either my plush or my money back by the beginning of July or else I would take action with Paypal and get my money back that way. She responded saying that her direct sale plushies were to pay bills and buy fabric to make commissions with (?! didn't I pay for the cost of materials when I paid for the plush?) and that if I didn't want Red anymore then I could change what plushie I wanted.

Clearly I had little hope for getting my money back and it was far too late to file a Paypal dispute and claim, go I threw in the towel and changed my commission to another character (Quilava from Pokemon) of the same size (I never saw any progress pictures of Red despite how many times I asked so it was safe to say that she never even started on it), we discussed fabric color and markings, she had to make a new pattern so I cut her a little slack (I could have slapped myself) and in late August I finally got a picture of some progress. She said she wanted to redo the head so I let her. In November she e-mailed me again saying that the plush body was redone and that it measures 21" long instead of the 14" it was originally going to be. She sent me more progress pics with the redone head and eyes, said his final size will be 18-19 inches long, and wanted to confirm whether or not I wanted flames for the head and rear and if I wanted them to be removable with velcro spots in those areas. I went along with it because I thought it was a cute idea and I had some glimmer of hope that it would come to a close because the body of the plush was actually made (sans eyes), but of course it didn't. Cue another several months of sending e-mails and getting excuses or even nothing in return. She complained to me about allergies and people yelling at her for not finishing their commissions and said to me, I quote, "the one thing I can make a promise about is that you will like the quality of the plush".

In mid-August of this year I sent this e-mail, pretending to still give the benefit of the doubt to hopefully get something good out of it:

Hey, I'm just wondering on the status of the Quilava plush. I know that stuff happens, but after two years of several unfulfilled promises that you'll finish my plush this is getting ridiculous. :/ can you please at least show me an updated picture of the progress so I know that it's being worked on?

And in return, I was given this picture. I never knew that it took ten months to add a couple of eyes and flame spots! She asked me if the red spots were in the correct places in the picture (and I confirmed that they were in that picture) and she mentioned she would add little white circles to the eyes as little eye shines and she didn't make the flames yet (of course not!) and gave me a choice between two subpar fabrics for the flames to which I just said "Add the eye shines and send me the plush as is". I e-mailed her my shipping address for the 45657678967th time and waited.

A week after the day she promised to ship my plush, she gave me the best excuse yet:

It will be some time this week. I have to wait to get it weighed. My mother-n-laws cat chewed up my power cord to my scales so now I have a over sized paper weight. As soon as he is in the mail. I will send you the tracking info. It will be some time this week. if it kills me.

On Friday the plush was finally shipped and made it into my hands yesterday (the 8th), and I was just dumbfounded at what I had stressed for over two years and $110 over. The plush is made of piled-up fleece (and the fabric used for the eye whites was better quality overall). One of the front legs is unstuffed and missing beans/plastic pellets (or what beans were there are now floating around inside the body) and there's a small hole in the area where a pellet just fell out. White thread sewn into the middle of the face, a strand of human hair was sewn right into the edge of the eye, and the irises and pupils were made of some sort of sticker fabric and didn't even have the little shines that she said she'd add (which doesn't bother me as opposed to how it took TEN MONTHS to stick those on there). I suspect that the head is also smaller than what the preview picture showed, but I dunno if it's lighting or whatever.

And the kicker?



She edited the preview picture she gave me, completely tricking me into thinking the markings were in accurate positions and not sloppily applied. I also measured my plush and it's 16" long and 5-6" inches high as opposed to the promised 18-19" long (though overall a few inches lengthwise doesn't bother me) and is still a smaller size than the plush she often prices for around $100 which is what I originally paid, and given the horrendous quality of the plush itself it's the least of my concern. I've yet to even tell her that I got the plush because I'm just apalled at her business practices overall.


My experience is just one of many horror stories people have had with YutakaYumi. Do not let appearances deceive you; if you commission her you'll either have a heck of a long wait for a poor quality product or not even see what you paid for at all, and buying her premade plushies would just encourage her to keep up this practice of scamming and lying to her customers.

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Comments

( 64 comments — Leave a comment )
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puppetmaker40
Sep. 10th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
It's not even the same object. That is rather disturbing.
tobekiyoshi
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I fully agree, its not the same plushie, there a few small differences, but its definitely not the same plushie she took pictures of! WTH? That is frightening, dude.
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Sep. 10th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC) - Expand
denkimouse
Sep. 10th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
chiming in with total agreement. i plan to write my own post about this artist (whom i have commissioned a few times and bought numerous pre-made dolls from) once i find the time and energy to summarize about 3 years of torment, lies, made up excuses, photo shopped progress pics and more (before you ask, the first time was my ignorance about her business practices, the next few times were all paying for pre-made ready-to-ship dolls, the final time was a trade after 3 months of her seemingly cleaning up her act, only for her to not only vanish again right after getting my end of the trade but sending me the crappiest plush of the entire ordeal in a slow and every crappier trickle over the following year).

i've been telling people for a long time to never commission her, only to buy her pre-made plush if you can't resist them (which tend to be MUCH better quality), because to send her money beforehand is to throw away your money. the dolls are cute and it's hard to resist the chance to get one, but people continue to send her money hoping they will get a doll and are soon telling me they should have listened. just don't.

anyway before i get too long winded, just wanted to chime in that this is not a one time thing norkia has suffered, and i am hoping more people can also add their experiences with this artist's constant bad business and slow but steady decline in quality of plush.

Edited at 2009-09-10 01:56 am (UTC)
meuniere
Sep. 10th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
ffffffffwow.

I can understand maybe accidentally sewing on some thread or something and not noticing it- if it wasn't laying around for 2 years like that. And human hair? Ngnnng that's just nasty as all hell and easily avoided... it's really not that hard to pull fur fibres or a hair out of a stitch.
clickclackcat
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
ARGH. >_< I've even thought about getting plushies from this girl before. Glad I never have.... that's all just bullshit. I make some custom plushies myself in my... "copious" free time. I've sometimes even looked at her stuff as inspiration for how to do something or other!! Now looking at her stuff up close and unshopped... damn. Thank you SO much for posting this!!
hellebore
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
wow ive seen better toys come out of a claw-maschine than that.
anjel_kitty
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Seriously. That Plush would have cost max 20 dollars. The fact that you paid 110 is really just completely unreasonable.
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 10th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
chronidu
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Oh god I just had to say that the strand of human hair made me literately gag, and it's not just because of my hair phobia.

I've sadly heard one horror story after another with her when it comes to commissioning, which makes me sad since the girl obviously has some level of talent, just no business ethics to speak of :/
hobokitten
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
Ugh and I thought her plushies were kind of cute to :/ This is crappier than some Anime Plushies I've bought at Cons and worse than some of my favorite claw machine ones.
And how could she mess up Quilava D: I LOVE Quilava :/
pkempa
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
oh my god

im so glad i didn't commission her, i had thought about it but never looked into it and lost interest.
wow.

i'm sorry you had such a terrible experience.
houndofloki
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
This is really awful. I'm not a master sewer but I do have a decent knowledge, and that plush doesn't look like more then *maybe* three hours of work. And that's being generous. That you had to wait years for it and shelled out over a hundred bucks is hideous. The thing isn't even well-made or cute.
plushabilities
Sep. 10th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
\
I have to agree. That pattern is disturbingly basic and the materials used look to be...maybe $15 at JoAnn's (not even considering sale pricing). I can understand being distract-able, but that plush isn't worth a few weeks of work and MAYBE $20.

I thought -I- was bad at dragging out commissions D:
oceandezignz
Sep. 10th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
I can't even sew a basic stitch straight and I feel that you overpaid so hard it makes me CRY. The service was even worse and I just... I'm not even into plush toys that hardcore and wouldn't really consider purchasing one - but if I ever changed my mind - I thank you for helping me avoid this girl.

D:

EDIT: This makes you wonder if dA will do like FA does sometimes and ban people who take other's money and not give them what they wanted. Honestly I'd doubt they'd do it - but the thought is nice.

Edited at 2009-09-10 04:32 am (UTC)
hybrid_xisha
Sep. 10th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
I notice she has a lot of hidden comments on her DA page, so I checked them out in the page source, and they're pretty much basically people saying, "Where's my plush you promised to send out months ago? Why won't you respond to my query?" Looks like there's quite a few dissatisfied customers there. :/
lurkerwisp
Sep. 10th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
Off topic but I love your icon to death. XD
(no subject) - hybrid_xisha - Sep. 10th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
obsidianwolfess
Sep. 10th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
Wow, TERRIBLE. What a rip off too. =\

Looks like that thing is made out of felt. Also how the hell can you forget to stuff a leg, or just fail at it?? O.o
mreviver
Sep. 10th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
A couple years ago I was interested in possibly commissioning a plush from her. I sent her a note on DA. Never got a response. I then sent a personal email. Again, never heard from her.
If she's trying to run a business of plush-making, she's done nothing but a HORRIBLE job from what I've seen.
She's always coming up with excuses- she sick, or having issues with her mother-in-law, or she's moving, etc.
I've seen many people leave her comments saying that they've been waiting months if not YEARS to get their commission, or just get a status update.
"For those who've noted or email me, please resend it." I've seen her say that several times. How do you manage to lose track of your orders so much?? Does she delete them or something??
Makes me sad, because the photos she posts always looked like such high-quality work.
thaily
Sep. 10th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
.. I must be the only person who doesn't see the difference between the left and the right plushie in that photo, other than that the left one has poor lighting.
Also, while an empty leg and beads falling and the hair and the little white stitches are not excusable after a 2 year wait, I am also apparently the only person who doesn't think it looks horrible. Not $110 great, not devastatingly hideous, but definitely not worth the money and wait either.
shadsdf
Sep. 10th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
Just look at the position of the spots. they go from being oOo to OOO.
(no subject) - verdammtes - Sep. 10th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Sep. 10th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - corvidophiliac - Sep. 17th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aerospiritual - Sep. 10th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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