For the longest time, fans of the popular Rozen Maiden anime and manga have been clamouring for good quality PVC figures of the 7 dolls. Yet, the only manufacturer to have released figures of the maidens is Yujin, who is far more well-known for their atrocious product qualities. They have produced four of the Rozen Maidens so far and all of them have been poorly designed and painted. Thankfully, Good Smile Company (GSC), one of the industry leaders in quality, released their version of Shinku, the main character of the series, in April 2007. GSC’s Shinku is rather steep in pricing at 6800 yen (86 Singapore Dollars), which is double that of the Yujin figures, but it is vastly superior, at least in terms of appearance.
The first thing anyone would notice about GSC’s Shinku is huge mirror behind her. It is safe to say that this probably was the justification for the huge price tag. The funny thing about Japanese figures is that once there is a large add-on or extra gimmick, the manufacturers will most certainly increase the price of the figure by a hefty chunk and us collectors will delude ourselves into believing that the price hike is worth it. Ultimately, the mirror add-on is little more than the type easily found at the toiletries section of department stores. Cynicism aside, the mirror adds a touch of class and background to Shinku and she would not look as good without it.
Most figures come in scales of 1/6 or 1/8 but GSC’s Shinku is obviously a non-scale version. The original character is a doll which stands at about 40 cm. To do a 1/8 figure of it would be silly unless you are into five-centimetre tall toys. The figure stands at about 15 cm, relatively small for a figure by GSC but the Rozen Maidens are supposed to be petite little dolls anyway. Add the 23-cm tall mirror into the equation and the setup looks pretty grand.
Shinku is standing on one leg and doing a curtsy (do girls ever do that these days?). The precarious one-legged stance might cause some collectors much anxiety as to whether she will lean after some time. To be fair, the figure is quite small so there is not much upper body mass to warp the ankle area. Her pose is a good representative of the elegant and upper-class Shinku. Shinku is a great addition to the living room, rather than being confined to the collector’s secret closet, since she does not exude otaku sleaziness at all. Even non-anime fans will appreciate her beauty.
Her rose-red clothes are extremely well-designed and intricately-detailed. There are plenty of natural-looking creases and laces all around, on top of an unusual glossy finish. Under sunlight, it shimmers far more than your usual matte PVC figure, giving off the look of real satin. On the other hand, in a dimly-lit room, Shinku looks quite rubbery, so it is quite the trade-off.
The face of a figure is the most important part and this is where GSC slipped up. The facial features do not really resemble the original character and not much emotion is apparent from it. Her hair is very beautiful though, the long twin tails curling up almost in a helical fashion.
The base obviously saw lots of work done on it. Shinku is standing on the Rose Ring that the Dollmasters each wear when they enter into a contract with the dolls. The entire base is shaped like a red rose, with multi-layered petals of translucent soft plastic. A figure standing on such a base looks far better than one with a generic base.
So for the price of 6800 yen, is this figure worth the money? It really depends. Alter, a sister company of GSC, is releasing a larger (19 cm tall) version of Shinku in August with a new pose and much better face but without the mirror and fancy rose base. It will cost the same as GSC’s. Some may want to wait for that instead.
You can get this from
Treasure Land by Toyntoys
18 Cross Street, #01-25/26
China Square Central
Tel: +65 64386806