My second review here on the new blog features a figure by well-known manufacturer Alter: Ichinose Shiki Perfume Tripper ver. from the popular iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls. The 1/7 scale figure was released about a couple of months ago, after about one year from the announcement of production decision for this item.
I’m used to Alter’s completely clear boxes, but this figure comes in a more standard one, which I actually like better. Shiki comes in a mostly white box which is decorated with tiny yet lovely details. The figure basically is completely visible from the box, and that’s a good way to present it. Once unboxed, Shiki needs some assembly before to be ready for display.
Alter provides the figure with detailed instructions on assembly, and I always like when companies think about those that, just like me, are not very skilled with this kind of thing. In the box we have the actual figure, a chair and a chest, a bottle of some kind of magic –or good smelling in any case, stuff and a book apparently full of some magic formulas as well as the round and decorated base Shiki has to be placed on.
Firstly, the figure has to be positioned on the provided chair, and that’s done putting part of Shiki’s cape under the two chair handles on the side of the throne-like sitting element. Then the figure gently and easily sits on the chair thanks to the bottom cushion Alter shaped just to perfectly accommodate Shiki’s rear.
At this point both the bottle and the book have to be placed in Shiki’s hands, and the last task to perform is to put the pink chest under one of the curious and lovely mad scientist’s legs. Placing assembled Shiki on the base is the last thing to do to have the figure ready for display.
With a price tag reading 20,800 JPY before tax (almost 190,00 USD plus shipping and customs at the time I’m writing this), Shiki and all her magical perfume gear surely is an expensive figure. I didn’t order her when she was originally up for pre-order, but I grabbed my copy after release instead. I don’t even know why I decided to risk to miss something like this figure, but I can almost certainly attribute it to the lack of funds at the time and, of course, to the quite scaring price tag.
Turns out that I completely would have regretted not owning this little gem I luckily have here after all, for a lot of reasons, including and particularity because of the unbelievably good quality Alter is once again able to deliver. When I think of figures I instantly picture them as little pieces of art, thus I’m used and also prone (or crazy, perhaps) to pay relatively high prices for them as long as what I’m getting is of great quality, and with Alter that’s almost always true in my personal experience.
Ichinose Shiki Perfume Tripper ver. certainly isn’t the exception that confirms the rule. On the contrary, this figure only adds to the great portfolio of this company –one of my favorites, and definitely is worth every hard-earned cent I spent on her. The design is something compelling, almost hypnotic on its own and the execution of this particular figure is something I can actually call “perfect” without any doubt.
Shiki’s sculpt is flawless, with so many details that I notice a new one every single time I look at this figure. Proportions are perfect, as well as the way Shiki’s gear (bottle, book, chair and chest) have been sculpted. The faithfulness to the original illustration makes me almost melt, and that’s especially true for Shiki’s face; I don’t even know how Alter was able to perfectly capture her expression with so much sentiment.
And the same applies to everything else in this figure; even the smaller details seem to have come straight out of that beautiful 2D piece of art, speaking of both the sculpt and the painting, which is so vibrant and “happy” and well-executed it actually seems impossible to be able to reach such perfection.
I can’t stop staring at this figure, which is able to send me good vibes and makes me happy just by looking at it. This is surely thanks to such great quality, especially for me. I’m not into idols and I don’t even know this character that well; I got this figure purely because of its aesthetics and I’m just glad I did.
This Shiki figure by Alter surely is perfect; my only issue with it is that my copy arrived with the red vial on Shiki’s belt detached. Upon close inspection and some mad searching inside the inner box, I discovered that the vial is actually detachable –thus each one of the tree small things are interchangeable, but my red one was detached in the wrong place, meaning it actually came broken. Now, I would have gone completely mad if it wasn’t for the fact that returning it to its normal condition was more than easy.
With Ichinose Shiki Perfume Tripper ver. by Alter I have acquired a figure I wouldn’t want to stop looking at for any reason; one that is completely adorable in her pose, sublimely sculpted and painted and beyond cute. I couldn’t be happier with this figure, so if you happen to find her somewhere and you are still uncertain you would like it, just go for it –even if it will cost you an arm and a leg like Shiki here cost me.