This was my grail for the longest time. This Shinobu figure by Good Smile Company is one of the best Shinobu figures out there, and probably the starter for all those donut-related figures, where the donut base doesn't feel overwhelmingly sweet probably because it has connections to the various concepts of the other characters in the anime.
I finally managed to find it and bought this for $100 at Chara Expo 2015 from the GSC shop. I think it's good money spent considering how she's around 10,000 yen in second-hand shops nowadays and I managed to find her in a new, unopened state!
Her box has a nice window on all three sides and it highlights how she looks with all her parts intact. The colors of dark grey, red and pink helps you get in the mood for unboxing a cute loli donut-loving vampire, Oshino Shinobu.
I do not have a picture of her blister alone but she comes in three separate parts: the figure itself, her base, and the donut in her mouth. Do note that the donut she's biting on is small and you need to be careful not to lose it! Furthermore, her green helmet is removable as well!
The only reason this base doesn't get a full 10/10 is because I do find that there's always room for improvement.
The dark single-tone donuts are located where Shinobu is supposed to be on the base. I would have rather normal colored donuts there as well, to make the base look better on its own, but I guess this works as well...? However, there's no peg for Shinobu on this base so you might easily drop either while handling her, so be careful!
Putting that aside, I especially love the concept behind this base and we'll take a slow 360 of the base while reviewing the different character it features.
From the front, we see five well-made references already. Needless to say, the head and that ahoge will only link to our favorite main charater in Monogatari Series, Araragi Koyomi! His sisters also have a brief mention in this base with the two sunny side-up egg hairclips which they wear in the whole series, across the different arcs no matter what their hairstyles are. The stapler links to Senjougahara Hitagi (Araragi Koyom's girlfriend), the orange cap belongs to Sengoku Nadeko, while the pink bag belongs to Hachikuji Mayoi, who are the heroines in the series.
In this image, you will see Hanekawa Tsubasa, the ever-friendly class-rep who seems to know everything. Her image on this base is the cat ears and her trademark classes. The geta-shoes represent Oshino Meme, an apparition killer who aids Araragi Koyomi in resolving many of such apparition issues he finds, usually for a small (or, not that small) fee in exchange. Kanbaru Suruga is also featured with the bandaged arm, which of course, had to be grabbing a donut because what good are hands other than for grabbing donuts?
I like how there are some donuts that are different from the usual brown ones that litter the base in this figure. For instance, there are some of a different shape near Hanekawa's ear, as well as the chocolate-glazed donut beside Hachikuji's bag. This little details halp to enhance this base by giving it more little details that you'll stop and ponder about when examining it.
Posing and Assembly
Posing is not a problem. Shinobu does come with many detachable parts so you could display her with or without her helmet and/or donut in her mouth. Each variation has a slightly different atmosphere to it, but I like to pose her with both.
You could probably pose her without her base as well, since her butt is flat and meant to be able to sit steadily on a flat surface without fear of toppling over. However, I do love this base too much not to use it so unfortunately you wouldn't see any pictures of her without her base, not from me at least!
With regards to assembly, she's quite easy to assemble, but a pain as well, depending on how you see it. She slides into place, with her feet fitting into the donut grooves, marked by the red circles. There would be two of these depression in the donut mountain that she's on, one on each side for each foot. Not only do the groove help to keep her in place so she doesn't fall out that easily, they also add to the realistic factor of the effects of weight on fluffy donuts.
But as I've mentioned before, there are no pegs holding this beauty in place so be sure to be careful and hold both her and the base when handling so neither of them fall.
Sculpting and Painting
Let's just say that there is a reason why she has been my grail for so long, and on such high demand in the aftermarket.
A simple 360 of her shows how well she catches light in the right areas. The sculpt of her one piece pink dress folds in all the right areas, giving her a dynamic sense of movement. And it actually looks soft and similar to real fabric. This is also reflected in the flow of the ribbon on her chest as well as the spaghetti straps that are falling off her shoulder. Of course, this is common in most of the higher-end scale figures nowadays but Shinobu is actually quite an old figure, albeit being re-released quite recently.
Her hair is nice and perky at the ends, similar to how it is in the anime. Due to her unique hairstyle, the light that catches on actually highlights the ends that curl up.
The donut that's supposed to enter her mouth actually fits better than expected. There are some lines on the donut at the end that enters her mouth to make it look more "held on" but I guess that wasn't very visible in the photograph I took.
The blush on her cheeks are loyal to the anime's illustration where she also has those cute ellipse pink blush with white highlights. The only comment I have is of her red eyes since there is too much highlight there for my liking, making her look more cute and loli-like but hey, that's more or less the point of this figure so I'll suck it up and stop complaining already~
Here is how Shinobu looks without the donut in her mouth. She still looks cute as usual but now that I know a donut belongs in there, I'm constantly wondering if I lost the piece when I see her without it. She looks like she's saying something without it though!
Even with her helmet she's still adorable... no, wait... she became even more adorable!
There's endless amount of fun with this scale figure and I'll recommend everyone to buy it even if you don't watch the series! The only drawback is that she's more expensive than expected, but if you manage to find one in good condition for an affordable price, why not just go for it?
From Your Fellow Collector,