Thursday, March 24, 2022

Nendoroid Doll: Little Red Riding Hood (Rose), by Good Smile Company

I have to start with a little piece of business this time because I've heard from many people that it's become difficult to know when I've posted a new review.  I'm really sorry about that!  Blogger changed their set-up last summer so that email notifications are no longer being sent.  I don't have a great workaround yet, but I always post a quick link on Twitter (@TBP_emily) when there's a new review, so that's one option if you're interested in getting a heads-up.  If Twitter's not your thing, my kids are encouraging me to get a TikTok account, which is tempting.  We'll see what happens there.

Thank you so much for the fun and informative comments on the previous Nendoroid review!  I found it really interesting to hear more about the brand and learn how your Nendos compare to Link.  I'm suddenly very caught up in the whole chibi figure world and am excited by Rachael's suggestion to compare the Nendoroids to a similar type of figure called Cu-Poche.  I also got very caught up in the Legend of Zelda world again, and had to hold myself back from spending the rest of the week playing Breath of the Wild.  I galloped around Hyrule for a little while, I'll admit, but then got right back to work because I'm very excited to talk about this next doll!

Most Nendoroids on the market right now are 4-inch tall PVC figures like Link.  However, there's a newer line of Nendoroid Dolls, and these have some important differences to the standard figures.  First of all, they're taller (about 5.5 inches tall), and they also have different articulation with not quite as many removable parts.  I think one of the best things about these dolls is that they come dressed in removable, fabric clothing, and so they can easily change outfits and adapt to a variety of different styles.  The selection of Nendoroid Dolls is nowhere near as extensive as the array of standard figures, but there are several cute options available.  I chose Little Red Riding Hood: Rose, who was easy to find and cost well under $100:

Nendoroid Doll Little Red Riding Hood: Rose, ($65.99).

The "Rose" part of this doll's name is to distinguish her from the Wolf Ash character in the Little Red Riding Hood series.  I also assume her name is Rose, which is very pretty.

The Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale is not one of my favorites (it's pretty messed up if you think too much about it), and so I've never considered whether or not the protagonist has a name other than Little Red Riding Hood...which is not a very good name.  A bit of internet research turned up a few different possibilities for her real name, including Blanchette and Ruby.  Ruby is a bit on the nose (as is Rose) but Blanchette means white.  I guess if she's going to have a color-themed name, the color should probably be red.

I also just really like the name Rose.  My new dog is named Rosanna, after the Toto song, and we often call her Rosie or Rose (or Rosannadanna--for anyone who remembers that), so I'm going to stick with Rose for this doll's name.

Rose came in a cardboard box that's smaller than the packaging for my Nendoroid Link:


There's no plastic window on this box, just cardboard decorated with some plant designs and photographs of the doll.


There's a small picture of Wolf Ash on one side of the box so you can see what he looks like:

I love his grey hair!
Most of the writing on the box is in Japanese, so I don't know what it says.  There's a sticker written in English suggesting that these dolls are for people age 15 and up.  That's a bit extreme.  I'd definitely give Rose to a younger person:


Even the top and the bottom of the box are decorated!


Rose and her accessories are stored inside of a molded plastic shell that slides out of the cardboard box:


Rose herself comes undressed, with her body wrapped in an opaque plastic bag.  Her clothing is stored discreetly behind her on the opposite side of the plastic shell:


Here's everything that was in the box:


Rose comes with two extra hand options:

Look at all of her joints!
There's also a complicated stand system, with two different attachments:


The base of the stand is a magnetized mirror.  Rose also has two little magnets on the bottoms of her feet:


Even without using one of the stand's plastic attachments, Rose balances beautifully!


She also has a hexagonal hole in her back (just like Link):


The hole fits this stand attachment:


And the stand attachment connects to the base with its own magnet:


There's also a gripping stand attachment, but I can't see why I'd ever need to use this:


The last little accessory that came with Rose is this extra neck attachment, which I'll look at a bit later:


It has the adorable Good Smile Company happy face on it, which I love.

Rose has so many joints that her body looks a little strange when it's undressed, but of course I think it's totally worth it!  By my count, she has seventeen points of articulation:

That's 3.4 joints per inch!
Here she is from the side:


Her lower torso joint looks like saggy underwear!


Here she is from the back:


There's a lot going on here, with the two smiley faces on her shoulders, the hole for the stand, the gap at her waist, and the big screw at the bottom of her torso:

Sure, Emily, "bottom" of the torso.
And of course I'm seeing silly faces again...


Rose's right ankle is a bit crooked.  This defect influences her balance a little bit because the foot can't rest flat on the stand, but it doesn't hinder the joint's movement:


Let's quickly run through all of Rose's seventeen joints (neck, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, wrists, upper torso, lower torso, hips, knees, ankles).  

Her neck joint is just like Link's in that it's a ball-shaped rotating hinge.  The head can move from side-to-side:


And up and down (I had to use the stand for this because her head is very heavy!):


She can't tip her head from side to side unless, as Anonymous suggested in Link's review, her neck peg is removed and re-oriented so that the hinge is aligned differently.  In that case she'd be able to tip her head from side to side, but not lift it up and down.

Rose's shoulders have rotating hinges, so her arms can lift up:


And spin all of the way around:


Just underneath the shoulder, there's an extra joint that allows the arms to rotate:


The elbows are simple hinges that bend just past 90 degrees:


Rose's hands have a simple peg attachment, and so they can spin around but not bend forwards or backwards:


She can't quite touch her face with her hands, but she can get very close!


Rose's two alternate hand shapes are a pointing finger:

Stayin' Alive hands.
And a fist:

Fight Song hands.
Rose's two torso joints are hard to demonstrate because it's difficult to move one of them without moving the other.

In this GIF, I'm trying my best to flex only the upper torso joint:


And in this GIF I'm moving the lower torso joint:


In those pictures you might notice that the hip seam on Rose's right side looks pretty wide:


The area doesn't feel like it's loose or insecure, but the seam is definitely larger on one side than it is on the other.  Here's the opposite side for comparison:


If I flex both of Rose's torso joints at the same time, she bends so far forward that even the stand can't help her balance!


This posture creates some fairly large gaps in her back:


A similar thing happens when I bend both torso joints the other way:


Here are the resulting gaps in the body:


These gaps are fun because I can peek in and actually see the little ball joints inside the body!


Rose's hips are ball joints, but the shape of her body restricts their movement somewhat.  For example, she can't do full side-to-side splits:


And her front-to-back splits are blocked by the overhang of plastic on her bottom:


She can sit on the floor nicely, though:

Never has a doll had a more perfect face for the naked stage of a TBP review.
Rose's knees are simple hinges like her elbows.  They bend past 90 degrees and allow her to kneel sturdily:


Although she needed the help of the magnetic stand in order to balance on one knee:


Rose's ankles are ball-shaped rotating hinges, so she can point and flex her feet and also turn them from side to side:


Rose's leg articulation allows her to sit in a variety of positions, but you'll notice that she can't always rotate her legs enough for them to lay flat against the ground:


Having some rotation in the knee would have been nice for these sitting poses, but it's hard to complain about a five-inch doll with seventeen points of articulation.



I was limited by the upright poses that I could accomplish without using Rose's stand, but I managed to get her to balance like this on her own!


With the help of the stand and its attachments, Rose's posing potential increases dramatically:




She can run and jump with none of her limbs touching the ground!




The stand can even help her balance in sitting positions that otherwise wouldn't be possible:


I think this Superman pose is my favorite:


Several of Rose's body parts can be removed easily.  For example, both her arms and her legs pull away from their peg attachments and separate into two pieces at their hinge joints:


Here are the leg pieces:


And here are the arm pieces:


It wouldn't surprise me if other parts of Rose's body were detachable, too, but these were the ones that I could separate without too much effort.

I think Link had a few too many pieces that were removable.  These areas made his body (especially his arms) come apart too easily during manipulation.  Even though Rose's limbs come apart, they didn't fall apart on their own while I was posing her.

One thing I'm really happy about is that Rose's head design is exactly like Link's.  Her head can come off:


And then the hair can be split in two to free the face place and the neck joint:

Pieces of Me.
Rose came with an extra neck joint, and I was curious to see what this was for:


When I swapped in the extra neck joint, it made Rose's neck shorter:

Why, Emily?
Here's a side-by-side comparison so you can see the change in the neck more clearly:


I'm not exactly sure why this is desirable (perhaps to make Rose's head compatible with a regular Nendoroid body?) but it's there as an option for anyone who wants it.

Rose only comes with one face plate, which is a shame, but it's really sweet.  I love her huge green eyes and blushing cheeks:


Rose's face plate is the same size as Link's and, in theory, the two faces should be interchangeable:


Rose's face fits easily onto Link's body:

Link realizing he left his bow at home...
But Link's ears prevent his face from working with Rose's hair:


Even if these two dolls can't swap faces perfectly, it's great that most of the regular Nendoroid faces work with the Nendoroid Dolls.

You might have noticed that Rose and Link have different skin tones.  There are currently four skin tone options with the Nendoroid Dolls, and many more skin tones that have come out over the years with the regular Nendoroid figures.  This means that even though a lot of face-swapping can occur between the different figures, you won't always get a good color match.

Rose was getting anxious to put her own face back on:


And fix her hair...


It's so easy to make these hair and face swaps, I love it!


It's about time I got this girl dressed, though, don't you think?  She comes with a beautiful three-piece outfit, plus tights and shoes:


The dress is very well made, with minuscule pin tucks along the bodice, tiny decorative pearl buttons, and delicate lace lining the bottom of the flower-accented hem:


The dress closes in back with a strip of plastic velcro-like material.  And there's a hole in the seam to accommodate the stand:


The dress pairs with a little apron.  The apron has tiny little tucks and ruffles ornamenting the front, with floral straps that match the trim of the skirt:


Rose also comes with her namesake red hood.  This is fully-lined with no messy edges and closes in front with a sturdy metal snap:


The outfit also includes black tights (I hope they don't cause any stains...) and brown vinyl boots:


The boots have little molded, unpainted laces on the front:


The tights slide on fairly easily, and Rose's feet still attach to the magnetic stand through the fabric:


The dress is easiest to get on if Rose's hands are in fists.  It's also works to remove the hands completely, but then the arms are too short to poke through the sleeve smoothly.


I really like how the dress looks, even without the apron:


I added the shoes next.  They have their own magnets in the soles, and so Rose can still use the stand without any of its attachments:


Here's the dress with the apron in place:


The ensemble feels very German to me.  I think it's the floral accents.  This could be a reference to the Brothers Grimm version of Little Red Riding Hood.


The red hood rounds out the outfit beautifully:


I think I have Rose's shoes on the wrong feet in several of these pictures, though.  Sorry about that.

The hood itself is full and pulls up over Rose's whole head with no trouble:


The cape is a bit wrinkled, but I like how it's short and doesn't overwhelm the rest of the outfit:


There's a hole in the back of the cape to accommodate the stand attachment:


I left Rose's hand on the ground in that photo to remind myself that her left hand fell off a lot during my photo shoot.  All of the other hand attachments fit securely, but that one hand was a bit of a pain.

Here are some shots of Rose in her full outfit:


I had such a fun time swapping her hands and using the stand attachment to expand her posing repertoire:


The designers captured the "little lost girl" expression with Rose really well, I think.  I can definitely picture her alone in the woods, running from scary noises and searching for her grandmother's house.




She's an adorable little doll.


One of the things that bothered me as I was playing with Rose is that she can adopt some joyful looking poses, like this:


But her worried facial expression makes the pose look completely bizarre.

I had so much fun with Link's different face plates, I decided to seek out some extra face plates for Rose so that she didn't have to be so worried all of the time.

There's a wonderful place called Chibi Chop Shop that sells Nendoroid and Nendoroid Doll parts.  They also sell some complete dolls at decent prices.  I love this store because they use a number and letter system to identify as many different skin tones as they can, and then mark all of their products accordingly.  This is the best (only?) way I know of to ensure a good skin tone match between Nendoroid faces and bodies.

Rose's body has a 3b skin tone, and so I filtered my face plate search for this color and chose three of my favorite faces.  I also tried to pick heads with green eyes, since Rose's original face has green eyes.  Here are the faces I bought:

From left: Rapunzel's standard face ($8), Kikyo's sleeping face ($9), Black Widow frowning face ($7).
There are some very subtle differences in coloring, but all of the faces go really well with Rose's body.

One other thing to note is that older Nendoroid faces don't necessarily work with the newer figures or Dolls.  But Chibi Chop Shop does a good job of explaining all of that.

With her new face, now Rose can be happy when she runs and jumps!




The angry face is my favorite.  I especially like pairing it with the fisted hands.  This face and hand combination can make it look like Rose is having a temper tantrum:

I do NOT have to stick to the path, Mom.
But it can also make her look like a badass:


No more "poor little lost girl" here!

Bring it on, Wolf.
The hands on Nendoroid dolls are also compatible with regular Nendoroid hands, so I was able to use Link's hands and accessories for Rose.

Paired with the serious face, Link's bow and arrow look awesome on Rose:


She's ready to defend Grandma now:

Who needs the Huntsman?
The sleeping face is slightly less versatile, but everyone needs a good nap now and again:


Or maybe Rose's eyes are closed because she's so happy!



The different face plates add a huge amount of fun to these dolls, and I'm so thrilled that there's a place like Chibi Chop Shop where I can go to expand Rose's personality.  If I were going to keep her, I'd head back to that shop and buy a few more face plates.  The range of different expressions is extraordinary.

I haven't been able to find a natural place to include this picture, so I'll throw it in here.  I want to show you the size difference between Link and Rose:


There's more than an inch of height difference between them, but they have the same size head!  I like both of the figures, but I prefer the proportions on Rose.  The head isn't quite as ridiculously large on her taller body.  What a brilliant idea for Good Smile to put the charming Nendoroid heads on this new body!

The Chibi Chop Shop also sells Nendoroid Doll outfit pieces separately.  I thought Rose might want to shed her fancy dress and hood on occasion, so I bought her some casual clothes:

Nendoroid striped tee shirt ($8), Overalls skirt with panties ($20), and socks ($5).
$20 is a lot to spend for a tiny little overalls skirt, but it's pretty amazing.  It has beautiful stitched details, working belt loops and pockets, and tiny decorative buttons on the straps:

That's better-made than a lot of the larger doll clothing I look at.
The overalls close in back with velcro, and have two more working pockets at the hip!


This velcro, like that on Rose's dress, is made out of plastic:


Rose's original shoes don't really go with this outfit, so I left her barefoot:


She looks like a much younger child when she's dressed like this:



The overalls have a hole in the back seam so that I can use the stand attachment, too:


Here's Rose with the sleeping face and the overalls outfit:


Lina had to come and pick her up and take her to bed for a nap!


Here's the happy Rapunzel face with the overalls outfit:



I also really like this face with Link's blonde hair:


And last of all, here's my favorite grouchy face with the overalls:


This is one of my favorite pictures of Rose:


Since the Little Red Riding Hood story takes place in the woods, I thought it was only right that I take Rose out into the woods for her own mini adventure.

She started out feeling happy and excited to be outdoors!


There were lots of little logs and mossy crevices for her to explore:


But as she wandered farther and farther away from the path, she began to worry that she was lost:


She climbed a small tree to see if she could spot Grandma's house from that vantage point:


But she slipped and fell into the flowery undergrowth:


Around one shady turn she thought she heard someone calling out to her...


Is this Grandma's house?


That house was empty, and a little creepy, but Rose felt that she must be getting close.


Finally, Rose found a familiar entryway and recognized the welcoming smell of her grandmother's signature wolf stew.  The whole ordeal shook her up a little, but she made it safely:


Bottom line?  Two of my favorite things about Nendoroid Link are his articulation (especially in conjunction with the clever stand), and the ability to swap out some of his body parts, particularly his hands and faceplates.  Rose shares both of these attributes, but she takes them to the next level--while also lessening some of the minor irritations that I had with Link.

Rose's articulation is significantly better than Link's.  Her impressive seventeen joints are well-designed and allow her to hold almost any pose I could think of.  It's really nice that Rose can strike so many poses without me having to swap out different arm and leg pieces the way I did with Link.  Not only that, but Rose's stand is better than Link's, too.  It has an extendable attachment very similar to Link's, but the base is also magnetized, so Rose can use the stand for a lot of poses without even adding the attachments.  Her excellent articulation, combined with a well-balanced body and multi-purpose stand, make Rose an incredibly versatile and expressive doll for her five-inch height.  

Since Nendoroid Dolls and classic Nendoroid figures share the same type of head, Rose has all of the same head customization features that Link has.  Rose only comes with one face plate, which is too bad, but since faceplates from many other sets work with her head, it was easy to accumulate a collection of alternate faces for her.  The only caveats here are that skin tone matching can be difficult, and some of the older Nendoroid faces won't work.  Fortunately, the Chibi Chop Shop makes it easy to find body parts that will match a certain figure.  Rose comes with three different styles of hand.  Unlike Link's hands, which are designed to hold different accessories, Rose's hands are designed to enhance her expressiveness.  I really like how swapping from an open hand to a fist, for example, can change Rose's body language.  For a couple of bucks per pair of extra hands, I could expand her inventory to include even more variety.  I didn't investigate hairstyle swapping very much in this review (I have to draw the line somewhere) but Chibi Chop Shop has over 100 hair options for sale, which offers another super-fun way to play around with customization on these dolls.

While Nendoroind Link didn't fall apart nearly as much as his counterfeit version, several of his removable parts fell off when I didn't want them to.  I had an especially hard time with his arms and hands.  Rose has one hand piece that falls off more than the others, but overall her body is much sturdier than Link's.  I felt confident putting her in my pocket and taking her on a walk without fear of losing any pieces.  She's a simpler, more compact, and more portable doll companion.

I really love the addition of fabric clothing in the Nendoroid Doll line.  As bright and well-painted as Link's outfit is, it doesn't give him any versatility.  Rose might be advertised as Little Red Riding Hood, but a simple change of clothes can turn her into an ordinary child.  With the help of the Chibi Chop Shop, she could even aspire to being a student at Hogwarts or Alice in Wonderland!  The clothing options on that site are a bit limited right now, probably because the Nendoroid Dolls are fairly new and the clothing is popular, but there are some adorable options on Etsy, too, as you might expect.  Not only does the fabric clothing add to Rose's versatility, but it's extremely well made.  The details in her dress and apron, with those intricate pin tucks and trims, are really wonderful.

I'm trying really hard not to keep any of the dolls that I review, but I have to say that Rose is giving me more of a struggle on that front than many of the other dolls I've looked at so far.  She's exactly the kind of doll that I like; she's a perfect little size, her articulation is amazing, her clothing is well-made and easy to use, and she has vast customization potential that's inexpensive and accessible.  The idea of having this one little doll who can transform into a multitude of characters with so little effort feels like getting a hundred dolls for the price of one.  And that's hard to beat.

21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Me too! I have way too many dolls on my shopping list already!

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  2. Rose is adorable and as hard as you may struggle to keep from keeping her and the other dolls you rewiew, I have to struggle to keep from buying all of the dolls you review. I don't play games very often so why do I need these dolls? I am going to keep reminding myself that Rose is a lot of fun but I don't need her. I don't. Not even one little bit....

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    1. There’s that 4-letter word again...”need” 😉

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  3. I haven't been able to comment for months but I just figured out I can comment if I use my phone. My ipad does not let me comment even though it used to.

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  4. OK... she is seriously adorable. I know I'm being a bad influence here but I think she's a keeper lol. And how fun would it to be to also have her little companion, Ash?! Did you also see the variant of your Rose for sale with the grey hair and black & purple outfit? SO cute. I have a couple Nendos kicking around the house but I agree that the Dolls are even more fun! I'm so happy to know about them... but I see there are Nendo Dolls of two characters I love, Ciel and Sebastian from "Black Butler" and now I am super tempted and curious. They have great clothing and would be a really fun pair to see up close!

    I also think any version of Hatsune Miku would be great to look at because she's an iconic character! I believe there are Dollfie Dreams of her and how cute would it to be to have a Dollfie and little Nendo Doll of Miku?! Haha but I'm getting too excited. Thank you for such a great set of reviews Emily, your pics of Rose in the forest are especially amazing!

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  5. So glad to hear Rose seems to be less prone to falling apart than regular Nendoroids! And I love that the dolls' parts are compatible with the standard figures. Thanks to your review, I am definitely planning on getting my Sora a body upgrade; he'll be so happy to be able to play without his arms falling apart with every slight breeze!

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  6. haven't read yet but YES to a tiktok! i clearly remember some classic videos from this blog like the disney princess interview, breakdancing cinderella, and catfighting meygana that would make for hilarious tiktok content!

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  7. Emily, I use follow.it to follow blogs. I'm usually on my phone and never check my reading list from blogger, and some of the blogs I read are on other platforms. I saw a follow.it widget on a blog I follow and wanted to add one to my own blog, but never got around to it. However, you can easily follow blogs by adding links on the follow.it website. The only inconvenience is that it doesn't notify of posts that are not on the home page (sale posts in your case), but I don't think Google did that either. Notifications arrive within a few hours of publication, so if someone wants to buy the reviewed dolls they would just have to check the page every now and then. Or you could pop into the comments section after posting each toy to let everyone know when it is listed.

    I find Rose a lot nicer than Link. I wonder if the body could work for Barbie toddlers. The clothes are very good and I like the addition of magnets. The faces you chose suit her well.

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  8. I feel like I want one!
    I bought my nendroids and cupoches, either just before or just after these came out so I never got one of these. I always planned to get one of these eventually.

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  9. I suspect they say "15 and older", because if you sell a toy in the USA than you need to do a ton of safety testing that isn't required if you call it a "collectable item" and therefore not for people under 14.

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  10. I would like to make a suggestion on a doll you ought to review... Monst dolls. They are super cute and I would love to hear your thoughts and see what you could do with one!

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  11. She is so incredibly cute! Again, the customizability is shocking to me; I can totally see it become addictive to buy new face plates, hands and outfits. I especially like Rapunzel's face plate on Rose, it's so sweet! Your lovely outdoor picture story really showcases the imaginative play these versatile dolls can offer. I wouldn't blame you if you decided to keep her after all ;)

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  12. She is so adorable❤️❤️❤️ Olive hair articulation with the size.

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  13. Seems to me she’d be a perfect “travel doll.” Nope, I don’t have one, but know it is a thing.

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  14. Oh no...I think I need this girl too! She's adorable!

    I have two little nintendoids-Toon Link and D.Va! They're so dang cute. -Micah

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    1. Well I ordered her, as well as a Harley Quinn, Black Widow, and Anna face plate. Can't wait for her to arrive! -Micah

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  15. Hmm. I just left a comment on the Link post where I mentioned I've been tempted by pretty much every Hatsune Miku Nendoroid, but the Nendoroid Doll version of Miku is very much calling my name, especially with how cute those extra outfits are! At 5.5 inches, I wonder if the Doll body could fit into any of the 6-inch mini American Girl clothes...

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  16. This is too cute!
    And not to enable, but I bet you could even repaint a face plate to create your own expressions... ;)

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  17. Rose is SO CUTE!! It's amazing how versatile she is without her Red Riding Hood outfit; but her appearance with the fairytale costume on is so charming to me, that I think that's how I prefer her the most. ��

    She seems so well constructed, and expressive, even with only one face plate! Of course, when you bought the additional face plates, Rose came alive even more! She's so cute, aaaaaaa!! Thank you for sharing this side of Nendoroids with us! I really like this scale and style of them!

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