She's pink. She's bubbly. She's the princess of Zaphias! Estellise Sidos Heurassein (or Estelle for short) makes an appearance at Poke the Merch as my first 1/8 scale figure! Alter seems to be shelling out lots of Tales of series figures and thanks to Ash and her sister Lisa, I managed to get one of them! It was hard to say no to Estelle because she looked incredibly sweet and lovely in the preview pictures. And I must say, she looks just as lovely displayed on my desk.
Estelle's the kind, naive, and caring type of princess that gets into all sorts of shenanigans after leaving her castle. Like all naive princesses, she can be a bit troublesome even though she has good intentions. Despite the little flaws (and the cliché character) Estelle's still quite cute at times, like when she didn't know how to give a high-five to Yuri the first time. Her character certainly didn't blow my mind but there were moments in Tales of Vesperia where she shined. Based on aesthetics alone, you can assume she's the main healer or light magic user in the game. Sure she can sort of fight with a sword but I usually want her to focus on keeping the team alive. That or she should be busting out a variety of AOE (area of effect) light magic. Her spells are all so pretty and shiny.
Thinking about it now, it would have been an awesome twist if she was evil.
Estelle's simplistic box does its job and it's a shame that nothing about it really impresses me. I would have been more content had a background been included in her box, but here we have three windows to show her off to the world. I guess I can appreciate that. You can view her from almost all sides without having to remove her from the box. That's great for the collectors who don't want to remove her from the box.
As my first 1/8 figure, I have to say Estelle is quite a stunning choice. Although she's quite delicate, I love the colour palette and the fact that she resembles a lovely bell flower (especially when you flip her upside down). Her pose also gives off the feeling that she's a bit of a dainty princess. Just look at the way she's taking her step and the way her hands are positioned. It certainly gives off a graceful vibe, and I wouldn't have it any other way with Estelle, given the fact that she's one of those proper princess types.
Having read comments about defects and broken parts on the internet, I was worried my Estelle figure would have an issue as well, like a warped base or a broken foot. I crossed my fingers and hoped hard that I would not have issues with my Estelle figure, but unfortunately I ended up with one with a slightly wobbly base. Her foot does not completely fit in the plastic peg either, but she's able to stand at least.
Alter doesn't see it as a big enough issue to send me a new base but I can live with that. It was worth a shot to try and get a better, flatter base, but it's not the end of the world if I'm not granted one. She may lack a bit of balance, but I have her inside a self-made case so if she falls at least she won't go far.
Taking her out for photographs can honestly be a bit of a chore if I don't hold her foot down and wrap my hand around her torso.
It would have been great if Alter included an extra right leg with a short pole or peg to attach it to the base. It would certainly increase the stability of this figure, but I suppose I shouldn't mull over it too much...
On a more positive note, her base, which is a nice dirt path, is quite detailed. There are a few layered rocks on the base and then the tiny specs of dirt in the crevices, which I really like. The short patches of grass resembles moss and adds a nice touch of colour to the path. It's simple but pleasant.
When I first saw the prototype photographs Alter released, I was floored by how amazing Estelle looked. Her expression was just so calm and lovely that I thought, "Wow, Alter nailed it!" Even now, having Estelle on my desk, I think her expression is perfect. I'm thankful it's not bursting with excitement or emotions. Somehow this sweet calmness suits her really well.
The gorgeous pastel pink used for Estelle's hair and dress reminds me of bubblegum or cotton candy. And yes, Ash has mentioned she wants to take a bite out of her but hey, PVC's deadly so that's a huge no-no.
There are a few seams in her hair but nothing that's out of the ordinary. There aren't any particularly bad features I can point out since she has short hair, but that's a good thing. Lots of long haired figures tend to have hideous seams here and there but Estelle doesn't have that issue.
It's fairly obvious Estelle's design was based off a bell flower. All you have to do is look at the shape of her dress and then under it. The way her dress flaps out is similar to how a bell flower opens when it blossoms. Even her pants resemble the stamens that grow behind the petals. Fujishima did a fantastic job designing Estelle, and Alter did an amazing job turning it into a figure. I appreciate the gold linings all over her dress, mostly because it's far better than using yellow, which is part of the original design. The shine really draws your attention to her.
Unlike many other figures out there though, I can't criticize or gush about fancy folds or creases in her outfit. She has a few wrinkles in the lower back but nothing grand. The dress details are simplistic but well done as there are very few paint spills. The only one I really noticed was the chipped gold piece above Estelle's left shoulder. It wasn't noticeable until I took photographs and started cropping them for the review. It's small enough that it doesn't distract me from the beauty of the figure.
The only real issue I have with the dress is that the white flaps are incredibly thin. I accidentally brushed a few fingers against it once and thought some part of it would snap. The back flap happens to be the thinnest layer on this figure, so I have to handle her with care when moving her around. Estelle truly is a delicate piece of work...
On another note, Estelle is probably the safest figure for work out there. She's literally covered from neck to toe with garments, gloves and boots included. Think you'll find something risque underneath that dress? Wondering if she might actually be a bit of a naughty princess? Well, sorry to disappoint, because Estelle's all covered up there, too! I'll admit the black tights hug her legs and behind nicely, but there's nothing "adventurous" underneath that floral dress. If you're disappointed in your findings here, I can almost guarantee that reading one of Jenn's reviews will make up for it.
|Too safe for work!|
The Blastia, which is the ornament wrapped around Estelle's wrist, is one of prettiest features of this figure. The design is very feminine but it's elegant as well, especially with the way it weaves around the princess's wrist. I never noticed this before since Tales of Vesperia doesn't exactly show the bracelet off at various angles, but Estelle's Blastia has a little heart shape on top. Really nice touch.
The gold shine and red orb stand out nicely from the actual glove. While it can be a tad difficult to see them from a frontal point of view, you can certainly appreciate it from a side or birds-eye view.
Staff and Shield
One of the weakest elements of this Estelle figure would definitely be her staff. Sure, the details engraved in the gold handle are a nice touch, but the plastic pink and white bits ruin the prop. Surprisingly enough these plastic parts make the staff seem cheap. Alter could have used a slightly better material. Nothing about it shines like the rest of the figure. I can display Estelle without the staff, but she doesn't feel complete without it.
The shield on the other hand is grand and heart-shaped! It's very Estelle.
I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the little screws and details on the back of the shield because I was expecting plainness. Note to self: expect intricate details from all of Alter's creations, including little props.
Armed with a staff and shield, Estelle looks less dainty and a lot fuller as a figure. It's far more obvious she's from a video game, too. With those items equipped, Estelle is ready for more adventures and any hardships that come her way!
Finally, we have our super-deformed Estelle figure. In the game, it's an attachment you equip to Repede (a party member). Its alternate name is "Overdrive Princess".
Admittedly, she's adorable but, her expression is much nicer on the Tales of series Nendoroid Petit Estelle. I can't help but compare them because they have similar heights, but both have their share of endearing qualities. Alter's little Estelle figure is very detailed for something so tiny. I'm amazed the paint job is so clean. Additionally, they used gold paint on the dress, so she matches the 1/8 Estelle perfectly! While I appreciate the pose and expression more on Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Petite Estelle, Alter's Chibi-Estelle is more detailed overall.
I personally don't think Estelle is as photogenic as many other figures out there, but she can certainly rock natural areas quite well. I mean, she's already treading on her dirt path of a base, so why not in the forest or in a field, like in the opening of the game? Maybe she could be dancing at a party as well. That little step she takes could be part of a dance!
Overall, Estelle is a fantastic figure. She is definitely well worth the price she goes for at Mandarake, despite the little flaws. Frankly, having her on my desk makes me want to invest in another 1/8 figure, because she's just so darn pretty. It's almost a shame I don't have space for another figure in my room.
If you're a fan of the Tales of Series, or a fan of cheap Alter figures, I recommend picking her up. She usually goes for about 5000-7000 yen on Mandarake these days, so if you're looking to spend on a pretty figure at a decent price, Estelle's a great choice!
|Box||6/10||There's nothing special about it but you can view Estelle from various angles without taking her out.|
|Base||6.5/10||Very fitting for Estelle who's journeying around the world. Unfortunately, it's a bit unstable.|
|Pose||9.5/10||Estelle's pose makes her look lovely, like she's taking a little hop|
|Sculpt||8.5/10||The sculpt is smooth and clean. The downside is that Estelle's dress feels very delicate|
|Paint||9.5/10||The paint job is almost impeccable with the exception of a paint chip here and there.|
|Overall||9/10||Estelle is a lovely figure with minor sculpting flaws|
Price: 6500 yen
Purchased at: Mandarake
Thanks for reading!