Ritsu Tainaka 1/8 (ALTER)Ritsu Tainaka 1/8 (ALTER)Review

StarshipPooperStarshipPooperIl y a 9 ans
Today we'll be taking a look at ALTER's latest member of the light music club Ritsu Tainaka. She is from the K-ON! anime series which first got its start as a four-panel comic strip manga illustrated by Kakifly. The manga was serialized and eventually Kyoto Animation adapted it into a 13 episode series in 2009. There is also a second season, OVA and even a movie adaption in the works for release later this year. The word K-ON! is actually Keion! which is short for Keiongaku which is Japanese for Light Music. Ricchan, a nickname that Yui Hirasawa gave her, is also the drummer in the band Ho-kago Tea Time which means "After School Tea Time". Ricchan is the self-proclaimed president of the light music club and is always coming up with schemes to either save or promote the club. She is the class clown of the group and loves to pick on her childhood friend Mio Akiyama.

ALTER released this figure in May of 2011 and she retailed for 9,800 Yen. Due to the popularity of the K-ON! figures, she is more than likely sold out everywhere. The best chances to acquire her now would probably be the secondary market, new and used. However, you could always wait and hope for a re-release that some of the other members have seen. The goal today is to see if Ricchan deserves a place on your shelf or a bonk on the head.


A score of 10 will never be given as there is always room for improvement no matter how perfect a figure.

Packaging: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

ALTER was consistent with their design and layout of the band members. The theme and art style blends well together and if desired you could probably display them all together still in their boxes. Speaking of that, you do have a very good view of Ricchan while still in the packaging but it would be a big shame to leave her in it since you would be missing out on the amazing drum set when fully assembled. The packaging has four window panels, the front being the largest. The sides and the top are really for decoration to allow light into the box.

Dimension of the packaging

H: 245 mm
W: 245 mm
D: 215 mm

As usual, ALTER used a light weight non-corrugated cardboard for the packaging. The packaging is rather heavy even when empty but it's compact enough that in the US it would not be considered an over sized package meaning you only have to worry about weight. The packaging is very strong and "weakest" point is of course that large window panel in the front. It's a mixed bag, it's compact and fairly strong but also heavy. She'll get to you safely.

Front & Back
Top & Bottom

I'm really glad ALTER took the steps they did to protect the figure, or more specifically the drum set. The various pieces that make it up are very delicate and there are intricate details on many of the pieces. My hats off to them on excellent blister design. There were no loose pieces, everything fit nice and snug with little risk of pieces shifting and bouncing around. The figure and the main drum and her stool were housed in a typical two piece blister. However, a wire twist tie was used to hold the two pieces together along with tape. Additionaly an interlocking blister containing the more delicate pieces was stacked underneath the first blister and that interlocking blister too was secured by a wire twist tie along with tape. Finally a blister containing the base was used to hold everything together. You have multiple layers of blisters secured by wire and tape, interlocking and stacking. Very strong and secure. Nothing is going to shift unless the package was damaged on purpose. The figure and various pieces were also covered with plastic sheets to prevent rubbing and paint transfer. Great job.


ALTER again steps up and delivers, they actually give you instructions and rather detailed and easy to follow ones. Even though it's in Japanese you'll still be able to follow them without any issues. And you really do need them. The instructions are made from a very durable paper in a booklet format so it should last a long time.


ALTER has met and exceeded my expectations on their implementation of the packaging. The design and layout look nice and the packaging is fairly strong but it's balanced by it being heavy. However, the compactness should dull the sting of the weight. She'll get to you safely and look good at the same time. A job well done, ALTER.

Sculpting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

Sculpting credits go to Tanaka ☆ Sen-u who seems to be have not been around that long but has made a big splash. It looks like Tanaka has only worked for ALTER which seems a fitting pairing as both exude quality and attention to detail. Most if not all of the figures Tanaka sculpted have been some of the most sought after figures, some of which commanding very high prices on the secondary market. Tanaka also sculpted two of the other band members as can be seen below. Expectations are high and can only go up due to the amazing work this sculptor has delivered.


And of course with Ricchan we finally have the entire band.


Ricchan is of course 1/8th scale just like the other girls. She's about 170 mm tall from the base to her top of her head. If you measure up to the drumsticks than she's a little over 190 mm tall. Laid before you in pieces is her yellow Rick Marotta Signature Yamaha Hipgig drum kit along with a cymbal set from Avedis Zildjian.


Unless you study the pictures on the box very carefully, you will need the instructions. Also, the pictures probably don't tell you how far to insert certain pieces because you're actually supposed to stop midway. However, in case you acquired her second hand and don't have the instructions this is how you assemble the drum kit, pretty straight forward once you do it once it's easy.


The drum set is easily a "figure" onto itself. Ricchan is actually the accessory as the drum kit steals all the attention. Note I'm using the plastic support that came with the drum. You really should use it, even if it might look ugly those drum legs cannot support the weight of the kit long term. It will start to bend and eventually break. So you must use that support.


The intricate details in the drum kit is just amazing. It really looks like they took a drum and used a shrink ray on it. I'm just blown away by all the finer details such as threads on the tiny screws to semi working pedals and detailed tiny chains. However, it comes at a price as the drum kit is very fragile and some of the pieces due to the need to keep weight down is very susceptible to breaking if you're not careful. Even though I fully intend to keep her, I'm also keeping the box because there is no way I could safely transport her otherwise.


Here we can take a closer look at the cymbal set from Avedis Zildjian, again the details are amazing with such things as the semi working foot pedal. And just like the drum kit, this set is very fragile as well and it's not optional when displaying the figure. This is actually needed for Ricchan to sit correctly. Both of her feet have to be in the pedals of both the drum kit and the cymbal set.


And of course we have the drumsticks. I'm not sure if there's anything special about them. They are actually pretty sturdy for such tiny things and they measure about 40 mm long.


And then we come to Ricchan's stool. It's just as detailed as everything else and again, the plastic support is needed because those legs are not meant to bear any weigh long term or you risk them breaking. Note the butt groove in the seat. Ricchan will not sit properly on them unless her feet are on the drum pedals.


♩♩♩♫ ♭ ♪ ♪ ♫♬
♬♬ ♬♩♩♫ ♭♭ ♪ ♫♬♩
♩♩ ♩♬♩♫ ♭ ♪♬♩♭
♪ ♪♪ ♬ ♪♬♩♩ ♫ ♭♪ ♩

Pretty good, right? You better believe it, there was really no issues except for one minor thing which will be addressed last. This figure and the drum kit is near perfect as long as you don't care about the fragile nature of the accessories. Let's first take a look at her hair. Tanaka did a great job with the presentation but also the tactile sense. It's so fun to touch and rub her spiky hair. The lines are sufficiently integrated with the hairstyle that they do not stand out. Her hair is detailed and as I mentioned, feel great. Classic Ricchan.


Moving on to her face, Tanaka was spot on. From her big forehead to her nose, chin and mouth, it's Ricchan through and through.


Her hands are the same size. Tanaka and ALTER again demonstrate it's not too difficult to accomplish this feat... I don't understand why other manufacturers keep having this problem. Not only are they the same size, they are nicely detailed. The drumsticks fit perfectly in the hands as well. They were easy to install and fit securely. Excellent execution.


Look at the attention to detail and refinement in her clothes. The way it wrinkles and folds it looks so realistic as if it's actually being worn. Again the execution was very well done.


As mentioned, there really was no real issues and also Ricchan was really an accessory when you look at the drum... However there is one slight issue which I believe will vary between figures. The transition from her legs to her socks/shoes wasn't as clean as I would have liked. There are slight gaps here and there along the circumference of her calves where it meets the socks. I'm sure most of the figures are fine. You really have to look close to notice it and I don't really see it as a sculpting issue but more of an assembly issue. I guess the good thing is it's not that noticeable.


ALTER and Tanaka met and exceeded my expectations. That drum kit along was worthy of it's own entry on MFC... simply amazing the details they put into it it really overshadows Ricchan, but then you look at that adorable face of hers and you forget about everything else. The attention to detail and fine craftsmanship did not go unnoticed. This has to be why every one of Tanaka ☆ Sen-u's figures have become instant hits, still sought after even after release years later. An amazing job by an amazing artist.

Painting: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

It has been my experience that ALTER uses every tool available to color their figures, this isn't any different for the K-ON! girls. Looking at her face it's evident that they achieved the perfect balance. Her face was tinted just the right color and the decals look amazing and were applied precisely. Her face was both airbrushed and hand painted with high precision. Her face just looks great. You can also see the use of various techniques such as shading in her hair with the varying shades that give it more depth and dimension. Those gold eyes of hers are so hypnotizing, I just can't look away.


The hand painting is so precise that everything looks so natural. Look at her gold buttons, they were all painted so precisely and that necktie is actually painted as well. It was done so precisely it almost looked like it was tinted. Her outfit has subtle shifting of palettes enhancing those wrinkles and creases as well as the finish on her jacket, the sheen on it looks fantastic. They even made her nails look realistic.


The accents were applied appropriately to her flesh enhancing and breathing life into her. At all the stress points, they made it look like her skin was flushed and even the hard to see/reach areas.


Let's not forget the amazing job they did on the drum kit. The combination of tinting and painting (mostly airbrushing) was fantastic. I just can't find any fault with the coloring of this figure. Everything looks great.


ALTER hit a home run. If I could, I would give a score of 10... There isn't anymore to say, they did an amazing job. This is how a figure should be colored. Expectations were both met and exceeded. I expected the best from them and when they delivered I was still surprised at how great of a job they did.

Posing: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

Despite everything else, I wanted to say this first. That expression of hers is SO CUTE!!!!! I want to squeeze her! They did a great job capturing that expression on her face. Tanaka was able to show the vibrant, cheerful and upbeat personality of hers.


I may not play the drums but even I can tell she's getting ready to rock! The energy and excitement captured in that pose fits perfectly with the excitement and energy of the other girls. The excitement and energy from her pose is so palpable I feel like I'm sitting front row at a concert.

♫♪♩ ♩ ♭♬♩♫ ♪♬♩ ♪♪

Tanaka ☆ Sen-u and ALTER did a fantastic job with her pose. She fits perfectly with the other girls or by herself she could rock your world. A job well done.

Base: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆

When I first saw the base I was going to give a much lower score. It didn't seem like anything special. However as I worked with the figure more, especially when assembling the drum kit and setting up everything I started to appreciate what they did with the base. It's actually just the right size, the instructions actually tell you exactly where to place Ricchan for everything else to fit perfectly center on the base. As long as you do what they directed, the base does it's job perfectly. It's not too big and is rather stable. The design on it looks OK and actually serves a purpose because you use part of the design to determine where you set everything.


I'm going to give this one to ALTER. They're instructions on how to setup the figure on the base won me over. It's simple yet there's a beauty in it's simplicity. They did an OK job and made sure you made the most of what they gave you.

Enjoyment: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

ALTER and Tanaka ☆ Sen-u did it again and made another amazing figure with little to no flaws. I do not regret acquiring her and think she was worth every penny. Whether by herself or with the rest of the girls she can rock all day long. If you only have her, you can always do a cross over... 8Þ I hear Haruhi needs a drummer.


The question posed at the beginning about whether she deserves a bonk on the head or a place on your shelf? I say both!!!!! She's so cute she needs to be bonked on her head to contain the cuteness! 8Þ I'm a happy owner and as complex as she is she's also compact enough that I can find a place for her for a long time to come.


See you later.

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MAXFactory (GSC) or ALTER?

20%MAXFactory (GSC)
75 votes


Kura-PyonI wasn't able to pre-order her at the time but I don't regret it, surprisingly. I'm a Ricchan fan at heart (our names are even similar) and altought the drum kit really stands out in the pictures and I would love to own it, there's something about her face. I think it's a tad bit too long and her nose looks strange. Maybe it's just a matter of lighting/shading in the pictures I've seen, but it makes her look weird.

I actually thought the same thing, which was why I was kinda hesitant to buy her. I thought maybe I was the only one who thought so XD; Her face always seems strange when photographed, but when I saw her in the local store today, she actually seemed much better to me in RL. Naturally, I bought her :) I definitely don't regret, even if the face takes a bit getting used to. I think I still kinda like the MaxFactory face better...
Il y a 9 ans
I wasn't able to pre-order her at the time but I don't regret it, surprisingly. I'm a Ricchan fan at heart (our names are even similar) and altought the drum kit really stands out in the pictures and I would love to own it, there's something about her face. I think it's a tad bit too long and her nose looks strange. Maybe it's just a matter of lighting/shading in the pictures I've seen, but it makes her look weird. However, I would get her without a second thought if she was available at a cheaper price just for the drum kit's sake (I would hide the figma's drum kit convinently out of embarrasment then :P). Great review as always, great K-ON collection!
Il y a 9 ans
What a K-ON! collectioh you have eh? ^^
Very nice review, I like Alter's Ritsu a lot too hehehe
Thanks for sharing nice pics again bye~
Il y a 9 ans
blog-style figure review cannot get any better than this.. A+++
Il y a 9 ans
Thanks for the review, now I'm looking forward to get her :D
Il y a 9 ans
Awesome review! Thank you so much for reviewing Ritsu! Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to get her because her promotional pictures didn't really do her justice. But after reading this, I'm dead set on buying her now ;9
Il y a 9 ans
shingoukiCan you make a sound with the drum?

I know it looks realistic but unfortunately just plastic thuds =(

Oh well.
Il y a 9 ans
Can you make a sound with the drum?
Il y a 9 ans
Fantastic review!

The problem with these figures is that it doesn't make sense to own one without the rest of the gang... and that'll make your wallet cry.
Il y a 9 ans
4Arnd 4ア一ンド
Nice review and nearly a perfect score! The detail of the drum kit is really amazing. I have been very tempted with this one I have to say. *must *resist...
Il y a 9 ans
Your source for old and rare figurines!

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