Even if Mamotte Shugogetten might not be the most famous anime series, it still deserved some really good merchandise. Three dolls were made: FAD Rishu (that could be counted as two, because she has two variants), FAD Shaolin and UFS Shaolin. I'm going to review the two Shaolins today.
Shaolin, or Shaorin, as she is known in some translations, is a moon goddess wearing a fantasy Chinese garment. Her hair is purple with two antennae. Sounds quite challenging! Now let's see how Tsukuda Hobby and Volks managed the task.
Tsukuda made its Shaolin a part of Full Action Doll series. This doll was the last but one in the line. On the opposite, the Volks Shaolin seems to be one of the first in Ultimate Figure Series line. Her box has a Dollfie sticker (which my other UFS dolls don't have). She is a limited release, and it's a good Volks tradition to make the same mistake on all their limited boxes - the word "number" is misspelt as "namber"! Both dolls were possibly released in 1999.
Before I bought UFS Shaolin, I hadn't had the slightest idea how different the sizes were. FADs are usually 30cm tall, so is FAD Shaolin; but I'm used to 27cm tall UFSs, and I didn't even suspect UFS Shaolin to be 22cm only!
I immediately compared this 22cm UFS to a regular UFS. The joints are very different! The smaller model looks more like an Obitsu... or I thought so before I saw her back. The screws. Gross.
Well, it was an early Volks model, so it explains everything.
Both Shaolin dolls have stands included. As for spare parts, UFS Shaolin has a whole set of details for her joints (I have no idea how to apply them); FAD Shaolin was pre-owned so she's probably missing some contents of her box. Usually FADs come with a rubber armsuit which allows to conceal elbow joints - but mine doesn't. Instead, my FAD Shaolin has the shitenrin ring included:
Now to the further comparison.
They look like mother and daughter.
You might notice from the start that FAD Shaolin's dress is shiny, as it is made of artificial silk, while UFS Shaolin wears cotton:
FAD Shaolin is a bigger doll, and this allowed Tsukuda Hobby to make her garment more detailed and complicated.
For FAD Shaolin the red shoulder piece is plastic secured on a sticker band:
The dress itself is a two-piece for the UFS (an apron dress and a blouse) and a three-piece for the FAD (a skirt, a top and a blouse).
The sash belts were meant to be similar, but in fact they differ a lot. The bigger doll can take it off because it has a velcro fastener, but the smaller one has it attached to the dress.
Tsukuda Hobby was a bit careless about Shaolin's boots, so they are solid plastic, but Volks provided their doll with two-piece textile boots.
Now from bottom to top. It's time to talk about their heads and hair. I'm not sure if it used to be brighter, but now both dolls have pale silvery purple hair. FAD Shaolin has very pronounced antennae, but UFS Shaolin is totally deprived of those, as well as of earrings. The headband is cast plastic for the FAD and fabric with beads for the UFS.
One of Shaolin's locks is longer than the rest of her hair. Tsukuda made it wavy and more stylish, in my opinion:
Her bow is a cord for the FAD and a ribbon for the UFS.
Now the most important part - the face.
I'd say nobody gets the first prize for the likeness, and it's somewhere in between. But still both dolls are pretty and an interesting tribute to the character.