MASKED RIDER 2 & CYCLONE
S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)
And let the Post-Christmas reviews officially begin!
Okay, so it’s my first day of Post-Christmas reviews, and for three years running, I’ve kicked things off with a figure of the Alien Queen. That’s…not the case this year. Sorry guys, there’s a limited number of Alien Queen figures out there for my family and friends to gift to me. It was beyond all of our control. You’re just going to have to make due with a Kamen Rider review. I’m sure you’ll all manage. Without further ado, let’s have a look at Masked Rider 2 and the Cyclone!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
So, what’s all this “Masked Rider 2” business, you’re probably asking. I’ll tell ya. During the production of the first Kamen Rider series, lead actor Hiroshi Fujioka injured himself performing a stunt. The producers of the show had a few options. They could replace Fujioka with another actor and hope no one noticed, they could have him get some sort of plastic surgery, or they could come up with a reason for Fujioka’s Hongo to leave the show and introduce an interim replacement. They opted for the last choice, and introduced the franchise’s first secondary rider, Hayato Ichimonji. Ichimonji took over as the main protagonist of the show for about half a season, until Fujioka was able to return, at which point Ichimonji and Hongo shared the title. And now you know all about Masked Rider 2! There have been a few prior versions of Kamen/Masked Rider 2 from SHFiguarts, but it would appear that this set is the most recent, hitting in 2015. He’s based on Ichimonji’s first main design, which was fairly similar to the original Kamen Rider’s in a lot of ways. The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. He’s very similar in construction to prior Figuarts offerings, especially the Power Rangers and the like. His sculpt is unique to him, and it’s actually pretty solid. It does a nice job of translating his design into figure form, all while allowing for articulation and maximum posability. His proportions are a little bit optimized, of course, as is the style of the line, but it certainly works for this guy. The level of detail, especially on his helmet, but also on his belt, is incredibly impressive. The paint on Ichimonji is all pretty sharp and clean, and the colors match up pretty well to his screen counterpart. He includes several different sets of hands in a variety of poses. There’s fists, two different flat palms, an open grip and a bike grip. It’s nice to have the variety, but I’m pretty much only ever going to use the bike grip ones. He also includes two different tail attachments for his scarf. One is flat and one is dynamic. But honestly, who’s ever going to use anything but the dynamic version?
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
He can’t very well be “Kamen Rider” without a bike to ride, now can he? Of course not. Previously, Figuarts Kamen Riders and bikes were sold individually, but not this time, and that’s definitely a good thing for me. The Cyclone measures about 5 1/2 inches long by about 4 inches tall. It’s got actual moving wheels, and even a working kickstand, which I always count as a plus, and is generally just constructed like an actual bike. That means it looks really, really good. Just fantastically sharp construction and everything. Hands down my favorite part of the whole thing is the back wheel, which is actually on shocks, with working pistons and everything. That’s an insane attentiveness to detail, that by no means needed to be there, but by god they wanted it to be accurate, so there it is. The average consumer won’t likely even notice it, but I will, so it matters to me. The bike comes with two different attachment pieces to keep it standing, One is pretty basic; it just hooks over the back wheel and keeps it standing, which is decent enough. The more exciting piece is the one that requires some extra gear not included in this set There’s a port that plugs into the base of the bike, allowing you to connect one of the standard Figuarts display stands to it. It’s a pretty awesome option, and allows for some kick-ass set-ups. It’s a shame no stand was included in the set, but it’s not like there aren’t already a ton of extras included here.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This here set was a gift from my boi Tim, who shares with me a love of Kamen Rider, despite the fact that neither one of us has ever really sat down and watched any iteration of the show. A good design aesthetic is a good design aesthetic. I’ve been wanting to get one of the classic Riders for a while, so when I opened this set up I was pretty pumped. And, as luck would have it, I even had a spare display stand that came with the K-2 Tim got me for my birthday. It’s almost as if he planned it that way (he really didn’t, though). This is a fantastic set, which has been so much fun to mess around with. The only downside is now I need more Kamen Riders…