Friday, 30 August 2013

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ryu Ranger

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

With Zyuranger now safely covered until the remaining four members (plus power up form) are released, it's time to move on to the next series we saw in Akibaranger...which funnily enough is also the next Super Sentai show chronologically. Representing Gosei Sentai Dairanger we finally have Ryo of the Heavenly Fire Star, aka Ryu Ranger, available in S.H. Figuarts form. Power Rangers fans will note that these are the only post-Zyuranger costumes to not have appeared in the show (save for Kiba Ranger), as only the mecha footage was adapted. However if the trailers are anything to go by, these costumes may finally be appearing in the forthcoming Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

Admittedly I feel the packaging is a little on the boring side, but it's very in-keeping with the early nineties look of the show. It's mostly muted-red colourscheme is decorated by gold lettering and images of the figure, the spines opting for black-outline designs. The back is perhaps the best part, it it features a Chinese dragon drawing as the background for the obligatory "various poses" images. Due to the sheer amount (and size) of accessories Ryu Ranger comes with, the insides features two plastic trays.

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

As far as costume design goes, Ryu Ranger could easily be a dud. Despite being a predominately red suit with gold highlights, its broken up by an entirely white torso with a multicoloured badge logo. On paper that sounds pretty ridiculous, but as you can see in execution it actually looks rather lovely.  The gold highlighting is great, but particularly pops on the helmet where it has the black visor and silver mouthplate to work against too. The articulation is what you'd come to expect of a typical Super Sentai Figuart (i.e. very very good), but there is a little mould change worth talking about. While the shoulder joint remains the same, the plastic covering is noticeably bigger, matching the baggier shoulder parts of the Dairanger costume. It doesn't photo very well and looks a bit off, but in person it looks much better and actually works better than the standard shoulder. It rolls around the joint much easier, and the enlarged size actually makes it look all the more convincing.

An additional deco worth praising is the tampographed Dairanger logo on the right holster, which could easily be missed if you aren't paying close attention.

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

So earlier I mentioned that the box contents actually came on two trays. Why's that? Because Ryu Ranger includes a REALLY impressive array of weapons and accessories. Altogether we have 14 alternate hands, 2 Star Swords (full-sized and holstered), 2 Star Cutters (full-sized and holstered), Dai Buster, bladed Dairen Rod and finally his two Dairinken . That's a grand total of EIGHT weapons to play around with. The only minor gripe would be the lack of detachable blade on the Dairen Rod, and it was often used without it. Still, it's hard to complain when you can pull off this much variation when having fun with your Ryu Ranger.

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Bandai Tamashii Nations

Of course being an Akibaranger release that also means bonus accessories! What's even better is that Ryu Ranger's are a little more substantial than the ones included with Dragon and Tyranno Ranger. After the Akibarangers mysteriously become an official Super Sentai series at the beginning of season two, Gosei Sentai Dairanger is shunted off to the depths of obscurity - becoming restaurant mascots China Sentai Chinaman! Included in an alternate China Red head, featuring the painted on eyes also seen in the original Dairanger concept art, and a different badge for the vest. The badge perhaps wins the award for smallest Figuarts accessory yet, with Bandai even taping it inside the packaging to make sure it doesn't get lost. For fans of Akibaranger these are some really great bonuses and the kind of thing that would make you buy the figure even if you haven't seen Dairanger...or just buy him twice I suppose.

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Chinaman Akibaranger Bandai

SH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Chinaman Akibaranger BandaiSH Figuarts Ryu Ranger Dairanger Super Sentai Chinaman Akibaranger Bandai

S.H. Figuarts are REALLY spoiling us Super Sentai fans lately. I thought the Zyuranger figures were near-perfect, but then Ryu Ranger came along and set a new standard for the line. In reality, other than your preference of suit/series the only thing better on the figure itself is the shoulders, and unfortunately that's probably not something that can be incorporated into other Sentai heroes. What REALLY makes this package is the superb amount of accessories, which is something making it really special for both Dairanger and Akibaranger fans alike.

Funny, I had absolutely no intention of getting all six Dairangers but after handling this guy I'm REALLY eager to see how the remaining five turn out. Guess we'll find out with Kibaranger incoming at the end of September!

3 comments:

Lovey Mush said...

Those aren't the Sekiryu Soryuken, those are the Dairinken (大輪剣 Big Wheel Blade) which appear around episode 15 I think, I did wish however he had come with his Double Swords but that's a no, Maybe Kirin Ranger wont come with his 9 section Chain, Shishi with the staff, Tenma with the Nunchaku, or Houou with the Spear.

Alex said...

Thanks for the correction! I thought I was getting confused with the weapon names.

Anonymous said...

*Sigh.* It would be swell for me if that figure received a domestic version. Heck, I think that it would be more swell if he has a Power Ranger counterpart.