Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Hurricane Red

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

The last of the Akibaranger tie-in S.H. Figuarts releases takes things out of the 90s and moves us forward to a series that this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. After brief visits to the 16th and 17th Super Sentai shows its time to revisit the 26th - Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and Hurricane Red. Hurricane Red is the only Hurricaneger to be receiving mass release in Japan, with Blue, Yellow and the Gouraigers following as web exclusives in December/January (Shurikenger is still unannounced). This figure has also been released in America by Bluefin under the Power Rangers Ninja Storm banner, with an alternate box that displays "Red Wind Ranger" instead.

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

Figuarts boxes have been getting pretty good lately, but there's a few things about Hurricane Red's box that I especially like. Firstly the siler/red combo works exceedingly well, just like the silver arms on the suit itself. The little shuriken icons add a little more "ninja" to the mix, and the back is laid out really nicely (with the Akibaranger window not clashing for once!). Finally, special praise has to go for the use of the Hurricaneger wind logo which even makes its way onto the inside backing card! It's not very often we see themed backing cards on a Figuarts release, and I for one welcome it on more in the future.

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

While the Hurricanger suits may be predominantly one colour, there's a notable amount of bands and decoration to break up the solid red. Most importantly are the silver arms, which are nicely textured to replicate the mesh material of the actual suits. On top of that there's plenty of gold and black, as well as the striking white symbol on the chest. The Hurricane Gyro looks absolutely fantastic for something at such a small scale, and the Hawk symbol on the helmet has a level of detail that even puts Zyuranger's bucklers to shame.

The articulation is the usual fare for a Super Sentai Figuart, but just how much more manageable the shoulder joints have become in recent toys makes the lack of a bicep swivel far less of a drawback. The separate pieces merge into the torso well enough to make it feel like a single piece of clothing, while the double joints and swing down hips are just as perfect as ever. The back of the figure has a small hold to peg the sword sheath into, and the sheath itself has a removable hilt should you want to keep it there while using the sword for extra accuracy.

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

The highly impressive accessory count of Ryu Ranger is a tough act to follow, but Hurricane Red certainly doesn't do badly in this department either. In total we have 13 hands, the portable ninja sword Hayatemaru (both sheathed and unsheathed) and finally Red's personal weapon - the Dry Gun (which looks pretty damn good for a gun based off of a hair dryer). Hurricane Red's hands are particularly good because there are quite a lot of unique ones such as ninja gesture hands and widened open palms. The accessory count isn't perfect however - the most notable absence is the Hayatemaru in combined gun formation, but a red parasol to recreate that iconic roll call wouldn't have gone amiss either.

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Power Rangers Ninja Storm Bandai Tamashii Nations

And of course, last but not least there's the figure's special Akibaranger bonus - although this is probably the most lackluster one of season two. Included is a snap on Shurikenger vest which Akiba Yellow makes in an attempt to help Hurricane Red remember who he is. It doesn't appear in the show for very long, and doesn't quite have the same effect the Powerful Ranger or China Red parts do. Still, it's a nice little bonus for fans of Akibaranger (note: this is not included in the Ninja Storm release of the figure).

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Akibaranger Bandai Tamashii Nations

SH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Akibaranger Bandai Tamashii NationsSH Figuarts Hurricane Red Hurricaneger Akibaranger Bandai Tamashii Nations

Hurricane Red is the first Super Sentai figure I've bought that I had almost zero attachment going into. With Hurricaneger mostly unsubbed (I haven't resorted to HK subs yet) and Ninja Storm my least favourite Power Rangers season, I can't honestly say I was looking forward to him as much as the Zyurangers of Ryu Ranger. However credit where credit is due, Bandai have absolutely knocked it out of the park once again with this figure. The sculpt and finish are fantastic, there's a great selection of hands and an acceptable (if slightly incomplete) accessory count. I'm enjoying this figure so much I'm suddenly tempted to collect the rest of the team to go with it. It's a shame that this is the last of the Akibaranger tie-ins, because these last four have undoubtedly been the finest Super Sentai figures in the S.H. Figuarts line.

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