Monday, 19 May 2014

Toybox REVIEW: 66 Action Kamen Riders Wave 2

 66action Kamen Riders Wave 2

Wave one of the 66 Action Kamen Rider candy toys have hands down been my favourite release of 2014 so far. While S.H. Figuarts are doing some amazing things with their releases at the moment, it was amazing to find a brand new line that had so much personality. And thankfully Bandai must have felt the same, because before the first wave was even released they had already officially unveiled a second. Showing up for wave two are Kamen Rider Zangetsu (Melon Arms), Kamen Rider Double (Cyclone Joker), Kamen Rider Den-O (Sword Form) and Kamen Rider Kabuto (Rider Form). Adding a little bit of mystery into the mix, this wave also includes a bonus secret release in the form of Dark Kabuto.

The boxes are back

Some really nice back artParts! Parts and candy!

The packaging style is identical to the previous wave's releases, only this time the boxes are numbered 05 to 08 as a continuation. As a secret figure, Dark Kabuto doesn't get his own unique box art and is instead shoved in to the same style as Kabuto. Inside you'll  find all the figure pieces neatly sealed in plastic bags, the hands on a tree that uses more plastic than the actual hands of a course, one piece of soda flavoured candy per box. 

For those interested in the case breakdown, its 2x Zangetsu, 2x W, 2x Den-O, 1x Kabuto and 1x Dark Kabuto. If (like me) you were buying cases and then splitting them with someone, this is incredibly annoying as it means there's only one complete set included and someone will have to go without a Kabuto/Dark Kabuto (or both). The fact that Zangetsu and W come in double (heh) make it even worse as this could have easily been avoided if Bandai weren't so insistent on making Dark Kabuto a rarer figure.

Articulation is the same across the board, so rather than mention it repeatedly for each figure I'll cover it all here before going through them one by one. Each figure features a ball jointed head, shoulders, hips and feet. The waist can swivel, while the elbows and knees are hinge joints. Hands are swapped by plugging and unplugging them into the holes in the wrists, also allowing them 360 degree rotation. You aren't likely to find this level of articulation on a 66mm tall figure elsewhere.

Still no idea what that hole on the back of the figure is for though. I'm still guessing a stand, but if you have a better suggestion I'd love to hear it!

Melon Arms!The mysterious white Armoured Rider

Big melonsI shall call him mini-me

Figure one is again another Gaim Rider, only this time is an adorable Zangetsu! Zangetsu may seem like an odd choice as the next Armoured Rider when Baron or Ryugen are yet to appear in this line (and Shin Zangetsu is the far more prominent form), but as a remould of the Gaim suit it isn't all that surprising. A more extensive remould than the Arms Change figure of course, given that the armour is stuck to the figure here - but a remould nonetheless. Zangetsu retains an impressive amount of detail even at this size, but when compared to Gaim you can see that some corners have been cut. The back of the Melon Arms is unpainted, as is the open Lockseed.

That said, Zangetsu not only has a great range of articulation but also comes with the most accessories of a 66 Action Rider thus far. Not only does he feature a Musou Saber, but also his signature weapon - the Melon Defender Shield! Ignoring that this makes Gaim's lack of a Daidaimaru all the more agonising, Zangetsu just wouldn't feel complete without both weapons so it's great to see both here. Naturally a set of gripping hands are included so he can dual wield both weapons, and when not in use the Musou Saber can clip onto the side of the figure via a peg hole.

How can I hold all these Gaia memories?"Hey, remember Movie War Core?"

"Wait..what?"Count up your (pint-sized) sins

Once again moving up in numbers but backwards in chronological order, next up we have Kamen Rider Double in their standard CycloneJoker form. The half and half look of Double has been really nicely done, even managing to do something the Figuart didn't and have correct colour joints on the green side. One thing to note though is to be careful of the soft plastic head crest - mine was slightly bent on the left-hand side straight out of the box.

As a default form and fist fighter, Cyclone Joker doesn't have any unique weapons that could have been included here and so instead Bandai have opted for a unique set of hands. But rather than go for the obvious "Count up your Sins" pose hands or even open palms for the henshin pose, they've curiously decided to go with fists clutching moulded Gaia memories. As cool as they sound, without proper detail its a really lacking set of hands and I can't help feel Bandai would have been better off going for one of the more obvious choices.

Ore sanjou!Like a peach

"It might tickle a bit"Makeshift Den Liner

Third up is Kamen Rider Den-O Sword Form, who was bound to be coming sooner or later thanks to the immense popularity of his seasons. To be honest, I'm surprised they held him back until wave two! This is my first experience with a Den-O figure of any sort, yet even at this size I'm finding myself really impressed. While the helmet detailing and colour is definitely the highlight of this figure, the whole ensemble just works really well and makes me appreciate the Den-O design in a way I hadn't before.

Den-O is also blessed with a pair of weapon holding hands and his signature DenGasher sword. Interestingly this also makes him the only other figure besides Zangetsu to include a weapon in this wave.

The (short) path of heavenMiniature Rider Kick!

Clock up!"Up there, son"

Rounding off this wave is the rider form of Kamen Rider Kabuto, which nicely coincides with his S.H. Figuart renewal release a few months ago. While obviously not as intricate as his larger, more expensive counterpart, this Kabuto still has that gorgeous glossy red finish and vibrant blue eyes. My photo example isn't great, but the fact it's able to stand on one leg and (kind of) get away with Kabuto's signature rider kick pose surely speaks for the amazing level of articulation you're getting with these little guys.

Kabuto's accessories are a curious case, and confirms for me that these figures either come with a weapon + holding hands or their own signature hands. While there was plenty of choice to give Kabuto a weapon (the Kabuto Kunai gun has three different forms), it was decided to go with the "walking the path of heaven" pointing hand instead - accompanied with a standard open left hand. Some might be a little disappointed with this, but I think the right decision was made - just look how adorable mini-Kabuto is!

The dark path...The lonely dark Rider

Victory for Dark Kabuto"Let me attim!"

But wait...that's not all! As mentioned earlier, wave two actually also includes a secret figure! After a lot of speculation on my part about what this figure could be (for the record, I was betting on Kamen Rider #2) it has in fact turned out to be Dark Kabuto. Not a great character, but certainly not a bad choice for a bonus figure. As a straight repaint of the 66 Action Kamen Rider Kabuto, the only differences with this figure are the yellow compound eyes and black armour. Even at this size, the red circuitry-like detailing on the black looks superb.

Roll on wave 3!

66 Action Kamen Riders wave one set a tall order for this brand new line, and it's pleasing to see that wave two continues that excellent standard. Not only are these toys cheap and super poseable, but they have so much character of their own that it's easy to give them their own personalities apart from their larger counterparts. I'm really hoping that a wave three will be joining these guys soon, and if these leaked images mean anything then this could very well be the case. The pictures teases Shin Zangetsu, Fourze, Eternal and an as-of-yet-unrevealed character coming in June, but with preorders still not up this is very much unconfirmed. Fingers crossed, because I just can't get enough of these little guys.

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