Tuesday 14 February 2012

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Fourze Base States

The S.H. Figuarts line is largely dominated by Kamen Riders spanning the franchise's 40 year history. As I'm yet to start properly watching Kamen Rider, I've avoided falling down the rabbit hole of Kamen Rider figures as much as I possibly can - but this has ended with the release of Kamen Rider Fourze. As the current airing Kamen Rider series, I've been watching this show alongside Gokaiger (soon to be Gobuster) and have found it extremely enjoyable. The first release of the character is of the "base states" (ie the normal version), with figures of the Elek, Fire and Magnet states to follow in the coming months.

The sculpt and articulation are to the usual Figuarts quality, with Fourze able to put into many different poses - including both his henshin stance and of course his "UCHU KITAAAAA" pose. The paint detailing is superb, with the sculpt and panel lining combo bringing out all the tiny details in Fourze's astronaut like suit. The Fourze driver is made from a nice shade of translucent blue plastic (much like the show version), the lever moves and the switches are removable. I'm quite sure how I feel about this latter feature - on the one hand its a nice little extra that gives the character more accuracy when different switches are being used (I'll come onto that at the end), but on the other these switches are TINY, much like the Gokaiger's ranger keys. The other problem is (at least on my figure anyway) that they don't connect particularly securely, so I've already had several instances of them dropping off and me having to frantically search for them.

Included with Fourze are two sets of alternate hands (giving him a total of three sets - one closed fist set and two sets of open hands), a spare rocket switch and the rocket and drill modules. Both the rocket and drill are very nicely detailed, and can be attached to either arm or leg respectively (although in the show they only attach to the right arm and left leg). To attach remove the arm at the elbow (or the leg at the knee) and connect the modules to the ports provided. While the drill is nice, and one of Fourze's staple weapons, it really limits the posing possibilities of the figure and some of the more dynamic/iconic poses (such as his limit break - the Rider Rocket Drill kick) are impossible without the aid of a stand. The inclusion of a spare rocket switch is a little baffling, but given that the switches are the tiniest accessories I've ever seen on a figure there's probably a high probability of losing them (although in that case, wouldn't spares of them all made more sense?)

While Fourze's highly exploitable gimmick is one of his best assets, it is also one of his biggest weaknesses. Despite a minimal inclusion of hands packaged with the figure, an all-important pair of "holding things" hands will be included with his motorbike, the Machine Massigler, and many other of his switch power ups are being released via additional module sets. The drill and the rocket were the perfect accessories to include with the base states figure, but as I mentioned earlier to use the drill to full effect you'd need some sort of stand, maybe perhaps the "Kamen Rider Fourze Stand & Effect set"? See where I'm going with this? To get the most out of Kamen Rider Fourze, you'll need to pay a bit more than the initial figure price.

He's a great figure, but just HOW great is dependant on how much you're willing to shell out for him.

1 comment:

Tom Badguy said...

HA! LOL @ the drill leg