Wednesday 28 November 2012

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker

Ready to count up your sins? Because here's a review of Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker, the base form and lead character from the series Kamen Rider W. Originally released back in February 2010, this is a review of the recently released reissue from November 2012.

Kamen Rider Double has a relatively simple design, but that doesn't make seeing it in toy form any less impressive. The Cyclone side has this brilliant metallic sheen, while the Joker side contrasts nicely with its matte finish. The decorative parts such as the chest "W" and arm/leg gauntlets look great, however the option to have the arm ones removable is highly questionable (I'll get onto that more in a moment). As an earlier Figuarts release, Cyclone Joker even has diecast metal feet! The only real sore point in terms of looks is the decision to use black joints for the cyclone side, but this is carried onto the Heat, Fang and Lunar sides in other Double figures too.

However in terms of engineering, there are quite a few flaws. The most significant being the hand switching, which is perhaps the most frustrating I have ever seen on a figure. Not only at the holes so tight it makes getting the hands to lock a pain, but the arm gauntlets tend to slip right off if you're not careful where you're pressing. The shoulders are noticeably looser than the average Figuart too, not to the point I'd call my figure floppy but the arms sometimes tend to slope downwards when posed in certain positions. To round it off the movement in the hips is somewhat limited, which is especially worrying in the Cyclone side as it feels like the metallic paint might suddenly start to rub off as it touches the pelvis.

Cyclone Joker might be great in that its Double's default form, but it also means its pretty vanilla in terms of powers...and in this case accessories. Included with the figure are eight pairs of hands (closed fists, two varieties of open hands and a pair with the middle and index fingers pointed outward) and two different muffler pieces. That's it. The lack of small Gaia Memories (ala Fourze's Astro Switches and the Gokaiger's Ranger keys) is a blessing in that there's no tiny pieces which could be easily lost, but limits what the figure could have come with. There isn't a memory gadget in sight, or even some sort of wind effect that would have gone nicely with the Cyclone side of the character. The best you get is the hands to recreate the "Count up your sins" pose, but that should have been a given anyway.

Cyclone Joker isn't the worst Figuart I own, but in many ways is perhaps the most disappointing. The fact that it was reissued means Bandai had the chance to fix some of the shortcomings with the original release, but the loose arms, awkward hips and annoying-as-hell hands are all still intact. The lack of accessories is a downer, and paint scuffs and moulding issues (which will vary from figure to figure) are just the icing on the cake. If it was any other toy line this guy would come highly recommended, but I've bought enough Figuarts in the last year to know there's something missing. Brilliant character, but sadly a not so brilliant toy.

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