Sunday 20 April 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kyoryu Gold

S.H. Figuarts Kyoryu Gold

Once upon S.H. Figuarts buyers felt confident that if one group of Super Sentai characters (other than the Reds of course) was safe from Tamashii web exclusive status, it was the sixths. After the mass releases of Shinken Gold, Gokai Silver and Dragon Ranger, they seemed pretty safe. However that certainty has been dashed over the past few months, with not only Kiba Ranger getting the TWE treatment but also the sixth ranger of the latest Sentai show. The third Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger release in the line, Kyoryu Gold follows on from the Blue/Green 2-pack and comes just before the Black/Pink set - making it (currently) the only single figure web exclusive release for the show.

Utchy joins the Figuarts line

Some thundering box art"Is that piece to the right mine?"

If it hasn't been obvious enough over the past few months, yet another windowless box is a sure sign that as far as exclusives go they're gone for good. Does it really matter though? After all, you can't exactly inspect the figure before buying it so unless you have an OCD for matching boxes its all good. The great art they keep getting really makes it hard to miss the window too, with Kyoryu Gold getting the flashy treatment a sixth ranger deserves. The gold/black/silver/blue deco also makes for a much more cohesive colour scheme than Kyoryu Red's more chaotic green/black/yellow.

Face the wrath of our Kyoryu Change!

Cue the transformation music......clashing horribly with the other music

Gold and silver ranger releases are always a favourite of mine, because even if I don't like the character very much you can be sure that the figure will look pretty fabulous. Kyoryu Gold is no exception to this, and is also a character I really like (my favourite of the main Kyoryugers) so I couldn't be happier with this figure. Just look at that beautiful paint job! From the shiny gold plastic to the metallic silver and blue deco, this is one of the best looking Super Sentai Figuarts yet. However with the joints made of the same gold plastic too, I'm sure some are wondering how susceptible this guy is going to be to Gold Plastic Syndrome somewhere down the line. Nothing here feels fragile - the joints are tight and the range of motion is just as good as any other Figuart so really the answer to that question is something that'll come in time I guess. 

The first lot of official images for Kyoru Gold on the Bandai website didn't feature him with his signature cape-wings, raising the question of whether the figure would actually have them. Thankfully those pictures were altered a few months later, but for anyone who hasn't seen the update they most certainly are present. They are completely static, and while sturdy may be prone to snapping if you don't show some degree of care when handling it around that area. Meanwhile the shoulder pads are hinged so can be raised to give the arm articulation a bit more freedom, but will pop off break-free.

Kyoryu Gold ready for action!

Load the ZyudenchiZandar Thunder!

A lot of exclusives have been pretty light on the accessories lately, and sadly Kyoryu Gold isn't really an exception. For himself he comes packaged with a total of seven changeable hands, a Zyudenchi battery and his signature weapon - the Zandar Thunder. The hands are a bit more unique on this release, not featuring the usual pair of closed fists - while there's a closed fist for the right hand, the left's default hand is open somewhat to hold the handle part of his Gabrichanger. The Gabrichanger itself can also pop off of the arm easily, making switching hands as hassle free as possible.

The size of the Zandar Thunder nearly makes up for the lack of accessories - a beautiful detailed sword complete with the opening function for Utchy to load three Zyudenchi on to complete his finishing attack. Sadly Kyoryu Gold doesn't COME with three Zyudenchi, and even if he did the batteries themselves don't really fit on the sword securely. One sneeze or accidental budge and they'd easily be lost forever.

Attack from the air!

Sneeze and it's goneA moment of meditation

But that's not all! Continuing Bandai's new favourite tactic of including combined pieces across teams to encourage you to complete the whole set (although this is FAR more logical with the Zyuranger releases), Kyoryu Gold also comes with the Fangshot - the combined form of Kyoryu Red and Kyoryu Black's weapons. While I'm impressed Bandai are including the smaller combined weapons as well as the 5-piece Kentrospiker combo, as I don't plan on picking up the remaining four Kyoryugers any time soon this is a pretty useless accessory to me. I can't deny it looks good with Kyoryu Red, but there were plenty of things Gold could have come with for HIM to use. Extended wing parts for flying poses perhaps? Or electrical effect parts? And if we really wanted to dig into Kyoryuger's about double armed on parts from the Kyoryuger Hyper Battle DVD? Not stuff that I'd expect to be honest, but still things that I'd pick over accessories for other toys.

"Thanks for the fangshot!"

Figuarts Abare Yellow when?"Time for a Gold Rush!" #SabanPuns

Even though there's untapped potential when it comes to the accessories, Kyoryu Gold is a gorgeous figure that looks great with the Kyoryugers, representing pteranodon rangers with Ptera Ranger or just chilling with other sixths. Even if you aren't planning on completing the Kyoryuger team and was happy to settle for just having Red, Kyoryu Gold is the ideal companion piece simply for sporting a different look and being the better figure overall. But as a Tamashii Web Exclusive, if you're planning to get your hands on one the after market prices may not decide to be kind to you. 

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