Friday 22 August 2014

Toybox REVIEW: 66 Action Kamen Riders Wave 3

66action Kamen Riders Wave 3

2014 has been a pretty fantastic year for Kamen Rider. Gaim is on course to be one of the best instalments of the franchise to date, and S.H. Figuarts have been doing wonders with the figures along with nearing completion of all the main Riders. However it's Bandai's 66 Action figures that have been consistently getting me really excited. The first two waves in this poseable candy toy line have been nothing short of fantastic, as well as incredible value for money. Wave 3 has finally hit, adding Kamen Rider Gaim Kiwami Arms, Kamen Rider Zangetsu Shin, Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider Eternal to the fold. A nice little mix of heroes and villains.

Another 4 mini Riders for your collection!

Do you know how big these figures yet? DO YOU?Plastic bag nonsense

Once again the boxes are identical to the previous releases, featuring the figure inside on the front of the box (no blind-packed nonsense going on with Bandai of Japan thankfully!) and a detailed breakdown of the contents (as well as the size - which is 66mm if you hadn't already seen it plastered everywhere else) on the back. Numbering continues from the previous waves, with these figures taking up slots 09 to 12. Inside you'll find multiple connected plastic bags with each piece inside, and the hands on the abnormally large plastic tree. There's also a piece of soda flavoured candy included, so you can get your sugar fix until the next wave of candy toys rolls around.

This time the case breakdown goes 3x Kiwami Arms, 3x Zangetsu Shin, 2x Fourze and 2x Eternal. There is a very minor variant among the selection (which will be revealed further down in the review), so if you're planning to split the set or sell off the extras be sure to go through both Eternals to find the version that you want to keep.

Heroes and villains

A rather large abundance of whiteStand holes! They're stand holes!

Each mini Rider features a ball-jointed head, shoulders, hips and feet, waist swivel and hinged elbows and knees. The hands are switched via simple plugs, so can rotate freely 360 degrees. Since writing my last review I have also FINALLY investigated what the holes on the backs are for, and can confirm that they are indeed compatible with Bandai Tamashii stages! That really shouldn't have taken me three reviews to do, but the mystery is now solved and these figures are just as capable as midair Rider kicks as their larger counterparts. Arguably better, since they can be stably held up by being plugged into the stand rather than relying on a flimsy claw.


Master of the fruit weaponsOver compensating?

FRUITS BASKET!High in power, short in stature

First up is another appearance from Kamen Rider Gaim, this time in his Kiwami Arms form. Due to its small size and price point, this is probably where the most creative liberties have been taken with a 66 Action figure so far. Not only does it lack the fabulous cape, but the rainbow coloured visor has been forsaken for another all orange on as previously seen on the original Orange Arms figure. Naturally other details have been incredibly simplified too, such as the Sengoku Driver/Lockseeds and the "fruits basket" chest plate.

Despite the inaccuracies and cost cutting measures, Kiwami Arms is still a nice figure that manages to get across the majesty of Gaim's final form. For accessories he comes with a total of six hands (fists, open and weapon holding) along with the DJ Gun in Taiken Mode (its combination with the Musou Saber). Of course, being the mode that can access all Gaim Rider weapons the figure also looks great with the Musou Saber, Sonic Arrow and Melon Defender - as well as any other larger versions you might also have lying around!

Sengoku Drivers are out, Genesis Drivers are in

"Mitsuzane..."Cutest sibling rivalry ever

Someone's been a bad little brotherSour grapes lives another day!

Also making their second appearance in the line is Kamen Rider Zangetsu, who this time appears in his Zangetsu Shin Melon Energy Arms suit. A few months ago I'd have been annoyed that this was getting made over a different Rider (despite Zangetsu being my favourite Gaim character), but circumstances have changed since then. After all, anyone who's watching the series will know that at this stage Zangetsu Shin is far more than just a powered up version of the original! Once again a few details are missing from this scaled down figure - mostly notably all of the black detailing from the base suit. The chest and shoulder plates may not have the translucent orange 'bubbling' detail, but it has been impressively recreated in the eyes.

Zangetsu Shin comes with three sets of hands (fists, palms, weapon holding) and the Sonic Arrow, aka the generic Energy Rider weapon. As boring as it may be on the show, this is the first time its appeared in the line and Bandai have done a really nice job of it. The cherry red paint looks just beautiful! Also of note is that naturally Zangetsu Shin's design compromises the articulation somewhat, with the right arm unable to perform similar levels of articulation thanks to the shoulder pad.

Let's be buds

UCHUUU KITAAAA!Fourze gets a-head

To the moon!Fistbumping yourself has never been so cute

Bringing a healthy dose of friendship to the 66 Action line is Kamen Rider Fourze! This pint-sized space rider looks absolutely fantastic, sporting far whiter plastic than his much larger S.H. Figuarts counterpart. He's also pretty much 100% accurate when it comes to detailing as well, only featuring simplified driver moulded only in one colour. It is however painted with a rather fetching metallic cosmic blue.

Fourze sadly doesn't come with any of his module weapons, packaged with simply three pairs of hands (fists, open palms and neutral open hands). Bandai may have had plenty of options when it came to things they could include with Fourze, but I guess the lack of simple weapon he just held prevented an additional accessory. A mini-rocket or radar would have been nice, but there isn't really a precedent for completely alternate limbs in the line just yet. There's always one in the waves that doesn't come with weapons too (Rider #1 in wave 1 and Kabuto in wave 2) so I guess Fourze was the most logical choice here.

He did the Monster Mash

A-Z's alternate endingEternal just can't get a break

Eternal has big targetsSurprise!

Rounding off wave 3 with a bit of villainy is Kamen Rider W's resident undead zombie Rider - Kamen Rider Eternal! Modelled off his appearance in the Kamen Rider W Forever: A-Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate movie, Eternal comes with moulded black artillery pouches and fetching metallic blue forearms that move up into flame patterns. The Lost Driver lacks the black belt detailing, instead remaining an unpainted white plastic other than the red/silver Driver section.

Eternal comes packaged with three pairs of alternate hands (fists, open and weapon holding) and his Eternal Edge combat knife. This is the smallest accessory included with a 66 Action Rider yet, and sadly also has trouble staying in Eternal's hands firmly. Once it's in properly it should be fine, but getting it properly wedged in those soft plastic hands can prove a bit more of a challenge than you'd expect.

Capes make the villain

Not a lot of difference is there?Covering your behind

But that's not all! Like the previous wave, wave 3 also includes a variant figure in the case assortment. This time it's Kamen Rider Eternal's turn, but if you're expecting anything special like the Dark Kabuto variant than sadly you're going to be sorely disappointed. While many fans (including myself) were expecting the Red Flare version from the Kamen Rider W Returns: Eternal movie, this variant is actually more or less exactly the same other than the inclusion of the Eternal Robe - which fits under the figure's head and plugs into the back. There are also some VERY minor paint app differences on the head, which features thicker black lines under the eyes and slightly darker compound eyes. It's a pretty disappointing variant to be honest, especially when the cape could have easily been included with the standard Eternal.

This also begs the question of why Kiwami Arms couldn't have had a cape included with him. Poor show Bandai, poor show.

A happy family photo

Wave 3 is another fantastic addition to the growing 66 Action Kamen Rider family, but unfortunately these figures feel much more like cheap candy toys than their predecessors. Of course in reality this is EXACTLY what they are, but little things like wrong coloured visors and unnecessary lack of capes are a bit harder to swallow than a few paint apps missing here and there. Two Gaim Riders (and two who've already kind of had figures at that) is a bit disappointing too when there's still so many to come. Nevertheless, these little guys are still very much worth the money - cute, poseable and tons of fun. Keep 'em coming Bandai, and I'll be sure to keep buying them.

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