Friday 17 October 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Jimber Lemon Arms

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Jimber Lemon Arms

Back in my Roborider review in August, I briefly mentioned how there were two Kamen Rider shows with figures being released this year where I was prepared to break my personal "only buying the Rider's base form" rule. One was obviously Black RX, and the other was of course Kamen Rider Gaim. With the series being as good as it was, there was just no way I could pass up some of the amazing designs they pulled off for the titular Rider's upgrade forms. The first of these was S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Jimber Lemon Arms (also spelt Jinba/Jimba, but I'm just going with Bandai's official spelling here), which saw the Arms designs begin to stray away a little bit from the straight fruit motifs the earlier ones had. This is also the only of Gaim's 'upgrade' forms to be released as Tamashii Web Exclusive, with the succeeding Kachidoki and Kiwami Arms coming as mass release figures. However Gaim Pine Arms will also be a web exclusive, making it likely that Ichigo (Strawberry) Arms will follow suit when it's announced.

Jimber Lemon Arms Box Front

Jimber Lemon Arms Box BackJimber Lemon Arms Insert Tray

Lemon Energy is a Lockseed flavour that gets around quite a bit. It's Kamen Rider Duke's signature lock, Gaim has one and then later even Baron gets in on the action. However it's a few months until Duke's figure is release, and even longer for Baron Lemon Energy Arms (unless you're lucky enough to be picking one up from the Tamashii Nations event at the end of this month) so Jimber Lemon is Figuarts' first foray into this citrus fruit.  So naturally what you get is a yellow-spined Tamashii web exclusive windowless box featuring a picture of the figure in front of a lemon cross-section. However the back is a bit more multicoloured, showing off a very special feature of this release that I'll go into detail about a little further down. To accommodate this special feature, the accessories are spread across two plastic trays.

Jimber Lemon takes the stage!

Figure front viewFigure back view

Posing Jimber LemonMore posing Jimber Lemon

Through combining the powers of the Orange and Lemon Energy Lockseeds with the Genesis Core, Kamen Rider Gaim gains a brand new arms that evens the playing field between him and the stronger New Generation Riders. Though the main differences with his base form is the Arms, Gaim's helmet also goes through a few aesthetic changes - the gold ears and crest change to silver, and the 'mouth' area on the helmet becomes black. Moving onto the armour, Jimber Lemon Arms is longer and bulkier than Orange Arms. The lemon panels stretch right down to the waist while Gaim also rocks some double shoulder pad action. The metallic orange is replaced by a rather striking black, making the lemon panels and silver markings across the armour stand out even more.

Sculpt-wise Jimber Lemon Arms is an extensive retool of the original Gaim figure, so the base body and articulation are just as excellent as they were on the first release. The arms themselves are a little more restricted thanks to the two lots of shoulder pads, but certainly not in any major way.

The various Jimber flavours

Lemon Energy!Cherry Energy!

Peach Energy!Melon Energy!

But the best thing about this release? You aren't just paying for Jimber Lemon Arms - you're getting all four Jimber variants in one sweet little package. Like the mass release Arms Change figure released earlier in the year, Figuarts Jimber Lemon features swappable panels to switch between the four variants. However unlike the AC figure, the panels come in the form of separate pieces rather than panels that cleverly fold up. So altogether you're getting Jimber Lemon, Jimber Cherry, Jimber Peach and Jimber Melon - the latter of which is particularly interesting as it never officially appeared in the show. This isn't the first time Figuarts have covered something that never appeared onscreen in a Kamen Rider show, but it's still pretty uncommon.

The panels are attached via ball/socket joints, so changing them is a simple case of popping them out of the socket and placing a new one in. This is great not just because its easy, but also because it gives the panels a little bit of articulation. They can swing in and outwards, as well as be repositioned if they're getting in the way of anything you're doing with the arms.

Jimber Lemon vs Bravo

Jimber Lemon vs Zangetsu ShinJimber Cherry vs Zangetsu Shin

While there's plenty of variety to rave about when it comes to actual forms, in terms of weapons unfortunately Jimber Arms isn't anywhere near as exciting. Rather than any signature weapon of his own, Jimber Arms simply follows the rest of the Energy Riders and has the rather bland Sonic Arrow. Therefore this figure comes with the same two versions of the weapon that came packaged with Zangetsu Shin - a basic version for general posing/melee use and an extended version for bow poses. It's a little bland seeing exactly the same thing once again (especially since completist collectors will be seeing it again a further four times), but the great paintwork and translucent plastic on the pieces make it a little easier to swallow. As an added feature, both versions have an indented section where you can clip on a Lockseed in preparation for a finishing attack.

The Genesis CoreThe tiny scale Lockseeds

This is usually the part in my Kamen Rider Gaim reviews where I talk about how the figure also includes a closed version of a Lockseed, but Jimber Arms does things a little bit differently and comes with a total of three alternate (open) Lockseeds. As you can probably guess these are the Cherry, Peach and Melon Energy Locks - all of which can be switched out with the Lemon Energy Lock already clipped onto the Driver. Throw in the open Orange Lockseed also on the belt (also removable) and that brings you to a grand total of five Lockseeds.  

Orange Arms and Jimber Lemon Arms

Face to FaceMore of the two Gaims together

Make no mistake Kamen Rider Gaim Jimber Lemon Arms is an utterly fantastic figure, and the addition of the three pairs of other Energy Lockseed panels really make it something special. So why only four out of 5? Well not only is it a web exclusive, but its also arguably the most forgettable of Gaim's three 'upgrade' forms. The changes to the body are the most minimal and it doesn't come with any unique weaponry, so kind of feels lumped in with the Energy Riders rather than being something special. Upgrade form figures are the kind of territory that mostly only completists dive down, with casual fans either not being interested at all or having better options to choose from. Gaim completists will find plenty to love about this figure, but if you aren't one of those people this isn't probably the last form that springs to mind. 

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