Monday 3 November 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Kachidoki Arms

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Kachidoki Arms

When I first laid eyes on the promotional images for S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Kachidoki Arms, I knew that going the extra mile to buy form changes for the Kamen Rider Gaim figures was the right decision to make (possibly not for my wallet, but that's a different story). After Jimber Arms started dabbling in the Gaim suit evolving into something a little more than an orange-flavoured samurai, Kachidoki Arms takes this and runs with it even further by turning Kamen Rider Gaim into a one-man army of badassery. Make no mistake the orange theme is still very much alive in this form, but Gaim has gone full Shogun with heavy armour that covers almost his entire body.

Box Front

Box backInsert Tray

As one of the last mass release Kamen Rider Gaim Figuarts (Kiwami will also be mass, but after that pretty much everything left to come is mostly likely going to be a web exclusive), Kachidoki Arms comes in the typical window boxes all retail Figuarts are packaged in. As a normal orange shaped window was done with the first Gaim release, this switches things up a little bit by instead having an octagon-shaped window just like the orange on the Kachidoki later. The box also goes for a much darker orange colour scheme - both more fitting for the form and separating it from the other releases nicely. 

Kachidoki out of the box

Figure frontFigure back

Kachidoki close upIntroducing the DJ Gun

The Kamen Rider Gaim Figuarts seem to have already raised the bar significantly when it comes to what we can expect from the Tamashii Nations sculpting team, but Kachidoki somehow manages to amp that impressive standard up once again. Just look at how intricately detailed and carefully painted that armour is! We've got orange, gold, silver, black, red and blue all on show somewhere on this suit, and each colour seems to be as equally striking in its placement and usage. The base body is a reuse of the original Gaim suit, but it's covered by so much armour that to those unaware it could easily pass as a brand new figure. Of course the body has also received a brand new head with a more elaborate crest and faceplate combo, as well as brand new wrist guard sections that cover the lower arms and hands.

Looking at all this armour you're probably thinking that as ornate as this Figuart may be, the sheer bulk of it severely restricts the kind of articulation buyers have come to expect from this toyline. But that's where you're wrong! In fact, there's barely any articulation hindrance on this figure whatsoever. Both the skirt sections surrounding the waist are all hinged to move out of the way of the legs, while the huge shoulder pads use that clever combination of hinges and balljoints Bandai have been embracing for a lot of the Gaim Figuarts. Even the silver bars hanging down from the waist are made of a softer plastic so that the waist doesn't lose all movement from them being there. Considering that there's so much here that could potentially get in the way, its really impressive that Bandai seem to have come up with a countermeasure for them all.

The Kachidoki Bata

Striking with the Kachidoki BataBackshot sans flags

More Kachidoki Bata posing

The twin Kachidoki Bata flags are an interesting element of the figure, as they double as both decorative pieces that clip on to the back of the armour and actual weapons that can be held by the figure. Out of the box the flags are attached to longer handles for melee use as seen above, but these can be popped off quite easily. From there the flag pieces can be clipped onto the additional handles jutting out of the armours backpack, attaching in the same way that they do to the "weapon" handles. For extra accuracy, the pieces attached to the backpack can also be removed so that they aren't sticking out if you have your figure posed doing a bit of flag wielding.

Cloth pieces isn't really Figuart's style, so the flags are rigid pieces of plastic that are firmly attached to the frames. Whether or not cloth flags would have been a better thing to include is really down to personal preference, but Bandai have done a remarkable job in getting the plastic ones to look good. Sure they're pretty basic pieces of plastic with minimal detail, but the Gaim emblem printed on each of them looks flawless.

The DJ Gun in Taiken mode

Charging up the DJ GunTaking the finishing shot

Finishing move with Lockseed inserted

In addition to the previously mentioned Kachidoki Bata, the figure also has a fair few other accessories worth getting excited about. On top of the assortment of eight hands (four pairs), Kachidoki Arms comes with two distinct versions of his signature weapon - the DJ Gun. The first is the standard gun form of the weapon, while the second is it's "Taiken mode". The is formed when the DJ Gun is combined with Gaim's Musou Saber. The individual Musou Saber is absent from this release, so it makes sense to include a solid piece rather than a fiddly combining version. Both pieces are as beautifully detailed as ever, with the orange paintwork especially standing out amongst that black plastic. Both versions also have a dedicated space to plug the Kachidoki Lockseed (or any other Lockseed of your choosing) into, just like the previously available Musou Saber and Sonic Arrow accessories.

The KLS-01 LockseedThe lockseed close up

Then of course there's also the inclusion of a minature closed KLS-01 Kachidoki Lockseed, which even has ridiculously tiny text printed on it! This Lockseed can be switched out with the open version on the Sengoku Driver, as well as plugged in to either version of the DJ Gun included in the release. Of course, it can also plug into any of the other figure's drivers and weapons that have Lockseed ports, so if you like the idea of displaying your Gaim about to switch his Lockseeds out you're completely free to do so.

The forms of Kamen Rider Gaim

Gaim switches LockseedsKachidoki vs Baron

Kachidoki vs Zangetsu Shin

As we delve deeper and deeper into character upgrades, to me it becomes less clear what should be considered an "essential figure" and what shouldn't be. For example, Gaim Jimber Arms is really nice but at the same time doesn't feel all that different to standard Gaim (being a web exclusive doesn't help matters either). On the other hand, Kachidoki Arms is just flat out amazing. Tamashii Nations have superbly sculpted one of the most striking and complex forms in Kamen Rider Gaim, retaining that bulky look of sheer power while at the same time not losing any of that wonderful Figuarts articulation. And while based on the standard Gaim body, it's definitely different enough to stand on its own two feet as its own figure. Casual buyers may be more drawn to the forthcoming Kiwami Arms due to it being Gaim's final form, but trust me when I say Kachidoki Arms is not a figure you want to miss out on.

No comments: