Tuesday 3 March 2015

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider V3

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider V3

It's no secret that Bandai Tamashii Nations is running out of Kamen Rider figures to do. Despite having a plethora of movie-exclusive characters still to do as well as various other bits and pieces from across the franchise's 44 year history, in terms of titular Riders there's only a handful left to go. And so to draw out their main cash cow even further, the S.H. Figuarts line has turned its attention toward the numerous bikes that are still left - particularly those from the Showa era of the franchise. Most of these have come in form of web exclusive sets, but some of the more popular ones have managed to escape that and return to retail release once again (in the form of both two-packs and separate reissues). The end of 2014 saw Riders 1 and 2 receive this treatment, so it's no surprise to see their direct successor Kamen Rider V3 reissued to accompany his bike - the Hurricane

Box Front

Box BackInsert Tray

Kamen Rider V3 comes in a box that's laid out in an identical way to his fellow Showa era Riders, though this time decked out in his signature green, red and white colourscheme. It's about as basic as S.H. Figuarts boxes come, but feels rather fitting for a such a veteran Rider. The red backing card makes a whole lot of difference to the overall look too, simply for being something a bit different than the generic silver one included with almost every Figuart save for a few special exceptions. As a pre-Kamen Rider W Rider, the packaging also labels the character as a "Masked Rider" rather than a "Kamen Rider" (as is the case for any merchandise with the name printed on in English). For newcomers to the line (or franchise in general) this is probably a little confusing, but after a while you barely notice it. Besides, unless you're a MISB collector how much time are you spending looking at the box anyway?

V3 arrives on the scene

Figure frontFigure Back

Ready for actionPunching the airHenshin!

Kamen Rider V3 has a rather interesting design, and judging by that high collar one that's also very much a product of it's time. By retro aesthetics aside, V3 suitably looks like the next step up from the original Kamen Riders with his dragonfly-like motif, more elaborate costume, segmented armour pieces and double muffler action. This figure is a near-perfect representation of V3's in show costume, even getting that crumpled fabric stripe running down the helmet just right. The green bodysuit is perhaps a little darker than it is in-show, but on the toy this helps bring out those wonderfully vibrant compound eyes. His articulation is loaded with balljoints in the head, neck, shoulders (which also swing out), hips (the classic Figuarts "swing down" variety), wrist and ankles - with double hinge joints rounding things off in the elbows and knees. The muffler pieces are also connected via balljoints, and so are able to move side to side for more dynamic posing.

An interesting little addition to this figure is the articulated silver breast plates, which are so well hidden that you'd barely notice they're there unless you accidentally knock them. They don't have a whole lot of movement to them, but the little they can move makes a whole lot of difference when putting the figure into poses where the arms need to stretch inward or toward the opposite side. Despite many considering this body type to be outdated when it comes to Kamen Rider Figuarts, V3 proves that it still has its merits and still makes for a damn good figure.

The V3 Hopper

Pointing out evilMore V3 HopperInto the air

Leaping into action

Alternate hands are never usually a particularly exciting part of an S.H. Figuarts package. It's certainly a case of "the more the better", but being such a standard accessory more often than not you get exactly what you expect. Yet somehow V3 manages to make alternate hands seem like a really exciting thing. It isn't that there's an overwhelming amount of them (13 is definitely impressive, but other figures also come with that many too), it's the sheer range you can get out of them. There's fists, open hands, various henshin pose hands, two sets of "holding things" hands, even a pointing hand! This figure really does come with everything you'd realistically expect from a Kamen Rider V3 figure and more. Which is just as well, because in terms of other pieces the next few items are rather small. As well as two alternate windswept mufflers, V3 also comes with a loose version of his V3 hopper (along with an alternate empty pouch to switch out on the belt). For those unfamiliar with the series, this is a mini-satellite which can launch into the air and then relay images back to V3's matrix eye. As an accessory it's little more than a tiny piece of plastic with the V3 logo carefully sculpted into it, but it's further proof of Tamashii Nations will deliver key accessories no matter how small they are.

V3's effect part

Effect part closer upMore effect part goodness

But like his Double Rider predecessors, V3 also comes packed with a rather impressive rider kick effect part! This particular one is moulded in translucent red plastic, and considerably more involved than the simple one-piece part included with Riders 1 and 2. Though the instructions only picture it being made up of three parts, the whole effect is made up of four different parts that clip together securely around V3's leg. It can be a little confusing at first thanks to the vague instructions, but quite easy to get the hang of eventually. Of course the effect part is also compatible with most other Figuarts, allowing you to build up a steady collection of parts that can be used as you see fit.

With Riders 1 and 2

With KikaiderAgainst the wrong enemy

With so many collectors now talking about what does and doesn't need a renewal figure (be it standard or a premium Shinkocchou Seihou release), it's really nice to find yet another figure that age hasn't seem to affected. Five years can be a long time for a Figuart to go from cutting edge to yesterday's news, but Kamen Rider V3's recent reissue has shown this is one Rider that's still just as good as when he was first released. Taking what made the original two Kamen Rider figures so good and pushing it even further, V3 is a great looking figure tons of personality and a wonderful accessory set to boot. Even though such an important character should be an integral part of anyone's Kamen Rider collection to begin with, this is a figure that just doesn't disappoint. 


Artriven said...

Great review mate and I love V3 as well,the accessories that come with him are also very damn well

Raider Drive said...

nice review bro
love this figure for collection XD

thanks a lot