Tuesday 12 March 2019

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Todoroki

Release Date: January 2019
RRP: 7020 yen

Though it often feels sidelined due to its mid-series retooling or simply how different it feels to the other Heisei era Kamen Rider shows, it's nice to see Kamen Rider Hibiki getting the love it deserves as far as the S.H. Figuarts line is concerned. It's crazy to think that nearly five years have passed since Bandai Tamashii Nations released the titular Rider as part of the Shinkocchou Seihou line, but in their usual display of "better late than never" 2019 will be the year the show's core line up will be completed in figure form. Last summer saw the release of Kamen Rider Ibuki, and now Bandai are kicking off the new year with the release of S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Todoroki. As was the case with Ibuki this is another Tamashii web exclusive release, and as you can probably guess Kamen Rider Zanki will be following in similar fashion in the coming months.

Like the (now quite numerous) other S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou releases there's been over the past few years Kamen Rider Todoroki comes packaged in a high quality two-part box, with the lid featuring a close-up headshot of the figure inside. Although just how nice that green bodysuit is doesn't quite show up on the image, it does give a nice detailed look at the silver "face" markings and his second Oni face head crest. On the bottom part of the box are a handful of the images showing the figure off in various poses, and then inside you'll find both the figure itself and its accessories spread across two clamshell trays. The top one holds Todoroki, and then underneath is a thinner one holding all of his accessories.

If you've had any experience with the previous two Hibiki releases (and if you're picking up Todoroki, odds are you have), you'll know pretty much what to expect here. The thoroughly un-Rider like body of the Hibiki One is just as wonderful as ever, in all its sculpted muscly glory. Though the colour scheme isn't quite as flashy or as Hibiki's or striking as Ibuki's blue and gold arrangement, its the kind of colour scheme you just come to appreciate more and more as you look at it. The metallic green body isn't a particularly common shade so not only looks unique, but really goes well with the leathery brown of the codpiece for a nature-y look. The silver for the forearms and face markings combine with it really nicely, and then you have the added red highlights on top of that to make it that little bit more eye catching. While the chest flourishes on all of the Hibiki Riders are great, there's something especially cool about Todoroki's fret board sash and the silver and red colour combination help sell it all the more. The sculpting crown jewel however is the Oni face head crest, which has been moulded to perfection and sits proudly as the head's centrepiece. As was the case with the previous figures, the central component of the belt (the Ongekishin Raigou) can also be removed for extra accuracy.

The changes between the three Hibiki Rider suits are mostly cosmetic, so in terms of articulation there isn't any real change here from that of Hibiki or Ibuki – and if you own either of those you'll know this isn't a bad thing. So like his fellow Oni Todoroki features a ball jointed head and neck section, ball jointed shoulders with articulated shoulder pads, double hinge elbows, ball jointed wrists, ball jointed chest and abdomen/waist sections, ball jointed hips, double hinge knees, ball jointed ankle rockers and finally single hinge toe sections. If you want to get picky newer figures would probably throw bicep and upper leg swivels on top of that, but the Hibiki bodies really do capture that human-like movement the Shinkocchou Seihou line strives for. Maybe it's just because the bodies feel practically naked compared to other Riders, but when you look back to when the line first started and Bandai were showing off all those images of the figures being originally sculpted on top of scale skeletons, Hibiki is the figure I immediately think of.

But what makes these Kamen Rider Hibiki releases even better are the sheer amount of accessories the figures come with. The Shinkocchou Seihou line does a fairly brilliant job of including all the main essentials as it is, but Bandai really seem to go the extra mile with this series. On face value it might seem like Todoroki comes with a little less than Hibiki or Ibuki, but when you compare them in terms of quality, size and plastic content then he's definitely on par. Among his accessories are a clip on Disk Animals hook for the belt, eight additional hands, an alternate Kigen Onjou transformation device with the cords extended out (which can peg onto the wrist in place of the closed version mounted in-package), his signature Ongekigen Retsurai guitar-weapon and an larger-sized version of the Ongekishin Raigou to go with it. As you'd expect from this line the detailing on the guitar is immaculate, with all the metallic colours popping just as they should and the strings and fret boards cleanly painted on. Straight from the package the Ongekigen Retsurai is in its closed "blade attacking mode", but the sides of the body can be swung outwards and when the Ongekishin Raigou is pegged on forms its actual guitar mode. Figuarts has always been great for including all the different modes certain weapons can take, but the ones that are able to freely transform like this and don't require any parts swapping are always the most fun. Even if you're not that familiar with Todoroki or Hibiki as a series, there's just something undeniably cool about a guitar-wielding Kamen Rider. The left hands have been perfectly moulded to ensure a firm grip on the guitar even when held one-handed, so Todoroki is free to shred the Sound of Purification to his heart's content.

Rounding off Todoroki's accessories are three Disk Animals – namely the Ryoku Ozaru (Green Ape), Seiji Gaeru (Celadon Frog) and Kogane Okami (Gold Wolf). The disks don't actually transform into their respective animals, so are only identifiable from their colour and (impressively intricate given their size) markings. Different Disk Animals were previously released with Hibiki, but were curiously omitted from Ibuki despite him not really having that many more accessories than the others. Maybe two different weapons and an alternate face took up more plastic? Whatever the reason, it’s nice to have a few more included here even if the odds of posing Todoroki with them over the Onigekigen Retsurai seem pretty unlikely.

After already two fantastic outings for this mould, it's not all that surprising to find that S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Todoroki is yet another winner. Despite now being one of the oldest Shinkocchou Seihou bodies the mould still stands up to the more recent releases, as that leaner toned body offers up something a little different to the usual Kamen Rider fare. And while Todoroki might not be as instantly a cool a character as either Hibiki or Ibuki, the fact remains that he comes with a transforming guitar weapon and that’s undoubtedly one of the coolest accessories Figuarts have ever put out. The Kamen Rider Hibiki Oni just all have insanely cool designs that have been crying out for high quality figures for years – and though it may have taken Bandai a while you certainly can't argue with those results.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kamen Rrider Build Movie review is not on the list of Toku Review! Nice review by the way