Friday 23 September 2022

Top 5: Most Wanted Kamen Rider S.H. Figuarts

Top 5: Most Wanted Kamen Rider S.H. Figuarts

We can all agree that while the Kamen Rider franchise is still a major part of the S.H. Figuarts brand, things aren't quite the same now as they were in the old days. With so many other anime, tokusatsu and movie titles incorporated into the line we perhaps don't see as many – or at least as many varied – releases as we used to. Nowadays even getting the final form of a titular Rider can be a struggle (poor old Kamen Rider Ghost Mugen Damashii). Nevertheless the wish lists for Kamen Rider S.H. Figuarts remain as strong as ever, so for this month's top five feature I'm counting down the things I'd like to see most from Bandai Tamashii Nations. For the sake of ease I've decided to skip over anything that's had a prototype shown off but never released, since arguably those are the things that deserve to be released the most. We'll get that Kamen Rider Saga one day…

5. Another Decade (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Another Decade
Kamen Rider Zi-O had its issues, but I think everyone can agree that its monster designs were absolutely top tier. The idea of kaijin versions of the Riders is something that had been done in fleeting over the years, but never with such dedication the way Zi-O did it. Honestly I would happily take ANY of the Another Riders that appeared in the series, but as the main villain of the series Another Decade seems like the most logical choice. On top of that I'd also argue it's one of the best – transforming our favourite pink magenta Rider into a true destroyer of worlds.

4. Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi
Straight off the bat with another Zi-O character, though most will probably argue this is a little more important than Another Decade. While we might not have got much in the way completism when it came to alternate forms (as tends to be the case for most Rider series these days), but it did pretty well in terms of characters themselves – other than this omission that is. Sure she only appeared in the final episode and didn't really do much, but Tsukuyomi was still a big part of the series and her becoming a Rider was a pretty big moment. Her appearance in the recent Kamen Rider Jeanne & Kamen Rider Aguilera with Girls Remix miniseries only cemented the need for her to get a Figuarts release. If the likes of Kivala and Abyss can get one (and at retail no less), there's no reason why she can't.

3. Ride Player/Ride Player Nico (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid)
Ride Player Nico
Kamen Rider Ex-Aid is another series that's done pretty well when it comes to releasing all of its cast. Sure it took a good few years to do, but even now they're still churning out Kamen Rider Genm forms every time he pops up in a new Toei Tokusatsu Fan Club special. But the Ride Player is something that remains a significant omission from the Ex-Aid range, which is all the more frustrating given how perfect it is for a Figuarts release. For a start it doesn't exactly require much in the way of new tooling, but secondly it's got that whole parts-swapping element that would make it all the more alluring. Not a fan of Nico? Then just swap the head and army build some standard Ride Players. It's a fun figure that might not have mass appeal, but would make a perfect Tamashii web exclusive.

2. More Civilian Riders
Civilian Riders
There was a brief period a few years ago where Bandai dabbled in releasing human/civilian versions of iconic tokusatsu characters, and the figures we got were actually pretty great. They released Takeshi Hongo (Kamen Rider 1), Dan Moroboshi (Ultraseven) and Retsu Ichijouji (Space Sheriff Gavan) but then suddenly stopped. I'm unsure whether it was because they simply didn't do that well or Bandai had felt they'd covered the basics, but it feels like a missed opportunity for them to stop there. The Kamen Rider franchise alone is rife with characters begging to be produced. Expected every titular Rider might be a bit much, but the likes of Hayato Ichimonji (Kamen Rider 2), Shiro Kazami (Kamen Rider V3) and Kotaro Minami (Kamen Rider Black/RX) feel like guaranteed sellers. Everyone has their favourites, so I think we can all agree that it's definitely an avenue that deserves further exploration.

1. General Shadow (Kamen Rider Stronger
General Shadow
It might just be that I'm still on a massive Kamen Rider Stronger kick from having watched the series a few weeks back, but General Shadow is easily one of the top contenders for "villains that absolutely deserve the S.H. Figuarts treatment". As easily the best character in Stronger and arguably one of the best villains in the whole franchise, Shadow deserves to join the likes of Apollo Geist and Ambassador Hell in that exclusive club of non-Rider villains that somehow managed to get made. Just give me that crafty swordsman in all his glory, complete with a deck of tiny playing cards he can showered in to recreate his dramatic exits. We know that a Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Stronger is on the horizon, so now is the time to act Bandai! Please don't let me down. 


What Kamen Rider characters would you like to see join the S.H. Figuarts line? As always let me know, as well as any ideas you have for future top give pieces, in the comment section below!

1 comment:

Oar said...

I guess it'd be cheating to say my wishes are for things that are 'probably' inevitable but will just take a very long time, like major power-ups and final forms. But thinking about Stronger again, the main hero along the likes of Shadow, Titan and Tackle would be amazing!