Monday 10 July 2023

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Twokaizer

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Release Date: January 2023
RRP: 7700 yen

"Yo-ho-hoy- yo-ho-hoy- yo-ho-hoy-hoy! Hey! I am a World Pirate. In pursuit of treasure, I go from sea to sea! I am a pirate. In pursuit of freedom, I travel from world to world! I'll get my hands on it no matter what! And now I'm an S.H. Figuarts! Yo-ho-hoy!" The Super Sentai franchise returns its grand return to the S.H. Figuarts line with its second release from Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger - S.H. Figuarts Twokaizer! In the absence of the rest of the core team World Pirate Zocks Goldtsuiker joins Zenkaizer as a Tamashii web exclusive release, the first for Super Sentai Figuarts in some time.

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S.H. Figuarts Twokaizer comes in the usual windowless Tamashii web exclusive packaging, done up in some bold gold colouring which compliments the red and black lettering/logo work nicely. The front of the box features a nice big image of the figure, alongside both the character name and Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger series logo. Both sides of the box also feature Twokaizer's personal emblem at the top. Turning it around the back switches to a more commonplace white backdrop, featuring more images of the figure in a series of action poses. Open it up and the figure and accessories are neatly laid out on a moulded plastic tray, while the instructions are printed on the inside flaps of the box rather than their own separate sheet. This is becoming more common with S.H. Figuarts but certainly still not a set rule, so presumably it's just happening on any figure requiring minimal guidance.

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The first "sixth" ranger to be released by S.H. Figuarts in some time (the last was Kyoryu Gold all the way back in 2014), Twokaizer is every bit as flashy as one could hope for. Anyone who was a fan of the Gokaiger suit design (and why wouldn't you be?) is going to love this, with the suit practically being "Gokai Gold" but with some extra Zenkaiger flare thrown in for good measure. Given the time elapsed since the original Gokaiger figures this release has absolutely nothing in common with them, sporting far superior proportions and sculpting. The Gokaiger symbol on the torso being raised and moulded rather than just a tampograph is a very nice touch. The colours on the figure are great too, with the bright red of the suit trim, gloves, belt and boots standing out nicely against the more coordinated gold and black. One thing that might seem a bit off initially taking Twokaizer out of the box is that the gold of the suit is a slightly different shade to that of the shoulders and helmet, but that does seem to be how it is on the show as well - it's just a little less pronounced on film.

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Though the design and inspiration behind the two characters might be quite different, underneath all the Gokaiger flavouring Twokaizer shares the same base body as Zenkaizer – and that's certainly nothing to scoff at given how good Super Sentai Figuarts have gotten since their return. Altogether he features; 
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso, waist and wrists 
- Swivel hinge shoulders, hips and ankles 
- Butterfly joint shoulders 
- Double hinge elbows and knees
- Single hinge toe sections 
- Bicep and thigh swivels
As always, the shoulder pads are also attached to raised, pin-mounted ball joints that give them some degree of movement independent from the arm. Admittedly it's not a whole lot in this case though, since those big long shoulder pads do get in the way of fully raising the arms simply by the nature of their design. Since they extend all the way into the torso as well, there wasn't really much way around it short of putting a noticeable joint cut in there. But that really doesn't matter, but there's still plenty of poseability to be gotten out of this figure. Like Zenkaizer the head can be a little tricky to work with at first because of the popped collar, but this figure is definitely able to pull off the showy side of Twokaizer's posing as well as the more action-orientated side. The jacket tails that surround the hips are made of soft rubbery plastic, flexing out together with the legs for the full range of motion as well tucking back when the legs are brought back in.

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Much like Zenkaizer, there aren't any real surprises to Twokaizer's accessory count – covering all the important ground rather than throwing out any surprises. Altogether the set includes four additional pairs of hands, the "World Thief Transformation Gun" Geardalinger and a swappable blade piece for the Geardalinger so that it can be wielded in sword form. The choice of hands on offer here is very good, including closed fists and weapon holding hands alongside a couple of posed signature display hands. Twokaizer is even able to pull off a convincing cross-armed pose without the need for a solid arm piece, which shows just how far we've come since the release of Gokai Red back in 2011. The Geardalinger has been nicely scaled down to Figuarts size and although missing a few details and/or paint apps here or there overall has all the key details of the weapon down perfectly. The steering wheel can also be turned a full 360 degrees, just like the crank on Zenkaizer's Geartlinger. Swapping between sword and gun modes is a painless exercise of removing the folded-down blade piece and inserting the full-blade in its place, and while each piece locks in tightly they both also come out without any worry of breakage. Once again there's sadly no Sentai Gears included with the figure, but given the size they'd have to be it's no surprise they were omitted. It might not seem like a lot, but for a standard form Twokaizer figure it's hardly lacking either.

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S.H. Figuarts Twokaizer is another perfect example of Super Sentai Figuarts coming back with a vengeance. Sure we're sadly still not at the point where we're getting full teams again, but Twokaizer is both a great compliment piece to Zenkaizer or a fantastic figure to have on his own. In fact, even if Gokai Red hadn't just gotten a Shinkocchou Seihou release this mould would also be ideal for a range of renewal Gokaiger figures. Brilliant sculpting, vibrant colours and a great range of accessories – sure there's a couple of articulation hindrances here and there brought about by the design, but nevertheless this figure is every bit as good as Zenkaizer and then some. In a perfect world this wouldn't be it for Zenkaiger Figuarts (and if nothing else I hope at least StaCeasar gets a figure one day), but if it is two wonderful releases is certainly better than none at all.

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