Thursday 18 January 2024

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kuwagata Ohger

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Release Date: October 2023
RRP: 7150 yen

While it's questionable whether we'll ever get full teams again, it's nice to know that the return of Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts wasn't a one-and-done thing. Since the franchise made its long-awaited return to Bandai Tamashii Nations' flagship toyline back in 2022 with Zenkaizer, we've gotten at least two figures from each succeeding series whilst the Shinkocchou Seihou range goes back and revisits some old favourites. With Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger taking over from Donbrothers in 2023, Bandai were quick off the mark to see that S.H. Figuarts Kuwagata Ohger was released before the series was over. Likely to be the only retail release from the series, Gira Husty will soon be joined by a Tamashii web exclusive Ohkuwagata Ohger release, however the rest of the main team seem much less likely.

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S.H. Figuarts Kuwagata Ohger comes in a very nicely designed box that matches up with the King-Ohger aesthetic, featuring gold trimmings and the Shugoddam Coat of Arms against a red backdrop. The front of the box features a window section to show off the figure, with the character name written upon it in white lettering. Below is a large bust-shot of the figure, together with the Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger series logo. On the back of the box you'll find a selection of images showing the figure off in various poses, and then inside both it and its accessories are laid out on their plastic tray. As per the standard for more basic Figuarts these days, the contents and parts-swapping instructions are printed on the inside flaps of the box rather than the usual paper leaflet.

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The first thing to say about S.H. Figuarts Kuwagata Ohger is that there's a whole lot of red here. While most Super Sentai costumes are neatly broken up with sections of white or black, almost all of the King-Ohger suits are a solid colour – with only really the strips of silver on the gloves/boots and black belt breaking up the flow. There's also of glossy plastic as well, with much of the figure coated with a glossy sheen that gives it a somewhat more toyetic yet nevertheless impressive look. Most of the helmet is dominated by that impressive Stag Beetle-shaped visor, with only tiny dots of metallic green on either side to add a little more colour. Another impressive detail is the Shugoddam Coat of Arms on the torso, which sits under a clear plastic window. The shoulder cape is made from soft plastic rather than wired fabric, which isn't all that surprising but still a little disappointing. While admittedly soft goods is more of Shinkocchou Seihou thing, when you're only making a handful of figures per Sentai series (and in King-Ohger's case, the second one is a repaint), it might be nice to see Bandai go that extra mile. The windswept sculpting on it does look good though, and ultimately if it isn’t affecting poseabilty too bad then soft plastic capes isn't inherently a bad thing. Though the belt is relatively plain (although again the Coat of Arms has been nicely tampographed on), it does have a holster that OhgerCalibur can slot onto.

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If there's one thing we've learned from the return of Super Sentai Figuarts it's just how far along articulation has come along in their absence, with these new releases far outclassing their predecessors. Kuwagata Ohger is another impressive offering, including; 
- Ball jointed head, neck, shoulder pads, waist, torso and wrists 
- Swivel hinge shoulders and ankles 
- Butterfly joint shoulders 
- Double hinge elbows and knees 
- "Drop down" ball jointed hips 
- Single hinge toe sections 
- Bicep and thigh swivels 
Usually the shoulder pad articulation is more of a throwaway note but here it has a big impact on the overall figure since the cape not being able to move well would affect the whole right arm. The pads are on the usual levered ball joint, which actually adds a lot of rotational movement and effectively allows the cape to be completely out of the way of the arm. It can look a little awkward at times it can either expose the joint underneath or a gap between the torso and arm, but in the right action pose it can make that billowing cape shine either though it's soft plastic. The rest of the body is largely to the usual high S.H. Figuarts standard, although the use of drop-down hips is a bit of a surprise. Here the drop isn't so large that it creates a big gap between the torso and legs, but seeing (as well as hearing) that loose cylindrical joint cover piece rattling around there is rather nostalgic. Hopefully the quality of these figures has improved to the point where loose hips won't be a prevalent issue when the figure begins to age a few years.

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Another hallmark of modern Sentai Figuarts is a fairly limited accessory count, and in this case Kuwagata Ohger is no exception. Altogether he comes with three additional pairs of hands (closed fists, weapon holding and open "posed" hands to compliment the default relaxed/open pair) and the OhgerCalibur. Though it may just be a single accessory one can't deny that Bandai really put their all into the sculpting and paintwork of the sword, featuring an impressive hilt with brown paint/moulded grooves to make it look like wood, intricate sculpting and colours on all of the individual switches and moulded detailing into the blade itself. As far as Super Sentai weapons go, it's probably the most detailed S.H. Figuarts have ever put out. It would have been nice if the Kings Weapon attachment had been included here, but Bandai being Bandai decided to include that (or at the very least the combined Naginata mode) with Ohkuwagata Ohger instead as extra incentive. The individual version definitely would have had a place here.

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S.H. Figuarts Kuwagata Ohger doesn't quite reach the same heights as Zenkaizer or Don Momotaro, but it remains further proof that Super Sentai Figuarts (or at least, Super Sentai Reds and whatever character Bandai want to release to go along with them) are back with a vengeance. This is another high-quality release that shows off exactly what the Figuarts line is all about, and even without his teammates Gira will look great alongside his brother or simply the previous Sentai Figuarts that have come before him.

1 comment:

Hibiki OS said...

Awesome pic of all the stag beetles! They really look like their own team.