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Vault Review:
S.H. Figuarts’ Kamen Rider 2

I preordered Masked Rider months ago as an impulse buy. Unfortunately for me (but mostly for my wallet), I didn’t realize just how many of my preorders were going to be filled in the last month of the year! December’s already been an expensive month, and we’re only six days in!

I think I mentioned this in my Kamen Rider Skull Crystal review, but I’m going to reconfess it here too.  I have almost no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to the Kamen Rider series.  I’m more of a Super Sentai man myself.  So just bear with me Rider fans, and if I make a mistake then toss a correction into the comments section.

The second man to hold the Masked Rider mantle was a young photographer named Hayato Ichimonji.  In the TV series, a terrorist organization named Shocker kidnaps Ichimonji and tries to reengineer him into a reconstructed human in order to defeat the original Rider, Takeshi Hongo.  But Hongo was able to rescue Ichimonji before the transformation was complete.  Providing him with equipment and training to become Masked Rider 2, Hongo and Ichimonji fought side by side to defeat Shocker agents in Japan and around the world.

That’s about as much as I know of the early Kamen Rider series.  So you’re probably wondering why I bought this figure.  Well, it’s because I love that Showa era look.  Whether it’s Godzilla, Super Sentai, or Kamen Rider, I really enjoy the bright colors and campy style of the Showa era.  I originally tried to get Rider 1’s Figuarts also, but preorders sold out too quick.  So Rider 2 will have to do for now.

Like the few other Figuarts I’ve collected so far, Rider 2 has a clean and simple sculpt.  But with the way his body is designed, I’d put him more in the area with my Super Sentai Gokaiger figures than my Kamen Rider Skull.  The biggest differences is that Rider 2 has that sculpted uniform look, unlike Skull’s body armor.  There’s also the lack of metal feet, which I know not every Rider figure has, but it sure does help out when posing.

Rider 2’s helmet has a fantastic sculpt to it, and is probable the most detailed piece on the entire figure.  A layer of translucent red covers the sculpting of his bug-like compound eyes, while tiny raised rivets run underneath the black areas and down the center strip.  Even his two tiny antennae have sculpted ribbing where they bend upward.  Then there’s his magnificent teeth-like mouth plate, which makes him look like a smiling grasshopper.  Continue to page 2…

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19 comments to Vault Review:
S.H. Figuarts’ Kamen Rider 2

  • Jare

    I guess the orange motorbike is a Transformer as the pink one… It really fits him really well.

  • saintsyn

    It warms the heart to see Kamen Rider getting so much love this side of the pond lately! Being a Rider fan myself for a long, long time it always makes me smile to see others taking a liking to the characters…

  • Mirrored

    Actually there’s a lot of subtle differences between Rider 1 and Rider 2.

    If you actually look at them closely, you’ll see that 1 has two stripes going down each limb, while 2 has one large stripe.

    • Jare

      I know that’s way I said some “minor deco changes”, the silver paint is the more noticiable though… I guess they didn’t have much time to do another Kamen design to replace the original actor after it’s accident and just added some little changes.

    • Jare

      anyway Kamen 2 looks cooler too me, matching his boots and gloves with his “scarf” and belt

  • Rider Kick!

    He doesn’t come with a stand because Bandai hates you. Hates all of us actually. You are meant to run down to your local Bandai retailer and pony up a few hundred Yen for an Official Bandai figure stand, available in all manner of colors. Being a big-nose, blonde-haired, stinking of butterfat gaijin across the big water, you are not allowed this. 🙂

    Vault, I’m with you 100% on the love for the Showa Era. If you’ve never seen the opening for Kamen Rider, look it up. yes, there’s stuff that is silly to our modern eyes (such as seeming to use a Bandai Popinica KR cycle for a stunt jump across buildings!) but the sheer energy of KR going out and kicking the snot out of the baddies is pure crack to a kid (and we’re all still 8 years old deep inside, aren’t we?). You watch that opening credit and you KNOW you want to watch the whole show! 🙂

    Honestly, what I’ve seen of many of the recent KR shows, I’m not that impressed. They lack the manic violence of the past. And, ya know, they REALLY look like they should have been ‘Metal Hero’ shows, only they had to have the KR styling imposed on them. Does that make any sense?

    • AdventureVault

      Yeah, well tough luck for Bandai because I just ordered a couple of D-Stage sets. 😛

      How did I know you loved the Showa era. 😉

      That opening is pretty great. There’s just something about those retro shows that I really love.

  • MetaRidleyX

    HEY!!! Just so you know, figuarts Rider 1 can be attained through US AMAZON for the measly price of $30 + American shipping. Bluefin brought it over for us fans in the states!

    http://www.amazon.com/Bandai-Kamen-Rider-Shin-Ichigo/dp/B004UPIOMC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1323219701&sr=8-3

    Here’s the link! I hope you buy it!

    • Actually, that’s New Rider no. 1, which I *think* is from the recent movie.

      The actual Rider no. 1 is this:

      http://www.amazon.com/Figuarts-Masked-Rider-Action-Kamen/dp/B003JPAOHC/ref=dp_cp_ob_t_title_1

      now, wait…You know I think I’m wrong! I think Bandai and/or Amazon switched the names on these!

      *aarrggh* I hate that when it happens. Dammit, Bandai!

      • MetaRidleyX

        Okay, here’s the gist of it. The one I linked is Shin Ichigo 1 which is the slightly upgraded original suit ver, it’s the same as the one in this review except sliver gloves instead of red and a few other changes, and at this point it’s considered the “showa” Rider 1.

        The one you linked to is the first figuart ever released of Rider 1 which was based on then then coming out movie Kamen Rider: The First while the figure is fine, the movie is pretty terrible and that suit has a lot of differences from Shin Ichigo.

        Basically, get Shin Ichigo, it’s better in every way to The First!Ichigo

    • AdventureVault

      Oooooh, thanks Ridley!

      But my wallet and Girlfriend will probably hate you forever…

  • chopa

    Sad I didn’t preorder this or amazon or rider 1. Better hope on the V3 train so my life will feel less empty.