With my glut of Transformers reviews over, I’m going back to take a look at a few imports that I passed over. Today’s figure was an impulse buy. I was itching to spend some money, so I took a chance on a couple of figures.
I’ve mentioned this in previous Kamen Rider reviews, but I know next to nothing about this series. I haven’t really watched the shows, and most of what I know is from whatever Wikis I look through. But I can’t help loving Showa era designs, and this show is no exception. The big grasshopper helmets, wacky monsters, and cheesy special effects are things I really appreciate, even if I didn’t grow up watching them.
Those of you who don’t collect these Rider figures also don’t realize how difficult it is sometimes. It’s not rare to see a preorder sell out in minutes or even crash large toy retail sites. So when I saw that Skyrider was still available a couple days after his release, I decided to try him out. I was pretty happy with all my other SH Figuarts, and he’d help keep my Kamen Rider 2 company on the shelf. (Poor Rider 2, he’s still waiting for Rider 1 to show up.)
From what I understand, Skyrider is the star of the sixth Kamen Rider TV series, but the eighth Rider in the lineage. Instead of a grasshopper, his design is based on a locust (although his scarf looks a bit ladybug inspired to me). He’s the first Rider with the ability to fly, thanks to his Gravity Reduction belt. He is also apparently one of the stronger Riders, since he had to pass a survival test by enduring the Rider Kicks of each of his predecessors. So he’s a pretty impressive character.
One of the things I really like about SH Figuarts is that all of the figures are designed in the same style, but they don’t necessarily have the same body type. Skyrider, Rider 2, and even Skull Crystal all share a similar makeup, but have completely different designs and sculpts to their costumes/bodies. Skyrider’s even a bit thinner and taller than the other two.
One of my favorite aspects of these Showa era characters is the design of their helmets. Like I said earlier, his design is based more on a locust than a grasshopper. This affects the overall shape of his helmet, making it thinner and giving him more slanted eyes. Speaking of eyes, his bug-like compound eyes have a bubbly crosshatched pattern underneath a dome of translucent red. I love this effect. Rounding out the interesting bits of his helmet, Skyrider has a couple of really long antennas and his “mouth” has a very vicious toothy shape to it. It definitely gives him a more menacing feel than Rider 2.
Skyrider’s belt is the second most detailed part of this figure. The belt itself is a separate piece which fits snugly over the figure’s waist. The center has a sculpted cyclone power source which is covered by a translucent piece. On each side of his belt are two knobs which are hinged and can be moved down to represent his flying action. Continue to page 2…