If there’s one line I collect for no discernable reason, it’s definitely SH Figuarts Kamen Riders. I’ve never seen any of the series and know next to nothing about the characters, but for some reason I really love the Showa Era designs, especially with the amazing articulation of a Figuarts.
My most recent purchase in the quest to have a complete Showa roster is Riderman, who is a pretty unique character in Kamen Rider history. He is recognized as the official fourth Rider, yet he never had his own TV series and instead appeared as a supporting character in Kamen Rider V3’s. He is the only Rider to have a partially exposed face. He also departed from the first three Riders by relying on a combination of intelligence and utilities housed in his prosthetic arm instead of superhuman strength.
Riderman’s character was also more complex than his predecessors, becoming more of an antihero than a clean cut good guy. He started out as a loyal scientist to the evil organization Destron. But he was accused of treason by a jealous colleague and lost his right arm while being tortured. Even after all that he was still loyal to Destron, and only sought revenge against the one who betrayed him. It wasn’t until V3 showed him the truth about the organization that he joined the fight to stop Destron.
Riderman is done in a more realistic style than some of the previous characters. He actually looks like a little person in a costume, with all the little wrinkles and frumpyness that entails in certain areas. I actually like this more than the super sleek, almost cartoon-like proportions of some of the other characters. His belt and upper torso are also nicely detailed with sculpted line work and small details like button and pouches.
The more realistic portrayal works especially well with his head sculpt. His facial sculpt looks a bit plain, but there are very subtle details that allow his expression to change depending on what angle you’re looking at. This is such a rare quality for a toy to have, and I really appreciate when a sculptor can bring this aspect out in a figure instead of the static looks that most toys get.
One other interesting thing to note is that while Riderman does have bulging helmet eyes, they aren’t compound bug eyes like his comrades. Definitely a nice little touch to literally make him more human than the other Riders.
Like most SH Figuarts, Riderman’s articulation is insanely awesome. His head, neck, upper chest, waist and ankles are all ball joints. His shoulders are swivel/hinges attached to a ball joint, while his hips are ball joints attached to hinges. His elbows and knees are double hinged. His wrists are swivel/hinges. He’s got swivels at his biceps and thighs, and his toes are hinged. If all that’s not enough, they also gave the pectoral pads on his suit ball joints so they don’t get in the way of his arm articulation. Continue to page 2…