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Vault Review: S.H.
Figuarts Shocker Combatmen

Those of you who’ve read my Kamen Rider reviews already know that I’m not a huge fan of the series, but I really love the designs of the Showa era Riders.  So I’ve been picking them up here and there and setting up fun scenes at home with them all palling around.  But now my Riders can finally see some real action with Bandai’s release of the Shocker Combatman.

Shocker was the Big Bad in the original Kamen Rider series.  They were the typical evil organization bent on taking over the world, and their Combatmen were the grunts in the field who took the majority of the punches and kicks that the Riders would dish out.  Some of these soldiers were humans who had been modified with technology, while others were simple automatons that obeyed every command.  Either way, the job was always the same: Use your body to stop the Rider’s fist.

I’ve been waiting for Bandai to do grunt soldiers like this for a long time.  While I would have preferred seeing the Putty Patrol first, the Shocker Combatmen still have that great generic look that really makes a nice punching bag for any of my Figuarts.

While the black jumpsuit costume is simple, there are still little sculpted details like wrinkles and muscle bulges, and the boots and gloves also have a similar design to what is seen on other Rider/Sentai figures.  His official Shocker belt is the most detailed element on the figure, and its sheer size would make any professional wrestler a bit envious.

I really only have two problems with this figure.  First is his expression.  While the head sculpt portrays the classics luchador-like mask, the face itself is entirely boring.  With the half open eyes and shut mouth, the Shocker troops look more sleepy than threatening.  This figure really could have used a couple of alternate heads or face plates, especially since he’s an army builder.  Additional angry and “I’ve-just-been-Kamen-Rider-punched” faces would have really made this figure exceptional.

The other issue I have with the figure is its size.  When compared to their fellow Showa era figures, the Combatmen are noticeably taller.  Even compared to the more modern styled Crystal Skull Figuarts, the Shocker troops still hover just above a normal height.  I’m not really sure why Bandai did this, but it doesn’t seem right that these beat-‘em-up grunts look more imposing than the heroes.  Continue to page 2…

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12 comments to Vault Review: S.H.
Figuarts Shocker Combatmen

  • Ebon

    The knife is called a Khukri.

  • We seem to be on opposite ends of the Kamen Rider spectrum, Vault. I love Kamen Rider, but I’m not a fan of the Showa era designs. They look like what they are; goofy 70’s style designs, with bulbous proportions belying not only the styles of the time, but the limitations of the materials and technology available to fabricate them. Not my cup of tea at all. The more modern designs look a ton sleeker and more combat ready. Some of them, anyway. Kabuto, Faiz, and many others look great, but I can’t get behind the “video game controller” aesthetic of Fourze, or the “samurai fruit” theme of Gaim.

  • Brainlock

    “‘Bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep nini bong’? What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “I didn’t say anything. You’re hearing things again.”

    😉

  • J. Lee

    After watching Super Hero Taisen been on a kick for Riders and Sentai. Been watching alot and also Gokaiger: The flying Ghost Ship and all the cannon fodder in that wanting revenge on being beaten was a crazy scene.

    So know what mean but, the Black Army may get their minions first. The zyuranger versions of the putties were creepier than the US ones. Popping up from the ground and grabbing like zombies underground. So any would be good.

  • MadDemon64

    The coin you mentioned is actually a cell Medal from Kamen Rider OOO. I think it has to do with the move where all the Kamen Riders (this has been pretty much standard ever since the Decade Rider War I think) team up to fight an enemy team, and in the one OOO was in, basically the final battle was the big bad for that movie against OOO using the “Tamashii” combo, constructed out of the Taka (Hawk) head, Shocker legs (a medal was apparently made in the movie) and oddly enough Imagin torso plucked from Momotaros (I would question this, but then I remember this is Kamen Raider Den-O we are talking about).

  • Evil Ed

    Great review. My Combatman is in the mail. Where could a fellow like me get my hands on a motorcycle with a sidecar like the one you have pictured?

  • saintsyn

    The coin is a plot device from one of the movies. Den-o and OOO travel back in time and OOO accidentally drops one of his cell medals. This changes the future and when Den-o and OOO return to the future Shocker has taken over the world…

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