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…