Saturday, July 27, 2013

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form Part 3

That one missing joint that becomes all too obvious

A look at S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form's articulation design after the previous posting. ^^

Turning the head to all direction is very easy

The neck joint features a combination of ball point and hinge to enable the flexible head movement shown above.
While it's new to me since this is my first S.H. Figuarts figure review, this type of joint seems to a standard design for the series as the same joint can be seen on the wrists as well.

In addition to the neck joint, the base of the neck itself can swivel around inside the collars.
A tight joint this is, the head needs to be removed in order to adjust the part. ^^;

Side-to-side and forward-backward bends are possible for the waist.

The upper body can also be flexed to the left and right.

Similar to the body design of Sci-fi Revoltech War Machine, the chest, abdomen and waist are all separate parts that can be adjusted individually on the figure.

Two on each side, the cape pieces can be hinged outward to show the cape's "expansion".
Since the joints are not directly connected to one another, you can configure the pieces separately to give the cape a "partial" expansion. ^^

Front view of the fully expanded cape.
The split between the left pieces is giving away the cape's secret. ^^;

The default pair of cape pieces are limited by the back armor when they are adjusted outward. The outermost two pieces (attached to the figure in the previous posting) however, having nothing to stop their movement, can be lifted outrageously high from behind. ^^;

The hinge joint that enables the movement of the default pair of cape pieces.

Oddly enough, the Fuestle set on the right hand side of the figure can be tilted forward, ...

... while the left set is completely fixed to the belt. ^^
I have no idea about the purpose of such a design. It could be a redundant articulation joint caused by the way the parts are connected onto the belt. ^^;

Ball-type joints allow the shoulder to be bent forward/backward, ...

... and upward/downward.

Lifting the arm upward from the side of the body is limited by the shoulder armor.

The shoulder armors are movable via hinge joints.

The upper arm can swivel around the shoulder joint.

Standard range of movement for the elbow bend I would say.

The elbow joint design of this S.H. Figuarts figure.

Very flexible wrist movements enabled by the same kind of ball-hinge combination joint used by the head as shown earlier on.

The hip joints' design is very unique: apart from the usual ball-type joints that connects the crotch to the legs, the hip joints are actually on hinges.

The hinges allow the legs to be adjusted upward/downward. As the joints are separated, the legs can be adjusted independently of each other. ^^

Very wide hip expansion enabled by the ball-type joints. ^^

While the tips on both thighs disallow a full sideways split, a full forward split can be performed easily by the figure. ^^

A nice bonus for the hips' articulation: separated thigh swivel is implemented. ^^

Without any armor part around the waist, the hips' wide articulation range is clearly illustrated again with the leg's capability to be lifted upward from the front of the figure for a wide degree.

Standard articulation range for the knee I would say.

A look at the double hinge joint design of the knee.
This is a standard design for all S.H. Figuarts figures as well I believe.

A simple ball-type joint for the ankle.

The front-most section of the foot can be hinged upward.

With all the flexible leg joints mentioned earlier on, it would be impossible for Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form to not be able to perform a good, natural-looking kneeling pose. ^^

The separation of the cape pieces is a very ingenious design to realize the cape's normal and expanded look I think. With the natural-looking waves and wrinkles molded and painted on the parts, the splits between the cape pieces are not too noticeable to affect the overall look as well. ^^ However, the lack of a joint to allow the cape to be lifted upward from behind seems like a glaring weakness to me. ^^; Perhaps to preserve the cape's look on the figure, or maybe to hide the hinge joint between the back armor and the default cape pieces, there's very little gap between the cape and the figure itself. As a result of that, when the cape is expanded, it limits the arms' range of movement in bending to the back. ^^; A joint that allows the cape be tilted upward would definitely be helpful to the arms in such poses. That articulation point would give the entire cape another awesome look I think. ^^

Interestingly, the same joint is actually available on Kamen Rider Dark Kiva from S.I.C. Vol. 54 Kamen Rider Ixa and Kamen Rider Dark Kiva set which was released half a year before this particular S.H. Figuarts figure. That joint works well on that figure, which features a much larger cape in comparison. ^^; It's unfortunate that the additional benefit seen on that S.I.C. figure wasn't inherited onto this S.H. Figuarts release. It would be great if it's included, but the absence of that particular cape joint doesn't retroactively makes this a bad figure, since there are so many other awesome points about it that can easily make up for that weakness.

On the other hand, the clear two-part design on S.I.C. Kamen Rider Dark Kiva as well as Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form is the more accurate representation of the cape as seen in the TV series I think. Then again, for that accurate look, the expansion gimmick that is possible on this S.H. Figuarts figure is not available for them. ^^;

A true example of give-and-take eh? ^^;

Some action poses of S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form utilizing the articulation design shown in this posting coming up next. ^^

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