Monday, April 14, 2014

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki & Dragreder Set Part 1

Stop looking so sleepy!

This next review series after 1/1 scale HoiHoi-san will be on an action figure set of considerable size. ^^

Originally released in August 2011, then reissued in May 2013 by Tamashii Nations, this is S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki and Dragreder Set. ^^ This is the original release version that I got not too long after it came out in Japan. Due to its "substantial" content, and the awesomeness expectable from that, this was one of hottest items on my to-get list after its initial announcement. Much like Super Robot Chogokin GaoGaiGar from the same pre-order, I was expecting it to be a hot cake for many action figure collectors, so I definitely wasn't going to risk seeing it being labelled as sold out before deciding to get it. ^^ From immediate reviews by Japanese hobbyists after its initial release, this action figure sets seemed to be as amazing as I hoped it would be, so I was very happy with my decision to pursue it right away when the pre-order was up. ^^

The content of this S.H. Figuarts set is the major driving force behind my purchase decision. I had only watched a couple of episodes of "Kamen Rider Ryuki" before its announcement, and I do like its Chinese dragon design motif, and red color scheme, but I don't really know the character all too well to like it. ^^; The same can be said about Figma Kamen Rider Thrust, and Kamen Rider Axe reviewed in 2012, and many, many other items in my collection actually. The same story was repeated in many reviews prior to this one, and will most certainly pop up again the future postings. ^^ With S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki, not only is the action figure included (obviously XD), an entire movable and posable personal dragon of the character, Dragreder is in as well. ^^ The large size of Dragreder is very awesome, but its metallic red color scheme with gold, silver and black detailing is the real irresistible selling point that prompted me in placing the pre-order. ^^ To be honest, if this action figure set was designed to only contain Kamen Rider Ryuki with some accessories and option parts, I would have given it a straight pass. ^^; In that sense, Dragreder is the more enticing element of this S.H. Figuarts set, even though it really is just another accessory for the action figure itself.

On a related note, if Dragreder was indeed left out of the content, this S.H. Figuarts set would be too similar to Figma Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. ^^; While it could be just Tamashii Nations trying to give the action figure a more accurate show depiction with the inclusion of Dragreder, since the dragon is an important element to some of his weapons and attack moves, I couldn't help but to speculate that it has more to do with rivalry between the two companies instead. ^^; The pressure to produce the more superior action figure version for Kamen Rider Ryuki (in all aspects possible) is definitely more on Tamashii Nations' side, since the Kamen Rider franchise is arguably the most emphasized releases in the entire S.H. Figuarts line. ^^ I made the same comment right after receiving this S.H. Figuarts set, and used S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Knight and Dark Wing Set versus Figma Kamen Rider Wing Knight as another example to illustrate my speculation. ^^ Given the gauntlet was seemingly thrown down for those two major characters of "Kamen Rider Ryuki" only, and not for some of the other side characters, I'm now leaning more towards the idea that Tamashii Nations were just trying to include more selling points for the S.H. Figuarts version of those two most important characters from the show, the most sellable one if you will, so that folks who already purchased the Figma equivalences would still be enticed to get them again, the S.H. Figuarts versions that is. ^^ As for those who have yet to make the final decision between the two versions, the content of the S.H. Figuarts version can become the deciding factor for the final purchase. On the other hand, another niche customer group, one perhaps the company didn't expect to "ensnare", consists of people like me who are interested in the dragon more than the character figure. XD In the end, this S.H. Figuarts set seems to be full of wins for Tamashii Nations. ^^

Still, the conspiracy theory of the two companies' rivalry, and Tamashii Nations' pride of being the main producer of Kamen Rider action figures is more fun to imagine though. XD

Due to the way the figure was initially packaged, its slightly tilted head makes the figure looks like he's dozing inside the box, which is really funny to see. ^^

Dragreder occupies more than half of the entire package space.

Stylized photo of the figure, character name, and emblem of "Kamen Rider Ryuki" on the front cover of the box.

The figure itself, and Dragreder can be seen clearly through the front window

Closeups on the content.

Characteristically simple design style for the sides, top and bottom. ^^

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.
The shattered glass effect matches the character background of Kamen Rider Ryuki perfectly. ^^

Comparison between the box size of this S.H. Figuarts set, and that of a regular release, Garo in this instance.
It's obvious to see that Kamen Rider Ryuki only needs a regular-sized S.H. Figuart package, perhaps smaller than that of Garo's if Dragreder is not included. ^^

Box open.

Top view of the box content.

Package content with the clear plastic cover taken off.

Closeups on Kamen Rider Ryuki's section.

Closeups on Dragreder's section.

Rear view of the box content.

With the display base set removed.

Closeups on Kamen Rider Ryuki's section.

Closeups on Dragreder's section.

A straight out of box display of Kamen Rider Ryuki.

The standard silver backdrop.

Configuration of the option hand units, weapons gimmicks, and arrangement of the display stand parts for Dragreder's display are shown on the instruction sheet.

Also sealed inside the pocket containing the folded instruction sheet is a set of five Advent Cards.

The removed display base set.

A look at some of Kamen Rider Ryuki's accessories and option parts (not including those currently mounted on Dragreder) in the next posting. ^^

No comments: