Friday, April 18, 2014

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki & Dragreder Set Part 4

It's dragon time

Done with S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki's look and details in the previous posting, it's finally time for the other, more heftier component of this action figure set to make an appearance in this review series. ^^

A straight out of box display of Dragreder.
Looks like the dragon is still sleeping! XD

Not merely an accessory for static display, or as mount rack for Kamen Rider Ryuki's handheld weapons, Dragreder is a fully movable and posable action figure in its own right, and that's the most amazing feature about it in my opinion. ^^ It's an luxurious addition to the content, and a major reason for me in getting this this S.H. Figuarts set, as mentioned in Part 1. ^^

By adjusting all of its movable segments - 12 in total, and its limbs, the dragon can be shown in a variety of poses. More impressively, despite its massive size, it doesn't feel heavy at all. The lightweight is certainly helpful in keeping the adjusted components in place, and allowing Dragreder to be displayed even without the use of the included display base set: ^^

Closeups on the details:


[Body - front]

[Body - back]


As mentioned in Part 1, the metallic red paint on the entire dragon is the most awesome feature of Dragreder to me. ^^ The shiny finishing of both the red and silver painted areas really gives the dragon a very luxurious appearance. Since it's designed as Kamen Rider Ryuki's "arsenal", there are a couple of components on Dragreder to be detached to form the rider's hand held weapons. Interestingly, those components are very well integrated with the overall design, so they don't look obvious as separable weapons at all. ^^ Even the tail, which is obviously Kamen Rider Ryuki's sword, features design elements such as the fuller's details, the cross-guard's shape, and the blade's overall curvy appearance that are identical to those on the main body. ^^ In many ways, those elements not only highlight how well the figure is produced in the first place, they are clear indications of how close it resembles the action CG dragon used in the TV series as well. ^^

And of course, another amazing, but very obvious attraction of Dragreder is its size. ^^ It's much bigger than Kamen Rider Ryuki itself, and that size difference can be seen very easily even when the two figures were unremoved from the plastic tray back in Part 1. Coupled with the metallic red color scheme as mentioned earlier on, it's just an amazingly beautiful figure to behold. ^^

Interestingly, this is not the first figure of Dragreder produced by Bandai. ^^ Back in 2006, Bandai released Dragreder as part of the fourth EX Mirror Monsters set, alongside Magnugiga (for Kamen Rider Zolda), and Volcancer (for Kamen Rider Scissors) for the Souchaku Henshin (装着変身) series. The design of Dragreder in that toy set looks almost identical to that of this S.H. Figuarts set, except for the head and overall paint scheme. I don't have Souchaku Henshin EX Mirror Monsters 04 to find out about this more accurately, but I do suspect that the main bodies of the two dragon figures are in fact the same, but the head of the S.H. Figuarts version has been redesigned to look closer to Drag Visor in the same set. On the other hand, a completely different design for Dragreder can be seen in the S.I.C. version of Kamen Rider Ryuki. Its head design is so radically different it made Dragreder look like a tiger, not a dragon in my opinion. ^^; Its size was also massively reduced for the entire dragon to be fitted in the package alongside parts to convert the figure of Kamen Rider Ryuki into its Survive form, which gave it a disappointingly tiny proportion when displayed alongside the rider. It's a case of trying to do too much for a single action figure set in my opinion. ^^; I'm just glad that none of the design elements used for the S.I.C. version was inherited by this S.H. Figuarts version. ^^;

By adjusting all the body segments via their respective ball joints, Dragreder can be "straightened" to reveal the entire figure's massive length. ^^

A "straightened" Dragreder. ^^

Overall length of Dragreder is close to 60cm!

Combination of "
∩ U ∩ U ∩ U" twisted segments to create the straight body.

Large ball joints connect between the segments.
The vertical slit on each of the joint's bases help to minimize the risk of the joint breaking when it's turned.

There's enough space between each segment for the ball joint to be rotated freely.

With its leg panels and tail removed, the segments can be bent to show Dragreder in a completely curled up pose. ^^

From the bottom, the body segments form a shuriken-like pattern. ^^

Apart from the movable body segments, Dragreder has plenty of other interesting gimmicks:

Like Drag Claw, the lower jaw of Dragreder can be opened/closed.

Neatly molded line details painted in metallic black form the palate, and floor of Dragreder mouth. ^^

Comparison with Drag Claw.
Proportion wise, it seems that Drag Claw is shorter, but wider at the same time to give it a more punching glove-look as one of Kamen Rider Ryuki's handheld weapons.

Dragreder has a wider jaw expansion as compared to Drag Claw as well.

Swivel and hinge combinational joints for the elbows/hips. The same flexible articulation range can be seen on the ankle joints as well, even though their designs are different.

The leg panels can be removed to form Drag Shields.

A small straight peg connects the armor panel to the designated body segment on Dragreder.

Said straight peg is actually sitting on top of a ball-type joint.

More images of the two Drag Shields.

The rear side of the armor panels is painted in matte black, which helps to emphasize the depth. This is a painting technique I usually perform on my Gunplas. ^^

To equip the armor panels onto Kamen Rider Ryuki, the two buttons on its shoulders must be detached first.

Much like the forearm buttons shown in Part 2, there are molded labels of "L" and "R" behind the shoulder buttons to help differentiate the side each of them belongs to. Funnily, the letters seem to be mirrored in appearance. ^^

Kamen Rider Ryuki equipped with Drag Shields.

Using the ball joints behind the panels, the shields can be posed in a very flexible range of positions.

The ball joints themselves can actually be removed.

Very accurate silver paintwork around the ball joints. ^^

Two handle parts with ball joints, which are not connected to Dragreder in any way will allow Drag Shield to become handheld weapons for Kamen Rider Ryuki.

With the handle part attached to vacant joint slot.
Attaching the hand unit to the handle before assembling the whole component onto the figure makes weapon configuration a lot easier than the conventional, "brute" method of attaching the shield to the figure. ^^

Kamen Rider Ryuki with handheld Drag Shields.

The tail is the only segment on Dragreder that is without a ball-type joint. Drag Saber can only swivel around the tail joint.

A straight peg that plugs into the pommel of Drag Saber also functions as its swivel joint as mentioned above.

Drag Saber.
Apart from its beautiful shape, the sword's detailing is amazing. ^^

Not exactly a sword per se, Drag Saber looks more like a scimitar instead. ^^

Closeups on the great details of the weapons.

One side of the handle has a patch of smeared excessive paint, but it doesn't affect the overall look too badly.

As mentioned in Part 2, there are two pairs of hand units for Kamen Rider Ryuki to hold the sword.

Subtle, but noticeable difference in the look of the handgrip due to the different palm cavities of the two hand unit types.
For that, the poses with the sword are going to be slightly different between the two hand unit types as well.

A preview of more sword action to come. ^^

A look at the Kamen Rider Ryuki's articulation design and posability next. ^^

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