My last toy-related loot from Japan was Kamen Rider Skullcrystal from a shop in Nakano Broadway. It was a used toy and the price was surprisingly cheap. The label also wrote that the toy was sold as-is but I looked through the box as hard as I could and it seemed like there weren’t any missing or damaged parts. Sometimes you have to take a little risk when you buy secondhand goods.
Narumi Sokichi, boss of Hidari Shotaro and Narumi Akiko’s father, transforms into Kamen Rider Skull. Kamen Rider Skull is a movie-only character and his badass-ness has made him quite popular. He has been released as an exclusive before and along with his second appearance in Movie Wars Core, Bandai released him again with a different head and still an exclusive.
I did not pay for a middleman service to order these exclusive figures when I had the chance to as I used to be worried of opening up yet another avenue of wallet damage. Not that it helped much since I still have an exclusives collection that has so far been limited to used toys.
Like newer themed SH Figuarts packages, the box has a nice black and silver foil color scheme.
Package contents. I found out that this figure was missing one part – a clear cap that goes between the head and the hat to prevent paint transfer. Luckily it wasn’t any other missing or broken parts. I remedied the situation by sticking tape on the insides of the hats.
Anyway, you get the Skull Magnum, two fedora (I think?) hats, an extra head, two types of scarves and 4 extra pairs of hands.
Overall views. Compared to the first version, Skullcrystal has a matte finish just like Kamen Rider Joker (another exclusive figure that I probably should have preordered as well). Also, the scarf is made of flexible plastic and held in place by pegs on the collar.
Skullcrystal head. This form appears during Narumi Sokichi’s involuntary first transformation. I can’t really figure out how the head is painted. It appears to be made of clear plastic that is painted with a really thin coat of silver or white.
Normal Skull head. On my particular figure there is a tiny speck of silver paint near the bottom of the right eye. I do not have the first version to compare to but I believe the head sculpt for both normal and crystal heads have been modified to look more accurate.
The base body is identical to Kamen Rider Double and its variations. The paint job on some areas like the left shoulder pad is a bit rough.
However the Lost Driver is painted in great detail.
The wrist and ankle braces have their own unique pattern and aren’t simply copies of Joker’s braces.
I am not very particular about diecast feet, but Skull has matte-painted diecast feet.
Since I don’t have any other Double variations, I’ll write up on Skull’s articulation. Due to the scarf the head can’t really look down.
Standard range of motion for the arms and legs. The waist joint is able to rotate all the way around.
Skull Magnum. It is nicely molded and painted but unlike Kamen Rider Double LunaTrigger you cannot recreate its Maximum Drive finisher as only the gun in normal mode is provided.
Smooth Criminal hat. It comes with both the original hat and a damaged version which appears during Skull’s/Sokichi’s debut in the TV series and first Double movie.
A wind-blown scarf for those days Skull needs to look cooler than cool.
Just copying some scenes from Skullcrystal’s first fight.
Don the hat for maximum cool.
You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by, a smooth criminal.
Time to count up your sins.
Sssskaaru Mashimom Drybew football kick~
I read on some forums that quite a few people new to SH Figuarts ordered Skull as their first figure even if they had no idea what Kamen Rider is. Skull’s appearance alone is enough to warrant a buy for many people who dig the color scheme and hat of awesomeness. Skullcrystal is also a nice improvement over its predecessor with a matte finish, improved head sculpt and extra head. With the fairly decent Double base body, it’s probably one of the better SH Figuarts figures out there. Unfortunately its exclusiveness may be a barrier to people, but Bandai has essentially given him a re-release so if you want to get him, you may have to hunt used toy stores before his price goes up again beyond affordability.
I think there’s something wrong with my internet connection. For the past week I’ve been unable to upload anything without trying multiple times. The images in this post alone took over 4 hours to upload and insert. The uploader and dialogs just refuse to load when I click on them. Ugh.