The release date of SH Figuarts Masked Rider 1 coincided with my Japan trip, but when I was at the toy stores in Akihabara he was all sold out, and I saw signs saying something like, “1 per household please”. Back at home I saw him on sale and got him without much thought. I guess every collection needs an anchor and just like a Gundam collection needs at least an RX-78-2 Gundam, Masked Rider 1 (or for those who prefer it, Kamen Rider Ichigo) would play the same role.
Unfortunately due to my poor internet connection I took many hours to get my pictures uploaded, and I’m currently into my second week of school. To make matters worse I am also overloading this semester, so I had to quickly snap pictures of my new toys before I got real busy with school work. That diminished my enjoyment of them a little as I thought it would be more fun if I could open them up at my own pace.
Personal nonsense aside, it’s on to the review proper.
Masked Rider 1, or Kamen Rider Shin Ichigo (仮面ライダー新1号) has a brand new packaging style with far greater window area. It’s a nice, refreshing change and makes the toy look more expensive than it is. I guess Bandai might adopt this style for the rest of the Showa Riders, leaving Black, Black RX and Shadow Moon in the lurch. It is also slightly thicker than normal Figuarts packages but surprisingly, I got this one for a fairly cheap price compared to say, those from the OOO series.
Being the first Rider he doesn’t have many accessories. It is surprising to see Bandai try very hard to raise the accessory count by including the sword which appeared only once when he took it from a Shocker grunt in battle (I think?). He comes with 3 pairs of hands, a right hand for his signature pose, a scarf attachment, the sword and the Rider Kick effect part, the reason behind the thicker package.
Overall views. For the figure itself, Bandai have really outdone themselves on this one. Even more so if you compare him to the first images of the prototype Showa Riders on display years ago. He really looks like his live counterpart (ie. not anorexic) and even his head is accurately sculpted. This is pretty great as I find that many Figuarts heads are actually quite inaccurate, with thinness being the number 1 disease. The paint job is flawless.
Just look at how beautiful his compound eyes are. They are painted in a nice, deep clear red. Even Ultimate Kuuga would bow his head in shame. The antennae are made of hard plastic so it may be a little fragile.
His body is also much better-looking compared to the horribly large pectorals on the MG Figurerise equivalent. And check out his Typhoon Henshin belt. The propeller is actually behind a clear window.
The only flaw I can tell is the black wrist joints which were silver in the prototype/sample images.
His feet are on single ball joints like those of the Ultra-Act, Super Sentai series or Kamen Rider OOO. And they are made of plastic. This may seem like a step backwards since the first few Figuarts figures blew me away with their incredible ankle articulation. On the other hand the ankle joint is well-hidden and does not really take much away from its articulation. The lack of diecast feet may be a bummer to some.
Swapping the scarf is achieved by removing it from the ball joint on the neck portion and replacing it.
The sword is held snugly in place. It’s made of hard plastic so one may have to be wary of breakage.
Haters gonna hate~
The part is quite nicely painted and quite sharp. It is attached by simply forcing the foot into the hole. I had to struggle a bit due to the pointy bits.
Incredible torso movement range without horribly bloated pectorals. Take that, MG Figurerise! There is also a wide degree of sideways rotation.
The absence of shoulder armor means the arm swivel is slightly impeded by the upper arm design but that isn’t a huge problem.
The ankle ball joints actually offer a fair movement range despite being a step backwards in terms of design so it isn’t too bad.
Got my brother’s Mark VI to be the scapegoat since he was conveniently nearby.
All in all, a recommended figure for Kamen Rider fans. It is well-made, highly articulated and nicely priced. I don’t see any flaws other than the black wrist joint and non-diecast feet which to me, aren’t very major. Color variations like the Old Version or Sakurajima Version are most likely to be released as exclusives for the hardcore Ichigo fans out there, but this guy is sufficient for me. Like I said earlier, Bandai have done well and this is probably one of the definitive figures out there alongside the Real Action Heroes rendition.