Since Kamen Rider Den-O I think I have been a bigger fan of secondary Riders in the series. No exception for OOO as I think Date Akira and Goto Shintaro are pretty cool guys. When SHF Birth came out I was a bit disappointed that he was not going to be released with any weapon, and the CLAWs set would be released as an exclusive. I didn’t want the OCC version as I preferred the use of clear parts on the SHF. However SHF Birth sold out quite fast so when I saw one on sale I quickly snapped it.
In the TV series, it was implied that Goto would use the Birth Driver to transform, but in a shocking twist, it is used by a (then) new character, Date Akira who was newly employed by the belt’s owner, the Kougami Foundation. Date would collect Cell Medals and be paid a huge sum of money for unknown reasons. Date teams up with Hino Eiji/Kamen Rider OOO while Goto discards his pride and trains under Date’s mentorship, providing support during combat. Eventually, Date is seemingly mortally wounded in battle with the belt’s inventor, the crazy Doctor Maki, forcing Goto to finally take over the reins. Date turns out to be exaggerating his defeat as part of a “personal development” plan for Goto hatched by Date and the president of the Kougami Foundation.
The package design is updated with the use of imagery from the series.
You can see that he is somewhat lacking in accessories. You get the Birth Buster, an extra head and 2 extra pairs of hands. Things like Candroids or Date’s milk can are not included and are sold with the exclusive CLAWs set.
Overall views. After looking at him, I concluded that the folks at Bandai probably used up their budget incorporating the clear orbs all over the figure so they could not afford to provide any more accessories. Also the armor pieces also help to minimize the anorexic look, which is good since Birth is supposed to be an armored suit like Iron Man. Even the show makes it an obvious point by showing the faces of Date/Goto lit up by the HUD while they fight.
Check out the clear Receptacle Orbs all over. I think the head design is a refreshing departure from the typical round-eyed designs, something which seems like a privilege reserved for the secondary Riders.
And this is the extra head with the U Flasher lit up. It appears to be printed in a metallic red color.
The Birth Driver belt is also quite detailed (just check out the Cell Medal sitting in the bottom right coin slot) and the belt face is removable. However, they did not provide any extra part with the capsule closed.
Orbs on the arms.
Orbs on the knees. His feet are diecast, an increasingly rare feature.
Articulation is standard for an SHF figure. The shoulder armors are on hinges and lift up to get out of the way. The waist can also rotate freely.
However on my figure the hip joints are incredibly loose making it really difficult for the legs to hold poses that place the burden of keeping the figure standing onto the hip joints.
The Birth Buster is awesomely detailed. Check out the clear window on the top of the gun. Also, the barrel is detachable and recreates all the modes from the series. Attach it to the top to reload the Cell Medal ammo.
Stick it on the bottom for the secondary grip during normal use. Put it in front for some CELL BURST.
Date being a pretty cool guy as usual.
At least Date/Goto don’t pull their Birth Buster out of thin air when they fight.
Shooting coins at the enemies.
The lack of accessories or weapons from the CLAWs set (not even including a single Drill Arm) is disappointing. However the figure itself is quite nicely made. I’d say the OCC would make a better choice if you must want the CLAWs set and do not mind the slightly inferior appearance. If you are like me though and are willing to pay more for a nicer-looking toy then you might want to pair this with the exclusive CLAWs set – that is, if you are willing to shell out even more money to preorder it. That thing is as expensive as the figure itself. Unfortunately, preorders have closed not too long ago.