When Fate Stay Night aired, people drew links between it and Kamen Rider Ryuki. Then when Madoka aired, people did the same. I guess that should give some idea on how good Ryuki was. I had my reservations about it initially, but once I overcame my inertia and watched through the whole series, it exceeded my expectations. Adness Entertainment managed to license the show and adapted it into Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, which allowed Max Factory to take advantage of licensing loopholes (I think by virtue of the characters being given different names) and proceeded to churn out figma Kamen Riders in a bid to invade the SH Figuarts market. I think they were quite smart doing this, but releasing all 13 Riders would mean there are bound to be shelfwarmers.
To make matters worse for MF, Bandai took revenge and proceeded to one-up MF by releasing superior figures. But Bandai is smarter – they’ll only do it with Ryuki and Knight, and the rest of the Riders would be exclusives and most likely not come with their Mirror Monsters as well. That way they can avoid the shelfwarming problems.
Package contents. There’s so much packed inside the box. Behind the tray is a whole bunch of parts for a stand.
Ryuki himself has his Dragvisor and Strike Vent arm, 5 (!!!) extra pairs of hands and a pair attachments for the Guard Vent shields. What a surprise – we know MF has always provided a generous array of hands and Bandai had no choice but to do the same. I think the number of hands even bested Ultimate Kuuga (not to mention poor Agito).
Dragreder and a display stand with 3 sets of arms for holding it up. The base is printed in the same style as the Advent Decks.
There are 2 arms with fixed arms (Act 4) and 1 more older-style arm with the arms changeable (Act 1). The older-style arm cannot support as much weight as the newer arms so some thought has to go into arranging the arms for the base. I simply followed the box photos.
In the instruction sheet bag is also a packet containing 5 Advent Cards made of thin plastic. While the printing is quite intricate, they aren’t aligned very well. From left to right: Advent, Sword Vent, Guard Vent, Strike Vent and Final Vent. The backs of the cards are also printed.
Overall views. Some of the differences from the figma version include clear parts in the eyes, and the more visible hip joints. It’s also good that the sculpt isn’t anorexic.
A closer look at the face.
The black parts on the arms can rotate.
The belt and Advent Deck have detailed molding and are quite nicely painted.
The ankle joints use the newer ball shape which still work equally great without compromising on appearance, and the feet are die-cast.
Dragreder is painted in a nice metallic red. Every section of the body is connected via ball joints. Unfortunately some of them are loose and cannot hold up the weight of the dragon. It is also very long.
The mouth is movable. The moustache is made of rigid plastic so one may have to be careful when handling it.
The claws are made of soft plastic and the joints are molded in that dull red. What an eyesore.
Parts of Dragreder detach to become weapons for Ryuki.
Articulation is bog standard SHF fare.
But check out the belt! The Advent Deck actually slides in and everything is molded in intricate detail, even the inside of the belt.
The shoulders are slightly encumbered by the black things on the upper arms.
Leg articulation is fantastic as usual. The fixed hip joints lose out to the movable ones but all’s well and good when the waist joints can make up the flexibility so you still get natural-looking poses in the end.
Attaching the Dragvisor is done by detaching the silver “port” on the lower arm and plugging it on. One minor problem is that the silver ports on the arms and knees fall off easily. The handle on the Dragvisor is freely movable so it is easier to first attach it to the hand, plug the hand to the arm, then connect the Dragvisor to the arm. But that’s not all there is to it…
*pulls out card* “dunnn~”
The Advent Cards are scaled superbly well! You don’t end up with magically shrinking/growing items (*ahem* Ixa/Decade/Faiz *ahem*)
The Dragvisor actually slides open and can fit the card inside it!
Attaching the shields is a matter of removing the silver ports on the upper arms and mounting the shields on them. The shields attach via ball joints.
You can also remove the shoulder attachment parts at the ball joint and replace it with ones that come with grips for Ryuki to hold.
The hand is detached and the dragon head replaces it. The mouth is also movable on this one. The moustache is also rigid plastic.
Spewing some fires.
Dishing out some Dragon Rider Kick.
That’s it. There’s no doubt that Bandai did well to show MF who’s boss in the articulated Rider figure business. With a retail price premium of around 500 yen, you get a decently-made Mirror Monster. Too bad Bandai’s not going to do it for all the Riders even if they are exclusives – that would have been totally mind-blowing (and wallet-blowing). But this guy is still great and it makes me wish other companies could take one for the team and produce their own articulated Rider figures. That would make Bandai less complacent and buck up.
As for MF, I guess what goes around comes around. They showed other companies who’s boss several times with their K-on and Ika Musume figmas, and now they got shown who’s boss instead.
In other news, my exams are really close and I might be a little more inactive until the end of this month. I got 1 more review on the way but I haven’t got time to upload photos. Hopefully I can keep up with the 1 review a week regime until my exams end.