Most of the Renewal/Shinkocchou Seihou series of SH Figuarts figures were nearly impossible to obtain, even including their re-releases, but this time I managed to snag a pre-order of the first figure of the line.
Being my first figure of the line, I was amused by the elaborate packaging design which seems to be heavily inspired by modern smartphone packaging. The box comes as thick halves made from doubled-over cardboard.
Lifting the lid, you are presented with a card cover which is printed on the underside and the instructions.
There is a “quick start guide” which is a very brief instruction manual and flyer explaining the concept of the line.
The figure comes in its own tray while accessories come in a second one beneath.
You get the Kabuto Kunai Gun in Kunai Form and Gun/Axe Form, and seven extra hands (open hands, 2 pairs of weapon-holding hands, one pointing hand) that come attached on a modular rack. The rack is a long-awaited addition clearly following the likes of Max Factory’s figma figures.
Overall views. I have the original figure but it’s at home and my review of it years ago was horrendous so I can’t do a proper comparison. Back when there was no proper comparison and while I was concerned with the skinny proportions they ended up being like a characteristic of the line alongside the ever so slightly off head sculpts. Some of them were so bad they received updated ones disguised as parts of other figures, like Decade Violent Emotion and Accel Booster for instance. With the renewal figures, the previous shortcomings become highly apparent now.
The figure has improved physical proportions, but I still find the waist a bit thin, as though the belt is too tight. It also has sharper details in minute areas especially around the head. I believe subsequent figures in this line kept on improving their proportions and each one released just keeps getting more and more realistic.
The head probably enjoys the greatest improvement in quality, being much more accurate and with very detailed sculpting on the face and mouth areas. The compound eyes are also much finer.
Torso. Most of the changes are also apparent here, with movable armour plates on the front, and improved shoulder pads that are better positioned.
Rear. Panel lines on the figure are also nicely painted, with the black painted hexagon an addition from the original version.
Arms. The elbow pads are now attached to the elbow joints instead of the forearms. Also, painted panel line details are apparent here. The insides of the hands are also painted red and have detailed textures on them.
Legs. The ankles use the now standard hidden joints rather than the old unsightly ones. The silver ring shaped bits on the ankles are also movable. The feet also look less like dress shoes compared to the original version.
The chest plates are on ball joints to improve the range of the shoulder swing joints. The lower chest flap can swing outwards to increase ab crunch range, but there is a risk of scraping paint as it rubs against the belt.
Articulation. As seen in the above picture, the lower chest flap can swing outward to increase range.
No problems looking up either.
The shoulder joints also have very wide range due to the use of multiple joints for the shoulder pads. The joint covers inside the torso are also detailed rather than plain spherical parts.
The shoulder pads are on multiple joints and can swing outwards and get out of the way of the body.
The hip joints do not extend on this figure. The ankles have a fairly generous sideways range.
Due to the design of the hips the legs can only swing just slightly less than 90 degrees forward.
The Kabuto Kunai Gun has very sharp sculpting and an incredibly detailed paint job.
Kunai Mode also does not compromise.
The axe blade is much smaller compared to the original version.
There’s something about the pointing pose that makes it very difficult to replicate.
<<< Clock Up >>>
<<< One, Two, Three >>>
<<< RIDER KICK >>>
The joints on the figure are tight enough to maintain balance with this pose.
The Renewal figures are incredibly well-made which is a good excuse to justify their high price, but arguably the only gripe is their near-impossible availability and even more insane prices on the secondary market. I’ve sort of given up trying to get Kuuga and missed the Ultimate Form preorder too. Hopefully Faiz gets a well-deserved redesign too.