Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: S.H.Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Kabuto -Rider Form-

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Bandai
Origin Series: Kamen Rider Kabuto
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 14cm tall
Original Price: 5,250 Yen


Being the first in line of one of tamashii nations' newer lines (or sub-line rather), the S.H.Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou, shinkocchou Kabuto, a.k.a. SHF Kabuto Renewal as coined by many, truly gives the impression that the new line is like a premium offering of the S.H.Figuarts line by having a clean, new and unique box that actually looks like that of an expensive new gadget (iPhone box anyone?); Kabuto takes the design to be a more simpler yet more effective box size by making it smaller than your average shf boxes and also removing the product shots on the side and replacing it with a simple text of "Masked Rider Kabuto Rider Form" on both sides, the box's cover is also that of a pull-on type to reveal the grand item. While the back still features key highlights of the figure, the overall package design is truly an effective and eye pleasing sight to behold.

Opening the box also contains a bonus mini concept book that tells about Shinkocchou Seihou's engineering which I think involves the study of the human skeleton and then conceptualizing the mold from there to give collectors a more satisfying end product by capturing realistic features of the human body.


Being sort of a Renewal version since there was already an old Figuarts Kabuto released in the early days of the line, the shinkocchou Kabuto mold ups its game by magnificently capturing a full on show accurate proportions and details, making Kabuto's head larger and making his body more buff as well as adjusting details to fully deliver a very show accurate figure as opposed to the 1st SHF Kabuto.

Particularly a lot of details has been fixed to provide accuracy for the suit and one of the easiest to identify is that the shinkocchou Kabuto has a more accurate dark red paint scheme now. Other details included with the change is that the new figure has more accurate suit lines as the old one felt like they were randomized. As I cannot put everything into words properly, I've provided a picture below where Shinkocchou Kabuto and the old Kabuto (thanks to my sis for letting me borrow it for comparison) are standing next to each other, click on it for a better view and you can easily see how many details have been fixed from the original release.

Of course, while certainly praiseworthy, the mold isn't completely perfect as one minor nitpick I have is that the head has this sometimes awkward looking seamline when viewed from the side; but again, it's a minor nitpick, so, I don't really mind that much.


For the accessories department, the set provides 2 versions of the Kunai Gun: the kunai and blaster modes; while you can flip the blaster mode to recreate the Axe mode, it's a little incorrect since the blade becomes a little bigger with Axe mode but still, tolerable or you can always get the Axe mode from the old SHF if you have it though I really think it's a bummer since they didn't include it for a complete accessory set. 

As for the handsets, you get 4 pairs (fists, open hands, gun gripping hands and regular gripping hands) and 1 right hand that allows you to recreate Kabuto's walking the path of heaven pose.

Articulation Points:

Shinkocchou Kabuto's frame features a heavy improvement in the usual figuarts articulation that we get most of the time and starting with his neck; you get a very decent range in looking both upwards and downwards, something that a figuarts usually can't do in both directions. Sideways rotation allows a completely free exorcist range of a 360 headspin while also giving you a satisfying head tilting capability.

Going forward to his arms, the shoulders are attached via your typical ball joint so you can realistically shift the arms up or down to you liking. Rotating the arms also give you a full 360 degree spin as the shoulder pads are attached directly to the shoulders, thus, freeing any possible hindrance at the shoulders; at the same time, you can freely swivel the arms at his shoulder joints. The elbows still keeps the realistic bend but I do feel it gives you a little bit more in this frame.

I think my only gripe with the articulation of Kabuto is that his hands are built similarly to that of figmas, making them slide instead of popping on via a ball joint end of a hinge, this does give a minor drawback when you sometimes need to position the hands on a specific place as tilting the hands becomes limited in this style.

If you've been reading my other reviews, you'll know how much I don't expect from the torso joint but this baby has impressed me on a whole new level. You can definitely crunch on shinkocchou Kabuto's abs and the range you get is more than satisfying; sideways tilt also gives that delicious range that a majority of figuarts can't.

What surprised me was the addition of moveable chest pads; yes, you can basically adjust the chest pads so that you can accommodate some rather extreme arm forward movments. The lower half of the body armor also flaps enough so that you can insert the Zecter inside the gap if you want to do extreme bending down poses.

His hips work the same as that of Ryuki, so you won't be able to pull the legs down but this also somewhat helps in preventing of getting very loose joints in time when you play with it a lot. Splitting range give a realistic range via a hinge joint and kicking forward can give to around a decent 90 degrees kick, though combing it with the sideways hinge and thigh swivel does get you to more exceptional range of raising the legs. Much like the how the shoulders joints act as a bicep swivel for the arms, the hip joints also act as the easy-to-move thigh swivel for the legs. His knees also allow you to bend to a very decent range as well.

Though not using the old but golden days of die cast feet, shinkocchou Kabuto's style of using the recent ankle joints does emulate the same amount of movement satisfaction that one could get from the old die cast ankles.


Aside from looking like a mini RAH Kabuto, shinkocchou Kabuto's almost godly articulation, combined with a delicious show accurate molding, gives you the most satisfying of poses from pointing a gun to preparing an attack and most especially doing extreme and dynamic poses. Believe me that this release can perfect emulate Kabuto's signature poses including his trademark roundhouse kick. He certainly passes the kick test as he can stand in one feet while gracefully emulating his kick pose for a long amount of time.

Posing Kabuto around was a no hassle task as his joints move naturally and easily as you want them to thus, making even action poses as easy as child's play.

Kabuto's new frame certainly helps in giving that correct, badass and "perfect" silhouette when you do his trademark poses especially his finishing move which will be sequenced in a series of photos below.

And with the battle done, Kabuto can gracefully emulate his defining pose of pointing his right hand upwards and raising his right hand to denounce that he is the man who walks the path of heaven, the man who will rule everything!

Final Thoughts:

Though certainly more pricey than other figuarts, Kabuto is a shining introductory piece in Tamashii Nations' new sub-line and thus, making the pricepoint easily justifiable. Certainly he has setbacks of his own but his overall strong points can easily cast over his weak points. Definitely one of, if not, the best action figures of Kamen Rider Kabuto done to date, Shinkocchou Seihou Kabuto is an easy and no brainer recommendation for any rider enthusiasts, let alone SHF rider collectors and has had me looking forward to release number #2 in the form of the never before seen (in SHF rendition) Kamen Rider Hibiki. I got this godly release just last month through pre-order via CWToys

The man who walks the path of heaven gets an almost godly score of 4.5 out of 5.

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