Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Baron -Banana Arms-

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Bandai
Origin Series: Kamen Rider Gaim
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 14cm tall
Original Price: 4,104 Yen


Much like my comments with Gaim Orange Arms' review, I really dig the Gaim line box style and hey, they even actually adjusted the window area to have the tip of the bananas outlined! 

Of course, the box receives the yellow color scheme since bananas are yellow, haha, the sides remain the same with one side containing Baron's logo and the back features a red background with Baron's epic logo.


Because Baron's design is of a knight, his helm has the horns and the visor but between those visor gaps lie delicious compound eye detail.

Like his rival, his Sengoku driver is fully detailed with the opened/sliced lockseed with both the banana and banaspear details as well as that finely printed Armored Rider plate for Baron's unique suit.

Unlike Gaim's belt, Baron doesn't have any holders in his belt and the figuarts does accurately represent this and the belt itself isn't just plain yellow as there are some intricate layers carved in his belt as well.

Going to the Banana armor, it is ridiculously well sculpted armor which captures the suit perfectly from the biggest details down to the smallest ones like those bolts. Ultimately accompanying this god-like detailing is, of course, a top notch paint finish of silver and metallic yellow.

Going to the inner suit, the scales on his body look absolutely gorgeous especially since it's topped off with a very clean silver paint; additionally, another point of focus on his details would be the white details on his gauntlets and his thigh guards as these are carefully done and finished in a very delightful way. Lastly, the remains of his entire suit is finished in ridiculously godly metallic red paint which I think is Baron's real game stepper since Gaim had it finished in matte, making Baron a more decent display piece and also more accurate to the suit.


Unlike Gaim, Baron only has the Banaspear as his weapon of choice and bandai tamashii nations made sure we get it complete as they provide not only the default Banaspear but also an alternate tip where the spear looks like it's opened or something which also extends the spear's overall length. Handsets are equally satisfying as Gaim's as Baron also comes with 5 pairs of hands in the form of a fist, 2 variants of open hands and 2 variants of gripping hands with one, yet again, giving you an option to point the weapon because of its tilted manner. Last but certainly not the least, I forgot to include it when I took the photo above but Baron does come with a separate closed Banana Lockseed which you'll just see later in the poseability section.

Articulation Points:

While Baron technically has the same frame as Gaim's, there's quite some major differences on the range because of their design differences. His helm features a more space friendly design thus allowing S.H.Figuarts Baron Banana arms to tilt his head better than his Orange rival. The upwards and downwards movement does feel pretty much the same, giving off a wide range and possibly just a better upwards range than our main hero.

The arms is where the big difference lies as Baron has bulky shoulder pads especially the left pad, you cannot fully rotate his arms and will actually have you fiddling with all the points of his shoulders if you want to go beyond a 90 forward/backward raise. Sideways still allow a full 90 degree raise though and the bicep swivel remains in tact and still fully rotatable. The elbow joints still functions as a decent bending point with no additional limitations.

Baron's torso retains the good enough sideways movement as well as the decent outward range and limited but realistic inward bend.

Interesting enough, because of his armor's design of eating space slightly beyond the upper half of the body, bandai actually gave the chest piece a minor joint which allows you to slide it upwards to accompany extreme inwards bending; a feature reminiscent of Shinkocchou Kabuto.

The hips also feature one of the key differences as the splitting of forward remains the same but the backward movement does feel it's better; that comes with a catch though as Baron's thigh guards are actually bulky that it prevents a full sideways split; this design in turn also prevents you from rotation the legs fully since the guards collide with the pelvic piece at a certain point but still, it doesn't really affect anything significant since no regular human anatomy can perform a twist like that lol. The knees retain the double jointed goodness and the ankles still do perform up to their limits.


Baron's S.H.Figuarts rendition definitely takes the cake as his figure representation; though he's not as fun to play as Gaim Orange Arms, Baron Banana Arms is still one really decent figure of the character.

It's probably me since this is my first time handling an articulated figure with a lance as the weapon of choice but certainly Baron can pull off a bunch of his signature poses and a whole lot more of badass poses which certainly gives justice to his character.

And to top off the single shots, here he is with his friend and rival, Gaim!


Like Gaim Orange Arms, S.H.Figuarts Baron Banana Arms also comes with a first release bonus that comes in the form of the golden backdrop which is easily identifiable as the one seen on the series' Opening theme; I seriously think is the better bonus of the two as this is something you can use for technically every succeeding Armored Riders to be release in the Figuarts line.

Combine it with Gaim's bonus base and you actually get one really good looking display piece!

Final Thoughts:

S.H.Figuarts Baron is certainly a new experience for me due to his weaponry and while I find him slightly less fun than Gaim, there are certain features where Baron proves to be better than Gaim and he's also complete accessory wise. Overall, you can't go wrong with the first two SHF releases from the series as both of them are definitely top-notch and worthy of their price point. Like Gaim, Baron banana arms is an easy recommendation to SHF collectors and the fact that he comes with a first release backdrop does actually make him the "better" piece to get but yeah, just get both of them lol. And like his rival, I also got this "knight of spear" from CWToys!

I also give Baron a powerful 5 out of 5.

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