Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Shin Ichigo

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Bandai
Origin Series: Kamen Rider
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 14cm tall
Original Price: 2,940 Yen


Though being the first Showa Era rider to receive the figuarts treatment with a newer frame, this certainly isn't the first you saw the box design in the reviews on this blog but anyway, S.H.Figuarts Shin Ichigo sets the black box design for a majority of the succeeding Showa Riders. As your usual box designs though, the sides contain a product shot and a name label though it's only just labeled as "Masked Rider 1" the japanese characters had the Shin label along with it as this is the Shin version. The back of the box remains your usual product shot features.


Tackling the belt first, Kamen Rider Ichigo's Typhoon is perfectly translated in to figure as the vent details have a stunning finish to it, accompanied by a stunning silver paint on the Typhoon and vibrant red paint for the core.

As this is the Shin version of the suit, the Typhoon is accompanied by a red belt while still retain the metal plates on the sides while also having some studs around it; the studs aren't perfectly painted but also not to the point that they are terrible to look at.

Shifting the focus to the head, a first detail topic for the head woudl be the eyes, being the very first Kamen Rider, Ichigo's suit already demonstrates the use of compound eyes even from many years ago and this figuarts rendition has yet again stunningly captured that part as the details are very very visible to the naked eye.

Shin Ichigo's helm is finished in a metallic light green which nicely compliments the few silver trims found in the helm, the silver mouth piece and the dark red eyes that the suit bears.

His scard is made up of soft material and is finished in the same red paint that was used for his belt.

The rest of the suit highlights the details in a really satisfying finish; the puffy body pads are neat finished in dark matte green while the rest of the suit is left in black while also having some suit creases which makes it more realistic and accurate. As for his gloves and boots, as this is his final upgraded "form", they are finished entirely in the same silver paint that was used on Typhoon.

One last detail to point out is that aside from the color of the gloves and boots, the way to actually differentiate Shin Ichigo from Shin Nigo is actually a particular detail on the suit which is the stripes found on the sides of his arms and legs; Ichigo's marked by having 2 silver strips running along those parts and Figuarts has captured that accurately!

One minor nitpick I have on his details, it's that the stripes break on his shoulders but it's just a minor nitpick since I'd prefer it any day than have a problem with articulation later on.


As for accessories, Shin Ichigo comes with 3 alternate pairs of hands (gripping hands, open hands, chopping hands) and a variant right chopping hand that's intended for his trademark pose. Additionally, Shin Ichigo comes with a rider kick effect, an alternate scarf option and finally a blade. I haven't actually watched the original Kamen Rider just yet but I really think the hand sets are enough already and the blade is definitely a bonus as well as the Rider Kick.

Articulation Points:

The very neat thing about Ichigo's suit and they way it was translated into S.H.Figuarts form is that his frame feels like it's a blank frame as there are certainly no limitations going on with his suit which makes articulation points another one of his strong points.

His neck joint allows him to look upwards to a satisfying range and downwards is quite notable too despite have a scarf around his neck; sideways rotation is good enough to reach a point that is considered to still be realistic while also having a good tilt on it.

Shoulder joints allow a full rotation and also a 90 degree side raise. Generally, one of the bummers is that he doesn't have any separate bicep joints but you can make a somewhat decent rotation on the shoulder's connection to the arm. His elbows can fully bend as they are double jointed and the ball jointed wrists retain your usual movement.

The scarf's tail is connected to the main scarf via a ball joint so you can definitely play with it and rotate it all the way around while also having an ability to rotate since the main scarf component is just loosely sitting around Ichigo's neck.

Though still not in the Blade generation when he was released, Figuarts Shin Ichigo features a very satisfying torso movement; unusual actually as his tilt range is waaaaaaay beyond what I expected as it's almost inhuman (and he isn't a normal human anyway). Sideways rotation also have satisfying range when you put both the torso and waist joints to the test. Surprisingly so, even if his frame is one generation older, his torso bending abilities are superb and it's perfect for physical fighter like our legendary rider here.

As Ichigo retains the pull down hip joints, his normal kick range would of course be just to a mere 90 more or less and as the magic works, pull down his legs will allow an even greater range of kicking. And though I forgot to take a pic his splitting ability is pretty decent as well. Sadly, the only think that's really lacking for the great rider is a thigh swivel  as the connector part simply doesn't give enough range. The knee joints still give that perfect bending ability while the ankles work the same though with a slightly more limited tilt than your usual.


As Ichigo's frame is pretty free of limitations, you can easily adjust his joints and have him in a variety of poses ranging from simple calm stances to more aggressive and dynamic ones.

The hand sets provided with you are pretty much everything you'd need to recreate a lot of Ichigo's iconic poses such as the sequence of Rider Jump then using the one and original... "RAIDA KIIIIIIIIIICK!"

From his iconic introduction pose to kicks and punches as he usually does, the frame certainly allows these with ease and additionally, I really love the addition of the shocker weapon so that you won't just be stuck with mere punches and kicks; the blade definitely expands Ichigo's playability and that is something that I really like about this figuarts release as I usually would complain that a release lacks this and that.

As Shocker Combatmen are originally from the series as our legendary rider, here's some interaction between them with the grunt getting his dose of physical violence. (lolol)

And as a bonus, while it loosely fits on his arms, you can definitely use the Rider Kick effect as a Rider Punch effect as well given that you have the proper setup.

And finally as a bonus since the movie Kamen Rider Taisen aired this year, here's a little Ichigo versus the latest title rider, Gaim!

But of couse, though enemies at first, heroes are bound to work together so here's one final "team-up" shot of the first and latest (as of this writing that is) Riders in the franchise!

Final Thoughts:

As Shin Ichigo was the first s.h.figuarts release from the Showa era riders in a new frame (since Black and RX were the real first showa riders to get the shf treatment), his package is definitely a no joke; I love it: the details, the accesory sets and the articulation! It definitely brings figure justice to the very first Kamen Rider so I would HIGHLY recommend him if you can find him for a good price; I actually got mine at around 35% more than his srp but hey, I don't have any regrets with it since this version isn't that easy to find these days at bargain prices. The good news though is that a slightly repainted version (featuring a matte helm finish) of Shin Ichigo will be released on October as a bundle release with his motor, Cyclone! So if you missed on this one, you might opt for that bundle release.

S.H.Figuarts Shin Ichigo is one of my acquisitions from the good guys at Xeno Toys! Last but certainly not the least, this perfect month ender review is requested by my friend, saitojharry!

I give the very first rider a legendary 4.5 out of 5.

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