Sunday, March 13, 2016

Review: Action Hero-Pro Part 1 - Ryukendo

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara
Origin Series: Madan Senki Ryukendo
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 16.5cm tall
Original Price: 2,500 yen


The Action Hero-Pro (AHP) line is a very short lived (to my disappointment) line with I believe only 3 releases (2 of which are blank bodies) from Takara and is very similar to Bandai's Souchaku Henshin line except Takara actually did a much better job with it (and I mean it); that said though, beneath all those armor is a blank body frame. 

Anyway, this figure is really old being something that was released in 2006 and I got mine 3 or 4 years ago and given the age, I got it with the box condition already poor and dirty but you can still see the overall design though! Nothing amazing overall but the front is split in a window to see the half of the figure while the other half shows you a schematics of the blank body and with it pointing out every point of articulation which extends its explanation to one of the sides of the box. 

The back of the box does show you some of the frame's highlights as well as a breakdown of Ryukendo's armor bits.

As I've mentioned 2 of 3 releases from the line are both blank body frames so this release is quite focused on Ryukendo as the top of the box has the series logo and the window label exactly tells you that the figure is Ryukendo himself.


Starting with the helm details, I do think the helm shape is a bit oblong in shape when it needs to be just a little rounder than oblong but otherwise, Takara nailed it with the details here as everything looks pretty great in molding and paint finish.

Going to the main armor, I love how rich the paint combinations are in these as silver portions are really covered in silver and the gold parts are covered in metallic yellow. The armor mold is pretty much detailed to a degree and does reflect quite accurate armor and color detailing which is totally impressive in my book.

Takara didn't slack off as even the madan key holder in the side of the belt is well detailed to some degree instead of leaving it unpainted.

The rest of the armor comes in pearl white with the dragonic armor parts in rich yellow plastic and I mean this is not your typical unpainted crappy looking yellow, the yellow does slightly resemble the metallic yellow/gold paint found in the body and helmet details.

What's neat here is that they actually put in the black lines on the frame to reflect on the Ryukendo suit though, how accurate these lines are, I can't really say for myself. Additionally, I think the body is just a tad bit lanky or maybe he just needs to be slightly more buff but hey, again, for a 2006 figure, I think they have better proportions than the first batch of figuarts we've got in 2008.

The one thing I totally do not like about Ryukendo's mold is his hands as they look too big and while you have joints implemented in the thumbs and fingers, it will just look totally weird whenever those hands aren't holding anything.

Size Comparison:

Action Hero Pro Ryukendo actually stands pretty tall at 16.5cm but still passes for a 6-inch figure and to give you guys an idea of what I mean by tall, you'll see him next to Shinkocchou Seihou Kuuga Mighty Form and to Shocker Combatman in the next set of photos below.

As you can see above, Ryukendo definitely towers over Kuuga and does stand better next to Shocker Combatman, who stands taller than most Rider figures.

Standing him next to Ultra-Act and Marvel Legends does make it feel like he's still in the 6-inch scale as shown in the photos below where he stands to Ultraman Nexus Junis and the Hobgoblin Wave Daredevil.  


Ryukendo does come with his main weapon and partner, GekiRyuKen as well as the Madan Knuckle which comes with a total of two option parts, I do wish they also gave us at least one key to use to the with figure as that would have really completed his accessory set.

Much like how the finish is with Ryukendo's armor bits, GekiRyuKen also receives the same amount of attention to detail with probably only the push/pull mechanic detail missing in the handle but overall, a neatly detailed weapon.

Now, going to the Madan Knuckle, I guess my only gripe is that despite the nice paint running in the figure and the sword, I do think the red paint in the Madan Knuckle looks pretty cheap.

Articulation Points:

Action Hero-Pro's frame is highly articulated for its time and none of the armor falls apart when you pose him around which is something to note for. Anyway, his neck have ball joints in both the top and bottom so you can utilize it for a decent range of looking up, down or even sideways as well as a neat tilting range.

One of the amazing feats of the frame is that the shoulder joint is one big ball joint when connected to the body, and the allowance area is quite big so you can definitely push the arms forward, backward or whatnot so long as you don't get limited by the borders of the ball socket.

Ryukendo's arms are fully rotational and can be raised up to almost 90 degrees since the shoulder pads does get in the way by a little. Bicep swivel is also present and his elbows are double jointed though you won't be able to fully bend it due to the armor bumping in the upper half of the arm.

The hands are attached to the arm via a ball jointed wrist but you won't be able to utilize the ball joint that much since the hands are a little too big so it, most often, will bump on the mold. Additionally, Ryukendo's thumbs has a swivel which is really useful when having him hold GekiRyuKen in more dynamic means; the rest of the fingers does move on a single hinge.

Ryukendo's body runs on a ball jointed torso as well as a ball joint on the waist so combining the two joints absolutely gives him a great bending, stretching and tilting ability. The balls also allow you to rotate Ryukendo's body.

Hips are on a ball joint and can split the legs sideways almost perfectly while allowing a forward motion for the leg to a good 90 degrees but little to none when trying a backward motion. While I forgot to take a photo of it, AHP Ryukendo does have a thigh swivel so you can fully rotate the legs from there. Additionally, his knees have a perfect bend using double jointed hinges. Last but not least, the ankles does mainly work on a ball joint while also having a hinge on the connection point and this allows you to stretch out the feet to an unnatural state while also having the ability to tilt the ankles to a minor degree or even rotate the feet if you'd like.


Despite my complains about how ridiculous Ryukendo's hands look like, it does its job in gripping GekiRyuKen perfectly and while I was doing the photoshoot for this guy, I'm totally impressed that he can do poses that I didn't expect the frame to pull, especially the ones where I posed him dynamically while wielding the sword with both hands. The frame definitely is way beyond its time in terms of how posable it actually is as even some figuarts nowadays still can't do stuff that figure can with ease.

Final Thoughts:

I definitely love the figure to bits as it pretty much captures the essence of Ryukendo pretty well and definitely does give the suit design enough justice in figure form. It truly is disappointing that the line itself never did live long enough to see his allies, RyuGunOh and RyuJinOh produced. Still, hands aside, the figure is definitely worth its price and even though the figure is already 10 years old more or less as of this review, the quality is really above average and that if ever you want to find one, I believe he's still not that much expensive in ebay. (cause that's where I got mine around 3 or 4 years ago) Additionally, if you do know how to sculpt hands, you can definitely give him better hands since they are ball jointed. In any case, as I said, I snagged him off on eBay and I did get this with the help of a friend!

I do give Ryukendo a 4.5 out of 5.

Blue Model:

While the figure definitely intended to be Ryukendo, you do get two regular alternate blue feet as casting off the armor and switching the feet gives you, technically, another figure which I would call as "Blue Model" since the only two other releases from the line are both the same blank body frame labeled as "White Model", a full white blank body and "Black Model", a full black blank body. Anyway, part 2 will all be about the empty body frame! 

Check out the Part 2 of the review by clicking the following link:

Or simply by clicking on the photo below!

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