Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form
Review by Ghost_XIII
Greetings my brother and sisters in toys collecting or whoever it is that is reading this. This is Ghost_XIII reporting in and braces yourself to walk through a part of my toys collecting history. For this review, it is the crown jewel of my collection, this is my first love, this is the one that sparks the collector’s flame in me and in this moment, I present to you, Tamashii Web Shouten Limited Super Imaginative Chogokin Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form but lets call him Emperor for a very obvious reason :p.
Lets go down my memory lane before we start. I used to build gunpla when I was younger but as I grew older and my family keeps moving around the states, I kinda lost the interest in toys. Not until I saw the SIC Volume 42 which really caught my attention but that didn’t push my button until I saw the promo pic of Emperor and I thought, ”What the f*&k is that thing??It looks AWESOME.”. But hard, cold reality struck me when I saw the price of this exclusive item…..but the image did not go away. When I started my life as a university student, I got some study loan and after some saving up, I finally have it in my hand. From there on, I start to collect more and more SIC and here I am. So enough about that and lets get on with the review.
As usual, the uninspiring windowless box of Bandai exclusive stuff.
Once opened up, all the goodies are served on two layers of plastic trays.
You will be getting:
The first tray:
-the figure itself
-the Zanbat sword
-a pair of holding things hand
-a pair of splayed open hand
-a pair of Kiva’s signature ‘rock on’ hand(\m/)
The second tray:
-flattened Kivat with open ‘mouth’
-Zanvat sword limiter monster’s mask
-Kivat’ back attachment piece
and of course, instruction manual.
Out of the box, you need to attach the cape, install the fuestles and choose your Kivat.
Once you have done all that, here is the King of Vampire. Emperor didn’t receive a lot of redesign just like the Den-O riders but I dig it. There is an unmistakable air of royalty emanating from him and the gold used on him elevated that feel even more. Screw the show costume. One thing that still bothers me is Kiva in his default form took the motive of a bat but Emperor took the motive of a dragon. How does bat and dragon relate as a species?
One thing that can be a bit odd is the side of his face is totally covered by his eyes so I guess he doesn’t need to turn his head to see stuff next to him eh?
For you guys out there who are a stickler for show accuracy, this is the show accurate arrangement of fuestles at the side of his belt.
The diecast on him is quite disappointing. They are at his kneepad, the side ‘collars’ at his neck and the TOP half of his feet which is my first complain for this release.
Why just the top half? That huge talon on his heel is made from rubbery stuff. Safety reason? Total BS as SIC Ryuki had his sword made entirely out of diecast.
Moving on to articulation. This guy body shares almost the same setup like the Den-O series. That huge shoulder pad do robbed him some outward and forward arm swing but not a big deal to me.
There is double jointed elbow, double jointed knee, bicep swivel, thigh swivel, a nice waist rotation and a toe joint which can only point downward.
One thing to note is that the diecast kneepad is loose as it does not have any attaching point of any sort and the leg just kinda when through it.
And the thigh armor really like to fall off when you try doing really fancy pose but they reattach just as easy.
The head can look up and down effectively.
Here I removed the diecast outer ‘collar’ to give you a better view(that ‘collar’ like to fall off too). The head can look sideways but you need to lift his head upward to allow some rotation as his inner ‘collar’ will get in the way.
The base of the cape is on a hinge which does a nice job of holding the cape up.
The capes are made from a flexible rubbery material that just peg in at the base and they can swing left and right to some degree.
If that does not look awesome to you, I don’t know what is. This brings tears to my eyes.
Moving on to accessories. First we got the signature "metal" hand for Kiva.
The hands did a nice job in capturing his demeanor like in the show.
Next up is Kivat. This is the unflattened version which is my choice of Kivat because it has that substantial ‘fullness’ towards the overall look. Does that make sense? His mouth can move up and down to simulate talking or chomping.
To attach this Kivat, you need to pry open the panel on his back and insert a special connection piece which will peg in at Emperor’s belt.
If you dislike how round Kivat is, there is the flattened version with closed and opened mouth.
This is how the flattened Kivat look on Emperor. Not a fan of it.
There is also the opened mouth version which should be used in tandem with the fuestles. This Kivat gives way for the fuestles to slot in at a slit on Emperor’s belt rather than chomping down like the ‘full’ Kivat.
Next on the accessories list is the fuestles. In this set you will be getting 8 fuestles. Which are:
Kiva’s wake up
This nameless fuestle which resemble the limiter monster’s mask
The fuestles are meticulously sculpted for something of it size and I appreciate that BUT they are made from a very soft clear plastic which can give you a lot of problem and some heart attack when trying to attach it to Emperor’s belt. I actually use a small tweezers to push them in and I heard stories of people breaking the peg where they supposed to peg in the fuestle. That will certainly ruin my day if it were to happened.
More like a bonus add in rather than accessory, the devil wyvern Tatsulot. He is nicely sculpted but with zero articulation, it’s hard to figure out any practical use of this guy.
And lastly, the Emperor’s signature weapon, the Zanvat sword.
Just like any good SIC accessories, the sword is amazingly detailed. The limiter monster can slide up and down the blade to emulate how Emperor would pump it(you gonna need to watch the show to understand what I mean here). That gimmick can be a flaw as the monster does not have any locking mechanism or enough friction to grip the blade. I just wedge some paper bit at the back to give it some traction. Some people have tried to remove the monster and you can actually but some force is required to bend the blade and I don’t want to do that. Why do you want to that anyway?
The blade is made from a translucent flexible material with some Batman-like insignia on it.
The limiter monster also came with a mask which I can’t quite remember what for.
The mask just tab in at the forehead of the monster and stays on solidly. I like this look better.
To use the sword, of course a holding things hand is used but one thing I want to complain is the orientation of the hinge. With that kind of orientation, you can’t make Emperor point his sword forward which I really want :(.
Nevertheless, the hand does a very good job in holding the sword and Emperor looks awesome wielding it.
Should you buy this?
So lets digest it all down. The bad things first.
THE PRICE. I paid USD200 for this baby. Let that sink in for the moment before I get back to it. Another major point of concern is the fuestles as in the material used to make them. Its nice that they are made from clear stuff to depict some show accuracy but I would choose durability over accuracy with item of this price.
Tatsulot is a nice addition to the set(might be a must to some) but with no articulation he seems useless to me.
The biggest problem I have with this release is there is no Bloody Rose violin included. You need to get the normal Kiva if you want to use the violin in tandem with Emperor.
But what about the good things?
The overall look is awesome. Objectively speaking as a reviewer and not some guy with some emotional attachment to this figure, this is by far one of, if not the most beautiful SIC ever been produced by Bandai. He doesn’t get much redesign which kinda disappoints me at first but the overall look works. The colour is something to praise about also. The gold is much more ‘gold’ compare to SIC Blade King Form and adds a lot more royal presence.
The articulation might be a bit limited in the arm but to preserve the whole look of Emperor, I can accept that.
Then again, should you buy this?
Again, objectively speaking as a reviewer and not some guy with some emotional attachment to this figure, I would say YES. The price may be a bit hard to swallow at first but when I got the figure in hand, the paying part was like a bad dream which became the prelude to a happy reality. I did not regret one bit for paying every dollar in that 200 for this guy(except when I see people selling him cheaper :p). SIC fans and die-hard, your collection will not be complete without this.
Even for none SIC fan or show-accurate group, can you say this is not the very least awesome? This baby WILL attract a lot of attention and great as a centerpiece of your collection.
Conclusion, if you find one with the price you are comfortable with(which gonna be pricey anyway, I guarantee it), just close your eyes and pay :).
And with that, the review is at its end. Thank you for reading this little piece of my toys collecting history and hope you like it. As usual, any comment or critics(positive or negative) are always welcomed. This is Ghost_XIII, reporting out.
|Posted 7 May, 2014 - 22:51 by Ghost_XIII|