Kamen Rider Kabuto
Review by JoshB
The Super Imaginative Chogokin (SIC) line takes classic Tokusatsu designs and re-imagines them through the eyes of master sculptor Takeuki Takeya. As such, Kamen Rider Kabuto doesn’t quite resemble the hero as he appears in in the self-titled 2006 television series.
Kamen Rider Kabuto is named after the Kabuto-mushi, or Rhinoceros Beetle, who is in turn named after the Japanese Samurai Helmet (which most great Japanese Robots deriver their inspiration from). The large horn on the helmet is the signature mark of this Kamen Rider, but the similarities to the insect do not end there. This toy has several modes which get more increasingly insect related, culminating in the ultimate insect form.
I can think of no better sculptor to tackle this figure than Takeya-san. I had the chance to visit his workshop a few years ago, and what struck me was how he used inspiration from shelled animals, such as beetles and crabs into his work. This one is right up his alley.
As an aside, Takeya just sculpts these, and then they are sent off to be turned from static figures to action figures. Someone else has the daunting task of cutting up the figure, adding joints and articulation as well as any other gimmicks. This does not always work so well, but I think it succeeds here.
The toy comes in a large, beautiful box with a ton of accessories.
The set includes extra parts to form some of the different ways Kamen Rider Kabuto has appeared.
Rider Mode as seen in Kamen Rider Decade
Hyper Mode Clock Up
Worth noting is the absence of the armored “Masked Form”
Since the toy is packaged in Rider Mode, that’s where we will start.
The toy features a core body with removable panels that facilitate the changes between modes. The body is super articulated, and somewhat sturdy. Let’s go through the joints and see what’s what.
The head and neck are on a dual ball joint that allows a good range of motion, but the neck is a little big for the hole it fits in, slightly hindering movement. The Rider mode head features transparent eyes and a moveable horn, hinged at the base.
The shoulders have double ball joints and the shoulder armor fits loosely in the middle – one of my only complaints about the figure. There are swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, and wrists that bend and swivel. The hands can be swapped with an assortment of variant hands. Two sets are included, one for each mode.
The torso has two ball joints, and the hips are on ball joints that transition into a segmented joint on the leg. The waist is meant to separate for a later transformation, so don’t be worried if it separates.
The legs have swivel thighs, double jointed knees, and super-articulated ankles. The feet can also be swapped with variants. On the outer side of each leg are metal panels that can be swapped as you change modes. That’s the extent of the gokin in this Chogokin.
The Rider Mode includes a rider belt, which has a moveable Kabuto Zecter. The Zecter is the equivalent of a Power Rangers Morpher.
Included is the Kabuto Kunai Gun - a weapon with three modes. Three different weapons are provided
The set also includes parts to replicate Kabuto’s appearance in Kamen Rider Decade. In this case Kabuto gets the Decade Belt and a weapon called the Ride Booker. The Ride Booker can be used in Book mode, Gun Mode, and Sword Mode.
The next phase in Kamen Rider Kabuto's evolution is the Hyper Form. This form is achieved by activating the Hyper Zecter.
To change the figure to Hyper Form, you basically have to disassemble the entire figure. You need to remove the head, chest, upper arms, lower arm guards, hands, leg panels, and one foot. It's quite involved really.
When you are done, you get a powered-up rider form that is more impressive than the original. The head is larger, but no longer contains the fold up action. The shoulder pads are larger, and the chest bulkier.
In this form, Kabuto utilizes a weapon called Perfect Zecter. This sword is large and very nicely detailed. Unfortunately, there is no gun mode as seen in the show.
The final version of Kabuto included in this set is the Hyper Form in Clock Up mode. This uses the same base armor as Hyper Mode, with some reconfiguration and added parts.
The chest plates are removable and moved up to a second spot, giving the effect of it being split open.
On the back of the figure two panels open. These panels swivel and rotate, and you attach two clear insect wings to them.
The wrist armors are replaced with extended armor pieces, and you do the same with the ankle pieces.
You may be wondering where the large Kabuto shell comes in to play. While never appearing in the show, this accessory adds a bit of play value to the set. Resembling a Zecter, this beetle is made out of hard, translucent vinyl with awesome metallic paint applications. The bottom is hollow.
You can actually “transform” the Kabuto figure so that it fits into the shell of the Zecter, adding legs and wings to the set for a solid Kabuto Beetle.
It's cool, but I doubt I would keep it out for display. The design of the Zecter is classic Takeya.
Overall, it's a pretty awesome set. My only two complaints are that the shoulder pads are a bit loose, and that the leg section can separate if put into extreme poses. But at Just over $50 USD, this thing is a great deal and a lot of fun. Just don't lose any of the parts.
You can get your SIC Vol 52 Kamen Rider Kabuto at Big Bad Toy Store.
Review sample provided by Bluefin.
|Posted 1 February, 2011 - 20:16 by JoshB|