SIC: Kamen Rider Fang Joker & Kamen Rider Skull
Review by Dkun
Get your S.I.C. Vol. 59 Kamen Rider W FangJoker & Kamen Rider Skull at HobbyLink Japan!
Kamen Rider W: Fang Joker
Shotaro Hidari and Philip: Two men, one Kamen Rider, the brawn and the brains, respectively. Philip, the quite socially-devoid super genius, has always been the nice, subservient half of the W team. This persona all changes with the introduction of the Fang memory. A beast, one that has been dwelling in Philip, is released, and an uncontrollable berserker rends its anger to whoever is in its path.
This beast’s rage is encapsulated in the form of SIC: Volume 59 Fang/Joker from the tokusatsu show Kamen Rider: W. The SIC line takes the Fang/Joker armor and stylizes it, giving it a new, gritty look, and the result is fantastic.
The packaging has an open front celebrating the two figures inside as well as their respective accessories. A matte black finish and each rider's title brings it all together.
The back exemplifies the figures doing their character poses and details what extras each comes with. That and all the warnings one could ever need. :|
The idea behind SIC is stylization, sometimes to the extreme; this idea is not lost on Fang/Joker. Everything that is Fang/Joker is faithfully reproduced and then stylized to a gritty almost medieval persuasion. Though Fang/Joker is not as crazily stylized as some of the previous SICs, the idea is still present and really adds to the figure.
To say that this figure is detailed would be an understatement. From the most subtle to the outright overt, Fang/Joker is riddled with etches, lines, and stabbing-esque protrusions. Everything from the W-driver to the line that separates Philip from Shotaro is oozing with detail. Although the figure is etched and detailed to the X-TREME, the figure overall is not muddled or dirty looking; all the detailed is spread over the eight inch figure and has plenty of room to breathe and get shown off.
The joints are well hidden and work well with the color of the figure itself. The elbow joints are more exposed than the rest of the joints and the Fang side elbow isn’t the exact same color as the rest of the body, but this is a small thing that really doesn’t take too much away.
The articulation of Fang/Joker is great with only a few obstructing parts of construction: the rubber hip armor and the wrist and ankle bands.
The hip armor does make for a more stream-lined figure, but it hinders the lateral movement of the legs. With a little bit of fiddling, one can achieve the maximum yaw of the leg joint; however, this will put the leg under the hip armor and ruin that stream-lined look. Also, the bands on the wrist and ankles do hinder the maximum swivel of each joint.
Other than that, however, the figure moves and poses very well. Joints are tight and offer a good range of movement. Double jointed elbows, knees; ball-jointed wrists, head, neck and legs; waist swivel and abdominal crunch. The memories are removable from the belt and the belt itself moves from the neutral to the W stance.
Fang/Joker stands seven inches tall, seven-and-a-half to the tippy-top of his antenna.
Fang/Joker comes with a sizeable troupe of extras and accessories:
- Fang Memory
- Fang Memory in Dino mode
- Joker Memory
- Den-Den sensor
- Den-Den Memory
- 9 hands
- Die-cast ankle, wrist, and shoulder fangs
- Die-cast melee fang
- Extra separating head
Though the SIC line itself does not have a gimmick (unless you consider super-stylization a gimmick), the W wave of figures do. The Fang/Joker W as well as all the other combinations can be taken apart into their two sides leaving a “body core.”
This core can have any left and right side attached to it, leaving it up to the buyer what combo he or she wants to make. This is also where the extra separating head comes into play. Though the whole toy can be pulled apart into its basic parts, the figure is still very solid; the plug-in points and joints are all very tight and hold together well.
SIC: volume 59 Fang/Joker is a fun, solid toy. With a new aesthetic swing on the original armor, a figure is born with an entirely new vibe, but one that still resonates with the show’s main idea. SIC Fang/Joker has great articulation, mind-blowing detail, and a plethora of accessories. The stylization is clean and not muddled and really adds a lot to the figure. This figure is highly recommended to any fan of SIC or W.
Kamen Rider Skull
Narumi Soukichi is the mentor and boss of Hidaro Shotaro, and the man who inspired him to become a hardboiled detective. Even when he doesn’t have any weapons, Narumi Soukichi is able to defeat many goons and grunts with ease and plenty of style. However, when evil Dopants threaten Fuuto city, he is able to turn into the hero, Kamen Rider Skull.
SIC Kamen Rider Skull is one half of the SIC Vol. 59 set. Skull has a very awesome aesthetic that is sleek, dark, rugged, and most importantly, hardboiled. The SIC line offers super stylized interpretations of various tokusatsu characters, and although the Kamen Rider W aesthetic has not been changed very drastically, there are still just enough stylistic changes that the figure works in this look. Skull’s belt and accessories in particular all have extra sculpted detail that helps emphasize the technical aspects of Kamen Rider Skull’s gear.
Skull’s chest plate in particular is a major drastic change, and has been changed slightly. Instead of just looking like a human ribcage, now Skull actually has a skeleton ribcage in his armor. The extra weathered detail on the chest helps to give his chest a much grittier feel. Kamen Rider Skull’s muffler is done in a similar weathering job, and is also significantly larger than it originally was.
Kamen Rider Skull’s head has been sculpted in a slightly different style. Although the actual features of the head are relatively the same with the original suit, they have been changed in proportion slightly to fit the aesthetic of the rest of the figure. The biggest change is the head itself. The original Kamen Rider Skull head is much sleeker and shaped like a helmet. The new head is instead shaped more like an actual skull, and is much rounder than the original design. The eyes are also not as large as the original eyes. Just changing these tiny features drastically changes Kamen Rider Skull’s aesthetic.
Although the other Kamen Rider W SIC figures feature the gimmick where they are able to split in half to swap the various forms and sides, Kamen Rider Skull does not have this feature; Even though this option is not available for Skull that does not diminish his quality as a toy at all.
Skull’s articulation was quite a pleasant surprise. As this is my first full-sized SIC, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard previously that the articulation was not as good as an S.H. Figuarts, but I have to disagree. Kamen Rider Skull moves just as well as a Figuart, and has one heck of a torso and waist crunch too. The figure feels sturdy and good in the hands, especially for its size.
Kamen Rider Skull comes with a number of accessories, including five pairs of hands. The standard fists, splayed hands, and holding-things hands are included, along with four pointing hands, which Skull can use to tell his enemies that it’s time to count up their sins. Or crimes. Take your pick.
One of the most notable features of Kamen Rider Skull is his white fedora. Two are included in this set: one with a torn rim, and another hat that is intact. The hats sit on Skull’s head a little loosely, but they will stay there if you set the figure down.
In addition to the two hats, Skull comes with two plastic caps. These caps can be placed on Skull’s head to protect his head from direct contact with the hat. This is because if the hat is too tight on Skull’s head or if you live in a particularly humid environment, then the silver paint could potentially scuff on Skull’s head. So long as you don’t put the hat on incredibly tightly on Skull’s head though, I don’t think these caps will be necessary.
Skull also comes with an alternate head cast in clear plastic. This head is when Skull is in his first form, Skull Crystal. Even though this head is a nice addition to the figure, I tend to prefer the more iconic silver head with the lightning bolt running down the front of the head.
In a bit of an odd move, Kamen Rider Skull also comes with an alternate chest piece as well. Swapping the part out requires removing the head, the muffle, and the chest plate. It’s not too difficult though. This piece features a metal ribcage and the ribs actually move out to expose some disgusting looking innards. These parts move to mimic in the Kamen Rider Skull movie part of Movie War: CORE, in a scene where Skull’s ribcage opens up and he shoots a giant purple skull out of his chest. I am not kidding, this actually happens.
Like the rest of the Kamen Rider W SIC figures, Skull’s belt actually functions like it does in the show. The Lost Driver moves up and down on a tiny little peg, and even has a small Skull Gaia Memory as well to put into the Driver. There’s a Maximum Drive slot on the side of his belt where the Gaia Memory can be placed in so that Skull can Rider Kick his enemies in the face.
Although most of Kamen Rider Skull’s fighting is done hand to hand, he also has a trusty gun as well: the Skull Magnum. Despite its size, you can still take Skull’s Gaia Memory from his Lost Driver and place it into the Skull Magnum to replicate his Maximum Drive, or finishing move. The tiny S that’s printed on the Gaia Memory actually shows up through a tiny window when in Maximum Drive mode as well.
When Kamen Rider Skull finishes off his enemies with a Maximum Drive, he Rider Kicks a giant purple skull at them. So in order to replicate this, a clear purple skull is included. When I removed this piece from the packaging, it was covered in injection fluid molds, so it was all greasy and gross out of the packaging. The skull splits in half and fits over his foot with ease. It looks pretty cool, but it’s kind of useless without a stand and Act 3 or 4 stands aren’t really designed to hold a figure this large and heavy. I mean, you can still do it like I've pictured here, but it's kind of a huge hassle to get it done.
Skull’s final accessory is a simple, but very important piece if you are a fan of Kamen Rider W. Skull comes with a tiny little briefcase that he can hold, and inside of that briefcase are the Double Driver and the six Gaia Memories: Cyclone, Joker, Heat, Metal, Luna, and Trigger. The Double Driver is a solid piece and does not move. This piece is mostly for show, but it’s an incredibly nice touch to finish off this set.
SIC Kamen Rider Skull is a fantastic figure from the SIC line, even as just a standalone figure. The finish, aesthetic, and playability of this toy really make this figure a winner. Skull comes with everything he needs to, and even a little more on top of that. Even if SIC’s more stylized take on various designs is not to your liking, Kamen Rider Skull may be able to persuade people regardless of their personal feelings. He’s just that cool and hardboiled.
Even though VIR and I split this set between the two of us, that does not diminish from the set as a whole. In fact, it only goes to show how strong both halves of this set are even as standalone action figures. These two figures by themselves are already very good figures. Having them packed in the same set makes this an amazing set. If you love Kamen Rider W, or just think that these two look incredibly cool, they will not disappoint. Their size, detail, and accessories are all more than enough to keep any collector satisfied.
|Posted 7 December, 2011 - 01:28 by Dkun|