Monday, December 13, 2010
Figma Kamen Rider Dragon Knight
This is the review of Figma Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (also known as Kamen Rider Ryuki in Japan and the rest of Asia).
Yeah, for some of you the regular visitors of Shewsbury Land you might already noticed that this is the 4th Kamen Rider Ryuki we reviewed here and I can't blame you if you thought that Kamen Rider Ryuki is my most favorite modern Kamen Rider but eventually Kamen Rider Faiz is still my No. 1 favorite (in terms of action figure) because he have mobile phones and followed by this Kamen Rider Ryuki at No. 2 because of the gorgeous dragon.
You can click the following links to read the other Kamen Rider Ryuki (or Dragon Knight) reviews;
S.I.C. Kiwami Tamashii Kamen Rider Ryuki (June 2010)
Twist Action Form Kamen Rider Ryuki
FFR02 Kamen Ryuki Dragreder
Nonetheless, let's start the review now;
A little information about this "Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight" from Wikipedia;
Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight is the Daytime Emmy Award-winning American adaptation of the Japanese tokusatsu series Kamen Rider Ryuki, the twelfth installment of the Kamen Rider Series.
It was brought to television by Steve and Michael Wang and produced by Jimmy Sprague through Adness Entertainment. The series had a sneak premiere on December 13, 2008, but started official broadcasting on January 3, 2009 and played throughout the year. Adness chose to adapt Ryuki over the other Heisei Rider shows as it has a large number of characters (Ryuki had 13 Riders in total) as well as a female Rider.
It is also the first tokusatsu adaptation of a Kamen Rider Series since Saban's Masked Rider, which was adapted from Kamen Rider Black RX. The show first aired in the United States on The CW Television Network during its The CW4Kids programming block.
Statements by director Steve Wang and male lead Stephen Lunsford show that The CW had dropped Dragon Knight at the end of the year before its final two episodes aired in the US. The final episodes were uploaded to the 4Kids TV website on December 18, 2009.
In the early licensing information for the series, Adness Entertainment had intended to also film a feature-length movie for Dragon Knight. In an interview, Steve Wang stated that they had written a story for a film, but Adness was raising money to bring over another Kamen Rider for broadcast in the US rather than a film or a second season of Dragon Knight.
In 2010, Dragon Knight was nominated for and won the Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Stunt Coordination", a new category for the Daytime Emmys.
Interesting though to see that there is Medicom Toy logo beside the usual Max Factory logo on the box.
I don't really know why, but my guess is that it's either Max Factory and Medicom share the licensing for the toys/figures stuff for the series OR maybe Max Factory and Medicom co-developed this figure together.
Just a wild guess, only Max Factory knew the real reason....
At the back we can see the logo of "Ishimori Production" and "Toei" and of course "Adness Entertainment".
OK, out of the box....
You will get all these stuff;
And all these stuff - Guard Vent, Drag Visor, Strike Vent, Sword Vent, Figma Stand, extra hands, Advent Card, optional equipment to attached the Guard Vent onto the arms, manual and the standard Figma plastic bag...
The Advent Card is quite tiny;
But thanks to the Raynox DCR-250 Macro Lens, we can enlarge the view;
This is the first time I see Max Factory use clear version for this "hands storage terminal" - that's what I call it - basically you will put all the extra hands there when not in use.
As usual, let's have a look at the figure;
From the look of it, it seems obvious that the sculpt and details almost matching to that Kamen Rider Ryuki from Bandai's Twist Action Form series.
Nothing flashy or too much detailed like the one from S.I.C. Kiwami Tamashii, simple and neat, just like the one we saw on TV.
Articulation is pretty good, exactly what we expect from Figma. However the moment I did this usual kneeling post, I straight away spotted the main disappointment or rather the main issue or weakness or complain on this Figma.
I hope you can see the explanation from the photos below;
Basically the issue appear from the material chosen for that section marked with yellow. I think this also because of the design factor. It makes me think a little while on the reason why Max Factory choose this material and design - though at the end, I gave up and don't know why.
My guess is that maybe Max Factory try hard not to imitate Bandai style on that area - possibly they worried if people (especially Bandai) accused them of copying Bandai design 100% and thus to avoid any trouble, they decide to design it differently.
Or maybe Max Factory just want to make their Figma looks different from those produced by Bandai in the past.
Again, it is just a wild guess.... only Maki Asai and Max Factory know the real reason.
Looks ugly this way right?
The view from behind (or rather ass view);
You can click to enlarge the photo below and focus on the marked area;
Again, for me personally, doesn't look pretty;
The reason I put in lot's of efforts to to also includes the unhappy smiley face there and also that thumbs down picture is because I will later highlight this to Maki Asai as a reference so that they can improve on this part in the future. I'm not good in Japanese and similarly Maki Asai is not that fluent in English either so I hope the photo can tell the story.
Not really as a complain because nothing much they can do to change the production model now, way too late for that but rather just as something for them to look into and consider for future development.
We'll never new if in the future Max Factory will maybe produce another Figma of Kamen Riders.... there are many of them.... so the possibility is there.
Apart from the kneeling pose - if you do any other type of action pose, you won't really encounter that annoyance actually, so it's a concern but not a fatal one, I can live with it...
The manual provided by Max Factory;
I would also like to highlight something about the Drag Visor;
This part of the Drag Visor is made from a soft material;
So be careful not to use knife or scissor on that part....
Attaching the Drag Visor.....
The Sword Vent is quite nice, the detailing is decent.
Some pose with that tiny Advent Card...
Usually at first, Kamen Rider Ryuki will just fight using his arms and legs but depending on the situation, he do need to power up and get some additional weapons from the Advent Card.
The Sword Vent conjures a dragon-designed broadsword - a normal, generic longsword that broke easily and cannot be use to cut a condom LOL....
The Guard Vent attach dragon-like guards on his arms...
And before we proceed, I would like to highlight something on this part as well. Basically it's quite troublesome as you need to do some part swapping as explained from several photos below;
Once done, you can then attached the Guard Vent...
And now we ready for some masturbation..... I mean some action LOL;
The Strike Vent attach a dragon-like gauntlet on his right hand to shoot a burst of flames, assisted by Dragredder. He actually got this as free gift from one of those McDonalds Happy Meal promotions LOL...
Seriously, the dragon head is detailed nicely;
And it also features some articulation on the mouth as below;
Roarrrrr!!! ready for blow job? This dragon will eat your penis....
OK, let's do something fun with this Strike Vent;
In case if you wonder, the Dragon is actually the transformable FFR02 Kamen Ryuki Dragreder
Enough with that nonsense, now it's time for the Final Vent;
Final Vent will summons Dragreder for Dragon Knight's Final Vent. It consists of him jumping into the air, delivering a flying side kick powered by Dragreder's flames.
In Shewsbury Land, this typical Kamen Rider kick (Final Vent) is popularly known as Slutty Bitch Kick - damn deadly even a Gundam can't handle it....
Overall this is indeed a nice Figma of Kamen Rider Ryuki (Masked Rider Dragon Knight). The design, sculpt, detailing and accessories are brilliant though it will be nicer if they also includes the Dragon as well LOL (thus this will surely hike the price further). We do have some complaints on this one as highlighted above but that doesn't make this Figma a terrible one by any standard. We think that this is still a good Figma overall 7 out of 10 - simple as that.
As at the day of this review, if I'm not mistaken, Bandai haven't released any S.H. Figuarts for Kamen Rider Ryuki and I think that will be the direct comparison that we can actually use for this Figma judging from the price level of 3,048 yen (about SGD 48.00 before adding shipment charges - which is not cheap) and I personally wonder what improvement Bandai can provide over this Figma.... this indirectly makes me look forward to see the response from Bandai in the future.
As a side notes, this Figma is 1cm shorter from the regular Kamen Rider in S.H. Figuarts series produced by Bandai.
I'm not sure if Kamen Rider fans, especially Kamen Rider Ryuki fans (in Japan and Asia) wanted this Figma desperately - though I do believe that some of them will buy this Figma and this can be a boost for Max Factory market penetration in the USA as the series English (or rather American) adaptation seems to be quite popular there.
From what I gathered, when it comes to Kamen Rider action figures, many people still somehow prefer those S.H. Figuarts series from Bandai (Bandai is smiling) and if that is true, then Max Factory really need to sharpen up a bit in this Kamen Rider stuff if they seriously think want to steal some market share and business from those S.H. Figuarts collectors currently dominated (or rather controlled and manipulated) by Bandai.
Next, I need to highlight those issues to Maki Asai.... sigh....
What do you think about this Figma now?