Ever since Kamen Rider Agito, secondary Riders have become a staple of the franchise. I personally have no problem with it; heck, the original series had Riders 1 and 2 working alongside each other and Stronger had Tackle who… kind of counts. It adds a nice dimension to the show, and a second Rider can be either a good guy or a bad guy depending on how the writers see fit. Some of my favorites were in Kamen Rider Blade, which doesn’t have figures yet because Bandai plain hates us. It’s gotten to the point where they’re like the Sixth Rangers in Super Sentai, and I’m seriously okay with that.
I grabbed Kamen Rider Birth because, well, my OOOs collection wouldn’t look right without him. Yes, I know, I still need to watch the show (I’ll get to it! It’s either I watch the show and get none of the toys or vice versa so shh!) but from what I’ve gathered this guy is pretty cool. To go with OOOs medals/coin theme, Birth is based on a gashapon machine, I guess? It doesn’t really translate well in just his design alone. Still, he has a very mechanical design to him (something I think that’s become lost on many Kamen Riders these days) that doesn’t look silly (Fourze, I’m looking at you). He’s also basically the movie Iron Man, and that’s awesome.
Birth has a lot of girth (hurr), which is nice to see on a robotic Figuart these days. I just get the feeling that they’ve become too slim lately. Thankfully, his simple frame and design allows for almost unlimited posing with no stupid wings or anything getting in his way. The joints are all nice and smooth, too.
But there’s one thing that makes him stand out against [almost] all of the other OOO figuarts: he has DIECAST! Yes, Birth is one of this year’s few Figuarts with diecast feet, and I couldn’t be happier. He has that nice heft that all of the OOO and Shinkenger figuarts lack, and damn he looks good doing it. The old style feet are still great and it’s good to see that he has those instead of the really obnoxious ones the rest of the OOO guys have. It’s a shame his feet weren’t a sign of things to come and they went back to plastic feet again…
Another sore spot on this figure is his accessory count: only six hands, an alternate head, and his gun. The alternate head is awesome and one I always display mine with, and the gun has three modes. I imagine it’s for loading the medals or something. I’ll let you know when I actually watch the damn show! I imagine the weak accessory count was a result of Bandai balancing out their budget after the diecast feet.
Overall, I’d say Birth is probably my favorite new Figuart that’s been released this year. He has that great feel of old Figuarts and moves just like them. It’s just such a shame we’ve gone back to plastic so quickly. Still, I think this guy is a great starter Figuart for someone first getting into the line because of that. If you want one, come down to FPNYC for yours!