In every toyline, there are some that I consider “essential.” Sometimes this has to do with the character, othertimes it has to do with how good the figure itself is. Right here, we have kind of a middle ground. As the first “Heisei Era” Kamen Rider, Kuuga is pretty important, I’d say. I haven’t seen the show yet (yes, yes, I know. I’ll get to it!), but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. As such, he’s one that ends up in everyone’s collection in some form or another. Plus, having about a billion forms, all of which got toys, helps too.
The most easily-accessible form for Kuuga is Mighty Form. This is Kuuga’s most known form, as it’s pretty much his basic form. Kuuga has a lot of forms, and for the most part, they’re just color swaps until you get to the later ones. They’re also very hard to find, as most were made before Tamashii Web came along and were exclusive to Japanese department stores like JUSCO. Some people like to go for all of his forms, but I can’t get into it. There’s too many and they’re all too similar. Plus, they tend to be expensive. Really, really expensive.
What I love so much about Kuuga is just how… basic he is. He and Black are possibly my two most articulated Figuarts, and that mostly comes from the fact that they have really simple designs. Elegance in simplicity is something I love in my toys, and this guy has it in spades.
Not only that, as one of the first Figuarts, we’ve really come a long way, but in some respects, he’s held up pretty well over time. The only real problem I see here are the hips, which aren’t as effective as the modern ones. He doesn’t have the “sliding” mechanism to allow for awesome-looking Rider Kick poses. As a result, his Rider kick is… less than impressive.
We do get to see the good old ankle-rocker joints with die cast feet. This is one of the best examples of how these feet can work, and I’ve seen some people pull off some crazy balancing poses with them. I just prefer the metal feet because of the amount of “weight” it gives the figure. It makes them feel more substantial and more playable. Continue reading