While the SH Figuarts line has primarily focused on the Heisei era of Kamen Riders, every now and then we get to see a Showa Rider or two. Naturally, the first one Bandai picked was the ever-popular Kamen Rider Black, the only full TV series from the 80’s. Black is one of the darkest Kamen Rider shows (In tone, not just the suit design…) and is beloved by fans on both sides of the Pacific. And who can blame them? Everything about the show is stylish, and it reeks of 80’s in that good way you just don’t see often enough. I remember first seeing one of Black’s movies at Otakon in 2007. It was in a block with two Rider 1 and 2 movies and a V3 movie. Everyone got a good chuckle out of the two 70’s movies, but when the Black one came on, everyone managed to take it a bit more seriously.
Like Kuuga, Black is one of those “elegance in simplicity” designs. Black has no gimmick whatsoever—just a throwback to the old bug aesthetic. I wonder if the design team planned on having Black launch a whole new era of Kamen Riders, one cut short by its sequel show’s lack of popularity.
Unsurprisingly, Black’s predominant color is… black! Thankfully, there is enough color on this design to keep things broken up. I especially like the yellow/red trim along the neck. It’s not something you expect and looks very striking. Most of the joints are made out of a brownish plastic with a gradient, giving it a fantastic organic look.
Black’s biggest strength is his articulation. Once again, the simple designs reign supreme. Not one single part of his design hinders any articulation. While most Riders need to have the slide-down hip joint to allow for proper kicking, he doesn’t need any of that. His hips are plain, simple, ball-hinges, and they work perfectly.
Make sure to be careful with the symbol on his chest. I’ve heard reports of some rubbing off extremely quickly, so watch out! Continue reading