Tagged: SH Figuarts

SH Figuarts Shadowmoon Review

By Loran

Kamen Rider villains are something you don’t see too often in the main SH Figuarts line. Early on, Bandai experimented by doing the gold, silver, and bronze Riders from the Kamen Rider Kabuto movie, and they all ended up being extreme shelfwarmers. I can understand why kids don’t always go for the villains, but it’s odd to see them not do too well in a toyline aimed exclusively at collectors. I guess Japan must not care as much.

Of course there are some villains that are classic, timeless, and awesome. Ones that deserve toys even more than their rivals. I of course, am talking about Shadowmoon, former friend turned worst enemy of Kamen Rider Black.

A few years ago, Shadowmoon was my first Kamen Rider toy. I bought the old Souchaku Henshin figure at New York Anime Festival back in 2007. I loved it. Of course, now that Figuarts are around, those old toys just don’t hold up, and upon hearing of a Figuarts Shadowmoon’s release, I sold it off to my friend along with my Black RX. And you know what? I don’t regret that decision at all. Continue reading

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SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Black review

By Loran

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.

Most amazingly is his ab crunch. Hoo boy, I did not expect this! He could easily win a limbo contest against any other Rider, maybe even Kuuga.

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

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New Arrivals: Rather be playing Zelda edition.

by Chris Troy

THE BEAST IS DEAD! CHRISTMAS IS OVER, AND NOW YOU HAVE CASH AND/OR  GIFT CARDS TO USE ON CRAP THAT YOU REALLY DON’T NEED, BUT YOU WILL ANYWAY, DESPITE YOUR WIFE YELLING AT YOU FOR THE AMOUNT OF TOYS & STATUES CURRENTLY IN THE LIVING ROOM…whoops, projecting in my articles again. Anywho, hope you had a happy whatever holiday you celebrate(d), as mine was pretty rad and full of new video games.

First and foremost: SH Figuarts update. If you recall last week’s article, I mentioned that Figuarts MechaGodzilla was a thing that we would soon have in. Change “soon” to “Currently in stock.” Much like his organic counterpart, Mecha-G is made up of 2 different materials; die-cast and zinc alloy. I really like that Bandai is going this route for these “MonsterArt” figures. He also comes with some variant pieces, nuclear breathe, and a stand for said breathe. In non-Kauji Figuarts news, we also have the Super Sayian Vegeta (Dragonball Z) Figuarts in stock. I have a nature bias towards Dragonball figures, as I was working at a Toys R Us at the height of DBZ’s popularity, so occasionally I have flashbacks to being swarmed by small children and neckbeards rushing me to get to the shelves, only to find out that the only figures we had in stock were some canon fodder villains.

That being said, the Figuarts are arguable the best DBZ figured made to date (which says a lot, as there’s been a ton of them over the years, crapped out by a varieties of companies in both the East and the West). The Prince of all Sayians is well-sculpted like most Figuarts, and comes with a variety of variants hands and faces. We have limited quantities of all these figures in stock, so get ‘em while we still have em. Ebay prices are scary yo.

I’d also like to point out that we have a ton of newish Heroclix figures instock as well!  For Marvel and DC-related things, we have both the Incredible Hulk and the Superman series in stock, as well as some non-comic book based properties in, like Gears of War and the Lord of the Rings. If you play, you’re gonna to want to pick up those LOTR Clix up ASAP, as the Hobbit trailer dropped last week, so there’s been a huge surge in anything Tolkien related as of late. Continue reading

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SH Figuarts Kamen Rider W Heat Trigger & Heat Joker

by Loran

Much like OOO, I still need to watch Kamen Rider Double/W. Why haven’t I? Well, laziness, really. I will say, though; Double’s style really appealed to me right out the gate. It was such a return to basics, something missing from most modern Riders. All of the designs were incredibly evocative of the phrase “elegance in simplicity”, which I just love. I think this is why the designs for OOO were so hated at first. They were way too different from what we’d just seen. Sure, Rider shows always have wildly different art styles, but going from Double’s “Back to basics” look to OOO’s… unique style was a bit much.

Of all of the combos in Double, the ones that just struck me in all the right places were the Heat combos. That shiny red just looked so good to me. Of course, my favorite of all of them was Heat Metal, but unfortunately, I’ve been having the worst time trying to get one, so I had to settle for the two pack of Heat Trigger and Heat Joker. And you know what? It was worth every penny; these two ROCK.

They both use the standard Double body, which looks great but has a few flaws. Most noticeably, Bandai didn’t color the joints—all of them have black joints. It really kind of hurts the look of the whole design. Also, the mold’s ab crunch is almost nonexistent. It’s more due to the design of the suit itself than just figure, but it’s still unfortunate. Lastly, the hands are REALLY annoying to swap. It’s hard to explain, but they just do NOT like to go in. It’s made even worse by the armor on the wrists that loves to slide off…

The rest, though, is pretty good. It has the great older SHF feel, with that nice heft you can’t not like. Metal feet and rocker ankles, man, I wish figures still used these. Continue reading

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New arrivals: Last minute shopping

by Chris Troy

If I had a clever intro, this is where it would go. Please take note of this

To the left of these words is a picture of a figure of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, one of the players featured in the 28th wave of the NFL McFarlane’s Sports Picks. I chose Brees because he’s my Fantasy Football QB, and he’s rarely let me down this season (Unlike my running backs). Aside from the Breesus, the line consists of Clay Matthews, Dez Bryant, Andre Johnson, Cam Newton, Peyton Hills, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and Barry Sanders. If any of those name got you excited, we have Wave 28 in stock, as well as a few older waves and special 2 & 3 packs, so come check them out.

Now that we carry SH Figuarts, I figured the first figure to rob me of my cash would be Wild Tiger of “Tiger & Bunny” fame, or at least a Gundam of some sort. But I was wrong. SH Figuarts Godzilla is out, and man, it’s pretty awesome. Why’s that you ask? Well it’s a fully articulated Godzilla figure for starters! 29 points of articulation in fact, what’s not rad about that? HE CAN BE POSED FOR SWIMMING PEOPLE, THAT’S CRAZY!!  Bandai went above and beyond in terms of  material as well, as the Big G is made up of 3 different  materials (ABS, PVC, and POM). I’m not exactly sure what that means aside from PVC, but hey, that’s cool regardless. In terms of accessories, you get plastic Godzilla  nuclear breathe, which is all you really need right? Godzilla goes for about $70 bucks, and will be joined in the future by  MechaGodzilla & SPACE GODZILLA, which  requires me to type his name out all in capital letters. We also have a ton of other plastic Godzilla figures from Bandai in stock, but real talk, the Figuarts one is the coolest. You’ll want to pick that up real fast.

Last article I said that when DC Direct releases products, it doesn’t mess around. IT WILL FLOOD THE MARKET. Right (as usual), we got another wave Green Lantern figures now in stock, as well as the first wave of the Starcraft premium figures (premium figures=cheap statues). On the Green Lantern end of things, we have Guy Gardner in his native Green Latern colors (oppose to blood-puke Guy from last time) Blue Lantern Brother Warth, Green Lantern Sinstero  (perhaps the 1st new 52 figure!) and his daughter Soranik Natu. Despite JUST GETTING A NEW GUY, this is a pretty solid wave, and each figure goes for about $20 each. The Starcraft series consists of Jim Raynor & Zeratul, 2 characters I know very little to nothing about because I don’t mess with Starcraft. But they’re pretty impressive low-end statues that go for about $30 a pop.

I had a pretty good laugh at Jazzware’s Mortal Kombat figures last week, and that’s come back to bite me in the ass. Aside from the 6″ inch figures, the company has released 4″ figures as well, dubbing the line Mortal Kombat Klassics. Nice job keeping the K motiff going. From what I’ve seen, you can either buy the robot ninja 3 pack, or the murder ninja 4 pack and get the same figure painted a whole bunch of different colors. I’m not sure if this is lazy, or brilliant.

Speaking of lazy and brilliant, expect my best of 2011 list next week. Happy Holidays y’all!

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SH Figuarts Kamen Rider OOO SaGoZo Form Review

By Loran

There wasn’t much that appealed to me early on in OOO. When I saw the big montage of all the possible forms, I just saw rainbow vomit. From what I’ve heard, most of them don’t even end up getting used in the show. I like the idea of having that many possibilities, but once you get more possible forms than episodes in the show, I think you need to reevaluate your plan. Thankfully, I’m not a neurotic enough collector to go for all those intermediate forms, so here I sit with all the main ones.

SaGoZo was the first form in OOO that really appealed to me. Really, how wrong can you go with black and silver? Add some purple in there and he’s the ideal Decepticon! Most other forms got saddled with weird concepts, or ones that just didn’t appeal to me: Bugs? Overdone. Jungle cats? Can’t do it without a lion chest. Sea life? Too freaky. Birds? Meh. Totally random jungle animals that have nothing to do with each other? Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

SaGoZo’s three animals are a rhino (head), gorilla (arms), and elephant (legs). Yeah, kind of random, huh? Regardless of how weird it all seems, all three come together to form a design that could easily stand on its own outside the confines of a Kamen Rider series. I’d actually recommend this guy to people who aren’t fans of Kamen Rider that just want to pick up a cool toy.

Really, the whole package just appeals to me so much. He’s clearly the bruiser of all the forms with his horned helmet and big bulky arms and legs. I wish I had some Greeds for him to beat up. He has the same foot style as the other OOO figuarts but can actually hold a pose much better.

The figure’s main gimmick are the arm guards, which can “shoot off”. In order to remove them, you have to separate them into two pieces and reassemble them. It’s a bit annoying but it helps for stability. Still, I had no idea they could even do this until I saw someone do it on theirs. I guess that’s what I get for not watching the show, but still, I don’t even recall there being any pictures of it on the box…

The arm guards do have a downside, however. Because of them, he can’t hold that stupid sword everyone comes with. It doesn’t bother me much, but it just makes me wonder why they even included it in the first place. Did someone on Bandai put an extra zero on the production machine and they ended up making more than they needed? Also, with them on, changing the hands can be really cumbersome.

Aside from that, no other accessories are included, just the basic assortment of hands. Unfortunate, but I guess there really isn’t anything else he would’ve gotten.

I have a bit of a soft spot for SaGoZo. He just appeals to me in all the right ways. He may have some of the same flaws that the other Figuarts from his show have, but he manages to deal with them a lot better. In my personal opinion, if you’re to get any one Figuart from OOO, it would be him. Come down to FPNYC for yours!

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SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Birth review

By Loran

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. Continue reading

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SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Kuuga Mighty Form Review

By Loran

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.

His ab crunch is very effective, and isn’t hindered too much by his armor. In terms of waist articulation, he’s second only to Kamen Rider Black in my collection.

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

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New Arrivals: The Society of the Walking Vocaloids Revolutions

by Chris Troy

Yeah, even I’ll admit the title for this article is a bit weak.

Anywho FPNYC faithful, if you haven’t been by the store lately, you should probably check out the new display we have set up in the front window. While FPNYC has been slowing down on keeping Gunpla kits in stock, we been working to getting the best of Bandai SH Figuarts in stock! We have some Kamen Rider and One Piece figures currently in stock, but expect to see such legendary series like Dragon Ball Z & Gundam on our shelves during the coming week, as well as Megaman, and the newest anime hit on the block, superhero epic Tiger & Bunny. Really looking forward to reviewing those Figuarts over the next couple of months, as the show is fantastic, and the Wild Tiger we have on display look amazing. And speaking of import figures, I’d like to point out that we currently have the 100th Figma in stock, Miku Hatsune of Vocaloid fame in her Append version. And no, I have no idea what “Append version”, means, although it makes for a completely different look than the Miku Figma my wife has in our living room. Loran probably does though, which is why he’ll be reviewing this figure in a few weeks and not me. Either way, I think it looks neat, and Vocaloid stuff always flies off the shelf,  so if you want her, come pick her up ASAP!

Let’s move into some toys I’ve discussed in the past, but now we have in stock to I can shed a little more light on them. Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution Play Art Kai figures are in stocks, and damn, they look good. The first time the acclaimed series had any sort of action figure tie-in, the series consists of main protagonist Adam Jensen, and 2 of his mercenary arch enemies Federova & Lawrence Barret. While I haven’t put the most time into the game,  the figures look amazing, are fully articulated, and come with variant hands, and a good selection of weapons. For $50 a pop, Square definitely delivers. We also have the 19th wave of DCU Classic in stock, which consists of Justice Society of American figures. I’m not too crazy about Kobra or the Golden Age versions of the characters, but Magog and Stargirl are definitely nice additions to the previous released JSA figures.

Wrapping up this week’s new releases, we have a line of comic booked-based  action who DON’T wear spandex. Image’s Walking Dead has been a huge in print and on TV, and McFarlane Toys has the rights to do figures based on both the comics and smash-hit live action AMC TV series. The first line of toys is based on comics, and consists of Officer Rick Grimes, the deadly and awesome Michonne, and 2 flavors of zombies, Lurker and Roamer. Both Rick and Michonne are fairly articulated and come armed with a variety of weapons (Rick with a ton of guns, Michhonne with a sword, knife, and some tools), while the 2 zombies have removable limbs and exploding parts. That’s awesome! Either way, each figures goes for about $15 a pop and this is the part of the article where I would say you should drag you corpse over to FPNYC to pick them up, but I’m better than that. At least I like to think so.

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