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SH Figuarts: Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker and Machine Hardboilder

February 2, 2011

Do you have the courage to ride with the Devil?

I recently watched all of Kamen Rider W (aka Double) and decided I needed some toys. Now, being a completist it probably wasn’t the best idea for me to begin a Kamen Rider toy collection whilst also buying those DC Universe toys, but I did anyway. I bought SH Figuarts Double and his motorbike.

Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker on Machine Hardboilder
First off, I should point out that these were separate purchases. Double and the bike are not sold together. This means that, when the bike arrived in the post first, I had just a random (although cool-looking) bike on display with no rider. It also means you’re likely to be annoyed at having to spend around the same amount on the barely articulated bike as the rider, and this line isn’t one of the cheapest to start with.

But that’s getting ahead. I guess an introduction for non-Kamen Rider fans would be a good idea. Essentially, Kamen Rider Double is the result of a machine called the Double Driver (that red W-shaped belt) and things called GaiaMemories. The two people who become Double each use a GaiaMemory in one of the slots on the Double Driver, in this case the Cyclone Memory and the Joker Memory, and they sort of fuse into one being. Half of that being is the Cyclone Memory (the green half) and the other is the Joker Memory (the black side). Double does also have other Memories which can be switched in. Anyway, Shotaro, who uses the Joker Memory, is a detective (working with Philip, the Cyclone Memory’s owner) who gets tied up in cases involving monsters called Dopants, who are people using GaiaMemories without a Driver.

To summarize that: Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker is a good guy who beats up monsters.

Kamen Rider Double CycloneJokerAs you can see on the right, the figure looks absolutely fantastic. If I had to name one issue about it it would be that the GaiaMemories in the Double Driver aren’t painted green and purple, but it still has the lights to show which Memories are in use so really, this is the most minor issue I could have with a toy ever.

As for articulation, I should point out that the SH Figuarts toys are in a completely different league to the DC Classics toys. There is a reason for the higher price on these Bandai toys. Every joint you can see in that image probably has at least two extra points of USEFUL articulation than you realise. As an example, those shoulder pads fold up, and his shoulders are on joints that can fold away from the ball-joint for the shoulder. This gives a field of motion for the arms that is unparalleled by any other toys I’ve seen, and the same can be said for the rest of this figure.

The figure came with six extra hands, three Cyclone and three Joker, and two different scarves for the Cyclone half. I would’ve liked to have had accessories for the GaiaMemories too, or a stand, but what we got was excellent regardless. I do plan on getting the HeatMetal and LunaTrigger toys as well, and they come with additional accessories (Joker is the memory Shotaro uses that does not have any weapons).

Now for the bike, called Machine Hardboilder. On it’s own it looks awesome and is cleverly designed. The handles can be moved to rotate the front wheel (which is detachable, for reasons I’ll discuss later) and the rear wheel moves and is on a spring that allows the bike to rest standing up even without it’s stand (which detracts from the look of the bike, so it’s good not to have it be necessary to stand up). Beyond that, it does feel like a big chunk of plastic though. Because it is I guess. But the issue was that it was sold at a comparable price point to complex, highly articulated figures.

The cool part though is that, like the show’s Hardboilder, the two halves of the toy can be separated and allow for other parts to be attached to the black front half (such as the red HardTurbuler jet, which has a different front-wheel configuration. I said I’d explain why that was detachable) but most of these parts either haven’t been released yet or are exclusives which will of course jack up the price ridiculously.

Anyway, together with Double, some issues with the bike arise. It almost feels like, in designing the bike, Bandai forgot that most buyers would want it so that Double could actually sit on it. Because it’s perhaps a little too big and not really conducive to the idea of playing nice with a rider. It makes it really difficult to pose. I suppose some of the blame could be put on the Double figure, but equally could it be said that if Bandai had the rider made already, they had the template they needed to get the bike right. It’s just a frustrating issue that really shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker and separated Machine Hardboilder
These toys are meant to be together. And by all means, Double has become one of the centerpieces of my toy collection. But a few minor issues with Hardboilder means that, together, I don’t think they’re quite as good as they should be. Separately, they’re both technically great and nice to look at, but it would be stupid to keep them apart. Does this mean that together I’m disappointed with the purchases? Not at all. Just some frustration with one aspect of the toys.

So until next time,

Count up your sins.

-Vyperchild

** Next time will probably be Kamen Rider Accel, from the same show **

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2 comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bradley Heap, Bradley Heap. Bradley Heap said: SH Figuarts: Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker and Machine Hardboilder: http://wp.me/pLOfy-bt […]


  2. waaant



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