Team TokuNet Writer Malunis reviews Figure-rise’s take on the title character of Kamen Rider Build.
For those who don’t immediately recognize the name, Figure-rise is a model kit line naturally started by Bandai – it’s their bread and butter since they own Gundam. When it comes to Kamen Rider, they produced a few things several years ago. The best known of these are the 1/8 scale Master Grade releases for Kamen Rider W, as well as a couple odd standalone figures.
But their main thing seems to be Figure-rise Standard, which is a 1/12 scale line (that being your average 5-6″ action figure), which they mainly use for Dragon Ball these days. Back when they first made Rider model kits, they put out a Kabuto, as well as Faiz, annnd not much else.
Now, in 2018, they’ve brought it back with the current – almost former – title character, Kamen Rider Build.
Build is a pretty fun one to do, because his transformation sequence involves what is essentially a model kit sprue. This is my first Figure-rise purchase, so let’s see what this line is like together.
Even though I own a few model kits, I’ve never reviewed one before, so bare with me. Right out of the box you get what you’d expect: Several sprues with parts on them, a pamphlet of instructions… and stickers. We’ll talk about those in due time.
For now, I imagine the first thing to talk about is assembly. Even though the instructions are super thin and not very photogenic, they’re very helpful if this is your first time building a kit. In particular, they advise having some snippers to remove parts from the sprue, as well as tweezers to carefully place the stickers. I’d also recommend a knife and/or nail file to remove the little bits of broken plastic on your parts after you remove them from the sprue, just to make your kit look and feel nicer. Handle with care.
Like several Bandai model kits, the instructions take you through each part of the figure (Head, torso, arm, etc.) Each sprue is given a letter with each part given a number, so it’s very easy to identify which part you need for any given step. Something I wasn’t expecting was the English text used for the instructions – it’s all very clear and well translated, if you really need it. Also, keep in mind the small blurbs about sticker placement, because you’ll be applying stickers as you build it, unless you’re the adventurous painter.
Let’s now talk about Build as a figure! Standing at 6″ tall, this figure will be in scale with your S.H. Figuarts releases and most action figures, though I suppose whether or not he blends in is subjective. To me he seems a tad more bulky, but still looks very accurate to the show’s suit. As a model kit, he’s gonna feel a little more light than a standard action figure, so I’d be careful about putting him somewhere that he could easily fall from – I don’t trust model kits to survive a drop test.
Articulation is nice, with some balljoints and the standard pegs that you think of with Bandai model kits. The elbows and knees are double jointed, giving him a nice range. He also has double balljoints in the neck area and abdomen for even more range. Something nice I wasn’t expecting was the ankle tilts, which cleverly use a joint to allow his ankles to bend back and forth as well as turn side to side. Overall he is pretty dang posable.
The thing I’m not a fan of is the stickers, but it isn’t anything this particular kit is doing with them, it’s what Bandai does with them. I always find that stickers don’t stay on very well, and if you’re dealing with Bandai’s model kits where their stickers can usually go as far as “Wrap this around a rounded surface”, things start to look a little weird.
Some of the more prominent stickers are the white spring on his left leg, the red and blue on his forearms and hips, the silver detailing on the Build Driver, and there are silver stickers behind the eye pieces to give them that nice layered look. Said eye stickers were peeking between each photo I took for this review.
Weirdly, the promo images show that the belt’s crank has black on it, as well as the bottoms of the Fullbottles, but they don’t. Props for making the crank movable, though.
If you decide you don’t wanna deal with stickers, then I think he will look… okay, just not totally accurate to the show. Some of those stickers are necessary to give him color, but you could potentially use paint. In fact, Gundam paint markers would probably be very appropriate here – they even have metallic red and blue, which are what you’d wanna use here.
Also, I guess another thing worth talking about is the way this figure is assembled. Kamen Rider W‘s Figure-rise releases allowed for Double to do form swapping, so that you could get combos like HeatJoker or LunaMetal. While a lot of this Build figure seems like it could do that, parts of the helmet and torso seem to be specifically molded for the RabbitTank parts to fit together, and the red and blue stickers applied to the torso (mainly the back and waist) aren’t exactly swappable if you want him to look fully accurate, so I don’t think expect them to make more forms. I’ll also say that Double was probably given that gimmick because it was a 1/8 scale figure made of way more parts.
Let’s talk about accessories. First off, very cool to see accessories with a model kit, especially this many.
The main attraction here are the alternate hands, which there are a fair amount of. Apart from the fists, he also comes with a pair of open hands which are neutral enough you could use them several different ways. He also has two more options on the right side, one being a hand with to fingers pointed out to do his iconic poses (whether it be the Law of Victory or the sassy lean), the other being a hand for holding his weapon.
That brings us to his weapon: The Drill Crusher! There’s a lot of stickers to get the yellow parts colored, as well as all the details at the hilt. The tip of the drill mode can be removed and attached to the front for its gun mode, if you so choose – to me it doesn’t feel like it locks in too securely, but your mileage may vary. Since the Fullbottles in the belt aren’t made to be removed and used for other functions, they don’t fit into the Fullbottle slot on the weapon.
Lastly, he comes with a display stand, which is uses a blocky peg, so you will have to disassemble it to adjust its position, which means it’ll hold that position without getting loose. The stand features several holes around it, both small and large – I’m pretty sure this is for other Figure-rise display stand options, as it comes with parts for linking up display stands and for attaching effect parts (not included). I don’t think it was intended to be used to display the accessories, but you can kinda do that as well, albeit with a very loose fit.
And that is Figure-rise’s return to Kamen Rider in 2018. I suppose now I must ask this question for you: With so many options out there, where does this fall? Well, that really just depends on your price range, your preferred level of quality, and how much you need a Build figure right now. Let’s go over the options here.
S.H.Figuarts is definitely the most ideal option if you don’t care about prices, as it’s collector-oriented and full of display options. It’s really the figure to get, especially since they’ve hit this stride with show accuracy.
The Bottle Change Rider Series from the Kamen Rider Build toyline is decent, though personally I find it a little irksome that the figures are filled with gimmicks that hinder articulation. The figures also have these articulated hands that have been the standard since Kamen Rider Kuuga, which are not the most appealing thing to see on a figure these days. If you don’t mind those things, they are most likely going for much cheaper prices now that the show is almost over, and you have a decent selection of alternate forms to choose from that can actually be swapped around.
Meanwhile, the Kamen Rider Zi-O toyline is starting a Legend Rider Series, which will start off with several Riders from Build. These will still be about as well painted as the action figure lines normally are, but won’t feature any gimmicks, so it’ll be a very nice inexpensive alternative to Figuarts – they even have alternate hands now!
Which begs the question: What does Figure-rise Standard have to offer that those lines don’t? Well… to be frank, it’s more of a curiosity. It’s a Kamen Rider model kit that’s in scale with the other 6 inch figures out there, and it looks pretty good. At this point in time, since the Legend Rider Series has not yet started, I could technically say this model kit is the best cheap Build figure on the market.
If you’re interested in more things like this, Figure-rise has other Rider kits at this scale! Their Kabuto and Faiz figures are super interesting since they have alternate forms you can display them in, and it seems like they may be making an Ex-Aid (which may or may not be 1/12 scale), so they seem to be considering more Rider content in the near future.
Also, thanks for reading! Keep following the Tokusatsu Network for more news and reviews. I plan to do reviews for the new show, Kamen Rider Zi-O, once the first few episodes have aired.
Source: Bandai Hobby