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The History of S.H. Figuarts and Kamen Rider Kiva


The History of S.H. Figuarts and Kamen Rider Kiva

With the announcement of the long-awaited titular Kamen Rider Kiva release, the official S.H. Figuarts blog elaborates on their reasons for waiting.

To understand the delay of S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva, they first establish the timeline of events involved.

  • January 2008: Kamen Rider Kiva broadcast begins
  • February 2008: S.H. Figuarts begins with its first releases for Kamen Rider The Next 
  • March 2008: Souchaku Henshin begins releasing Kamen Rider Kiva figures
  • April 2008: Bandai begins their Bandai Spirits collectors division
  • March 2014: S.H. Figuarts starts its Shinkocchou Seihou series with its first release for Kamen Rider Kabuto 

The Souchaku Henshin series was the main action figure line for Kamen Rider in the Heisei era, starting in 2000 and going until 2009, with Kiva being its final additions. It focused on an armor gimmick, making the figure a blank body with attachable armor. As it progressed, it became less about armor and more about the quality of the sculpts, articulation, and swappable hands.

In 2008, when there was more of a market for action figures made for adult collectors, Bandai was seeking something to fill the role. They made S.H. Figuarts, action figures made for fans 15 years and older. It shares many elements of Souchaku Henshin, to the point that Bandai considers them sister brands.

From this point, with Kamen Rider Decade, every show had its own action figure line which was simpler than Souchaku Henshin and featured gimmicks directly related to the show. Meanwhile, by 2014, S.H. Figuarts began the Shinkocchou Seihou series, which featured an impressive jump in quality.

Above is a comparison between (from left to right):

  • Souchaku Henshin Kamen Rider Kiva (2008)
  • S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kiva Emperor Form (2010)
  • S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Kiva (2019)

In 2010, S.H. Figuarts released Kamen Rider Kiva in his Emperor Form, begging the question of why they didn’t make a figure of Kiva in his default form. According to the blog, they felt that the Souchaku Henshin release of Kiva was still as perfect as S.H. Figuarts, which was still in the growing process at that time. They instead chose to make Emperor Form because no figure existed for it in the Souchaku Henshin line. The same can be said for Kamen Rider Ixa.

“Kiva’s suit in the picture (The main part from the neck down) is made of flexible urethane foam molding. It makes for a supple, strong body with a unique feel. The solid feeling of the armor, with the elegant and precise decorations, is suitable for king of the Makai world…

Even if just one of these things is lacking, the true charm of Kiva can’t be reproduced. It took a long time, pursuing these to the limit and leading into Shinkocchou Seihou, to break these chains of surrender and compromise.”

They then proceed to share many photos of the prototype, highlighting its use of paint and level of detail. The Fuestles stored on the sides of the belt are individual items that can be removed and placed into the mouth of Kivat Bat III on the buckle.

Kivat is also removable, with extending wings and a moving mouth. Using a standard display stand sold separately, Kivat can be displayed on his own.

Using clever articulation, the figure is also fully capable of replicating the specific poses involved with Kiva’s Rider Kick sequence. He features alternate hands just for this, along with an alternate leg piece.

In conjunction with Kamen Rider Zi-O‘s S.H. Figuarts Heisei Riders Rising Project, which involves reissues of the lead Heisei Riders with RideWatch display stands, a Kiva RideWatch display stand is available as a campaign item for initial buyers.

Pre-orders for this release will begin on November 1st.

Sources: S.H. Figuarts Staff Blog

Copy editor for TokuNet. Creator of a few casual Kamen Rider blogs on Tumblr (FruitRiderNews/GameRiderNews/BuildRiderNews). Collector of Riders, Transformers and generally robotic/cute stuff. I also do a lot of art, so if you're interested in a commission you can check out this link. Thanks for stopping by!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. GG

    August 15, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I’m glad Kiva’s normal form got in SH Figuarts! Now we just need Hibiki Armed Form to be in SH Figuarts next!

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