If you aren’t familiar with Kamen Rider‘s history with action figures, it’s a bit of a lengthy one. In short, they originally had 5″ figures with attachable armor until S.H. Figuarts became its successor, then Kamen Rider Decade started the trend of action figure lines that had gimmicks specifically tied to the shows. During this time they got up to 6″ in height, then with Kamen Rider Zi-O they have become 5″ figures once more.
Zi-O also brought with it two different toylines under the Rider Kick Figure title: The Rider Armor Series is the line used for Zi-O, featuring attachable Rider Armor, while the Legend Rider Series is an unprecedented action figure line for Riders from past shows. More importantly, these are figures without any sort of gimmick, which is good to have for Build in particular since it lost articulation (particularly neck and waist movement) due to its gimmicks.
I skipped on their first figure release since I’ve got a Build of my own, which I reviewed here, but Cross-Z is a bit of a different story. Let’s see how they handled my favorite dragon boy.
Measuring in at 5″, these figures will have more than a noticeable height difference next to your Figuarts, since it’s like the equivalent to being a foot shorter. I feel that the proportions are on point, though they may come across as slim compared to 6″ figures. His hands also feel just a tad smaller than they should be, but that may just be me.
Regardless, the design features all of the detailing you need, albeit with some simple paintwork – the action figure lines aren’t known for detailed paint, but I do feel it’s especially basic here.
Apart from the black and dark metallic blue, he has some metallic orange and white bits… oh and I guess a circle of silver on the completely black belt. It’s a shame because the Cross-Z Dragon in the belt is so well detailed…
Articulation is the hot topic, though – since the Legend Rider Series is about characters without gimmicks, how articulated is this little guy? Let’s go from head to toe: Balljoint head, universal shoulders, bicep swivels, single elbow bend, wrist swivels, balljoint in the upper torso, balljoint hips, single knee bend, and ankle ball joints. The armor above the shoulders are also on small hinges, allowing them to move with the shoulders and not be such a hindrance – that’s an S.H. Figuarts classic right there!
Overall it’s a good range, even if the ankles are a little limited. The ball joint in the torso is especially nice for making the figure more expressive. This is even without the context of Build where waist and neck movement didn’t even exist, nor did Cross-Z.
Last of note are the alternate hands. Yes, while the figures are shorter, they do offer you swappable hands, which has not been a thing for the action figure line in about 10 years. Unfortunately, you can’t enjoy that too much with Cross-Z – as he’s known for punching things, they included a pair of fists… to go with his item-holding hands which are nearly identical. It would have been nice to see at least a pair of splayed open hands for that extra dash of variety, but it does seem like they avoided that with the other figures.
What does Cross-Z come with? Not much more than you’d expect – the Beat Closer sword is included, which has a decent amount of bulk to it. Your mileage may vary with how well he can hold it since the hilt is a bit slim and rubber hands are finicky.
With the move to a smaller scale, and the inclusion of alternate hands, it kind of sucks that we still haven’t upgraded the weapon situation. Ever since Drive, it seems like the figure lines can’t get painted weapons anymore. Between the shorter height, the glossy/rubbery materials, and the unpainted black weapon… I think this might be what it’d look like if Bandai America made Kamen Rider figures. Shudder-shudder.
Also of note, for the sake of a full review… for some reason, the chest armor is removable. It leaves behind some indents, so it doesn’t seem like an intentional feature. But toy customizers are doing impressive stuff recently with their own custom molds, and maybe this will aid those looking to make Great Cross-Z.
I guess that’s what you can expect from the Legend Rider Series! These figures go for about 2,000 JPY officially, which is just under 20 USD – I think with that price in mind, you’re getting a pretty decent deal even if there are some flaws and setbacks. Heck, the inclusion of alternate hands actually feels more impressive with that in mind.
There are certainly options out there, of course. If you have the money to drop on S.H. Figuarts, especially those pricier online exclusives, the major stuff gets covered there. And if you’re into 4″ figures, SO-DO makes more characters/forms than you’d expect. The Legend Rider Series offers a pretty inexpensive action figure of Cross-Z, and I think it does it well.
So far, the line has been tackling Riders and forms from Build and Ex-Aid, and is filling a number of voids in those toylines. I hope this series continues past Zi-O and becomes a part of the next series because they’ve got something nice going on here.
And hey, if this has you interested in the line, keep an eye on it here on the Tokusatsu Network to stay up to date on what’s coming out month to month – that’s something I personally try to do for my fellow Rider fans!
Source: Bandai Omocha Web