Bandai’s candy toy blog series for Kamen Rider Zi-O updates with its final post, giving a look back on SO-DO’s milestones over the past year, and some hints of the future.
The man currently in charge of candy toy development goes by G, and in honor of Zi-O, he is now going by the name Gi-O.
Typically, the blog will do a rundown of every figure released under the current SO-DO series. This time they went for a few milestones. In the spirit of previous years, I’ve compiled every release during SO-DO Kamen Rider Zi-O, so let’s look at those first!
Between 11 waves and all the variants, there were 47 forms/characters collectively. This is tricky to pin down because you have things like GeizRevive and its two modes, as well as WozGinga and its three helmet designs.
The line was a return to the original play style established by SO-DO Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, with swappable chest armor and shoulders. That said, due to the Rider Armor system used in the earlier parts of the show, an entirely new body was introduced, with a small chest piece and thigh armor.
This new armor body proved to be challenging for Bandai, as the line also decided to tackle every Rider Armor exclusive to the DX RideWatch toy packaging, and there were not enough bodies to go around – one wave even excluded a body. Not to mention, the Geiz armor body was technically inaccurate in terms of color, meaning they would eventually toss in an updated figure into a later wave.
When it came to DecadeArmor and its subforms, there was now a hunt for extra armors instead of bodies, as most waves that included these only gave you one armor with stickers for both forms in the wave. A surprising twist was the inclusion of DecadeArmor: FaizForm, a design exclusive to the Buttobasoul arcade game.
This was my first time following the Bandai candy toy blogs, and it’s been a very informative experience. Through fan surveys, the blog has become increasingly transparent about the production of toys, going so far as to talk about paint VS stickers, the difference in producing things in different types of plastic, safety standards, and more. Not to mention several times when fan requests result in new inclusions.
A tradition for SO-DO has been the single Dai SO-DO release. These store exclusives provided re-releases of the main Riders with notable tweaks – for SO-DO Ex-Aid, they added a bit of articulation to Ex-Aid, Brave, and Snipe, which carried over to SO-DO Build. That series would introduce the idea of swappable hands on Build and Cross-Z, which carried over to SO-DO Zi-O.
Instead of Dai SO-DO, this year we got Kai SO-DO, which was based around additional stickers and some paint in place of stickers. The most notable inclusions were all the RideWatches on their forearms and belt, the foot pieces which displayed the underside detailing for Rider Kick poses, and light piping in the helmet to make the visor more vibrant. Until the reveal of SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One, it remains to be seen whether any of these will carry over.
When it came to the tradition of addendums to previous SO-DO series, SO-DO Kamen Rider Build received a few. Prime Rogue would be included with a Televi-kun promotion, while SO-DO Kamen Rider Zi-O would give us Build’s RabbitDragon Form from the finale, as well as Cross-Z Evol and Killbus from Build New World: Kamen Rider Cross-Z. There is one more Build movie on the way later this year, so it’s fair to question whether we will see further releases for this line. SO-DO has surprised us plenty of times every year.
There are a fair amount of sublines to talk about from the past year, but the blog conveniently talks about them, so I’ll be mixing in photos as they come up.
So, today I’m going to tell you about the history of this year – it’s the Ohma SO-DO History, as opposed to the Ohma Advent History!
Page 01: Wrist movement, now a standard inclusion!
The SO-DO line raised in price ever so slightly for Zi-O, and with it came an important inclusion: Swappable hands. As said previously, this was something that SO-DO Build did for the Dai SO-DO set. These swappable hands added more expression to the figures.
While the standard was to include the default item-holding fists and a pair of open hands, the line mixed things up once in a while. Between two releases, Zi-O would receive a pointing hand for his iconic pose; Zi-O also received special pointing hands for WArmor; Zi-O also received fists for GaimArmor which were angled for a natural sword-holding pose; and Geiz received chopping hands that could also be used for WizardArmor.
Page 02: A mecha-only line is released
The EX Mechanics subline gave us the TimeMazine used by Zi-O, as well as his and Geiz’s motorcycle, the RideStriker. While the idea of including these mecha isn’t new for candy toy figures, it is a first for SO-DO, using a model kit format akin to Super Sentai‘s minipla. A Premium Bandai set would later add Geiz and Woz’s TimeMazines.
Page 03: The W Shock / A New Series is in the Air – SO-DO Chronicle explodes onto the scene
An unprecedented move, SO-DO Chronicle came into existence as a separate line where pre-SO-DO Kamen Rider series receive figures in that play style. The first is the unsurprisingly popular SO-DO Kamen Rider W, giving you three notable forms on retail with an addendum Premium Bandai set revealed at the same time. Kamen Rider Cyclone also received a strange release as a lottery item with Ichiban Kuji. More recently, a Premium Bandai set was announced to add more Riders and forms.
Following that, SO-DO Kamen Rider Den-O was announced, and received a wave consisting of his four main forms. A second wave was later announced, which would add power-ups. Kamen Rider Nega Den-O would receive a release as another Ichiban Kuji lottery item.
Lastly, they have recently announced SO-DO Kamen Rider OOO as the third series to enter this line.
Page 04: The Unbelievable Decade Release
In another surprising move by SO-DO, Decade, Diend and the Miriders from Zi-O would see release in a subline called RIDE PLUS, which became a two-part series for odds and ends.
Gi-O shares a story about RIDE PLUS and its development. These releases were actually a bit difficult to justify releasing, because they compressed the usual SO-DO format into a “Buy one box to get a complete figure” format, selling the figure for almost half the price.
To justify the production of this line, they made use of the fact that the Miriders are using existing parts. For Kikai, they had a Guardian figure already designed for SO-DO Build, so it was a matter of changing the helmet, belt and waist.
When it comes to Quiz, the suit is an altered Ride-Player, which SO-DO Ex-Aid did make – however, Gi-O corrects us by saying that Quiz is a new mold. The design data could be used, minus the head, belt and chest. Due to the aging of the physical mold, which was still unusable even after maintenance, a new mold was made. Molds are expensive to produce.
Because of this, the SO-DO team at the time testified that the wave was more unreasonable than anticipated. Nevertheless, it saw release.
Between Ginga, and the inclusion of Diend in the show, RIDE PLUS 2 was inevitable, and couldn’t reuse molds the same way.
As soon as Gi-O started taking charge, he quickly became aware that and asked “Is this cost okay for PLUS 2?” He would ask many people about this, however the answer seemed obvious: “If the first one was 500 yen per box, then of course we’ll do the second one for 500 yen per box!”
Page 05: A monster-only line is released
While the SO-DO series has had special enemies, they have usually been Rider-like characters, or disposable grunts. For the first time, due to popular demand, several monsters received release under the line SO-DO Gaiden Kamen Rider Zi-O: ANOTHER 1.
The Another Riders were released under a pricier wave, at 850 yen per box, featuring painted heads with soft plastic due to the sharp parts. This was a challenging subline for the SO-DO team and carved a new page in the series. Something of note, as well, is the inclusion of fists that don’t have item pegholes, a request of fans that they tried out here. Time will tell if it results in further inclusions like this.
The second wave was also announced a while back, set for a release after the show ends.
As was previously reported, a schedule was presented for the month of August to dictate exactly what was being reported on in each blog post. This post we’re talking about now is supposed to have new SO-DO information – this is what they’ve revealed:
Due to the great response to the recently announced Premium Bandai set for SO-DO Kamen Rider W, and the demand for Kamen Rider Eternal, they have revealed that they were indeed working on him. However, this reveal is so much earlier than planned, they do not have a price or release method available just yet.
The contents, however, are plentiful. Eternal comes with a thumbs down hand, his robe, and alternate parts to display him with every T2 Gaia Memory inserted into his harness.
With that, Mr. D, who previously ran the SO-DO Zi-O blog, and now runs the SO-DO Chronicle reveals, gives some parting words:
So, today’s Zi-O SG Watcher has been successfully finished, so… Thank you to everyone who’s supported this blog for the last year!! I feel that the SO-DO series, which is composed of SO-DO Zero-One (Pending) and SO-DO Chronicle, will undergo further evolution!
Gi-O resumes control of the blog post to add one last thing.
The Kasshine figure released in RIDE PLUS 2 will be seeing release again in SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One. This is because as soon as PLUS 2 was released, plenty of fans submitted questionnaires saying they couldn’t find it anywhere and wanted to be able to buy multiples. Gi-O apologizes for this and will be sharing the situation with the company.
However, since SO-DO Zero-One isn’t the same price as PLUS 2 (meaning it is likely the same price as SO-DO Zi-O), the production costs don’t quite mesh, so some of Kasshine’s paint will be omitted. He also further clarifies that Kasshine will still be included in just one box, but his spear weapon will be included with something else in the wave. This would not be a first for SO-DO, including one character’s weapon with another character.
Finally, Gi-O gives some parting words:
Well, that’s it for today’s content! This blog, Zi-O SG Watcher, has also successfully finished the weekly new information festival from this month. Thank you once again to everyone who read this blog!
Somehow it feels like we’re saying goodbye…
There’s only one person who can stop this trend!
Yes! Just wait for next week, for this will be a review of Zero-One’s SO-DO series! Anyway, don’t miss it! What should the next update be written about? What to write? I haven’t settled on my thoughts just yet – how’s how excited I am!
And thank you for reading these posts. Next week, I will continue my coverage of the Kamen Rider candy toy blog posts as we enter the next series.
Source: Bandai Candy Staff Blog