Bandai’s candy toy blog series for Kamen Rider Zero-One updates with its first post, giving a rundown of what’s new for SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One compared to previous SO-DO releases.
The man currently in charge of candy toy development goes by Mr. G. He will be heading SG Zero-One Riser, a blog segment covering everything relevant to Kamen Rider Zero-One in the candy toy department of Bandai. Apart from being a word relevant to the show, the word “Riser” was chosen because Mr. G wishes for your excitement to rise whenever the blog updates.
“Jump up and rise: Rising Hopper! A jump to the sky turns to a Rider Kick.”
The blog begins with giving you the most relevant info up front: SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One: AI 01 will receive a retail release in October. Plenty of pictures are show up front to demonstrate the new figure of the titular hero.
For those new to the blog, Mr. G explains that the SO-DO series is a candy toy figure line that’s now in its 4th year. It thrives on the bulletpoints “Cheap but articulated” and “Crazy enough to release even the most minor characters” – for those last 3 years they have consistently surprised with what characters and forms they will make figures for.
Mr. G goes on to say that the theme for the opening curtain to SG Zero-One Riser is “Super Serious!!” Up until now, SO-DO has always been “Serious” but this year, Mr. G wishes to put more spirit into it and create a Super Serious SO-DO using the collective strength of the candy toy division.
In order to demonstrate that, it’s time for “15 Super Points Given by Mr. G”. Note, not all of those bullet points will be covered in this post.
Super Serious Point 1: Loads of paint!!
The benefit of Zero-One’s simpler design is that they’re able to use more paint, at least for this first design, Rising Hopper. The stickers can be seen with little details like the chest lines, the Zero-One Driver, feet, and top of head, but most of the basic stuff is paint – even the silver stripes going down the arm.
It’s important to note that Mr. G puts emphasis on the fact that Rising Hopper gets special attention in regards to paint, and that not every Rider or form may receive this level of treatment. For example, there may come a day when a form requires more stickers than paint.
Super Serious Point 2: Sticker reduction!!
As a result of the paint, the stickers have been reduced quite a bit. All together, there are 17 stickers, which is almost the minimum – the record holder is Build’s default form, which has 16 stickers.
However, Mr. G points out that Build didn’t even have stickers for the belt strap. Because of this, if you subtract Zero-One’s belt strap stickers, that’s 13 instead of 17, technically setting a new president for minimal stickers.
This line follows the standard SO-DO format of splitting each figure into two boxes, with the body in one and the armor in another. This time, the terms have been simplified, with Zero-One Body and Zero-One Rising Hopper Armor – previously they would use terms like Action Body Set and Cross Armor Set. Though the name’s changed, the concept’s the same.
Here we can see that the swappable hands are still a thing, and the swappable armor parts include alternate shins, as well as something else that will be addressed in Point 4.
Super Serious Point 3: The dummy head has been scrapped!!
For those unaware, the dummy head is the head normally included with the body set. This is a simplified unpainted version of that Rider’s helmet, which serves as a placeholder. This was present mainly in the SO-DO Ex-Aid and Zi-O lines. It has been scrapped for SO-DO Zero-One, with the budget going towards more paint.
G remarks that some fans may be thinking “Is a headless figure really a proper toy?” and “You should be able to play with it even if you only buy the body”. There were various factors in this decision, such as the top priority of providing a high quality figure. After discussing this with each department, the decision was made to scrap the dummy head.
Super Serious Point 4: A uniform body!!
Zero-One will have various forms, which are all going to be making use of this Zero-One Body. “Rising Hopper Body”, “Body for Flying Falcon”, Mr. G feels that it’s too confusing to subdivide that way, so he wanted there to be a single and simple body. This new body features swappable thigh armor in order to make this possible.
He does however also provide the asterisk that if a form comes into existence, which cannot share this same body, there is a possibility that a new body will be made for it. But this body will at least be compatible with the forms that appear in the bulk of September.
Super Serious Point 5: The thigh structure has changed!!
In order to make the swappable thigh armor, the thigh swivels have changed. The line has adopted the thigh structure seen in SO-DO W and SO-DO Den-O, but not quite the same – this less conventional thigh structure isn’t as strong. SO-DO Chronicle is targeted towards ages 15 and up, while the current SO-DO line (that being the current broadcast) is for ages 3 and up. Because of this, a stronger joint is needed.
The design for Zero-One has armor that extends to the top of the thigh. Traditionally, the thought is “The thighs have a horizontal cut towards the top”, but the yellow design would be divided that way.
Discussing this with the related departments, the manufacturer Megahouse, and the factory, they managed to make a secure thigh swivel that passes safety standards.
Mr. G goes on to say that the decision to put in more paint was decided by various things, among them being the times he bought and played with SO-DO before being in charge, visiting the stores each week, sales data from the last few years that SO-DO has been a thing, etc. With all due respect to the opinions of those filling out product questionnaires, they decided it would be better to use paint than, for example, standardizing the clear visors like in the Kai SO-DO Kamen Rider Zi-O set.
Mr. G points out the many ways the figure can be posed. If you’ve been following SO-DO for a bit then you know the score, this is just for newcomers.
He also clarifies that no new points of articulation have been introduced because, as he says “The range of motion can only be expanded ever so slightly – more details on this later…” – a hint for the next post, perhaps?
Mr. G also reiterated that the first wave is called SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One: AI 01, and will be seeing an October release.
Super Serious Point 6: The 400 Yen price point stays!!
Despite everything, SO-DO Zero-One remains in the same price point established by SO-DO Zi-O, which was itself a slight increase from previous years to make way for swappable hands. Mr. G takes a moment to explain the circumstances they faced:
Annual labor and material costs of Chinese factories continue to rise every few months – plus, the more colors you paint on, the more lonely Bandai’s wallet becomes.
However, in order to withstand those waves, we consulted with our manufacturer Megahouse, the factory, and various great people within the company. We reviewed all the cost schemes starting from 0, and managed to keep it at 400 yen… GUCHA! (Sound of spitting out blood)
Super Serious Point 7: Carrying out an advance get campaign!!
A special raffle is taking place for a chance to win an early release of Zero-One’s Rising Hopper form. This is only relevant to Japanese residents, so those who can apply can find out more on the site. In a nutshell, contestants must follow the Bandai candy toy account and reply to the relevant tweet with fired up comments like “SO-DO is amazing!”, “Zero-One is the best!” or “Do your best, Mr. G!”
Additionally, Mr. G shares a new promotional video for SO-DO Kamen Rider Zero-One. In the background of one shot, there are several silhouetted forms and Riders that will be revealed in due time – these are the first two waves.
With that, the Zero-One reveals are done. The blog goes over to Mr. D with SO-DO Kamen Rider W news.
A new Premium Bandai set is announced: SO-DO Kamen Rider W: The E From Hell / G With the Wind.
The previously revealed figure of Kamen Rider Eternal will be seeing a release in this set along with Kamen Rider W in CycloneJokerGoldXtreme, the form used in the same summer movie that Eternal first appeared in.
A few notable details include:
- The compound eyes on Double will be painted a metallic red, as opposed to the regular red of the retail figures. This was decided after revisiting the movie.
- The figure is casted in gold plastic, with some gold paint added over it for an extra shine.
- The wings are casted in clear plastic, and are articulated.
With that, the blog wraps up by returning to Mr. G, who says that the next post will be where the remaining Super Serious Points will be addressed. He explains that among these, they will also talk about the display stand, and the previously teased slight increase of articulation. He does however say that it won’t be as strong of a post as this one, so as compensation, he teases that “That character” will receive a release – no clarification on who he might be referring to.
The next update will come on September 8th.
Source: Bandai Candy Staff Blog