The SO-DO Archives: SO-DO Station (September 2016)
From the archives of Bandai’s candy toy blog, these are the SO-DO developments that took place during Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. In this post, the birth of the SG Weekly Ex-Aid segment, and the initial SO-DO Kamen Rider Ex-Aid reveals.
On October 29th 2015, Bandai would start the Bandai Candy Staff Blog, an official production blog about their candy toy division. The Kamen Rider coverage started off with nothing but CONVERGE and SHODO, but the switch over to the next series would change the status quo.
On September 8th 2016, the blog announced that the Kamen Rider candy toy site had been revamped, and with that, the first round of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid candy toy items were revealed.
The keyword for this year’s Rider toyline is “Everything changes”!!
Specifications on products that have been released in the past – such as roleplay kits, soft vinyls, and action figures – will be completely renewed, literally Leveled Up, and freshly introduced.
Please check the contents of the page to see how powered-up each series has become!
“I knew it’d be brought up in a various ways, but I’d like to know more detailed specifications on each product,” is that what you’re saying…?
Understood. So here we are!!
The staff blog Levels Up!!
So far, this staff blog’s Rider articles have reported on information for adult series, such as CONVERGE KAMEN RIDER and SHODO VS.
In the future, we will actively report information on Ex-Aid products!
As for how active it’d be, this is already weekly.
… So, yes, we shall update weekly!!
It shall be named SG Weekly Ex-Aid!
SG Weekly Ex-Aid would be their way to cover candy toy products for Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, but these posts are focused on the main attraction, the SO-DO series.
As of writing this, SO-DO is on its fourth year with Kamen Rider Zero-One, but Ex-Aid was where SO-DO began. SO-DO is described by Bandai as an action figure line that uses what they learned from developing toys in the past, with new ideas being implemented.
The segment for SO-DO would be given the name SO-DO Station. These blog posts were written by the development manager for CONVERGE, simply going by the name N-No – for simplicity, I shall call them N.
Link: SG Weekly Ex-Aid Vol.1
The very first reveal for SO-DO Ex-Aid is, fittingly, Kamen Rider Ex-Aid in Action Gamer Lv.1 – a design which N feels emits boldness and is a hot topic.
Even for the SO-DO series, which stands for the evolution of candy toy action figures, this chibi figure was the first wall to overcome.
However, if we did do it, create the most accurate and most articulated Level 1 [figure] of all the product lines, then the staff would get all excited. So this child of ours was completed!
Despite looking like it might not have much range of motion, the figure sports a decent amount of articulation, even sporting some balljoints. They display him with the Gashacon Breaker from Ex-Aid’s Lv.2 form, remarking that the hammer looks appropriately cute but the sword looks impressive.
In addition, you can use parts from Kamen Rider Brave to form his Lv.1 form. Although it may seem as if the chest sticker would be Ex-Aid’s, the 4th item in this wave has Lv.1 stickers for Brave. This was done so that they do not disappoint customers and have them think “Well, it’s a candy toy so it has to be this way…” – providing my own context to this, candy toys are much more simplistic, so it is within reason to see those kind of limitations happen. SO-DO was a game-changer, offering alternate stickers for a minor detail.
However, for those wanting to display both Lv.1 figures, multiple purchases are necessary.
With the first blog post, there was a promise of many seeds being planted, and a desire for the reader to want more.
Link: SG Weekly Ex-Aid Vol.2
The blog begins its second post, also fittingly, with Kamen Rider Ex-Aid in Action Gamer Lv.2. While there will be more details talked about in a later post, for now the basics would need to be covered in this post.
The first order of business is how the figures will be sold. There is a Cross Armor Set and an Action Body Set – sold as separate items in the wave, the armor is attached to the body to form a complete figure. The figures themselves come with dummy heads, which are basic uncolored placeholder heads. They also come with the Riders’ respective Gashacon weapons, Ex-Aid’s being the Gashacon Breaker in sword mode.
The armor sets include the head, shoulders, chest armor, and a display stand. In Ex-Aid’s case, it also includes the Gashacon Breaker in its hammer mode, while Brave’s comes with his left hand shield and the head for his Lv.1 form.
The display stand that’s included with the armor set can be used to display all of the armor, so even if you only get that, you can still display it in some way. This also doubles as a place to keep small parts when setting the armor aside.
N also remarks that a Rider toy fan can’t help but remember the Souchaku Henshin series of figures when attaching the armor. They fondly recall when they messed with the sample for Kamen Rider Kuuga’s Souchaku Henshin figure.
N provides a look at a base body that was created before making the armor parts. Funnily enough, dating this post, N remarks how seeing the base body makes you dream of one day seeing a Sentai in this figure style. Since then, the YU-DO series started with Kyuranger.
Anyway, N explains that at that stage, they experimented with proportion balance, muscle tone, and observed the limits of the movable parts, then added onto it to make Ex-Aid. The quota they wanted to meet by using this design process was to make it solid yet stylish, and something that looks good whether you pose it or not.
N takes this opportunity to then compare to the last series’ candy toy figure line, Kamen Rider Ghost‘s Gan Gan Action Damashii. This took a model kit approach with the limbs of the figure, whereas SO-DO provides you with almost immediate playability since all you need to do is attach a few armor pieces and stickers. Likewise, they point out that the proportions have improved and the figure is slightly taller.
The post ends with a tease for the next update.