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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Toy Review: SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Skull Crystal

At first I wondered why people are ridiculously crazy over this figure. And I think I know why. But I'll be detailing that in a bit. To appreciate the man who started to count evil doers' sins (Saa omae no tsumi o kazero) and the curse he carries, you really have to watch Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Movie War Core.

Speaking of the movie, you very know well, especially if you are an avid fan of the Kamen Rider series, if a KR Character is on the movie expect that Bandai will create a SH Figuarts version. (Just a side note)

The first exclusive release of the SHF Skull was so sought after the toy went poof in a matter of weeks. To those who horded, they were wise to sell it on online trading shops and since it was so in demand, they hiked the price so high fans like me clamored for another release. Bandai heard our plea so they released SH Figuarts Crystal Skull in line with the War Core movie.

I never had the first release but judging on past reviews about it, it seems like the significant improvements of SHF Kamen Rider Skull Crystal are on the head sculpt which counts more for wearing his white fedora. Aside from having a Skull made out of smokey transparent plastic (the crystal skull), he is still the old Kamen Rider Skull we all love.

That is just a plain and short review to those who had the first release. For those who are just as excited to have their first Skull figure. Here is what to expect.

In terms of the body make, he is pretty much have distinctive similarities with Cyclone Joker or Kamen Rider Joker (should you have this in possession). The design of the skeleton helmet really sells to the collector. There two kinds in this package, one a translucent skull and the other is a silver painted version.

On the first release wearing the fedora on the silver head made the consumers wary as the constant friction causes the paint to chip off. Because of the newly shaped "S" head, placing the white fedora is a cinch. The clear skull is striking when placed on direct sunlight.

Like what was mentioned earlier, the body mold came from Cyclone Joker. With Skull, the purple and green highlights were replaced by silver and grey. The chest area is shaped like bones to complete the whole skeleton feel.

Two unique scarves are also included - the first rests at the back while the other is lifted so it seems like it is blown by the wind. These scarves allow him to bring back the trend of the first generation of riders (showa)where the scarf (aside from the bike and grasshopper themed helmet) is a significant trademark of a rider.

The rider's infamous Skull Magnum is very detailed yet showcases a simple paint scheme to match its user. There are no additional gimmicks to the gun but for a small accessory, it is almost comparable to its DX version. Lastly, he comes with 5 sets of hands to complete the look and feel of Kamen Rider Skull Crystal.

There is nothing to add to its beatifully engineered articulation points. Rest assured that the true quality of Bandai's SH Figuarts is neatly maintained. All I can say is that having him pose in different angles is a sight to behold. A lot of other toy manufacturers are taking notes on these joints and making it a standard platform for their upcoming releases.

Overall, Skull continues to be a favorite in the Kamen Rider world. I highly recommend getting your own and I'm sure that you'll find Skull Crystal worth your every penny. If you haven't gotten the first release, this is your chance. If not, you'll be going back to the Den-o search all over again. 






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