Published on June 11th, 2014 | by Sharp-O0
Mint in Box: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Fourze (Base States)
Blasting off into space in the only ship that matters, Friendship!
Kamen Rider Fourze is a tokusatsu show from 2011 that commemorates not only Kamen Rider’s 40th Anniversary (Four Zero, Four Ze, geddit?) and the 50th Anniversary of spaceflight. Written by Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann) and with creature designs by manga artist Kia Asamiya (Martian Successor Nadesico), Fourze is one of my top three Kamen Rider series for its aesthetic, its gimmicks, its characters, stories, drama, use of music, EVERYTHING comes together to create a wonderfu– You know what? I think I’ll save the gushing for Toku Tuesday (It’s coming back, don’t worry!) but suffice to say that I love this series and I’m going to show you why at a later date!
But first, a major rant! This is how I received my Kamen Rider Fouze S.H. Figuarts. In a GOD DAMN plastic baggy! I got it second hand from eBay but seriously? The seller didn’t even keep the tray but you know what REALLY grinds my gears?
He TORE the back of the packaging off and felt the need to include THAT! No packaging at all I could tolerate since it came with all the pieces but this is just… Weird. I mean, what kind of savage does this to their Figuarts? Who throws out the majority of the box and the plastic tray to keep the accessories in? If I ever meet the guy, I’mma rip his bloody ankles off!
Launching into the orbit of the man who will befriend everyone at Amanogawa High School, Gentaro Kisaragi’s youthful form is given a more stylised rendition in S.H. Figuarts, coming across smaller and more cartoonish than his predecessors but I kind of dig it. It gives him a more distinct profile against some of his fellow Kamen Riders! His brilliant white “Base States” is nicely highlighted with blacks, golds and silver, with distinctive colours for his Module ports on each limb. His astronaut theme is wholly original in the 40 years Kamen Rider has been around and they’ve nailed the look perfectly!
I’ll level with you, this mould is known to have issues with his hip joints, where the balljoints are far too tight. I was afraid to do this review because his legs would creak and take far too much effort and I was afraid of breaking something but thanks to a little surgery where I sanded down the housing for the balljoint (but the problem can also be fixed with some 100% silicone shock oil) he’s already for…
His signature roll call! It’s Space Time! His joints only squeak a little now but they move freely and I don’t fear any breakages.
Given that this is my first Kamen Rider review, I thought I’d also highlight Fourze’s beautiful compound eyes. These are a mainstay of the Kamen Rider designs, tracing all the way back to the 70’s and Fourze’s are especially nice.
The Fourze Driver, Gen-chan’s transformation device and what allows him to access all his space-age gadgetry, is rendered in translucent blue plastic. Each of the SUPER TINY Astro Switches on his belt are removable and an absolute pain to lose so I suggest thickening the pegs just to keep them in place. All of the Astro Switches can be swapped out for others and one included with this set is the Drill Switch in it’s On position. This is an superfluous addition to the set, adding a detail that many fans have said they can do without. Having multiples of these tiny Switches with minute differences is just asking for them to be lost.
And calm open hands that can comb his dome (like Gen-chan combs his pompadour) or looking shocked! All of the hands add a lot of variety to his posing but there’s a reason he’s light on hands and that’s because of his Modules!
Fourze comes with the Rocket and Drill Modules! Because of Fourze’s modular abilities, allowing you to swap out a forearm or lower leg for one of his unique weapons was some brilliant foresight on Bandai Japan’s part! Both Modules have some lovely panel-lining to them and come off very well. Probably would have liked a spinning drill-bit but it serves its purpose.
His included Modules allow you to recreate Gen-chan’s Base States “Limit Break” finisher, the Rider Rocket Drill Kick! Unfortunately, this release doesn’t include a tamashii stage so it’s lucky I got one some time ago!
I absolutely adore Kamen Rider Fourze! I could have gotten his Elek or Fire States some time ago because of how cheap they are but I wanted the Base States because this is how he spends the majority of the series. It’s a gloriously iconic look and despite all the trouble I’ve had with him, I love him and recommend picking up him or any of his other States if you’re a fan of the series!
But we’re not leaving Fourze’s orbit just yet as a payload from HobbyLink Japan arrives to boost Fourze’s armaments into the far reaches of space! Take my hand in friendship and we’ll go there together!