Surely this figure will not be forgotten
The 2007-8 series Kamen Rider Den-O is what started me down my path of tokusatsu. The series became my favorite, which of course led to me tracking down the figures of the time. Souchaku Henshin was the line of the era, and they were decent action figures. That line would then evolve into what we know today as S.H. Figuarts and the rest is history.
Going back to 2008, I tried my best to get the Souchaku Henshin of Kamen Rider Zeronos. He's my favorite rider, but I waited a bit too long to get into the series and I had to pay in time and extra dollars in order to get him. He left a bit to be desired, so when the SHF line started up, I knew who I wanted to get remade. It took 5 years of waiting, but after much longing, SHF Kamen Rider Zeronos is finally in my possession.
Does it live up to my expectations? Find out after the jump!
Figure Name: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Zeronos Altair Form
Starting off, as always, is the shot of the box. As per the theme with the recent Den-O releases, it's a white box with an open window to see all of the goods inside. Printed on the window is the outline of the pattern on the transformation belt. The sides of the box also feature a small window, this time featuring the train track pattern. It's a rather simple touch, but it just made me giddy when I noticed the patterns. I just like this show a bit too much.
Getting him out of the box, Zeronos is in what's known as his Altair Form. He's got all of the standard features of the SHF line; double-jointing at the elbows and knees, switchable hands, and articulated feet. The hips allow for a good range of motion, and they didn't feel too loose or tight. There's no swivel in the bicep, but that's mostly due to the design of the armor itself so I'm okay with that.
Taking a closer look at the upper torso, the usual detail of the SHF line is evident. The eyes feature the same compound eye pattern that is in the actual helmets and other SHF figures. There isn't any color bleeding, which is something I was concerned with regarding the helmet. The bull horns are nicely detailed as well and the train track pattern is just about flawless.
Zeronos' signature weapon is the ZeroGasher. The weapon converts between two different modes, a crossbow and gigantic sword. Personally, I'm always on the side of giant swords, but crossbows are a nice departure from the typical gun.
The sword isn't bad on its own either. More impressive is that it's not too heavy for it to be held up above the shoulder. Check out this shot to see what I mean.
As you saw up above, there's a lot of detail with Zeronos. In his hand are the cards that enable his transformation into a Kamen Rider. They come at a price, however, as with each use of a card, people begin to lose their memories of him. Once they're all used up, he fades out of existence. That's not at all traumatizing for a kids' show!
If you did notice though, this side of the card is gold, which facilitates his transformation into Vega Form. Unfortunately, that's not featured with this figure, and most likely one that will appear on the Tamashii Web Shop as an exclusive. What Vega Form does have is his Imajin partner, Deneb.
Deneb was actually one of the first SHF releases and you can see how far the releases have come since then. For those wondering, Zeronos is currently in the process of giving Deneb the bulldog. It's that kind of a friendship.
Going further back, here is the SHF compared with the original Souchaku Henshin. As you can tell, the armor on the SHF is much slimmer and the green is made to be a lot more vibrant. The biggest difference is that the SHF features no die-cast. The arms, calves and feet are all die-cast on the Souchaku Henshin. As figures have become more expensive, the SHF line has gradually done away with die-cast. It's a shame, especially for the old ankle joints.
All in all, the new SHF is a much improved figure. It provides a much better proportions and articulation, the silver is now screen accurate, and the weapons are actually able to be held.
If you want to try, you can somewhat make the SHF Zeronos into Vega Form. Just note the head from the old figure is a much larger ball-joint, the armor has nowhere to snap onto and is just comically-oversized for it. You can do it, but it doesn't mean that you should.
I asked at the beginning if the S.H. Figuarts Zeronos Altair Form was worth the wait. Yes, you should've figured that by now I would give my favorite Kamen Rider from my favorite figure line a glowing review. There wasn't too much that they could have screwed up, and thankfully they didn't. While I would still love the original SHF ankle joints, those will sadly never come back without price increases. For the price paid, SHF Zeronos is a figure I can easily recommend for anyone that's a fan of Kamen Rider Den-O.
[Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing this sample for review!]
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