SHFiguarts Review: Kamen Rider Black

            Today marks another “firsts” for New Planet Cybertron. For the first time ever, New Planet Cybertron will be reviewing an SHFiguarts figure, and what better to mark this historic “first” by reviewing one of the most iconic and legendary Kamen Rider of all time – Kamen Rider Black.
            Also known as Masked Rider Black in the US, Kamen Rider Black has proven to be one of the most well-known and well-loved of all the Kamen Riders, especially to those who grew up in the 1980s.
            As the story goes, Kotaro Minami and his stepbrother, Nobuhiko Akizuki were abducted by the Gorgom, and infused both of them with a type of powerful jewel called the King Stones, and were subsequently renamed as Century Kings Black Sun and Shadow Moon respectively. Kotaro, however, managed to escape before the transformation was completed, and would eventually prove to be a thorn in Gorgom’s quest for world domination.
            Bandai Tamashii Nations’ SHFiguarts line is a very popular toyline, and the line has featured some of the most well-known characters in the modern world such as Iron Man, Goku (Dragon Ball), characters from Street Fighters, Ultraman, as well as various characters from the Kamen Riders and Super Sentai series.
            As far as the Kamen Riders go, Kamen Rider Black, along with his brother – Shadow Moon, has been two of the most sought-after figures in the line. They are very difficult to find, and whenever they are available, the prices are just overwhelming. Judging from the popularity of the TV series itself, it’s not really that difficult to know why.
            Before I go on with the review, I’d like to thank my buddy – Big Daddy V – for lending me his Kamen Rider Black figure, thus making this review possible.

Action Figure:
            Once the packaging is opened, you’ll realize that the set is very simple and there are no accessories whatsoever, apart from the various hands and fists, such as the sword gripping hands, “groping” hands, and opened-flat-palm hands.
All the accessories you'll ever need...

            I guess, that isn’t that surprising since Kamen Rider Black doesn’t exactly wield any weapons in the show – only relying solely on his fists and legs, as well as his motorcycles Battle Hopper and Road Sector.
            I really like the texture of the plastic – it’s smooth, clean and sturdy. It’s amazing how accurate the figure looks, compared to his onscreen counterpart.
It's all in the eyes...
            The compound eyes are highly detailed and reflective. It looks awesome. The same material is also used for the King Stone.
            The head sculpt itself is detailed in its simplicity. It does look like a fancy helmet, just like how it supposed to be.
            The whole body feels solid and I do feel a little heft on it.
            Apart from realistic details, one other major selling point for SHFiguarts figures is its amazing articulations, and there are definitely no shortages in that department for Kamen Rider Black.
            The head is mounted on a double-jointed neck, thus providing a well-rounded motion for the head. They can look down satisfyingly, although I do wish that he could’ve looked slightly higher a bit.

            The shoulders, oh man, the shoulders, are intricately-designed. There are multiple joints at work here. The inner joints, which are literally within the chest, allow the arms to swing forward. Then there is the swivel that allows all range of motions. One thing worth noting here is the texture beneath the joints such as the shoulders. To avoid any unrealistic look to the overall figure, the body textures are made to look like muscles, or something similar. The same texture can be found on the elbows, hips, knees and waist/ upper abdomen.

            The arms rotate at the shoulders. The elbows bend very nicely due to the double-joints, and the fists rotate.
            The abs-crunch is nicely done, and has a separate joint for waist movement.  
            The hips, similar to the shoulders, have multiple joints at work, which allows all sorts of fancy movements. There is another joint within the hips that allows the legs to be brought down, to make room for more flexible movements – without it, would’ve made the iconic Rider Kick pose virtually impossible. This type of hip joints has been another hallmark and trademark for SHFiguarts figures.
King Stone Power Up!
            The knees are on beautiful double-sided joints and the ankles can move in any directions humanly possible. Lastly, the toes joint – another signature of SHFiguarts.

            The combination of these articulation points will provide you with hours of fun, putting him in various stances and poses. If you have Shadow Moon in your collections, you can reenact various fight scenes with the latter.

            This Kamen Rider Black figure is almost perfect – or rather as perfect as any Kamen Rider figures can be. If there is one minor drawback, it would probably be the slight issue of him standing up. Certain poses will definitely require assistance.
Who has the better Rider Kick?
Rider Punch!
Rider Kick!
            If you have Road Sector and Battle Hopper, you will have a blast with good ol’ Black.

Amidst the simplicity of this figure, it is still very, very detailed. That is one of the major characteristic of the character itself. There is nothing fancy about it. He requires no accessories whatsoever to get his job done.
If you are a fan of Kamen Riders, and especially if you’re a Kamen Rider Black fan, then this figure is for you. This is the perfect Kamen Rider Black figure ever made, and arguably, the most realistic-looking one at that.
Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/10. 

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