|"Hey! Wanna come watch some Showa Rider?"|
So here we go, my first blog post / review / I don’t really know what to call these. Half ramblings, half reviews. Ramble-views. And yet, it only seems fitting that I start here. Why? Because the first piece of Kamen Rider merch I ever got was a Kamen Rider Super-1 vinyl at a local convention. It must have been 6 years or so ago now, and I’ll be honest, I don’t remember why I got him specifically. I hadn’t seen Super-1 (I still haven't). I’m not even sure I knew who Super-1 was, beyond it saying on the label. Maybe I just really liked silver. In any case, I got him, and I still have him. He’s a little dusty now, but I wouldn’t trade him away for the world. Even if I eventually watch Super-1 and find out it’s rubbish.
Personal history lesson aside, what we have here is the SHODO VS release of Kamen Rider Super-1, from Wave 6, released in July 2017. For those of you who clicked on this not knowing what a SHODO was, let me exlain. SHODO is a budget candy-toy line that produces small, poseable figures from the history of Kamen Rider. They’re about 4 inches, they’re roughly 500 Yen, and there’s a lot of them. There’s 10 waves of 4-5 figures, and with 3 more waves confirmed and no sign of stopping, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more. Bandai suckered me in with the cheap stuff, and soon, I’ll be hooked on the figuarts lifeline with the rest of you.
But, for now, Super-1. Airing in 1980-1981, the show tells the tale of Kazuya Oki, a man who got himself turned into a cyborg so he could survive in outer space. Unfortunately, his space agency spent all its money on the Cyborg Program, and not any kind of security, so when Dogma attacked it was screwed. Kazuya survived, and he learned Kung-Fu to transform and kick their asses. He proceeded to do so until they ran out of Dogma and had to upgrade to Jin Dogma, and thn until his show ended. By that point, he had kicked so much ass that Japanese children were done seeing asses getting kicked for six years, when Kamen Rider Black made its debut. Since his show ended, Kazuya went on to appear in the ZX special, play a pretty awesome role in the SPIRITS manga, (which he actually goes to space and lands a space shuttle with his bare hands) and become a background Showa Rider for cross-over purposes. His actor may also have gotten into trouble with the Yakuza.
|Kazyua Oki, seen here not in space.|
|You can see his scarf blowing in the wind, which is proof he didn't go to space.|
|Martial Arts Post #25 - Sideways Posing|
Super-1 is a pretty nice design, combining Showa simplicity with a silver, tough looking chest plate and black eye-markings to create something distinctive. His scarf is kinda long, and does stretch out a little way behind him, making posing a little tough if you don’t want to use a stand - it makes him just a tad back-heavy. It certainly looks nice, though. Maybe that’s why young me picked him up, all those years ago. You *can* pose the scarf forwards, but I don't like the look of that as much. The one bit of missing paint my eyes do pick up (or, rather, don't pick up) is the Cyclode (his belt), which is missing any red paint in the centre. It’s not a paint app I’d expect on something this small, and I might do it myself at some point.
|"You can do Jujitsu!"|
Joints-wise, he has everything standard you could want, but some feel a little off. His arms, for example, are pretty free at the shoulder, but can’t lift above a T-pose. His feet are on a ball joint ankle, which makes posing him naturally fairly easy, but whether or not he can hold that pose without hep is another question. Plus, they feel a little… gummy? Like they’re unable to hold a pose without flexing back? That’s the best way I’ve got to describe it. Apart from those, though, he’s pretty good for a 500 yen figure. Sure, he’s light, and his tassles are solid molded, but what do you expect? All that plastic goes into accessories!
|Seen here - the contents of my glove compartment|
|Seen here - the contents of a murderer's glove compartment|
I may be using the word accessories a little loosely here. What Super-1 comes with is hands – 4.5 pairs, to be precise. Being a Showa Rider whose name doesn’t contain an X, he didn’t have many weapons to begin with, except for a set of 5 pairs of interchangeable hands that Fourze would later steal the idea of. Now, you may have noticed that this Super-1 only has 3 different styles, and you’d be right. Reason - there were two different releases of Super-1, and you had to buy both to get all the pairs of hands because the plastic budget for 1 figure wouldn’t cut it. Because I’m cheap and only want one Super-1, I didn’t do that, so sucks to be me, I guess. It also comes with a lego-brick looking thing, which you can use to store the hands, and also as a semi-stand to stop the figure falling backwards. It’s a lot more useful than I initially expected.Just be careful not to throw it out - it's attached to to the hand sprue, and unless you know about it (or look at the inside of the box), it's easy to bin it.
|"Hello, I'd like to order a Peperoni Pizza. Deliver to the Moon Base, please!"|
Firstly, we have the golden Radar hands. Super-1 can use these to deploy a little satellite (not included) and scan the area for Dogma villains. Even if they aren’t painted perfectly, they’re nicely molded and slot nicely into his elbows. While they can come off if you try to pose the arms and twist them wrongly, they won’t fall off just moving him around.
|"I'm confused, Stronger. I thought that gloves were meant to protect people from getting electrocuted!"|
Next up, we have the Elek hands. I fully expected these to be the golden ones, but nope, they’re blue. Presumably, Super-1 can electrocute people with them – in any case, they do not give him a sword he has to befriend, so Gentarou's winning. They’re not quite as interesting as the Radar hands, having a simple silver stripe instead of a 70's viewing screen, but with some electric effects you could probably pull off some good swishy shots.
|"FIST O- Wait a moment, Fourze didn't have a fist module!"|
|Postcards from Skaro sent to the Junior Kamen Rider Club.|
His fourth pair are another set of Power fists (aka the generic silver ones), but as a closed fist, for use in punching things. These are the most boring set, so have a Dalek cameo. It's a tried old Doctor Who technique for boosting the hype for an episode.
The final 0.5 of a pair is a right hand to recreate Super-1’s iconic pose, and isn’t much use apart from that, unless you want to show him blocking one of Spiderman’s punches. I’m not sure if there is a 4 inch Spider-Man, but if there is, point it out to me. Alternatively, he looks like a waiter holding a plate, so there’s always that.
Finally, the plug hole on his back, which is actually less obtrusive than I expected, given how it’s molded into the belt, fits a Tamashii stand or anything of the same size. The obvious use for this is a Rider Kick. Or, to use the official name, Super Rider Moon Surface Kick.
That is a good name.
|"Super Rider Getsumen Kick!"|
|Yes, this is the only Tamashii Stand I own. Don't judge me.|
In this review, we’ve learned that Super-1 really hates Daleks. As he should.
So, overall, I really like this guy. For something so cheap that I bought as a little “Hmm, wonder if I’ll like it”, it turns out I made a good decision. Super-1 was the gateway to the rest of the SHODO line for me, having only looked at the lines for current Rider, and I'm glad I got it. It's given me something fun to collect, covering almost 40 years of show(a). Thankfully, it looks like some recent waves are revisions of the older ones, because some of the prices are a little crazy for those. Posts will pop up whenever I buy a SHODO on the off chance, but there will be more, because I can't have Kazuya chill by himself. After all, Riders never stay alone for long, and besides, I already have the next figure lined up. And he’s from the 90’s, after Black RX pulled a Super-1 and killed Rider on TV.
|"My hand! You cut off my hand! What is this, a Star Wars rip-off?"|
|"Dogma, prepare to face my Shaolin fist! Kamen Rider Super-1!"|