For the next few weeks, I'll be doing a series of articles of which I dub:
What is this about?
This is gonna be my way of introducing anyone; whether if it's seasoned or newbie collectors, or even casual people who're just curious, to Kamen Rider figures, specifically the ones made by Medicom Toy Corporation. Simple enough.
What's the purpose?
Well first and foremost, I enjoy talking about toys (that's pretty obvious). I like talking about them, as well as sharing any information I have to anyone interested, and one primary thing I collect are these very Kamen Rider figures. This series of articles I intend to do will be done for the purpose of both giving readers a general idea of what Medicom Kamen Rider figures are about, are like, as well as if the figures in general (as well as specific ones) are right for you.
There isn't a whole lot of information on Medicom Kamen Rider figures available over the internet, and the little snippets of reviews or comments I've found are usually really old and very one-sided, not to mention relatively misinformed. So another secondary purpose is to also clear up, as well as reconfirm, some conceptions on this very line.
What are these?
Medicom's 'Real Action Heroes' line, or RAH, are essentially action dolls (what I like to call MAN DOLLS *flexes*). They use a common plastic body as a base, then clothe it up in a replica of the actual costume and appropriate head sculpt.
Medicom Kamen Rider figures come in two flavours:
Real Action Heroes (RAH) - These are the figures done in-house by Medicom and Medicom alone. Occasionally, there is some 3rd party input (like from Timehouse or Kaiyodo), but essentially, these figures are done with Medicom holding the licence to the particular series.
BM! Project - Standing for Bandai-Medicom! Project, these figures are what the name means; a collaboration between Medicom and powerhouse Bandai. Figures falling within Kamen Rider shows that are generally 'newer' or on air tend to come under this line. The collaboration is done primarily because Bandai still holds the licence to these shows (they are often still on air and having toys on shelves) and Medicom needs their permission and stuff. Also, Bandai are evil bastards and won't give the licence to anyone without earning something for themselves. Thus these figures tend to be significantly more expensive, but in general have tighter quality control (QC) than normal RAH figures.
Why Medicom 'Riders?
It's tricky to just do a mere shopping list of why one should or should not get any kind of figure really, as toys tend to evolve and improve/change even within the same line. But at the same time, some general guidelines can still be made and kept in mind as one considers a figure, especially ones of a special nature like these.
Generally, Medicom 'Riders are great for a collector for these reasons:
Medicom generally excels greatly at armoured and costumed figures, and Kamen Riders are often both these days. It could partially also be due to the fact that they're under the watchful eye of Toei, but Medicom almost always pays intense, crazed attention to the smallest of details to their figures. From proportions to the shades of colours, Medicom generally does a great job in paying attention to tiny details, and thus their figures tend to be great for the really anal fan.
Medicom's been in the business for (probably) almost 10 ish years now, and are one of the forerunners in the 1/6 figure market. Their stuff's come quite a long way, and while not always perfect, usually have a good level of quality that's maintained through every product. From stuff like the packaging to of course, the figure itself, a Medicom 'Rider generally has a lot of 'oomph' to it. They may not be cheap, but they're excellent for people who strongly believe in paying for quality. Medicom has also been improving the overall quality and durability of their figures and it certainly shows, with some of their most recent figures being almost small works of art (IMO of course).
#3 Display Value
Medicom 'Riders look great and have awesome 'presence' on a desk, primarily thanks to their size and workmanship. A bunch of well-made Medicom Kamen Riders standing together tend to attract a lot of attention to even casual people with little interest in toys, and it's difficult for anyone who loves toys to not appreciate the work that goes into them. Medicom 'Riders are also very photogenic and are *excellent* if you like taking photos of your toys a lot.
They may not always be the most poseable figures around, but in the poses they CAN do (and a lot of them can pose far better than most people think), they do them extremely well. The Medicom RAH 301 Kai body is excellently engineered and looks extremely natural in poses, and that is most certainly amplified when it's wearing a well made costume.
Finally, due to their quality and desk presence, I personally feel that Medicom 'Riders are the best way to 'immortalise' a character you like.
However, there are a number of things one has to keep in mind as well before getting a Medicom Kamen Rider figure (or any 12' figure in general for that matter:
The primary concern. These things aren't cheap in the slightest, and by that extension, aren't for collectors on a budget. On average, an RAH figure these days goes from about US$150 to around US$230 without shipping or so. BM! Project figures tend to go for even more, between US$180 to about US$250 or higher. With their relative low production runs, some figures' prices have climbed and in recent events of Decade and its movies, continue to climb even higher.
These figures are also most definitely not too great for the careless/easily stressed collector. All these figures wear real fabric clothes and often use pleather or other similar materials. This means the figures should not be kept in a highly 'stressful' position where all its limbs are bent at sharp angles for too long as a precaution as it could cause the material to flake. Of course, definitely keep it AWAY from high sources of heat.
Naturally, durability is a concern for many collectors and Medicom figures have had a reputation for being brittle. This is most definitely the case with older figures (take around 2007 and older or so), with their bodies being made of brittle, cheap plastic.
The newer Medicom figures have vastly improved bodies however and are MUCH more durable (and thus, playable). However, they still are not indestructible, so some common sense is still necessary. Learn how the RAH 301 Kai body moves (fiddling with a plain, naked figure is best), get used to the individual limitations of every figure's costume and of course, use your head. If you are adamant on making your figure do crazy yoga poses, look elsewhere.
And with that, look forward to a new review and rundown of well, every Medicom Kamen Rider figure I have in no real order!
Coming...tomorrow I suppose?