As promised, here I am kicking off this series of random articles I've been wanting to do, all meant to introduce/inform you good people to the wonderful world of Kamen Rider Medicoms.
So what's with this one?
It's Kamen Rider Den-O. You know, that popular guy. That guy that like, single handedly brought hoards of raving fangirls into the Kamen Rider franchise. That guy that has like, ten billion movies and spin-offs and that just won't die. That guy where the series trucks on, even though the main actors have long abandoned their roles.
That guy that's just plain FREAKING awesome.
Medicom had begun doing mainline Riders by around 2007 or so, and Den-O was an obvious release, coming hot on the heels of other fellow mainline Heisei Riders, Hibiki and Kabuto. By this point, Den-O had long exploded into the crazy-ass-popular entity it is today by the time Medicom released his BM! Project figure in 2008, and it was also my first entry into getting mainline Heisei Riders as well. This was also during the period when Medicom's BM! Project series of figures was really starting to kick-off and make significant improvements to the durability and overall quality.
So is he any good?
Most definitely. A lot of older Medicom figures have been notorious for being extremely fragile, breaking at a joint (normally the shoulders or hips) at the slightest irregular movement. This is not the case with Den-O, to my pleasant surprise. I've had Den-O for about 2 years now and he's been put through quite a bit of posing and has held up really well. Den-O also comes with a good amount of accessories, such as his Dengasher (in both his sword form and its separated segments), his Rider Pass and several hands (including a pair specifically for ORE, SANJOU!-ing).
As is the norm with Medicom as well, Den-O is very nicely detailed, with every little tiny word and button moulded and printed on his armour and henshin belt. Of course, my and everyone's favourite detail, the bug-like compound eyes, are in full force. His eye pieces could be fanned out slightly wider to be 100% show-accurate, but I'm anal like that.
While SHFiguarts do a great job of replicating this effect at its scale, they can't hold a candle up to the RAH/BM! Project figures.
Of course, when plonking down 200 odd dollars for a figure, how much a character means to you is just as important as how good the figure is technically. Thankfully, this shouldn't be too much of a problem for most people.
Den-O is one of the best written shows in the franchise, with Den-O, and the Imagins by that extension, being great characters. Den-O's BM! Project figure here can do almost any pose that Sword Form/Momotaros can do. From gangster swaggering to threatening to cheering to sobbing etc etc etc...I have had a *ton* of fun with this figure, and if you're a decent fan of the show, I'm sure you will too.
Anything to look out for?
There isn't a whole lot to watch out for here when getting Den-O. There might be an occasional little QC hiccup here and there (my Den-O had a tiny paint chip on his chin), but otherwise his quality is generally really strong.
A few things here and there, such as his horns, are capable of snapping, but that's only if he takes a really bad tumble, like mine did. OOPS.
As I mentioned earlier, his body is an early member of the new 'generation' of improved durability RAH bodies, so you can generally pose him with no worries. His outfit is pretty tight though, especially at the elbows and a tad at the legs. This does restrict his arm movement somewhat, as he's unable to rest his arms completely flat at his sides (creating what many call the 'Chicken Arm Effect'). He also can't exactly kick at too crazy angles, but he's more than capable of doing any gangster-esque thump.
His Dengasher parts attach onto his belt via magnets and while it sounds great on paper and has been done well before - it doesn't really here. They fall off very, VERY easily and it does get pretty irritating. But this is a relatively small quibble.
How much is he and is he worth it?
Den-O was pretty much everywhere when he was first released and remains a very easy figure to get. He's also relatively cheap as far as RAHs/BMs go, ranging from around US$170-190 shipped from ebay (the WORST place to get such figures IMO).
He's a solidly made figure and is a great (and very popular) character to boot. For these reasons, Den-O's in many ways, a great 'introductory' piece to anyone who's looking to start a 1/6 Kamen Rider figure collection. Of course, if you're going to collect every single Rider, or even just every single Heisei Rider, Den-O's a must get either way.
Den-O started off as an impulse buy for me, as I had bought him when I was still relatively new to Kamen Rider and had yet to watch his series. But sometimes impulse buys turn out great, and I'm really happy to say that Den-O's one of them. He's a lot of fun to pose and adds a good amount of colour to any collection. Take the fact that he's affordable and not difficult to get, and he's an easy recommend.
My personal rating: 9/10
Next up: Kuuga!