Q Reviews: RAH Kamen Rider Ryuki!
Time sure flies doesn't it?
It felt like yesterday, when I first saw Kamen Rider Ryuki being shown on TV. Being the first in the franchise to take many major departures; having a humongous cast of characters, a centralised card gimmick; amongst many other things, Kamen Rider Ryuki certainly made its own kind of impact in the scene during its long run.
It was also a surprising turn of events, when 7 years later; Adness Entertainment brought the series over to America. Dubbing it Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, this successfully gave interest in the series a huge revival, resulting in a slew of new awareness - and merchandise!
Which of course, brings us to where we are at now - Medicom's offering of the main character. To be technical, this is the second release of a similar character: we'll be taking a look at this newly released RAH Kamen Rider Ryuki, and also drawing quick comparisons to the 2009 released RAH Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (confused yet?).
While the same suit and mostly similar characters, we're still dealing with 2 'different' shows here. Thus, the packaging of both figures differs significantly, but accurately represents their respective shows.
Being a bit of a purist, I personally prefer the packaging of Ryuki (on the Left), as it fits in better with my existing Real Action Heroes figures. If you'Â’ve been collecting tons of Dragon Knight merchandise though, you'll be pleased that his RAH's box blends in well.
Otherwise - it's just boxes! Get over it!
Both figures come with the exact same accessory count: 2 x fists, 2 x opened hands, 1 x card holding hand, 1 x sword holding hand, 1 x open palm, 1 x Dragsaber and 5 x Advent Cards.
It's great having all of Ryuki/Dragon Knight's cards in full force, and his array of hands is efficient to bust off all his signature poses. It still is a bit lacking unfortunately - a pair of Guard Vent shields, or even his Strike Vent Dragon Head weapon would've been nice to have.
Sculpting & Outfit
Being based on the same suit, it's obvious that both figures look really similar at a glance.
Both represent the source material pretty well, with his distinct Dragon-motif helmet, grilled eyes, and his Dragvisor mounted on his left arm.
To more eagle-eyed viewers (and hardcore fans) however, the differences become more evident. Ryuki, having the benefit of being made a good 3-4 years later, has a few extra touches that make him *more* accurate.
Ryuki boasts more 'buffed up' proportions to his height, torso and limbs, thereby actually looking more like an actor in a costume.
Ryuki also has a more accurate head sculpt, looking slimmer and with eyes that catch light better (and thus, showing up red easier), and less 'buggy' looking than Dragon Knight's.
Finally, Ryuki's Dragvisor also has a proper working mechanism that lets it slide open, ready for cards to be loaded in - a far improvement over Dragon Knight's simple swap-out piece.
Aside from the previously mentioned improvement in proportions of Ryuki, both figures are about the same in playability.
The suit allows for basic poses to be pulled off decently, especially with the neck that allows for ever-important characteristic head-tilts.
Unfortunately, the flaws that Dragon Knight had still carry over to Ryuki in many ways. Namely, that of the tightness in the leg area - it's really tricky to get him to stand in a deep stance, which is important for his most trademark "Final Vent" pose.
But perhaps by biggest gripe is not so much the articulation, but the lack of options you have with it. Ryuki is still woefully lacking in accessories, as mentioned earlier.
With just his Dragsaber and cards to pose with, your posing options are a lot more limited as compared to other Rider figures. With the price point that these figures go for, and being Medicom's second attempt at this character, surely an included Strike Vent wouldn't have been a big problem? Alas, such is not the case.
Objectively, Ryuki is a superior figure to Dragon Knight in just about every aspect: he boasts a more accurate sculpt, sharper features, and even has a nicer box. However, Dragon Knight, being an older figure, is obtainable at a far lower price in the aftermarket (I recommend Mandarake!), and is an excellent choice for the more budget-constrained collector.
Despite the lack of accessories and slight articulation issues, any Rider fan, especially those looking to complete a Heisei Rider collection, really shouldn't be without either of these figures in their shelf.