I am the goddamn Kamen Rider!
Oh thank you Goddamn Batman, for helping me think of an opening quote. This is part 2 of a 3 part series of reviews and comparisons between 3 different lines of 3.75″ figures (admittedly, 2 of those are Kamen Rider-centric). Part 1 can be found here.
From the 2002-2003 series of Kamen Rider Ryuki (redubbed as Kamen Rider Dragon Knight in the 2009 American adaptation), comes this Full Action Figure version of Kamen Rider Knight.
The premise of Kamen Rider Ryuki is basically Kamen Rider meets Highlander. 13 Kamen Riders must kill each other till there is only one, and that one gets his or her wish granted. Also, there are other spoilery stuff, but I’ve already spoiled enough.
Before I go into the meat of the review, I have to confess that Full Action Figure toys probably shouldn’t be comparable. Whereas G.I. Joe and Motion Revive Series (MRS) are actual lines, FAF only lasted a single wave. But still, they’re the spiritual ancestors of MRS, so it’s kinda fun to see how toy technology’s progressed (or stagnated).
General design-wise, Kamen Rider Ryuki as a whole, never really appealed to me. This is entirely because when I rediscovered Kamen Rider via the internet, and was presented by the non-buggy eyed designs of my youth, I balked at them.
Nowadays, as I look back on the Ryuki designs, some of them ain’t half bad. Zolda and Taiga are pretty neat and would fit in well with other lines. While Scissors still looks like the generic monster/resident chump that he was. The titular Kamen Rider Ryuki however, was and still is, a total douche in terms of character design (entirely because of the head design).
But we’re not talking about the above, this review is about Kamen Rider Knight. Who is has one of the nicer designs in the series. I originally hated it because it didn’t fit my grasshopper fetish in regards to Kamen Riders, but in retrospect, it’s a cool design. As the name suggests, he’s very knight-like with his visor look and all.
Knight is often compared to Batman, due to his bat sub-motif, cape and “pointy ears”, but I don’t see it, especially not in this toy form.
The FAF Kamen Rider Knight toy looks very nice. Like the other FAF figures, his proportions are rather slim, but this is appropriate given how he looked on the show. I can accept that he isn’t as bulky as some other figures.
Detail-wise, he’s surprisingly detailed with folds to his suit and all that lovely jazz. Which is nice because they could have left him bland, as his particular character design is rather sleek and skintight. Overall, FAF figures are surprisingly detailed, but as with their successors, the MRS, they don’t go overboard (so as to remain show accurate) and can look somewhat plain in comparison to stuff like G.I. Joe or even some Star Wars figures.
The only downside to Kamen Rider Knight and indeed, the whole FAF line/wave is that because they use regular ball-joints for their elbows, the elbows can end up looking rather weird. Their elbows are generically modular, so they aren’t as well integrated as with a Hasbro 3.75″ figure.
Nonetheless, a good looking figure. The proportions do feel weird when you’ve got better proportioned guys like the Joes and MRS on hand, but overall, I don’t have much to complain, and Knight can easily fit in as a minion of COBRAAAAAAAAALALALALALALA! as he could as a Kamen Rider.
3.0 out of 4.0
Despite their age, FAF figures are very well articulated and are comparable even against more modern toys. As with Joes and MRS, their articulation is standardized.
Ball-joint at base of neck (1)
Ball-jointed torso (2)
Ball-jointed shoulders (4)
Ball-jointed elbows (6)
Swivel wrists (8)
Ball-jointed hips (10)
Swivel upper thighs (12)
Ball-jointed knees (14)
Ball-jointed feet (16)
16 PoA, same as with G.I. Joe, but with one major and crucial difference. FAF Knight has swivel thighs whereas G.I. Joe does not. That makes all the difference in the world, as although Knight does not have a Joe’s double-jointed knees, he’s still way more posable.
The proof is in the pudding, just grab a couple FAF or even MRS figures, and put them in a professional wrestling hold. Or heck, a real wrestling hold. They can do it, no problem. Not so with a G.I. Joe. The ability to rotate the legs inward is pretty crucial for a highly effective articulation model, and Knight passes muster.
Knight also has a bit of an advantage over regular MRS figures, the top of his shoulders have a sufficient gap, allowing Knight to raise his arms straight up higher than most MRS figs.
There are no real downsides to Knight’s articulation model. His elbows look a little wonky but that’s already been covered. Otherwise, his design hide any flaws very well. Both his shoulders and knees look totally fine.
Vs Joes, Knight is superior or comparable in almost every way. The only thing is that he can’t bend his knees as much, but I’ve already covered how much superior Knight’s leg articulation and general posability is against Joes already, despite the lack of double-jointed knees.
Vs MRS, Knight doesn’t fair as well. Aside from his better shoulders, he’s either matched or outclassed by your typical MRS figure. Not to the degree that he looks bad, but MRS is simply better in terms of articulation.
Still, with ball-joints for everything, this is one uber duper fun toy to play with. I find myself having trouble scoring his articulation score, as he deserves a perfect 4.0 despite not being as articulated as humanly possible… oh well, you get what you deserve.
4.0 out of 4.0
Kamen Rider Knight only comes with one accessory; his signature longsword, which has some good detailing and paint applications. It’s not bad, and for the extremely good price I got him for, I’m totally fine with this amount of accessories.
It’s admittedly way less than what your standard G.I. Joe gets but still better than some Motion Revive Series, such as MRS 6′s Kamen Rider Rising Mighty Kuuga, who only has an extra pair of hands. It’s justified because that’s all the character would use, but still…
2.5 out of 4.0
Full Action Figure Kamen Rider Knight looks good, is articulated as heck and has a nice accessory. He’s slim, but that works in this particular case due to show accuracy. His proportions can be a little weird, especially around the elbows, but otherwise, there’s nothing I can really deduct him points for. A really solid figure that’s arguably the best in the entire FAF line.
4.0 out of 4.0
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent