This is the original form of the “finger” used by longbow-men. See? Toy reviews are educational!
From the same series as Kamen Rider Blade, Chalice is the heart to Blade’s spades (Garren is diamond and Leangle is clubs).
I love Souchaku Henshin figures, but I admit I don’t review them much. So a little recap is in order. Souchaku Henshin aka Trans-armor figures are 5 to 5.5 inch action figures that consist of an articulated base body (with freaky shrunken head) and a boatload of accessories, including diecast armor. The rule of thumb is that the base body used for SH Figures improve with each passing year, so newer bodies tend to be sleeker and more articulated. Ironically, this culminated in Souchaku Henshin’s “replacement”, the S.H. Figuarts, which are highly detailed and articulated figures that have done away with the removable armor.
Personally, I still prefer Souchaku Henshin, since it’s the armor pieces which drew me in originally. And one of the best practitioners on the use of bulky diecast armor are those figures from the “Blade” series, of which Chalice is an instance of.
Chalice is one of the nicer looking of his “wave”. Like any Souchaku Henshin, he has a nasty shrunken head, but it’s better looking than most. Of course, you’re suppose to put the helmet on anyway, so it’s no biggie. Unlike Blade or Garren however, Chalice’s body has a bit of decoration. He’s got some tribal markings of some sort and as a result, he looks good even without his primary armor.
With his armor though, Chalice is the flashiest of a relatively subdued lot. Coupled with his heart motif, you’d think he would look… well, gay. But fortunately, he doesn’t. Despite the Power Rangers style motorcycle helmet of a mask he’s spotting, Chalice looks oddly good. Cool even. The “antennas” probably help in that regard.
In short, Chalice is a really nice looking figure, nicer than my pictures do him justice.
As you can see from the pictures, Chalice is articulated out the wazoo. He’s even got articulated fingers. Newer SH Figures/Figuarts have even more improved articulation, but for his generation, Chalice holds up well. The armor doesn’t get in the way of the articulation either, so that’s a blessing.
While Chalice is well accessorized, he’s actually a little less packed than his fellow Blade Kamen Riders. Of note is that his shin guards are already molded on, whereas on Blade and Garren, they’re attachable. Beyond that, I can’t fault Chalice much. He’s only missing little things that are not native to his design anyway, such as the heel thingies that Blade and Garren have. And the fact that he uses a longbow means he’s got no scabbard or holster, which wouldn’t fit thematically anyway. One interesting bit is that Chalice can remove his belt buckle and stick it on his longbow.
What else can you ask for in a toy? Nada, that’s what. Chalice is a show accurate representation that has a great design that manages to make the heart suite motif look good despite its inherent gay-ness, has nice play value with his articulation and armor pieces, and did I mention? DIECAST armor. While not my favorite Souchaku Henshin figure, Chalice is still an example of the epitome of toy-ness.
3.6 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