Wow, that post title sounds like gibberish don’t it?
From what I can discern, the Kiwami Tamashi: Masked Rider Hibiki are essentially mini-Super Imaginative Chogokin (SIC). Which are basically Kamen Riders done up in a much more stylized and organic manner. The original SIC were little more than statues, but have since become full fledged action figures, albeit infamously fragile ones. For the uninitiated, SICs can be… well, pretty ugly. But once you get used to it, they’re cool.
Onto the Kiwami Tamashi version itself, it’s a 3.75″ fig (closer to 4″ actually) SIC-ish version of Kamen Rider Hibiki. While other Kamen Riders given the SIC treatment end up looking like horrible Lovecraftian monster bugs, the SIC stylization works for Hibiki, who is already oni-based anyway. But we’ll get to that in the Aesthetics portion of this review.
Yaddi yaddi yadda, I was looking for this guy after seeing him on a thread, but didn’t expect to see ’em. Grabbed him up when I did, as well as a loose MRS Sword Form. Price is a little less than an MRS Monster Hunter, though I think I got mine on discount and the usual price is the same as that of the MRS Monster Hunters. Now onto the toy proper.
As mentioned, and as can be seen from the pic, Hibiki is actually a tad taller than your standard 3.75″ figure. He’s closer to 4″ and I’m fine with that. The occasional tall character is fine. It works for Hibiki anyway, though I realize he wasn’t exceptionally tall in the show.
Also mentioned earlier was that the SIC style works for Hibiki, who gets a more expressive mask (it’s still a distorted horror, but in the context of an oni/ogre, I can dig it) and much more defined musculature. Whereas on the original suit, it was indeed obvious the actor was wearing a suit, here it’s much more organic. He’s got defined abs and thighs and all that, which are enhanced with application of shadows and weathering. And hey, check out those cool forearms with the fading red at the elbows.
But the BIG thing. The most impressive thing about Kiwami Tamashi: Masked Rider Hibiki. It isn’t the detailing and the sculpting (not exactly) or even the paint job. While impressive and superior to many of this scale, it’s not what makes him truly exceptional. What’s awesome about Hibiki is this:
Alright, that was partially just so I could post all the pics at once. But notice something? Especially the one showing his back? Here’s a closer look:
If your answer is there’s no screw hole on his back, you would be right. That’s right, Hibiki’s main strength in terms of aesthetics? He hides his joints incredibly well, while maintaining a high degree of articulation. The only place where his joints show are around the elbow area, where you can make out the hinge mechanism pretty well. There also seems to be a cut joint there, but I haven’t actually managed to move it, usually the biceps move when I want to rotate his forearms in. Aside from the elbows, the only places that give him away are the holes around his belt for sticking the accessories in, and those will get covered up when he’s fully suited up anyway.
I’m just so darn impressed with how well Hibiki hides his jointing. And I’m relieved that they’re all nice and firm. I wouldn’t know what to do if they were loose. I guess some bits I could tighten up with nail polish, but there’s nowhere to unscrew anything here. This is one tight lookin’ figure.
His only downside is that due to the shape of his head and collar, he’s going to end up looking downward whenst facing forward. Oh well, nada’s perfect.
Hibiki is highly articulated. He certainly puts a GI Joe or Star Wars to shame, and although he’s got slightly less range than a MRS, considering how well his joints are hidden vs the highly exposed joints of a MRS, it balances out. Things of note is that although Hibiki’s elbows are not double jointed the way a MRS is, he can still do a 135 degree bend due to the way his elbow mechanism works. He can’t do the splits and it seems his thighs can’t rotate as fully as a MRS due to clearance issues, but Hibiki can still spread his legs and cross ’em. His feet are much more versatile than that or either MRS or the Hasbro ball hinged ankles though.
And of course, there’s the dreaded KNEE of 180. I mean, just look at ’em. Ain’t that a beeeautiful 180 knee bend? Sure, both GI Joe and MRS can do it too, but not quite as beeeeeautifully, y’know? So yeah, sexy plastic thighs….
Hibiki comes with an extra pair of drum stick (the sticks for drumming, not chicken) holding hands with removable oni caps. A stick holder holster thingy for his back, a tuning fork and portable Ultra-Blu Ray disk thingy. He might not come with tiny disk monsters, but it’s an acceptable bunch of well painted accessories.
By Golly Ms. Molly and her best friend Dolly (with a side of Holly)! This is an awesome toy. Truly terrific. I’m almost at a lost for words. Kiwami Tamashi Hibiki might not be perfect, but he’s solid and what he does well he does sooooooo well. He might be a tad more expensive than your regular GI Joe (same price as Star Wars here) but dayumn he’s worth it. He might be about the same price as some Marvel Legends where I am (darn import costs) but I still feel like I got my money’s worth. The back of the card seems to say we’ll be getting a Kikaider and Sword Form as well? I’m not sure about Sword Form, but I’ll definitely pick up Kikaider should he come out.
This scale really works for SIC Hibiki. I’m not sure I’d get the full sized SIC of Hibiki despite the additional accessories, but Kiwami Tamashi Hibiki is juuuuust right for me.
3.8 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