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Sunday, March 24, 2013

[FiguReview]SHFiguarts Kamen Rider Wizard Flame Style

So yeah, as promised here's the review of titular character of the latest Kamen Rider series, Wizard on his Flame Style. If there's any figure I need to have for the sake of completion, it will be the SHFiguarts of main Rider of new Heisei era on its main/normal form. Even after hearing of its annoying flaw I still feel obligated to buy this, and ironically I'm not that passionate of tokusatsu anymore since nowadays I only watch Kamen Rider (starting this April, then new Akibaranger and Garo will be on my list though) but I still not feel anything, again it's kinda like obligation. But I'm here to review the figure not talking about my rant, so here's the review, it's showtime~!!

SHFiguarts Kamen Rider Wizard Flame Style
3675 yen | 9th February 2013 | Bandai

Character History
Kamen Rider Wizard is Soma Haruto, who lost both his parents on early age due to car accident. Before they died, they talked to Haruto they want him to continue to live and keep the hope lives in his heart. That moment becomes Haruto's power to endure a monster of Phantom race inside him, Wizardragon, to came outside when he is kidnapped and sacrificed on Sabbath ceremony. Becomes the sole survivor, Haruto then saved by White Magician from another Phantom and his lifesaver then gives him belt and ring which can channel his magic power so he can transforms into Kamen Rider Wizard and use variety of magic to defeat Phantoms and protecting Gate, human who have great magic potential, from despair. With the Flame Ring, Haruto can assumes Flame Style, a most balanced form of Wizard which takes control of flame element.

SHFiguarts nowadays tend to use different box design accordance to respective character's trait or design, and that also the case for Wizard. As you can see from the pictures, the box looks so elegant and feels like premium item with black as the base color with some Wizard-ish detail like those dragon circle and round red ruby. The set is thicker than most of SHFiguarts since on the inside there is two level of multi-layer blister to store all the accessories it comes with. Not only that, if you buy the first release edition, you will get exclusive Strike Wizard Robe bonus part which packaged separately from the figure's box.

Set Content
Wizard Flame Style comes with quite number of optional parts and accessories, here are what you get from the set:
  • Kamen Rider Wizard Flame Style figure
  • 1 optional robe for action pose
  • 1 optional Wizardriver's belt part for action pose
  • 1 optional Wizardriver's scanner part right hand use
  • 5 pairs of interchangeable hand part
  • Wizardswordgun Sword Mode
  • Wizardswordgun Gun Mode
  • Tamashii Stage Act 4 Wizard Flame Style edition
  • 1 optional robe for Rider Kick pose (1st release exclusive bonus)

Neat, eh? I usually don't care about the Tamashii Stage since most of the time the designs are kinda lame, but Wizard has be-a-u...tiful design with great red-black color gradation and Wizard's magic circle design on it.

Now this is where it gets ugly, literally. Even the first time I saw the promo pictures I noticed there's something wrong about the proportion, and for whatever only-God-know reasons Bandai still went with it anyway, giving us fucked up Wizard with no neck, really short abs, and big feet. That's only what we notice just when we take look of it, when you touch the figure by yourself you will know there's more flaw. The Wizardriver's scanner part (that part with black hand) and his waist comes off VERY easily it's frustrating.

But even with all those flaws, I still admit I adore the efforts they've put on little details like those rings on both of his hand, the Wizardriver and the belt, both of Wizardswordgun, and some wrinkles on the cloth making it looks more realistic. Even there's glorious detail of Wizard's magic circle on the bottom of its feets. I also love the clear part they used for the face and chest part, making it more authentic. Oh yeah, the robe is made from soft plastic material so it's not going to hinder the leg movements that bad.

The paint on the other hand is really satisfying. There aren't any major flaws on my figure, except maybe for rough finishing on the back right shoulder but then again it's not even that important.

The details put are great, even if it's not perfect but they color the rings on both hand on every optional hands! And my biggest satisfaction is the clear red used on the face and chest. It really makes those parts look like a ruby, and it's beautiful. Shame that such noob photographer like me can't fully show it's true beauty, I mean I even chose bright orange, a wrong color for background that clashes with Wizard's red. But I guarantee you the red color is really great when you look it on your own eyes >.<

As if you have to ask about the articulation of SHFiguarts. It's one of its best selling point, what do you expect, of course it's great. How the joints work is the same as most SHFs so if you already have some SHFiguarts you will easily figure how to utilize it. Some highlight though, the shoulder and hand joints are tighter than usual, and I also got unlucky because the left foot joint is loose making it harder to stand without display stand. And as I wrote above, the robe is made from soft material so even with the normal robe you can still move the leg freely as shown on the picture! Bad news is you may have hard time to move the ab and waist because the tendency of said part to snapped.

The first gimmick this SHF has is the robe, scanner, and belt. You can swap those parts with the respective optional parts. To do it, you can simply snap the waist without much force because it's freaking easy, making it frustrating to pose. The scanner part, both of them, is worse because it can fit perfectly on the belt part. So I advise you to pose Wizard's upper body and lower body separately and then after you finish put both of them back together. Putting aside the flaw, I like the action robe (and Strike robe) part because it gives dynamic feel when you pose Wizard since on the series and movies, Wizard does look great with the movement of his robe whenever he's in action.

The next gimmick is from both of the Wizardswordgun, where you can open the hand part to do 'shake hand' thing when Wizard's going to do his finisher move. But not like on the show where Wizard simply raise the thumb and then the rest of fingers opened, on the SHF you need to open both part separately. There's a cool magic circle detail like the real weapon as a nice touch.

Last one is not actually a gimmick, but it's a trick to fight the proportion flaw this SHF has. The only thing you need is a blu-tack, putty-like adhesive you can easily buy at many stores. Any brand will suffice I think. To do the job, simply remove Wizard's head (only the head, not along with the neck) and then put some of the tack below it. And the put back the head to the neck and adjust the position. You may have to readjust it when you try to move the neck or head but this simple thing will make Wizard far better, trust me. Do the same thing on the belt scanner part so you won't get frustrated by that piece's falling over and over. See the picture here for illustration.

After all the texts, now time to see more pictures. Here my Wizard and all its glories. Take note that from this point onward, I already use the blu-tack method above for his head.

Maji ka maji de magic da showtime~!!

Wizardswordgun, Gun Mode!
"Come on a shooting shake hands!"

Wizardswordgun, Sword Mode!
"Come on a slash shake hands!"

Saa, finale da! Le Patch Magic Touch Go!
Chou ii ne! Kick Strike! Saikooo!!

Let's use effect parts!
Shooting/Slash Strike! Hi hi hi, hi hi hi!

Now you'll know why I bought DC Direct Red Lantern Mera XP
With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We burn you all--That is your fate!

Rage doesn't suit Wizard who supposed to bring hope (and since Water Style is out of my reach, being a web exclusive, I couldn't make Blue Lantern joke XD), so let's bring him to his root, magician!

How about using magic hand, and then becoming mahou shou...nen?

Can't help using the Strike Robe for Marilyn Monroe's infamous pose XDD

And of course since it's Wizard, I HAVE to take a donut-related picture =3

Wizardragon Kick Strike and..... Gaogaigar's one too XD

Red Kamen Rider with dragon monster as his partner and power source, it's been done!
"Get your own dragon!"

Magic time, trick janai~

Ankh, please!

I promise, I'll be your last hope...

And thus, the photo session is finished. Fuih...

End Verdict
SHF Kamen Rider Wizard is giving me headache. Most of the aspects are awesome. Cool box, wide range of accessories, great details, very nice paint job. But the sculpt failure is so devastating it ruins its plus points. Sure enough blu-tack can save the day and eventually I get use to the easily fall-off waist, but that's not the reason to make it okay. If you can read this Bandai, please don't do stuff like this again, just because you are the only company able to produce the figure due to license thingies, don't do things half-heartedly because people will still buy it, that just wrong T_T

I'm still kind enough to give 3 out of 5 stars because I admit this figure still give me good amounts of fun, but c'mon! You make all other three a web exclusive, if they still have the same flaws, ironically you'll make me lost hope when it's Wizard the one whom suppose to be one...


  1. LOL
    No joke about 30 years old virgin ? XP

    1. Ahahaha, was thinking about 4koma featuring Wiz and Akiba Red but don't have enough time to do it yet XD

    2. Ouh that's a great idea, if I'm not mistaken Akagi is 29 years old in Akibaranger season 1, so he must be 30 years old now (and he's definitely a virgin XD)

  2. You failed to mention how his robe puffs out like a skirt (it should be far more flush with his sides) and the right-hand ring sculpts stick out about a mile off of his finger.

    The sculpt on this guy is so atrocious it's a wonder it got past initial QC at all. They must have *really* rushed this guy.

    1. Ah now you mention it, it does feel that the Driver On Ring is too thick and the action robe (not the Strike robe) feels kinda weird >.>

      I agree that Bandai should learn one thing or two from other company, say, Max Factory. The latter delays many figmas lately, the latest is Super Sonico because they said the final product has defect, but at least the final product has good quality and not disappointing. This is just too much, and from the promotional pictures, both Beast his upgrade doesn't look much better proportionally >.>

  3. Got mine this morning and it's not the best Figuarts...

    He got so many flaws like the proportion of his body that even the W.A.P. Series looks better than the Figuarts (see there : http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/run_the_hazard72/GALLERY/show_image.html?id=63250080&no=13) :
    -The head, not that it's big but have a long chin and it made looks like that he doesn't have a neck
    -skinny thighs
    -the torso is too small

    Very nice trick with the blu-tack, you should add some between the legs and torso to match the size of the W.A.P. Series.

    Man, too bad I don't know how to mod that properly 'cause I've seen very good mod of Wizard Flame Style, there is one that even shorten his chin to have a better proportion of the head.

    1. Yeah, I don't know one thing about mod toys too so the only thing I can do was apply the tack. I've seen some other methods like replacing the whole upper body with WAP or change the head with Hyper Detail Molding trading figure.

      But those involves sacrificing other figure and cost more money so I'll just put up with this cheap method. My pictures don't really do justice, but other than the short ab, tack-ed head already enough to make Wiz more proportionate ^^;

    2. Still, this is a nice alternative.

      I'll try to do some mod if I find someone who's best at that or else I'll buy a custom from Yahoo Auction (the one I mentionned before, has sold for 20 000 Yens xD).

      Oh, and I forgot to say that it's very weird to use the Driver On Ring for the right hands. The early prototype used an orange ring without a symbol on it but in my opinion, it was better 'cause we can imagine that he's using the Big Ring or Kick Strike Ring or anything else.

    3. Holy crap, 20.000 yen? I'd rather buy (many) other SHFs for that price XDD

      I think they used the Driver On because it's the default right hand ring Haruto wears most of the time. Maybe they'll give more optional right hand with blank orange ring on it the upcoming Effect Part set.

  4. thank you for blutack advice my wizard is more handsome now and nice review :) hope you gonna make beast preview too

    1. You're very welcome, glad knowing I can help ^^

      For Beast, I don't know. On one hand I dislike Nitou, but on the other hand when he's going Mahou Shoujo Beast and from the live stage performance pictures I saw when Wizard and Beast dancing it tempts me to get him. I'm sucker for hilarious character XD Maybe in the future, if I find him cheap ^^;

  5. wow very cool! i love your review, really really entertaining haha :D
    im just curious, where did you get the magicians hat along with the spellbook and wand?

    1. Thank you very much ^o^

      I get the magicians hat and the wand from figma Yuki Nagato Witch while the spell book was from figma Drossel :)


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