Astro Toy
SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Meteor

by David Cabrera,

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Meteor
Series: Kamen Rider Fourze
Maker: Bandai
Price: $40-$50

Don't I just look silly this week? Like there's egg on my face or something. And I'm totally embarrassed, because of the egg. So, alright, I'll just level. It'll be fine. The DX Soul of Chogokin Mazinger-- a toy so grand and magnificent it has its own deluxe sales brochure-- was technically a January release... in that it was a last-day-of-January release and it only just shipped out as I write this. That's the worst case scenario for our humble schedule.

As I'm sure you all know, an item shipping late isn't uncommon. Typically at the column I have a stack of two or three toys, usually recently arrived preorders, to choose from. This gives me a certain amount of wiggle room. This was not such a point in the schedule. So what to do? There's only one thing I can do, which is to pull something off my own shelf (making this a totally unofficial and completely accidental tokusatsu month at Astro Toy). I try to keep at least one unopened toy around for situations like this; it's happened before and it'll happen again.
I'm really sorry about promising Mazinger for so long and not being able to deliver. Don't worry, it's definitely on its way this time. I have the tracking number.

So Kamen Rider Meteor. I bought this guy at Otakon last year. In the Kamen Rider superhero series it's common to have a “second Rider” who fights alongside or perhaps opposite the main hero. In last year's Kamen Rider Fourze-- of which I'm a big fan-- the second Rider was Meteor. His theme is the 70s, the birth decade of the Riders: he fights like Bruce Lee, poses like Gavan (wait that's the 80s), and spins a disco ball to transform. In other words... he's a super cool dude.

Kamen Rider Meteor! Your fate is mine to decide!

As usual for Riders in Figuarts, it's a sharp sculpt. The transparent blue and the red, segmented bug eyes beneath it really stand out. Looking closely at the face reminds me of an early appearance from the show, where they had those eyes illuminate at night. Light-up eyes would have been an awesome feature for this or any Kamen Rider figure... but they always are, right?

Meteor is pretty lightly armored: just a helmet, shoulder armor, and of course that star-covered body suit. If you touch the stars, you'll notice that the dots are very slightly raised. Not exactly bumpy, but they aren't just painted on and it's noticeable.

Being as he's so lightly armored, there are no problems with articulation or obstructions. We've got the sweet Figuarts double joints, after all. Go ahead, dislocate those legs and become the dragon! It's a sturdy figure. One of the reasons I like Figuarts so much is that unlike Figma and Revoltech, the figures rarely fall apart on you, even if you twist a little.

Additional hands are all in various relaxed poses that mimic Lee, of course. You'll note that Meteor even stole the famous thumb-brushing gesture. (By the way, the Tamashii Stand I'm using in these photos was not included. You're lucky if you get one, with Figuarts.)

As this is a typically bare-bones Figuarts release, accessories are pretty sparse. You get the soda-cup robot buddy from the show: there was a whole army of transforming, fast-food themed robot pals. It was a weird show. Kind of R2D2-ish, isn't it? I got in close for the accessory pictures... as you can see it doesn't really do them any favors, but they are the size of your fingertip, after all.

When Meteor attacks he often uses the Meteor Galaxy on his arm to make planets appear on his fists. I think a big plastic Jupiter would have made a nice accessory. Oh well.

Speaking of which, there are replacement parts for the transformation apparatus. These are fancy pieces of equipment on the show (indeed, they have their own toys which each cost more than this one) and given the size and cost of the figure we can't really expect amazing detail. When we take a magnifying glass to them like we do here, they actually look... kinda terrible, huh?

As for myself, I was most disappointed that the disco ball in the belt doesn't spin. Anyway, the replacement parts are so slightly different that you have to seriously stare at them to notice that the belt is without the Meteor switch, and the thumb-touch part of the Meteor Galaxy is red on the alternate part.

(Confession: I was going to buy my own Meteor Galaxy at Nakano Broadway in Japan, but they didn't have the belt part, so I didn't. The end.)

It's space time, everybody!

So this is very average, and a completely safe bet for fans. Absolutely nothing wrong with it-- certainly up to the high level of quality this line usually represents-- but unfortunately nothing unusual or exceptional either. And that's how you get a good toy that's still been sitting on the shelf in reserve for a year.

I got this for $50 at Bluefin's booth last Otakon. It's been quite a while since then, but it shouldn't be too hard to come across. You can still get Figuarts from Kamen Rider 000s and earlier, after all. Also in the Fourze Figuarts line: the upgraded, more ostentatious Meteor Storm, Fourze himself, every weapon Fourze ever wielded and costume he ever wore, and even a few of the enemy Zodiarts.

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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