Bandai Chogokin Armor Transformation Masked Rider Blade Series (c.2004)


























In 2002, new Masked Rider series called Ryuki made its debut in Japan. Ryuki was quite a change from not only the old Riders but from even the modern one like Kuuga and Agito. In Ryuki, Kamen Riders were creation of The Mirror World and each Riders were bound to the monster via contract. Due to this Riders and Monster concept, Bandai decided to market the new figures series as R&M line with 5" articulated figures of Riders along with his monster companion. The new 5" line however was no longer part of the Chogokin Souchaku-Henshin instead the Riders figures in R&M were simply plastic action-figures without any removable metal armors. Many collectors were sadden by the end of SH series due to the toys format change but for Bandai to make R&M line into Chogokin line, the price would have been prohibitive. (Keep in mind these toys were meant for kids) 

When Ryuki ended in 2003 and new series called Kamen Rider FAIZ (555) debuted, Souchaku-Henshin fans' hope were dashed again when Bandai decided to sell the new FAIZ series yet again as plastic only action-figures line and worst yet the size had been greatly increase to over 6" and now even the figures were not in the same scale as SH series. There was however reason for yet again another format change. The new lines of FAIZ called S-RHF series were made bigger because Bandai want them to be compatible with the RH series of Masked Rider toys. (The RH series were limited articulation vinyl figures of Kamen Riders that stood about 6" in height) This was because FAIZ story line evolved around the Ophanoch (super evolved human) and it was much cheaper to produced the Ophanoch as RH figures than doing full series of action-figures. (Bad guys toys don't sell well in Japan either).

It seem that SH series had really come to an end when Blade series was debuted in early 2004. The new figures were small micro-size 4" in height and sold in playing card cases (R&R or Riders & Rouser Series). As you might have guess, the series gimmick was again playing cards. However, in a surprise move, Bandai decided to revive the Souchaku Henshin series and in June of 2004 released the first two new figures for SH line - Masked Rider Faiz and Kaixa from Masked Rider 555 (FAIZ) series. It was actually these two figures that got me into collecting SH series. When I saw these figures on-line, I asked my friend Jay P. about them since he is a Masked Rider fan and collector. Jay highly recommended the line to me as he know the type of toys I like. (Microman figures and Henshin Cyborg). I was quickly hook on the series, and here I am with shelves full of these toys and this website. With Bandai planning to go back and do the SH format for the two series they skipped (Ryuki and FAIZ) along with the new Blade series, it seem SH Masked Rider series has finally returned.

The main action-figures line for Blade was the R&R (Rider and Rouse) set. These figures were 4" and came with Rouse Box to store the Rouser cards and the Masked Rider figures. The Rider Machines for the series were also made to be compatible with the R&R series. However, when Souchaku Henshin series was revived in mid-2004, Bandai also plan for Blade figure in the SH format. Masked Rider Blade series design was more like the old Metal Hero, with heavily armored Riders along with heavy motif of playing cards designs. The series was actually well suited for the Souchaku Henshin line. 




GD-65 Kamen Rider Blade (8/04)


GD-66 Kamen Rider Garren (8/04)


GD-67 Kamen Rider Chalice  (9/04)


 GD-68 Kamen Rider Leangle (9/04)


GD-86 Kamen Rider Blade King Form (6/05)


GD-87 Kamen Rider Glaive (6/05)




Instead of the DX series, this year Bandai release instead the Blade Machines series with added light & sound along with card sliding gimmick, unfortunately the bikes are  too small to be used for the SH series figures. (These bike are designed for the Blade Series micro-size 4" Rouse Box figures or the R&R series).


Blue Spader


Red Lampas


 Shadow Chaser


Green Clover

Back to Card Game?


Masked Rider Blade debuted in 2004. The story seem to be a mix between Agito and FAIZ. Secret organization build Rider Henshin Belt to fight mysterious monsters. The card game gimmick along with "monster capture" ideas were the new scheme to sell toys and hook young children, and the Riders (again multiple of them) were more like Metal Hero in designs than the old Masked Riders.


The Riders from Blade transformed using power from set of card called Rouse Cards. The Rouse Cards were card deck of capture monsters. By using the Change Belt (Kamen Rider System), one was able to transform into Masked Rider. Blade and Garren powers came from beetle monsters while Chalice used mantis monster power and Leangle used spider monster power. Each of the Riders also had Rouser System that allowed them to transfer powers of the monsters that they had captured (in Rouse Card) to their Kamen Rider systems by slice the Rouse Cards on their Rouser unit.