Bandai Chogokin Armor Transformation Masked Rider FAIZ (555) Series (c.2004)


FAIZ 555


























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 are for kids) 

When Ryuki ended in 2003 and new series called Kamen Rider FAIZ (555) debuted, Souchaku-Henshin fan's hopes 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 evolve 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. (The series new gimmick). 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 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.




GD-61 Kamen Rider Faiz (6/04)


GD-62 Kamen Rider Kaixa (6/04)


GD-72 Kamen Rider Delta (12/04)


 GD-73 Kamen Rider Psyga (12/04)


GE-13 Masked Rider Faiz Blaster Form (6/06)


GE-14 Masked Rider Orga (6/06)




While the SH series was in hiatus during Ryuki and FAIZ several DX Rider Machine were produced that fit the 5" SH figures. (The toys came with fix pose figures).


DX Auto-Vajin


DX Side Basshar

Go Go Gadget Riders!


Masked Rider Faiz (555) was the first of the modern Riders series I watched in an entirety since Masked Rider Stronger. (I actually began watching Ryuki at my friend Jay urging, but lost interest due to the slow moving story in the middle. Not to say Ryuki was bad, I enjoyed the show very much, but FAIZ was much faster moving and hold my attention much better. I did finished watching Ryuki and it too was a good show). When Jay told me about the premise of the show I was totally skeptical. Kamen Riders with cell phone, digital cam and laser pointer what in the world was this, I was thinking Mr. Ishinomori must be be turning in his grave. But after I got pass the gadget ridden scheme by Bandai to sell more toys I find  the show to be very entertaining. Yes, it was not like the old Riders I grew up with but the new shows were very enjoyable in their own ways. Some might say the designs were not very Riders-like but if you were to look back at the old series there were some radical looking designs then too. (Amazon come to mind). The way I see it, these new Riders were just a way for Toei to do different styles of tokusatsu shows (seem to be going in the Metal Hero direction of late) but using the Rider brand for recognition.