SH KAMEN RIDER KABUTO SERIES GE-04 Masked Rider Kabuto (3/2006)


























Kamen Rider Kabuto Rider Form


Bandai released Souchaku Henshin Masked Rider Kabuto in March of 2006 as part of the new Kamen Rider Kabuto Series. The new series is returning to the modern Kamen Rider designs and theme after the huge departure with last year Hibiki series. Kabuto, like Kuuga and Agito, is based on rhinoceros beetle and homage to the original beetle Kamen Rider Stronger from 1970's. The new series is very similar to Kuuga in theme and story with added design elements (read - toy gimmicks) from Faiz and Blade series. Aside from the Zect Rider Belt (henshin belt for this series) and the Zector unit (belt buckle used for transformation), the series at its core is very Kamen Rider-like at least in the modern series sensibility.




SH Kamen Rider Kabuto uses all new core body designed specifically for the series (something that Bandai has been doing which is very nice since it does allow for better looking figure). The paint job is decent, however the red on Kabuto Rider Form is a little pinkish in some place (not enough paint). The armor pieces fit nicely for both the Rider Mode and Masked Mode and stay on pretty well. In Rider From, Kabuto has several die-cast "chogokin" parts including the armor pads for his legs and arms. The figure is the same height as the recent SH figures which are a bit taller than the old SH core body used before the Faiz series (however it is not out of scale like the recent Kamen Rider The First figures).



Kamen Rider Kabuto Masked Form

Kabuto series design element for Masked Rider is that the Riders have two distinct forms, the first mode when they first transform which is known as the "Masked Form".  The "Masked Form" is a bulky with heavy mechanical cocoon like appearance. This form is used mainly to withstand and fight off the initial onslaught of the Salis Worm Troopers (lower class peon-type Worms). When the Worm mutated to the higher level (by coming out of their carapace outer shell), the Rider then used the "Cast Off System" and the outer "Masked Form" shell then break apart and reveal the hidden more agile "Rider Form". While the Masked Mode is not very Kamen Rider-like, it is very nice alternate mechanical looking Kamen Riders and I really like the design theme of making the Riders a mechanical version of the Worms by having the Masked Rider also breaking out of the shell to reveal power-up form.  



SH Kabuto Masked Form is very nice looking with full die-cast chest armors piece. The lower body shares the same armor set as the Rider Form, however the arms and hands have different design (actually the hands have to be swap). The arm armor pads unfortunately are not molded with die-cast but instead soft plastics. (probably to cut cost). The Masked Form come with it's own Zector unit (belt buckle piece) since the horn of the Zector belt is used as a switch to perform "Cast Off" and turn the Masked Form into Rider Form.



GE-04 Souchaku Henshin Series Kamen Rider Kabuto - Masked Rider Kabuto

Release Date : 3/2006

Retail Price : 3000 Yen

The packaging is similar to that of Kuuga and Agito series. Due to dual forms of Kabuto Series Masked Riders, Bandai includes both armors set and a dummy body to hold the unused armors.

Unmasked Mode

Like other SH Riders figures, the human body underneath can look out of proportion and is solely intended for display with the "cloth" (Rider Armor) on. The core body is similar in style as the body used since the original Saint Seiya Cloth line, however for the 2004 SH line, Bandai have retooled the body to make it more modern. While the head still appears too small due to having to accommodate the mask, this removable "armor suit" however, is one of the aspect that drawn me to this line. The ability to "henshin" into the Rider form make these SH figures a lot like small version of Henshin Cyborg or the RAH costume hero.


Kabuto comes with his Kabuto Kunai Gun. The weapon has 3 modes - Gun Mode, Ax Mode and Kunai Mode. The gun/ax mode is used mostly in Masked Form and the Kunai Mode (small sword) is typically seen when Kabuto is in his Rider Form.


Aside from the weapon accessories, Bandai also include a dummy figure that can be used to display the unused armor set. The dummy figure has molded on parts and limited articulations but work decently for display purpose. Bandai even include a pair of stands for display.