Toy Review: Kamen Rider Camo and Dragon Knight by Bandai
I've only watched the first episode of Kamen Rider, but I really dig the costume designs. Kamen Rider seems kind of like Power Rangers except with a bug theme and motorcycles, all of which seems pretty cool, so I decided to pick up two of the figures: Camo and Dragon Knight.
Price: $10 (Kamen Rider figures can also be found online for $8)
I'm surprised that Bandai managed to get this level of sculpting detail in these figures. The detail work in the helmets and armor is quite nice with plenty of cool touches like the minuscule details in Dragon Knight's dragon gauntlet. But the proportions are way off: the helmets are too small, the torso is too wide, and the hips are too weird. I wish Bandai would stick to the proportions of the Super Legends line.
The paint apps are surprisingly sharp. In particular, the paint apps for Camo's "eye vents" and Dragon Knight's grill and bug eyes are very precise for any toy manufacturer, let alone Bandai. There isn't much, if any, slop happening here. But unfortunately Bandai was a bit stingy with the paint: Camo's chin and armor should have silver and red paint and Dragon Knight's armor isn't painted on his back. This sort of laziness makes otherwise great figures seem cheap.
Both Kamen Riders have 9 points of articulation: ball-socket neck (limited), swivel shoulders, swivel wrists, ball-socket hips, and hinge knees. The articulation is just enough to make them ride a bike, but ball-socket shoulders would have increased the playability of the figures.
Accessories: Camo - Dragon Knight -
Camo's weapon is a yo-yo, of all things. The yo-yo concept works perfectly with his chameleon theme, mimicking the lizard's tongue. It's goofy yet fun and distinctive... I like it.
Dragon Knight's weapon is a sword. It's nothing special.
Both figures also come with a card which I assume you feed through a reader in a card/battle game a la YuGiOh. The cards are pretty much useless to me, but I dig the Biogreeza illustration on Camo's card. Whatever "Biogreeza" is.
The $10 each I paid for these figures is crazy. For the rating, I will assume they retail at most locations for $8, which is more reasonable, but still too much. I'm not sure how Bandai justifies it, but such a small figure with very few accessories does not warrant this price tag.
I love the "Power Ranger"-esque look and feel of the costume designs. Camo's chameleon look is really cool and his costume has plenty of great details that convey the theme (like the red horns on the shoulder pads). The yo-yo is the icing on the cake. Dragon Knight's bug knight theme is also cool... he looks like Ambush Bug with an attitude.
Kamen Rider Camo and Dragon Knight are really cool figures with great sculpts, but they could have been so much better. Bandai's lazy paint apps and exhorbinant price tag put a damper on these figures. But with its attention to sculpting detailing and added articulation, it seems like Bandai is moving in the right direction.