PHOTOBER THE 13TH – 66 Action Kamen Rider

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66 Action is a candy toy line that started back around mid-2014 or so with super-deformed style Kamen Rider figures. It also ended up including Ultraman, Dragonball, and some Mega Man before it eventually fizzled out. It’s called 66 Action because they’re action figures that are about 66mm tall, or a little over 2 and a half inches.

Importing candy toys can be a bit of a process, since places that will actually handle them typically only sell them by the case. And cases will pretty much always have duplicates of every figure or almost every figure. I was able to cherry pick off of friends’ extras as they got orders in, so while I may not have ended up getting every figure I might have wanted, I got a decent range without having to deal with clearing out any surplus.

There were several series of Kamen Rider, and I have figures spanning through the entire run. It’s interesting to look at them all at once and see how the design advanced as they went along.

Zangetsu, from Kamen Rider Gaim, is the earliest figure I have. It has the same basic articulation scheme that the whole line would follow with, including ball jointed neck, shoulders, hips and ankles, hinged elbows and knees, and a mid-torso joint. The wrists swivel and the hands can be switched out. Every one of these I have comes with at least two sets of hands, usually one set is closed fists, and the other is an “action” hand of some sort. Being among the first, Zangetsu is kind of limited in how the articulation works. The shoulders are pretty restricted for ball joints, which hurts how you can pose the arms. The ankles have almost no useful range, working against leg poseability, and the mid-torso joint is blocked up by the sculpted detail of the torso.

The sculpt is pretty good for something of this size. Surfaces that need to be painted are going to look softer, and the rest is white plastic which is usually not good for making detail especially visible, but a lot of attention went towards getting the physical details right. Zangetsu has both the sword-gun shared with Gaim, and his own melon shield. But the open grasping hands can’t hold the shield’s handle without being stretched quite a bit. And these hands are black plastic painted over in white. This is a disaster waiting to happen. But this was still one of the first series of 66 Action…

Kamen Rider W (pronounced “double”, for those not familiar) is not really that much better in articulation. But with a much more streamlined design to begin with, the figure doesn’t get in its own way as much, so the torso joint actually functions, and this time the ankles move in a useful way. The arms still feel limited, especially without a bicep swivel to use, but W doesn’t feel as inhibited as Zangetsu overall. This is a case for sure where you can see the paint softening details though, as the entire green half is paint over black plastic. For want of weapon accessories, W instead has a scarf to peg on the shoulder. And since there’s no weapons to hold, the alternate hands are molded as holding a Gaia Memory each.

Next up is Kamen Rider Den-O Sword Form. This is another barely-incremental advance in making better use of the standing articulation model. Nothing is added, but the ranges of movement are all a little bit improved. But this is also a character in particular where the ongoing limitations hurt more, since signature poses are basically impossible to make work. But Den-O is probably the best looking overall so far. The back of the torso is entirely unpainted, but the rest of the deco does a good job capturing the look of the suit at this scale. The Dengasher Sword is also sculpted decently. But of course posing well with a sword is a bit beyond where the jointing is at.

Zangetsu Shin is, if anything, a throwback to the start. Most of the same issues from the first version of Zangetsu still exist. It’s added to a bit with the large shoulder cover on the right side, too. Though, one benefit this has is having cast the hands all in white plastic. The hands are functionally identical to the first Zangetsu’s, too, so it offers the option of trading back and forth if you don’t want to risk the paint finish on the earlier hands.

Gaim Kachidoki Arms is where we start seeing some advancement, at least in terms of the figures I have. This introduced bicep swivels! It also has a pile more extra parts because the design is so complex. The banners on the back are separate pieces, there’s the DJ Gun Sword, and this came with something like 3 or 4 pairs of hands, and a big support structure to both store the unused ones and theoretically support the figure in posing. “Theoretically” because with the thick skirt plate armor, the legs aren’t really going anywhere much. I suppose getting overbalanced by posing the arms and torso might still call for a stand, but in general it’s not going to be that much use here.

From here we jump forward a little ways to right near the end of the Rider line, with Blade. Blade reflects some important quality of life changes. It upholds the bicep swivels seen in Gaim Kachidoki. It also has the shoulder armor pieces being separate elements, rather than a sculpted part of the arm. That helps visually perhaps a bit more than functionally, but it’s still appreciated. The legs don’t get new joints, but the range of the knee is extended greatly, which makes the posing potential a lot higher. Blade is the first of these I have that can really decently imitate some of the signature poses with the Blay Rouser. It’s also the first I feel like can approach a Rider kick pose decently. Handy side note: All of these can use the 3mm peg of a Tamashii Stage for posing support.

Finally, there’s Agito, who is hands down the best functionally of my small collection. Everything that Blade did right is seen here too, but with even more range of movement in the knees. Agito can pose really well, and feels more expressive than most of the others in general. It’s also about the worst offender in terms of paint, with the entire backside of the figure going unpainted. Agito is like W, and doesn’t have weapons in this form, so the accessories are taken up with option hands and the replacement crest for the finishing move. It’s a perfectly suitable range of option parts, and delivers everything I’d want out of a good, small figure of this Rider.

I’m not sure what the market looks like on 66 Action Kamen Rider at this point. The final series of Riders came out in 2015 from what I can determine, after which there were a couple series for other properties, but nothing that appears to have gotten quite as deep as Riders did before they were retired. I never tried to go back and pick up any that I didn’t have access to originally, so I have little idea what to expect pricing now to be.

Oh, yeah, so I called these candy toys. If you’re not familiar with that idea, it means that each of these originally came with a small piece of candy packed inside. See, for legal purposes, these aren’t sold as toys, but rather they’re considered a candy product with a free toy bonus. It’s some kind of regulatory loophole I don’t entirely get. But I do still have one of the candy pieces from these. I’m not going to eat it. It’s like 5 years old. I mean, it’s just sugar and it’s sealed so it’s probably fine. But this kind of candy is just also generally not very good. And it’s 5 years old.

So, you might have noticed 66 Action Agito made a guest appearance in yesterday’s Imaginext gallery. Will there be more crossover action in tomorrow’s post? No. No there won’t. But come back tomorrow to see what’s up next on Photober!