S.H. Figuarts Red Hawk
So yeah, it’s been awhile hasn’t it. I do apologize as it’s been a very thin time as far as new toys making their way to my house. And for some reason I can’t bring myself to review stuff that’s been out for months/years. So anyway, on to a review of something that I had ordered, regretted, then once I got it in hand was so happy to have as a part of my collection. S.H. Figuarts Red Hawk, from Choujin Sentai Jetman! Oddly enough, this is the first Figuarts review I’ve done on this site, so read on for my thoughts!
The sculpt is actually very basic, as most Sentai (Power Rangers for the few of you who may not be up on nomenclature) suit designs are very basic. What there is though is great. The Hawk emblem on his chest is sculpted nicely and made of a solid plastic conveying a look of a piece of armor as opposed to the cloth look that the actual costume wears, a change made for the better as I think a thinner more flexible plastic would have looked sloppy. His head has a really slick glossy finish paintjob accenting the perfect hawk detailing that really makes it look like a proper helmet. Also unlike most of the Sentai Figuarts, (or most Tokusatsu Figuarts in general for that matter) there are subtle sculpted muscle detailing on the arms which is a vast improvement over prior Figuarts as it actually helps remind you that this is supposed to be a toy of a real person in a suit and not so much a toy of the suit. This point is further accentuated by the muscle sculpting in the shoulder/pec/whatever joint piece, another detail they could have left out completely, and have done so in the past.
Having never watched an episode of Jetman in my life I had to do a bit of research to figure out what purpose all the massive amounts of stuff that this figure comes with actually serves. First off he comes with 5 pairs of hands. Fists, flying hands, gun holding hands, sword holding hands, and posing hands. Google image search tells me that the posing hands are meant for the pose Red Hawk strikes when Jetman does their team pose, but I’m sorry, they will never be anything more than “air quote” hands for me, it something that I can’t unsee and I love it! He desperately needs a pair of relaxed open hands (which should be a staple for any Figuarts release in my opinion) thankfully his gloves are identical with the other Sentai figures I have, so they get to donate as necessary! Also included are two version of his gun The Bird Blaster and the Jet Hand Cannon, both are sculpted near identical except for the sword hilt sculpting on the Jet Hand Cannon. Speaking of sword, you get the Bringer Sword both in sword mode and collapse storage mode, which store nice and snug in the included belt scabbard piece. Along with the scabbard for the sword you’re also given a holder for the Gun. Both of these I tend to leave off as they don’t peg in as solidly as I like and tend to fall off when I’m posing the legs, he’s not missing much without them so I really wont call it a flaw. Yet another accessory is the Wing Gauntlet, a piece with sculpted fist that attaches at the wrist and is used for Wing Punch. The weapon can also fire Wing Beams, which I assume is the optional red piece that can be swapped out on the forearm. An optional backpiece is also included to simulate the flying that these characters were able to do. It feels a bit scary to swap at first, and not something I want to do more than I have to, but it looks really great where other attempts at the same idea have flopped on other toylines (I’m looking at you Marvel Universe Darkhawk) Every Sentai release seems to come with so many accessories and it’s nice to see, it makes me wish Kamen Riders did this much in one figure. You also get a free pack-in Akibaranger part, but since I have no plans on buying Akibarangers, I didn’t even bother to take that piece out of the box. Looks good though!
It’s amazing to me that I’ve gone this long and have yet to do a Figuarts review. So for the four or five of you who may not know what a Figuarts IS, let me explain quickly. Figuarts are a line of toys that goes the extra mile to bring lifelike posability to their figures. While most western toy companies tend to splurge on Double Jointed elbows or knees (and if you’re lucky sometimes both!) Bandai of Japan tends to take it a few steps further. Instead of a shoulder swivel or hinge, you’re treated with a double ball jointed shoulder with bicep swivel, double ball jointed wrists, thigh joints that make gymnasts look like kindergarteners, and depending on the release ankle joints that can either be amazing or downright infuriating. Luckily Red Hawk has everything in place to make him a pretty excellent figure. His ankles are that wonderful swivel-hinge-swivel-pivot that I absolutely adore when they use it. Also I’m pleasantly surprised with the upper arms/shoulders. Usually on Sentai Figuarts, since they don’t have shoulderpads to conveniently hide the joints, they tend to either sacrifice the swivel (Shinkenger/Samurai figuarts) or keep the swivel to the detriment of the aesthetics (in the case of the Gokaigers). Thankfully in this case they seem to have used a bit of new engineering that they seem to also be employing on D-Arts Terry Bogard, it’s the same “lack of swivel” approach they used with the Shinkenger Figuarts, but somehow they work on this release. Though I will say it still makes it a pain to cross the arms over the chest in any realistic looking way.
Again, I was not looking forward to this toy at all. Having no connection to the source material I had the figure ordered based solely on the look of the toy. As the months passed I had buyer’s remorse more and more. Having it in hand though, this is probably one of the best Figuarts releases they’ve done so far this year. Tons of accessories and plenty of character both go a long way to endear me to a character I have no attachment to otherwise. And with an American release coming, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to add this great figure to your collection.