Posted by: Z.F. | September 9, 2008

Kamen Rider Kiva: Rider Swing #1 Review

For our very first review of this site we will be doing one of my favourite Gashapon Series: Rider Swing!

Basically the Rider Swing Series (ライダースイング) have been out since 2001’s Kamen Rider Agito. They are 5cm tall “Chibi” rendition of our beloved Kamen Rider characters. This is the 12th release from this series (though they don’t seem to go by the numbers anymore) and this is the first of what I believe to be 3 sets featuring characters from 2008’s Kamen Rider Kiva.

For the past few years it was almost impossible to buy the entire set for these. Few stores actually sold them since they were probably making better money if you got these from the “Capsule Stations.” They’ve all been priced at ¥200 (which rounds up to about $2 US). That’s pretty much the standard price for any high quality Gashapon since all the ¥100 ones are really not worth it. Fortunately this year a few toy stores have been selling these babies in complete set so I didn’t have to spend endless coins and luck to collect all six figures.

So here are some pictures of the toy itself: (Note: The above picture is the cover art that are placed in the Capsule Station Machines).

Here is slip you’ll get in each caspule, usually showcasing which figure you failed to get… I always happen to get the one I least want.

Since I bought the whole set, the store usually gives you all six of these:

As you can see this set contains 6 figures all 6 of which are Kiva. There are 2 figures for Kiva Form, Garuru Form and Bassher Form.


#1: Kamen Rider Kiva Kiva Form A: Is Kiva’s original form standing straight up and doing a really awkward point. It almost looks as if he is doing some rap pose.

#2: Kamen Rider Kiva Kiva Form B: It’s Kiva Form again, this time with another obscure pose. He is a bit bent and looks as if he is ticked off and giving you the finger. But he has three fingers pointing up so yea…it’s nothing bad.

#3: Kamen Rider Kiva Garuru Form A: In terms of pose this one is better than the weird Kiva Form poses. Garuru’s style is a bit more show accurate but only to a certain extent. “A” Version shows Garuru kind of flexing his arms a bit.

#4: Kamen Rider Kiva Garuru Form B: This one is one of the better ones. Its Garuru opening his arms wide up and looks more like he is preparing for a strike.

#5: Kamen Rider Kiva Bassher Form A:This one is a bit similar to Garuru A, there’s not much action going on with his pose. Looks as if he is withdrawing his gun.

#6: Kamen Rider Kiva Bassher Form B: Like Garuru B, this one has a bit more action as Bassher strives out and takes a shot. Probably my favourite pose of this set.

So what’s the Verdict for “Kamen Rider Kiva: Rider Swing #1”:

Well its “Good!”

Design: They are extremely nice and the sculpt actually looks more like Kiva than the S.H.S. Version. The eyes are great and they have returned to using the translucent material for it instead of just painting it on (which some of the Den-o ones have done). But the downside to this set are some of the poses, only Garuru and Bassher “B” versions are the one to look at. Kiva Form’s are all a bit funky. None of which he does in the show and they really needed one in a Rider Kick pose with his winged feet.

Playability: Since you can’t really play with these I will grade these on its other merits. Since they are really just keychains, they do look really cool on cellphones which is the main reason why I get these. One thing to note is that these all stand up on their own. All their poses allow them to stand while other sets have figures that either can’t stand because of the pose they are in or they made the feet way too small. One thing that affected the grade here is the re-use of forms for this set. It makes it somewhat repetitive.

Durability: These things are extremley well made. As I have mentioned I carry these on my phone and so it’s easy for them to get the occasional some wear and tear in the outside world. Surprisingly though none of this has caused any major lost of paint or any scratches…or anything! They all look as great as the day I bought them. The hook attached to their head for the ballchain (that are included) are tightly secured so you won’t have to worry of losing poor Wataru if you do use them as keychains. The plastic used for the weapons like Garuru Saber are all malleable so even if it gets all out of shape it won’t break off.

Value: This one is actually really hard to decide since the value actually depends on how you purchase these. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about the price because these are really cheap, and if you happen to find a Capsule Station still selling this (most of which are gone) then by all means spend that 200 Yen. As a huge Gashapon fan, sets like these are really enticing, I mean if I first saw this out on the streets I would no doubt go for it seeing how no matter what I will end up with a Kiva not some random weapon or a monster. So that’s the pro about this set but then again it also lacks variety so it doesn’t really attract people to get the entire set seeing how even though each figure is different; I don’t really want to pay for two Kiva, Garuru or Bassher. So in other words: its hard to recommend people to get the whole set.

Final Words: It’s definitely attractive but it does lack variety and style. If you are a Kiva fan or a Rider Swing collector than you should go out and find yourself the entire set. If you are interested in this you can probably just get one or two from a Capsule Station or if someone is pawning an extra one they happen to have obtained.

By: Adrienzo

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