Posted by: Z.F. | August 29, 2009

The Ocelli Report – Vol. 2: Has SIC jumped the shark?

I felt it might have.

Vol. 50 Kamen Rider Kiva was something I was excited about. My biggest hopes were that it would include the 3 additional Arm Monster forms, which didn’t get enough screen time on the show – despite being, by far, three of the coolest colour forms in Heisei history. When news of Emperor form came out, I hoped that these other forms would come back in a later volume; however, it turns out that Emperor was to be a special net exclusive.

So what’s going on here? Vol 50 ships today and looks like the most incomplete SIC volume ever.

kivabox

With nothing more than a violin, this “unfinished” SIC is the 50th volume of a long-running and highly successful toy line. With more than 10 years of history of providing older, more mature fans of Ishinomori a new style of collectible figures, SIC might have finally jumped the shark.

I didn’t mind it when Den-o hijacked the SIC line with more releases under its belt than any other show (in less than 1 year) because the figures they released still had quality. If you’ve read my reviews, the Den-o figures were superb. It had both incredible articulation as well as great additional accessories and forms. Sure there were a few questionable releases, like Zero Form and Gaoh, but we always knew that BANDAI was hungry for money and yet still produce some excellent work.

But now this set has been called a” betrayal” by many loyal fans of the SIC line. This is the only set with 1 Rider and no additional form. And to add insult to injury, they take the Rider’s final form (which is always released in a volume set) and give it a Net Exclusive status, preventing many fans from adding that figure to their collection. Okay, I would be fine with it if it were given Limited status like Rod and Ax Form, but they didn’t. Net Exclusive sets are more expensive and harder to get (and as an oversea fan, this is really the most painful part).

SIC has always been the more expensive toy line but then again it’s always has been the best bang-for-the-buck. This set however costs as much as some of the older double Rider sets without having anything remotely equal to what you will receive in those ones.

I admit, I can’t make a final judgment on this set since I have yet to buy it. This might turn out to be the best figure in terms of playability and durability but Den-o was pretty close to perfection and at least that volume had Plat Form, Sword Form and Momotaros!

Maybe this will just be an anomaly. That’s all that I can hope for now. Decade is Vol. 51 and it does have 1 extra form. Still not a lot compared to other single Rider releases like Kuuga, Agito, Ryuki, Faiz and Blade. I mentioned in another post that perhaps BANDAI is in some sort of financial strain. Okay, raise the price a little. I am fine with that, inflation is only natural. The previous SIC release, Henshin Ninja Arashi,  was 8000+ Yen (the most expensive set to date) so I can tell they have some sort of money problem. But don’t reduce your set to the minimal, charge them more than the price for a regular and take a form that should be a part of it and limit it and also give it a hefty price tag.

I’ve been a collector of SIC since 2004 and in the 5 years I have only seen a few changes to their original listings. Such as publishing promo shots of Ryuga with his Guard Vent, only to take it away last minute and post a message on their site telling that the Guard Vent is not a part of the volume. Another similar event happened to one of G3’s gun and most recently they changed the pairing of Liner Form with Urataros to Zero Form (just so they can make you buy more sets since Zero Form is just a repaint). Those were a few things that annoyed me but things I never made a big deal about.

But this time I think they gone a bit too far. I am not sure what the future holds. SIC has been my favourite toy line and I will be saddened to see more sets like deficient sets like Kiva in the future.

Before I end this, I want to know what you think. Please participate in the poll below and post a comment on this issue.

By: Adrienzo

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Same thought here. I was anticipating for SIC Kiva and hope that there will be more than just the announced pictures offered. But when it was released, it was official that they ain’t gonna give us more than that.

    Since all previous releases give different forms like Kuuga, I hope it would be the same for Kiva, though I knew it was impossible since it was listed as Kiva form only. Still, I hope for more accesories since its price tag MuSt at least mean something. This set could have easily cost 3000 yen judging from the little things they provide….

  2. Jumped the shark? I can’t really say since the quality of the releases only seems to improve with each one. Kiva is certainly a ripoff release for the price though.

    I don’t want to say it’s a bad release, since that’s not true. It’s a perfect SIC representation of Kiva, and if you can find a 1:10 scale throne, it looks fucking incredible. The problem is, for the price you paid, you should’ve gotten a throne in the box. Faiz, a lead Rider with no super form parts included was only 3500 yen, and while slightly shorter than most releases, made up for it by having a shitload of accessories. The fact Kiva costs close to 1.5x what Faiz did is kinda inexcuseable given how you get so much less.

    Decade seems to step the line back into the right direction. You get Decade, Kivara, two cards, Tsukasa’s camera, a transforming Decabooker, and presumably all the parts for Complete form rather than just the K-Touch and chestplate. I mean, besides a plate of sea-cucumber, you really can’t ask for more. Rumor mill also suggests that SIC Kabuto is next and will come with an extra few cards for Decade, though I suspect that chances are you’ll find the cards will be cutouts that are part of a Hobby magazine.

    The reason for Kiva’s skimpy release can be surmised by a change in Bandai’s distribution methods. While I only personally collect SICs, I’ve heard the endless grumbling of fans regarding how many Figuarts Riders end up being exclusives in some way or another. I think Bandai has decided to cut costs by just making lots of their Rider releases be exclusive, creating set amounts that need to be produced therefor ensuring 100% profit.

    I suspect SIC DoGaBaKi will end up being an online exclusive which includes the parts to change into the three respective arms monster forms. I just hope Rising IXA doesn’t end up suffering the exclusive train like Dark Kiva no doubt will.

  3. I’m extremely dissappointed with this totally lacking Kiva set. There’s absolutely no excuse for Bandai to make such a consumer-depriving decision for such a popular character as well as such a successful toyline!

    I will openly admit that 3 days ago I submitted my pre-order for the exclusive Tamashii Kiva Emperor Form SIC Set…..yes, I know the price is huge, but hey- I want a friggin’ Emperor form so that’s what I’m gonna get lol.

    Besides, I usually display all my SIC figures in their ultimate forms all the time; so If I have to pay out the butt for Emperor form then so be it.

    Personally I’m more concerned about Decade, particularly about if and how they plan on making his henshin device, the decadriver, attach or replace the henshin devices of other riders. I want to see Decade’s decadriver on my Faiz because I lost a part of his phone (the red circle piece) and it just throws the entire figure off. I need the decadriver to sorta make the figure whole again lol.

    I can’t wait to have Emperor Form Kiva and Final Form Decade standing side by side with their swords in a slashing pose!!

    Kabuto is my all-time favorite rider and to be honest guys, I really have no idea just what the heck Bandai’s been thinking by NOT producing the Kabuto line for SIC. I don’t think they realize how much MONEY they could make if they went through with it and released the entire cast!

    Whatever the reason is- I hope they eventually do SOMETHING with kabuto- heck even a card for Decade would make me smile just a little.

    • While at this point it doesn’t seem like Decade’s belt is removeable, I still have hope they’ll release a rubber/pvc belt you can put on other Riders ala Liner form having the Den-Belt so you could place it on the Taros. It really would be the thing that would make it the perfect set for the money.

      And Kabuto has gotten quite a bit of love from the Figuarts line in the meanwhile. Granted, they’re no SICs, but I think Kabuto got excellent coverage for even including the Zect Troopers. All that’s missing are Hyper Kabuto and Hyper Gattack.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: