Monday, March 14, 2011

STUFF I BUY: S.I.C. (Super Imaginative Chogokin)

Well, this wasn't exactly the type of toy post I was going to do originally, but... it'll work.

So, as large portion of the Japanese toy collector fanbase knows, SIC stands for Super Imaginitve Chogokin- and Chogokin is Bandai's long running line of character and robot action figures that include metal parts in their construction. SIC is a line that specializes in character figures, specifically the collaborative works of Shotaro Ishinomori and Toei. The majority of the line focuses on the Kamen Rider series, but there have been relseases of more obscure Ishinomori Pro properties such as Akumizer 3, Henshin Ninja Arashi, and even a miniture figure of Robocon (hopefully a full size version of this is forthcoming).

The line started in 1998 with slightly articulated PVC statues of Kikaider characters including Hakaider, Kikaider 00, and Bijinder. After making his way through the Kikaider cast, line sculptor Takayuki Takeya switched focus to a few older properies such as Inazuman and Robot Detective K before moving on to the much larger Kamen Rider franchise.

Eventually, the SIC team moved on from statue figures to better articulated action figures with the release of Kikaider with the Side Machine. This was followed by an articulated Hakaider with his motorcycle (it doesn't really have a name, just Hakaider's Bike) and then Kamen Rider Kuuga, first of the Heisei era Riders.

What was unique about this figure was that it inculded option parts that allowed collector's to alternate between Kuuga's different forms of armor. This interesting approach became a hallmark of the series that continues today.

Of course, the real stand out feature of the figures is their look. Head sculptors Takayuki Takeya and Kenji Ando take Shotaro Ishinormori's original character designs and reimagine them with a darker, more realistic look. This approach gives the characters more detail, texture and style.

Add top notch articulation to the figures, and you get an excellent toy line that has the aestehtic of highly stylized art sculpture, superior posability, and a wide range of display possibilities all delivered in a package produced with top notch quality and standards rarely seen in the toy collector market.

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