SHF: Acrobatter

Released originally as part of the Souchaku Henshin series, Kamen Rider BLACK RX’s trustworthy companion Acrobatter; has now been given a complete makeover and re-released as part of the S.H. Figuarts EX line. The most notable of changes is that it now sports an eye-catching (and very sexy) metallic blue paintjob; and the eyes are fully remoulded in clear parts to create a closer likelihood to its show appearance.

Being a huge fan of Kamen Rider BLACK / BLACK RX, as it was the first Rider show I have ever watched, I was very excited when they announced this release. Seeing as the Souchaku Henshin release of BLACK and BLACK RX were complete disappointments, my intent to get the bikes from the same line went straight down the drain with it. The bikes themselves could have worked as standalone pieces, but the plastic aesthetics, coupled with the fact that the eyes were simply painted on was an absolute deal breaker for me.

It’s great to see the Acrobatter reincarnated as a more convincing (albeit, expensive for the overseas fans) product, but I don’t understand why there needs to be a mould line right across the centre of the face. The majority of the QC problems reported also seemed to reside on the head of the bike. Mine also has a random red dot right where the yellow and blue meets.

The right antenna is also a little crooked. (Not a consistent problem in the product, just mine) It wouldn’t have hurt to have included an extra pair of antennas moulded in ABS plastic like they do with selected Robot Damashii releases. Now, this is something the future Showa Rider releases would really benefit from, so keep your fingers crossed.

The bonus accessory included with the Acrobatter is a black Stage Act stand with custom artwork from Kamen Rider BLACK RX, which actually looks pretty good. Considering that I think the design for the “quote” stands that came with Kick/Punchhopper and Ixa’s first press releases were awful. The stand doesn’t include all the variations that come with a standard pack of Stage Act Vol.2 or 3, but I guess it’s adequate.

It even comes printed with the original logo from the show. But it’s really disappointing to see that the words ‘Kamen Rider BLACK RX & Acrobatter’, is not printed parallel to the edge of the stand. It might be hard to see in this angle, but it’s actually a really obvious flaw. To be honest, it makes it look a little like a bootleg product.

The chrome on the wheels have been replaced with a straight forward silver paintjob, which does not bother me at all, because plated chrome can deteriorate with time. There is some diecast used on the front and back support of the wheels, which is a very nice touch. In particular, the use of it on the chain-ring on the back wheel is very appropriate, because it really adds that extra depth to the overall look, and little touches like that really adds points for me.

There’s also a spring mechanism on the back wheel, where you can sort of bounce it up and down if you try to roll the bike across the floor, which is actually a pretty fun gimmick, and one that took me by surprise because I haven’t heard anyone talk about it before. The exhaust pipes however, are hollow, so try not to look at it from its rear.

Acrobatter can stay up on its own with the help of a tab located near the footrest, and the body appears to be held together by 2 pieces divided right in the centre, much like an injection kit. I know this because mine wasn’t closed properly when I received it.

A look at what lies underneath.

Unfortunately, the head of the bike is not rotatable. So, no spinning the bike in midair and making your enemies eat tyre.

This pose, which looked absolutely epic when I first saw it in a scan, is actually very difficult to recreate. Because it’s hard to get the feet to stay on the tiny footrest, plus the fact that RX’s body can’t bend forward much, due to the restrictions caused by his tummy armour. A bit of advice would be to keep his arms straight to make it look more natural.

The bike feels a little small overall; and I would have liked to see the head a tad bigger. It should also be noted that an extra pair of bike holding hands are not included. So if you keep RX’s gripping hands on the bike in the long run, it will eventually loosen its grip on the Revolcane, as the bike handles have a greater girth.  If you don’t want that to happen, either share the pair that comes with Battle Hopper, or designate one of the hands as your primary sword holding hand, and the other for the bike handle.

This being the Acrobatter pretty much speaks for itself. If you’re a great big Showa fan; or just a fan of BLACK and BLACK RX in general, you’re probably dying to get your hands on this regardless of reason, like me. That said; the blue is done beautifully in your typical SHF fashion, and is different enough to the old model aesthetic-wise to warrant a re-release. If you already have the original and don’t want to shell out the money for 2 bike exclusives, you may consider leaving the old one in Battle Hopper mode, and give the Acrobatter a shot.

Don’t you just miss the days when the Riders had really iconic bikes that actually did anything in the show?

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  1. very nice indeed, i do think kamen rider black is the most famous kamen rider of all

    • arrex
    • January 20th, 2011

    The exhaust pipes sucks, hahaha, nice review!

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