SH Masked Rider Ryuki Series GD-71 Masked Rider Raia (11/2004)





















GD-71 Kamen Rider Raia was released by Bandai in November of 2004 along with GD-70 Kamen Rider Knight. The two figures were follow up to the two Masked Riders from Ryuki series released earlier, which marked the come back of the Souchaku Henshin series. Raia came from the 2002 Masked Rider Ryuki TV series. The show was one of the more controversial as it departed greatly from the standard Masked Rider in both the story and character designs. Masked Rider Raia was one of the many Masked Riders that appeared in the show. Raia was not the main Riders from the show but did see substantial screen time. However he was never released as R&M back in 2002 when Ryuki was on the air in Japan so it was nice to see Bandai finally produced action-figure of him in the 5" format. The Riders from Ryuki series had the metallic grill face plate design like Medieval knights. The Riders transformed using set of cards (called Advent Card) in a card case that inserted into their V-Buckle (their henshin belts). Each Rider also sworn a companionship (contract) with his or her animal monster that the knight represented. (You can see already why this was the most controversial Rider series and yes I did meant to say her since there was even a first ever female Masked Rider in the franchise 30 years history). Raia's contracted monster was stingray monster named Evildiver. Souchaku figure did not include the monster companion but Evildiver was released by Bandai for the R&M line. 

The core body for SH Raia, like that of Faiz and Ryuki SH series had been extensively retooled with arms and legs remolded specifically for this series. Bandai had really re-engineered and tweak the SH format using what they learn from other figure series they produced and it showed. One of the part that had been greatly improved on the 2004 core body was the metal ball joints for the feet. This allowed for better pose-ability for these 2004 SH figures. Overall, the molding was very nicely done for Raia with good details on his Masked even his "ponytail". The problem with Raia was the color choice and the paint job. The figure had one of the worst paint job of the recent SH releases with his body color mismatch through out. The metal sections were painted in flat tone while the plastic parts were semi-gloss and gave a very un-even appearance. His color also came out more pink than red tone see in the show. Other small gripe was the accessories, his Visor lack any details with again very poor paint job and he came with only one weapon accessory which was recycled from the R&M mold (Like most accessories for SH figures from Ryuki series). However, we finally get figure of Kamen Rider Raia to go with his Evildiver monster.

SH Raia and Evildiver. Note - Evildiver monster toy came from R&M set.

GD-71 Souchaku Henshin Series Masked Rider Raia

Bandai released GD-71 Masked Rider Raia from Ryuki series in November of 2004. This was the forth figure from Ryuki series for SH line.



Unmasked Mode

Like other SH Riders figures, the human body underneath can look out of proportion and was solely intended for display with the "cloth" (Rider's Armor) on. The core body was similar in style as the body used since the original Saint Seiya Cloth line, however for the 2004 SH line, Bandai had retooled the body to make it more modern. While the head still appear too small due to having to accommodate the mask, this removable "armor suit" gimmick, however, was the main aspect that drawn me to this line. The ability to "henshin" into the Rider form made these SH figure a lot like small version of Henshin Cyborg or the RAH costume hero.

The figure can be display with the "masked" removed and show a human head.

 Vent Accessories

SH Raia came only with minimal accessories, his Evildiver Visor and the whip. The whip was the same mold used for the R&M Evildiver toy. The figure also came with three small miniature Advent Cards.