SH Classic Masked Riders Series GD-35 Masked Rider II (New Ver.) (c.2001)





















Kamen Rider Nin-go or Masked Rider Two was released in 2001 as part of Bandai Souchaku Henshin Chogokin line of Riders. The Classic Series followed on the heel of the successful Kuuga and Agito series, and depicted Riders from the early 1970's era. The second figure to be release for the Classic series was appropriately the second Masked Rider ever to appear on the TV screen, Kamen Rider 2. Kamen Rider was design by the late Mr. Ishinomori and was produced into TV show in 1971. Kamen Rider was a modified human or cyborg constructed by evil organization in their bid to control the world. Originally, Kamen Rider 1 was suppose to be just Kamen Rider but an accidental mishap during the filming force the introduction of the second Rider. The lead actor (Hiroshi Fujioka) who portrayed Hongo Takeshi (human identity of Kamen Rider) got into accident (he does his own bike stunt). The studio was face with a dilemma with just 13 episodes to lost its main actor, however instead of replacing him with another actor, they decided to introduce second Kamen Rider character. The second Kamen Rider (Ichimonji Hayato portrayed by Sasaki Takeshi) was at first known as just Kamen Rider also, but when Hongo Takeshi returned in the middle of the series, Hongo became Kamen Rider 1 (Ichi-go) and Hayato became Kamen Rider 2 (Nin-go). After combine appearance of Double Riders, Rider 2 left to fight evil in other part of the world and only to return much later in the series with his new form. This version of Kamen Rider 2 was his new form, it was unclear why Bandai released old Rider 1 but new version of Rider 2.

However, when Bandai-Asia produced the Classic Riders for Hong Kong market they released several variants of the original Masked Rider including the old Rider 2 version and middle version and new version of Rider 1. They also went on to produced all six of the Fake Riders (granted they were all the same with different color scarves). The New Kamen Rider 1 and Old Kamen Rider 2 SH were sold in Japan as limited edition.

Overall the SH Masked Rider 2 had very nice sculpt with decent paint job, but like other Masked Riders in this Souchaku Henshin Classic series, the old design just did not work well with this armored format. The old Riders were usually pretty skinny with actor wearing just normal cloth outfit. The SH treatment made them appeared a little out of proportion (especially if you were used to the realistic look of RAH or Hyper Hero Kamen Rider figures).  The die-cast armors gave the classic figures slightly bulky appearances, but after I get used to them I have became very found of these figures (probably due to nostalgic factor). The bulky style, to me, gave them somewhat of a retro feel of the old Chogokin toys. It was rather cool to have my childhood Masked Riders in the same format as the new modern Riders. They might not look the best in this format but there is definitely certain charm in the old designs that just resonate with someone like me who grew up with the pioneers of Kamen Riders. Only some small complain was some sloppy paint job and for some reason the red plastic used for the articulated fingers did not match the rest of the hands.

GD-35 SH Series Masked Rider II (New version)

Bandai released Rider 2 in 2001 as GD-35 Chogokin toy. The toy came package in window box.

Unmasked Mode

The core body was similar style body used since the original Saint Seiya Cloth line which made it a little dated by today standard. However, this was one of the aspect that drawn me to this line. The ability to "henshin" into the Rider by adding "cloth" armor costume made these SH figures a lot like small scale Henshin Cyborg and RAH costume hero. The head, as usual was too small when unmasked and figure was obviously design to be display in armored mode. The Classic Riders all shared generic head design. Below, the figure display with his helmet off. 

Weapon Accessories

 Kamen Rider Nin-go or Masked Rider 2 did not come with any weapon accessories since he didn't have any in the TV shows to begin with.