The ‘kamen’ in Kamen Rider means ‘mask’. The kind that fits over your face. So it’s odd that the COMPLETE SELECTION MODIFICATION series (in ALL CAPS) is mostly belts and handhelds. No masks in sight.
Kamen Rider has apparently hugely inspired Power Rangers, in the sense that both franchises just will not die.
Premium Bandai’s catering to sentai and tokusatsu fans, with a range that’s part accessory and part Yu-Gi-Oh throwback. We’re not kidding – Rider Cards are part of the line-up.
Yes, you, a fully grown adult with sensible shoes, can wear a Kamen Rider henshin belt. Stretchy Lycra onesies in primary colours sold separately.
Okay, we lied about the ‘adult’ bit. Teens can enjoy these cool belts too. Premium Bandai’s gone with ‘age 15 or over’ as a guideline. After all, how many riders juggled saving the world with finishing high school?
Let us start by saying this…
The CSM series is designed with way more detail – and sturdier materials – than other Kamen Rider toys. They’re meant to be as close to the actual show props as possible. Including the sounds, light effects, and what happens when you press the buttons. Powered by batteries instead of magic and enthusiasm.
No guarantee you’ll really transform into a Kamen Rider in your living room, though.
Ah, the trademark ‘superhero’ costume change. Henshin literally means ‘strange person’ or ‘strange body’, and that’s no lie. Always with the yell, and the cool pose. No wonder people stand well back when it happens. Each new rider has their own take on the transformation scene. They get a bit weirder and more elaborate every time.
There’s an art to the henshin. The Kamen Rider arcade game makes you learn what that is. Leg and arm positions are really important. Get it wrong, and anyone watching will think you need the bathroom.
What do all of these confident, unusual poses have in common? The belt. Wearing the proper belt while you’re henshin-ing feels more… natural. Trying to henshin without a henshin belt is at least 10x harder.
Walking the path of heaven, to rule everything
One of the newer CSM belts is the impressive-sounding ‘Hopperzecter’ belt from Kamen Rider Kabuto. It’s on pre-order, to be delivered in July 2017. Pre-ordering closes on May 8th, so don’t hang around if you want one.
Just like the ‘real’ thing, this belt has the reversible front for KickHopper and PunchHopper. Change your Rider as often as you change your undies – maybe even more often! Trademark die-casting makes each Hopper’s side perfectly identical. And we’re not usually keen on green, but that grasshopper shade’s eye-catching.
In Japanese, ‘kabuto’ can mean ‘helmet’, so that’s ‘Mask Rider Helmet’. Yeah… On the promo page for the belt, there’s a special mini Kabuto movie on YouTube. It’s over 20 minutes long. We take our Kamen Rider seriously here.
The Gatackzecter belt, also from the Kabuto series, has something called a ‘Zecter horn’. Not a noise-making horn, but die-cast stag beetle pincers. They look like they’d do some serious damage. We wouldn’t risk scratching such a gorgeous bright blue finish.
You can ‘CLOCK UP’ and ‘CLOCK OVER’ with the side buckle. Handy sound effects tell you whether you did the right one. The waist’s adjustable from 73cm to 100cm, so everyone can be a Kamen Rider if they want.
Open your eyes for the next Faiz
To be fair to a range called COMPLETE SELECTION, they’re not all belts.
Faiz Axel ties in with Kamen Rider 555. Yeah, they’re pronouncing that as ‘faiz’, go figure. In Japanese, you can also say 555 so it sounds like ‘go go go’. Go Go Gadget Axel! Wait, wrong show.
If you’re not much of a belt wearer, the Faiz Axel ‘wristwatch’ could be your thing. It won’t tell you the time, but we bet you’ll keep checking out of habit. They were delivered last month, so you might see some pop up on Yahoo! Auctions soon.
It’s 112% bigger than the DX toy version, for adult arms to handle.
Press the button, and the watch plays either of the 2 Faiz henshin BGMs through high-spec speakers. Warn your neighbours before you give it a try. The item description says something to the effect of ‘this toy be loud, yo’.
Now, it’s showtime!
If your favourite Kamen Rider hasn’t been represented in henshin belt form yet, don’t worry! Chances are Premium Bandai’ll bring it out eventually. (They aren’t showing signs of stopping, put it that way.)
When that happens, ask us and we’ll help you pre-order.