Bandai Chogokin Armor Transformation Masked Rider Series (2000-Present)




























One of the experiences of growing up in Asia during 1970's was the constant exposure to the various Japanese TV shows for kids including the "Tokusatsu" or live-action TV shows. Kamen Rider or Masked Rider was one of the early pioneer, not to mention one of the most popular and longest running, of the early tokusatsu shows that did not involve giant beings from outer space. The Riders had always been one of my favorite characters and I did collected some of Medicom 12" RAH series but soon lost interest due to their large size and not to mention their high price tag. (My main toy collecting line is actually Takara Microman Series). I later got into the 8" RAH but these too were soon proved to be too expensive to collect due to Medicom policy of releasing extremely limited edition pieces. My collection of Masked Rider toys never grew past the few Medicom pieces as I was never much into the gashapon style toys and Bandai RH line of Riders never appealed to me due to their lack of articulations. (After all, my main collecting passion is the super-poseable Microman action-figure series.)

I knew that Bandai produced action-figure toys for the new Riders series but I never got into them due to my lack of knowledge in the current revival shows. This was, of course, until my friend Jay P. who moves back to Thailand, starts sending me video CD of the new Masked Rider shows. I was hooked after few episodes of Ryuki and Faiz. I soon ran into these cool looking Kamen Rider figures called Souchaku-Henshin Series (SH) during one of my on-line search for info on these new Riders. Apparently these SH line of figures had been around for awhile (see sidebar for history) and the SH Masked Rider series began with the Kuuga Rider back in 2000. Souchaku-Henshin, which translated as Armor Transformation (or Transforming Armor), was part of Bandai ever growing "Chogokin" line of toys. (Chogokin is a term coined from Mazinger Z super alloy and uses by Bandai for all their toys that contain die-cast parts no matter how miniscule)  The Souchaku Henshin (SH Series), sometime known as "Armour Trans" line in the US, is consisted of 5" fully articulated human core figure and set of die-cast armor pieces that "transform" the human figure into a Kamen Rider. The line transforming "cloth" feature which is a bit like the Henshin Cyborg series and articulated small size figure (at 5", the figures are slightly taller than the Microman figure) would quickly grab my interested in the series. With their low prices (with many figures just recently reissued by Bandai-Asia) and small scale make collecting this line much more affordable and easy to collect.

This SH Riders section at microforever is a homage to these old heroes from my childhood.  I am not an expert in Kamen Riders mythology and my knowledge of them mainly restrict to early shows (from Ichi-go to Stronger) so this section will not be comprehensive guide to Kamen Riders but will mainly to focus on the Kamen Rider SH series of toys (and occasionally the DX "Rider Machine" vehicles that could be used with these 5" figures). I will update this section as time permit or when I get new SH figures.



4/29/07 - Updated Kabuto Section - GE-14 Masked Rider Sasword.

4/19/07 - Updated Classic Riders Section - GE-07 & GE-08 Masked Rider the First.

4/17/07 - Updated Kabuto Section - GE-15 Masked Rider Gatack.

8/31/06 - Updated Kabuto Section - GE-11 Masked Rider Drake.

8/28/06 - Updated Kabuto Section - GE-06 Masked Rider TheBee.

8/27/06 - Updated Faiz Section - GE-13 Kamen Rider Faiz Blaster Form and GE-14 Kamen Rider Orga.

8/26/06 - Updated Hibiki Section - SH GD-93 Kamen Rider Hibiki Soukou.

8/25/06 - Updated the main index page and added Kabuto section along with SH GE-04 Masked Rider Kabuto.

5/08/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-80 Kamen Rider Zolda.

5/07/06 - Updated Hibiki Section - SH GD-79 Kamen Rider Hibiki.

5/06/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-77 Kamen Rider Ouja and SH GD-83 Kamen Rider Verde.

2/12/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-78 Kamen Rider Gai.

2/11/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-81 Kamen Rider Imperer.

2/10/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-91 Kamen Rider Tiger.

2/08/06 - Updated Ryuki Section - SH GD-92 Alternative.


If you want to contact me to correct any info or with any info about SH series please contact me at this email. This section is established 7/2004.


I really do not know full detail regarding the history of Souchaku-Henshin series. However, the following information came from Raymond L (who often frequents Just Be Store BBS board). According to Ray, Souchaku-Henshin or SHS originated from Saint Seiya "Saint Cloth" series. (Saint Seiya was a popular anime show in late 1980's, which recently aired in the US as Knights of the Zodiac) The "Cloth" series featured the warrior saints with set of armors (St. Cloth) that can be put on the figure. Bandai later used this format for live-action show called Winspector. The format was perfect match for these heavily armored "Metal Heroes". The armor parts however would changed to be mostly plastic for the later series with some die-cast parts returned much later on. The "cloth" series was revived with Kamen Rider Kuuga and Bandai renamed the line as Chogokin Souchaku-Henshin Series and returned to use mostly die-cast armor parts just like the old Cloth series. (Bandai even added Chogokin logo to the packaging to make the series an "official" part of the Chogokin GD Series line-up) The SHS for Kuuga proved to be popular and continued on with Kamen Rider Agito (follow up series to Kuuga). Agito productions were later handed over to Bandai-Asia division who expanded the line with new figures and also went on to produce several SHS variant versions of classic Masked Rider. The line seem to went on a brief hiatus during Ryuki and Faiz series because Bandai decided to produce different formats for those two lines, but SH series returned in 2004 with new figures from Blade series and even SH figures from Ryuki and Faiz.


Kamen Rider History

The first Kamen Rider appeared in 1971 and was the creation of Mr. Shotaro Ishinomori (who was also responsible for numerous other tokusatsu heroes). The TV show was produced by Toei Co. Kamen Rider was a human cyborg that could transform (henshin) into superhero using his henshin belt to fight against evil organization and their monsters. Kamen Rider's trademark was his bike or Rider Machine (that also transform with the hero into super bike). The series was enormously popular and spawned several sequels that still going strong today. The series franchise became one of the most successful series and rival only by Ultraman and Ranger series.

(For more info on classic and new Riders please visit Igadevil's Kamen Rider Page website for in depth information and check out his links for other cool Kamen Rider sites.)


Kamen Riders Chronology

Classic Series


Kamen Rider (I & II)


Kamen Rider V3


Kamen Rider X


Kamen Rider Amazon


Kamen Rider Stronger


Sky Rider


Kamen Rider Super-1


Kamen Rider ZX

1984 (movie)

Kamen Rider Black


Kamen Rider RX


Kamen Rider Shin

1992 (movie)

Kamen Rider ZO

1993 (movie)

Kamen Rider J

1994 (movie)

Kamen Rider The First

2005 (movie)


Modern Series


Kamen Rider Kuuga


Kamen Rider Agito


Kamen Rider Ryuki


Kamen Rider Faiz


Kamen Rider Blade


Kamen Rider Hibiki


Kamen Rider Kabuto


Kamen Rider Den-O