Toy Story: Pladera Kamen Rider J Set

It's been awhile since I've done one of these Toy Story posts, so I may as well share a recent victory that has me feeling triumphant. Yes, even though I haven't made a Youtube video in a long time I *still* keep the collection going strong. I feel a little weird having to clarify that, but I do have the occasional "Why did you stop collecting?" rather than the more accurate "Why did you stop making videos?". 

I am happy to report that the collection still rages on! I do get some new stuff, but my list of old stuff to buy is admittedly tiny. Think about it... I have every Sentai Henshin Item since Goggle Five, a full set of ALL 1990s Sentai mecha boxed, damn near every Kakuranger toy, tons of weapons, and most 90s vehicle sets. What's left to get from the past? 

The answer *was* three things...and now it's two.

Until last month I was missing one of the more rare items from the 90s...the Kamen Rider J Pladera set.

This set includes J Crosser, Kamen Rider J *AND* his Henshin Belt Buckle thing. The inclusion of the Buckle cements this as a necessity among Henshin Belt collectors and the figure and bike make it critical to the Pladera collectors. This...did not bode well for me.

I guess I can go back and talk about why I wanted this set in my collection.

I am a huge fan of 1994 in general. Kakuranger is my favorite Super Sentai and Blue SWAT, well, it isn't my favorite Metal Hero, but I love it's toy line immensely. Ever since 2005 or so I've had my sights set on getting a full set of Pladera heroes from 1994. I managed to get the Kakuranger set early on. The Blue SWAT set came a bit later in one fell swoop for cheap. The one I searched for aggressively this entire time, Kamen Rider J, remained elusive.

I would come across some loose sets minus the Buckle, but no...I was determined to get the full set. Either I would miss out on good ones, or I would find some expensive sets that would end up getting purchased anyway.

Yeah, as much stuff as I managed to get...including a flippin' Masking Brace and it was Kamen Rider J's set that managed to elude me.

All of that changed last month...

I went shopping and the stars finally lined up. I found a Kamen Rider J Pladera set. Boxed. Complete. Reasonably priced. This is the one that was meant to be...I just happened to be looking at a site that was off the beaten path that evening.

It wouldn't be a toy story without a snag, though, would it?

The seller absolutely would not sell the set outside of Japan under any circumstances. It wasn't even that they didn't want to ship it outside of Japan...they didn't want the item to leave Japan at all. There are middleman services, but these can be sniffed out fairly easily (especially if they make purchases under accounts listed under their company name).

So I had to make some pretty desperate emails to get this purchased pronto. Seemingly everyone I contacted for help was on vacation that week so I had to dive even deeper in. I haven't had a rush like this in a long time, so it was partially fun...but mostly frayed nerves.

The problem with sending out ALL of the feelers was that when I woke up in the morning and saw that the item was sold, I didn't know if it was mine. Much later in the day I got a quick reply.

"Oh. Yeah, I got it for you."

It turns out the incredible person who secured it was moving at the time. They happened to check their phone on the way to the charger, made the quick purchase, plugged it in, and kept moving until they passed out and forgot all about their wonderful deed.

The important thing is that I finally got it! For a better price than I imagined! Complete!

Fast forward and I have the set in my mitts. It's one of those weird situations where it was such an easy find that I feel almost stupid for not being able to make it happen sooner. It just never lined up for me, though.

The set itself is pretty damn cool. It has everything you can want from Kamen Rider J considering it was a standalone movie with not much in the way of things to make toys of.

J Crosser is actually cooler than I was expecting. I love the coloring and detail...which is something I never really picked up in photos. 

Kamen Rider J is a great figure...it's more or less a standard Pladera-style figure but the antennae are better quality than I was expecting after owning Kamen Rider Black RX in the past.

The Henshin Buckle, or J Spirit, is alright. Maybe a tad too chrome for me. The design feels more than coincidental considering Yuta Mochizuki's run as Geki in Zyuranger. Kinda backwards from how Kamen Rider ZO was packed full of Metal Hero guys only for Ko Domon to go on to become one himself a year later in Blue SWAT.

Speaking of Blue SWAT and Kakuranger...I guess I have to get a photo with the whole gang together someday. I'd need a ton of space for the photo, but I imagine it'll be quite the vision.

Thanks for the read of my ramble. I have a page of more Toy Stories if you're interested in some of my weirder toy stories.

Bye for now!


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