S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon Kokuin Ver. ガロ(レオン 刻印Ver.)

Background:

Garo Leon Kokuin ver. is from the 2014 animation adaption of the Garo franchise. The story is set in fictitious Valiante Kingdom, which resembles Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. This armor is featured in the first half of the series when Leon was driven by the desire to avenge his mother.

S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon

Name: Garo Leon
Series: Garo: The Animation
Manufacturer: Bandai
Line: S.H.Figuarts
Sculptor:
Designer:
Scale: Non-scale
Material: ABS, PVC
Release: June 2016
Original Price: ¥6,696JPY
Height: 158mm / 6.22inches

Packaging:

As this is a Web Tamashii exclusive item it comes in the signature brown shipper box. The box is smaller in size than older S.H.Figuarts releases, it looks as if though Bandai has been seriously trimming the “fat” (more like wasted space) off their packaging, which benefits both the seller and the buyer as this leads to lower production and shipping costs. The packaging has a very high quality feel to it, being printed on a matte cello stock, and the artwork is simple yet effective. On the inside, Garo is held in between some plastic trays, with his sword being backed on a separate smaller tray. Very collector friendly and high end looking.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging shipper box front
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging shipper box
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging front
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging back
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon packaging inside

Accessories:

When it comes to accessories, Leon comes with only his bare essentials which includes a pair of weapon holding hands, a pair of open palm hands and his Garo-Ken (sword). The Garo-ken is very well made with lovely paint detail which you’ll see a bit further down in the review. Hands are easy to swap around, nice firm click without being too tight. I do wish that is had come with a open mouth growling version of the head, that would have really topped this set off for me.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon with optional hands and Garo-ken
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon with optional hands and Garo-ken

Form/Sculpt:

When I first picked up the toy the first thought I had was – “hey this is quite light”, and sure enough I wasn’t imagining it as the new Garo Leon figure does not contain any die-cast parts. Compared to the older S.H.Figuarts Garo figure which weighs in at 81g without his cape, Leon only weighs 61g which is 25% lighter. Now, this is not a bad thing, just interesting to see Bandai moving away from die-cast for thier S.H.Figuarts line. The sculpt is gorgeous on this toy, looks like he stepped right out of the anime, the only criticism I have is that his “cape” is very rigid and does not have any flex to them so they only ever look natural when Leon is standing straight up.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon front view
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon rear view

Articulation/Action:

I’m happy to report that Leon does not disappoint in this department (apart from his rigid cape). His head is on a double ball joint with a separate ball joint at the base of the neck, he has ball and hinged shoulder joints which allow for a huge degree of movement, his shoulder armour is also on a ball and hinge so it never really gets in the way of the arm articulation. He has bicep swivel, double jointed elbows, ball and hinge wrists, ball jointed diaphragm, ball jointed waist, S.H.Figuarts signature hip joint extension, ball jointed hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees, hinge and ball jointed ankles which give a good range of ankle tilt and rocker, and lastly hinged toes. I did feel that his legs weren’t able to split wide enough, but apart from this minor nitpick it’s still very good overall.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon ready for battle
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon talking with Zaruba
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon slash!
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon is coming...
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon slice!
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon charge!
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon crouching
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon issues a challenge

Paint/Print:

No matter how close I zoom into the figure with my camera I could not find a single fault with the paint app, I really cannot fathom how Bandai can do such clean and tidy paint app on a mass produced toy, they must either have a team of very talented painters with super steady hands, or they’ve built fully functioning A.I robots to do the job!

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon head paint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon body paint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon back paint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon leg paint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon sword paint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon Zaruba ring paint detail

Detail/Features:

A closer look at that amazing shoulder articulation, the ball joint actually goes quite deep into the torso to give some butterfly motion in the shoulders. The “cape” can be removed from his back, but it will leave 2 little ball pegs exposed.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon shoulder joint detail
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon with his cape removed

Finally some size comparisons to give you an idea of the scale of this figure. He fits in nicely with his Tokusatsu counterparts however it is immediately clear that the proportions and designs are very different. It is also interesting to see the Garo-ken slowly growing in size from the first S.H.Figuarts Garo, to this version, I wonder how big the next one will be?

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon

Leon stands roughly the same size as a Marvel Legends figure, but the frame is thinner and proportions more animated than the ML.

  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon vs Marvel Legends Hydra Soldier
  • S.H.Figuarts Garo Leon vs Stormtrooper

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the anime, it has some of the best sword fighting scenes I’ve seen for a while so naturally I was very excited to get this figure, and I can say I am not disappointed at all. This is a very good representation of the anime design, it features some really well engineered articulation and it’s flawless when it comes to pain app. Highly recommend this figure for any Garo fan, or fans of Japanese action figures that are made with a lot care and respect for the source material.

Thanks again for reading!



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