The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kamen Rider series. That includes the anniversary of the release of popular transformation belts. Since older series are being revived, Bandai has re-released certain belts that were hard to find or expensive when buying from second-hand shops and past owners.
The Kamen Rider Light Revolving Transformation Belt was released in 1971, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In recent years, Bandai has released the Complete Selection and Complete Selection Modification (CSM) belts remade for adults, which are often released years after the original work has ended. Reservations flood the sites as soon as preorders are released.
During the regular broadcasting of the show, Bandai releases DX versions of the transformation belts. Various types have been released in the past 50 years and the number has steadily increased due to the number of Kamen Riders appearing in the series. Some products become much more popular in the second-hand market.
Heisei Kamen Rider Series Changed Belt Functionality
Until Kamen Rider Agito (2001), Kamen Riders only needed a belt to transform. This changed in 2002, with the release of Kamen Rider Ryuki, when a card deck was necessary. This addition changed the way transformation belts worked.
The Kamen Rider Ryuki transformation belt remained the same with every Rider in the show, but all of the card decks were different, including the cards. It was like a dream for children and collectors when Toys R’ Us released an exclusive set with all 13 Rider card decks included.
Kamen Rider 555 (2003) further evolved transformation belts. The Riders entered the transformation code into the mobile phone, then attached it to the belt base. It was popular at the time, when mobile phones were becoming more widely used. It was especially popular with children. The belts of the second and third Riders in the show had special movie version belts sold exclusively at Toys R’ Us.
Kamen Rider Kabuto (2006) increased the number of gimmicks along with transformation belts. Kamen Rider Dark Kabuto’s transformation device, Dark Kabuto Zecter, which was a recolor of the Kabuto Sector, was especially popular.
A Showa Belt That Reacted to “Transformation Poses”
Showa Rider era toys also had surprising gimmicks. Kamen Rider Black’s (1987) Vital Charger transformation belt would glow and turn. When using the Action Charger bracelet, it “sensed” when the user is performing the transformation belt, which would activate the belt’s light sequence to transform, similar to the show. It was a type of “hands-free” method to transforming.
Transformation belts have continued to evolve since the 1970s. They have transformed from simple items during the Showa era into requiring multiple gimmicks or having more than one belt for each show in the Heisei era. It will be interesting to see how the belts continue to evolve into the Reiwa era.
Article Sources Magmix