Review and Demo: DX Ghost Driver (Kamen Rider Ghost)
NOTE: Starting in this review, all future Kamen Rider Ghost roleplay items (Belts, Weapons, Eyecons, etc.) will also be featuring a demo video to go alongside the full video review. In the review I speak, criticize, crack jokes, the usual. The demo videos are silent (sans some music) and detail the functions and sounds of the toy only. I hope doing this will help people who are not only looking for a quicker video, but just want to pop in and check the sounds or functions of the toy without wading through my long rambles they may or may not have already watched. It’s a bit more work, but I’m excited to bring this extra level to my channel. Enjoy!
DX Ghost Driver
October, 2015 – ¥7,500
With every new Rider, a new belt emerges. For Kamen Rider Ghost, we have the aptly named DX Ghost Driver. This ghostly device lets the user transform into Kamen Rider Ghost using the Ore Ghost Eyecon, or Kamen Rider Specter using the soon to be released Specter Ghost Eyecon. Using the Ghost Eyecons of Great Heroes, both Ghost and Specter are able to utilize that heroes’s “Damashii” to change form and gain new weapons and abilities. The DX Ghost Driver takes three AAA batteries (not included) and includes the two belt straps, belt cover, the Ore Ghost Eyecon, and the Edison Ghost Eyecon. The toy was released in October, 2015 for around ¥7,500.
In the toy catalogs, the Ghost Driver looked laughably bad, barely showing off the plethora of molded detail underneath the clear plastic covering. In hand, the toy, while still not amazing looking, has won me over in its design motif. Below the clear plastic covering is a face, grinning with its teeth showing, one singular eye sitting in the middle of its face. The covering is clear enough to see a lot of this detail, albeit a bit clouded, and that alone makes me really enjoy it. With it being a “ghost” Driver, I think the inclusion of a face underneath the cliche “sheet” is a wonderful touch. The orange belt straps and black base of the Driver make everything feel very Halloween. This toy released at the perfect time.
The Ghost Eyecons, as I’ve went over in previous reviews, are very basic toys, and are basically Zyudenchi 2.0. Each slightly spherical yet boxy toy switches between four panels on the inside. The first is a default “eye” for the Eyecon, second is the signifying letter or number of that Ghost Eyecon, third is the helmet design for Kamen Rider Ghost or Kamen Rider Specter in that Damashii (this is the symbol shown in the Driver when transformed), while the final is the symbol for that Damashii’s Omega Drive attack. On the bottom are the pins that let the Driver know what is inserted, while the top has a nice shiny sticker showing off the number, name, and helmet design. On the back is a QR code for use on Bandai’s website.
Turning on the device will greet you with “Ghost Driver!”. Open the Ghost Driver by pressing the top button, giving you clearance to insert a Ghost Eyecon of your choice. Closing the cover will announce “Eye!” followed by the “Bacchiriminaa!” jingle. Pull the lever and push in to change the emblem on the Ghost Eyecon inside and start the transformation jingle of that Damashii. Each form has their own vastly unique jingle that’s really fun to listen to. Repeating the process will initiate the “Omega Drive!”, the final attack for the Ghost Driver. These sounds are unfortunately very generic. Repeating the process in succession four times in a row (to get back to the Omega Drive symbol) will initiate a different, presumably stronger, final attack. This sound is also pretty generic, outside of the different form being called out. Opening the cover and removing the Eyecon will make the toy say “Oyasumi~” (Good Night) before shutting down until a new Eyecon is inserted.
Overall, the Ghost Driver is very hit and miss. I like the overall aesthetic of the toy now that I have it in person, although the giant handle can be gaudy to look at. I also really enjoy the sounds. Each jingle is unique and really fun, bouncing between a song, a rap, or an energetic cheer. Despite the cool jingles, it’s a shame the final attacks aren’t a bit different. That being said, right out of the box, this toy gets boring fast. With only two Ghost Eyecons included (with two more on the market if you buy stuff) functionality is limited, just like every belt released lately. If you’re used to the gimmick grind by now and that doesn’t bother you, there’s a lot to like about the Ghost Driver. It’s not my favorite Driver released in recent times, and the fun factor is lost quickly, but despite that it’s still reasonably fun toy for fans of the new series.