A Token Belt

Right before I left Japan in late 1980, the newest Rider show had just started airing. I remember watching the first episode with wonderment as it premiered and watched a few more episodes the following weeks. Kamen Rider Super 1 would be the last Rider show I would feast my young eyes on for many, many years. And I remember my first several years in America wanting so badly to watch Kamen Rider, or any tokusatsu show for that matter. Those were my childhood heroes. Not Batman, or Superman, and the Spiderman I knew could pilot a big robot. I missed my heroes. I missed them alot. So when I get a chance to reconnect with my childhood heroes, it's always an awesome feeling. And in 2009, almost 30 years after leaving my earliest and fondest memories, I was able to reconnect when I purchased a Kamen Rider Super 1 Henshin Belt by Popy.

It's a simple belt in design that's fairly show accurate. I say fairly because the show had a brushed silver buckle where as the toy has a chrome finish. It is a child's belt, so no, I'm not able to wear it, but with some modifications it can fit an adult.

When you press the red button at the top of the buckle, the front part springs open, revealing the inside of the buckle. It mimics the henshin (transformation) action from the show, but the lights don't turn on yet.

There's an additional switch on the top of the buckle that you have to move to get the lights turned on and spinning. I would have been a lot better if the opening and lights all happened at once with one switch or button press.

Here's a video of it in action. And I'll warn you now to turn down your volume because this belt SCREECHES when it's turned on. And I'm not exactly sure of what's causing the blue light streaks to happen in the video, but it happens when the belt is turned on, so the interference could be messing with my camera. But it looks kick ass!

The belt also comes with a set of gloves. More specifically, the kana on the gloves says Super Hands, which are the default gloves that Super 1 wears. You know, the funky silver ones with the tassels hanging off of them. If you're not familiar with the show, Super 1 can change his hands from 5 different sets with each set having its own special abilities. Again, made for a kid, so we adults won't be able to wear them, unless you're a really small adult.

So there's not a lot to this belt. It's certainly not gimmicky like the Rider belts we get now. But that's not why I bought this belt. It's the nostalgia. It's the link to my childhood. It's a reconnection with a hero. It's a token from a time that had the most influence on who I am. And for that, it's a piece that I will always treasure in my collection.

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