I am very inclined to believe that a big part of Masked Rider's many failings as an international push for Kamen Rider was that it was all logistically held together by duct tape.
Unlike Power Rangers, which had the luxury of being able to pull from a new Super Sentai series annually, the most recent Rider projects at their disposal in 1995 were J and ZO, two feature films that did NOT have enough content to retrofit into a weekly episodic TV series.
So what winds up happening, is that Masked Rider now had to ALSO primarily structure itself around a TV project that was already 6 YEARS OLD, simply because it had enough content, vehicles, and characters to pull from and sell a full line of toys with.
On paper, I'm sure this sounded appealing to everyone involved.
Toei exposes 6 years of Kamen Rider to eyes fresh off of Power Rangers.
Bandai sells three Kamen Rider projects' worth of characters on store shelves.
Saban grows a media empire.
Everyone wins and makes money!
But how do you make a show that HAS to incorporate and sell toys of Kamen Rider characters from
- A film from 1994
- A film from 1993
- A TV series from 1988
and have all of them feel part of one single, cohesive, united localized product?
You can't. But they sure tried to.
Because there's SO MANY eggs in this one 40 episode basket, a basket DESPERATE to thrust a new Toei Hero IP in front of newfound audience, you get a show that essentialy a bunch of disjointed content haphazardly thrown together.
It was a vehicle first, and a story second.
While RX's characters did wind up populating store shelves, the most exposure ZO and J's characters got, was from being thrown into the show as random monsters of the week.
ZO's characters were the only ones slated to have toy releases, and THOSE wound up getting cancelled.
If I had to put a post-mortem on Masked Rider, it just seemed like a co-production that tried to work miracles in such a short amount of time and ended up being too confused to work.
In practice, the pieces seemed to line up, but they simply just did not fit together.
This is why we talk about Masked Rider.
Because the bigger picture here, is that MMPR put the world's eyes on Toei Heroes.
And that led to a massive push to get 10+ years of Toei Hero content onto global markets.
Kamen Rider was a BIG part of that push you can't leave out.