The Kamen Rider franchise has rarely appeared on American screens. While attempts were made to localize it in the 1990s by taking the fight footage and turning it into the Power Rangers-inspired Masked Rider, it wasn't until the dawn of streaming services that American fans could easily watch the franchise.
However, in the mid-2010s, Kamen Rider made a cameo on American television. Or at least its toys did. In 2015 two tween comedies, one on Nickelodeon and another on the Disney Channel featured random cameos from Kamen Rider toys. However, these were not some official crossover or teaser for a future project. In fact, no one is sure exactly how these toys ended up there.
Liv And Maddie was a Disney Channel sitcom that followed two identical twins, one of whom was a famous actress while the other was a normal kid. In the second episode of the third season, "Voltage-A-Rooney," two characters go to an arcade. When they return in a later scene, they're showing off their prizes. One of the characters, Joey, is wearing a musical belt-buckle that is clearly a slightly repainted version of the Decadriver from 2009's Kamen Rider Decade. In the original show, Tsukasa Kadoya would insert cards into this device to transform into the dimension-hopping Kamen Rider Decade. During the Liv And Maddie scene, Joey presses a button on the belt, causing it to play stock music and light up while he dances.
Also, in 2015, Nickelodeon's short-lived WITS Academy featured another Kamen Rider toy cameo. The show was a spin-off of a show called Every Witch Way, and it followed a group of students attending a prestigious magical college. During the sixth episode, "Power Trip," an item can be seen on a table where the characters are studying. With its large black hand and spinning central piece, this item is clearly the Drago Timer from 2012's Kamen Rider Wizard. The Drago Timer was an upgrade item that allowed the titular Wizard to create clones of himself during battle. By using the Drago Timer to merge with all of these clones, Wizard could enter his All Dragon style for a limited time.
While prop recycling isn't uncommon on TV, it is usually reserved for furniture and random background elements. It is rare to see props from other shows, especially ones that were sold as toys, repurposed so blatantly. Kamen Rider's toys have never been officially available in America, and neither Liv And Maddie nor WITS Academy were dubbed for the Japanese market, making this even stranger. As for why this happened, no one is totally sure. It could simply be due to set-dressers buying boxes of random toys to use as props and somehow ending up with two imported items. Or maybe someone in the production team was a tokusatsu fan and donated items from their collection.
While many will have missed these items and just presumed they were random props, it is funny to think about how these two toys from an obscure foreign franchise ended up in not one but two tween dramas in the same year. Hopefully, with Funimation announcing that it will carry the upcoming Fuuto Pi anime, Kamen Rider fans can enjoy the shows how they're meant to be enjoyed, rather than having to spot random props hidden in other shows.