Thursday, 30 June 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Black Series Boba Fett (Tython)

Black Series Boba Fett (Tython) 01

Release Date: March 2022
RRP: $24.99/£23.99

There are plenty of iconic Star Wars moments that hail from the second season of The Mandalorian, but easily among the very best was the grand return of legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett in Chapter 14: The Tragedy. Revealed to have survived his apparent demise in the belly of the Sarlacc Pit, Fett tails the Mandalorian to the planet Tython where he demands the return of his armour. Following an attack by Imperial Forces, Boba is reunited with the armour and pledges to assist Mando in retrieving Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon. Hasbro have recognised this iconic return with the release of the Black Series Boba Fett (Tython) – a version that showed just how formidable a fighter Fett is even without his Beskar armour.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Special REVIEW: Twokaizer x Gokaiger ~June Bride is Tanuki Flavor~

Twokaizer x Gokaiger ~June Bride is Tanuki Flavor~

Given how Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger naturally coincided with the tenth anniversary of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, a crossover between the two was inevitable. But while Captain Marvelous does make an appearance in Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger that clearly wasn't enough, and thus its up to the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub to provide a second meeting between the pirate Sentai and the Goldtsuiker family. Twokaizer x Gokaiger ~June Bride is Tanuki Flavor~ is a one-off special from Zenkaiger head writer Junko Komura that brings back Marvelous, Gai and Ahim once again, and in typical Gokaiger fashion has plenty to offer when it comes to transformations and the kind of ranger categorisation that'll surely cause debate amongst Super Sentai fans.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Top 5: Most Wanted Doctor Who Figures (Classic Series)

Despite some of the difficulties Character Options' Doctor Who toy line has faced over the years, thanks to the steady stream of B&M store exclusives it's regained enough strength that figure wish lists don't feel like a complete fantasy any more – particularly when it comes to the classic era. For this month's top five feature I'll be looking at the figures I'd most like to see come to the line, as well as giving brief reasons as to why. Some of these are pretty unlikely so truth be told I don't have too much hope of any of them happening, but even if one could become a reality that would be cause for celebration.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Toybox REVIEW: THE GATTAI DX Gridknight & Goldburn

THE GATTAI DX Gridknight & Goldburn 01

Release Date: November 2021 
RRP: 8800 yen 

Dynazenon may be a fantastic robot on its own, but as soon as SSSS.Gridman fan favourite Gridknight made an appearance in SSSS.Dynazenon fans immediately knew that a bigger combination was on the cards. Naturally it took a few episodes to happen, but the debut of Kaiser Gridknight in episode nine of the series certainly did not disappoint. And much in the same way – THE GATTAI DX Gattai Ryujin Dynazenon may be a fantastic figure on its own, but why stop there when you can have something even bigger? Enter THE GATTAI DX Gridknight & Goldburn, an add-on set that was released to coincide with the reissue of Dynazenon. Prior to its November release collectors who had previously bought Dynazenon were invited to take part in special lottery, with the prize being the opportunity to purchase and receive the set some months ahead of its official release. Unfortunately said official release wasn't quite as straightforward as Dynazenon's, with the set being made exclusively available through the Good Smile Company online store…plus any middlemen services that chose to carry it of course.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Toybox REVIEW: THE GATTAI Gattai Ryujin DX Dynazenon

THE GATTAI Gattai Ryujin DX Dynazenon 01

Release Date: May 2021, October 2021 (Reissue)
RRP: 22,000 yen

As beloved as SSSS.Gridman was by anime and tokusatsu fans alike, there's one thing that we can agree that wasn't so successful - the toys. Whether it was the price or quality control issues, the anime successor to Hyper Agent Gridman seemed to draw the short straw when it came the perfect version of Full Power Gridman - with the DX offering from Good Smile Company being the most notorious of all. So when sequel series SSSS.Dynazenon was announced by Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions, naturally collectors feared the worst when it come to get a nice big combining figure of this impressive super robot. However it looks as though Good Smile learned from previous mistakes, even teaming up with popular high-end toy company Sentinel (who've released more than their fair share of incredible robot toys) to produce THE GATTAI Gateau Ryujin DX Dynazenon. Though originally announced as a standard DX release, prior to its release Dynazenon was adopted into THE GATTAI - a new range from Good Smile focusing specifically on high-end combining robots. Somewhere both Gridman and Dynazenon would feel right at home.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Miniseries REVIEW: Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad

Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad
Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad is available to rent on (English dub only)

For Ultraman fans across the globe the Ultra Galaxy Fight series have become a rather special event. What initially seemed like a fun little battle-orientated miniseries like the Ultra Fight series of old have developed into so much more, drawing on every corner of Ultraman continuity in a galaxy-spanning adventure that puts the Ultramen (and women) themselves in the spotlight. After the story was left on a cliff-hanger in The Absolute Conspiracy, Tsuburaya Productions have now unleashed the next chapter with Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad. Supposedly boasting over 100 characters, the ten-episode miniseries has been made available in its entirely on the Ultraman Connection website (though at the time of writing sadly the English dub only) – boasting over two hours of hardcore Ultraman content.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream

Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $52.99/£55.99

Transformers: The Movie saw numerous fan favourites killed off in favour of brand-new characters that were about to hit toy shelves in 1986, but arguably some of them were able to get their most iconic moments in right before their deaths. The finally showdown between Optimus Prime and Megatron goes without saying, but there's also the untimely demise of Starscream – finally crowned as the Decepticons' new leader before being blasted to ashes by Galvatron. Decked out in full royal regalia, Starscream's new look has been fondly remembered by the franchise since, so shouldn't be any surprise to see Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream as part of the film's 30th anniversary toy line. Although the anniversary may have been in 2021, as one of the first SS86 releases for 2022 Starscream shows that there's plenty of life in it yet, and Hasbro know it.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Miniseries REVIEW: Revice Legacy: Kamen Rider Vail

Revice Legacy: Kamen Rider Vail

With more avenues to expand its story the Kamen Rider franchise has moved much further into the realms of supplementary material in recent years, with much of it landing exclusively on the Toei Tokusatsu Fan Club streaming service. Following on from Kamen Rider Revice: The Mystery the service released its second special from the 50th anniversary celebration series – Revice Legacy: Kamen Rider Vail, a five-part miniseries taking the story of Kamen Rider Revice back over two decades before it all began.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Black RX

Kamen Rider Black RX

While Kamen Rider franchise has always had some sense of continuity, direct sequels in a franchise that introduces a new hero each year is a rarity. But the popularity of Kamen Rider Black was that strong that in 1988 Kotaro Minami returned in a brand new form – Kamen Rider Black RX. The 47-episode series is notable for a number of other reasons as well, being both the final series in the franchise to have original author Shotaro Ishinomori involved but also the final entry in the Showa era period. Though the majority of Black RX may have technically aired at the beginning of the Heisei era, due to lengthy hiatus before the franchise returned in 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga it, along with movies Shin, ZO and J, are considered a much cleaner break.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Toybox REVIEW: MAFEX Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)

MAFEX Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) 01

Release Date: November 2021
RRP: 7800 yen

The various Spider-Verse titles there have been in the past few years may have shown that there's much more to Spider-Man than just Peter Parker, but back in the 1990s when comic readers were introduced to a brand-new Spidey he wasn't that far detached from our original hero. Popularised during the infamous Clone Saga that ran between 1994 and 1995, Ben Reilly (combining Uncle Ben's forename and Aunt May's maiden name) is a clone of Peter Parker that originally fought as the Scarlet Spider before truly taking the mantle of Spider-Man in Peter's absence. His time as Spider-Man saw him bond with the Carnage symbiote as well as take part in the multiversal Marvel vs DC crossover, though Peter would eventually return when Ben took a fatal wound from the Green Goblin. Despite the Clone Saga's notoriety, the character's popularity makes him an obvious choice for Medicom's "miracle action figure" line. MAFEX Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) is the next in a long line of Spider-Man figures from the company, and it looks like they have no plans on stopping any time soon.