Monday, 21 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Vegeta [2017]


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5616 yen

With Dragon Ball Super now over 100 episodes in, it’s fair to say that the Dragon Ball franchise is back in a big way. The same goes for its S.H. Figuarts line too, which has crawled back from the odd web exclusive every so often to a string of regular releases that are both retail and exclusive. August will see the long awaited release of S.H. Figuarts Nappa, with Tienshinhan and Yamcha figures to follow the end of the year. With so many Saiyan Saga-era figures coming, it seems only fitting that there’s also a brand new S.H. Figuarts Vegeta based on his original antagonistic appearance – finally getting the retail release treatment he deserves like the Super Saiyan version did last year.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

Kamen Rider Ghost REBIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

While many will argue that Kamen Rider Ghost is a series that suffered from a number of problems, even its fans often agree that Makoto Fukami could have been handled far better. After initially making a strong debut opposing Takeru’s collection of the Eyecons, Kamen Rider Specter quickly fell into the background as he joined the heroes’ side – lacking in personality and only highlighted by an often confusing evil doppelganger subplot. But even though the show’s now over there’s still a chance to salvage his character in Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter – a V-cinema release following Makoto and Alain’s continued mission in the Ganma world following the show’s conclusion.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

"Junbi wa iinka ne?"

After years of wishing, waiting and seeing prototypes that get release on show at various Tamashii Nations events, the idols of the Macross franchise are finally getting some love from the S.H. Figuarts line. After kicking the Walküre girls off with Mikumo Guynemer, Bandai are continuing the line with their second Macross Delta release – S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion. The idol from Windermere and newest Walküre member is another retail release for the line, with the fates of Kaname, Makina and Reina still unknown. With their releases quite likely riding on the success of Mikumo and Freyja, these figures need to count if we ever want to see more Macross Figuarts in the future.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Custom Figure: TV21 Dalek Comics Menoid Master Mechanoid



The Menoid Master is the leader of the Mechanoids in the TV21 Dalek comic strips, which told the story of Dalek history and conquests in world outside of Doctor Who. Whereas the Mechanoids that appeared in The Chase were simply robots that were abandoned on the planet Mechanus, the Mechanoids of the comics were a different story. As the Daleks began their plans for conquest across the cosmos, the Mechanoids were among their earliest opposition – warning them to stay away from their territory. War was narrowly avoided thanks to the efforts of the Zerovians, but the Mechanoids were still wary of the Daleks and continued to consider them enemies.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

It's amazing how fast time flies. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's big 35th anniversary bash was a whole six years ago, which means now Super Sentai's 40th anniversary has now passed us as well. That said, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger still has a few last hurrahs left in it - not just presumably from next year's vs. series movie but also their obligatory epilogue movie, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament! When we last left the Zyuohgers quite a lot had changed for planet Earth, and we rejoin Yamato, Leo, Sela, Tusk, Amu and Misao as part of this brave new world.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Link Breath of the Wild Ver. DX Edition


 Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 4167 yen (Standard Edition), 5370 yen (DX Edition)

Continuing in their goal to seemingly make a new Link figure for every Legend of Zelda game going forwards, Good Smile Company are back again with Nendoroid Link: Breath of the Wild Ver. in both standard in DX Editions. While some are surely thinking “do we really need yet another Link figure?”, when it comes from one of the most popular Zelda games of all time and is based on a design that’s a significant departure from the usual one the answer is most definitely yes. Breath of the Wild Link is the third Link Nendoroid (following on from the Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask versions) and the sixth overall including the three Figma releases. It’s also the second to be released in 2017, coming only a few months after the release of Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02


Release Date: June 2017
RRP: 3078 yen (3 boxes)

As anyone who's bought Bandai toys in the past can attest to, one is never enough. So when Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar was released earlier this year, it was inevitable that the model kit was going to be followed up with either upgrade parts of another robot from The King of Braves GaoGaiGar. Lo and behold a few short months later we have Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02, an upgrade set which includes GoldyMarg, Stealth Gao II and the Gatling Driver. With Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar now in possession of what's arguably his signature weapon, it's hammer time.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Anime REVIEW: One Punch Man

One Punch Man

Every so often there comes an anime series that you just can’t escape from even if you aren’t watching. In 2015, that series was undoubtedly One Punch Man. ONE’s webcomic turned manga turned anime series was a worldwide hit, prompting all sorts of discussion, images and debate about whether its hero could beat up Goku in a fight. With studio Madhouse now confirming that a second season will be arriving in 2018, now is the time for the uninitiated (i.e. myself) to catch up and experience one of the most talked-about shows of the past few years.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Series REVIEW: Ultra Q

Ultra Q

Back in 1966 before the days of Kamen Rider, Super Sentai or even Ultraman, there were still kaiju. Thanks to the success of the original Godzilla in 1955 and the subsequent films that followed, giant monster fever was about to hit an all-time high. While continuing his work on the Godzilla films with Toho studios, special effects legend Eiji Tsuburaya and his company Tsuburaya Productions teamed up with the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) to create Ultra Q, an episodic fantasy series pitched as Japan's answer to The Twilight Zone and The Outer LimitsUltra Q was the very first entry in the long-running Ultra Series, with the original Ultraman starting only two weeks after it's 28-episode run. The rest of course is history. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange


Release date: June 2017
RRP: 6480 yen (Japanese Edition), $84.99/£99.99 (Western Edition)

Bandai Tamashii Nations' journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with the release of S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange! Although coming quite a while after the release of the character's film debut last year, the figure does time nicely with the growing hype for Avengers: Infinity War next year when the character (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) will interact with the rest of the MCU for the first time. As well as releasing as a Tamashii web exclusive in Japan, Doctor Strange was released officially in the West as part of an exclusive set which also includes a number of flame effect parts.