Friday, 27 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider ZX

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider ZX

Kamen Rider RX may be one of the more forgettable of the Showa era Kamen Riders thanks to the majority of his appearances being in manga, but the release of the Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together!! star marked the completion of the classic era Riders in the S.H. Figuarts line (well, save for Shin, J and ZO...and Shin has been released since). And thanks to a recent sale from Hobbysearch, I was able to pick one up for the low low price of 1080 yen.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Anime REVIEW: Daimidaler the Sound Robot

Daimidaler the Sound Robot (Kenzen Robo Daimidaler)

The Spring 2014 anime season has been a pretty interesting one for me. Among the shows I've actually been watching we've had Marvel's Avengers take on Japan, Bones do mecha the way only Bones can, Soul Eater make a return after a lengthy absence and even Elfen Lied 2.0 arrive on the scene in the form of Brynhildr in the Darkness.Then of course there's Daimidaler the Sound Robot (or Kenzen Robo Daimidaler if you'd prefer the Japanese title), which isn't quite like anything of these things. A 12-episode series from the studio TNK, this is a completely insane show that smashes together classic style super robots and hardcore ecchi in way you'd completely expect it to. If you're planning to check this out, make sure you grab an uncensored copy or you're going to be missing A LOT out...

Monday, 23 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Baron Banana Arms

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Baron from Kamen Rider Gaim

With the first Kamen Rider Gaim S.H. Figuarts only coming out in May, Bandai are going to need to keep up a reasonably pace with releases if most are to be out by the time Kamen Rider Drive comes around. So naturally Gaim himself wasn't alone as the first release from the series, joined by the second character to pick up a Sengoku Drive and become an Armoured Rider - Kaito Kumon aka Kamen Rider Baron. After Gaim himself Baron has gone through the most Arms changes in the series thus far, but this first figure is of what he's always going to be remembered for - the Knight of Spear, Banana Arms.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Orange Arms

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Orange Arms

It's just as well Kamen Rider Gaim's Arms Change toy line has been pretty fantastic, but Bandai Tamashii Nations have been pretty late in the game gearing up the characters for their S.H. Figuarts line. With the show entering its final third, its Riders are finally on their way and (given the amount of characters they have to get through) don't look like they'll be stopping for a while. Naturally the first release off the bat is Kamen Rider Gaim himself, in his default Orange Arms suit. With Figuarts having made obvious improvements to the figure engineering over the past six months or so, anticipation has been running high for Gaim ever since those beautiful promo images first leaked.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Mario

SH Figuarts Mario

When Bandai's D-Arts line was suddenly stopped and integrated in the much more established S.H. Figuarts line, it didn't seem like very much would change outside of the name slapped on the box. However the inclusion of video game stars in the line has naturally widened the spectrum of interest in Figuarts even further, with Bandai immediately announcing none other than Mario as the first video game figure in the line. Can you get any bigger than the Nintendo mascot? Not only that, but after an endless amount of detailed but completely static figurines, it's exciting to see just what the Italian plumber can do with a fair bit of articulation on him. Let's a go!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Tricera Ranger

S.H. Figuarts Tricera Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Blue Ranger)

Proving that the S.H. Figuarts line hasn't forgotten about Super Sentai just yet, the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger team nears completion with its fifth figure - Tricera Ranger. Whether to you this represents the "warrior of courage" Etof Tribe Knight Dan or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' Billy Cranston the Blue Ranger, as the penultimate member of the team this has been one hotly anticipated release. Despite being another Tamashii Web Exclusive in Japan, Bluefin have also released the figure stateside to make sure that there's plenty of blue to go around.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Shin

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Shin

2014 is proving to be an interesting year for the S.H. Figuarts line. It's become even bigger with the integration of the D-Arts line, and renewal editions seem to be in full swing with Black RX and Kabuto following last year's Black renewal. Kabuto even showed off a brand new body type. But the most exciting thing is that Bandai are finally getting around to some characters that are long overdue figures, with a full Kamen Rider lineup nearly in sight. Kamen Rider Hibiki is due in August, but until then there's another older Rider that's just been released to enjoy - the often forgotten, mostly hated Kamen Rider Shin. Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue may have mostly been considered an awful film (with good reason), but there's no denying it's awesomely monstrous Rider has huge potential to make an excellent figure.

And with a Figuart out and a S.I.C. due in September, could this possibly be Shin's year? Even if both figures are Tamashii Web Exclusives?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Armin Arlert

Figma Armin Arlet from Attack on Titan

When you're collecting popular Japanese toylines, it's near impossible to complete a full set of something with running into some sort of limited edition exclusive. And naturally this rule applies to any of those collecting the Attack on Titan Figma. Mikasa and Eren made it through as mass releases in will soon be joined by Levi at the end of this month, but poor old Armin Arlert wasn't so lucky. Starting out as a Winter Wonderfest exclusive earlier this year, it wasn't long before Good Smile Company were offering him out to international fans exclusively via their webstore for a July release. However if you were lucky enough to attend a convention GSC were also appearing at, then you had your chance to get a hold of one early...

Monday, 9 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Eren Yeager

Figma Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan

With the Mikasa Ackerman Figma proving to be as popular as it is (at the time of writing its second reissue has just been announced - making that three separate releases on one year) there was no way Max Factory was going to settle with just one Attack on Titan figure. And now that the main female character is out of the way (who was naturally going to be picked first) it's time to bring on the boys! First up of course the central protagonist of the show - Eren Yeager. And even though it's only been a few months since his release he is proving to be just as popular as Mikasa - his initial April 2014 release was quickly followed by a second shipment of the figure a month later.

As before, collectors who purchased this figure from Good Smile Company's online webstore would have also received a special rooftop di:stage. Preferring to get the figure for a cheaper price elsewhere, this review will not cover said stage.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Ressha Sentai ToQger Minipla Diesel-Oh

It's quite possible that Ressha Sentai ToQger is going to be another Super Sentai series with lots of mecha. After all, it only took nine episodes for the team to receive their second set of trains that could form a giant robot - Diesel-Oh. Made up of the Diesel, Car Carrier and Tank Resshas, Diesel-Oh is a formidably powerful robot affectionately called "Ji-chan/Grandpa" by Right. And now it's joining Bandai's mini-pla candy toy line as the second wave for this 2014 Sentai

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Movie REVIEW: Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together!!

Birth of the 10th! All Kamen Riders Together!!

Not every Kamen Rider makes his debut in a full length television series. While these a movie-exclusive Rider is almost obligatory, back before the franchise's Heisei-era revival there were a few "main" Riders that first appeared in films. However Kamen Rider ZX (pronounced "Zed Cross") is a bit of a special case. First appearing in his own manga series in 1982 and then a special radio broadcast, ZX wouldn't appear on television screens for another two years later in Birth of the 10th Kamen Riders All Together!! With this crossover special starring the first ten Kamen Riders not leading into a full series, ZX was all but forgotten as Kamen Rider Black took the mantle in 1987. But after making numerous appearances in recent crossover movies, particularly a prominent one in this years Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai, now seems like the perfect time to dive into this one-off piece of Kamen Rider history...