Thursday 18 July 2024

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Red King

S.H. Figuarts Red King 01

Release Date: April 2024
RRP: 9900 yen

Despite having already released an impressive range of monsters and aliens from the original Ultraman series in the S.H. Figuarts range there are still a number of important gaps for Bandai Tamashii Nations to fill, which just goes to show how iconic many of these creatures have become. One such example is S.H. Figuarts Red King, who has taken a whole eight years to come to the line despite being one of the franchise's most enduring foes. First appearing in episode eight of the original series, the ferocious "skull monster" has gone on to appear in numerous instalments across the franchise, most recently in the opening scenes of currently airing series Ultraman Arc.

Monday 15 July 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project Tetra Boy

Shokugan Modeling Project Tetra Boy 01

Release Date: April 2024
RRP: 5500 yen

A sure sign that a toy line is doing well is if they revisit things previously covered years before in order to plug any gaps they might have missed first time around. This is definitely something Bandai have had in mind with the Shokugan Modeling Project line - first revisiting Ninja Sentai Kakuranger last year to give fans Ninjaman and now also returning to Chōjin Sentai Jetman to give us the last of its mecha as well. Shokugan Modeling Project Tetra Boy is a Premium Bandai exclusive release, finally giving Jet Icarus and Jet Garuda in the form of the AI-powered robot with kickboxing skills and the abilities to turn into the formidable Tetra Buster.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

First Impressions: Ultraman Arc

Ultraman Arc

2024 looks like it's going to be another big year for the Ultraman franchise! In the last few weeks Ultraman: Rising has dropped on Netflix to largely positive reception, in comics the Giant of Light will be facing off against Earth's Mightiest Heroes starting this August in Ultraman x Avengers and on the main series side of things a brand new instalment in the franchise has just begun! Ultraman Arc invites fans to unleash the power of imagination, once again being distributed worldwide via the ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL YouTube channel complete with a variety of different language subtitles as well as a simultaneously released English dub.

Friday 5 July 2024

Special REVIEW: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger with Tombo Ohger

Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger with Tombo Ohger

The Toei Tokusatsu Fan Club April Fools' joke has become something of an annual tradition now, with them teasing some bizarre joke concept only for them to go and turn it into a viable special. For its 2024 rendition they announced its first ever romance drama in the form of "First Love Detective", to then later reveal the following day that the production was in fact Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger with Tombo Ohger. Coinciding with Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger's 20th anniversary movie Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger 20th: Fireball Booster, the one-off special reunites the "Girls in Trouble" Jasmine and Umeko in a crossover with Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger's Yanma Gast.

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project GaoGod

Shokugan Modeling Project GaoGod 01

Release Date: September 2022
RRP: 7000 yen

True to their word, Bandai went all out to complete the in-show line-up of Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger Power Animals in the SMP line. The final release in the range was something familiar but at the same time different – Shokugan Modeling Project GaoGod! This Premium Bandai exclusive release is a remould of GaoKing – its components the five God Power Animals, the ancestors of the Gaorangers' own totem Power Animals.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kyoryu Red

S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kyoryu Red 01

Release Date: May 2024
RRP: 9900 yen

As if releases from series of the past three years wasn't enough confirmation that Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts truly are back, there's now also the fact that S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Gokai Red wasn't just a one-off. While the idea of getting full teams from Bandai Tamashii Nations once again still feels like a pipedream, a second entry in this prestigious line is definitely something to be excited about. This time around Bandai are being a little timelier with their celebrations, marking the tenth anniversary of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger with the (general retail) release of S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kyoryu Red!

Friday 21 June 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project GaoLion & GaoElephant

Shokugan Modeling Project GaoLion & GaoElephant 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: 6364 yen

If the Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger range is anything to go by, when Bandai properly hit the 2000s era of Super Sentai in the Shokugan Modeling Project they really will cover all the bases when it comes to core and auxiliary mecha. 2022 proved to be another glorious year for the 25th Sentai team with a number of retail and Premium Bandai exclusive releases from the series, including the Shokugan Modeling Project GaoLion & GaoElephant set. This Premium Bandai set contains no ordinary GaoLion however, but rather the enlarged version that can combine with GaoElephant, GaoShark, GaoTiger and GaoFalcon to form the mighty GaoKentaurus.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project GaoIcarus

Shokugan Modeling Project GaoIcarus 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: 8800 yen

Bandai's overall commitment to adequately covering a Super Sentai series in the Shokugan Modeling Project line is something to be commended, especially when its a series as extensive as Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger. Even after covering impressive ground with their GaoKing, GaoMuscle, GaoKnight and GaoHunter releases, the line carried firmly on into 2022 with the third of its retail releases - Shokugan Modeling Project GaoIcarus! First debuting in episode 31 of the series, GaoIcarus is the combined form of GaoFalcon, GaoDeers, GaoGiraffe, GaoRhinos and GaoMadillo.

Friday 14 June 2024

Movie REVIEW: Ultraman: Rising

 Ultraman: Rising

Ultraman's worldwide expansion over the last few years has been a thing of marvel, with the likes of mass market Blu-ray releases, a Marvel comic book series, an anime adaptation of an ongoing manga sequel/spin-off, the cinematic release of Shin Ultraman and YouTube simulcasts of the current airing shows all working in tandem to turn the franchise into a household name across the globe. Now the next step in that bid for world domination comes in the form of Ultraman: Rising - a feature length animated film co-produced by Netflix Animation and Tsuburaya Productions with animation by Industrial Light & Magic. The film is the directorial debut of Shannon Tindle, so co-directed alongside John Aoshima. Tindle also co-wrote the story alongside Marc Haimes, both of whom also were behind the original story for Laika's 2016 film Kubo and the Two Strings. The film stars Christopher Sean (Star Wars Resistance) in the lead role as Ken Sato/Ultraman, with the Japanese voice being provided by Yuki Yamada (Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's Joe Gibken/Gokai Blue).

Thursday 13 June 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Soul of Chogokin GX-37B King Joe Black (Revival Ver.)

Soul of Chogokin GX-37B King Joe Black <Revival Ver.> 01

Release Date: April 2024
RRP: 16500 yen

While a re-release of 2007's Soul of Chogokin King Joe in celebration of Ultraseven's 55th anniversary didn't necessarily come as a huge surprise, it's 2008 repaint from a series that isn't celebrating any notable anniversary getting similar treatment was. As was the case with GX-37R, the Tamashii Web exclusive Soul of Chogokin GX-37B King Joe Black (Revival Ver.) is a slight reworking of the figure from 16 years ago - updating it with a sharper colour scheme. King Joe Black first appeared onscreen in 2007's Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, clashing against ZAP SPACY on several occasions, In addition to its bold new black and gold colour scheme, King Joe Black is also armed with the Pedanium Launcher - a powerful weapon capable of rapid-fire energy projectiles.