Saturday, 13 August 2022

Special REVIEW: OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story

OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story

If there's one thing I think we can all agree on about Kamen Rider OOO 10th: Core Medal of Resurrection it's how underused Kamen Rider Birth was. Despite both Shintaro Gotou and Akira Date appearing in both the film and a prequel net movie minisode, the characters largely fell to the wayside in the main story. This is even more surprising (or less so depending on how cynical you are about Bandai's toy shilling) considering Birth got a new form in the movie in the form of Birth X. But thankfully the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub is here to rectify the situation, with the story of OOO's secondary Rider continuing in OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story!

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $26.99/£32.99

Even though the core Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team have been released about three times over by now, Hasbro certainly aren't going to be done with them any time soon. When their original Power Coins were damaged in battle against Rito Revolto, the rangers sought out new coins from the mysterious Ninjor – gaining new ninja powers in the process! Now the rangers' ninja forms – used in their countless battles against the Tenga Warriors, have arrived as part of the Lightning Collection. With the power of the falcon, the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger is ready to lead the team in a brand-new chapter in the fight against Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Special REVIEW: Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera

Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera

One of the obvious problems with summer Kamen Rider movies introducing new characters (most of whom are Riders themselves) is that they rarely have time to develop them in a meaningful way. But with the arrival of streaming services such as the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub, there's an opportunity to give them a bigger spotlight through prequel specials that can add a little more context to things. For example, just ahead of the release of Kamen Rider Revice: Battle Familia, the service launched (the rather lengthy titled) Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera – introducing fans to the characters that will be driving the plot of the film.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts SC-3 King Joe STORAGE Custom

S.H. Figuarts King Joe STORAGE Custom 01

Release Date: March 2022
RRP: 8580 yen

If there's a sure sign that a series is popular with fans, it's when Bandai Tamashii Nations continue to produce S.H. Figuarts releases for it long after the show itself has run its course. Given the way many of the releases sold out instantly it’s no surprise that the brand is continuing to push forward with Ultraman Z releases, with S.H. Figuarts SC-3 King Joe STORAGE Custom now joining the line as the latest Tamashii web exclusive release. Rebuilt from the remnants of the Alien Barossa's robot, King Joe became the third robot in STORAGE's defence force. The combination of four assault vehicles, this Earth-based King Joe wields a powerful array of Pedanium-powered weaponry.

Monday, 1 August 2022

First Impressions: Fuuto PI

Fuuto PI
Fuuto PI is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

It's almost hard to believe it, but after all these years there's finally an official Kamen Rider anime series. Despite the potential for an animated series based on Shotaro Ishinimori's premier tokusatsu hero as well as the numerous manga release ripe for adaptation there's been over the years, somehow 1993's Kamen Rider SD has remained its only anime offering - until now. Announced alongside Shin Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider Black Sun as part of the franchise's 50th anniversary celebrations, the story of Kamen Rider W now continues in Fuuto PI! Based on the ongoing manga series of the same name (marketed in Japan as Fuuto Tantei), the adaptation is being done by Studio Kai - a relatively new studio whose previous credits include Uma Musume Pretty Derby 2nd Season.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Teeka (Jawa)

Star Wars Black Series Teeka (Jawa) 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $27.99/£33.99

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series hasn't long finished but for once Hasbro are completely on the ball, with plenty of Star Wars Black Series figure announcements that not only coincided with the release of the series, but released shortly afterwards as well. Whilst a lot of the main characters are present and accounted for, there have also been a small number of more obscure characters as well – for example the Target exclusive (or Hasbro Pulse/fan channel exclusive in other parts of the world) Black Series Teeka (Jawa). The shrewd little businessman often traded with the estranged Jedi on Tatooine – even going so far to steal Kenobi's parts so that they could sell them back to him.

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Fennec Shand

Black Series Fennec Shand 01

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

The true success of Star Wars: The Mandalorian can be seen in the number of iconic it's managed to produce in such a short time – with many rivalling (and arguably surpassing) those that appeared in the sequel trilogy films. Among those is none other than mercenary Fennec Shand, played by the legendary Ming-Na Wen. After seemingly meeting her demise in her debut appearance in season one of the show, Fennec returned alongside Boba Fett in the following season – becoming his new right-hand and trusted ally in The Book of Boba Fett. Her quickly established legacy doesn't make Black Series Fennec Shand an obvious addition to the line, but also the perfect way to kickstart a new chapter in Hasbro's six-inch collector line.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana

ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana 01

Release Date: April 2022
RRP: 8500 yen

After years of complaining, campaigning and crying out after every Wonderfest, Good Smile Company have finally heard the Symphogear fandom. Years after the Figma range abruptly stopped with only two releases to its name, the popular franchise returns as part of GSC's ACT MODE line. This relatively new line combines both action figure and model kit elements, presenting buyers with a fully painted action figure and model kit-style accessories. It's a place where the armoured magical girl style designs of Symphogear can feel right at home, and after months of delays it's finally to see it truly arrive with the release of ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana!

Friday, 22 July 2022

Movie REVIEW: Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger

Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger

As if a Super Sentai anniversary series isn't special enough, the versus movie that (usually) follows is an excuse to do something extra special – and the franchise's 40th anniversary is no exception. This year the Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger met predecessors Mashin Sentai Kiramager, and brought a few extra friends along with them. However Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger forgoes the usual "vs Super Sentai" tagline we've seen in the past, instead choosing something a little more unique that fits the whimsical tone of the Zenkaiger universe. The 28th instalment in the VS series, the film was written by Zenkaiger main writer Junko Komura and directed by Kyohei Yamaguchi (whose Super Sentai credits include numerous episodes of both shows).

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Top 5: Most Wanted Power Rangers Lightning Collection Figures

Since it first debuted back in 2019, Hasbro's Lightning Collection toy line has been an excellent way for Power Rangers and Super Sentai fans alike to collect their favourite characters from across the franchises. And although Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts may have made a return this year, there's no way that line will ever be quite as all-encompassing as this. We have rangers, we have villains, we have monsters of the week…we even have oddities like Boom! Studios comic characters including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossovers. But with a franchise quickly approaching its 30th birthday, there's still plenty of ground left to cover. So here are the five things I want to see Hasbro cover most in the Lightning Collection, and this time we're going big. Not just single characters this time around, but teams, villain factions…Hasbro have the resources, so let's see these things happen.