Thursday 30 January 2014

Strax, and the fall of Sontar?

The First Sontarans

It's been a while since I did a little rant/opinion piece for the blog that wasn't a review, so I think another one is long overdue. And naturally once again its going to be Doctor Who related, though this time there won't be any Daleks involved (at least, there shouldn't be unless I end up rambling). The subject of this rant is the Sontarans, the militaristic clone race and arguably currently the most popular classic Doctor Who monster now after the Daleks and Cybermen. Well, in terms of onscreen appearances they certainly come third...

Inspired by a recent listen of Big Finish's "Lost Stories" audio The First Sontarans (which I urge everyone to check out, along with Big Finish's entire Who range in general), I've recently been thinking about the Sontarans' place in Doctor Who and whether their recent onscreen appearances have taken away the edge of what should otherwise be a pretty fearsome monster.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Third Doctor with Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek

The third Doctor and Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek

Character Options continues its journey through the history of Doctor Who's most famous monster with another Toys R Us exclusive Doctor/Dalek 5" figure 2-pack. To cover third Doctor Jon Pertwee's tenure we take a trip back to 1973 for one of my first experiences with the show, and thus a personal favourite - the six-part adventure Planet of the Daleks. Here we have the Doctor in the costume he appears in for the story, alongside the Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek seen at the very end of episode one.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Black Condor

SH Figuarts Black Condor close up

With the S.H. Figuarts line maintaining a constant schedule of a handful of figures every month (both mass release and web exclusive), it's nearly impossible to keep on top of them without a sizeable wallet. As such my latest acquisition was actually released a few years ago, and is only now entering my collection as I try to fill the various Super Sentai shaped gaps. Black Condor is the second of the Chōjin Sentai Jetman to be released in the line, with the rest of the team still sadly absent despite making a brief appearance at the beginning of Akibaranger Season Tsuu. Still, if there was any one Jetman you'd want releasing, it's Gai Yuki...

Saturday 18 January 2014

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Blade

Kamen Rider Blade Title Card

With my tokusatsu viewing habits now seemingly influenced by whatever Figuart is due out next, my latest Kamen Rider watch is one whose figure caused quite the storm both in Japan and with fans across the globe. Kamen Rider Blade is the fifth entry into Kamen Rider's Heisei era, and the 14th show in the franchise overall. It ran for 49 episodes between 2004 and 2005, along with a theatrical film titled Missing Ace, which served as an alternate ending to the series itself.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: RIO:Bone Buster Machine No. 7

Nono's headshot

Sentinel certainly aren't a company as well known as the likes of Bandai, Max Factory/Good Smile Company or Kaiyodo, but they've certainly been causing quite a buzz with the lines they've been producing over the last year or so. Their RIOBOT and RIO:Bone lines have already had a stab at some Gainax properties with Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt figures, but their latest release in the RIO:Bone line covers both the humanoid and the robotic. After a long delay of wondering whether she'd ever see the light of day, Buster Machine No.7 aka Nono from Aim for the Top 2 (or Diebuster if you'd prefer) is finally here!

Friday 10 January 2014

Series REVIEW: Shougeki Gouraigan

Shougeki Gouraigan does Super Sentai

Every so often its nice to write about a modern tokusatsu production that isn't Super Sentai or Kamen Rider. With Garo creator Keita Amemiya taking a back seat for the franchise's latest installment, what has the prolific director/character designer been up to? Well, he's teamed up with equally well-known (but perhaps not as well regarded these days) writer Toshiki Inoue (who has contributed to numerous Sentai and Rider shows) to create Shougeki Gouraigan - a brand new show which was described as a "love comedy battle hero" show. Sounds interesting right?

Thursday 9 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Petite Macross Heroines

All 7 Macross "Heroines" together

I love the Macross franchise to death, but why does most of the merchandise for it have to be so darn expensive? Between high-end transforming Valkyries from Bandai/Yamato/Arcadia and statues from various places, getting a decent collection together can be a tough thing to do unless you have some serious money to back it up with. While Revoltech produced some affordable Valks (even going as far as to attempt transforming ones), the Macross girls were still relatively untouched save for a few statues/figurines. Enter Good Smile Company towards the end of last year, following up their full-sized Nendoroid Ranka and Sheryl with a complete range of Nendoroid Petite Macross Heroines!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

First Impressions: Robot Girls Z

Robot Girls Z

The Mazinger Z franchise has rather quiet since Mazinkaiser SKL back in 2010 hasn't it? Well fear not because Toei Animation has decided to breath new life into the original super robot, along with brothers and predecessors Great Mazinger and Grendizer with a brand new reboot - though not quite the one you might think. Robot Girls Z is a brand new edition of the Toei Robot Girls, reimagining the super robot trio as magical girls in this selection of ten-minute shorts that will be released periodically throughout the Winter 2014 anime season.

Sunday 5 January 2014

First Impressions: Space Dandy

Space Dandy - He's a dandy in space

There's been a lot of hype surrounding Space Dandy. Not only is the brand new show from both Bones (the studio behind Eureka Seven, Fullmetal Alchemist and more) and Shinichirō Watanabe (director of Cowboy Bebop, amongst others), it's also storming new ground by being simultaneously released in Japan and dubbed in the US on Adult Swim's Toonami block. It's not the first show to have ever received a dub the same time as its Japanese airing, but this sort of creative talent behind it its certainly the one to get the most attention. But all this effort isn't going to go very far if the show falls flat on its face on the first hurdle, so was the first episode any good?

Thursday 2 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Megaforce Vrak

A close up for the 4" Vrak figure

I'd like to first begin this review with a happy new year to all of my readers. Thank you for taking a look at the blog last year, and I hope that you'll continue to do so throughout 2014 as I continue to badly write my way through reviews of the toys and shows that interest me. With that out of the way, we begin a new year of reviews with a figure that's been out for a good while now across the globe, but also one that I hadn't seen in person until a lucky trip to Asda over the weekend. With both Vrak and his Japanese counterpart Buredoran being my favourite character in Power Rangers Megaforce and Tensou Sentai Goseiger, there was no way I could go without picking up this 4" figure from Megaforce's main figure line.