Sunday 30 November 2014

Top 5 Picks from Tamashii Nations 2014

Bandai Tamashii Nations 2014

Around a month ago Bandai held their annual Tamashii Nations event in Japan. This is where they showcase a huge variety of figures from their various Tamashii Nations lines (S.H. Figuarts, Robot Damashii, S.I.C. and more), along with revealing ones that are due for release next year and beyond. As per usual the 2014 event unveiled an incredible amount of figures, not just from tokusatsu shows like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, but a whole host of new series and licenses. These included Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dragonball GT, Ranma 1/2 and even Disney's Frozen.

So what I've decided to do is put together a short list of my top five things from the event, which was a lot harder than I expected given that I want almost all the things that were on show. Honourable mentions include the likes of S.H. Figuarts Kikaider REBOOT, S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan 4 Goku and Kamen Rider Drive, but read on to find out which releases beat these to the top spots...


Robot Damashii Rising Gundam

It seems that 2014 has been the year Tamashii Nations really do care about Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Despite S.H. Figuarts Domon Kasshu being one of the first figures in the line, Master Asia, Rain Mikamura and Allenby Beardsley have all sat in the corner of unreleased prototypes for YEARS now. However whether its thanks to Gundam's 35th anniversary, G Gundam's 20th anniversary or something else, Bandai are breathing new life into the series. The Robot Damashii God Gundam was released a little while ago, and following on from that are the Master Gundam and Shining Gundam. Even Master Asia is finally getting his Figuart released in January, with a casual clothes Domon Kasshu also spotted at the event.

But this is the G Gundam reveal I'm most excited for, so much that it manages to be the only non-Figuarts reveal on my list. The Rising Gundam is one of my favourite suits from G Gundam, but it's lack of an updated HG 1/144 model kit has been a constant bother. Getting a highly poseable Robot Damashii toy is definitely the next best thing, and enough to make me take another dive into this line. The few Robot Damashii figures that I own are wonderful, so I have every bit of faith that this one is going to be great too.

(Plus we may end up getting that Rain Figuart out of it too! After all Master Asia's release is carefully timed alongside the Master Gundam's)


SH Figuarts Gorangers

SH Figuarts AorangerSH Figuarts Kiranger

SH Figuarts MomorangerSH Figuarts Midoranger

Super Sentai doesn't seem to have much luck when it comes to Figuarts releases. No matter how great the figure is, they all seemed to be doomed to clearance sales or on the aftermarket for a fraction of their original price (in the case of mass release figures anyway, web exclusives are far more varied). With fans still awaiting the remaining two Boukengers and wondering if we'll ever see the remaining Jetman, Dairanger or even Go-Buster members, there's been a lot of speculation that this is it for the line. Especially since it's now the end of November and there still isn't a Figuarts ToQ #1 in sight.

However it isn't quite it for Super Sentai Figuarts just yet, as Goranger's Akaranger saw release a few months back and Sun Vulcan's Vul Eagle will be following in December. And as two of the most popular Showa era Sentai series, it should come as no surprise that the rest of the team will be following for both. Vul Panther and Vul Shark look great, but not being the biggest fan of Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan it's still up in the air whether I plan to get them. Goranger on the other hand I'm all over - as the very first Sentai team, these guys are a must own. I can't wait to have them all stand alongside Riders 1 and 2, Kikaider and any other original Ishinomori heroes the line pumps out in the future.

3. The return of GARO S.H. FIGUARTS

Tamashii Nations Garo Display

SH Figuarts Garo Ryuga VersionSH Figuarts Garo Leon Version

The Garo franchise has quickly become a firm favourite of mine, and with it beginning to churn out more and more shows each year it's become increasingly disappointing that the majority of figures from it have been kept to one expensive and web exclusive line. Don't get me wrong the Makai Kadou figures usually look fantastic, but their larger scale and higher price point just isn't for me. The original Garo and Zero Figuarts were good figures (or in Zero's case, pretty damn great), so I've longed for the franchise to make a return to this line.

And then suddenly out of nowhere we got all of this! Garo will indeed be making a return to the S.H. Figuarts line at some point in the future, with a total of THREE new releases on show at the event. While this first is simply a shiny chrome re-release of the original, the other two are considerably more interesting. Garo in both Ryuga (from The One Who Shines in the Darkness) and Leon (from the anime series) flavours, which one can only hope will be arriving sometime next year to coincide with the second season of the anime and forthcoming Gold Storm movie/series. Here's hoping that Garo is back here for good.


SH Figuarts G-StagSH Figuarts Reddle

Ever since I fell headfirst into the world of S.H. Figuarts I've repeatedly asked for figures from one series - Juuko B-Fighter. Ever since I was a child watching Big Bad Beetleborgs I've adored those designs, and getting high quality figures of them would be a dream come true. Earlier in the year Tamashii Nations revealed that Blue Beet and Black Beet would indeed be getting the Figuarts treatment (Blue in Jan and Black in March, both as web exclusives), with the latter's announcement teasing the other two members of the team. But this event was where they were revealed in all of their glory, along with a whole host of other heroes from the Metal Heroes franchise. As far as tokusatsu figures goes, it really did feel like the event belonged to the Metal Heroes.

So as far as these guys go, its time to strike them off the "most wanted" list and put them down in the "most anticipated" one. I can really see these being followed up by the suits from B-Fighter Kabuto, which admittedly I'm not as big a fan of but will definitely grab if and when Bandai put them out.


Tamashii Nations 2014 Kamen Rider Gaim Display

SH Figuarts Overlord BaronSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Marika

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider SigurdSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Knuckle

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryugen Yomotsu Heguri ArmsSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Jam

It feels like a bit of a bit of cheat to include so many figures in my top slot, but despite the sheer amount of brand new figures Tamashii Nations unveiled at their event I don't think anything quite topped their Kamen Rider Gaim display. If the creative fruit-themed display stand wasn't enough, Bandai went and revealed practically EVERY remaining Rider/suit from the series. Even Shin Kurokage was there and he got about five minutes of screen time! I believe the only things that are missing now are Fifteen (disappointing and bit surprising, but not a huge loss), Dark Jimber Arms (which is pretty throwaway), all of the Rider Arms (disappointing but somewhat understandable) and Fresh Orange Arms (which was from a Hyper Battle DVD, so was probably never going to happen).

Honestly, getting at least Sigurd, Marika, Gaim Ichigo Arms and Ryugen Kiwi Arms felt like a given, but I honestly wasn't quite prepared at how extensive Tamashii Nations were willing to go with this show. Probably the biggest highlight for me is Overlord Baron, but I can quite honestly say I'll be picking up pretty much all of these guys. No interest in Pine/Mango/Ichigo/Kiwi Arms and I'm still torn on the Suika Arms (that's gonna depend on price) but the rest are as good as mine. I can't wait for those preorders to go up.

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Ichigo ArmsSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryugen Kiwi Arms

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider MarsSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Kamuro

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Gaim Suika ArmsSH Figuarts Kamen Rider Baron Suika Arms

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Shin Kurokage

What were your top picks of Tamashii Nations 2014? Disappointed not to see something? Please share in the comments below!

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