Thursday 4 June 2015

Wishlist: Top 5 Tokusatsu S.H. Figuarts I'd Like to see

As regular readers of this blog will have already figured out by now, I'm a pretty big fan of the S.H. Figuarts toyline. Covering Kamen Rider, Super Sentai as well as a huge number of other tokusatsu, anime and live-action properties, the line has arguably become one of the first things collectors associate with Bandai Tamashii Nations. And that's not surprising, as between both mass release and Tamashii web exclusive the line churns out approximately 3-5 new figures a month (sometimes more). But even with all these new figures every month I, like every other collector, have a short wish list of figures I'd like to see from the line one day. So without further ado here are the top 5 tokusatsu S.H. Figuarts I'd like to see from Tamashii Nations, including both specific characters and entire teams.

Warning: The following post contains gratuitous amounts of Kikaider

Choriki Sentai Ohranger

Once upon a time I'd have said getting these guys was extremely likely, but with the last two Super Sentai Figuarts due out at the end of this month (Vul Panther and Vul Shark) and then absolutely nothing in the pipeline in terms of preorders I've since rethought that statement. There are lots of Super Sentai Figuarts I'd like, but if I had to narrow it down a single team it would most definitely be the Ohrangers. Power Rangers Zeo remains hands down my favourite Power Rangers series and thanks to the wonderful work being done over at Millionfold Curiosity, I can finally experience the troubled Super Sentai version with English subtitles as well. While the whole team would be the best outcome, I could happily live with just getting Oh Red and King Ranger to be honest. But a mass release Red, web exclusive two packs for Green, Blue, Yellow and Pink and then a single web exclusive for King Ranger would be an ideal release pattern. But alas, I shall resign myself to the belief that Super Sentai Figuarts may well and truly be dead at this point and I'll simply have to dream about something that clearly was never meant to be.

Which is a massive shame, because after the Mighty Morphin figures these would have probably been one of the easiest teams to capitalise on in the US. Zeo nostalgia might not quite run as deep, but having most of the original team in it certainly does it plenty of favours.  

B-Fighter Kabuto

But while the Super Sentai franchise has been suffering in terms of Figuarts for a while now, Metal Heroes on the other hand is enjoying a pretty big boom right now. As of the end of May the whole main cast of Juuko Fighter has been released, and together with Megabeast Investigator Juspion join Space Sheriffs Gavan (x2), Sharivan and Shaider. And providing the figures previewed at last year's Tamashii Nations event eventually see the light of, there's still plenty to look forward to as well. But there's one team that's been strangely absent from all of this excitement, and that's B-Fighter Kabuto (perhaps better known to some Westerners as Beetleborgs Metallix). Now that the original B-Fighters are out of the way, this seems like the perfect time to spring some sort of announcement that the second generation of heroes are on the way.

Release pattern? I'd expect a single release for B-Fighter Kabuto (Gold), and then a 2-pack for Kuwagar (Silver) and Tentou (Purple). That's how the original three came out after all.

3) HAKAIDER (Kikaider REBOOT version)
 REBOOT Hakaider

But do you know who's been doing best of all in terms of Figuarts releases at the moment? Kikaider. Seems like I chose the perfect time to get into this franchise in a big way, since Tamashii Nations have released an impressive six figures (including two vehicles) in the line so far, with a further four still to come. Sure five of those figures are all technically the same mould, but hey - if Super Sentai can do it why can't Hakaider?

But for my third choice I'm moving out of the original Kikaider shows and toward the 2014 Kikaider REBOOT movie. Of course this skips over 1995's Mechanical Violator Hakaider, but if I had to choose only one of the films to get represented I'd go with REBOOT (the forthcoming SIC Hakaider has a decent enough resemblance to the Violator version). Assuming that the previously revealed REBOOT Kikaider gets a release, it only makes sense that Hakaider should join him as well. Just look at that beautiful update of the costume - it's just begging to have a figure made out of it! The wonders of the REBOOT figures is that Kamen Rider Gaim fans might be interested in them as well, thanks to the promotional crossover episode in Gaim. While many consider the episode a marketing ploy that briefly took away from Gaim's ever-escalating plot, who can deny the brilliance of Professor Ryouma putting his brain in Hakaider's body?

But alas, this is another entry I'm somewhat skeptical about at the moment. Kikaider REBOOT sadly doesn't seem to be the success Toei hoped it would be (pity, because it's just BEGGING for a sequel) and Kikaider himself doesn't have a window of release yet. He still probably has a better chance of coming out than the Ohrangers though, and that's enough to keep me dreaming!

2) BIJINDER (Kikaider 01)

Continuing on with the Android Kikaider love, and it feels wrong to have Kikaider and Kikaider 01 figures with no Bijinder to fight both against and alongside them. Those unfamiliar with the character are probably thinking she looks utterly dated and ridiculous, but believe me when I say she more than holds her own against the Kikaider brothers. Whether it's the Kikaider 01 tokusatsu series, Kikaider: The Animation or Shotaro Ishinomori's manga, Bijinder is a great character with a real presence in the story. The only problem is that being female, there's always that chance that Tamashii Nations will be more hesitant to release her than other male characters. But when you consider that Kamen Rider Kivala of all people is getting a mass release figure in September and all of the Kikaider figures have been web exclusive, that might be enough to swing things in her favour. And as you can see above, she has her own bike as well! I'll happily take both.

1) WARUDER (Kikaider 01)

At the top of my list is (surprise surprise) another Kikaider character, and along with Bijinder would neatly wrap up the main cast of Kikaider 01. After Gill Hakaider took away most of the original version's more interesting characteristics, Waruder came in and made up for it. As if being a robotic samurai assassin wasn't cool enough, Waruder has absolutely no concept of right and wrong - leading him to make some really questionable decisions as far as both are concerned. He likes children, is afraid of dogs and falls in love with Bjinder (but can't quite understand those feelings). So yeah, a pretty diverse and interesting character all round. As probably my favourite character in Kikaider 01, getting a Waruder would just make my dreams come true. To the point where if Tamashii Nations made both him and Bijinder, I'd be content for them to release whatever the hell they wanted from now on.

Given the way the Kikaider Figuarts are going at the moment I'd like to think that Waruder has a rather good chance of happening in the near future, and being male might also have a slightly better chance than Bijinder (but again, after Kivala anything seems possible). The other thing that works to Waruder's advantage is that the guy could also be easily repurposed from some of Hakaider's parts, making him even more cost-effective for Bandai to produce. And he has a pretty swell bike too.


What figures would you like to see join the S.H. Figuarts toyline? Let me know in the comments section!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm most interested in seeing the rest of Chojin Sentai Jetman released though that's unlikely to happen any time soon. I'd also love to see Kaiketsu Zubat.