Monday 24 August 2015

Movie REVIEW: Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3

Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3

Back in 2009 when Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker was released a giant Kamen Rider crossover was a pretty big deal. The film itself wasn’t the best, but it was the largest gathering of the franchise’s heroes yet and that certainly held its weight in spectacle. But since then these crossovers have become commonplace, even briefly roping in the Super Sentai and Metal Heroes franchises for Super Hero Taisen and Super Hero Taisen Z. A few of these offerings have still managed to hold their own in terms of spectacle, but more often than not these films have suffered greatly from the law of diminishing returns. After last year’s Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai, Toei are continuing on the Kamen Rider focus with Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3. The draw this time however is perhaps not the mass assembling of Riders, but the first onscreen appearance of a lost piece of Kamen Rider history.

Friday 21 August 2015

Toybox REVIEW: Ultra-Act x S.H. Figuarts Ultraman

The Ultra Series hasn't just been enjoying a revival onscreen in the last few years with Ultraman Ginga and now Ultraman X - it's also been making quite a name for itself in the world of manga too. Written by Eiichi Shimuzu and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimohguchi (a pair who've also revealed they will be tackling a manga remake of Shotaro Ishinomori's Robot Detective series), the 2011 (and still ongoing) Ultraman manga acts as a direct sequel to the original 1966 series - moving things several years into the future with a brand new Ultra hero. Published in Japan in Monthy Hero's magazine and now in English courtesy of Viz Media, this new kind of Ultraman has also sparked a surprise collaboration in Bandai Tamashii Nations toy lines. While Ultraman figures are separated into their own specific line, this figure marks the first collaboration between the S.H. Figuarts and Ultra-Act toy lines. Pretty special right? Read on to find out how just much of a match made in heaven Ultra-Act x S.H. Figuarts Ultraman is!

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Movie REVIEW: Ressha Sentai ToQger Returns: Super ToQ #7 of Dreams

Ressha Sentai ToQger Returns

With most Super Sentai series ending on pretty conclusive notes, epilogue stories such as the annual V-cinema releases can often be pretty hit or miss. But while in previous years these may have felt like fun but often unneeded novelties, Toei’s recent offerings have really turned them into events of their own. First there was the parallel world craziness of Gobusters vs. Gobusters, and then Kyoryuger flung fans into the far future with a (somewhat) new team in 100 Years Later. Now it’s the turn of Ressha Sentai ToQger, who are doing perhaps a little bit of both. It’s not quite as far in the future, but it does mark the debut of a brand new team member! If you’re a fan of the colour purple or have been hoping for a complete ToQger rainbow, then Super ToQ #7 of Dreams is definitely something you might want to look into…

Sunday 16 August 2015

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Hulk

When Bandai Tamashii Nations announced that they would be doing Avengers: Age of Ultron figures as part of the S.H. Figuarts line it was pretty exciting, but I think it's fair to say that the most exciting element of all (at least until the reveal of a Hulkbuster figure anyway) was the Hulk. The Avengers had previously had a brief foray into poseable Japanese figures as part of the Figma line in 2014, but the fact their Hulk seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth after the other three core members were released was rather disappointing to say the least. However Bandai here plan to make no such mistake, winning fans over by guaranteeing Hulk as one of the earliest releases from their Age of Ultron range. Now that the Figuart is out, it seems Figma are gearing up to finally release their version of the character based on the first Avengers film. Nice try Max Factory but you're a little too late to the party - this is Figuarts town now.

Friday 14 August 2015

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Captain America

Considering that they've be pumping out Iron Man figures since 2013 it's surprising that it's taken Bandai Tamashii Nations so long to hit up The Avengers in the S.H. Figuarts line. Last year often-too-close-for-comfort rivals Figma hit up their own versions from the first big Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover, but the lack of Hulk is surely something that's left many fans sour. Now Bandai are ready to give their go at it, basing their figures on the team's appearance in the recent Age of Ultron movie. First up to the bat is Captain America, who was released alongside the Hulk at the end of July. Iron Man's mark 45 armour will follow in August (the Mk 43 being previously released in April), and then Thor rounding things off in September.  

Sunday 9 August 2015

Toybox REVIEW: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Minipla Bison King

With the introduction of the sixth team member getting a bit earlier since Zyuden Sentai Kyoruger, it's naturally also meant that the toys have followed suit. In fact Shuriken Sentai Ninninger marks the first time in recent years that a sixth ranger mecha has actually been the second release in the candy toy/minipla line rather than the third. Of course is more likely due to there only be two auxiliary Otomo Nin at the time and the third joining later, but the point still stands nonetheless. Bison King is the personal mecha of the selfie-taking American youkai hunter Star Ninger, and is comprised of his two Otomo Nin partners Rodeomaru and the Bison Buggy. So grab your cowboy hat and cheeseburger transformation device, because this is going to be one glorious American stereotype. Yeehaw!

Truthfully this was a review I should have made three months ago (yet another Ninninger minipla set has come out since Bison King's release), but thanks to a busy schedule and a general lack of interest in Ninninger (I won't go into too much detail here, but I can't say I've been particularly enjoying it) I've only recently got around to building this kit. And for that I can only apologise.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts White Crow

You can usually tell when Bandai Tamashii Nations want to cover a series properly in the S.H. Figuarts line by how quickly they manage to churn figures out. Although admittedly featuring a rather small cast, the Kikaider franchise definitely falls under that category. They may have all been exclusives and feature a multitude of repaints/remoulds, but you can’t argue with the fact that in just a year the line is only two figures away from providing fans (of the live action series anyway) with EVERYONE suitable for entry. This has also extended to the vehicles, with Hakaider’s White Crow motorcycle following shortly on from the release of Kikaider’s Side Machine. This release of this bike in February also marks the final release from the original Android Kikaider series, but the line turned its attention toward sequel series Kikaider 01.