Tuesday 29 November 2016

Series REVIEW: Iron King

Iron King

The year is 1972, and with the success of Godzilla and Ultraman tokusatsu superhero series have truly landed in Japan. With the Ultra Series entering its fifth instalment (Ultraman Ace) and Toei making groundwork with the original Kamen Rider, Kikaider and more it seems everyone wants a taste of this success. One of the lesser known shows from this era is Iron King, a 26-episode series created Ultraman/Ultra Seven writer Mamoru Sasaki. Airing from October 1972 to April 1973, the series never quite took off in the same way as its rivals but remains an interesting piece of tokusatsu history.

Sunday 27 November 2016

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker

With the S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchu Seihou line roughly following the same release pattern as the main S.H. Figuarts line did during its early beginnings it has become fairly easy to predict what Bandai Tamashii Nations are going to do next. Since the release of Kabuto, Kuuga and Agito matched things perfectly (with a healthy dose of Hibiki sprinkled in for good measure), as far as main Kamen Riders go the next destination seemed imminent – Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker. The lines taken a few diversions with various Kuuga forms and Gatack, but it didn’t stray too far off course and the star of Kamen Rider W finally arrived in October 2016.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Zelda (The Wind Waker Ver.)

When Good Smile Company dived into the wonderful world of Nintendo it’s fair to say that the Legend of Zelda was one of their biggest offerings – for proof look no further than the amount of re-releases Skyward Sword Link has had since his original release in 2013. Since then GSC and Max Factory have covered a number of Zelda games through the Nendoroid and Figma lines including Wind Waker, A Link Between Worlds, Majora’s Mask and (due for release next year) Twilight Princess. However as varied as this range may be, there was one significant problem – all the figures were of Link. However that’s finally no longer the case, as the Wind Waker version of Princess Zelda herself finally joins the Nendoroid line!

Monday 21 November 2016

Series REVIEW: Power Rangers Dino Charge

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Saban’s new era of Power Rangers hasn’t gotten off to the best start when it comes to appeasing long time fans of the franchise. Power Rangers Samurai’s “follow the Sentai footage as closely as possible” approach was met with criticism, and the less said about Power Rangers Megaforce/Super Megaforce’s attempt at a 20th anniversary celebration the better. However things immediately looked up when Power Rangers Dino Charge (rebranded Power Rangers Dino Supercharge for its second season) was announced, with veteran writer Judd “Chip” Lynn (head writer for Turbo through to Time Force, as well as a writer and executive producer for Jungle Fury and RPM respectively) at the helm. Dino Charge also marks the first time a Super Sentai series has been completely skipped over, with Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters passed up in favour of its successor Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. After all, if there’s anything that’s bound to be a sure hit with Power Rangers its dinosaurs.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Zetton

The Ultra Series/Ultraman's sudden move from the Ultra-Act range to the S.H. Figuarts line is something that has caused a bit of a divide among collectors. And with fair reason too - to collect a line for over half a decade and then have it redone in a completely different scale is a bit of a slap in the face. But one thing that move has done that benefits both newcomers and longtime Ultra-Act collectors is that its presented to opportunity to focus more on the numerous kaiju that make up the Ultra universe. First came Alien Baltan, and now he's joined by perhaps the greatest of Ultraman's foes in the original series - Zetton. The ultimate weapon of the Alien Zetton, this giant monster not only defeated Ultraman but also went on to face off against future Ultra Heroes as well - most recently playing a key part in Ultraman Orb.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Gatack Rider Form

With every release that comes out of the line proving to be the cream of the crop S.H. Figuarts has to offer, it's no wonder that new Shinkocchou Seihou releases are always the subject of much attention. Initially the line started out with all-new versions of the oldest main Kamen Rider Figuarts done up with sculpts far more accurate to the actual suits, but as it's begun to branch out it's also begun to tackle alternate forms and secondary Riders too. The catch? More releases means some are inevitably going to be Tamashii web exclusives too. The first of these was Kamen Rider Kuuga Ultimate Form, quickly followed up by the first secondary Rider to join the line - Kamen Rider Gatack Rider Form. Unsurprisingly both Kuuga Ultimate and Gatack proved to be in high demand, prompting both figures to receive second runs in order to fulfil preorders. Gatack was initially released in September 2016, with the second shipment happening the following month in October.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider 1 [2016]

The 45th anniversary of Kamen Rider was one Super Hero Year’s biggest milestones, and in celebration Toei produced Kamen Rider 1 – a film that saw Hiroshi Fujioka reprise his role as Takeshi Hongo and team up with the cast of Kamen Rider Ghost against the new threat of Nova Shocker. The film introduced a redesigned suit for the original Rider, presumably having made improvements to himself over his years of fighting. Of course new design meant that an S.H. Figuarts version couldn’t be too far behind, with the 2016 Kamen Rider 1 joining the line as a mass release figure in October.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Toybox Review: S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta [2016]

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Dragon Ball Z collectors selling off their S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta –Premium Color Edition- figures after Bandai Tamashii Nations almost immediately followed its release up with the announcement of a newly improved mould. Unlike the five Vegeta figures that have preceded it, this S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta isn’t an exclusive release and marks the first time the character has been a mass release figure – despite being the secondary lead in the franchise by this point. Using the same new-style body as the recent Super Saiyan Trunks figure, this Vegeta is supposedly based on the ascended version from the Cell Saga but ultimately works as him from any point in the show’s timeline.

Monday 7 November 2016

Custom Figure: Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Dalek Drone

If there’s one thing I regret as a Doctor Who figure collector it’s not grabbing duplicates of the Dalek Collectors’ Sets while they were going cheap. There are a huge variety of variants (ranging from the obscure to the really obscure) left untouched by Character Options, and these days finding the exact versions needed for parts swaps can be a difficult task. However thanks to Forbidden Planet selling The Chase set at a huge discount, I now have three new figures to work with. The first is a pretty simple custom, but one that’s been missing from my collection for the longest time – a movie-style Dalek from the Peter Cushing films produced in the 1960s. More specifically, a drone type Dalek from the second of these films, Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Favourites from Tamashii Nations 2016

Last weekend Bandai Tamashii Nations held their annual Tamashii Nations event, and as usual it was packed full of new items from the likes of S.H. Figuarts, S.H. MonsterArts, S.I.C., Super Robot Chogokin, Soul of Chogokin, Hi-Metal R and more. As usual a lot of these items will probably never see release (I’m personally still waiting on the Kikaider REBOOT Figuart from 2014) but it’s always fun to speculate what could be coming soon. Here are my five personal highlights from the event, based on the items which were available for photography and not on display for attendees only.

And as usual, there was absolutely no sign of Kamen Rider Kiva at the event. Because why break tradition?