Tuesday 31 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Zero Suit Samus

The Nintendo range of Figma are arguably some of the most popular figures Max Factory and Good Smile Company have put out in recent years, and all of that began way back in 2013 with the original Metroid: Other M Samus Aran Figma. Not long after her release plans for a Figma Zero Suit Samus were unveiled, but it wasn’t until the very end of 2016 that these plans came to fruition. Now Metroid fans can jump for joy as a toy line shows more love towards the franchise than Nintendo currently are, as this second version of Metroid’s legendary heroine joins Figma’s growing collection of Nintendo characters.

Sunday 29 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: LEGO Batman Movie Minifigure Series

As was probably the case with many collectors reading this, my first real introduction into the world of toy buying and more importantly collecting was with LEGO. From age seven to about 14 I was truly LEGO obsessed, and counted the UFO, Aquanauts, Insectoids and original Bionicle ranges among my favourites. While my LEGO buying has slowed down with age, the love for the brand never left. However the sheer variety of LEGO on offer these days - from the various movie and comic licenses to the LEGO Ideas sets and the wonderful LEGO Movie, have really ignited that dormant flame. With The LEGO Batman Movie's release imminent, it was finally time to jump back on the LEGO wagon. The various sets from the movie are also accompanied by a new wave of blind-bagged minifigures, with a total of 20 different figures (including villains scoured from the history of DC Comics) on offer.

Thursday 26 January 2017

More London Toy Fair 2017: Power Rangers at the Underground Toys Booth

With the 2017 Power Rangers movie close in sight and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers nostalgia at it's highest, it isn't just Bandai UK currently getting in on the ranger revival. While attending London Toy Fair 2017 I had the chance to drop by the Underground Toys booth, the official partner and distributor of Funko's range of collectables in Europe (including the unstoppable juggernaut that is Pop! Vinyls), recently acquired by the US company. Among the seemingly never ending range of licenses they seem to be gathering (the newest ranges included Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Stranger Things and the live-action Beauty & the Beast) was of course Power Rangers. Read on for a full run-down what was on show.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Bandai UK at London Toy Fair 2017

Tuesday 24th - Thursday 26th January marks the annual UK Toy Fair in London and for the first time My Shiny Toy Robots was in attendance! With Power Rangers marketing in full-swing with both the forthcoming movie and Power Rangers Ninja Steel Bandai UK's booth was the place to be, and although it featured a strict "no photos" policy here's a full run-down of everything Bandai had to show.

Sunday 22 January 2017

First Impressions: Power Rangers Ninja Steel

With the two years of Power Rangers Dino Charge having finally come to an end, 2017 marks the arrival of a new Power Rangers team - and thanks to the incoming movie eyes are going to be on the franchise more than ever. Adapted from the 39th Super Sentai series Shuriken Sentai Ninninger (skipping over previous series Ressha Sentai ToQger), Power Rangers Ninja Steel is the 24th entry in the Power Rangers franchise, which means that its second half will also act as the 25th anniversary series as well. Judd 'Chip' Lynn returns once again to handle writing duties, with the cast notably including Peter Sudarso - the brother of Yoshi Sudarso/Koda in Dino Charge, as the new blue ranger.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Power Rangers 2017 Movie First Trailer Impressions

Power Rangers Movie 2017

Anyone who's ever spend five minutes on a message board or forum knows that even the littlest disagreement can seemingly tear a fandom apart, but the wait for the 2017 Power Rangers movie trailer took things to a new level. Following a brief teaser trailer way back in October, reveals seemed to only come in via leaks and toy reveals - leading fans to question Lionsgate's marketing strategy when it came to the film or whether they had faith in the movie at all. Fast forward to 19th January 2017 and many of these fears should have hopefully been put to rest, as the first full trailer for the film arrived and left quite the impression.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Metamoroid Luluco

Given the amount of Nendoroids and Figma released on a monthly basis it’s easy to forget that Good Smile Company actually produce other toy lines other than scale statues. But while releases may be scarce, they rarely fail to be interesting. One of these lines goes by the name of Metamoroid, specialising in small transforming anime figures. The line began with Rin/Wooser from the series Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life as its first and only release, however the end of 2016 saw a follow up in the form of Metamoroid Luluco – the titular character from the Trigger comedy series Space Patrol Luluco. Having previously released a standard school uniform Luluco as part of the Nendoroid line, here GSC mixes things up with a space police uniform figure complete with the ability to transform (much to Luluco’s behest) into “Judgement Gun” mode.

Monday 16 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Alpha

Even since the original Kamen Rider series way back in 1971, all of the most memorable Rider dynamics are done in pairs. Whether it’s through teamwork, rivalries or even a two-in-one hero like Kamen Rider Double, these dynamics are where the show truly shines. The Amazon Prime-exclusive Kamen Rider Amazons introduced a new pair into the mix, as Kamen Rider Amazon Omega met his match in the form of Kamen Rider Amazon Alpha – a former researcher at Nozama Pharmacy named Jin Takayama who has vowed to exterminate every single Amazon they've created. Since you can’t have one without the other, it didn’t take long for Bandai Tamashii Nations to follow up their Omega figure with S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Alpha – the final mass release Kamen Rider Figuart of 2016.

Thursday 12 January 2017

Toybox Review: DC Collectibles The New Batman Adventures Mr Freeze

In some respects DC Collectibles’ range of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures figures are the Batman toys fans have always dreamed of. Articulated and accessory-laden cartoon-accurate depictions of one of the most renowned pieces of Batman media – what’s not to love? However at the same time this line has proved to be an absolute nightmare, with multiple figures subject to delays, quality control problems or both. But thanks to the draw of these characters, fans keep coming back for more. Here we look at one of the earliest releases in the line – fan-favourite Mr Freeze, as he appeared in The New Batman Adventures episode “Cold Comfort”.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

First Impressions: Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia

When Studio Trigger first burst onto the scene in 2013 they quickly made a name for themselves beyond their impressive team of Gainax veterans. After garnering plenty of attention with their first full-length feature Little Witch Academia (released as part of the Young Animator Training Project for Anime Mirai 2013), it’s 2015 follow-up The Enchanted Parade met it’s Kickstarter goal in a mere five hours. Two years later again and the world of Little Witch Academia is back once again, this time in the form of a full-length series. Creator/director Yoh Yoshinari and writer Michiru Simada are continuing to man the helm, with the show licensed by Netflix and due for streaming alongside the movies in the near future.

Monday 9 January 2017

First Impressions: Zero: Dragon Blood

Zero: Dragon Blood

Despite last year marking its 10th anniversary, 2016 wasn’t an especially great year for the GARO franchise. The year kicked off with the second half to the woeful Garo: The Crimson Moon anime, and while Garo: Makai Retsuden brought back a wide range of characters (including Kouga himself) the series largely consisted of forgettable side stories with minimal action. However with plenty more confirmed GARO projects still to come, 2017 may prove to be much better. First up for the franchise is Zero: Dragon Blood, a second spin-off starring Rei Suzumura aka Zero the Silver Fanged Knight. Zero previously appeared in the original Garo, Makai Senki and Makai no Hana, as well as his own mini-series Black Blood in 2014.

Sunday 8 January 2017

First Impressions: Fuuka


A brand new year means the start of a brand new anime season, and with few definite shows to pick up this time around I decided to play chance for once. One show I noticed was getting a lot of interest beforehand was Fuuka, a music-themed romance series animated by Diomedéa (Squid Girl, KanColle) based on a manga by Kouji Seo. Not only has the show also been picked up for simulcast on Crunchyroll, but it's also receiving a simuldub courtesy of Funimation. It even sees singer and Macross Frontier voice artist Megumi Nakajima return to perform the end theme! As a sucker for music anime and highschool romances, it seemed like a pretty safe bet to catch my interest.

Friday 6 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Omega

With 2016 being dubbed “Super Hero Year” by Toei it brought along a fair few surprises, and perhaps the biggest of them all was Kamen Rider Amazons. The Amazon Prime exclusive reimagining of 1974’s Kamen Rider Amazon proved to be a huge hit, succeeding where every other gritty adult version of Kamen Rider has failed. The number of Rider projects that year also meant Kamen Rider Ghost was forced to share its release window when it came to S.H. Figuarts, with all-important retail release spots going to both the Amazons cast and the new version of Kamen Rider 1. First to be released by Bandai Tamashii Nations was Kamen Rider Amazon Omega, the third-generation cultivation type Amazon alter-ego of Haruka Mizusawa.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Series REVIEW: Ultraman Orb

Ultraman Orb

2016 inexplicably marked big anniversaries for all of Japan’s still-airing tokusatsu hero franchises, but undoubtedly the most monumental of all was Ultraman’s. Last year the silver giant of light turned 50 years old, and with the franchise having gained new footing in the past few years Tsuburaya Productions did plenty to celebrate. Ultraman X kicked things off in 2015, leading into a movie which also featured appearances from both the original Ultraman and Ultraman Tiga. However the main event was Ultraman Orb – a brand new anniversary series which once again saw worldwide distribution via Crunchyroll simulcasting. Although this main series only ran for a total of 25 episodes, it’s been immediately followed up with an Amazon Prime-exclusive prequel series as well as a movie due for release later in the year.

Monday 2 January 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Garo Raikou Ver.

2016 was the year that GARO made a huge comeback in the world of S.H. Figuarts, with a total of four brand new figures (one of which is a repaint, and five if you include the Seimei FiguartsZERO) released after years of inactivity in favour of the more intricate Makai Kado line. After tackling the Ryuga armour from Yami Wo Terasu Mono/The One Who Shines in the Darkness, Bandai Tamashii Nations then moved on to the GARO anime projects with Leon's initial armour from GARO: The Animation (aka The Carved Seal of Flames). Rounding off the year was Raikou's own unique armour from the second anime series GARO: The Crimson Moon, which saw the traditional golden knight reimagined into ornate samurai armour to fit the show's Heian setting. S.H. Figuarts Garo Raikou Ver. was a Tamashii web exclusive, originally released in November 2016.