Friday 25 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger

Space Squad: Gavan vs Dekaranger

Crossovers can be a strange thing. Sometimes they can pair up the most unexpected of things (take the recent DC Comics/Looney Tunes crossover for example) and others are such perfect match ups that you can’t believe they didn’t happen sooner. The pairing of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger and Space Sheriff Gavan definitely counts as the latter. After the roaring success of their 10 Years After special, the space-cop Super Sentai team are back once again and teaming up with the new Gavan, Geki Jumonji – who took on the mantle in the 2012 Gavan movie and subsequently appeared in Super Hero Taisen Z as well as the Next Generation Sharivan and Shaider movies. Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger isn’t just a match made in heaven, it’s one with its sights set on the wider Sentai and Metal Heroes universes as well.

Thursday 24 August 2017

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

Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 6696 yen

The second season of Kamen Rider Amazons may have come and gone, but the S.H. Figuarts line still has a few characters from the first season up its sleeve before kicking off season two with Kamen Rider Amazon Neo in October. The first of these two Tamashii web exclusive releases is S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Sigma, which will be followed by Mamoru/Mole Amazon also in October. Amazon Sigma is the resurrected Peston Service member Jun Maehara, his corpse reanimated with Amazon Cells to become Nozama’s ultimate Amazon killing machine.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero

Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero

While Toei tokusatsu hero crossovers have become fairly commonplace these days thanks to the annual Super Hero Taisen movies, every so often one rolls around that promises something really special. The Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger  and Space Sheriff Gavan crossover Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events in sometime – bringing together these space-faring heroes in a crossover that not only sounds good on paper but also makes perfect sense continuity-wise as well. But before we get onto the main action there’s also Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero – a prologue V-cinema release starring Jasmine/Deka Yellow and Umeko/Deka Pink as well as the new Space Sheriff assistants Shelly, Sisi and Tammy.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Gomora

Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 8964 yen

It’s only been a year, but already the Ultraman S.H. Figuarts line has spawned a nice variety of monsters and aliens to go along with the iconic silver giants. However while these releases may have been varied they still all have one thing in common – they’re all humanoid designs that wouldn’t look that out of place in the usual Figuarts packaging. That all changes with the release of S.H. Figuarts Gomora – the first "kaiju-esque" creature to appear in the line. As mass release figure, this is the fourth monster to be released from the original Ultraman series – with Alien Dada still set to follow this November. Originally appearing in the two-part story The Prince of Monsters, Gomora was the first kaiju to battle Ultraman to a draw and has since gone on to become more than just an opponent – acting as both friend and ally in later instalments of the franchise.

Monday 21 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Vegeta [2017]

Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5616 yen

With Dragon Ball Super now over 100 episodes in, it’s fair to say that the Dragon Ball franchise is back in a big way. The same goes for its S.H. Figuarts line too, which has crawled back from the odd web exclusive every so often to a string of regular releases that are both retail and exclusive. August will see the long awaited release of S.H. Figuarts Nappa, with Tienshinhan and Yamcha figures to follow the end of the year. With so many Saiyan Saga-era figures coming, it seems only fitting that there’s also a brand new S.H. Figuarts Vegeta based on his original antagonistic appearance – finally getting the retail release treatment he deserves like the Super Saiyan version did last year.

Friday 18 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

Kamen Rider Ghost REBIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

While many will argue that Kamen Rider Ghost is a series that suffered from a number of problems, even its fans often agree that Makoto Fukami could have been handled far better. After initially making a strong debut opposing Takeru’s collection of the Eyecons, Kamen Rider Specter quickly fell into the background as he joined the heroes’ side – lacking in personality and only highlighted by an often confusing evil doppelganger subplot. But even though the show’s now over there’s still a chance to salvage his character in Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter – a V-cinema release following Makoto and Alain’s continued mission in the Ganma world following the show’s conclusion.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion

Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

"Junbi wa iinka ne?"

After years of wishing, waiting and seeing prototypes that get release on show at various Tamashii Nations events, the idols of the Macross franchise are finally getting some love from the S.H. Figuarts line. After kicking the Walküre girls off with Mikumo Guynemer, Bandai are continuing the line with their second Macross Delta release – S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion. The idol from Windermere and newest Walküre member is another retail release for the line, with the fates of Kaname, Makina and Reina still unknown. With their releases quite likely riding on the success of Mikumo and Freyja, these figures need to count if we ever want to see more Macross Figuarts in the future.

Monday 14 August 2017

Custom Figure: TV21 Dalek Comics Menoid Master Mechanoid

The Menoid Master is the leader of the Mechanoids in the TV21 Dalek comic strips, which told the story of Dalek history and conquests in world outside of Doctor Who. Whereas the Mechanoids that appeared in The Chase were simply robots that were abandoned on the planet Mechanus, the Mechanoids of the comics were a different story. As the Daleks began their plans for conquest across the cosmos, the Mechanoids were among their earliest opposition – warning them to stay away from their territory. War was narrowly avoided thanks to the efforts of the Zerovians, but the Mechanoids were still wary of the Daleks and continued to consider them enemies.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

It's amazing how fast time flies. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's big 35th anniversary bash was a whole six years ago, which means now Super Sentai's 40th anniversary has now passed us as well. That said, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger still has a few last hurrahs left in it - not just presumably from next year's vs. series movie but also their obligatory epilogue movie, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament! When we last left the Zyuohgers quite a lot had changed for planet Earth, and we rejoin Yamato, Leo, Sela, Tusk, Amu and Misao as part of this brave new world.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Link Breath of the Wild Ver. DX Edition

 Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 4167 yen (Standard Edition), 5370 yen (DX Edition)

Continuing in their goal to seemingly make a new Link figure for every Legend of Zelda game going forwards, Good Smile Company are back again with Nendoroid Link: Breath of the Wild Ver. in both standard in DX Editions. While some are surely thinking “do we really need yet another Link figure?”, when it comes from one of the most popular Zelda games of all time and is based on a design that’s a significant departure from the usual one the answer is most definitely yes. Breath of the Wild Link is the third Link Nendoroid (following on from the Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask versions) and the sixth overall including the three Figma releases. It’s also the second to be released in 2017, coming only a few months after the release of Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02

Release Date: June 2017
RRP: 3078 yen (3 boxes)

As anyone who's bought Bandai toys in the past can attest to, one is never enough. So when Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar was released earlier this year, it was inevitable that the model kit was going to be followed up with either upgrade parts of another robot from The King of Braves GaoGaiGar. Lo and behold a few short months later we have Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02, an upgrade set which includes GoldyMarg, Stealth Gao II and the Gatling Driver. With Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar now in possession of what's arguably his signature weapon, it's hammer time.

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Anime REVIEW: One Punch Man

One Punch Man

Every so often there comes an anime series that you just can’t escape from even if you aren’t watching. In 2015, that series was undoubtedly One Punch Man. ONE’s webcomic turned manga turned anime series was a worldwide hit, prompting all sorts of discussion, images and debate about whether its hero could beat up Goku in a fight. With studio Madhouse now confirming that a second season will be arriving in 2018, now is the time for the uninitiated (i.e. myself) to catch up and experience one of the most talked-about shows of the past few years.