Sunday 26 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Dan Moroboshi

Release Date: October 2017
RRP: 6264 yen

If there's one area of tokusatsu properties that Bandai Tamashii Nations have left almost completely untouched, its our heroes' civilian identities. Whether it be Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Metal Heroes, the Ultra Series or something else, there's just so much untapped potential that would undoubtedly be snapped up by fans in an instant. It seems Tamashii have finally cottoned onto this, with the tail-end of 2017 revealing human figures for three iconic heroes from three separate franchises. And with 2017 also being the 50th anniversary of Ultraseven, what better place to start than with S.H. Figuarts Dan Moroboshi. While Retsu Ichijoji and Takeshi Hongo had previously been seen at events, the human guise of Ultraseven came as a complete surprise to everyone - first appearing in magazine scans just before preorders started.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Movie REVIEW: Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode of Stinger

Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode of Stinger

Both Kamen Rider and Super Sentai have enjoyed a steady stream of V-cinema releases for some time now, but while Kamen Rider tends to use this as an opportunity to shine the spotlight on a secondary/tertiary Rider Sentai movies have always remained a team affair. However that’s all about to change with Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode of Stinger. The 41st Super Sentai continues to make history with the first spin-off film focusing on a single ranger, following Stinger/Sasori Orange’s brief departure from the team along with Champ/Ouishi Black between episodes 13 and 15.

Monday 20 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Genm Zombie Gamer Level X

Release Date: October 2017 
RRP: 6264 yen 

Since first hitting the line with the level 2 forms of Kamen Riders Ex-Aid, Brave and Snipe back in March, the Kamen Rider Ex-Aid S.H. Figuarts line has slowly been chugging away with the level 5 forms of the aforementioned characters together with the same Kamen Rider Lazer forms. However since it's debut there's been one figure collectors have been especially looking forward to, and with his level 2 form predictably being announced as a Tamashii Nations 2017 event exclusive it's no surprise to see the show's fourth Rider joining the line in this form first. A Tamashii web exclusive, the ultimate game master and self-proclaimed god Dan Kuroto has arrived with the release of S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Genm Zombie Gamer Level X. Or as many fans simply refer to him as,  Dangerous Zombie.

Friday 17 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Laputa Robot Soldier [Full Action Ver.]

Release Date: October 2017
RRP: 7560 yen

Despite having produced some the most popular and well-known anime films in the world, it seems Studio Ghibli have never been the biggest fans of action figures. You can find plushies, stationary, papercraft models and all manner of other merchandise, but when it comes to poseable figures of their heroes, heroines and other iconic characters there isn’t exactly a lot to choose from. Which is exactly why Bandai’s Laputa Robot Soldier [Full Action Ver] from their 1986 film Laputa: Castle in the Sky is such a big deal. Having previously produced two versions of the robots as a static figure in 2013 and 2015, Bandai are all about articulation the third time around. The downside? This figure was released as a Premium Bandai store exclusive, with a sizeable price tag even before you factor in things like middleman and shipping fees. Still, as a rare chance to own a proper Studio Ghibli action figure this may not be an opportunity for some fans to pass up.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Body-chan -Kentaro Yabuki- Edition DX Set [Gray Color Ver.]

Release Date: September 2017 (DX version, grey body), October 2017 (Standard version, pale body)
RRP: 7020 yen (DX version), 4860 yen (Standard version)

When Bandai Tamashii Nations announced that they would be releasing their blank body S.H. Figuarts as part of a new range intended as drawing aids, no one quite expected them to take off the way they did. However the pair have arguably gone on to become two of the most popularised Figuarts in the entire brand, prompting a number of recolours and special event exclusives as well as a string of cheap knock-off versions. The fact that my original DX Body-kun review is the most viewed toy review on this blog by a wide margin speaks for itself. Now they’re back with two brand new versions done in collaboration with manga artists Kentaro Yabuki and Rihito Takarai, each bringing their own style and proportions to the Figuarts body. Like her predecessor the S.H. Figuarts Body-chan -Kentaro Yabuki- Edition comes in both standard and DX varieties, with the DX edition moulded from grey plastic and including a larger amount of accessories.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Legends LG-46 Targetmaster Kup

Release Date: September 2017
RRP: 4320 yen

As TakaraTomy work through the remaining Titans Return offerings before Hasbro shifts over to the Power of the Primes line, they’re going to extra mile to make the Transformers Legends line really special with many figures receiving an upgrade in the form of an additional Targetmaster. One such figure is the Autobot Kup, a core character for the post-movie years of the Generation One cartoon after making his debut in Transformers: The Movie. Interestingly when Takara originally unveiled this figure it sported a desaturated grey colourscheme similar to his appearance in The Rebirth. However in later pics and for the release itself this colourscheme was changed to one based on his more familiar look from the movie and season three episodes.

Friday 10 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Legends LG-45 Targetmaster Hot Rod

Release Date: September 2017
RRP: 4320 yen

Though the Titans Return line is slowly coming to an end to make way for Power of the Primes, TakaraTomy still have a fair few of the moulds to make use of as part of their Transformers Legends line. The 21st wave of the all-encompassing line celebrates all things Transformers: The Movie, with the release of Autobots Kup and Hot Rod alongside a Sharkticon complete with an alternate Sweeps head for the previously released Scourge figure. Hot Rod and Kup are particularly special releases however, with the two now packed with Targetmaster partners alongside the usual Headmaster gimmick brought over from the Titans Return line.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Star-Lord

Release Date: September 2017
RRP: 6264 yen (Japanese Edition), $84.99/£99.99 (Western Edition)

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe now truly engrained into the S.H. Figuarts line it’s become customary to expect at least one figure from each new film, and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 has proved to be no exception. September saw the release of both S.H. Figuarts Star-Lord and a Rocket/Groot 2-pack, both as Tamashii web exclusives. However whereas Rocket still curiously remains exclusive to Japan, Star-Lord follows the recent trend of enhanced Western releases for Marvel Figuarts – coming bundled with effect pieces in the same way Doctor Strange and Spider-Man had earlier.

Monday 6 November 2017

Toybox REVIEW: 52TOYS Beast Box BB-03 JOJO

Release Date: September 2017 (Japan)
RRP: 2678 yen

There have been a lot of great toys released in 2017, but few have won me over quite like 52TOYS’ Beast Box line has. This year saw the Chinese company’s humble little line hit worldwide, with transforming toy collectors all scrambling to pick up their charming (and affordable) transforming cubes. Only a few months after the mass release of their BB-01 DIO and BB-02 Ghost Dog dinosaur figures, they’re back with a brand new creature – Beast Box BB-03 JOJO. This ferocious gorilla is the second animal in their planned series of releases, with a triceratops also initially teased on the back of BB-01’s packaging. Like DIO JOJO also comes in a variety of different colourschemes to suit every taste – kicking things off with both the standard purple and a red/blue “flame” variant.