Friday 30 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Super Mini-Pla Golion (Voltron)

Release Date: August 2018
RRP: 5292 yen

When Bandai first announced their Super Mini-pla model kit line, it didn't take much for fans to start speculating which anime and tokusatsu mecha could and should be a part of it. And after finally making it's long awaited debut in the high-end Soul of Chogokin line, this was definitely the next logical stop for one of the 80s most recognisable super robots - Golion, or as he's better known around the rest of the world, Voltron.  Released in Japan under its original Beast King Golion branding, Super Mini-Pla Golion was also brought over to the West by Bluefin and marketed under the more familiar Voltron banner.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: RIOBOT Iron Giant

Release Date: September 2018
RRP: 15000 yen

Each year this site hosts a lot of different toy reviews (mostly from the same handful of lines, but I digress), but every so often something comes around that's really special. Despite receiving critical acclaim upon its release way back in 1998 and achieving cult status since, The Iron Giant is a film that's never really received much in the way of high end toys. However recent years have sought to change that, and with the film and character recently coming back into the public eye because of its 20th anniversary and cameo appearance in Ready Player One high-end mecha manufacturers Sentinel are finally adding the star to their lavish Riobot line. Now Riobot isn't a line known for it's low prices so this is one that'll also set you back a fair bit, but at half the size and half the price of Mondo's Iron Giant it's definitely one fans have been waiting on for a long time.

Monday 26 November 2018

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 11x08 - The Witchfinders

Doctor Who 11x08 - The Witchfinders

When it was first announced that Jodie Whittaker had been cast as the 13th Doctor, it opened up all kinds of story potential for Doctor Who. Suddenly historical tales could have a whole new spin on them, and there were plenty of ideas available that just wouldn't have worked had the Doctor continued to be a man. The first thing that immediately came to my mind was "what if the Doctor travelled back to there 17th century and was tried as witch"? And by the looks of it I wasn't the only one to think that, because that's exactly what's going on in series 11's eighth episode, The Witchfinders. This one was written by Joy Wilkinson and directed by Sallie Aprahamian, and inadvertently released early when Amazon Prime accidentally uploaded it to their service instead of previous episode Kerblam!. Guess that's what happens when you try to critique the mighty Amazon...

Sunday 25 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Rogue

Release Date: September 2018
RRP: 6246 yen

Kamen Rider Build may have finished its television run a few months ago but there's still plenty from the series to look forward to. As well the forthcoming V-cinema release and the cast's return in Heisei Generations Forever, on the toy side of things Bandai Tamashii Nations have been continuing to expand their releases throughout the rest of this year and the beginning of 2019. Now that Hokuto's Kamen Rider has already joined the battle, it's time for Seito's to arrive - introducing S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Rogue. The former head of the Touto Institute of Advanced Physics, Prime Minister and leader of Faust, the disgraced Gentoku Himuro turns his back on Touto and allies himself with Seito - discarding his Night Rogue identity and undergoing gruelling training to become their new Rider. However Gentoku would eventually betray Seito and Namba Industries, fighting alongside Kiryu Sento against Evolto in the name of love and peace. S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Rogue is a Tamashii web exclusive release.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Antlar Review

Release Date: September 2018
RRP: 7560 yen

When Bandai Tamashii Nations first revealed that the Ultra-Act line would be drawing to a close and Ultraman was joining the flagship S.H. Figuarts line, who would have thought we'd still be getting monsters from the original series two years later? Despite moving forwards into Ultraseven and Return of Ultraman as well as the newer era Ultra Series, the line just keeps coming back to that first series. S.H. Figuarts Antlar is the seventh foe the original Ultraman faced to be graced a figure in the line, coincidentally appearing in the seventh episode of the series - The Blue Stone of Baraji. This episode is also notable for featuring a civilisation that worshipped another Ultraman from their past, later retconned to be Ultraman Noa. Since then Antlar has made several appearances in the franchise, most recently appearing as one of Zaigorg's henchmen in the Ultraman X movie. Like all of the original series releases since Gomora, S.H. Figuarts Antlar is a Tamashii web exclusive release.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 11x07 - Kerblam!

All in all it's been a pretty solid series of Doctor Who thus far, but you'd have to blind not to notice that things have been a little different this time around. There's been aliens, there's been space and there's been time travel, but there's been a much lesser focus on memorable monsters and enemies that helped make Doctor Who what it is today. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but with the likes of the Daleks and Cybermen retired for the time being it is a bit odd to see the 13th Doctor without some intergalactic threat to quash. However things look like they might be a little more familiar with Kerblam! – the seventh episode in the series written by Pete McTighe and directed by Jennifer Perrott.

Monday 19 November 2018

Anime REVIEW: Planet With

Planet With
Planet With is available in streaming form on Crunchyroll

Satoshi Mizukami is a man that's become quite popular among manga readers for titles like Psycho Staff and Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, but for the anime-only crowd he's pretty much an unknown. However this year he made his anime debut with Planet With, a 12-episode series from J.C. Staff (the studio behind Revolutionary Girl Utena, Excel Saga, Toradora! and so much more) that's been a pet project of his for the last four years. The results were interesting to say the least.

Friday 16 November 2018

Movie REVIEW: GARO: Fang of God

GARO: Kami no Kiba

Even though fans were treated to the fantastic GARO: Vanishing Line anime earlier this year, it feels like it's been a while since the last proper GARO series. The last live-action entry in the ever-growing franchise was Zero: Dragon Blood back at the beginning of 2017, which being a Zero series (not that that's in any way a bad thing) was fairly low on Golden Knight action. 2018 did however kick off with a brand new movie entry, continuing the story of Ryuga Dougai in GARO: Kami no Kiba ("Fang of God").

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Dark

Release Date: October 2018
RRP: 5940 yen

If there's one thing Bandai Tamashii Nations like saving for their annual Tamashii Nation event figures, it's black repaints. Between Kamen Rider Joker, Proto-Drive, Dark Kabuto and Genm Level 2 there's definitely a predictable pattern to these sought-after exclusives. Tamashii Nation 2018 was absolutely no exception, not only presenting fans with the opportunity to own Kamen Rider Build's Hazard form but also their first S.H. Figuarts Ultraman exclusive. The first character to be released from the currently airing Ultraman R/B, S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Dark (or to use his full name, Ultraman Orb Dark Noir Black Schwarz) is a repaint of the Ultraman Orb Origin figure previously released back in August 2017. 

Monday 12 November 2018

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 11x06 - Demons of the Punjab

Doctor Who 11x06 - Demons of the Punjab

Since this current series of Doctor Who seems to be all about the simple stories, one about going back in time to visit your own relatives and the dangers that can bring about seemed almost inevitable. The show already did an excellent job of that back in 2005 with Father's Day, but the concept is so ingrained into science fiction culture that there's always room for a second go. Episode six of the 2018 series is entitled Demons of the Punjab, directed by Jamie Childs and written by Vinay Patel – making it the first episode this series without credited writing input from showrunner Chris Chibnall.

Saturday 10 November 2018

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

Release Date: August 2018
RRP: 7020 yen

In 2014 fans got one step closer to a full S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider line up with the release of Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Hibiki, and though Kamen Rider Kiva was still nowhere in sight the fact Bandai Tamashii Nations were finally tackling Kamen Rider Hibiki suggested its other characters wouldn't be too far behind. What followed instead was nearly four years of silence, prompting fears that Ibuki, Todoroki and Zanki may be condemned to Figuarts limbo. However it's now 2018 and all of that has changed, most of all because Kiva is FINALLY coming. But before then the other three core Hibiki Oni are on the way, starting with S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Ibuki! Ibuki was a Tamashii web exclusive release, and Todoroki and Zanki will both follow suit next year.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Guardian

Release Date: August 2018
RRP: 5370 yen

With Breath of the Wild going on to become of the most popular and beloved Legend of Zelda titles of all time, there was no way that Good Smile Company were going to stop at just one figure. While fans are still sadly waiting for a properly proportioned Figma release, the Nendoroid line definitely went all out with its version of Link. So what's next? Zelda? Maybe one of the four Champions? Not quite. Instead we have the Nendoroid Guardian – the ancient six-legged automatons created by the Sheikah to help in the fight against Calamity Ganon. Unfortunately for Link, Ganon's malevolence is now in control – and the Guardians patrol Hyrule Castle ready to attack any invader.

Monday 5 November 2018

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 11x05: The Tsuranga Conundrum

Doctor Who 11x05 - The Tsuranga Conundrum

Doctor Who series 11 has officially reached the halfway point, and for this week's episode the franchise is getting back to basics a bit. There's a spaceship, there's an alien, and there are also plenty of long corridors to be running down. The Tsuranga Conundrum is the fifth episode of the series, once again written by showrunner Chris Chibnall and directed by Jennifer Perrott. With "Team TARDIS" properly in place since the events of Arachnids in the UK, it's time for the adventures in space in time to truly begin.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Series REVIEW: Denkou Chojin Gridman

Denkou Chojin Gridman

Tsuburaya Productions may be best known for the both Ultraman and the Ultra Series, but that isn't the only tokusatsu series they've given birth to in their 55 year history. There's also been the likes of Redman, Mirrorman, Jumborg Ace, Fireman and many, many more. But to the more casual Western fan around during the Power Rangers boom, there's one definitely more recognisable than the others – Gridman, alternatively its American-adaptation counterpart Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. Denkou Chojin Gridman (also known as Gridman the Hyper Agent) is a 39-episode series produced between 1993 and 1994, and would be Tsuburaya's last non-Ultra giant series until 2006. The series has enjoyed something of a resurgence among fans lately, thanks to English subtitles being made available legally in the US through TOKU and of course more significantly Trigger's (currently airing) anime adaptation SSSS.Gridman.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Toybox REVIEW: NECA Ultimate Chucky

Release Date: November 2017
RRP: $29.99/£29.99

Halloween has only just passed, and like many I've spent the last month or so getting into the spirit by revisiting some of my favourite horror films. And as far as gore-filled slasher fests go, the Chucky series is definitely the closest to my heart. During my rewatch of all seven films I came to the conclusion that the maniacal doll first seen in 1988's Child's Play needed plastic representation in my collection, and wandering around a convention recently NECA stepped in to provide just that. Joining the likes of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface, NECA's Ultimate Chucky figure is designed to be the very best among their ever-popular horror range.