Saturday 30 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Spider-Man Advanced Suit

S.H. Figuarts Spider-Man Advanced Suit 01

Release Date: September 2019
RRP: 6480 yen

Bandai Tamashii Nations have been at the Marvel game for a while in the S.H. Figuarts line, but until now it's been entirely limited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe - leaving other companies like Medicom or Kaiyodo to pick up the slack when it comes to the wider Marvel Universe. However that looks as though it's about to change with the release of S.H. Figuarts Spider-Man Advanced Suit, the first of their figures to be based on the 2018 Spider-Man game by Insomniac Games for the Playstation 4. Delving into the new Marvel Gamerverse, the Spider-Man game features a 23-year old Peter Parker battling against the likes of Mister Negative, Electro, Tombstone, Scorpion and Doctor Octopus. The game also features a myriad of suits from across Spidey's long history, but as the one that appears on the box the "Advanced Suit" is certainly the best place to start.

Friday 22 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Clone Commander Fox

Star Wars Black Series Clone Commander Fox 01

Release Date: October 2019
RRP: : £20/$20

Triple Force Friday has come and gone, and while it primarily celebrated the 2019 Star Wars trifecta of Jedi: Fallen Order, The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker it still had plenty of other surprises from across the Star Wars universe. Clearly eager to gear fans up for the imminent return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Hasbro continue to bolster their grand army of the Republic with the release of Black Series Clone Commander Fox. Designated number CC-1010, Commander Fox led the shock troopers stationed on Coruscant – upholding the law in the Galactic City and thus becoming one of the most decorated soldiers in the military. Though he appeared in several episodes of the show, perhaps Fox's most significant role was his involvement in the capture of Ahsoka Tano after she was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple by rogue Padawan Bariss Offee. Like Commander Wolffe, Fox was released as a GameStop exclusive in the US and then a shared exclusive in the UK and other parts of the world.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Gridknight

Figma Gridknight 01

Release Date: October 2019
RRP: 6296 yen

Thanks to their good relationship with studio TRIGGER, Good Smile Company continue their domination when it comes to SSSS.Gridman merchandise with the release of Figma Gridknight! Using his copy ability, the kaiju Anti transforms into a form similar to that of his former rival - his obsession to defeat the titular Hyper Agent having now transformed into a desire to protect him. Gridknight is second character from the show to be released as part of Max Factory’s Figma line, surprisingly making it to production before the likes of leading ladies Rikka and Akane - both of whom have dominated the market when it comes to SSSS.Gridman merchandise. While of course they’re not too far behind, it is nice to see the giants of the series get in on the action figure game outside of a number of expensive and often flawed combining sets.

Friday 15 November 2019

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

SH Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Diend 01

Release Date: October 2019
RRP: 7700 yen

It's been three and a half years since S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Decade was originally released, but despite showing up at the Tamashii Nation event that very same year his rival Kamen Rider Diend has been nowhere to be seen. But now fans of the world-hopping thief's prayers have been answers, as S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Diend has finally arrived in a rather unexpected way. Daiki Kaito's latest target is collectors' wallets, as Diend appears as the Shinkocchou Seihou Tamashii Nation 2019 event exclusive. But though the means might not be what people expected the timing couldn’t be any better, as the two Kamen Rider Decade Riders returned to butt heads (and then team up, in typical fashion) earlier this year in Kamen Rider Zi-O – the final chapter in the Heisei Rider chronology.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series The Mandalorian (Carbonized Collection)

Star Wars Black Series The Mandalorian Carbonized Collection 01

Release Date: October 2019
RRP: $20/£20

This year’s Triple Force Friday was a particularly special time for Star Wars collectors because not only did it debut product from the forthcoming Rise of Skywalker film, but also the Jedi: Fallen Order video game and Disney+ series The Mandalorian. With anticipation for all three instalments at an all-time high, Hasbro knew exactly how to entice fans and produced a number of different variants of the new Black Series figures. As well as being available in both standard and First Edition versions, a select few were also released as part of the Carbonized Collection - sporting metallic paint jobs and premium foil packaging. Undoubtedly the most anticipated of them all, the Star Wars Black Series The Mandalorian (Carbonized Collection) figure was released exclusively at Target stores in the US and through StarActionFigures in the UK. Today, on the US release of the Disney+ and the premiere of The Mandalorian, we take a look at this mysterious new bounty hunter with no name.

Saturday 9 November 2019

Movie REVIEW: Lupinranger vs Patranger vs Kyuranger

Lupinranger vs Patranger vs Kyuranger

When an Uchu Sentai Kyuranger and Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger crossover film was passed on last year in favour of the second Space Squad instalment, some fans thought the worst about the future of the Super Sentai franchise's annual tradition. However some traditions don't die so easily, so of course the Versus Series returned in 2019 in triple-threat format with Lupinranger vs Patranger vs Kyuranger. This V-Cinema (now known as V-Cinext) release brings the Kyurangers out of their parallel universe once more, this time teaming up with the rivalrous teams of Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger vs Keisatsu Sentai Patranger – together with a few more surprises along the way.

Thursday 7 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Nebula

SH Figuarts Nebula 01

Release Date: September 2019
RRP: 6480 yen

The S.H. Figuarts line may have been tackling the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a good few years now, but when it comes to character diversity there’s still a lot of untrodden ground. On the one hand who can blame them when Iron Man continues to be Bandai Tamashii Nations’ golden goose, but on the other it would be nice to see a bit more variety among the releases. But every so often a new character finally manages to slip through, with S.H. Figuarts Nebula finally joining the line this year as a Tamashii web exclusive release. The second daughter of Thanos is the fourth Guardians of the Galaxy character to be released but definitely one of most overdue, and although the figure is based on her Infinity War appearance with her significantly expanded role in Endgame this figure couldn’t have come at a better time.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Gridman (Primal Fighter)

Figma Gridman (Primal Fighter) 01

Release Date: September 2019
RRP: 6296 yen

There seems to be plenty of options out there when it comes to SSSS.Gridman toys, but which one is the perfect choice isn’t as obvious as you may think. Megahouse kicked things off with a fully transforming, but small and somewhat overpriced release with their Acti-Builder version. Then Good Smile Company went bigger with their DX Full Power Gridman set, but their 90s style design came with a whole bunch of problems. Meanwhile Bandai got in on the action with the Super Mini-Pla line, but their similarly high price point also came with the condition of having to build the thing yourself. Finally there’s the Nendoroid - a perfectly well-made but super deformed style figure. But if that wasn’t enough choice, Good Smile are back with a third go with Figma Gridman (Primal Fighter). Produced by Max Factory, this version of the titular hero makes up for the lack of combining capabilities with superior articulation and poseability.

Friday 1 November 2019

Toybox REVIEW: Meisho Movie Realization Ronin Boba Fett

Star Wars Meisho Movie Realization Ronin Boba Fett 01

Release Date: November 2015, September 2019 (Reissue)
RRP: 9680 yen

If there's one regret I have as a toy collector, it's taking until 2019 to get into the Meisho Movie Realization line. Bandai Tamashii Nations' Super Imaginative Chogokin-esque reimagining of iconic Star Wars characters styled like warriors from feudal-era Japan was a stroke of genius, and judging by the price some of these figures command on the aftermarket collectors seemed to think so too. The third release in the line way back in 2015 was Meisho Movie Realization Ronin Boba Fett, and much like any limited run figure based on the original (though no longer canonically) Mandalorian bounty hunter it's one that will cost you a pretty penny on the aftermarket. That is until four years later however, when a surprise reissue was announced for Western territories such as the US and UK. This was a particularly unexpected move on Bandai's part, since there's no sign that the figure ever received the same treatment over in Japan. But as an opportunity to own a figure I regret not picking up all those years ago for a price not too far off Japanese retail, I certainly wasn't going to question it.