Thursday 30 September 2021

Custom Figure: 'Real Time' Cyberman

Custom 'Real Time' Cyberman 01

It's been a few months since the last custom figure entry on this site and whilst projects still remain Doctor Who-related, this one is a little different from the usual Dalek repaints that frequent my workbench. The Cybermen have gone through many different designs over the years, but there are also several more that have never graced television screens. From comics to audio adventures, these are the Cybermen variants we'll probably never see as part of the Character Options action figure range. However, thanks to some incredibly talented designers in the Doctor Who figure community its becoming easier and easier to plug some of those gaps in your collection, with characters like the Real Time Cyberman being a particular treat to bring into plastic form...

Monday 27 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Arc Trooper Echo

Black Series Arc Trooper Echo 01

Release Date: May 2021
RRP: $24.99/£24.99

As part of the Lucasfilm 50th anniversary celebrations Hasbro announced a selection of special Star Wars: The Clone Wars releases - not only providing fans with many variant characters they've been asking for for years, but in special packaging based on the original Clone Wars toy line no less. It wouldn't be a Clone Wars range without some clone troopers, and what better choice than the long awaited release of Black Series Arc Trooper Echo. Originally designated CT-1409, Echo was a clone trooper that served bravely alongside the 501st Legion as part of the Advanced Recon Commandos. He was thought to have met his end during a mission to rescue Jedi Master Even Piell, however it was later revealed that he survived - transformed into a cyborg by the Techo Union and used as a pawn by the Separatist Forces. Echo was eventually rescued, and after turning the tide of victory with his cybernetic capabilities became the newest member of Clone Force 99 - the Bad Batch.

Friday 24 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (Shin Ultraman)

S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (Shin Ultraman) 01

Release Date: June 2021
RRP: 5500 yen

While the cinema release of Hideaki Anno's Shin Ultraman may be postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic, the merchandise train still steams ahead! With the film celebrating the 55th anniversary of Ultraman originally due for release in Summer 2021, there are already several different options out there for collectors wanting to get a hold of the titular hero. One such example is the S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (Shin Ultraman) figure, with Bandai Tamashii Nations being one of the first to announce a highly poseable option for their ever-expanding flagship line. Between this and the kaiju figures Bandai have put out in their vinyl toy range, you might not be able to see the film any time soon but at least you can recreate how you imagine the scenes will play out in the comfort of your own home!

Monday 20 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Clone Pilot Hawk

Star Wars Black Series Clone Pilot Hawk 01

Release Date: May 2021
RRP: $24.99/£24.99

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm and Hasbro are celebrating in it the only way they know how - an onslaught of new Star Wars action figure releases! In addition to the various figures based on the novels and comics that make up the "Legends" canon, a selection of Black Series figures based on the ever-popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars was revealed - exclusive to Target in the US (and via the fan channel elsewhere) and packaged in retro Clone Wars blister packaging. Among this special wave of figures is the Black Series Clone Pilot Hawk - the clone trooper pilot that often worked alongside the 501st Legion and was seen a number of Clone Wars episodes.

Sunday 19 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: MAFEX Spider-Man (Peter B. Parker)

MAFEX Spider-Man (Peter B Parker) 01

Release Date: January 2021
RRP: 8800 yen

Medicom continue their mission to produce as many Spider-Man figures as possible within their MAFEX Miracle Action Figure line as they continue to dive into 2018's award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Hot on the heels of Miles Morales' release comes MAFEX Spider-Man (Peter B. Parker), the Spider-Man of another universe who becomes a mentor to Miles after falling on hard times in his own world. Though originally scheduled for a July 2020 release, repeated delays meant this figure not actually make it out until six months later in January 2021 - making it the perfect way to kick off a whole new year of figures. MAFEX have released plenty of Peter Parker Spider-Man figures over the years, but they've never done one quite like this before.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger 01

Release Date: March 2021
RRP: $19.99/£19.99

The Disney era as a whole might be feeling a little under-represented in Hasbro's Lightning Collection but at the very least two Power Rangers seasons from that time seem to be getting plenty of figures. While Power Rangers SPD rapidly approaches completion, preceding series Power Rangers Dino Thunder also gains another key member with the release of the Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger in the line's eighth wave. The third release from the fan-favourite season, Ethan James is a skilled hacker and computer expert, using the powers of the blue Dino Gem to not only morph into the Blue Ranger but also found it could make his skin impenetrable.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider V3 (THE NEXT)

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider V3 (THE NEXT) 01

Release Date: February 2008
RRP: 2420 yen

In 2008 Bandai Tamashii Nations introduced a whole new line of Kamen Rider action figures - S.H. Figuarts, the spiritual successor to their previous Souchaku Henshin line. Originally the "S.H" in the name even stood for "Souchaku Henshin", but since then Bandai have also said it stands for "Simple style and Heroic Action - the motto which has accompanied the line since its very beginning. With S.H. Figuarts now having stretched far beyond Kamen Rider also all include a number of other tokusatsu, anime and Western properties, it's a little strange to think that it all began with figures from Kamen Rider: The Next. The 2007 sequel to Kamen Rider: The First had been released in Japanese cinemas just a few months prior, and so Figuarts launched onto the scene with a double bill of releases - S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider V3 (THE NEXT) and also the film's version of Kamen Rider 1. Either could feasibly be consider the very first release from the line, but there's just something fitting considering the next Rider to be the next step in Kamen Rider action figures.

Thursday 9 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition)

S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle On Titan Edition) 01

Release Date: January 2021
RRP: 8800 yen

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga having finally come to an end, it seems that all of the toy companies that produce Marvel figures are having one last hurrah before moving onto the next phase - releasing the best versions of these beloved characters that they can. That can definitely be said for Bandai Tamashii Nations, whose S.H. Figuarts line moved into a number of "Final Battle" editions based on the climactic scene from Avengers: Endgame (it helps when you're releasing toys after the movie has been released, rather than just prior like they did initially). However with many key characters absent from Endgame for the most part there are plenty of iconic scenes to explore from Avengers: Infinity War as well, such as this S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) figure. 

Monday 6 September 2021

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Revice

Kamen Rider Revice

Well we've made it, 50 years of Kamen Rider. Such a momentous anniversary doesn't go uncelebrated, and while both both it and Super Sentai commemorated their respective milestones earlier in the year with crossover movie Super Hero Senki, now that Kamen Rider Saber has reached its conclusion it's time for the main anniversary series to begin its run. Kamen Rider Revice is the third Kamen Rider series to debut in the Reiwa era, and the 32nd in the franchise overall. Its head writer is Hanta Kinoshita, a novelist and manga writer making his tokusatsu debut with the series. Other key production staff members include producers Chihiro Inoue, Kei Mizutani and Taku Mochizuki, directors Takayuki Shibasaki, Jun Watanabe and Hiroshi Butsuda, with music by Kotaro Nakagawa.

Sunday 5 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Zeo Cogs

Lightning Collection Zeo Cogs 01

Release Date: August 2021
RRP: $41.99/£49.99

Every new Lightning Collection announcement is exciting to some degree, but it's always the villain reveals that prove to be the most exciting - after all, heroes always need some bad guys to fight right? With the trio of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers foot soldiers suitably covered, Hasbro are now moving on to Power Rangers Zeo and getting a little bit robotic with the release of the Lightning Collection Zeo Cogs! Following in the same vein as the Putty Patrollers two-pack release from last year, the Cogs come as part of a Hasbro Pulse exclusive two-pack featuring both the standard silver and red variants of the Machine Empire foot soldiers. Despite the set initially being billed for a November release, Hasbro have uncharacteristically decided to show UK Power Rangers fans some love with the set making a surprise release on the UK version of Pulse two months ahead of the US market.

Thursday 2 September 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Zeo Green Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Zeo Green Ranger 01

Release Date: March 2021
RRP: $19.99/£19.99

The Power Rangers Lightning Collection draws one step closer to completing another team as the eighth wave in the main line of releases brings us the Lightning Collection Zeo Green Ranger. Following the destruction of both his power coin and the Command Centre, Adam Park calls on the power of the Zeo Crystal to become "stronger than before" and defend the planet from the new threat of the Machine Empire. Although Adam first debuted in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season two and stayed all the way through until the cast changeover in Power Rangers Turbo, Hasbro have chosen his appearance in Power Rangers Zeo for their first release of this fan favourite character.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Saber

Kamen Rider Saber

Ending your series at the height of a global pandemic is difficult enough, but successfully starting a new one at the same time is another obstacle entirely. But it seems the show must go on, and this is the challenge Toei faced as the Kamen Rider franchise marched on into its second Reiwa era series (and 31st overall) - Kamen Rider Saber. As well as featuring a sizeable cast of Riders, the production staff saw a few familiar faces return to the franchise. The series was written by Takuro Fukuda and produced by Kazuhiro Takahashi, both notable for being the chief writer and producer team behind Kamen Rider Ghost. Kamen Rider Saber ran for a total of 49 episodes, a count which not only included an epilogue previewing succeeding series Kamen Rider Revice but also a special crossover with Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger.