Friday 29 April 2022


ULTRAMAN season 2
Ultraman is available in streaming form on Netflix

It's been a long three year wait exacerbated by production delays and a global pandemic, but the second season of the ULTRAMAN anime has finally landed. The adaptation of the ongoing manga by Eiichi Shimuzu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, the series continues to be produced by famed studios Production I.G. and Sola Digital Arts (who also collaborate on fellow Netflix series Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045). Despite its detachment from the main Ultraman universe, the ULTRAMAN manga/anime continues to be a key player in Tsuburaya Productions' bid for Ultraman global takeover – supported through a wealth of merchandising, videogame crossover appearances and the accessibility of the anime through a huge global platform like Netflix.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Red Ranger

Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Red Ranger 01

Release Date: December 2021
RRP: $27.99/£24.99

We still have one ranger outstanding, but it seems that Hasbro may be done with metallic armour variants of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for now. After initially releasing the Pink Ranger back at the end of 2019, Hasbro decided to drop the rest of the five core rangers as Hasbro Pulse exclusives the following year. Will we ever see the White Ranger join the team? Who knows, but for now we're looking at the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Red Ranger, which marks the first time second Red Ranger Rocky DeSantos (as played by Steve Cardenas) has been released as part of the Mighty Morphin range.

Monday 25 April 2022

Special REVIEW: Kamen Rider Genms -Smart Brain and the 1000% Crisis-

Kamen Rider Genms -Smart Brain and the 1000% Crisis-

April Fools' Day – a date where millions of people play pranks across the globe, and Toei use it to humorously reveal their latest Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub exclusive. This time their big announcement was Kamen Rider Lovelica: -LOVE IS ALL-, due for release April 1st 2066 to mark the 50th anniversary of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. But the following day came the real announcement – Kamen Rider Genms -Smart Brain and the 1000% Crisis-, a sequel to last year's Kamen Rider Genms -The Presidents-. Tetsuya Iwanga and Nachi Sakuragi reprise their roles as Kuroto Dan/Kamen Rider Genm and Gai Amatsu/Kamen Rider Thouser once more, with Ex-Aid and Zero-One writer Yuya Takahashi also returning to pen the special.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Movie REVIEW: Ultraman Ginga S the Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors!

Ultraman Ginga S the Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors!

With the era of the New Generations Heroes finally upon fans, Ultraman Ginga S didn't just stop at 16 episodes. Only a few months later in March 2015 Tsuburaya Productions followed it up with a full-length feature film, kicking off a trend of each of succeeding Ultraman receiving a film following completion of their series (with the exception of 2020's Ultraman Z). Ultraman Ginga S the Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors didn't just see Ginga and Victory team up with fan-favourite Ultraman Zero, but also the return of all eight preceding main Ultra heroes from the Heisei era - Tiga, Dyna, Gaia, Cosmos, Nexus, Max and Mebius.

Friday 22 April 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Yellow Ranger

Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Yellow Ranger 01

Release Date: December 2021
RRP: $27.99/£24.99

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' (rather predictable) domination of Hasbro's Lightning Collection continues as the line goes glitter with the metallic armour! As divisive as this power up from the show's third season may be, it's impressive that Hasbro not only remembered it existed in the first place but also got the majority of the team out at a reasonable pace. The Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Yellow Ranger joins the red, black and blue Rangers as part of a Hasbro Pulse exclusive wave – leaving only the White Ranger outstanding as the Pink Ranger was released much earlier.

Thursday 21 April 2022

Series REVIEW: Ultraman Ginga S

Ultraman Ginga S

Despite its obvious budgetary issues, 2013's Ultraman Ginga proved enough of a success for Tsuburaya Productions to push forward with another Ultraman series the following year. With lead actor Takuya Negishi eager to continue the story, Tsuburaya chose to produce a direct sequel to Ginga - a rare but financially sound decision given many aspects were already established. Bringing in renowned tokusatsu director Koichi Sakamoto to take the reigns, Ultraman Ginga returned to the New Ultraman Retsuden programming block as Ultraman Ginga S for a further 16 episodes. Though the second entry in the still-ongoing run of New Generation series, it is here that style and hallmarks of this era truly began to develop.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Boba Fett (The Mandalorian)

S.H. Figuarts Boba Fett (The Mandalorian) 01

Release Date: February 2022
RRP: 8250 yen

Star Wars: The Mandalorian season two was a series full of big surprises, but among the biggest of them all was the grand return of Boba Fett. Having survived his supposed death in Return of the Jedi and escaped the Sarlacc pit, Fett returned to reclaim his armour from the Mandalorian Din Djarin before assisting him in rescuing Grogu from Moff Gideon and returning to Tatooine to take Jabba the Hutt's (now in the hands of Bib Fortuna) empire. Meanwhile Bandai Tamashii Nations might have taken their sweet time to add the original trilogy Boba Fett to their S.H. Figuarts lineup, but following his return on The Mandalorian they were one of the quickest off the mark. S.H. Figuarts Boba Fett (The Mandalorian) joins a new version of Din Djarin as the line's first Mandalorian season two figures - a retail release originally intended for January 2022 but delayed until the following month.

Monday 18 April 2022

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 2022 Easter Special - Legend of the Sea Devils

Doctor Who 2022 Easter Special - Legend of the Sea Devils

It's another one of those strange years with no full Doctor Who series, but at least this time fans aren't going completely without. The Easter weekend saw the show return with the second of its 2022 specials (following on from Eve of the Daleks on New Year's Day), featuring the long-awaited return of a popular monster from the classic era. Legend of the Sea Devils marks the third appearance of the Silurians' water-dwelling cousins, following on from their debut in 1972's The Sea Devils and then subsequent appearance in 1984's Warriors of the Deep. The episode was written by Ella Road and show runner Chris Chibnall, and directed by Haolu Wang. It is also the penultimate story for the Thirteenth Doctor, with her prophesied end drawing ever closer.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Top 5: Most Wanted Ultraman S.H. Figuarts (Kaiju Edition)

Top 5: Most Wanted Ultraman S.H. Figuarts (Kaiju Edition)

For this month's top five feature we're returning to the S.H. Figuarts line and what's easily my favourite range they have on offer – the Ultraman franchise. Ever since Bandai ended the Ultra-Act line and moved all things Ultra into S.H. Figuarts range, they've been pumping out some fantastic figures across all eras of the franchise. When it first kicked off in 2016 there seemed to almost as much focus on the various creatures of the Ultra Series as there was the Ultraman themselves, but sadly this seemed to have slowed down quite a bit in recent years. But because there are simply so many characters I'd like to see in this range I couldn't narrow it down to just five, which is why I'm presenting a kaiju-specific version of my Top 5 Most Wanted Ultraman S.H. Figuarts to kick things off. This look specifically looks at the giant monsters of the Ultraman multiverse, with separate lists dedicated to both aliens and Ultraman (as well as any Ultra-adjacent heroes) coming later in the year.

Saturday 9 April 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett (Star Wars: Droids)

Black Series Boba Fett (Star Wars: Droids) 01

Release Date: April 2022
RRP: $26.49/£28.99

Although some Star Wars collectors are understandably irked by the sheer amount of repaints and/or minor retools Hasbro are putting out at the moment, it's hard to be too annoyed when it means that they're finally showing the Legends era the respect it deserves. These video games, novels, comics and more kept the franchise alive during the quiet times, and for many is just as much the Star Wars they grew up with as the films themselves. While celebrating Lucasfilm's 50th anniversary the Black Series has been paying homage to many of these now-forgotten parts of Star Wars media, including the short-lived 1985 animated series Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. The Black Series Boba Fett (Star Wars: Droids) figure reimagines the legendary bounty hunter in his colour scheme from episode four of the cartoon, which in turn is similar to his debut appearance in the animated segment of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Anime REVIEW: Shinkansen Robo Henkei Shinkalion Z

Shinkansen Robo Henkei Shinkalion Z

Japan likes trains, and Japan also likes giant robots. So really it comes as no surprise that they certainly liked Shinkansen Robo Henkei Shinkalion - the 2018-2019 series that brought the two together in an explosion of train facts, wonderfully gimmicky toys and fond memories of the Brave Series. So much so that TakaraTomy, the Japan Railways Group and OLM, Inc. have teamed up once again to produce a sequel series, this time going by the name of Shinkansen Robo Henkei Shinkalion Z. Taking place after the original series with an all-new cast and story, this 2021-2022 sequel ran for a total of 41 episodes.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Studio Series 86 Cliffjumper

Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Studio Series 86 Cliffjumper 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $24.99/£23.99

If there's one thing that the Transformers franchise has tried to ensure since the release of the first live-action movie back in 2007, it's that everyone should love Bumblebee. The character has been a core part of nearly every Transformers production since then, and now even has his own dedicated toy line in the form of Buzzworthy Bumblebee. Despite the name Buzzworthy Bumblebee is actually a pretty diverse subline - producing a number of interesting releases around the current Transformers toy lines that are often only tangentially related to Bumblebee himself. The ever-popular Studio Series line has also branched out into it as well - with one such example being the Buzzworthy Bumblebee Studio Series 86 Cliffjumper figure. Though not a key player in Transformers: The Movie, Cliffjumper was stationed aboard Moonbase One alongside Jazz as the Autobot planned to take their home planet back from the Decepticons

Friday 1 April 2022

Series REVIEW: Ultraman Ginga

Ultraman Ginga

With Ultraman now spreading its light on a worldwide scale, it's easy to forget that it wasn't all that long ago that the franchise was in a pretty precarious place. Tsuburaya Productions were taking hit after hit financially, whilst still embroiled in their long legal battle with Chaiyo Productions over the rights to the Ultraman franchise outside of Japan. Nevertheless the company persevered, and in 2013 celebrated their 50th anniversary with the 25th instalment in the Ultra Series, and the birth of the New Generation series that continue on to this day. Ultraman Ginga aired as part of the New Ultraman Retsuden programming block, running for a total of 11 episodes with two theatrical movies (the first of which was abridged into an additional episode for the show's eventual US release). Though one of the shortest Ultraman series, Ultraman Ginga would eventually return for a further 16 episodes the following year as the show became Ultraman Ginga S.