Friday 29 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Teeka (Jawa)

Star Wars Black Series Teeka (Jawa) 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $27.99/£33.99

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series hasn't long finished but for once Hasbro are completely on the ball, with plenty of Star Wars Black Series figure announcements that not only coincided with the release of the series, but released shortly afterwards as well. Whilst a lot of the main characters are present and accounted for, there have also been a small number of more obscure characters as well – for example the Target exclusive (or Hasbro Pulse/fan channel exclusive in other parts of the world) Black Series Teeka (Jawa). The shrewd little businessman often traded with the estranged Jedi on Tatooine – even going so far to steal Kenobi's parts so that they could sell them back to him.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Fennec Shand

Black Series Fennec Shand 01

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

The true success of Star Wars: The Mandalorian can be seen in the number of iconic it's managed to produce in such a short time – with many rivalling (and arguably surpassing) those that appeared in the sequel trilogy films. Among those is none other than mercenary Fennec Shand, played by the legendary Ming-Na Wen. After seemingly meeting her demise in her debut appearance in season one of the show, Fennec returned alongside Boba Fett in the following season – becoming his new right-hand and trusted ally in The Book of Boba Fett. Her quickly established legacy doesn't make Black Series Fennec Shand an obvious addition to the line, but also the perfect way to kickstart a new chapter in Hasbro's six-inch collector line.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana

ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana 01

Release Date: April 2022
RRP: 8500 yen

After years of complaining, campaigning and crying out after every Wonderfest, Good Smile Company have finally heard the Symphogear fandom. Years after the Figma range abruptly stopped with only two releases to its name, the popular franchise returns as part of GSC's ACT MODE line. This relatively new line combines both action figure and model kit elements, presenting buyers with a fully painted action figure and model kit-style accessories. It's a place where the armoured magical girl style designs of Symphogear can feel right at home, and after months of delays it's finally to see it truly arrive with the release of ACT MODE Hibiki Tachibana!

Friday 22 July 2022

Movie REVIEW: Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger

Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger

As if a Super Sentai anniversary series isn't special enough, the versus movie that (usually) follows is an excuse to do something extra special – and the franchise's 40th anniversary is no exception. This year the Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger met predecessors Mashin Sentai Kiramager, and brought a few extra friends along with them. However Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger vs Kiramager vs Senpaiger forgoes the usual "vs Super Sentai" tagline we've seen in the past, instead choosing something a little more unique that fits the whimsical tone of the Zenkaiger universe. The 28th instalment in the VS series, the film was written by Zenkaiger main writer Junko Komura and directed by Kyohei Yamaguchi (whose Super Sentai credits include numerous episodes of both shows).

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Top 5: Most Wanted Power Rangers Lightning Collection Figures

Since it first debuted back in 2019, Hasbro's Lightning Collection toy line has been an excellent way for Power Rangers and Super Sentai fans alike to collect their favourite characters from across the franchises. And although Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts may have made a return this year, there's no way that line will ever be quite as all-encompassing as this. We have rangers, we have villains, we have monsters of the week…we even have oddities like Boom! Studios comic characters including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossovers. But with a franchise quickly approaching its 30th birthday, there's still plenty of ground left to cover. So here are the five things I want to see Hasbro cover most in the Lightning Collection, and this time we're going big. Not just single characters this time around, but teams, villain factions…Hasbro have the resources, so let's see these things happen.

Monday 18 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Vice Rex Genome

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Vice Rex Genome 01

Release Date: February 2022
RRP: 4950 yen

When a new series of Kamen Rider S.H. Figuarts kicks off with a cheaper release, it doesn't take long for a fully priced one to come just to bring collectors crashing back down to reality. However the positive is that these are far more "complete" releases, and with a better number of accessories more indicative of what Bandai Tamashii Nations has to offer with the line. 50th anniversary series Kamen Rider Revice showcases a duo of lead Riders, and with Kamen Rider Revi taking that cheaper slot his demonic partner is left to take that more typical price point. S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Vice Rex Genome however was released alongside Revi rather than the following month, giving collectors the opportunity to pick the duo up at the same time.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Luke Skywalker's X-Wing

Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Luke Skywalker's X-Wing 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $16.99/£17.99

The launch of a new Star Wars toy line is always exciting, particularly when another company is getting on the action to challenge the stranglehold Hasbro has over it. This time it's Jazwares getting in on the action and they've got spaceships in mind - creating the Micro Galaxy Squadron line, a spiritual successor to the Micro Machines Action Fleet range which ruled the roost back in the 1990s. Joining Darth Vader's TIE Advanced as part of the initial launch lineup is Luke Skywalker's X-Wing - one of the most iconic vehicles from the Star Wars universe (perhaps second only to the Millennium Falcon) and an obvious choice to kickstart this brand new range.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Darth Vader's TIE Advanced

Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Darth Vader's TIE Advanced 01

Release Date: July 2022 
RRP: $16.99/£17.99

There are plenty of companies out there making toys and models of the various ships from the Star Wars universe, but when Jazwares announced they'd be entering the fray with their Micro Galaxy Squadron line it certainly sparked a lot of interest. A spiritual successor of sorts to the Micro Machines Action Fleet line of the 90s, the line will feature scaled vehicles each with their own pilot figures. As someone who's always loved Star Wars vehicles but never bought into a dedicated line of them before, I was eager to give it a try and picked up the Micro Galaxy Squadron Darth Vader's TIE Advanced from the launch range to see if they're truly worth all the fuss.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Revi Rex Genome

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Revi Rex Genome 01

Release Date: February 2022
RRP: 3850 yen

50 years strong and no signs of slowing down, the legacy of the Kamen Rider franchise continues with Kamen Rider Revice! While admittedly it took a few months from the series' premiere back in September 2021 Bandai Tamashii Nations finally launched the Revice range in February 2022, kicking things off with a double team of Kamen Riders Revi and Vice! While a double-pack of the human/demon pair might have seemed the most logical release, Bandai have largely kept things to their usual pattern – with S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Revi Rex Genome arriving as a more affordable release whilst Vice comes at a more typical price point for the line.

Sunday 10 July 2022

First Impressions: Ultraman Decker

Ultraman Decker
Ultraman Decker is available to stream on YouTube

Thanks to the revival of the Ultraman franchise as a worldwide brand, Ultraman Day has become an event that isn't just celebrated every July 10th (the day the "Birth of Ultraman" preview event was originally broadcast back in 1966) - it's become a week-long celebration of everything Ultraman. Much like the last few years Tsuburaya Productions have ensured that this celebration coincides with the release of the latest instalment in the franchise, and once again it's marking another big anniversary. Last year saw the 25th anniversary of Ultraman Tiga marked with the release of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, and with 2022 marking the same milestone for Tiga sequel Ultraman Dyna the story of Trigger continues in Ultraman Decker! In what has become a staple for the franchise, the series is available to fans worldwide subtitled in a variety of languages - with episodes remaining on Youtube for two weeks after their premiere.