Monday 29 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kyrieloid

S.H. Figuarts Kyrieloid 01

Release Date: May 2022
RRP: 6600 yen

If anyone needed further proof of Ultraman Tiga's popularity, the fact it's managed to get so many S.H. Figuarts releases that aren't the titular character in such a short space of time is a fairly good indicator as far as merchandise is concerned. Hot on the heels of Golza and the GUTS Wings set earlier in the year, Bandai Tamashii Nations continue to expand the range with the series' first Tamashii Web exclusive item - S.H. Figuarts Kyrieloid! Demon-like aliens who believed themselves to be the architects for both humanity and the planet Earth's future, the Kyrieloids battled against Ultraman Tiga before returning again on a parallel Earth to also face off against Ultraman Trigger - an event where Tiga and Trigger fought side by side.

Friday 26 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Finster

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Finster 01

Release Date: January 2022 
RRP: $27.99/£31.99 

While the Lightning Collection does have a rather unfortunate focus on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for the most part, at the very least Hasbro have shown fans that they are prepared to do some interesting things within the confines of that original series. Rather than just getting the rangers themselves ad nauseum (although that isn't to say that isn’t a problem as well), we've also had our fair share of villains – from core characters to episodic monsters. But those episodic monsters are nothing without their creator, which the arrival of the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Finster was such a pleasant surprise. Rita's chief monster maker comes as a somewhat special release exclusive to both Amazon and Hasbro Pulse.

Wednesday 24 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project GaoMuscle

Shokugan Modeling Project GaoMuscle 01

Release Date: September 2021 
RRP: 8250 yen 

When Bandai announced that they would be rebranding their Super Mini-Pla line as Shokugan Modeling Project, they also revealed that this new chapter in the line would be kicking off with Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger – easily the most ambitious Super Sentai series the line has tackled yet. With multiple combinations spread across numerous Power Animals, there was no way collectors were going to accept half measures with this – and Bandai didn't take long to show their dedication. Hot on the heels of SMP Gaoking's release came the range's first Premium Bandai exclusive release – Shokugan Modeling Project GaoMuscle, the second of Gaoranger's long line of mecha. In addition to GaoGorilla, GaoBear and GaoPolar, this set also includes GaoRhinos and GaoMadillo – also giving fans the option to build the GaoMuscle Striker combination.

Monday 22 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Studio Series 86 Perceptor

Transformers Studio Series 86 Perceptor 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $22.99/£22.99

While the majority of the principal cast of Transformers: The Movie were brand new characters, there were some previously established Autobots that were able to receive a significant role without dying in the process. The most obvious of these is of course the Dinobots, but in addition to them there was also Perceptor – who tended to Optimus Prime in his final moments before evacuating Autobot City alongside Ultra Magnus' team. Which is exactly why Studio Series 86 Perceptor is the perfect addition as the line (in tandem with releases from the War For Cybertron trilogy and Legacy ranges) draws ever closer to completing that principal cast.

Friday 19 August 2022

Top 5: Tokusatsu Toei Should Subtitle For Youtube

Top 5: Tokusatsu Toei Should Subtitle For Youtube

It's been over two years since Toei launched their Toei Tokusatsu World Official Youtube channel and it's fair to say it's been a mixed bag at best. As far as English-speaking fans are concerned these days it's mainly used for dumping odd episodes (or movies) of Kamen Rider and calling it "worldwide distribution", but upon its initial launch Toei dumped a whole host of interesting titles from their rather extensive back catalogue. Sadly only the first two episodes were subbed, but the remaining episodes continued to be uploaded to the channel – making many of them the most accessible they've ever been outside of Japan. So for this month's top five I'm counting down the five shows I'd most like to see fully subbed on the channel. Don't get me wrong the channel is the perfect place for Kamen Rider to be shared with the world, but it would be amazing for these great shows to get some more exposure too.

Wednesday 17 August 2022

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

S.H. Figuarts Zōffy (Shin Ultraman) 01

Release Date: June 2022
RRP: 5500 yen

Unless you're someone happy to dive into spoilers, much of Shin Ultraman remains a mystery for Ultraman fans outside of Japan. But given the film's overwhelming success in its home country merchandising has begun to ramp up - and with it come the spoilers. One such example was the release of S.H. Figuarts Zōffy (Shin Ultraman), confirming the character's appearance in the film as well as his wildly different appearance and (very slight) name change. The second Shin Ultraman Figuarts release from Bandai Tamashii Nations following on from Ultraman himself, Zōffy is a figure that may not look all that different to Ultraman but is extremely significant nonetheless.

(WARNING: Some text and images in this review will contain spoilers for the film.)

Monday 15 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Asajj Ventress' Ginivex Starfighter

Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Asajj Ventress' Ginivex Starfighter 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $12.99/£12.99

With all the ships there are in the Star Wars universe Jazwares were hardly short of choice when it came to launching the Micro Galaxy Squadron line, which makes it all the more impressive that its launch wave isn't just made up of the obvious favourites. Perhaps to compliment the Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter release, Asajj Ventress' Ginivex Starfighter also comes as part of the assortment. Also known as "Fanblade starfighters", these Geonosian-built fighters were built for Separatist Agents during the Clone Wars.

Saturday 13 August 2022

Special REVIEW: OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story

OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story

If there's one thing I think we can all agree on about Kamen Rider OOO 10th: Core Medal of Resurrection it's how underused Kamen Rider Birth was. Despite both Shintaro Gotou and Akira Date appearing in both the film and a prequel net movie minisode, the characters largely fell to the wayside in the main story. This is even more surprising (or less so depending on how cynical you are about Bandai's toy shilling) considering Birth got a new form in the movie in the form of Birth X. But thankfully the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub is here to rectify the situation, with the story of OOO's secondary Rider continuing in OOO 10th Kamen Rider Birth: Birth X Secret Birth Story!

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $26.99/£32.99

Even though the core Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team have been released about three times over by now, Hasbro certainly aren't going to be done with them any time soon. When their original Power Coins were damaged in battle against Rito Revolto, the rangers sought out new coins from the mysterious Ninjor – gaining new ninja powers in the process! Now the rangers' ninja forms – used in their countless battles against the Tenga Warriors, have arrived as part of the Lightning Collection. With the power of the falcon, the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin Ninja White Ranger is ready to lead the team in a brand-new chapter in the fight against Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

Saturday 6 August 2022

Special REVIEW: Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera

Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera

One of the obvious problems with summer Kamen Rider movies introducing new characters (most of whom are Riders themselves) is that they rarely have time to develop them in a meaningful way. But with the arrival of streaming services such as the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub, there's an opportunity to give them a bigger spotlight through prequel specials that can add a little more context to things. For example, just ahead of the release of Kamen Rider Revice: Battle Familia, the service launched (the rather lengthy titled) Kamen Rider Revice Movie Spin-Off Delivered Drama: Birth of Chimera – introducing fans to the characters that will be driving the plot of the film.

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts SC-3 King Joe STORAGE Custom

S.H. Figuarts King Joe STORAGE Custom 01

Release Date: March 2022
RRP: 8580 yen

If there's a sure sign that a series is popular with fans, it's when Bandai Tamashii Nations continue to produce S.H. Figuarts releases for it long after the show itself has run its course. Given the way many of the releases sold out instantly it’s no surprise that the brand is continuing to push forward with Ultraman Z releases, with S.H. Figuarts SC-3 King Joe STORAGE Custom now joining the line as the latest Tamashii web exclusive release. Rebuilt from the remnants of the Alien Barossa's robot, King Joe became the third robot in STORAGE's defence force. The combination of four assault vehicles, this Earth-based King Joe wields a powerful array of Pedanium-powered weaponry.

Monday 1 August 2022

First Impressions: Fuuto PI

Fuuto PI
Fuuto PI is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

It's almost hard to believe it, but after all these years there's finally an official Kamen Rider anime series. Despite the potential for an animated series based on Shotaro Ishinimori's premier tokusatsu hero as well as the numerous manga release ripe for adaptation there's been over the years, somehow 1993's Kamen Rider SD has remained its only anime offering - until now. Announced alongside Shin Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider Black Sun as part of the franchise's 50th anniversary celebrations, the story of Kamen Rider W now continues in Fuuto PI! Based on the ongoing manga series of the same name (marketed in Japan as Fuuto Tantei), the adaptation is being done by Studio Kai - a relatively new studio whose previous credits include Uma Musume Pretty Derby 2nd Season.