Friday, 11 November 2022

Top 5: Tamashii Nations Reveals That Never Happened

Top 5: Tamashii Nations Reveals That Never Happened

We're only a few weeks away from the annual Tamashii Nations event, where Bandai Tamashii Nations reveal a whole bunch of forthcoming releases from their various toy lines. But while these events are always a big source of excitement for collectors as they see all the newest figures to add to their wish lists, they can also be a time of frustration as many of the figures on display never make it past the prototype stage. So in the lead up to the event I've decided to put together my top five reveals that have happened at Tamashii Nations events over the years, which have then never come to fruition. Reader beware – this list contains a whole lot of "what could have been", and if you've been following these events for some time are likely to drum up some painful memories of Bandai prototype hell. 

5. Soul of Chogokin Dolgiran/Dol (Space Sheriff Gavan)
Soul of Chogokin Dolgiran/Dol

Making its second appearance on one of my top five lists is Gavan's spaceship/robot dragon combo, which was unveiled in high-end Soul of Chogokin form alongside Juspion's Daileon at Tamashii Nations 2020. Since then Daileon has actually received an official release, but poor old Dolgiran seems to have been forgotten about. Admittedly out of all the figures on this list I think this one has the most chance of being released since it's still fairly recent and comes from a smaller line, but odds mean nothing when it comes to how Bandai figure out their release pattern.

4. S.H. Figuarts Char (Mobile Suit Gundam
S.H. Figuarts Char

Of all the figures that have been unveiled at a Tamashii Nations event and then have never been released, this is the one that confuses me most of all. I mean it's Char, one of the most iconic anime characters of all time. Even if there weren't any other Figuarts from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Char feels like a character that could sell well on his own strength alone. If Master Asia can finally get a release after several years in limbo, then why can't the Red Comet? While the figure would definitely need some reworking to stand alongside modern S.H. Figuarts, but with Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury getting Figuarts releases maybe Char's time has finally arrived.

3. S.H. MonsterArts Angels (Neon Genesis Evangelion
S.H. MonsterArts Angels 01S.H. MonsterArts Angels 02
S.H. MonsterArts Angels 03

This is another one that confuses me a fair bit. Neon Genesis Evangelion is always a guaranteed seller, and Bandai looked like they were ready to go all-in on these. Originally unveiled at Tamashii Nations 2012, a total of SIX angels were shown off at the event – each with their own unique designs and diorama pieces. Bandai being Bandai I don't think anyone ever expected all six to actually get released, but Sachiel at the very least seemed like a given. Was it just because the S.H. MonsterArts line was so focused on Godzilla at the time that anime style figures wouldn't have fit? With something of a Hideaki Anno renaissance going on thanks to the various Shin films maybe there's still hope for these one day, even if it is just Sachiel. 

2. S.H. Figuarts Rio & Mele (Juken Sentai Gekiranger
S.H. Figuarts Rio & Mele

There are PLENTY of unreleased Super Sentai Figuarts I could have picked for this list (so many that tried to only include one entry in the interest of fairness), but the fact we never got this pair is easily the most tragic. Not only are they both fantastic characters (and designs) that deserved an S.H. Figuarts release, but how ballsy would it have been for Tamashii Nations to release the villains from a series without the heroes themselves in sight? Not that I don't think figures of the Gekirangers would have followed had the line continued at the time, but based on the prototypes we saw over the years they weren't even on Bandai's radar. But hey, with Super Sentai Figuarts making a comeback this year things might finally be about to change. Rio, Mele, Baseball Mask, the Gorangers, the rest of Jetman and Boukenger, the SWAT Dekarangers, Gedou Shinken Red – maybe there's a place in the line for them after all. 

1. S.H. Figuarts Kikaider REBOOT (Kikaider REBOOT)
S.H. Figuarts Kikaider REBOOT

If you know me at all (or have gleamed anything from the various posts I've done over the years), this was always going to be my number one. While certainly not the most painful unreleased figure for S.H. Figuarts collectors as a whole, this one is deeply personal to me. Tamashii Nations 2014 was a particularly painful event when it comes to unreleased figures anyway (unveiling the likes of the Goranger team, Metalder, Juspion, Mad Gallant and Janperson), but arguably some of those figures still have some chance of still getting made one day (and if they don't, many have found life in Evolution Toy's HAF line instead). It's fair to say Kikaider REBOOT is NEVER going to happen. The boat has sailed, and with the film proving to be a bit of a flop it's unlikely Toei or Bandai are ever going to revisit it. But look how amazing it looks! This modern take on the classic Ishinomori hero would have looked amazing alongside either the classic Kikaider releases or the Kamen Rider Gaim cast, and it pains me every day that it'll never be part of my collection.

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What figures have you really wanted from previous Tamashii Nations events only for them to frustratingly never get released? As always let me know, as well as any ideas you have for future top give pieces, in the comment section below!

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