Saturday 31 December 2022

Favourite Toys of 2022

Favourite Toys of 2022

As the world gradually begins to ring out the end of 2022, it's time again to count down some of my favourite toy releases of the year. Sadly the rather extensive back catalogue I started the year with hasn't gotten any smaller, but thankfully I've still made time for this bunch of fantastic figures which are all worthy of joining your collection. As usual I try to make these lists specifically for figures that were released in 2022, but given the sheer chaos that is Hasbro's release schedule these days there a couple from the beginning of the year that are perhaps a little debatable. Not that it really matters - I got all these figures in 2022 and that's all that counts. So without further ado read on to find out which figure made the top spot, and be sure to let me know what your favourites were in the comments!

Friday 30 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: G.I. Joe Classified Series Baroness (Retro)

G.I. Joe Classified Series Baroness (Retro) 01

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

When the Classified Series was launched not even Hasbro probably imagined it would revive G.I. Joe the way it has, but it's clear collectors can't get enough of the "Real American Hero" rebooted in six-inch form. Now that the Classified Series sits comfortably with Hasbro's other tentpole collector lines, re-releases in retro packaging were inevitable. Among the first of these figures is the G.I. Joe Classified Series Baroness (Retro), reimagining the Cobra terrorist operative with a throwback colour scheme and classic card back packaging. While it might not have been all that long since Baroness first made her appearance in the Classified Series, given that was a store exclusive "Cobra Island" release with a chunky Cobra C.O.I.L. motorcycle there are probably a lot of buyers out there keen to pick her up in a more basic version.

Thursday 29 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Jeanne Cobra Genome & Lovekov Kujaku Genome

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Jeanne 01

Release Date: August 2022
RRP: 6930 yen

The Kamen Rider Revice S.H. Figuarts range continues its string of Tamashii Web exclusives, and was naturally going to be the case most of the time for this series it's keeping it in the family. In just a few short years the Reiwa era of the franchise has become notable for raising the prominence and profile of female Kamen Riders, with Sakura Igarashi taking it to even further heights following her debut as Kamen Rider Jeanne. Given her popularity it's no surprise Bandai Tamashii Nations skipped over Kamen Rider Live (who debuted a few episodes earlier in the series) for the time being in order to release S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Jeanne Cobra Genome & Lovekov Kujaku Genome, further adding to the growing collection of female Riders that's amassed in the last few years.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (The Rise of Ultraman)

S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (The Rise of Ultraman) 01

Release Date: October 2022
RRP: $50

With Ultraman's current conquest of the West advancing at a rapid pace it was only a matter of time before the franchise broke through to the convention exclusive circuit. Alongside the usual array of Dragon Ball Z figures, for the 2022 New York Comic Con (and later, various other events across Asia) Bandai Tamashii Nations revealed S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (The Rise of Ultraman) – the first Ultraman Figuarts initially aimed at a Western market. As the name suggests this figure draws inspiration from The Rise of Ultraman – the first of several limited comic book series by Marvel Comics released in 2020.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Top 5: Toys I'm Looking Forward to in 2023

Top 5: Toys I'm Looking Forward to in 2023

There's been a lot of fantastic toy releases this year (and as usual I'll be counting down my personal top ten at the end of the month), but as 2022 draws to a close many collectors will start looking forward to all the things they've got preordered for the coming year. So for my final top five feature of 2022 I'm looking forward to the five toys I'm looking forward to most next year. All the entries below have a confirmed release date so we're certain they're coming in 2023, and I'm pleased to say I've secured preorders on them all as well. Will any of them make the top ten toys of 2023 list? Only time will tell…

Monday 12 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Studio Series 86 Arcee

Transformers Studio Series 86 Arcee 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $24.99/£25.99

The Studio Series 86 line is rapidly running out of characters that prominently appeared in Transformers: The Movie, particularly when you take the ones that have recently appeared in the War for Cybertron trilogy lines into account as well. However that clearly isn't going to stop Hasbro from celebrating this landmark piece of Transformers media, as Studio Series 86 Arcee has arrived while the Earthrise (also re-released as part of Kingdom) version is still in recent memory. However contrary to what you might think, this Studio Series version is not just a cartoon-accurate repaint of the Earthrise version – instead looking even further back in Arcee's toy history alongside some brand-new tooling.

Friday 9 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultrawoman Grigio

S.H. Figuarts Ultrawoman Grigio 01

Release Date:
September 2022
RRP: 7150 yen

When a new S.H. Figuarts figure makes its debut at a Tamashii Nation event, it can be a long and painful wait until it finally makes it to release – and those are the lucky ones. Having originally made her debut all the way back in 2019, it's taken a whole three years for S.H. Figuarts Ultrawoman Grigio to become a reality and it's fair to say New Generation Ultraman fans couldn't be more excited. Asahi Minato, the third and youngest sibling of Ultraman R/B, comes as a Tamashii web exclusive and it’s the first female Ultra to be released in the S.H. Figuarts range. Coming hot on the heels of S.H. Figuarts Carmeara, it's been a good couple of months for Ultra Series women.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Series REVIEW: Power Rangers Dino Fury

Power Rangers Dino Fury

If Power Rangers Beast Morphers was simply a taste of what the franchise would have to offer under Hasbro's leadership, then surely its follow-up should show what it can be like at its full potential. And when it comes to Power Rangers, dinosaurs have always proved to be a guaranteed hit. Power Rangers Dino Fury sees the franchise return to the theme that started it all for a fourth time, throwing Super Sentai fans in a spin once again by skipping forward ahead and adapting footage from 2019's Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger. Dino Fury is also notable for being the final series to air on Nickelodeon, which has been the home of the franchise since its return in 2011 with Power Rangers Samurai. While the first season aired on Nick as normal, the series found a new home on Netflix for its second – making the first Power Rangers instalment to air exclusively (in most territories) on an online streaming service.

Monday 5 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Demons Spider Genome

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Demons 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: 7700 yen

While Kamen Rider Revice may have been a series that pushed the story of family first and foremost, it wasn't just the Igarashi family that captured fans' hearts. Fenix commander Hiromi Kadota quickly established himself as a firm fan-favourite in the series, fighting as the first Kamen Rider Demons using the Vail-possessed Demons Driver. After going missing and presumed dead, he would eventually return to the fight against Giff leading Weekend's Demons Army. His popularity pretty much ensured the quick release of S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Demons Spider Genome, who joins the line as the fourth release in the Revice range and its second Tamashii web exclusive.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Evil Trigger

S.H. Figuarts Evil Trigger 01

Release Date: November 2022
RRP: 7150 yen

The Ultraman franchise has found a comfortable place in the annual Tamashii Nations event exclusives, although arguably the metallic repaints of the last couple of years have been nothing to write home about. For the 2022 event however Bandai Tamashii Nations have returned to the well of evil Ultras they originally started with back in 2018 with Ultraman Orb Dark, celebrating last year's Ultraman Trigger: Episode Z movie with the release of S.H. Figuarts Evil Trigger. Using the Ancient Sparklence, Zabil of the Ultra-Ancient Civilisation transforms into this shadowy figure, consumed by his desire to become a messianic figure for humanity.