Sunday 30 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Marvel Legends Ghost Rider

Marvel Legends Ghost Rider 01

Release Date: November 2022
RRP: $27.99/£25.99

Retro-carded releases have become one of Hasbro's favourite things in the last few years, releasing them across nearly all of their collector brands. It's hard to see how they're a bad thing though, in fact there's quite a lot of advantages to these releases. They appease MISB fans with their nostalgic packaging, though reissues the figures themselves are often ones that have gone long out of print and more often than not they have considerably improved decos. So what's not to love? With all the Marvel Comics cartoons and toy lines there were back in the 90s the Marvel Legends line features a good share of figures with these throwback card backs. Picks like Spider-Man, X-Men and even the Fantastic Four seem obvious, but who could have seen a Marvel Legends Ghost Rider with retro packaging coming?

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Studio Series 86 Decepticon Rumble (Blue)

Transformers Studio Series 86 Rumble 01

Release Date: November 2022
RRP: $11.99/£13.99

Everyone loves a big Transformers toy, but every now and again you've got to give the little guys some love as well. Thankfully this is exactly what the Studio Series 86 line has been doing lately, adding the Core Class to their range of screen-accurate figures from 1986's Transformers: The Movie. After getting off the ground with Wheelie and Spike in his exo suit, now Hasbro are giving the bad guys some love with Studio Series 86 Decepticon Rumble (Blue). A core character in the Generation One cartoon since its pilot, the wise-talking Rumble is one of Soundwave's trusted cassette minions.

Monday 24 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Grand Inquisitor

Star Wars Black Series Grand Inquisitor 01

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

Between The Bad Batch, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi: Fallen Order and its sequelJedi Survivor, the Dark Times is quite a popular focus point of the Star Wars universe right now. As the Empire began to truly consolidate its power, the remaining Jedi were hunted down and killed by the Inquisitors – former Jedi that pledged themselves to both the Empire and the dark side of the force. After initially appearing in both Rebels and the ongoing Marvel comic series, the Inquisitors finally made their live-action debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Among them their leader, the Grand Inquisitor – a Pau'an and former Jedi Temple Guard. As a popular character across various Star Wars media, it's great to see Hasbro release the Black Series Grand Inquisitor so soon into their run of Obi-Wan Kenobi figures.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett (In Disguise)

Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett (In Disguise) 01

Release Date: July 2022
RRP: $33.99/£38.99

If Hasbro are ever in doubt about what to release as a convention exclusive, they can always be sure that a Boba Fett variant will go down well. Not only is his Mandalorian armour one of the most iconic designs in all of Star Wars, but there are so many colour variants that it'll be a while before Hasbro run out of options. For 2022's San Diego Comic Con Hasbro turned their attention toward the more recent Marvel Comics, releasing the Black Series Boba Fett (In Disguise) as both an SDCC and fan-channel exclusive. Based on the War of the Bounty Hunters comic event from 2021, the story sees Boba don an all-black look to enter fighting pits after a complication arises in delivering Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt.

Friday 21 April 2023

Special REVIEW: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always

While some hardcore Power Rangers fans may lament at how much the franchise seems to rely on it these days, but there's no denying how much the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers changed the pop culture landscape. As one of the biggest children's television programmes of the earlier 1990s, it's hard to find a child of that generation that doesn't have fond memories of the spandex-clad superheroes. And to celebrate its 30th anniversary, fans are getting a reunion like never before. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is a 55-minute Netflix special which reunites several members of the MMPR cast for one more fight, paying tribute to the past as well as looking forward toward the future.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Star Wars Black Series Fifth Brother (Inquisitor)

Star Wars Black Series Fifth Brother (Inquisitor) 01

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

Outside of the long-awaited return of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, one of the great things about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was how it finally brought the Inquisitors into the live-action portion of the Star Wars universe. Previously seen in Star Wars Rebels, Jedi: Fallen Order and the ongoing comics, the Inquisitors are an organisation of force-sensitive dark side agents that served the Galactic Empire in hunting down the remaining Jedi. While the Obi-Wan series introduced many new Inquisitors into the mix, it also brought back one familiar face from Rebels. The Black Series Fifth Brother (Inquisitor) is among the initial wave of figures released by Hasbro for Obi-Wan Kenobi, joining both Reva (Third Sister) and the Grand Inquisitor to bolster the Empire's forces.

Monday 17 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Zenkaizer Black

S.H. Figuarts Zenkaizer Black 01

Release Date: November 2022
RRP: 7150 yen

When it was announced that Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts would be returning in 2022 with the release of S.H. Figuarts Zenkaizer, it didn't take a genius to work out who was a likely candidate for the Tamashii Nation 2022 event exclusive list. The annual Bandai Tamashii Nations showcase loves its black repaints, and with Avataro Sentai Donbrothers showing off its own version of Kaito Goshikida it was a match made in heaven. S.H. Figuarts Zenkaizer Black is notable for being the first Tamashii event exclusive for the franchise, while the character himself acts as the mysterious administrator to the Donbrothers - maintaining their points whilst also owner of Cafe Donbura. 

Friday 14 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Astra

S.H. Figuarts Astra 01

Release Date: October 2022
RRP: 7150 yen

Since the Ultraman S.H. Figuarts range launched in 2016 Bandai Tamashii Nations have been slowly working through the back-catalogue of Showa era Ultras while also catching up with the present, and after a good few years they're finally approaching completion. With Ultraman Leo having joined the line at the end of 2021, it was only a matter of time before his brother joined him. S.H. Figuarts Astra is the second release from the Ultraman Leo series, while the character is the younger brother of the titular hero and fellow prince of the fallen Planet L77.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Pink Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Pink Ranger 01

Release Date: February 2022
RRP: $22.99/£23.99

Wave 10 of the Power Rangers Lightning Collection was notable for rounding off two popular teams from the original Saban era. The Zeo Yellow Ranger joined to complete Power Rangers Zeo, while fans also could also complete their Power Rangers In Space team with the release of Lightning Collection In Space Pink Ranger! Cassie Chan succeeded Katherine Hillard to become the second Pink Turbo Ranger, before blasting off into space with her teammates and joining Andros in his fight against Astronema and the forces of Dark Specter.

Monday 3 April 2023

Anime REVIEW: Digimon Ghost Game

Digimon Ghost Game
Digimon Ghost Game is available in streaming form on Crunchyroll

2020 saw the Digimon franchise return to its roots with a remake of its most beloved instalment – Digimon Adventure:. But between a significant hiatus and production issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spotty storytelling and the overwhelming feeling that it was largely relying on nostalgia to carry it through, the end result was far from satisfying. So for its next outing it felt important that the franchise go in a different direction, and that's exactly what happened with Digimon Ghost Game. Premiering immediately after the conclusion of Digimon Adventure:, the 67-episode (plus one special) series is the ninth instalment in the franchise and ran from October 2021 to March 2023. The series coincided with the release of the Vital Bracelet – a Digivice-turned-fitbit that sees your Digimon partner grow based on step count and exercise. The toy has arguably been a success for Bandai – with Kamen Rider, Ultraman and other variations also being made available.