Monday 20 November 2023

Top 5: Tamashii Nation 2023 Reveals

That time of year where the wallets of toy collectors all over the world cry out in pain has rolled around again, with Bandai Tamashii Nations holding their annual Tamashii Nation showcase event in Tokyo. The event saw the usual array of reveals and announcements for their various toy lines, with a wide selection of anime, tokusatsu, video game and Western media products. While my personal hopes/predictions for the event were a bit off this year, that didn't stop Bandai from revealing a whole host of great items that'll tide me over into 2024. As usual here are my five favourite reveals from the event, as well as hopes and prayers that none of these will end up in Bandai purgatory. Though truth be told, they've gotten much better at "announce less, release more" in recent years.

5. PROPLICA Master Sword (The Legend of Zelda
PROPLICA Master Sword

As someone who's never been massively into collecting roleplay item toys the PROPLICA line usually just passes me by, but when it's something as monumental as a full-sized Master Sword then you can't really just ignore it can you? Bandai certainly made an impact with their display for the item – unveiling it on a full-sized pedestal that looks like it jumped straight out of Breath of the Wild. Given PROPLICA's tendency to add gimmicks to their releases I expect that the blade will glow, but even if it doesn't this is going to make one hell of a display piece. A very expensive one for sure, but we'll worry about that when Bandai unveil its price and release date.

4. Hi-Metal R Sound Force (Macross 7
Hi-Metal R Sound Force

Hi-Metal R is another line that I've largely ignored, not because I'm not interested but more because you've got to draw the line on collecting somewhere – and getting into Macross Valkyries is a particularly expensive habit. However the announcement of VF-17T Nightmare Custom and VF-11MAXL Thunderbolt Custom, displayed alongside the previously revealed VF-19 Excalibur Custom (aka the Fire Valkyrie) definitely caught my eye. As some of the more unique Battroid designs in the Macross series really make for some dynamic figures, and could prove to be my slippery slope toward sampling this popular toy line. Plus more Macross 7 releases means being one step closer to the VF-1S Nightmare, which really will be my breaking point as it's my favourite Valkyrie in the franchise.

3. S.H. Figuarts Greeza (Ultraman X
S.H. Figuarts Greeza

It just isn't a Tamashii Nations event without some Ultraman kaiju reveals, and while (the long overdue) Red King was a nice surprise this year definitely belonged to some of the more recent Ultraman instalments. First making his debut in the finale of Ultraman X, Greeza quickly earned a reputation as one of the most unsettling enemies an Ultraman has fought thanks to its strange movement and chilling noises. Now this Eldritch Abomination literally made from the nothingness of space has found a home in the S.H. Figuarts line, specifically in its second (humanoid) form. While the figure itself looks great, I do fear that this is one of the reveals least likely to happen (or at least any time soon) simply based on Bandai's track record. That said, they are known to throw out a curveball every now and again so fingers crossed we aren't waiting too long for this intergalactic monstrosity.

2. S.H. Figuarts Galactron (Ultraman Orb)
S.H. Figuarts Galactron

Greeza may be the creepiest kaiju that the New Generation has introduced into the Ultraman mythos, but Galactron is definitely the most iconic. From its initial debut in Ultraman Orb to its reappearances in Ultraman Geed, Ultraman Taiga and even Ultraman Decker, Galactron has repeatedly shown itself to be a force to be reckoned with. Even though the Ultraman Figuarts range has been extremely light on kaiju figures from the newer shows, Galactron is easily the most deserving of the Bandai Tamashii Nations treatment. Based on the prototype shown off at the event, it's not going to disappoint either. Not only does this thing have the size needed to make an S.H. Figuarts Galactron a success, but all that etched detailing is moulded across the body to make it as accurate as possible. I do worry that this will also be another figure that struggles to see the light of day, but the fact there's now a prototype means it's one step closer to being a reality.

1. S.H. MonsterArts Jet Jaguar (Godzilla vs. Megalon)
S.H. MonsterArts Jet Jaguar

MonsterArts takes the top spot once again this year as I get to cross another entry on my "most wanted figures" list. Bandai going the extra mile to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs. Gigan by releasing 1972 versions of both Gigan and Godzilla was one thing, but I did not expect them to show the same level of reverence to Godzilla vs. Megalon. The Megalon and Jet Jaguar short films the official Godzilla YouTube channel released to mark the occasion have already been more than I could have hoped for, but the original Jet Jaguar finally joining the S.H. MonsterArts line really is a dream come true. The figure looks absolutely spectacular and will perfectly compliment Gigan and the soon-to-be-released 1972 Godzilla. MonsterArts has ignored the Showa era for far too long, and now that it's finally giving it attention it's churning out some of the best releases it's had in a long time. Surely Megalon is also a given at this point?


What were your favourite reveals at this year's Tamashii Nation event? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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