Thursday 29 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Shokugan Modeling Project Ninjaman

Shokugan Modeling Project Ninjaman 01

Release Date: May 2023
RRP: 5400 yen

The Shokugan Modeling Project (formerly Super Mini-Pla) line has been reasonably good at covering everything when it tackles a Super Sentai series, but that isn't to say there aren't a few gaps here and there. Luckily Bandai are proving to be quite good at covering said gaps at a later date, as evidenced by the release of Shokugan Modeling Project Ninjaman! A Premium Bandai exclusive, this release comes a whole five years after the release of the Muteki Shogun and Kakure Daishogun & Tsubasamaru sets – although nicely timed with releases from the Super SHODO line for the full Ninja Sentai Kakuranger experience.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: ACT MODE Shirabe Tsukuyomi

ACT MODE Shirabe Tsukuyomi 01

Release Date: July 2023
RRP: 8900 yen

Credit where it's due to Good Smile Company, they really did commit when it came to the ACT MODE Symphogear range. After Hibiki Tachibana was first released back in July 2022, a year later and they've produced all six main girls to essentially "complete" the selection. Considering Figma only got as far as Hibiki and Tsubasa back when the franchise began, that's quite the achievement. ACT MODE Shirabe Tsukuyomi is the final girl to be released - completing both the second "wave" of users that were introduced as antagonists in second season Symphogear G and the lineup as a whole.

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: ACT MODE Kirika Akatsuki

ACT MODE Kirika Akatsuki 01

Release Date: June 2023
RRP: 9500 yen

Between all the various toy lines and anime franchises Good Smile Company cover they don't go all-in on a specific property all that often, but whenever they do they certainly like to make it count. Years after the Figma range died before it really began, Symphogear finally got the love it deserved in the ACT MODE line. And not just content with releasing the original three girls of the franchise, Good Smile quickly followed up with the announcement of the rest of the cast to complete the lineup. ACT MODE Kirika Akatsuki is the fifth and penultimate character to be released in the line - bringing fans one step closer to completing the collection.

Friday 23 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Wild Force Lunar Wolf Ranger

Lightning Collection Wild Force Lunar Wolf Ranger 01

Release Date: April 2022
RRP: $24.99/£24.99

When it comes to both Power Rangers and Super Sentai toys, logic tends to dictate that if a company is going to only release one member of a team it's going to be the Red Ranger. They are largely considered to be the mascot of the series, and it's certainly the route Bandai Tamashii Nations have taken with the revived S.H. Figuarts range. But to their credit Hasbro have bucked this trend quite a few time with the Lightning Collection, only only jumping between teams but also colours as well. Wave 10 saw the debut of Power Rangers Wild Force in the line, kicking things off with the Lightning Collection Wild Force Lunar Wolf Ranger. If you're not starting with the Red, then sixth is always a solid place to start as well.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Fury Red Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Fury Red Ranger 01

Release Date: April 2022
RRP: $24.99/£24.99

Despite an obvious bias towards the original series, all in all the Power Rangers Lightning Collection
has done a pretty good job of releasing rangers from a variety of different teams. While there are still plenty unaccounted for and lots of incomplete teams, it has at least covered a fair portion of the franchise one way or another over the past few years. But as important as looking back on the franchise's 30-year history may be, it's also important to look at the present – with the lines tenth retail wave including the Lightning Collection Dino Fury Red Ranger. As the (then) currently airing series as well as one of the first fully under Hasbro's leadership, Power Rangers Dino Fury marks a key point in the Power Rangers timeline and one definitely deserving of representation in the line.

Monday 19 February 2024

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Darth Vader (Obi-Wan Kenobi)

S.H. Figuarts Darth Vader (Obi-Wan Kenobi) 01

Release Date: November 2023
RRP: 9900 yen

Even amongst all of the Star Wars series that have been released on Disney+ over the past few years Obi-Wan Kenobi was particularly significant – bridging the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope for the former Jedi Master. However the series was just as notable for the return of Darth Vader, who attempts to chase down Kenobi throughout the series before a final showdown with him on a barren moon. So of course the show prompted a whole range of new action figures (because what Star Wars product doesn't?), with Bandai Tamashii Nations joining in the fun with two new S.H. Figuarts releases of the iconic characters. S.H. Figuarts Darth Vader (Obi-Wan Kenobi) is their fourth rendition of the Sith Lord, following on from a Return of the Jedi version in 2015, a A New Hope version in 2018 and a second Return of the Jedi one in 2019.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider (1979) (Skyrider)

Kamen Rider (1979) (Skyrider)

Following the conclusion of Kamen Rider Stronger in 1975, the Kamen Rider franchise seemed to have come to its conclusion. However the success of anime series such as Space Battleship Yamato created a renewed interest in science-fiction and tokusatsu works across Japan, and together with re-runs of the original Kamen Rider series a new boom for the franchise had begun. It wasn't long before producer Tohru Hirayama was put in charge of a brand new instalment, originally intended to be a revival of the original. Kamen Rider (1979) began airing in October 1979 and ran through to the following October, for a total of 54 episodes. To avoid confusion with the original series (as well as the fact it would eventually diverge from being just a revival), it is also known by the names New Kamen Rider and, perhaps best of all, Skyrider.