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Heisei Kamen Rider Era celebrated with Complete Selection Modification display

You’ll know by now that Kamen Rider Zi-O marks the end of the Heisei Era and the celebrations are in full force, especially in Japan!

As Emperor Heisei prepares to abdicate in April next year, Toei Company and Bandai Japan make preparations of their own to close out an era of Kamen Rider that has spanned nearly 20 years. Starting with Kamen Rider Kuuga at the turn of the millennium, the Kamen Riders we have enjoyed have been umbrellaed under the title Heisei Riders, succeeding the Showa Riders before them.

One of the many celebrations and tributes paid to this historic era of tokusatsu is now on display in Shinjuku, Japan. Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) is a major railway station in the Shinjuku and Shibuya wards in Tokyo, Japan and, in addition to the Toei Subway (都営地下鉄), is the home of a Complete Selection Modification display, where the main henshin devices – belts, drivers… and drumsticks – are all on show in display cases.

Facebook user, Jose Ramon Alanis, was kind enough to let us use the images he took at Shinjuku Station. All the images in this article are his and shouldn’t be reproduced without his express permission.

Banners adorn the room of the station, as well as the pillars holding up the roof.

A wall display exhibits all of the Complete Selection Modification releases to date, including the upcoming Kuuga Arcle and Ryuki V-Buckle.

Rider Kicks is another hallmark of the anniversary celebration; each Kamen Rider has their own boot design.

A display dedicated to each Kamen Rider of the period, showcasing a DX toy for each, was also on display.

If you’re travelling to Japan in the next few weeks, be sure to get down and visit the station yourself; it’s truly a sight to behold!

How do you feel about the end of the Heisei Era? Are Toei/Bandai doing enough to celebrate the legacy of these Kamen Riders? Share your thoughts with us on our social media pages!

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Jackie Marchand posts original concept art from Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

While most of us in the United Kingdom slept last night, Ranger Nation was treated something special from the second Power Rangers film, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.

Former Power Rangers writer and producer, Jackie Marchand took to Twitter last night to post some concept art, puportly containing orginal ideas for Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. The images show over suit armaments called the Power Suites [sic] which would have been used underwater.

Jackie Marchand worked on Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin’ Season 3 to Time Force, and then again for the Disney era from Ninja Storm through to RPM. Marchand, while a fan of the Super Sentai series, was known for being against Power Rangers sticking rigidly to Sentai storylines and would routinely seek to add elements that would separate Power Rangers from its Japanese counterpart. These concept drawings seem to be an example of that.

You can view the concept art below:

While there was no mention of where in the movie these suits would have been used, you could speculate that they might have been used to storm Divatox’s submarine or to approach Maligore’s island without their Turbo zords.

What do you think of the concept drawings? Would you have liked to see them in the Turbo movie? Join the conversation on social media!

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Soul of Chogokin Titanus Revealed at Power Morphicon

We knew it was coming and now it is confirmed. Soul of Chogokin Titanus is coming soon.

Bandai Tamashii Nations are in the process of setting up their space at Power Morphicon but we can confirm that one of their main display pieces is a prototype Soul of Chogokin Titanus. With this release, all 3 of the Zord/Megazord forms from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 1 will have been released in this ultimate, die-cast style.

More details to follow, when available.

Tamashii Nations booth also featured the following displays:

What do you think of this news? Will you be ordering a SoC Titanus? Sound off in the comments!

Legal Note: All photographs are property of Toku Toy Store. You are welcome to share the photos freely but must include a prominent link to this article when doing so. 
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Power Morphicon 2018: First Look at the Convention Hall

Not at Power Morphicon? Not to worry! Toku Toy Store is here to keep you informed with all of the up to the minute news and information from the world’s largest Power Rangers convention!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know by now that Power Morphicon 2018 is just getting underway this evening. This biannual convention is the sixth of its kind but the first to emanate from the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California; this replaces the event’s former home of Pasadena, California, about which fans of Morphicon had long complained that the show had outgrown. While Toku Toy Store doesn’t have a booth at the event, we have representatives on hand to bring you closer to the big show, even if you’re unable to attend yourself.

Setup

Before the general public were allowed through the doors, the hard work of getting the convention ready commenced. On our Facebook page, we showed you what the Convention Center looked like yesterday (Thursday).

From this high vantage point, you were already able to see the basic layout of the room. For their first Power Morphicon, it’s clear that Hasbro are setting up to have a big presence – more on their section later. Since yesterday, the main hall has continued to take shape with all parties working hard to prepare.

Perhaps the most exciting addition to the convention floor so far is the Lord Drakkon throne, as featured in the live action trailer for the Power Rangers Shattered Grid comic book series. Presumably, the throne will be available for photo opportunities throughout the weekend. How many different Ranger cosplays will take the throne? If you take the throne, please send us pictures!

In addition to these updates, the guests area is set up and ready to go. Expect a lot of footfall in this area throughout the convention.

Hasbro

Where Saban Brands were reluctant to bring out the props and suits for, well, any reason, the opposite seems to be true of Hasbro. There is a lot to see in their section but if you want to take a look, be aware that, by doing so, you consent to Hasbro using the footage of you browsing in any way they like.

Don’t worry, this isn’t as sinister as it sounds… chances are it means that Hasbro actually plan to use footage from Power Morphicon to highlight, publicise and celebrate the Power Rangers franchise. Here’s hoping, anyway, because that would be a welcome change to Saban’s indiference.

The centrepiece of Hasbro’s section is their display for the upcoming Power Rangers Beast Morphers series. As they were at San Diego Comic Con, all three of the main Ranger suits have been (Go)busted out for PMC.

Another familiar sight is the, now infamous, helmet wall with updated Power Rangers 25th Anniversary Logo.

But that’s not all! Hasbro have been delving deep into the storeroom and have unearthed a number of Ranger and  villain suits from past seasons of Power Rangers.

Better than the suits unearthed is the myriad of props from Power Rangers series dating all the way back to Mighty Morphin’! Whatever your tastes, there’s guaranteed to be something in this selection to get you salivating!

Traders

We may be a little biased but we believe that a convention is nothing without a good array of traders on hand to offer reasonably priced fares for the masses. PMC seems to be off to a good start with a few vendors arriving to set up early. Here is a selection of the earlybirds:

What do you think of Power Morphicon 2018 so far? Join the discussion on social media and let us know your thoughts!

Legal Note: All photographs are property of Toku Toy Store. You are welcome to share the photos freely but must include a prominent link to this article when doing so. 
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Complete Selection Modification V-Buckle announced by P-Bandai

Finally, the Complete Selection Modification belt that Bandai teased a fortnight ago has been announced.

Despite a tweet from P-Bandai promising an announcement about a new CSM, fans were left waiting with baited breath for details about a new interloper to their wallets. That wait is finally over as, last night, Premium Bandai announced a date of June 25th for a full reveal of their latest Complete Selection Modification release: the V-Buckle from Kamen Rider Ryuki.

It’s not yet known what form this release will take. Whether it is just the belt that will be released or whether, similar to the OOO Driver set, we will get a full package of V-Buckle and all of the Advent Decks and Cards will be packaged in a dream Ryuki set.

Are you going to pick this set up? Keep those eyes peeled to Toku Toy Store for more details and pre-orders going forward!

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Saban Brands to shut down on July 2nd

Following the Hasbro acquisition of the majority of their assets, including Power Rangers, Saban Brands will cease operations on July 2nd, 2018.

First reported by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Saban Brands, currently based in Century City, California, will layoff its sixty employees to make way for toymaker, Hasbro. The news came in the form of a letter from Saban Brands lawyer, Jackson Lewis. Dated May 1st (the day the Hasbro acquisition was announced), the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification letter outlined the listed layoffs including Saban’s creative director, financial analyst and director of accounting, amongst others. Fifty-one of the sixty layoffs will happen on July 2nd, with the others coming soon afterwards.

Since news of the Hasbro acquisition broke, fans and supporters of the Power Rangers brand had shared concerns for the fate of Saban Brands staff. The most notable question mark surrounds Director of Global Consumer Products, Jason Bischoff, who, since joining Saban, had served as a conduit between Saban Brands and the Power Rangers community. It is not yet known whether Hasbro will employ any of the sixty Saban Brands employees or whether Saban Brands’ parent company, Saban Capital Group, will transfer any employees into its remit.

This is truly the beginning of the end of the Saban Brands era. What do you think of the news? Are you excited for the Hasbro takeover? Let us know in the comments!

[Source: Los Angeles Business Journal]

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Toku Toy Store at London Toy Fair 2018

Toku Toy Store visited Toy Fair and London Olympia this week to give you the rundown on all of the newest tokusatsu toys and collectables available to retailers in 2018. As you’d expect, the only real toku on offer was Power Rangers but we were able to take a look at the next wave of Legacy items as well items not previously announced for the Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel toyline.

Funko

Unlike previous years, Funko granted access to all retailers without the need for an appointment. Their space was lined with a display of of Funko Pops past and present with Power Rangers well represented. Deeper into the space, the next wave of Hero World figures were hidden away on the bottom shelf. Funko were unable to confirm a UK release date or whether the line would be exclusive to any particular retailer but said that they are coming.

Mash’ems: Twist’em & Squish’em

Also on display were Power Rangers Ninja Steel Mash’ems. Mash’ems describe their product as “a highly collectable toy that all kids will love. Mash’em allows kids to play with their favorite characters in a whole different way. They will be able to Mash’em, Twist’em, squish’em, and Stretch’em.” Mash’ems have been made for previous Neo-Saban era seasons but these haven’t made it over to the UK. The distributor would not state whether any of the major retailers had picked up this toyline.

Legacy

Up the stairs at Bandai UK’s stall, there were lots of Legacy treats to be found. Many of the next wave of Legacy figures that have recently seen a US release were on display. Legacy Zeo and Dino Thunder are expected February with an RRP of £24.99. Early prototypes of the Legacy Psycho Rangers were available to view but, unfortunately, work continues on this product as they are unable to stand up at present (Bandai had them laying down on the shelf!) Auto-morphin figures were also available to look at and are expected February with an RRP of £24.99 each.

The large size non-combining Legacy Zords were on display. The Tyrannosaurus Dinozord truly is a feast to behold. This line has got a lot of flack for it’s lack of ability to form the Megazord but in my opinion it is well worth the £29.99 RRP price. In addition to Tyrannosaurus, Saber Tooth-Tiger and Mastadon were available to view. This is the first time Mastodon has seen the light of day worldwide.

The Legacy Zeonizer and Golden Power Staff were on display. While we’ve seen these before, we now have a price for UK release: £99.99 for the Zeonizer and £149.99 for the Golden Power Staff. Both items are expected to release in March. On the shelf above these items was the full cosplay-sized Green Ranger helmet as well as the smaller display-sized White Ranger helmet. Display helmets are expected to start hitting stores this month while the Green Ranger helmet is expected in March, alongside the Zeo items.

Bandai were very strict about photography and would not allow us to take any pictures. There were some sneaky photos taken by other attendees though, so we’ve included them here for your viewing (Credit to @SimplePeteDoodles).

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Super Ninja Steel

Last year, Toy Fair saw the debut of the Lion Fortress Zord and while there was nothing quite of that magnitude on display, we were treated to some non-before seen items in the Super Ninja Steel toyline. This year, Toy Fair saw the worldwide debut of many fantastic items.

The two main surprises were the Super Steel Blaster, a bright red cannon style weapon based on the Lion Fire Zord. The blaster features sounds and is capable of shooting darts up to a distance of 60 feet. The RRP for this item is £44.99 and, like the majority of the Super Ninja Steel toys, will release in July. Next up, was the Simian Sniper Guard, a motion activated dart launcher modeled on a gorilla. There was a mock-up box standing next to the toy, confirming its functionality but the distance you can shoot darts was labelled TBC. The RRP of this item is a rather pricey £49.99; we’ll need to see more of this toy in action to know whether it’s able to justify the price tag.

The Superstar Blade, Ninja Steel’s answer to Ninninger’s Gekiatsutou Ichibantou was on display. Like it’s Japanese predecessor, the toy looked identical to the standard Ninja Star Blade repainted in the blue and burgundy colour scheme. The toy will RRP at £29.99 on release. Already seen on shelves in the USA, the Lion Fire Morpher and Blaze Megazord were available to view. The Lion Fire Morpher features a twin dart launcher; Bandai are really digging launchable darts in this toyline, it appears. The Lion Fire Morpher will retail at £34.99 and the Blaze Megazord at £42.99, both scheduled for July release.

Finally, alongside the standard Ninja Stars we’re used to from Ninja Steel were two new and different types of shuriken. There were some solid plastic stars laying down on the shelf (too solid to make it to retail, I believe) and other rubber based stars with suction cups around the outside. These Special Ops Ninja Stars, like everything else, are available in July and will retail at £7.99 a pack.

That’s it for Toy Fair in 2018; what toys are you most looking forward to? Comment below and let us know your thoughts or join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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First guests announced for Power Morphicon 2018

The first guests for Power Morphicon 2018 have just been announced on their official Facebook page. Following the tradition in place since Saban Brands bought back the Power Rangers franchise, the cast of the most recent Ranger season will be in attendance. This year, it is the turn of Power Rangers Ninja Steel to make a full team appearance at the convention.

With the sixth Power Morphicon event now months away, you can expect the guest announcements to come thick and fast over the coming weeks/months.

Power Morphicon 2018 takes place August 17th-19th from the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, USA. Tickets are available now.

Who do you want to see at Power Morphicon? Sound off in the comment section!

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Full Lupinranger vs. Patoranger Catalogue Images

On the heels of the snippets we published here yesterday, the full first quarter catalogue for Kaito Sentai Lupinranger vs. Keisatsu Sentai Patoranger is now online. This catalogue features a full view of the toys announced for the show’s launch as well as a better look at both teams of three Rangers.

Stay tuned to Toku Toy Store News for further Lupinranger vs. Patoranger reveals when we have them.