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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.

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Legacy Astro Megazord among upcoming Bandai America releases

In surprising but exciting news, it was revealed late last night that amongst Bandai America’s next wave of toy releases that the Legacy Astro Megazord is coming.

The news was releaved by Twitter user, Raz (@razzle1337), who found listings the upcoming release on the Walmart website.

It is yet unknown what form this release will take but many have been quick to assume the release will be more similar to the soon-to-hit-shelves Legacy Tyrannosaurus and Saber-Toothed Tiger, rather than the die-cast premium releases such as the Legacy Dragonzord or Ninja Megazord.

We will have more details on this release as they become available.

Are you excited for more non-MMPR Legacy releases? Join the discussion in the comment section below!

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Saban Brands reveal first details on 25th Anniversary celebrations

In conjunction with their announcement at today’s Licensing Expo, Saban Brands sent out the following press release detailing the early plans for their 25th Anniversary celebration.

Saban Brands today announced the official 25th anniversary campaign for Saban’s Power Rangers, the iconic superhero franchise. To commemorate 25 powerful years, Saban’s Power Rangers’ anniversary campaign will be a multi-tiered program, titled, “You’ve Got the Power”, designed to encourage, enable and empower children and adults to unleash their inner superhero. Saban Brands will soon begin unveiling never-before seen content as well as partnerships, tours and interactive programs that embody the core pillars of the Power Rangers brand: friendship, inclusivity, diversity and teamwork – a powerful combination. Additionally, because “it’s morphin time,” Saban Brands will celebrate the brand’s anniversary date, August 28, 2018, in morphinominal fashion.

In addition to the reveal of the Power Rangers 25th anniversary logo, Saban Brands shared a sneak peek into the celebratory year, which will include, but not be limited to, the following:

• A special 25th anniversary episode will air on Nickelodeon during the “Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel” season in Summer 2018.
• A highly anticipated national live tour in partnership with Red Light Management and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) will be an epic, one-of-a-kind and interactive theatre production. More details, along with pre-sale tickets, will be announced in early October.
• Power Rangers will soon be the first licensed property with an official interactive role playing game streaming live on Hyper RPG, an industry leading channel on Twitch, the world’s leading social video platform and community.
• Interactive experiences with new, game-changing brand partners to create Power Rangers escape rooms and virtual reality centers as well as learning and physical development opportunities for kids and much more.
• The unveiling of the “Top 25 for the 25th” collection which will feature must-have, official anniversary items for collectors of all ages from notable partners including toy partner Bandai, the chart-topping mobile game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars from nWay and record-breaking Power Rangers comics from BOOM! Studios, amongst others.

“At its premiere in 1993, the ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ resonated with people around the world, turning it into a global pop culture phenomenon,” said Janet Hsu, CEO at Saban Brands. “Since then, the Power Rangers TV series has continued to exemplify teamwork and inclusivity which is something we are extremely proud of and will be showcasing throughout our 25th anniversary year as we look to celebrate this historic milestone with fans of all ages.”

Created by Haim Saban and launched in 1993, Power Rangers is one of the most-watched television programs in the United States and remains one of the top-rated and longest running kids live-action series in television history. The series and subsequent movies, including 2017’s feature film with Lionsgate, follows the adventures of a group of ordinary teens who morph into superheroes and save the world from evil. The TV show airs in 150 markets around the world and is translated into numerous languages. As a top ranked action brand for decades with more than 150 licensees globally, Saban Brands will work closely with its valued partners to honor this incredible landmark for the franchise.

Teaser campaigns will begin soon and the official celebration will kick off in January 2018 continuing through holiday 2018. For more information, please visit www.powerrangers.com and follow Power Rangers on http://rangernation.com/, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The press release also included the full logo for Power Rangers 25, seen below:

pr25

Are you excited for the 25th Anniversary? What do you think of the first announcements? Join the discussion in the comment section below or on Toku Toy Store’s Facebook and Twitter pages!

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Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode 32 Review

The Space Sentai are in a new timeslot this week and this episode did all it could to kick off this new era with a bang! The episode opens with Don Armage ordering a new focus in eliminating the Kyurangers; any of his henchmen able to do so will achieve Vice Shogun status as a reward. Kukuruga blames Akyanba for this and takes responsibility for removing the Kyuranger problem himself. He summons Dogyun and deploys him to Earth.

Meanwhile, on the downed Orion-gou, our heroes continue to question Naga about the whereabouts of Don Armage. He is able to share his rough location but cannot say for sure. The enquiry turns to Raptor and when the Orion-gou will be repaired. She becomes flustered and is unable to answer until the alarms alert them to a series of Moraimazu explosions on Earth. The team are about to deploy when they notice Tsurugi sitting in the Captain’s seat. He states that he is taking over as commander because he used to be president of the Space Federation and activates Kyulette the Chance in a hilarious 80s hair band routine, assisted by Stinger.

With the fun over, Lucky, Stinger, Hammie, Naga and Garu head to Earth, flanked by Tsurugi. As they arrive, the population are being attacked by household appliances under the control of Dogyun. This begins an expanded introduction to the opening music, fully explaining who the team are and how they have developed into twelve saviours; a nice little catch up for anyone tuning in for the first time because of the new timeslot. The team are able to get around the appliances and launch a finishing attack on Dogyun. Just as the attack is about to hit, the blast is interrupted by a shot from Washi Pink, ostensibly saving the monster.

When questioned, she states that she hopes Dogyun could use his ability to control machines to help repair Orion-gou. Tsurugi explains that this isn’t possible, explaining the science of the gloop Dogyun uses to control appliances. He dismisses Raptor’s concern for the ship as delusional and Raptor runs away, devastated that he would speak badly of the potential demise of their ship.

The team return to assess the damage to the ship and Spada regales the story of when, at the time it was just the two of them on the ship, the Orion-gou appeared to perform a miracle to get them out of trouble. Tsurugi starts to come around and Lucky goes to speak to Raptor. The others return to confront Dogyun, who has anticipated their return and set the five Moraimazu in the area to explode on a ten minute timer. The team transform and attack Dogyun but are held back when Kukuruga interferes.

Lucky finds Raptor in a playground and talks her through the problem. He reassures her that the team feel the same way about the Orion-gou as she does and that she should honour him by continuing to save the galaxy with them. The pair take flight and remove the controlling gloop from the Moraimazu, thwarting Dogyun’s plan. With the threat of explosion removed, Tsurugi apologises to Raptor and the team make light work of Dogyun.

Dogyun grows to giant size and is met with Kyutamajin. While the Kyurangers are able to easily take care of Dogyun, he once again takes control of the Moraimazu, uniting them and putting the gigantic structure on a collision course with Earth. Lucky tries to use Kyutamajin to destroy the massive structure but even Ultimate Meteor Break is futile against it. Raptor vows to destroy the structure for the Orion-gou and show him that they will save the universe in his name. These words cause the Orion-gou to regain power. It teleports the remaining team members into their Voyagers and sets itself on a collision course with the Moraimazu monstrosity. The Orion-gou sacrifices itself to destroy the structure, leaving the parting message ‘Good Luck’ on their heads-up displays. With peace restored, the team mourn the loss of the ship and vow to defeat Don Armage for its sake.

As the episode closes, we’re treated to a glimpse of the past where Shou Lonpou is looking over a massive new ship. What is this ship and how will Ryu Commander get it to our heroes?

Did you enjoy this episode of Kyuranger? How do you feel about the demise of the Orion-gou. Let us know in the comment section below or discuss it with us on Toku Toy Store’s Facebook and Twitter!

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Power Rangers Ninja Steel: Episode 14 & 15 Review

This past fortnight’s Power Rangers Ninja Steel has been a royal double-bill. In these episodes, we’re introduced to a new character as well as a new Zord! Here is Toku Toy Store’s review of episode 14, The Royal Rival, and episode 15, The Royal Rumble.

The Royal Rival

The programme opens at school with Sarah showing off her latest business class project: Sarah’s Cookie Creator. Despite the uninspiring name, the device itself is pretty cool as it will create delicious cookies out of any and all ingredients. In case we weren’t convinced, resident morons, Victor and Monty, test out the machines capabilities with sardines, liver and broccoli. The irritating pair themselves, of course, have no project prepared and are given an ultimatum by the teacher to prepare it by tomorrow.

Up on Galvanax’s ship, we’re introduced to Princess Viera and her companion monster Lord Drillion. Galvanax and Madame Odius are not convinced by the Princess’ ability to take care of the Power Rangers but they are reassured that Drillion accompanies her, as he can take care of business in the event of her failure.

In the park, Sarah’s invention is creating massive lines of people hoping to sample her products. Victor and Monty are arrested for stealing a cow… mehville. As Preston attempts to use his magic to speed along the cookie making process, the team are contacted by Redbot, who has detected Buzzcam activity nearby. The Rangers leave Mick in charge of the stall and run off to investigate. In a more urban area, Princess Viera commands Drillion to cause chaos and destruction in an effort to draw out the Power Rangers. Her plan succeeds and Drillion makes light work of our heroes. During the battle, an errant energy blast collapses the balcony Princess Viera is watching from. Oblivious to the fact the falling woman is their enemy, Sarah cushions Viera’s fall with vines and Viera calls off her monster.

The pair returns to Galvanax’s ship where they are confronted by Galvanax. He accuses Viera of being weak but Viera, outraged, denies this, claiming she is smart and studies her enemies before destroying them. Galvanax and Drillion formulate a plan that would see Drillion take out Viera and the Rangers in exchange for rule of the Lion Galaxy.

Back at the park, Viera watches the Rangers from afar. They finish up making cookies until Viera approaches Sarah. Sarah offers Viera a cookie from her last batch but they are promptly stolen by a teenager. Viera pursues and captures the youth but Sarah insists she let him go. In conversation with the boy, he reveals that he was stealing the cookies to feed himself and his hungry sister. Sarah is understanding and compassionate but Viera can only look on, confused with what has just transpired. To compound that confusion, Sarah gifts her cookie maker to the teen so that he can sell cookies and buy food for himself and his sister. In a less than unexpected move, Princess Viera has an epiphany and waxes lyrical about how she always believed her galaxy’s ‘might makes right’ attitude was the wrong one. In the process, Viera inadvertently reveals her identity before the two are confronted by Drillion. Drillion attacks the Sarah but Viera jumps in front of the energy blast, saving her.

The whole team arrive and morph. Drillion easily handles the Rangers, breaking their Element Power Stars and bending or snapping their swords. Viera emplores the team to hold out as long as possible and teleports away. The Princess returns to Galvanax’s ship and steals back her lion ship. Frustrated with her escape, Galvanax orders the immediate gigantification of Drillion. The team take him on in the Ninja Fusion Zord but struggle as much as they did on the ground. The Fusion Zord is broken apart and the Rangers appear doomed. From out of nowhere, Princess Viera arrives in her lion ship. Drawing power from the atmosphere, she quickly scares Drillion away before flying off herself. As she flees the scene, she is shot down by Galvanax and crashes in the mountains.

Back in the business class, Sarah is about to fail for failing to complete her project but she is rescued by the teenage boy, who explains the situation to the teacher. Sarah receives an A as the episode closes.

The Royal Rumble

The next episode starts with a quick recap of Princess Viera being shot down before Drillion returns to Galvanax’s ship. Galvanax believes the Rangers will be defeated easily without the assistance of Princess Viera and commands Drillion to go back to Earth and check that her ship is fully destroyed. Before he leaves, Madame Odius takes him aside to give him a little upgrade.

On Earth, Viera is walking away from her downed ship when she discovers its anti-gravity crystal which, unfortunately, is damaged. We cut to the hidden base where Mick and Redbot are pleased to declare that all of their weapons have been repaired. As the team begin to strategise about how they’re going to defeat Drillion, Hayley finds a lion pin on her satchel. As she picks it off, it begins to glow and soon turns into Princess Viera. The team are startled but quickly come around to the idea of fixing her lion ship so that they can use it to stop Drillion. The Rangers ask Mick to help repair the anti-gravity crystal but he refuses, stating that they shouldn’t be helping someone that helped to enslave the Lion Galaxy. As she persuades them by professing her new found goodness, the Nexus Prism shows us a vision of the lion ship in battle. This convinces the team to use the last of the Ninja Steel to turn the lion ship into a zord. Mick and Redbot quickly get to work.

Back in the land of Galvanax, Drillion’s new arm monstrosity upgrade is complete. Galvanax sends Drillion to the forest to look for the lion ship and the Rangers. The team are alerted to Drillion’s proximity to the ship and enter battle. As before, our heroes struggle against the beast but Mick has completed the Ninja Star and throws it into the Nexus Prism. The Prism fires out a new Power Star but it is absorbed by Princess Viera’s armour. To everyone’s surprise, a new Power Star appears on Brody, the Red Ranger’s, wrist. He spins it and is transformed into the Red Lion Fire Ranger. Using his new abilities, Brody and the others make light work of Drillion.

Freshly gigantified, Drillion is confronted by the Lion Fire Zord  (I guess Mick had a little more Ninja Steel lying around after all). Brody forms the Lion Fire Megazord and uses all of its power to send Drillion into oblivion once and for all. Back in the Ranger’s base, Viera thanks the team for showing her the light. She vows to make the Lion Galaxy a better place and heads home to make changes to her kingdom. On her way out, she gives Mick a parting gift, establishing communication with his parents for the first time in twenty years. Mick tells them that he will come home after completing his business helping the Rangers to defeat Galvanax.

This was a pretty good two-parter. The disappointment of the pre-hiatus Ninja Steel seems to be behind us and the episodes seem to be consistently watchable at this point. As usual, the Victor and Monty segments are unnecessary but I’m sure the kids love them, or at least love to hate them. The addition of the Lion Armour was introduced properly, over two episodes, rather than just being gifted to them for no reason. This is a rarity in modern PR, so kudos to Chip Lynn and the team for that. Next, we head into the end of the first half of the series. Thanks to France, that’s already been spoiled but I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.

Did you enjoy The Royal Rival and The Royal Rumble? Let us know your thoughts on all things Ninja Steel in the comment section below or on Toku Toy Store’s Facebook and Twitter pages.