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SODO Sundays – April 14th, 2019

Hello, tokusatsu community! It’s Joshua Perry here to talk about SODO figures on my fortnightly series, SODO Sundays. Today, there’s a lot of Kamen Rider Zi-O to cover.

Kamen Rider Zi-O

Both Ex-Aid and Build went Premium Bandai over the course of their lines and Kamen Rider Zi-O is no different. The first item for Premium is an odd one, the Sougo First Henshin statue from the first episode and the Oma Zi-O 2068 timeline. While not being classified as an official SODO item it’s designed specifically to be in scale with the SODO figures, namely Kamen Rider Ohma Zi-O.

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Another Premium set was revealed to be a second EX Set. The first EX set, which released last year, had the Zi-O Time Mazine and the Ride Striker bike along with the Ridewatch face attachments for the Time Mazine. This second set will feature both Geiz and Woz’ Time Mazines along with Ridewatch faceplates for Kuuga, OOO Tajadol, Genm, and Cross-Z.

The rest of the Set 9 lineup has also been revealed: First up is the new upgrade form Kamen Rider Zi-O Trinity Form!

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The Decade Armor catch up continues with both the XXR and XXL Ex-Aid Decade Armors! While both bodies are included for this form it does require the purchase 2 of the armor set to get the full effect.

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Kamen Rider W

A surprise Kamen Rider Cyclone figure is coming to the SODO Chronicle series. This figure will be have a limited release via lottery.

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As always you can watch SODO Sundays Season 2, Episode 16 here:

That’s it for this edition of SODO Sundays Season 2! Stay tuned for the next edition on both Toku Toy Store News and YouTube channel.

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Going ガガガ – A Tokusatsu GaGaGa Series Review

Channelling the fandom troubles of geeks and nerds everywhere, Tokusatsu GaGaGa was a series that kept us feeling gaga from start to finish.

We’ve all seen Akibaranger, right? I feel confident making that statement to the toku-watching community as a whole and, at the very least, you’ll be aware of it’s themes or those wacky GIFs of the “Powerful Rangers”.

So what if I told you that there was a show that captured the toku otaku experience even more-so than that? A show that dealt with tokusatsu as a fandom, fandom as a stigma, camaraderie, societal and familial pressures, and living up to the ideals that inspired us as children?

That show would be Tokusatsu GaGaGa; an adaptation of the Niwa Tanba manga of the same name that follows Kano Nakamura as she navigates her mid-20’s in a serious career while hiding her geekiness from her co-workers and family. It’s a very engaging story for me personally but I think it’s broader implications are what make it stand out amongst the J-Dramas aimed at people who like rubber monsters and explosions.

Simply put; Tokusatsu GaGaGa is about feeling ‘other’ in what most would define as ‘regular’ society. It’s about hiding something core to your self-identity out of fear of rejection, being ostracised by your peers, or as just being too childish, something many in the Western toku fan base has bemoaned when Power Rangers is derided in mainstream consciousness.

These themes are explored in the show in a number of different and unique ways, from metaphorical cuts to the in-show Sentai and Metal Hero series (Bestial Storm Jushowan and Emerjason, respectively), delusional instances of superheroes appearing to Kano to inspire her, or how certain characters compare experiences in differing fandoms. [Warning: Character and Plot SPOILERS AHEAD]

Lead actress Fuka Koshiba, and the rest of the cast to an extent, excel in bringing to life these relatable characters and making their respective journeys truly engaging. Kano Nakamura is a fantastic character who and the expressiveness of Fuka’s acting highlights both her dramatic and comedic elements. Frankly, I’d love to see Fuka in a proper Toei show, she’s got the chops to be a fantastic Sentai Red.

Joining Kano are “Sentai Sempai” Hisami Yoshida, an older sister-type with a fondness for butts. Her relationship with Kano is sweet and almost borders on the homoerotic sometimes and I honestly can’t tell if that’s intentional or I’m just reading too much into the long, lingering looks that they share frequently. I’m just saying, this show is already one big analogy to being LGBTQ+, I wouldn’t put it past author/directorial intent (I haven’t read the source material to confirm if it’s like that there) that it is.

There is also “Stoic Idol Fan” Yuko Kitashiro, Kano’s hard-nosed co-worker who hides a love of J-Idols The Bee Boys behind her Aubrey Plaza-esque looks. “Mr Yakuza” Masaaki Matsumoto, a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside shop owner who feels great shame for his love of magical girl shows and “Damian” Taku Tamiya, a cram school kid who befriends Kano and acts as a mirror to Kano’s own childhood experiences. Each highlights an aspect of her personality and allow us to explore Kano’s views on life.

There are other ancillary characters who act as plot points or comic relief but the only other character of note is Fumi Nakamura, Kano’s mother. Often represented as the ever-present villain of Jushowan, Genka Shogun, Fumi is an over-bearing traditional mother who projects her values onto her daughter and much anxiety ensues. This is an experience that I’ve had and I’m sure it’s something many who love superheroes into their adulthood have had to deal though with the genre becoming more mainstream, this is being mitigated somewhat.

Kano’s arc with her mother is pretty compelling and you almost begin to sympathise with Fumi until a fateful lunch date when she goes too far and then IT IS ON. Seriously, there’s a moment in episode 6 that made me scream “Get ‘er, Kano!” as the show’s theme song (performed by Golden Bomber, whose lead singer performed Life is SHOW TIME) kicks in and it’s absolutely brilliant.

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In terms of being a tokusatsu, there’s plenty of references, homages, and production details that call back to the long history of toku in Japan. Cameos of suit actors, beloved voice actors, and the action director himself being a suit actor alumni all give this show a pedigree to rival that of any official Toei production (Toei did lend their aid to this NHK production though to what extent, I don’t know). The suits look just as good as something Toei themselves would produce and I would definitely watch an Emerjason show!

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I heartily recommend checking out Tokusatsu GaGaGa if you’re looking for something out of the usual toku shows that has a lot of heart and a genuine love for the genre. The 7 episode show was subbed by both Big Nova Subs and TV-Nihon and can be found wherever you’d usually find fan-subs.

Have you seen Tokusatsu GaGaGa? What were your thoughts on it? Let us know!

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SODO Sundays – March 24, 2019

Hello, tokusatsu community! It’s Joshua Perry here to talk about SODO figures on my fortnightly series, SODO Sundays. Today, Build takes over Zi-O as we also have some Ryusoulger and Kamen Rider Den-O news to cover.

Kamen Rider Zi-O

The SODO ad from a while ago had already revealed we would be getting a figure of the new Cross-Z form Cross-Z Evol but now it’s been fully revealed. This figure will also come with two accessories: the Pandora Box with the coloured panels on it as well as a new stand extender piece.

Cross-Z Evol is the final entry in Zi-O’s Set 8. But that’s not it for Build…

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The villain of the Cross-Z V-Cinema, Kamen Rider Killbus, has been revealed as the first figure for Zi-O Set 9. His figure will also include this stand extender piece as well as a Drill Crusher and Kaizoku Hassha.

Kamen Rider Den-O

Kamen Rider Den-O was revealed a while ago as the next entry in the SODO Chronicle series. Here we have the details. The set will come with a Plat Form base body and four armor sets for the Sword, Rod, Ax, and Gun base forms of Den-O.

Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger

Pictures of the new Ryusoulger YUDO figures have been revealed. This set, releasing in May is confirmed to include the main 5 team as well as pieces to plug into the arms for the different soul abilities. Ryusoul Red’s Power Soul is shown off in the pictures.

As always you can watch SODO Sundays Season 2, Episode 15 here:

That’s it for this edition of SODO Sundays Season 2! Stay tuned for the next edition on both Toku Toy Store News and YouTube channel.

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SODO Sundays – March 10th, 2019

Hello, tokusatsu community! It’s Joshua Perry here to talk about SODO figures on my fortnightly series, SODO Sundays. Today, some of Set 8 and the SODO Plus set.

Kamen Rider Zi-O

After being revealed in the SODO ad a few weeks ago, we now have our first complete look at the Decade Build Armor. This armor comes with the Build Drill weapon the original Build Armor had included.

Geiz Revive and both versions of it are also joining the SODO line.

SODO Plus

Decade is the last figure to be in the special SODO Plus being released! This Decade goes all out, including the original White DecaDriver and the Pink Neo DecaDriver, the Violent Emotion head, G4’s Gigant cannon weapon, multiple versions of the Ride Booker, and hands with him holding cards. Definitely a great figure for any fan of Decade!

Shinobi, Quiz, and Kikai have also been fully revealed for this set as well.

As always you can watch SODO Sundays Season 2, Episode 14 here:

That’s it for this edition of SODO Sundays Season 2! Stay tuned for the next edition on both Toku Toy Store News and YouTube channel.

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Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Rogue

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s line of Legendary Riders takes back to the long-lost past of 2017 with Kamen Rider Rogue!

Ambitious politician turned comedy sidekick, Gentoku Himuro (氷室 幻徳), spent most of Build being a massive edgelord but then became a good guy just long enough to redeem himself in the fight against Evolto.

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A full review of the RKF Armor Series: Kamen Rider Rogue by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

This figure, as well as other Rider Kicks Figures, are available from Toku Toy Store at £24.99 each. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

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Toei Announces 100 hours of Heisei Kamen Rider for Golden Week

100 Hours of Heisei Kamen Rider episodes will be aired during Japan’s Golden Week!

With the Heisei Generation of Kamen Rider coming to an end in April 2019, Toei will be doing a campaign called “Thank You! Heisei Kamen Rider” where they will be airing 100 hours of Heisei Kamen Rider over ten days during Golden Week to celebrate.

The Riders will be from Kuuga through to Zi-O and fans on Twitter are allowed to choose a mix of 200 episodes to air. Special Episodes and movies will not be included. The selection campaign runs from March 1st till March 15th.

Below is a list of the available episodes to choose from:

Kamen Rider Kuuga #1~#49
Kamen Rider Agito #1~#51
Kamen Rider Ryuki #1~#50
Kamen Rider 555 #1~#50
Kamen Rider Blade #1~#49
Kamen Rider Hikibi #1~#48
Kamen Rider Kabuto #1~#49
Kamen Rider Den-O #1~#49
Kamen Rider Kiva #1~#48
Kamen Rider Decade #1~#31
Kamen Rider W #1~#49
Kamen Rider OOO #1~#48
Kamen Rider Fourze #1~#48
Kamen Rider Wizard #1~#53
Kamen Rider Gaim #1~#47
Kamen Rider Drive #1~#48
Kamen Rider Ghost #1~#50
Kamen Rider Ex-Aid #1~#45
Kamen Rider Build #1~#49
Kamen Rider Zi-O #1~#26

The Episodes will be aired from April 27th 2019 till May 6th 2019 in Japan.

What episodes do you want to see aired? Do you wish specials and movies had been included? Let us know on our social media pages!

Source: Daisuki Toku
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Bandai Spirits merge with the Banpresto Toy Company

It has been revealed that Bandai Spirits will officially merge with Banpresto as they dissolve.

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Last month’s issue of National Printing Bureau’s Kanpō magazine, dated February 22nd, has revealed that toy company Banpresto has dissolved and will be merged with Bandai Spirits, Bandai Namco’s toys and hobby subsidiary. Bandai Spirits now own all rights and duties formally belonging to Banpresto.

Bandai Spirits was established on February 15th, 2018 by Bandai Namco as a subsidiary which absorbed the figure and plastic model side of the business and the convenience store goods business from Banpresto. The company had a capital stock of 100 million yen (about £692,000.06 in GBP) and about 450 employees at the time of it’s establishment.

Banpresto was founded as Hoei Sangyo, Co. Ltd. in 1977, and the company was renamed as Coreland in 1982. They then became a partially owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco in 1989 which is how they gained their most recent name. Banpresto became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco in 2006.

What do you think of the move by Bandai Namco? Are you excited for the potential toy opportunities? Let us know on our social media pages!

Source: Anime News Network
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Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Genm

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s line of Legendary Riders takes back to the long-lost past of 2016 with Kamen Rider Genm!

Aspiring God, Kuroto Dan (檀 黎斗), is the CEO of GENM Corp, Undead Bugster, and comedy heel who acts as both serious and goofy antagonist to the doctors of the CR. Using the Proto Mighty Action X and Dangerous Zombie Gashats, he becomes Zombie Action Gamer Level X-0.

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A full review of the RKF Armor Series: Kamen Rider Genm by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

This figure, as well as other Rider Kicks Figures, are available from Toku Toy Store at £24.99 each. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

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Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Woz

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s continues the RiderArmor gimmick with an all-new base figure; Kamen Rider Woz.

Hailing from an alternate future where Geiz succeeded in killing Oma Zi-O. Kamen Rider Woz (仮面ライダーウォズ) decided travelled back in time to assist his would-be saviour in killing Oma Zi-O, while also collecting Miridewatches from Riders who shouldn’t exist in our future.

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A full review of the RKF Armor Series: Kamen Rider Woz by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

Each of these figures is available from Toku Toy Store at £24.99 each. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

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SODO Sundays – February 24th, 2019

Hello, tokusatsu community! It’s Joshua Perry here to talk about SODO figures on my fortnightly series, SODO Sundays. Today, the rest of Set 7 and some teases for what’s to come.

Kamen Rider Zi-O

The final figures of Set 7 have been revealed. First up is Oma Zi-O! Teased back around Christmas this figure will finally be releasing in this set. His stand confirms his name as Kamen Rider Oma Zi-O, which is the first time he’s been referred to as an official Kamen Rider.

The other final figure of the Set is Woz’s Futuring Kikai armor. The final future Rider armor Woz has used in the show will also include both versions of Zi-O II’s sword. An extra Woz body from Set 6 will be included in Set 7 for those who don’t own one yet.

A new SODO ad has teased 2 figures not shown before. First was the Zi-O Decade Armor in its Build RabbitTank Sparkling mode. Confirming that we would be getting these armors in the line. Also Cross-Z Evol from the upcoming Cross-Z V-Cinema was also shown. With SODO Set 8 being another featuring Build set this makes a lot of sense to be included in the next set.

This ad also revealed the prototypes for some Another Riders from Zi-O! Another Build, Ex-Aid, Faiz, and Gaim were shown off in the ad. No information on how many they are doing or the way they are to be released yet but stay tuned.

As always you can watch SODO Sundays Season 2, Episode 13 here:

That’s it for this edition of SODO Sundays Season 2! Stay tuned for the next edition on both Toku Toy Store News and YouTube channel.