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This Week in Tokusatsu – Weeks 7 and 8, 2019

As Lupinranger Vs Patoranger comes to a close, Zi-O starts to achieve his full potential and the Super Sentai Saikyou Battle kicks off.


Lupinranger vs Patoranger Episode 51 (End)

The Lupinrangers are stuck inside Dogranio’s safe after their battle with Zamigo. Thankfully, they equipped their police counterparts before entering, knowing this could happen. On the whole, this final episode feels rushed. The battle against Dogranio is short and anticlimactic, decided quickly by a macguffin more than the skill or strength of any of the Rangers. When it’s over, Dogranio is taken into custody rather than being killed, and we flash forward a year.

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In that time, the Patorangers have become superheroes, celebrities to some degree, while still managing to do their jobs and mop up the last of the Ganglers. The Lupinrangers are believed to be dead, or at least, still trapped inside Dogranio’s safe world. When the credits start to roll on this series for the final time, the ending is ambiguous, a cliffhanger that leaves the main arc of the show unresolved. It is flashy, though, and does not disappoint if you are looking for good choreography and stunt work.

Where it does fall short in one other big way, though, is that the final scene of the series undoes much of the growth the characters went through, ignoring previously established friendships and romances, in favour of the generic cops-and-robbers angle that began the series. With a movie coming later in the year, I am personally hopeful that that will provide the ending this amazing series rightfully deserves. Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger kicks off in a few weeks, but until then, we are going to be treated to a four-week miniseries called Super Sentai: Strongest Battle! This series will be covered here during its full run leading up to the premiere of Ryusoulger.


Kamen Rider Zi-O Episodes 22 and 23

Zi-O’s true power is unleashed this week as Zi-O II debuts! In an attempt to defeat Another Ryuga, Geiz sacrifices his life to use his finishing attack on Another Ryuga, knowing that there is a time distortion before the attack triggers. This leads to Sougo beginning to accept the darkness in himself, the way he’d convinced Kido Shinji earlier in the episode to do the same.

Zi-O II is able to defeat Another Ryuga, and in a strong twist of character, Tsukuyomi and Geiz wrap the episode knowing they pushed Sougo in the wrong direction. They resolve to do better, and we begin the next episode, which sees Sougo jump 102 years into the future, to 2121.

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There he meets Kamen Rider Kikai, a parody of Shotaro Ishinomori’s other classic tokusatsu hero, Kikaider. Curiously, the episode is even called “Kikai da!” as an easter egg reference to this character.  Kikai’s design is very reminiscent of Drive, to me, with similar eyes and helmet shape. Many of the parts are mechanical in nature, obviously meant to emphasize the “Kikai” or machine design.

It’s a good suit, overall, and one that could easily be believed as a future Rider. When Sougo and Geiz end up meeting Another Kikai, it is the opposite of its counterpart, organic in nature instead of mechanical. The armour is largely made of wood, and instead of a person, Another Kikai appears to be some kind of Beetle that can reform itself by jumping from one tree to another. To put a twist on things, it’s revealed with a quick snippet of dialogue that this Another Rider was not created by any of the existing Time Jackers we know.

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Through animation and set pieces, as well as some expository dialogue by Kikai, we see a dark future that is worthy of its own series, if played out correctly, much like the previous Miraiders up to this point. One thing that threw me off at first, but quickly became one of the best parts of the episode, was the face and voice behind Kikai. The same actor who plays Kamen Rider Kikai was also recently seen as Zamigo in Lupinranger vs Patoranger, but seeing him play a hero is only briefly an odd transition. He plays the part well, and I personally would love to see more of this character and world, either through a spin-off or V-Cinema like Kamen Riders Shinobi and Quiz are getting.

This episode holds a few more big twists that you will need to watch it to see, but the implications on the plot are staggering if managed correctly. Next week, we will see the resolution of the Kikai arc, as well as all three Riders working together for the first time. Stay tuned and leave your thoughts in the comments or on social media!


Super Sentai Strongest Battle Episode 1

This three-episode miniseries is designed to fill the gap between the end of Lupinranger vs Patoranger and the beginning of the upcoming Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, and is a crossover event between returning and new heroes. We begin with the defeat of the Gokaigers at the hands of the series’ villain, Gaisorg. The series features not only teams crossing over, but dimensions, as we see the team lineup debut. The team includes Gokai Red, Zyuoh Eagle, AkaNinger, Kyuranger’s Sasori Orange, and Toq # 5 (Pink). All of the original actors return, though the voice for Gokai Red’s suited form in the opening is clearly not Ryota Ozawa. Keiichiro of the Patorangers is also invited to join, but we are still given no resolution to the cliffhanger ending of his series.

Taking beats from multiple western media sources, each Ranger who is invited is given a literal golden ticket, then transported to a Marvel-style battle world, a planet called Nemesis. Each summoned ranger joins a team of five, for a total of 32 groups, and the contest is shown to be a battle royale tournament. Zyuoh Eagle regrets that he and Keiichiro are in the first match, thinking they would get along well, but knowing this is just a contest. The match is between “Team Weirdo” and “Team Serious Business” which both appear to be fitting names. Apart from this one-on-one contest, we see other matches going on with other teams, dating as far back as Denjiman and Turboranger. Many of the battles shown are between teams whose seasons had crossover movies, including TimeBlue against Gingaman Red.

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Overall, this crossover event appears to be riding the Battle Royale hype train, but is a fun ride nonetheless. If you need a Super Sentai fix in between series, this will get you through, but is largely lacking in substance, apart from the character interactions.


Power Rangers News

Unveiled at Toy Expo 2019, we finally have our first look at the Lightning Collection, as well as other new Power Rangers toys coming from Hasbro later this year. Each figure in the Lightning Collection is highly detailed, including multiple accessories and head sculpts for Rangers (including Doggie Cruger). The first wave of Lightning Collection figures will be as follows:

Part of the second wave has also been officially announced. Included in this wave will be:

  • Goldar (US Exclusive to Gamestop)
  • Beast Morphers Red

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In addition, it was confirmed that Power Rangers Beast Morphers will premiere on March 2nd on Nickelodeon in the US, with worldwide release to follow shortly after.

A trailer debuted for Beast Morphers around 2/21/19, showing some of the differences between Beast Morphers and Go-Busters, as well as some of the effects and the new transformation sequence. It appears they are adding a crystal gimmick that didn’t exist in Go-Busters, but are otherwise leaving the scene largely unchanged.

What did you guys think of this week’s shows and news? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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First look and new toys revealed inside Hasbro’s Power Rangers Toy Fair display

Before it’s even officially open, we have a really good look at Hasbro’s display space at New York Toy Fair 2019!

It’s been a busy few days for fans of Power Rangers. With New York Toy Fair approaching, followers of the brand were excited to find out just what exactly Hasbro had planned for us in their first foray into the Power Rangers universe. We already saw early previews of the Zords and 6″ Figures this week, and the Lightning Collection yesterday, but now there are even more news items to digest, as well as a good look at the toys on display.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Lightning Collection

Overnight, the first of the new Lightning Collection figures was made available for preorder in the United States at Hasbro’s new collector hub, Hasbro Pulse. Our first featured Ranger is the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Charge. As you can see from the gallery below, the figure comes bundled with weapons, hands and a swappable head in the likeness of Tyler, played by actor Brennan Mejia. The US retail price is $19.99 and is expected to be £19.99 in the United Kingdom, too.

 

Inside the display space, we get our first look at… well… everything!

6″ Action Figures

First up, are the 6″ line of action figures from the upcoming Beast Morphers series, which debuts March 2nd in the United States. We had already seen and fallen in love with these figures. In a 6″ scale, they will match up nicely alongside the Lightning Collection and even it’s predecessor, Bandai America’s Legacy line, which only came in at roughly half an inch more in size. At the back of the display, we also get a preview of the packaging. Each figure is bundles with at least one weapon, as well as a key for the Beast Morphers’ Morpher.

Some of Beast Morphers Wave 1 action figures – From left: Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Blaze, Red Ranger, Tronic

More from Wave 1 – From left: Tronic, Roxy, Jack Beast Bot, Powered Red Ranger, Silver Ranger (in background)

Figures from Wave 2, due Autumn 2019 – From left: Red Ranger Powered Up, Silver Ranger, Gold Ranger, Evox, Drilltron

12″ Action Figures

Affectionately known as ‘nutcracker’ figures, Hasbro will also produce a small 12″ line of figures for Beast Morphers. The Red and Blue Rangers, as well as Blaze, are available from April, while Silver and Yellow will wait til Autumn for release.

The first 12″ figures for Beast Morphers – From left, Red, Blaze, Blue, Silver, and Yellow

Playskool

We already knew about the Wild Force Megazord and Red Dragon Thunderzord coming in this line (not pictured here) but that was not all for the Playskool line of toys for smaller children. Playskool Heroes feature Zords are to be produced, starting with reproductions of further mecha from Power Rangers Wild Force and also the dinosaurs of Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Alongside those Zords, Mega Mighties of complimenting Power Rangers will also be released in packs of two.

A first look at Wild Force and Dino Thunder based toys in the Playskool line

Playskool Heroes figures – From right: WF Silver, DT Yellow, Ninjor, DC Green, DC Gold

And finally…

First revealed late last night, the outside of Hasbro’s Power Rangers space gave us a rare treat in a look at the beautiful Dino Megazord from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. A plaque alongside the Megazord reveals that this is the original prop from the 1993 series but, according to fans and experts on various forums, that isn’t strictly accurate. While the base of this Megazord may indeed stem from the original filming of Zyuranger, the suit had to undergo significant repair to be useable again and, as such, you could argue that so much has been changed that this is not the original suit.

This suit was used by Toei Company in the filming of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The Movie and later found its way into the, now closed, Toei Hero World Museum. Over on our Facebook page, good friend of Toku Toy Store, Stu Hix, noted the blemishes in the suit that proved it was one and the same from Hero World.

View from the entrance to Hasbro’s display space

Plaque detailing the history of the Megazord

On the other side of the entrance, far left, is a small display of items produced by third-party manufacturers.

New and existing Power Ranger products produced by third-party (non-Hasbro) manufacturers

That’s it for now! Keep eyes here at Toku Toy Store for further news and updates, as well as the new toys from Hasbro when they become available from April 2019!

What is your favourite new toy reveal? Which items will be coming home to your collection? Join the conversation on our social media pages!

Source: The Toy Book/The Rockfather, Hasbro Pulse.
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Power Rangers Beast Morphers Cast and Trailer Revealed

As is the tradition at Power Morphicon, the cast of the next season of Power Rangers has been revealed!

Showing up on stage at the end of Super Ninja Steel panel the cast for the main three members of Power Rangers Beast Morphers were revealed to be:

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Photo Credit: Ranger Command Power Hour on Twitter

Rorrie D. Travis as the Red Beast Morphers Ranger

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Jasmeet Baduwalia as the Blue Beast Morphers Ranger

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Jacqueline Scislowski as the Yellow Beast Morphers Ranger

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Power Rangers Beast Morphers follows the story of 3 Rangers who combine the power of the Morphin Grid with Animal DNA to fight against the sentient Evox computer virus with the help of their Beast Bots sidekicks!

A trailer for the upcoming series was also shown. You can watch it below, courtesy of io9:

And you can follow the new cast here:

Rorrie: https://www.instagram.com/rorrie.travis/

Jasmeet: https://www.instagram.com/therealjazzbaduwalia/?hl=en

Jacqueline: https://www.jacquelinescislowski.com/

At this time the names for their characters have not been revealed. You can catch these new members of the Power Ranger family on Power Rangers Beast Morphers on Nick in 2019!

Who is your favorite member of the Beast Morphers team? Are you going to watch this new season in 2019? Leave a comment down below!

Thanks to @MisturYellow on Twitter for pointing us towards the cast images!
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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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Beast Morphers Red Ranger Identity Possibly Revealed

With Power Morphicon less than two weeks away, fans of Power Rangers are chomping at the bit for any piece of news or information they can get their hands on. Hasbro, for their part, is doing wonders to encourage brand growth for Power Rangers as a franchise already, including lots of marketing behind the 25th anniversary special and even declaring August 28th National Power Rangers Day in America. The latest of these developments may have been accidental, though. In a now-deleted Instagram post, veteran actor and stuntman Ray Park, known for playing Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe films, seemingly revealed the identity of our new Red Ranger, posing for a selfie with a young man the post names as “Rico.”

 

The now-deleted post can be seen below:

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The post was seemingly deleted quickly after it went up, which leaves a few possibilities as to the reason. The most likely are that the post was inaccurate and Park took it down on his own, or otherwise that Hasbro saw this as an early leak and asked him to remove the post before it spread further. Regardless, we will have confirmation coming up at Power Morphicon, when the Beast Morphers cast and crew are revealed. Until then, stay tuned for any updates. 

What are your thoughts on this possible leak? Let’s discuss!