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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 Lightning Collection Announced

During a panel at Power Morphicon today, the world was finally given a sneak peek at what Hasbro intends to do with the Power Rangers brand. This news brought hope to a great many fans, myself included, in the form of the Lightning Collection, a new anthology series of figures set to drop its first wave in spring 2019. Hasbro was very open with information about these new figures, and in a preview video, showed the production of a prototype Mighty Morphin’ White ranger figure. The features are as follows:

  • 27 points of articulation
  • True-to-life colours and proportions
  • Photo-realistic swappable actor faces
  • Weapons and accessories included
  • Optional Special Effects included


Prototype on display in the main Power Morphicon hall (Photo credit: KyoryuZeo on Twitter)

The figures were confirmed to retail for a price point of $19.99 in the US and will be released as an Anthology series, rather than dividing sets by individual team. Hasbro representatives were adamant that all eras of Rangers will be included, rolled out over time similar to the Marvel Legendary Collection series, also made by Hasbro. In addition, during a Q&A at the end of the panel, the question of Monster figures in this series was brought up, and an implicit yes was given but nothing has been confirmed there just yet.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available, including pre-order information.

Are you excited to see the Lightning Collection in person? Which ranger are you most looking forward to seeing realised this way? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Personal note: Huge thanks and kudos to @TokuChris for streaming the panel. We love you!