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Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid RPG proves HUGE SUCCESS for Renegade Game Studios.

Remember, way back in October 2017, when I spoke about the upcoming Power Rangers Hyperforce and the potential this had in igniting a fire in the tabletop community for a co-opertative Power Rangers role playing game? Well, guess what? It did and now we’re getting one courtesy of Renegade Game Studios! Here’s my thoughts on Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid.

A couple weeks ago at GenCon, we saw our first look at the upcoming Heroes of the Grid RPG and the internet got excited! Since Hyperforce went over pretty well with the fan base, Renegade Game Studios seemed intent on capitalising on that with awesome miniatures and gorgeous art from Go Go Power Rangers artist Dan Mora.

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The Kickstarter launched a couple days ago and the Power Rangers community was ravenous enough to get it funded in under EIGHT HOURS! The only time I’ve personally seen something get funded that quickly on Kickstarter is when Rooster Teeth puts up a crowd funding page for their movies or card games. It’s a testament to the hunger for this kind of product that we’ve now unlocked two of the additional stretch goals and I’m super proud of the community.

But what is Heroes of the Grid and what do you get for funding this project? Here’s the rundown!

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Pledging $75 (roughly £60) gets you the base game set, which is set to run for around $90 msrp, and includes a whole host of goodies including the core MMPR team, Rita, a selection of famous monsters and an army of Putty Patrollers as miniatures, along with their ability cards and scenario cards.

Power Rangers_Heroes of the Grid_kickstarter goals_base set (4)Pledging at the $150 (£118) mark gets you the base game and the two expansions; Green with Evil and White Light. These Green with Evil expansion come with a different sculpt for Rita in a Boom Studios outfit, and evil Green Ranger, Scorpina, and oddly, Tenga Warriors. The White Light expansion Includes a White Ranger, Lord Zedd and a contingent of Z Putty Patrollers.

Already, Renegade Game Studios are covering their bases to give people the storylines and characters people love from the Mighty Morphin era and I’m loving all of the miniatures (even if I’m too broke to support this at the moment).

Power Rangers_Heroes of the Grid_kickstarter goals_base set (3)Pledging a whopping $240 (£189) nets you everything I’ve mentioned before as well as the Shattered Grid expansion which includes the Hyperforce Rangers and Time Force Pink! I know a lot of Hyperforce fans will be glad to know you can also buy that as an add-on for the two lower tiers too! In that, you also get Ranger Slayer and Black Dragon monster figures, a cadre of Mastodon Troopers, and Lord Drakkon, himself! At the Morphin Master pledge level, you also get a Ranger-themed dice pack, a pack of additional Foot Soldiers and a Mighty Morphin Megazord figure!

Power Rangers_Heroes of the Grid_kickstarter_miniaturesI think I should mention the size of these miniatures at this point and when Renegade Game Studios says they’re oversized, they mean it. They should be great for people who find it hard to paint standard miniatures, like me with my broken hands.

There’s also a page on the Kickstarter that explains the game mechanics but I’ll let you guys check that out for yourselves rather than me mess anything up. Suffice to say that it’s definitely a game I’m interested in playing and I hope I can jump on board with this soon!

Power Rangers_Heroes of the Grid_kickstarter goals_base set (1)As of time of writing, the Kickstarter is a little over $130,000 and they’re creeping towards their next stretch goal at $185k. It’s undoubtedly a success for Renegade Game Studios and the fans have shown their love for it so if this is going to be an ongoing endeavour; which team would you like to see released next? Have you contributed to the Kickstarter? What’s your favourite part of the game as it’s been shown to us?

Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more news, reviews, and more from Toku Toy Store!

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Power Rangers Movie Sequel Confirmed

That post-credits stinger might go somewhere after all. Hasbro confirmed today that they are in the early stages of developing a sequel to 2017’s Power Rangers film, the adult-oriented reboot featuring redesigned suits, monsters, and mecha. Currently, Hasbro is said to be in a “transition” period as we enter 2019, and is hoping to capitalize on the Power Rangers brand as much as possible, including all media and licensed products.

 

 
Power Rangers 2017 stars a new cast, including Stranger Things star Dacre Montgomery, and actors Ludi Lin, Naomi Scott, Becky G, and RJ Cyler. This film also gave many nods to fans in the way of Bryan Cranston’s Zordon, and the confirmation (at least in this universe) of a long-standing fan theory involving Rita and Zordon as previous rangers. The film ended on a post-credits scene teasing the arrival of new Green ranger Tommy Oliver, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek, very 80s teen comedy kind of way. Rumours have swirled for months that a sequel would adapt the TV arc Green with Evil, based on this teaser, but could it go even further? With the new popularity of Boom! Studios comics and the character of Lord Drakkon, that is another possibility.

Hasbro, in their own words, see a “significant opportunity for growth given where the brand has been most recently,” as stated in the original report from licensing.org. This means that the franchise will likely soon follow the same models as other Hasbro series such as Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, and Voltron, all of which have seen record successes under Hasbro’s multimedia expansion including blockbuster films and highly-rated TV series. Power Rangers already has the built-in fanbase to allow for this kind of growth, and with Hasbro steering the ship, it is only likely to swing further upward.

Are you excited for a Power Rangers Sequel? Leave your thoughts and let’s discuss!

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Kamen Rider Zi-O: First Trailer and Press Conference Details

It’s that time of the year again, the first press conference for Kamen Rider Zi-O just took place in Japan a few hours ago and with it brought us plenty of news with the cast as well as a trailer giving us a first look at the new Rider series.

First up was the cast. Zi-O showed up on stage and did his pose with his bike the Time Machine before revealing the cast of the show.

From left to right we have :

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Mysterious Prophet Woz, maybe Warz (Keisuke Watanabe) – He appears to Zi-O from the future to tell him predictions about what will be;

Geiz Myoukouin (Gaku Oshida) – Kamen Rider Geiz, a Rider from the future of 2068 who appears in 2018 to defeat Zi-O before he can become the demon king of the future.

Sougo Tokiwa (Sou Okuno) – Kamen Rider Zi-O, destined to become a demon king in the future, he becomes Zi-O and will time travel, interacting with Legend Riders along the way to prevent this dark future.

Tsukoyomi (Shieri Ohata) – A girl who travels to 2018 with Geiz and tries to help Zi-O change the future, rather than defeat him.

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After the cast reveal was the trailer, kicking off with a showcase of the 19 previous Heisei Series from Kuuga to Build. All of their Ridewatches are shown before cutting to reveal the newest Rider, Zi-O.

The main character Sougo Tokiwa is then introduced as he finds a blank Ridewatch on his bike seat.

A mysterious man, Woz, is seen as Zi-O fights a Build themed monster known as Another Build who has “BUILD” written on its chest.

Then, the Rider from the future, Kamen Rider Geiz / Geiz Myoukouin, is shown:

Showing off Tsukoyomi, we also get a look at the inside of the Time Machine.

After some shots of Zi-O and Geiz fighting, we get a brief look at an evil looking Zi-O.

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This leads to the reveals of returning actors and characters for Zi-O first up is Sento Kiryu and Ryuga Banjou, both are returning from Kamen Rider Build and are seen giving Sougo the Build and Cross-Z Ridewatches.

Then, returning from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, it’s Emu Hojo and Hiiro Kagami.

Following this is a montage of many Legend Rider forms, Zi-O’s Ex-Aid and Build forms along with Geiz’s Ghost and Drive forms.

At the end of the trailer, more mystery characters are revealed as they freeze Build, Cross-Z, and Ex-Aid in time.

Finally, is the start of the transformation sequence for Zi-O before revealing the premiere date of September 2nd 2018 at 9am in Japan.

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Shortly after this first trailer came out, Bandai Japan released a YouTube trailer showing a montage of Heisei Riders as well as the transformation sequences of Zi-O and Geiz. We’re also treated to the Build Armor form that debuted in the Kamen Rider Build: Be The One Movie.

While the series trailer is region locked, you can watch that Bandai trailer here:

What do you think of Zi-O so far? What Legend Riders do you want to see return? Leave a comment below!

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Power Rangers Confirmed for Netflix’s “The Toys That Made Us” Season 3

After some teasing from the staff, it was officially confirmed during their San Diego Comic Con panel that Power Rangers will be one of the four toy brands featured in Netflix’s “The Toys That Made Us” Season 3.

Last month, it was shown the staff of the show visited the headquarters of Toei in Japan. Likely to cover the Super Sentai portion of Power Rangers history. It was also shown the staff visited Hasbro, the new owners of the franchise.

 

The other toy franchises covered will be Wrestling, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and My Little Pony. It’s unknown when Season 3 will premiere.

Do you watch “The Toys That Made Us”? What do you want to see from this episode? Leave a comment below!

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Ultraman Anime Release Window Revealed

As revealed today with the release of Volume 12 of the manga, the anime adaptation of Ultraman will be released in Spring 2019, seemingly to coincide with the release of the third film in the Godzilla anime trilogy. The release is also confirmed to be worldwide, with distribution and translation being handled in-house by Netflix, whom have previously brought over hit anime series like The Seven Deadly Sins, Violet Evergarden, and Kakegurui, as well as the live-action adaptations of Mob Psycho 100 and Kakegurui.

The current Ultraman manga is written and illustrated by the team of Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, who previously worked together on Linebarrels of Iron, and follows protagonist Shinjiro Hayata, the son of original Ultraman Shin Hayata. The series began publication in October 2011, where it was first published in Monthly Hero’s magazine’s first issue. Outside of Japan, the translated volumes can be purchased via Viz Media. With the setup for the plot ignoring all but the first season of the series, this version of Ultraman is very different from the one typically seen in TV series since the mid 1960s. This version of Ultraman is decidedly more grounded, and has a hint of the gritty realism made popular in superhero fiction by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

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The new series will be done in the 3D-CG art style seen in other recent anime like Berserk (2016-2017), Tiger & Bunny, and Fate/Zero. Artistically, the series may draw many of its designs and influences from Tiger & Bunny, as many of its elements are aesthetically very similar. Look for Ultraman when it is given a simultaneous worldwide release in Spring of 2019.

Are you excited for Ultraman? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Source: Gormaru Island via Facebook

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Ultraman R/B Episode 1 Preview

Ahead of its impending release date, a new preview has been released for the premier episode of Ultraman R/B. The clip sets up the opening of the series, in which a kaiju attacks Akaya City, home of brothers Katsumi and Isami Minato, who will become Ultraman Rosso and Ultraman Blu in order to protect their home and their family. The brothers have a strong tag team dynamic in the action scenes that have been shown thus far, and this trend is likely to continue as the series progresses and they begin to take on bigger and badder opponents, such as series villain Ultraman Orb Dark.

Ultraman R/B has been previously confirmed to contain elements outside of the common Ultraman tropes and plot beats, with actors and producers commenting that these changes will be done in a way that is seen as a positive for the series and the franchise, as a whole. The cast and crew are enthusiastic as they wholeheartedly throw all of their talent and dedication into the production of the series, which will run for 25 episodes beginning on July 7th, 2018 in Japan. As in the past, Crunchyroll will likely pick up global distribution of the series, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Please support the official release by watching Ultraman R/B on officially-licensed streaming sites or buying the Blu-Ray set when it releases. To get in the mood, you can pre-order the Ultraman R/B Rube Gyro device from Toku Toy Store, here!

What do you think of the hype for Ultraman R/B so far? Do you have any theories about how the plot will develop? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Source: Tsuburaya Productions via YouTube

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New Photos Of Kamen Rider Build Genius Form And Kamen Rider Great Cross-Z

As Kamen Rider Build slowly reaches it’s end, let’s have a closer look at Build and Cross-Z’s final form.

In these Brand new magazine scans, we see our first clear look of Kamen Rider Build’s Genius Form.

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This form will be accessed when the Genius Fullbottle is inserted into the Build Driver.

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The Genius form will be able to preform 3 attacks; Genius Attack, Genius Break and Genius Finish.

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Next we see 4 brand new black and gold Fullbottles (Bat, Fukurou (Owl), Kuwagata (Stag Beetle), Spanner). There is also a new panel to display them on, but no best matches have been confirmed.

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And finally, we have the Great Cross-Z Dragon and Great Dragon Evol Bottle. These will be used by Kamen Rider Cross-Z to transform into Kamen Rider Great Cross-Z.

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The Great Cross-Z Dragon is used in a similar way to the regular Cross-Z Dragon, the bottle is inserted into the Dragon which is then inserted into the Build Driver.

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Similar to other Premium Bandai toys, the Cross-Z Dragon will also have say some of Ryuuga’s quotes when the button on the front is pressed. The Great Cross-Z Dragon will be released in October and will cost 3,024 yen.

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You can expect to see all of these new forms in the coming episodes.

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Ultraman R/B Full Cast Revealed

As we gear up to the premiere of Ultraman R/B in a couple of months, Tsuburaya Productions today revealed the remaining cast members for Ultraman R/B, including side characters. As of today, the following actors have officially joined the cast:

  • Arisa Sonohara, playing the Minato brothers’ younger sister, Asahi Minato
  • Ginnojo Yamazaki, playing the father, Ushio Minato
  • Motoki Fukami playing Makoto Aizen, a corporate president

 

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Left to right: Arisa Sonohara, Ginnojo Yamazaki, Motoki Fukami

Asahi Minato is described as a pacifist, a girl who will go out of her way to avoid fighting, to the extent she won’t even play Janken, the Japanese version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. She is a high school student who always carries candy with her, and takes care of the chores around the Minato house on behalf of her mother. She is, “The glue that holds the Minato family together.”

Ginnojo Yamazaki makes his return to the world of Tokusatsu in another patriarchal role as he takes on the role of Ushio Minato, the father of the Minato family. Previously, Yamazaki played Lucky’s father in 2017’s Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger. Ushio Minato is described as a gentle, kind man and owns a fashion boutique called “Quattro M,” though he lacks the business sense to run a store. Through Quattro M, Ushio sells his own designer clothing brand, UshioMinato, and is trying to expand the brand, though his lack of sense for small details makes him unaware his sons are the two Ultramen.

Lastly, Makoto Aizen is the president of Eizentech, a company researching unknown energy sources with a focus on space-based technology. The achievements of Eizentech have gained attention from all over the world, though the headquarters is based in Ayaka City, the setting for the show and home of the Minato family. He is confident and friendly, and is most often seen wearing fancy suits.

These new characters and actors are already vibrant and full of unique personality traits, which will serve to only deepen and expand the world of Ultraman R/B when it premieres this July. Perhaps the connection between Aizen and the Minato family could be in the clothing designs? Or maybe he will become fascinated with the Ultramen. In addition to these new characters, we were given a bit more in the way of background on the show and some backstory for the two new leads themselves.

Katsumi Minato, Ultraman Rosso, was a talented baseball player as a boy, but had to give up his dream when his mother disappeared 8 years before the show begins. He is the only employee at Quattro M, working with his father, and is a temperamental, easily excitable intellectual man.

His brother Isami, by contrast, is a college student studying space archaeology, which is the same field the Minato family matriarch studied before her disappearance. He dislikes physical exercise, and studies in his spare time. He respects his older brother for giving up his dream of playing professional baseball to help out with the family, and is described as bright and positive. He is referred to as the “mood maker” of the scenes he is in.

Lastly, we got a glimpse at a new weapon, the R/B Slugger, which is similar in design to the Eye Slugger used in the past by UltraSeven. R/B Slugger can change forms for each brother, changing its attack capabilities.

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Ultraman R/B is being directed by Masayoshi Takesue, while the writing will be handled by a team consisting of Ultraman Orb writer Takao Nakano and Super Sentai veterans Junki Takegami (Hyakkujuu Sentai Gaoranger) and Satoshi Ito (Engine Sentai Go-Onger). Ultraman R/B premieres July 7th, and is set to run for 25 episodes. Look for more details and information as we get closer to the release date.

Source: Tsuburaya Station Via The Tokusatsu Network

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How To Spot Fake Tokusatsu Leaks

How to get through the coming months without being fooled by fake news!

Kamen Rider Zi-O has just been trademarked meaning that, for the next few months, news will be coming out all the time in the run up to the first episode. Of course, most it of this news will be real but we all know that fake news is far from uncommon in tokusatsu. These can be so convincing to the point that people may still believe it months after it was debunked. A lot of this “news” is just an occasional rumour on a forum or website, but sometimes a lot of effort is put into these fakes. You can sometimes see future episodes or even future seasons faked. With fabricated catalogues, episode listings and even trademarks becoming increasingly common, I’ve decided to compile a list of different methods to identify them.

First of all, obviously, If you first hear about the leaks on or around April Fools Day, it’s more than likely fake. Secondly, if you hear the news too far before the time you would expect to hear it, it’s also likely fake. An obvious example would be hearing about the plot of the final episode just after episode 5 airs. However, even if it seems like the perfect time for certain types of news, sometimes fake news starts circulating a while before the real news comes out but still end up at a convincing time. To help identify the time you should expect the real leaks, I’ve made a calendar using the average month some official news comes out:

February: Super Sentai second quarter and Kamen Rider fourth quarter catalogues

March: Trademark for new Ultraman

April: Super Sentai third quarter and Ultraman first quarter catalogues

May: Trademark for new Kamen Rider

July: Kamen Rider first quarter, Super Sentai fourth quarter and Ultraman second quarter catalogues

September: New Super Sentai Trademark

October: Kamen Rider second quarter catalogue

December: Kamen Rider third and Super Sentai first quarter catalogues

For plot details of future episodes, don’t expect news about episodes more than 6 weeks after the last episode to be true. Finally, expect about 90% of the information leaked between the new name trademark and the first quarter scans to be fake. A common thing you can expect is a “leaked” image of the new supposed Sentai Red. This has been happening since at least Go-Onger, and they have all been fake. The only real first image of the Sentai Red will be a still of an actor in the actual suit. You can expect this image to appear sometime before or at the same time as the first quarter scans.

Inconsistent or missing information isn’t uncommon in fake Toku news. Take, for example, the fake catalogue scans from earlier this year depicting a supposed new Kamen Rider series (see featured image). Some of the pages had release dates while others didn’t. Another notable thing about those scans is that they weren’t actually scans, they were low-ish quality photographs taken in a way to exclude some information. This is common with fake scans across all different forms of media to make it appear like it was taken in a hurry. Most real information is scanned before it is leaked. The final key piece of evidence that this was fake was that the background was quite bland. Most catalogues are usually a bit more creative with the backgrounds. If you encounter a new name for a Toku series, double check the twitter account @trademark_bot to see if the name is there. While there is a chance that rumoured names are real, it’s not worth believing them if they haven’t been trademarked yet.

These next few aren’t generally used for when forging Toku leaks, but I’ve often seen these in fake video game leaks so these may be helpful. Some images might be fan art passed of as scans. You can find out if these images appear on other websites by cropping out the part of the image you believe is fake and running it through a reverse photo search. Google has a built in reverse photo search function on its image page, but other websites dedicated to reverse photo searching exist, such as TinEye and Image Raider.

Finally, the most important tip, trust your gut instinct. The human brain is amazing at detecting abnormalities in anything so if you think it’s fake, it almost certainly will be.

What are your favourite ways to spot fake Tokusatsu leaks? Let us know in the comments!

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S.H. Figuarts Dan Kuroto and Shin Dan Kuroto Announced

The Game Master returns! Bandai has recently announced that kami-sama himself, Shin Dan Kuroto, will be getting the S.H. Figuarts treatment in the form of not one, but two S.H. Figuarts! Dan Kuroto will and Shin Dan Kuroto have both been announced for release. Dan Kuroto is highly detailed, featuring a facial scan of actor Tatsuya Iwanagi, and Shin Dan Kuroto is decidedly more like something out of anime or a western cartoon. It’s silly, it’s over the top, and it couldn’t be more perfect. The press release photos show the figure in various poses, each channeling the Game Master flawlessly, and the face includes an almost unsettling amount of similarity in expression to the actor himself. The production model is sure to lose some of that quality, as all human-faced figures do, but it is still quite a sight to behold. See images below.

Dan Kuroto:

Shin Dan Kuroto:

S.H. Figuarts Shin Dan Kuroto so far does not have a price, and pricing will be announced in the near future. Per the pictures, the figure will include the Continue pipe as well as a miniature version of the Dangerous Zombie Gashat. Toku Toy Store will be accepting preorders for this item once pricing is released. This article will be updated once pricing is released.
What other Kamen Rider characters would you like to see with the actors likeness? Let us know!