Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Video Review #39: Robot Damashii Zaku II

Robot Damashii is a line I recently started collecting, it's a lot like SH Figuarts, in that it's a highly articulated line, generally with lots of accessories, mainly geared at one franchise, that of Mobile Suit Gundam.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Video Review #37: SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki Blank Form

Though I haven't finished watching the show yet, I really enjoy Kamen Rider Ryuki. Though I didn't at first, I know quite enjoy the Rider war aspect of it, and the Mirror Monsters is a great concept.

Additionally, the SH Figuarts line for Kamen Rider Ryuki is fantastic. Of all the many Figuarts I have, the Ryuki line is the best one, for posing, for quality, for sheer number of accessories. As such, I am most definitely a completist when it comes to the Ryuki line of Figuarts. I highly recommend any Ryuki Figuart to anybody.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Video Reviews Catch Up Part 1

I've been making video reviews of my collection, where I ramble about what I like and/or dislike about a given item in my collection. I have been meaning to post them here too, for the fun of it. And now I'm finally getting around to doing so.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

First Impressions of New Toys July 11, 2013

I got some new toys in the mail today. Hooray!

I'll try to give some brief (ha! Excess verbosity warning!) first impressions of them.

First up, from the CapturedPrey 3rd Party Party during Botcon, it's the Shattered Glass versions of B-Box and Birdbomber by Kieth's Fantasy Toys. I never talked about Rhinohorn here, but I rather liked it: the transformation was rather clever, the joints, while not always snug, always seemed to be snug enough in the positions I wanted them in - ie, he can rear up on his hind legs. So I was very excited to get this set of combining cassette dudes, cuz combiner! Also, I want to have a nice army of cassette dudes for when I get Masterpiece Soundwave.

I rather like the original pink/green deco of these, but in part because these are a very Optimus Prime-esque red/blue deco, and in part because they were exclusive, and because I got the Shattered Glass version of Rhinohorn (and am planning on the SG version of Ironpaw) I got the SG versions of B-Box and Birdbomber. I'll try to refrain from getting the standard versions of all of these, no matter how much I enjoy them.

First up: B-Box. My very first impression is that for such a tiny box, it feels rather weighty. Plastic quality is good, the blue color is really great, transformation is pretty good, not as clever as Rhinohorn, but good. The figure is pretty articulated, more than I expected (and more than Rhinohorn). I probably would have preferred silver weapons, but the gold looks good.

Birdbomber: The red is not as glorious as the blue of B-Box, but similarly this one has tons of jointage, and most of it is ball joints so you can position it any way you like. Joints could stand to be a little more snug though. This one is going to take a little longer to figure out how to pose it so it looks good. The gold weapons are definitely needed on him to give some much needed color variation.

Both B-Box and Birdbomber have tons of sculpted detail that looks very nice, but can't really be seen due to lack of paint. A dark wash would have gone a long way to making all the detail visible and improved the looks of these two. However, now that I am a pro Gundam kit assembler, I am going to panel-line the hell out of these two guys. Not going to bother attempting the combiniation at this time.

For only $5 more than the standard release, this is an exclusive worth getting, if you prefer the color, or the limited nature of them. You can pick them up exclusively at Captured Prey, assuming they still have them in stock. Also, as far as Third Party TFs go, either set is pretty reasonably priced, being the same as the Japanese issue MP cassettes.

Next up, Leathal Weapon set. Since my cousin drags his feet in showing me the rest of the series (and also because I feel like going on a Jet Li kick) I picked this set up for under $5 on eBay. Haven't checked any out yet, but as long as the movie plays, it's served its purpose.

FansProject Down Force. Ah FansProject. Do I even need to say anything about this? I have several FP figures and they're all great. I can't say I was crazy about this particular figure, the orange/yellow color doesn't appeal to me from the photos I've seen, but being part of their Not-Stunticons Combiner set it's not like I could skip it.

The color is better to my eyes, in person. It could be better though. The animated art on the front of the box is awesome, and I prefer the yellow that is to they yellow-ish-orange-ish the figure is. Still, combiner piece and excellent figure so I'll get over it.

I don't generally care about the box, because it's either garbage or save-for-moving/storage type stuff, but I've really enjoyed the look of these three last several FP figures. They will look good displayed on a shelf together, spines forward, and now that I have a bit more room to display stuff, maybe I'll throw a few of these on a top shelf where I wouldn't put a toy. But, this box is 2 to 3 times bigger than it needs to be. I appreciate the uniformity with the previous figures in the set, because of my OCD, especially now that I'm thinking of displaying them, for a while anyway, but really, all of them could be smaller packages. Oh well.

Okay, I've written three paragraphs about this guy and haven't even removed him from the plastic tray, yet. But do I even need to? This guy is going to be fantastic. The previous two figures in this set, Car Crash and T-Bone are great, and this guy will be no different. I will say that the lack of accessories kinda sucks. I really enjoyed the Bruticus add on figures, that they each came with a ton of weapons and bits and bobbles, and even if you weren't getting them for their combiner aspect, just the extra loadout of weapons was cool.

These guys each have one tiny gun thing, and that's it. I know all the combiner bits are coming with the final figure, but seems like it might have been good to distribute some stuff out among the other figures. The color balance is all off in this picture, that's not remotely what color the thing looks in person, but I kinda wish it was.

As with T-Bone and Car Crash, the articulation appears to be excellent and useful. There's some weird greebles on the ends of his shoulders I don't like, he needs better ankle spurs (though I really like how the tires look as the heels), I LOVE the clear blue windshield and headlights, and the purple goes really well with the orange color. There should have been more purple.

This is already dragging on so I'm not going to bother transforming him right now. I'm sure it's awesome like the other two, and the pics I've seen of the car mode are pretty great. I think Down Force will be my least favorite of the four cars, but that doesn't mean it's a bad figure at all. Good stuff, recommended. Dang, we've been in this house over three weeks now, and I haven't started unpacking any TFs yet. Should do that soon.

And finally, my newest obsession, Gundam. Started with a couple model kits, then I learned there was a Figuarts-like line of action figures for them, and knowing my obsession with Figuarts it was pretty plain to predict what would happen with the Robot Damashii line - I want to own them all.

Arios Gundam Ascalon is my third Robot Damashii, don't ask how many others I have on the way. They're very poseable, not quite Figuarts-level but these are robot suits, not people in spandex, so that's okay.

This box is heavy, I anticipate that meaning it has a bunch of accessories, which is always a good thing for a toy, in my opinion. It's a nice pink and white color, I anticipate my daughters asking me to buy one for them, or to give them this one, but with all the sharp pointy bits this one has, that's probably not going to happen.

Arios Ascalon is a variation of a design from Gundam OO, and that is all I know about it's origins. It has a giant backpack that weighs it down, with a foldout-able sharp pointy blade thing that can be used to help balance the figure, but it's on such a tiny point I would be worried about it bending or breaking. This guy definitely needs a stand. It also has a lot of panels that get in the way when you try to pose it, you have to move them out of the way first.

It has a beam saber with removeable blade, some large handgun type thing, and a larger, two-hand gun type thing for accessories. It looks decent, but will take some practice to get good poses out of it. It has some gun barrels hidden in its forearms. Oh, and it transforms into a pretty cool looking jet mode. From some angles.

The transformation is a bit fiddly, but eventually some parts start tabbing into place and holding, which helps. The instructions aren't super clear, and I'm not entirely sure I got it all right. I feel like the arms need to do something, tab into place somewhere, but the instructions show nothing, and I think the guns are supposed to go somewhere, but the instructions are unintelligible there. But eventually you end up with a bladed thing that's an approximation of a jet thingy with a giant blade on top of it, that I guess can fold out to be for ramming other jets and cutting them in half? I dunno.

So, those are my new toys and some not-so-brief thoughts on them. I have another box of goodies coming from my comic store/joint Mandarake order buddy, that should be here Monday, and I can't wait to see what's in it.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Another Photo Gallery: Kamen Rider Ryuki Blank

I made another SH Figuarts gallery for TokuNation, Kamen Rider Ryuki Blank form

In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Shinjo Kido discovers an Advent Deck shortly before learning he is being hunted by Dragredder, a powerful dragon creature that lives in a Mirror World. Using the Seal Advent Card to protect himself from Dragredder, Shinji begins to learn about the Mirror World and the monsters that live there, preying on the humans of the real world.

He uses the Advent deck to access the Mirror World and summons a sword to attack a Spider Monster. The sword shatters because he lacks a contract with a Monster, which would lend him its power. After seeing a child weeping over the loss of her mother, consumed by the Spider Monster, Shinji destroys the Seal card that protects him from Dragredder, and forges a contract with the beast, using the blank Contract Card, becoming Kamen Rider Ryuki; his goal, to protect humanity from the Mirror Monsters. What he doesn't yet know, is that not all Kamen Riders share his goal.

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Monday, July 01, 2013

My First Photo Gallery!

There's so much to write about, we moved two weeks ago, to a significantly larger house, I think we had our third child in the time since I last posted here (might be a small exaggeration), I've started getting into Gundam kits, I've got tons of other new toys I should talk about, I've been making video reviews of toys for several months now (I'm sure I'll start posting those here any day now), but what I want to talk about, is

Since getting into tokusatsu shows (which can basically be explained as Japanese live action anime TV shows) I joined the forums at, a sister site to, the Transformers forum I used to participate in (until I got into toku). I am a HUGE fan of the Kamen Rider franchise, and the largest portion of my toy collecting over the last year and a half or more has been Kamen Rider toys, specifically the SH Figuarts line.

Well, a few weeks ago TokuNation opened up a few staff positions for photographers, and I applied, and was chosen as one of the three new staff members. I can now post official galleries of toku-related toys, and tonight, I finally posted my first gallery.

SH Figuarts Kamen Rider Odin & Goldphoenix, from the Kamen Rider Ryuki line (and TV show), arrived this week, brand new from Japan, and it is an awesome set, and I wasted little time in taking a few decent, though not amazing, pictures.

Interested parties can view the gallery at

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