As you might already know from the constant chatter about the Power Rangers and Kamen Rider, we here at ComicsAlliance are pretty big fans of Japanese tokusatsu. Something about those live-action shows where teenagers with attitude transform to kick monsters and summon giant robots just speak to us on a fundamental level. That said, the actual behind-the-scenes origins of the franchises is even more interesting than the stuff that makes it on the screen.
It's a complicated story, but thankfully, the folks at ToyBountyHunters have decided to break it down for us. In the first two parts of It's Henshin Time, their multi-part examination of the history of Super Sentai and its American counterpart, they get into the origins of the franchise, starting with creator and CA favorite ShotaroIshinomori and a look at Kamen Rider and the first two (and a half) installments of the Sentai franchise. It's interesting stuff, so check out the videos below!
The blue-est Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger will be joining several of his action figure teammates in May. The Blue/Tricera Ranger that's been teased at conventions for the better part of the past year is now available for preorder through the Bandai Premium shop in Japan for 3,780 Yen (about $37 USD) and should surely follow suit through Bluefin Tamashii Nations before long.
Following the current season of the dance/gun/dinosaur-themed Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Toei will launch its 38th Super Sentai series, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. It's all about trains! Train track helmets, railroad crossing chest motifs, a giant combined train mech known as the TokkyuOh, electronic train ticket device morphers called Tokkyu Chargers -- this show looks like it's going to be the right kind off the rails.
If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, then you probably already know that as soon as the calendar switches over to December, I start obsessively watching as many Christmas specials as I possibly can. Not just the big Rankin-Bass specials, either -- I do my best to watch out for the weird ones, like Christmas Comes to Pac-Land and that He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special where Skeletor learns the true meaning of holiday magic. And every time I think I've exhausted the well of the obscure and bizarre, I end up finding something new.
Today, my (relatively) newfound love of Japanese tokusatsu shows led me to sit down with the Christmas episode of the 1971 Kamen Rider TV series, and I'll tell you right now: It's not like any holiday special I've ever seen. Largely because the title for the episode is "WEREWOLF MONSTER'S HUGE MURDER PARTY."
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
Today, we're offering up a gift that I'm pretty sure nobody is actually asking for -- and maybe that's a good thing: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills!
A few weeks back, we brought you the announcement of Toei Hero World, an indoor amusement park and museum devoted to Super Sentai (the show that was adapted into the last 20 years worth of Power Rangers) and Kamen Rider (the story of a line of heroes who kick monsters to death while riding motorcycles). As you might imagine from those summaries, this is something that the staff here at ComicsAlliance is pretty excited about, but now, we have an even better reason: Toei has previewed the attractions at Hero World.
As you can see above, this includes one very important, game-changing bombshell: The part where you ride bumper-car motorcycles through a track filled with inflatable Shocker Combatmen does in fact have motorcycles sized for adults, so I guess I pretty much have to go there now (CA Editor Caleb Goellner can ride in the sidecar). Check out a few other attractions below, and start pricing that trip to Mihama, Chiba City.
Q: What are the best halloween themed Power Ranger episodes? --@I_AM_maxHELL
A: I'm about 400 episodes into my attempt to watch the past 20 years worth of Power Rangers, and one of the things that has consistently surprised me is that there aren't a whole lot of holiday-themed episodes. There's a Christmas special here and there and a couple of episodes where they staple a Jack O'Lantern onto some existing footage and call it a Halloween special, but those are very few and far between. Maybe that'll change once I get up to Mystic Force, the season where they use their witchity powers to battle an army of the undead. You'd think they'd be doing a lot more than they did.
It'll be a few years before Nickelodeon and Saban get a chance to Power Ranger-fy them here, but right now in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger is Toei's tokusatsu task force of choice. As such, Bandai's S.H. Figuarts action figure line is set to be brimming with the multihued heroes in the coming year, with the series' dinosaur-themed cast rolling out in a major way. Team leader KyoryuRed's figure arrived just this week, and it's set to be joined by a two-pack pairing KyoryuBlue and the standalone KyoryuGreen KyoryuGold later this spring. While KyoryuBlack and KyoryuPink haven't been scheduled, they're confirmed to join the team down the road as seen in a slew of new images on Japanese retailer AmiAmi.
Bandai's full S.H. Figuarts line based on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Japanese Super Sentai counterpart Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger was more or less locked-in this past summer at San Diego Comic-Con, but it's nice to see the Bluefin Tamashii Nations booth confirm that MMPR fans will be getting a female version of the Yellow Ranger aka Trini Kwan. The 6" hyper-articulated figure was shown alongside the rest of the team, including the soon-to-be-released Black Ranger and to-be-scheduled Blue Ranger. Figurats prototypes are frequently shown as teasers and occasionally don't make it to market at conventions, but with the team's fully-assembled Power Blaster on display combining all of their trademark weapons, fans can count on being able to get their hands on the full lineup before the end of 2014. You can see all of the current and upcoming Power Rangers S.H. Figuarts toys after the jump.
Your Mighty Morphin Power Rangers action figures may soon be joined by a Megazord that's slightly more to-scale. Bandai America has a two-foot-tall "Jumbo Megazord" on display at booth 1628 at New York Comic Con, which dwarfs the 10" Legacy Megazord. Since the toy is currently "under consideration" and not fully announced, for now it's just represented by a prototype that lacks articulation and paint apps. Bandai did, however, include an image of the Megazord morphed into "tank mode," so it's safe to assume if it does get made, it will function similarly to the Legacy model, which combines all five individual Power Ranger Zords. You can check out photos of the potential Jumbo Megazord toy from Bandai, after the jump.
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