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When Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA opened a survey to action figure collectors asking which licenses fans were most interested in last year, quite a few fans raised an eyebrow at the inclusion of Super Mario Bros. on the form. Once Bandai's North American distributor of the hyper articulated S.H. Figuarts action figure line uploaded a question mark box from the franchise on its social media channels, though, it seemed as if a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom was surely in order. Today a display at the Nuremburg Toy Fair confirmed it: This May we'll all be able to "Do the Mario" with all the articulation befitting Nintendo's flagship plumber.
As a kid watching Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball Z in the mid-late 1990s, I always thought the evil Dr. Gero's androids picked some kinda wacky Western clothes to wear, but these days Android 18 looks more or less like a contemporary teen. Shave half of her head and she'd more or less fit in on any major music video shoot, which makes Bandai's June/July release of the S.H. Figuarts Android 18 action figure just so timely.
Fans will finally be able to assemble the full Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team in S.H. Figuarts form this summer with the official arrival of the Yellow Ranger. Previously showcased (alongside her male counterpart from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger) at conventions through 2013, the Yellow Ranger will sport all kinds of articulation and stand roughly 6" tall.
Toei's current fruit-based Kamen Rider series has been represented on toy shelves in its native Japan with a feature-focused "Arms Change" action figure series for several months, but in May Bandai will officially roll out hyper-articulated S.H. Figuarts versions of the titular hero of Kamen Rider Gaim and his rival Kamen Rider Baron.
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Yet another of Sailor Moon's Sailor Senshi is set to get immortalized action figure style in Bandai's S.H. Figuarts line. Sailor Venus is set to follow Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter with a new action figure in May, complete with her white cat Artemis and her alternate masked "Sailor V" ensemble.
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.
Bandai's Tamashii Nations toys look stellar at conventions when Bluefin displays its wares, and that has as much to do with the toys themselves as it does their unique environments. Come April, even the most casual collectors will be able to come closer to achieving the same level of display detail on their own with new stand bases from the Tamashii Stage line.