Having spent enough to support a small child on Bandai's S.H. Figuarts action figure line, I was a bit relieved to see that Bluefin Tamashii Nations' Toy Fair 2014 booth was relatively relaxed in terms of never-before-seen figures. My relief didn't last too long, however, as I took in the big items from the show. Not only did we get a second, more fleshed-out look at the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman, we also got to scope out a Shippuden-style Naruto and an articulated Michael Jackson in his Moonwalker getup.
Wrap up your week with a host of Friday links.
With a "Capture escaped bad guys with special new technology" premise, we already knew Toei's upcoming Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers anime would have at least a passing similarity to Pokémon. What we didn't know is that Bandai's collectible game associated with the series, known as "Bachicombat," would play out a lot like pogs. Yes, pogs!
Following its Power Rangers Super Megaforce localization of Toei's Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger series, Saban will return to the dinosaur motif that made Mighty Morphin Power Rangers a huge hit in America back in 1993. According to USA Today, in 2015 Power Rangers Dino Charge will debut on Nickelodeon, meaning that Saban will skip the spy-themed 36th Japanese Sentai Series known as Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters in favor of a show with more humor, more rangers and a lot more dinos.
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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.