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What is it and why should I care? (December 2016 Edition)

At long last, a new WIIWSIC (I have got to think of a better acronym for it regardless of how much I have to torture the letters I use), so let’s get to what we’ve got coming out and coming up!


  • SH Figuarts Stone Cold Steve Austin - Stunner
    SH Figuarts Stone Cold Steve Austin - Stunner

What is it?

SH Figuarts The Rock & Stone Cold Steve Austin

Why should I care?

Do I need to explain myself?

A bit, maybe?

Okay, so Bandai have had as bit of a run on a Japanese wrestling cartoon series, Kinnikuman, in their SH Figuarts series, even going so far as to produce a Tamashii Stage that is a wrestling corner, four of which can be combined into a full-on squared circle.

That sounds neat

It really is. It really, really is.

So now they’re doing WWE characters?

Oh yeah, and not just that, they’re going full-on Attitude Era for this, starting with The Rock and Stone Cold and following them with Triple-H and The Undertaker.

What about Mankind?

That was my question too, and was answered by Bandai showing off a Vince McMahon figure at their big toy show.

Vince… McMahon?

Well, he was a big part of the Attitude Era, so it kinda makes sense. Hopefully they’ll continue with the WWE toys though and make Mankind.

They’d better!

I couldn’t agree with you more. Anyway, these figures are dead impressive and if they have the same articulation as the Kinnikuman figures they’ll be able to do pretty much every hold imaginable.

The Rock (Hobbylink Japan pre-order ¥5100, approx $45/£36); Stone Cold Steve Austin (Hobbylink Japan pre-order ¥5100, approx $45/£36); 29th December 2016


  • SH Figuarts K-2SO
    SH Figuarts K-2SO

What is it?

SH Figuarts Star Wars: Rogue One K-2SO, Death Trooper & Shoretrooper

Why should I care?

New Star Wars movie stuff! It’s also the 2nd year running that Bandai have released figures on the movie’s release.

Yeah, but why should I care?

Bandai have released a ton of Star Wars figures for SH Figuarts over the last 18 months and I have to say I haven’t enjoyed Star Wars figures this much since the original Return of the Jedi releases back in ’83.

You’re showing your age

I am indeed.

Will the movie these are from be good?

Who knows? But Disney do seem to be taking good care and attention with the license. More importantly, the toys will be good. I mean, look at that Shore Trooper. And K-2SO, a ridiculously lanky robot. It’ll be fine, I’m sure.

K-2SO (Hobbylink Japan pre-order ¥4250, approx $38/£30); Death Trooper (Hobbylink Japan pre-order ¥4420, approx $39/£31); Shoretrooper (Hobbylink Japan pre-order ¥4420, approx $39/£31); 16th December 2016


  • MakeToys Stain
    MakeToys Stain

What is it?

MakeToys MTCM-03-SG2 Stain

Why should I care?

It’s a repaint of the MakeToys Celeritas, an indie transformer homage to the Technobot Lightspeed from Hasbro & Takara’s Transformers.

And that’s it?

Ah, no. This repaint is done in the colours of the Terrorcon Blot.

Is that important?

I think so. The Terrorcons have had an indie transformer homage already in the form of the Unique Toys combiner Ordin, but they are crazy big, and not as elegant as MakeToys output. And Blot’s colours have traditionally been excellent, with a dark purple that MakeToys have added clear bright magenta weaponry too.

So if they’re a combining team, where are the rest of them?

Okay, so this is all MakeToys weird continuity where these are alternative versions of the MakeToys Quantron combiner, and they’re restricted to these exclusive releases. The first one was Ripper, a repaint of their Blindfire figure, but in the colours of the Terrorcon Cutthroat. It’s terrific, thanks to all of the Quantron team being very good transforming toys. It’ll take a few more years, but I expect we’ll see a Sinnertwin repaint of Sonicdrill (their Nosecone) and a Rippersnapper repaint of Overheat (their Afterburner). Oh, and then you’d definitely need a repaint of Metalstorm in Hun-Gurrr’s colours, but hopefully they’ll also give him a new headsculpt.

That’s a lot to take in.

I’ll bet. The tldr; is: awesome toy, funky colours.

MakeToys Stain (MakeToys Exclusive pre-order direct excl. shipping
$59.99, approx £48); Q1 2017


  • Super7 Masters of the Universe
    Super7 Masters of the Universe

What is it?

Super7 Masters of the Universe Ultimates

Why should I care?

It’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Again. Again.

Two agains?

Well you had the original Masters of the Universe (MOTU) line, then the early 2000s He-Man & the MOTU and then Mattel finally released Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) featuring better articulated versions of the original line (plus some hangers-on).

So what is this one all about?

It’s basically new versions of the MOTUC line, but not from Mattel, instead it’s from Super7 who have been making waves with their ReAction toys and have teamed up with toy designers The Four Horseman to re-release characters in Ultimate versions.

So just some re-releases?

You get a lot of bang for a buck, most characters have a couple of extra headsculpts and a bundle of accessories.

So who is getting re-released?

First of the block are He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Ram Man and Faker.

Faker?

A blue & orange He-Man, so a logical repaint of him. Don’t forget this is the (re)start of things, so they’re not going full-tilt so it makes sense doing the lead and his nemesis, plus two different bodies (in Teela and Ram Man) along with an easy repaint. If this release goes well who knows who will turn up next?

Masters of the Universe @ Super7 (He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Ram Man & Faker pre-order direct excl. shipping
$35 per figure, approx £28); Early 2017


  • Masterpiece Inferno
    Masterpiece Inferno

What is it?

Takara-Tomy Transformers Masterpiece Inferno

Why should I care?

This is the newest mould in the Masterpiece line and it’s one nobody was expecting.

They weren’t?

Judging by the fact that two indie transforming toy companies released their own Masterpiece-scaled Inferno, no.

Okay, so why should I care?

From all accounts this guy does some clever stuff during the transformation. It’s elegant in a way that Takara-Tomy specialise in, especially with how clean the robot mode ends up being.

So it just transforms well?

Well yeah, for the most part, but he’s about as perfect a version of Inferno that there is, with a bundle of accessories including water effects, a G1 cartoon-specific front bumper, helmet and faces. Takara-Tomy have pushed the boat out with this guy. He also has the… well… it’s difficult to explain.

Try

Right, so in an episode of the Transformers G1 cartoon in the 80s there’s a moment where Inferno carries Red Alert (a fire brigade Lamborghini), and so Takara-Tomy decided to make it easier for people to recreate this scene.

How?

Inferno comes with a Red Alert sling.

You’re kidding?

Nope. It’s a clear plastic sling that lets you lay Red Alert in it. It’s brilliant in its insanity. Of course, there is one other thing about that…

Which is?

You’d really need to buy the cartoon-coloured version of Red Alert to get that cartoon accuracy.

Is that all?

It was an… um… exclusive.

Oh

Yeah. I mean, you don’t really need that to entirely appreciate Masterpiece Inferno, but you will have to accept that if you don’t have one of the five other Masterpiece toys that fit the plastic tray then you have a spare… uh… plastic tray. No biggie.

Masterpiece Inferno (Kapow Toys £124.99, TFSource $139.99)


  • SH Figuarts Hall of Armour - fully stacked
    SH Figuarts Hall of Armour - fully stacked

What is it?

Bandai SH Figuarts Iron Man Hall of Armour

Why should I care?

It’s the Hall of Armour.

Yes, I read that

It’s an interlocking display case for Bandai’s SH Figuarts Iron Man armours, of which there are currently seven (if you include repaints and exclude the Hulkbuster as that won’t fit).

Go on

And soon there will be at least an additional five armours.

Right. So you’ll need a lot of these Hall of Armour display thingies

Oh yes. But…

That doesn’t sound good

It’s a Tamashii Web Exclusive.

And that isn’t good

It’s… well, it’s kind of okay, I guess? They’re not exactly cheap, so being nigh-unobtainable might be a good thing for collectors.

Really?

No. No. It means they’ll become insanely expensive after release. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up retailing around the price of the Iron Man figures themselves.

And how much would that be?

Oh, y’know, only £45-50 ($55-60).

Ouch

That is an understatement. Who knows? Maybe Bandai will produce buckets & buckets of them and they’ll retain their £35/$45 price tag.

You think?

I do not. Tamashii Act Stages can be a nightmare to get hold of and I can’t see these being any different, despite the fact that the concept behind these is one display case per Iron Man armour. I really hope I’m wrong though.

But you don’t think you will be?

SH Figuarts Hall of Armour (Tamashii Web Shop ¥4860, approx £35/$45; April 2017)


Okay, so at the time of posting the Masters of the Universe pre-orders on Super7 will be closed. This doesn’t mean they won’t still be available at retail, though I expect that $35 price tag will be absent. This is doubly gutting as I really wanted that Teela since I have He-Man & Man-at-Arms from the MOTUC releases and it would be wrong if she were missing (also that snake helmet is still one of the coolest things ever). I did save myself from going full bore on Bandai’s SH Figuarts and Robot Spirits lines, there’s some tasty stuff coming out from them, especially the latter’s A.N.I.M.E. sub-line, but I’ll get to those soon.

And also I will attempt to update this blog a bit more over the coming weeks. Please note I said attempt. Whether I’ll succeed is in the lap of the gods (aka my brain’s ability to organise itself).

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