2017/06/05

Top Seven Best & Worst Toy Surprises


June is finally here!

It's hard to believe, but my Youtube channel turns ten years old on the 25th of this month. I may not remember the days in between as well, but I do remember that fateful afternoon when I decided to make a video of the Twin Brace from Liveman. It's the toy that I still love the most...just now it has hundreds more toys to battle for my affection. 

I usually have a pretty good idea of what I'm expecting when I buy a toy, but there are always surprises--good and bad. This week I'm going to look back and try my best to think of the toys that threw me for a loop when I went to review them. This is going to be a tough one since I'm probably not going to be talking about toys I would consider my favorite/least favorite. These are just ones that changed whatever pre-conceived notion I had of them.

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Top Seven Best Toy Surprises


07. Giant Roller [Choriki Sentai Ohranger]

The complete lack of interest in this toy is what made it a surprise to me when I actually got it. Bandai America passed on it. It regularly sold for $5-$10 on Yahoo Japan Auctions. It didn't have any reviews.

I actually had a lot of fun with it, though. It's very well made and came with the Baranoia figures to obliterate over and over again. The added feature of being able to use the Storage Crystal from the DX Power Brace was also a great touch.

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06. DX Carnavic [Gekisou Sentai Carranger]

I never really intended on getting this toy. I won it in an auction lot with a bunch of other items. Most of those items were ho-hum things like mid-2000s figures and whatnot. This toy was the odd man out, but I have to say...it was amazing. It features a very cool pop-up LED screen that can be used either in Carnavic or Navic Shot modes. The featured game is different depending on which position the screen is in. Very cool.

For a toy I never even had much consideration for prior to ownership, I was quite impressed with it.

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05. DX Zyuoh Changer [Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger]

I really wasn't looking forward to any of the Zyuohger toys. The mecha are cubes, the weapons are cubes and even the Changer is a cube. Hang on, though. The Zyuoh Changer features the colors for each Zyuohger? Wow! This is something I've been harping on about for years. Instead of a crappy red LED for every occasion, why not do something with individual colors? It also helps that this toy works fairly well and has a good assortment of sounds.

It isn't the greatest Changer, no no no. Far from it. Bandai just did a very nice job on this one. We may have finally reached the point where technology is cheap enough that even basic Henshin Items like this can be so nice.

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04. DX Go-Buster Oh [Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters]

When this was first previewed I didn't really have many thoughts about it. When I got it, I was instantly taken. There are so many modes for each of the mecha and there is so much design. I know the Go-Buster Oh design is polarizing, but I appreciate all of the details and completeness of it. So many mecha toys these days feel completely unfinished--like you need to buy all of the auxiliary mecha just to get it looking somewhat decent. This one does a fine job at being complete with just three.

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Did I even use this photo in the video...?

03. Power Morpher [Power Rangers - 2017 Movie]

Heh. Did this thing even make an appearance in the movie? 

Yeah, I think the rock bottom expectations I had for this one made for one of the biggest surprises I ever got. This toy is actually pretty cool. It's certainly a hell of a lot better than any of the other movie toys are. I mean, I don't own any of the others...so who knows! Maybe there are more surprises out there (though based on reactions...I doubt it).

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This is the one that finally got me into Figuart collecting. It was a gift (thanks Kingranger!) which always helps. Even if it weren't free, I think I would have really enjoyed this toy. It has all the right moving parts, it comes with all the right spare parts, and it looks great. Fans don't seem to be too fond of this one, but I think it's a great starter for anyone getting into SHF collecting.

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01. DX Engine Oh [Engine Sentai Go-onger]

Based on all of the photos I really, really, really wanted to hate this one. When I got it, however, I actually really dug it. Over time I actually liked it more and more. It's certainly a unique design and it also transforms very easily. I have to say, this toy had me doing a complete 180ยบ like none other.

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Top Seven Biggest Toy Disappointments


07. DX Chogokin Jet Icarus [Chojin Sentai Jetman]

I'll probably get a lot of flack for this one, but I don't care. I picked this one up in 2008 for the princely sum of $100, completely unused. Ummm...yeah, I was expecting better. It is missing weapons, the individual Jets are disappointing given that 85% of the details are limited to the decals (good luck with the decals, btw...this toy basically rejects them). I could go on and on... Trust me, this is not a very good toy. Fortunately DX Daizyujin was the winner that started the trend of fantastic 90s Sentai mecha.

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06. Nendora [Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger]

Mostly because it exploded into hundreds of tiny slivers of razor sharp plastic. Otherwise, it's a neat toy. Yeah... I think that qualifies as a disappointment...

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05. Morphin' Blaster [Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters]

Most secondary Changers suffer from a severe lack of innovation and substance. This one probably takes the cake for not only being awkward, but also being voice activated. UGH. Every few years Bandai dumps a voice activated toy on the market and every single one works just as poorly as the one before it did. It was a neat novelty in 1996, but in 2012 it's just plain annoying.

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04. Astral Saber [B-Fighter Kabuto]

There are numerous disappointing weapon toys out there, but this one kinda floored me for a few reasons. I guess the biggest reason is that I never really intended to own it. It was in a big lot with other things I wanted. Going into it I really didn't have any expectations I guess. While the prop is actually kinda beautiful, this thing is disproportioned mess. The blade is freakishly small, the Kabuterios within the gem is a lazy chrome piece that was punched out of a sprue, the use of glitter in the plastic, and the lazy hatch for the coin holder. A lot was lost in translation...

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03. DX Fiveblaster Set [Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman]

I knew this one was going to be bad, but it surpassed that and managed to be so much worse. The one I ended up with turned out to be in pretty poor condition, but I'm looking past that. This thing fails as a gun and it fails even harder as a sword. The light effect is easily the worst of any toy I own and the "blade" attachment is the absolute sorriest excuse of a blunt object. None of the Fiveman toys are particularly good, but the weapon set should have been a winner since, at that point, it had been the longest running series of toys in the Sentai line (Dynaman being the first to offer such a set).

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02. DX Abarenoh [Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger]

While I really didn't give a rat's ass about Hurricaneger, DX Senpuujin isn't a bad toy. However, Hurricaneger would be the last in a relatively short era of DX Sentai mecha that featured much less decals and much more details. Abarenoh is junk. I kinda like the design from the show, but this toy misses the mark by about forty miles. The proportions are probably the worst of any DX mecha toy I can think of. The battery-powered feature is not enough to save it.

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01. Akaranger/Vul Eagle SHFiguarts [Himitsu Sentai Goranger/Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan]

Good grief. These definitely aren't the worst toys I've ever bought, but they're hands down the most disappointing.

The new Super Sentai body type that was introduced for Akaranger and used again for the Sunvulcan SHF is mostly to blame for the disappointment. In the relatively short run of Super Sentai Figuarts, there have only really been three different body type. The second (and best IMO) debuted with the Go-Busters Figuarts. There may have been some complaints from fans at first, but this largely subsided once more figures were released and put the initial Sentai Figuarts to shame (remember the Shinkenger ones? Ouch).


So after what appeared to be a successful run of Sentai Figuarts they decided to change the body type once again. The third and final body type is larger and attempts to be a little more realistic, but just turned out to be...off. Besides also ruining consistency between figures it also kinda confirmed the end of several unfinished lines. Series like Dairanger and Jetman would never be finished.

The choice of Sunvulcan was also pretty questionable. I understand the need for a Akaranger Figuarts, and I'm glad we got one even if it wasn't stellar, but Sunvulcan was Bandai trying to appease fans who didn't bother to answer the call in the end. It's kind of a shame, too. I would absolutely love to have the Super Sentai Artisan line make Vulcan Braces since it's one of the rare Sentai Changers to not have a toy version. In that respect, I think SHF Sunvulcan did much more than kill of Super Sentai Figuarts...

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Big thanks to @Komoodk for the recommendation of the topic when I posed the question. I have another post to add to the ever-growing page of Top 7 Lists. Be sure to check it out if you're a psychopath who has the undying need to have things ranked for them (only to shit on the list when you inevitably don't agree... Seriously...Youtube has become a wasteland of Top 10 lists).

Thank you for your continued support. I'll be back on the big day. Mark the 25th on your calendar...a new post and a new video. A big video. There is a hint in this post as to what you'll be seeing.

See you on the 25th!

-CC

6 comments:

  1. Abaren-oh's toy version is a clear victim of the proportion syndrome i don't like completed Jet icarus either i heard someone a good chunk of time ago say the new mecha should all be boxy like him i was understanbly baffled

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    1. It would have been pretty rad if Abarenoh looked even a little bit like the suit. I really can't believe they thought that mold was suitable. Heh.

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    2. How making that possible would be?

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    3. Skipping the electronic gimmick would have been beneficial to the styling. They also should have gotten someone better to sculpt it too. Something like DX Muteki Shogun was exceedingly complex but managed to turn out perfect. Abarenoh is just three pieces and is an ugly mess.

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  2. I've developed a weird like/dislike for Fiveman in general. I know you've said the toys are crap but would it be worth taking a look at the individual weapons like the Melody Tact?

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    1. Every Fiveman toy I've encountered is made of the same terrible plastic that they couldn't be bothered to screw together correctly. The only worthwhile toy I've ever owned from the show was the Fivered figure.

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