Twin Top 7: The Best & Worst Super Sentai Henshin Items

It's back!

This week I've decided to go old-school and do a straight Top 7 post instead of weaving one into a long-form entry. Then I decided that there really isn't too much to a Top 7...so I am doing two! This is the best and worst of the Super Sentai Henshin Items.

Before I get started (I really need to copyright that phrase. I seem to start every entry with it) I just want to explain my criteria for something to make either of these lists. I factor in things like...

-use in the show
-how it was translated to toy

Henshin Items of all kinds (well...not so much Rider Belts/Drivers) are something I live for (I own the toys of every Sentai Henshin Item to date). I'm not basing these lists on whether or not I liked the series that they belong to (even if it might seem that way...) These lists are mine and probably don't represent anything close to your list. Keep that in mind when you're reading--I'll be sure to explain each choice.


Top Seven Best Super Sentai Henshin Items

07. Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Shodophone

The show was possibly the most boring of any Super Sentai I tried to unwillingly slog through and quite a few of it's designs were straight-up failures. I like the Shodophone, though. It doesn't go from brush to phone...it goes from phone to brush. It's probably the most unintentional ultimate hipster statement ever.

In all seriousness, I really liked the design of this one. The toy turned out to be pretty great as well.

06. Dengeki Sentai Changeman: Change Brace

This is the fourth Super Sentai Henshin Brace (Denjiman would've been the first, but they used their rings) and the first one that really took itself seriously. This addition is mostly based on the toy, but it also fired a laser in the show which is more any of the previous arm candies did.

The toy does quite a lot, even by today's standards. It is a functioning digital watch with a sweet animation AND has a completely hidden missile firing feature. I never had one of these when they were cheap and plentiful, but I could imagine causing all kinds of havoc with that missile. The little compartment hides away to remove yourself from the suspect list of shooting a tiny plastic missile at your teacher's ass as she/he writes on the blackboard.

05. Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: Doron Changer

This one is mostly out of nostalgia. Kakuranger is my favorite Sentai and it happens to have a really cool Henshin Item. It's a much better version of the Dyno Buckler from Zyuranger (c'mon...it just opens a little bit. Not that cool!) and one I found myself buying several of just to confirm my own excellence.

In the show it doubled as a communication device and GPS. The toy wasn't nearly as clever, but it did have a VERY useful slot of hold the other four medals (which were made of metal). I love the Doron Changer...

04. Engine Sentai Go-onger: Wing Trigger

This one caught me off guard. Go-onger was a series that I did not want to watch...but was kinda forced to by outside forces (long story). The Go Phone...eh. Shift Changer was a step in the right direction in creativity. The Wing Trigger really was a clever toy. Not only did it function well as a Henshin Item but it was a stem for the Go-On Wings gun, the Wing Booster. On top of that, it was used as the control stick for their mecha. The finishing touch of using the little red button is what made it magically.

The toy is really one that motivated me at a time when I wasn't really sure if I wanted to continue my Youtube channel. At that point (August 2008) I had been working on my channel for over a year and I was kinda burnt out with the new toys. I had reviewed all of the Sentai Henshin Items from 1982 to that point, so I didn't see the need to carry on if the future was going to be all crap. The Wing Trigger really kept me going. As it turned out, the future was only mostly crap.

03. Gekisou Sentai Carranger: Accel Changer

I'm sure it's pretty clear, but I should probably say it once more--I love cars. When I first saw the Accel Changer back in 1996 I uttered a single word. "Genius..." It's also amazing that it took them until the second car-themed Sentai to come up with the concept of using a key to "start" the changer. This is a design that could've easily have been from 1989, too. Luckily the better show got the better design.

The toy is the same as it is in the show. Still great.

02. Denji Sentai Megaranger: Degitaizer

Now we're getting really serious. I love the Accel Changer...but the Degitaizer came along and destroyed it. On top of being the first changer to have a voice (which may have been more of a curse than a blessing in retrospect) it also has some interaction to it. No changer before it has a keypad where you can punch in a code to call on your Cyberslider. Not only that...but it would be four years until Sentai would catch up to this and Megasilver's Keitaizer in terms of interactivity.

Bandai did a fantastic job on the toy version of the Degitaizer. In lieu of being able to use it as a communication device, they tacked on a great game. To date it's probably the most challenging and addictive games ever included on a Sentai toy. My high score is 73...and I think the stars lined up for me to achieve that.

01. Chojuu Sentai Liveman: Twin Brace

A Henshin Brace with a name that says it all. The toy version is one of the first Henshin toys I ever bought and the one that inspired me to start my Youtube channel waaaay back in June 2007.

This ticks all of the boxes for me on my perfect Henshin Item checklist. I like that it's a Brace-type Changer. I like how it has some individuality to it, which is something that hadn't been done since the Dyna Brace from Dynaman. I like that it is deceptively basic through it's slick design.

The toy took it one step further. In addition to having a button that you would press to get the new-for-'88 beeping/lights, it has a buttonless sensor feature for your re-enactment of the Henshin pose. Sure, you do need to get the two very tiny sensors in close proximity to each other, but you would look like less of an idiot failing with this one over Ohranger's Power Brace or, especially, the aforementioned Accel Changer from Carranger. Bonus: Missiles! Plus there is the whole chip-swapping which helpfully leaves out the two lame members of the team.

If you own a Twin Brace, you probably understand where I'm coming from.


Top Seven Worst Super Sentai Henshin Items

07. Kagaku Sentai Dynaman: Dyna Brace

Here we have an example of Toei just not trying. This is the fourth Henshin Item from Super Sentai and the least exciting of the decade. Even if Denjiman's ring was just a ring with their "D" logo on it, the Rick James story from Chappelle Show has made any crazy ring hilarious. I'll even go a step further and say that I love Goggle Five's disco-rific Henshin Brace. This is just...bland. The only bit of excitement was that they atleast did them up in individual colors.

The toy is alright and functional as a watch. Only available in red...but it has that killer animation once you pop in a battery. I've told people that if I ever go to a con (don't hold your breath) I would wear one of my Dyna Braces. So be on the lookout for a guy wearing a Dyna Brace at your next con.

06. Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: Gorai Changer

This is another one that just failed for being bland...but it also had an extra layer of blandness since it was sandwiched between two cooler Changers within the same series. The Hurricane Gyro was a neat concept with a great Henshin feature along with the Shuriken Ball. The Gorai Changer is just a reused concept from the infinitely cooler B-Commander from B-Fighter, but on a brace.

The toy doesn't add or take anything away from the lameness of this one. It's just as lame. Lamer possibly...since you have to pay money to get one.

05. Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Saiblade

If I were to chose one Henshin Weapon to pick on, it has to be this one. The concept in general irks me greatly since it never translates to toy well. It just seems...last minute. I mean...Kakuranger managed to have a huge arsenal AND a Henshin Item. They could've easily made the Kakuremaru their Henshin Item, but wisely didn't.

Anyway...yeah. As a weapon, the Saiblade is pretty cool. I just wish they could've done something cooler for Gekichopper. He activates his Henshin by pressing a non-descript red button on top of it...I mean, not even that is cool.

Toy wise... Again, cool as a weapon but lousy as a Henshin toy.

04. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Gokai Cellular

I wasn't thaaat big of a fan of the Mobirates and it's godawful annoying voice, but I have to give it credit for being a creative design and making the best use of the series gimmick--the Ranger Keys. The Gokai Cellular is none of that. It's an unsightly wart of a thing that fittingly belongs to possibly the worst character in all of Super Sentai (seriously...that kid belongs in an anime about taking bath salts, being sent off on a naked rampage, and coming down while hiding from the cops in the ventilation duct of a Waffle House for 36 hours). It is nothing more than a coffin for your Ranger Keys. They don't even go in the key position. You just toss them in there as they are. The key slot at the bottom is reserved for that ugly anchor key.

The toy takes it one step further by not using the clever electronics found in the Mobirates. You have to press the right button. It also kinda pressures you into owning all of the keys featured on it. PLUS, the thing is very quiet. Maybe that isn't such a bad thing since it features the same obnoxious voice.

03. Chikyu Sentai Fiveman: V Changer Brace/Compact

Starting the 90s off wrong we have not one, but two lame Changers from the same series. There is a reason why I did both as number three rather than picking the worse one (it's the Compact, FYI). Why why WHY did they feel the need to give the girls their own Henshin Item for this series? Not only that...but a Compact? I mean, this would be more at home in a Fushigi Comedy Series...but what was wrong with the V Changer Brace that it couldn't be the Changer for all five? What DOES Fiveman have against the number "5" anyway? Their mecha is made of three pieces even!

The Compact is an ugly brick of cheese and the Brace is a chunk of silver with a "V" carved on it.

The toys are worse than they appear on the show. I could go on and on, but I'm becoming more and more distressed the closer I get to number one on this list...and I have two more left...

02. Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Tensouder

I've always said that Goseiger was an entire year of filler while Toei got it's act together for Gokaiger. It's amazing that the show was only five years ago and has gone virtually forgetten by most. Their Gokaiger Idea Bank hit Goseiger the worst when it came to designs. They're all over the place. You have two different gimmicks going on (Headders and Cards) and all kinds of themes.

I wanted to like the Tensouder for how off-the-wall it is, but time really hasn't been kind to this one. It is a head. Toy wise, it's one that wouldn't impress your non-fan friends if you were a kid. It REQUIRES paper cards that even the most protective kid would end up damaging or losing (seriously, good luck!).

This thing is just a storm of bad ideas rolled into one unengaging design. Atleast it makes the Seaick sound...I liked the Seaick sound...

01. Mahou Sentai Magiranger: Magiphone

It's always Magiranger...

I legitimately don't like anything about the series. The cell phone changer had really overstayed it's welcome at this point (and yet...still carries on to this day) and it managed to take the concept to a new level of shit.

Putting this at the top (or is it bottom?) of my list is mostly based on emotion and how godawful the toy is. As a design...meh. It sucks, but it atleast they tried a little bit harder than some of the blander entries on this list. It's a black and gold phone with some glittery bits on it. You can fold it out to become a wand with the weakest light ever in the tip.

If you are tempted by how cheap this toy is ten years later, don't be fooled. It's garbage. I mean it. It has no weight to it and features those poorly cut cardboard discs for each character. The toys from Dekaranger and Boukenger have gone on to become collector's toys. This one has remained rightfully ignored by all in the years since.


Thank you for reading my latest Top 7 list. The rest of my Top 7 lists are available on this page if you want to check them out. The topic this week was a suggestion from @toku_gami on Twitter. If you have a suggestion for a blog topic or Top 7 list, either hit me up on Twitter or leave it in the comment section below. While you're at it, tell me what you think the best and worst Sentai Henshin Items are. Just don't tell me that I'm wrong...because I'm not. : p

I'll be back in May with a review of the brand new Kamen Rider BLACK and BLACK RX 3-Disc CD Sets.

Thanks for swinging by. See you next time.


P.S. I did a video a few years back of all of the toy Sentai Changers between 1982 and 2012. Check it out if you want to see some of the aforementioned toys in action.


Zyuranger--The Completist Edition (w/ Top Seven!)

I know, I know.

I talked about Zyuranger at great length a little over a year ago--but I feel the need to continue.

I wrote my massive Jetman write-up (Part 1, Part 2) not too long after I wrote about Zyuranger...and I kinda wish I dreamt up the format sooner since I didn't really get to talk too much about the Bandora gang...or even Zyuranger individually.

Before I get started I should probably mention why I am writing this now. I recently finished the excellent Zyuranger DVD set that Shout Factory! released in February. If you haven't purchased this wonderful set, you need to correct this sin immediately. It is the complete series at 1/10th the price of the Japanese DVD set that it's transferred from. The more they sell, the more likely it is we'll get more shows licensed in the future. You really have to be a complete tool not to get it.

Stay tuned for a Top Seven list of Zyuranger supercut fodder at the end.


Bandora Gang

There should have been more of this!


I mentioned in my previous post that Bandora was basically unstoppable from the onset. This has always bothered me. The only real turmoil she faced during the entirety of the series was difficulty reciting a spell this one time. Besides having Zyuranger kill off all of her Doramonsters on a weekly basis, she never really had it rough.

Why does this bother me? Well, if you look at the photo above there were a few times when she actually attacked personally them. Whenever she did, it always lead to this trippy series of visuals that really let everyone know that her magic was serious business. Outside of the first episode and the time that Burai flipped his shit and tried to attack her in her palace...we never got to see her personally attack anyone.

Despite being a great witch, some of her most ruthless moments were mostly messing with people psychologically. She absolutely tormented Geki when Burai was dying for example.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...it would have been nice to see her really torment Zyuranger more often with her magic than just sending another clay failure of the week.

Oh, and never forget...Bandora made this possible...


I like Grifforzer, but he was too strong. I can't think of too many times he was forced to retreat from battle because his defeat was imminent. Geki did manage to get in some good fights with him, but the craziness of the finale never gave us an awesome final fight between the two toward the end.


Lamy wasn't much more than Grifforzer II. Once again we have someone absurdly strong who never really had a losing battle. Mei did a good job messing with her in one episode...but that was it really. Most disturbing of all is how into the Bandora song she was. Seriously...she cranked the enthusiasm up to eleven whenever the song started up.

Buckback, Totpat, Pleprechaun

The background players of the Bandora Gang. There isn't too much to even say about them. Buckback had some funny moments...especially when he was bullied by kids. Totpat never did get any blood making him the worst vampire in history. Pleprechaun was kinda cool in his not-giving-a-shit-just-let-me-be-with-my-sculpting thing. He even came up with some cool Doramonsters...and some occasional WTF like Dorafranke.


Kai sucked. His arrival did give us some insight on Bandora's motive and background, but he was just a lame excuse of a villain. He died being a little shit twice. Burai was able to get over his beef with Geki over something he had no control over...so why couldn't Bandora get along with the dinosaurs? Granted, she sold her soul...but she was capable of having feelings. Kai was a brat and Bandora was a helicopter mom. Her little jerk could do no wrong...not even accidently killing himself was his own damn fault in her eyes.

Whatever. He'll forever be known as "Fancypants" to me.

See those broken shells? Yeah, he was straight up murdering some dinosaurs.


My favorite kind of comedy is done through assassins. You're not expecting it. You don't see it coming. It just happens.

This can be perfectly summed up about the Golem in the first episode. There was this extended puppet show on the beach before they decided to break loose and attack the unsuspecting Zyuranger. It's been well over twenty years since I saw this episode for the first time, but I vividly remember being absolutely puzzled at what was going on. Little did I know they were setting the stage for these random crazy entrances.

There is no reason for the Golem to have these bizarre arrivals outside of the writers being bored. There are the less funny ones where they appear through claymation, which were pretty entertaining.

Then there was times like when they rang the doorbell and kidnapped the kid-of-the-week when she answered it. How polite! Fearing the Zyuranger would catch on, they were forced to get a little creative by mailing themselves in cake boxes.

Happy BLERERERGH to you!

Or how about that time they got Burai...


The best part about the Golem are that they never acted overly silly at any point. They were pretty damn serious whenever they were on screen. They just knew how to make an entrance.

This was about as close to being silly as they got--cosplaying as Cotpotros.


As I mentioned before, the Bandora Gang was a little bit too strong to the point where they probably could've wiped out Zyuranger if they had gotten off their asses and done it themselves. There was a whole lot of wheel spinning with their plans. They had all of these great ideas that always had the teeny tiniest loophole for Zyuranger to beat them on. Looking past that, however, they are an extremely entertaining and likable bunch. I have a feeling that this is what lead to them being merely dealt with rather than killed off in the finale.




I've often praised Geki for being the solid leader we needed in a Sentai after the awful Ryu in Jetman--but now I'm not so sure about that. He was a good leader before Burai and after Burai, but was in various states of sanity after Burai's introduction.

Comparing him to the mentally unstable Ryu maybe isn't the best way to go about it, though. The better Reds to stack him up against would be Ryo from Dairanger and Sasuke from Kakuranger (I'm not comparing him to Tsuruhime.....bite me). Ryo was basically a shot of energy and extreme skill. Sasuke (leader: episodes 7-25, 27-50 or whenever they didn't pencil in a line about Tsuruhime being leader in the script) was another example of skill but this time teamed up with knowledge. Geki is...a leader in the purest sense. He is the best fighter by a slight margin since a lot of the glory goes to Goushi and Mei. He doesn't have any real outstanding talent other than being a leader.

I like the guy, but I really wish there was a bit more to him. Zyuranger was a pretty crowded show, yes, but the guy in red is the star. The closest we ever got to seeing him have a big final fight was when he fought Burai for the last time, which was a great fight since we also learn that Daizyujin is a psychopath.

I like him...but I wish there was more.


If you followed me on twitter during my recent marathon of Zyuranger you probably noticed that I posted pictures of Goushi pretty regularly. I mentioned previously that he was one of my Top 7 favorite things about the series. I mean...I even did this to my phone...

The hat? Allowance. Well. Spent.

So yes, I liked Goushi quite a bit. He was at the center of a lot of my favorite moments in the series and really deserved all of the glory he got in the show. Bandora even called him the glue of the Zyuranger early on in the series.

One of the things I love about Zyuranger is how it is devoid of any kind of icky relationship/feelings nonsense that frankly made Jetman unbearable most of the time. They did, however, give it a spin in their final character episode of the series. That episode was 44, and I recommend it. It was a last minute effort to play up the humanity of one of the characters and I'm really glad they did it with Goushi (really, none of the other characters could have pulled this one off......maaaaaybe Geki..but he was more interested in being friends with kids).


He also ended up on a Top 7...but not for the right reasons. This guy had next to nothing to add to the show. His name is even an anagram for "......and?". Example...

Nerd 1: Dan definitely saved the day when he figured out how to kill Doraskeleton in episode 2.
Nerd 2: .....and?

Case closed. The one time after that he even attempted to do anything after that he accidently stabbed Geki.

I always wondered what happened to the ramen shop that he worked in. He mentioned still having a job even after it was destroyed during the Dokita Clay/Dora Franke episode. I guess the ramen sadsack built a new house out of Dokita Clay.


It certainly feels like they gave Mei a lot of screentime. Even in episodes that weren't her focus episode, she seemed to end up on her own a lot. Not a complaint, just an observation.

Umm...ladies first? Also...Dan is on fire and nobody cares. Not even him.

This is another one of their seemingly deliberate choices that I really love about Zyuranger. Instead of the obligatory idol episode we were given episode 38, with her shichi change run against Lamy. I can't stand the idol episodes of any show (yes....even Dairanger). I'm glad they were about to forgo that here and give us an entertaining episode instead.


You may have noticed that I didn't have much to say about Mei. I probably have even less to say about Boi. He was an decent character, but had the misfortune of carrying on the tradition of being a forgotten yellow male.

He atleast added some flips and whatnot to fight scenes to change things up as give his character a distinct fighting style. Outside of this, his focus episodes were kinda on the weird side. The ninja one was cool, though.


The thing I like most about Burai is something that nobody ever seems to bring up. He is fast. His flips and jumps always seemed much faster than everyone else. Right from the start you could tell this guy was going to an amazing fighter...but little did you know, he would never be able to fight at his full potential.


Anyway... Burai is a character that has enjoyed a legendary status for bringing the most out of any sixth Sentai character in history. He arrived and left in a blaze of glory. The fact that he remained dead (oh yeah...spoilers) is a decision I'm glad they kept to the very endish.

Jesus Buraist

They definitely put this new guy in an unsolvable dilemma. He could help his team, but at a cost of his rapidly diminishing life. It was an interesting dynamic that worked better than Bandora taking him out before the finale. Sure, Bandora caused Burai to run out of his borrowed time and die--but she did little more than that, as his death was inevitable. Geki was able be with his brother for his final moments.


It's kinda funny to think that the most modern character in the group is the guy who can barely seem to move at times.

Barza is a guy who didn't seem to be used to his full potential. In my previous Zyuranger post I kinda mentioned that the Dino Denki was pretty much abandoned relatively early on. Barza should have been chained to that thing. It was basically their Google if you think about it. They find the Doramonster in the Dino Denki and then scour the library for a clue on how to defeat it. As their custodian, he could have done a bit more of the paperwork for the gang when he wasn't selling their treasures off-screen.

His situation with spells could have been explored a little more I suppose, but I'm glad they were able to retcon the first episode and have him finally be able to recite a spell by the end of the series to save the day. It seemed like an odd thing to gloss over, but I suppose it worked out in the end.


The thing that a lot of people seem to have against Zyuranger is the lack of charisma from the cast. Why? In fact, I would argue that they have too much charisma. These guys are born and bred warriors from 170 million years ago. They adapt pretty quickly to 1992 without losing too much of their identity (Dan whining about wanting a job/dog/computer not withstanding). After learning from their early missteps they were able to become a pretty solid team whose individual talents would shine through when needed.

I honestly enjoyed spending a year with this team back then...and a little over two weeks with them again in 2015.


Top Seven Zyuranger Supercuts (that I'm too busy to make)

This list is going to make a little bit more sense if you've already watched Zyuranger all the way through. If you haven't, go ahead and fix this. I've seen the series several times, so I know all of the more...unique Zyuranger tropes that exist.

Honorable Mention: Daizyujin, The Jerk

It isn't every show that the mecha is a living entity to begin with. Naturally you would make your living mecha creature helpful and sympathetic to your plight. Wrong. Daizyujin is a parent who would greet his child every morning with a "What's up, fatty?" and blow the school trip money at the horse track.

Maybe there isn't a whole lot of specific material to make a supercut for this one, but what IS there is pretty damning. While murdering Dragon Caesar he pauses to urge Geki to kill his own brother. Wow.

By the way, you can follow Daizyujin on twitter @Jerkjuujin if you need further proof of this.

07. Grifforzer Speaking

This is a supercut that would be a little offbeat since it wouldn't be a specific action or trope, but to emphasize how little Grifforzer spoke during the series. Bandora didn't give him a voice until almost midway through the series...and once he did get a voice he had like one line every fourth episode or so. I think his first or second line was him defending himself after Lamy accused him of making a comment about how she should be staying home doing chores instead of fighting Zyuranger.

Yet another example of the super-subtle humor that was snuck into Zyuranger.

06. Dora Scepter

Unrelated pic...but proof that Daizyujin has an ass.

It was kinda funny how they alternated between two (or was it three?) different sound effects for when the Dora Scepter hit the Earth. There isn't too much in the way of variety here since Bandora threw her scepter from her palace 99% of the time (one time she threw it from a hilltop I think). This supercut would have to end with the time she was too weak to throw it for Doracirce.

05. Dai Satan

Dai Satan is a creep. All of that creepiness would be amazing to see in one video. Especially this sequence...

This one too...

This one also has to be the most awesome AND creepiest still image in all of Super Sentai...

A fire is rising as Daizyujin has a sword at his throat and Dai Satan looks down in amusement...awesome...

04. Audio Issues

Zyuranger is absolutely riddled with audio problems. Without giving too many specific examples there are times when...

-Sound effects are missing
-New sounds show up in flashbacks to something that happened earlier in the episode
-The sound effect is corrupted
-Announcement chimes during a Goryujin combination out of nowhere

This does happen in some other shows, but not as frequently as Zyuranger. These glitches exist on my TV-recorded episodes and are still present on the Toei/Shout DVDs.

03. Golem Entrances

Believe it or not, this is a different screencap than the one I used earlier in this post.

I talked about this one quite a bit above. I would love to see their entrances all in one video.


02. Nii-san!

This one is pretty obvious. Geki addresses Burai as "Nii-san!" obsessively throughout the run of the series. There can only be one way to end this supercut. It has to end with Geki saying "BURAI!" when he was challenging him to their final fight.

01. Bandora Entrances

Bandora's Zyuranger clones were far less jovial than she was...

Bandora didn't have too much in the way of variety in her entrances...sometimes she was in a field, sometimes she was on her bike, sometimes she was on a roof. There is one common element to her entrances that exists from day one until the very end...the evil laugh. Correction--the perfect evil laugh. This would probably be the most difficult supercut to make since she does it every single episode...and it's probably the one I would love to see the most.


I guess I never really close the book entirely on a show once I write about it. No matter how many times I marathon the same show, I seem to pick up on something new or really get into different aspects. The last time I watched Zyuranger I was all about how every little thing they do was the result of some kind of test that they were tasked with. This time I was more into the character entrances and little details.

I hope you enjoyed this updated write-up and the new Top 7 list. I have many more Top 7 lists to choose from if you would like to check them out. There will be more in the future...

See ya next time!