The White Blaster Beetleborg and the Kabuto Figure That We Never Got

The last thing I need is more stuff to collect, but there are always some oddities out there that I kinda wish would've happened. I have enough stuff to open a medium-sized hobby shop, but I can't help wonder about what could've been...

While there have been some neat prototypes either leaked or teased over the years, I think it's fun to examine the Beetleborgs toyline. Some Bandai Japan prototypes that didn't seem to make the cut ended up getting a second life stateside. You may remember the DX Boron from the Beetleborgs Metallix toyline. We never did get a toy of Kuwaga Titan from the B-Fighter Kabuto line...just Chogokin Kabuterios. There is also the Ladyborg figure that the US did get, but Japan did not. Don't even get started on all of the villain figures that never seem to release in Japan.

Honestly none of those really concern me all that much. There is one figure that emerged as a prototype years ago that looks great, but never made it to production anywhere...sorta...

This is a prototype of Kabuto from the initial B-Fighter series. This particular prototype did end up in a collector's hands (I should note that the image above is NOT mine, but I am posting it because it's educational for sure). The baggie has some good information on it. This was created for B-Fighter and not Beetleborgs. This likely would have ended up as number 5 or 6 (I'll get to that in a bit) in the B-Fighter Metallic Hero Series of figures.

The problem? Kabuto...

See, I do think this design is fantastic. The smooth hero juxtaposed to the armored hero wasn't done as well in Blue SWAT since Gold Platinum was...not pretty. At all. I hate that design. Kabuto on the other hand has that organic smoothness that stems from the character being just that...a character, not a suit. Kabuto was the son of series mentor Guru. The character was a bit of a boob, but he did give Blue Beet the Beet Ingram before pissing off until the finale (and then again in BF Kabuto...which is just weird when you think about it. Kabuto in BF Kabuto, but not the Kabuto the series is named after since there is also a BF Kabuto...Kabuto!).

So the character was a bit of a nothing burger in B-Fighter, hence we never got the figure. Bah.

Big Bad Beetleborgs, however, did use the suit a little more favorably despite it being Beetleborgs. The White Blaster Beetleborg did get to be a genuine hero suit very briefly. Would you look at that? We even got that figure that Plex prototyped.

Except we didn't.

This is the White Blaster Beetleborg figure that was released and the closest we came to that Kabuto prototype. The figure was part of the second-wave Beetleborg figures that included a dial-powered action feature. The others made sense considering the weapons had an action to them. This figure...ehhhh... 

It's the Beet Ingram and it just folds open. No Pulsaber for Blue Beet to add to it. It just opens. Lame.

As if the permanent weapon isn't bad enough, there is more bad news. The antenna on the helmet DOES detach and very much will if you take your eye off it for a second. So we have a detachable weapon that doesn't detach and a detachable headpiece that shouldn't. Ouch.

I own four of these figures. Two are carded, the one you see pictured in this post, and a parts guy. The parts guy is basically what you can expect to find on ebay on any given day. Missing all accessories, antennae, and a ton of paint, but still pricey.

That being said, it's still a good looking figure if you can get one complete and without paint damage. It is even kinda appropriate that he is holding the Beet Ingram if you want to add him to your B-Fighter collection. 

Speaking of,,,

Hey, you can even have a little family reunion if you have Metallic Hero Series 5: Super Blue Beet.

That's where I think the prototype would have fallen in if it were released. Kabuto probably would have been 5 and the series could have concluded with Super Blue Beet as 6. Guru was going to have to be included with Super Blue Beet as the Blue Beet in the the Super Blue Beet set is barely different from the Blue Beet at the beginning of the series. Bandai needed to sweeten the pot somehow.

The prototype lives on as a curiosity, The sculpt is different enough from the White Blaster Borg to keep it wholly unique (look closely...the differences are numerous). It's still fun to wonder what could have been...

See ya soon!


Power Rangers 2017 Japanese Theater Program

There are many different versions of CCLemon99. Today you're getting CCLemon99: Book Collector. I've talked about books on occasion. It usually stems from me trying to clean, but really thumbing through books for a few hours. This time around came across a book for a movie I've never seen, nor have any real desire to see. I decided to give the book a whirl anyway.

This is the Japanese theater program for the 2017 Lion's Gate Power Rangers film. Power Rangers has been an underground companion to Super Sentai basically since Power Rangers' inception. It's really cool that they even got Machiko Soga back to dub her Rita Repulsa lines in a weird turn of events.

Anyway...the 2017 movie did get a theatrical release a few years back in Japan, I collect theater pamphlets, so I ended up bringing this into the collection awhile back and never really cracking it open.

It's a more comprehensive guide than I was expecting. There are cast bios, Power Ranger History to (then) present, a color insert, a page on Kyoryuger Brave, Super Sentai history, and even a merch guide. Oh yeah...and interviews with the seiyuu cast.

It's definitely more than I was expecting. The photo spreads look great as well.

...and now the merch guide. I am always amused at what ends up in Japan from the former Bandai America and now Hasbro. This guide is pretty useful...it even includes the prices. Kinda painful to see them since, well, we all know these toys ended up in the clearance bin.

By all accounts the movie was a dud in Japan, so I think this may be the closest thing to a full guide that we'll ever get. It's a great effort and I totally recommend it if you're like me and a fan of curiosities, or are just a fan of the series. 

Right...back to the library!



It's August 2022 and The Kakuranger Cast Got Back Together...

Normally I wouldn't write about something this trivial, but seeing these photos the other day had me pretty hype...and I am FAR from alone.

WOW! Seemingly out of nowhere the main cast of my all-time favorite Super Sentai series, Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, got back together for...(merch) reasons (probably?)! Even if the only thing we're getting out of this are a handful of photos, I'll take it! Who knows? It could be more!

I gotta say...everyone is looking really sharp as well! The main photo has a vibe of legitimacy that is missing from a lot of reunion photos. The pose is only part of it...you can really tell these guys are still into it!

Seriously...so cool. 

Even if this was just a little get together was timed conveniently close to the new wave of merch on Bandai's site (available until September 19th for preorder), I still dig the love that this got.

Toei...please...make a 30 years after special. Look at those Likes...Just look at them...

I will buy a dozen copies of the BluRay...promise. I was going to buy all of those keychains anyway! This gang has to be down for a reunion movie!

Anyways...I know you've probably heard about this in your own Twitter feed, so I'll end it here. 



Can you still find a deal in 2022?


Ughhh...I guess I'd better explain.

A little over a year ago I wrote a post detailing some of the little nuggets of gold that I managed to scoop up from the rapidly drying stream. Don't even bother reading it. Those deals are gone forever and not even an Artisan Doron Changer sells for a good price anymore. In the past year I've monitored the outlets and, well, there really isn't much left to buy, let alone find a decent deal on anything interesting.

I'm not here to moan about the good old days when I picked up things like the ancillary Power Animals from Gaoranger for $10 a pop, I understand that time is money and we're heading to a future of possible reissues sprinkled with Super Minipla to kinda satiate the need to new old stuff. 

Availability is becoming a big problem. I have two toys left on my collection list--and I don't expect to find them any time soon, nor do I expect to get them for a song. There are a handful of other toys that I'm "interested" in--they aren't at all rare, exciting, or sought after. They've been 100% unavailable for two years. I check all the time and they haven't popped up on any of the usual sites in years. The hell?

In my usual searches I came across something that I made me pause. I am going to show you the image that broke my brain:

It's obvious what site I took this from, so I feel like this was posted as bait to accept a price cut and move on. Crackhead sellers are nothing new and the site that this was posted to is known for haggling. That said--DX Tetra Boy, in all of his azure mediocrity, has always been rare. The seller mentions this about both items in the description along with sentimental feelings. Even is there is an extra zero in that price, it's still a headache-inducing amount. 

I bought two DX Tetra Boys to make one good set back in the day, and even at the $150 or so I paid total for both, I paid that price begrudgingly since it was one of the last 90s Sentai Mecha I needed for my full set. Imagine my dismay when I did a look around and total junkers were pegged at $60+. At least both of the ones I got came with boxes and accessories!

It got me looking into prices for other 90s mecha. The news is not good. Junk is pulling unwarranted money and sellers are definitely having the market since we're at a point where collectors aren't holding out for the perfect examples anymore. The cold, dead grip of Fear Of Missing Out has finally come for 90s and 2000s toys... The people that can now "afford" the toy they missed out on are here...

I'm just writing this post as a stark contrast to my previously sunny demeaner. I'm aware that I bought the important stuff in my collection at a time when prices were completely bottomed. Prices crept up, but available was always good. If I had an idea for a video, I made it happen in short order with quick turnaround. Prices continued to creep, and people began to settle for lesser condition. The decent stuff got expensive...then the OK stuff got expensive...and now the junk is starting to fetch premiums.

I used to say that you didn't have to look too hard for deals with a casual search. Now you have to look harder, pay more, and be willing to accept less...much less.

Good luck on your collecting! If you're thinking about something from the late 00s........now's the time!!!

See ya!



Let's Get Physical! New Tokusatsu Physical Releases!

The plot twist of the year is the massive reversal of fortunes when it comes to Tokusatsu physical media releases. Think about where we were just a few short months ago. Ultraman was the only thing keeping us afloat. Great stuff--but I couldn't help but feel we were in the midst of our malaise era of Tokusatsu.

Then...we got more. Lots more.

It was only a month ago the obscured legends from Shout Factory emerged in their three-piece mecha to halt the invasion of Hasbronauts. References to the first episode of Fiveman aside--that happens to be the shock of the month. In just 1-2-3-4-5 weeks from this writing we will be getting the *woefully* delayed DVD set of Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman! The very set that was teased like four years ago is being released with the exact artwork seen in the teaser post? Why the delay? What gives? Who cares! What we can only hope is that this is not the end of Shout's Super Sentai DVD releases. 

Fiveman is not an incredible series, but I still found great enjoyment out of it. I miss that era where Sentai series has their own sound effect catalog. Jetman had it fart sounds...Fiveman had its bizarre sound design. It was great. Yeah, I'm excited to give this show another shot legitimately. I know I've been teasing a Timeranger post since it's release, but there is a lot to talk about and I need to get it right. Fiveman...is gonna be a challenge, but crucially it's episodes are only like seventeen and a half minutes without credits, which helps since time is in short supply.

Anyway...Fiveman DVD set. Great stuff. Ordered immediately and I cannot wait to get it. If Abaranger is next, I'll be there too.

That same day we also got another lump of awesome news. Kamen Rider Kuuga is coming to Blu Ray! I haven't seen this series in so long and I was just getting the itch to watch again after catching an episode on Shout Factory's Tokushoutsu Twitch channel one night when I couldn't sleep. The series has been available to stream for some time, but I can't engage with streaming as much as I can with a DVD or BD. I put the Blues Brothers on the other night and watched the entire damn movie without distraction. I also streamed all of Seinfeld last month and constantly left to do other stuff.

This release isn't a total shock as, like I mentioned, the series has been available in North America to stream for quite some time along with Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider Agito. 

This announcement...it definitely opens up the possibility for more. Keep this in mind when the crop of new Kamen Rider films are released in the future. They'll have life on Amazon Prime...but the possibilities are endless.

My procrastination has paid off in writing this post as just yesterday it was announced that Discotek is going to continue releasing Metal Hero BDs with Uchuu Keiji Gavan! Yes! As you might remember, Discotek has also released Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion on BD in North America. This was completely out of left field and certainly a move that fully enough. I will definitely be preordering that one as well whenever and wherever it is available.

In addition to this, we have Media Blasters lurking in the background. 

They teased what is truly going to be one of my favorite releases of all-time at the very end of 2021. They proposed a set of basically every 1990s Kamen Rider feature sometime in 2022. Even if it happens in 2023, I'm still pumped. They've been the lords of the Hakaider license in America since like 2000 and recently put out a great BD and have also released new BDs of Zebraman and Zebraman 2. 


We're currently at a watershed moment of releases and I am just taking it all in. 

I have been working on my own little side project for something later on. I can say that upon re-re-re-release some Toei BDs have gotten more reasonably priced when it comes to Super Sentai vs/V Cinema releases, but holy hell are full series still freakin' expensive.

The next time I hear some dork whine that $60 is too much for a full series DVD release, I will gladly remind them that you will be hard-pressed to find that same series for less than $300 in Japan. The releases aren't perfect, but the rock bottom price of $35-$60 that these sets have been have made up for it in spades. Not wishing to have a "get off my lawn" moment, but $20 used to buy you a VHS copy with four episodes in 1994. Twenty 1994 Dollars. (I am working on a certain post about some old tapes...)

Anyway, whiners will always whine. Winners will always support physical Tokusatsu releases.

See ya~!



Song Collection: Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman

When the news of Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman's impending DVD release broke there was one thing I knew that I absolutely must do.

Pre-order the set.....

.....oh, and I should probably circle back and talk about it's Song Collection I guess. 

I'm kinda running out of Sentai Song Collections to talk about from the Complete Song Collection series (1975-1994), so if I skipped over a series for so long it must mean that I'm avoiding it...right??

For this post I'll be listening to my copy of the Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman Complete Song Collection from 1997. I briefly talked about that disc here in the past.


01. Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman / Kenji Suzuki

This ear-worm of a theme song is what brought Super Sentai into the 1990s.

It may not be as face-paced and in your face as the Turboranger theme song, but I like the Fiveman theme song. It's extremely of it's time and gets the job done. Given the school teacher nature of the main cast we should be grateful that we didn't get the brats instead of the regular background singers.

I like Kenji Suzuki and it's kinda of a bummer that his career doesn't stray far outside of this series. The only other work of his I'm familiar with is the Grandzort theme that he sang the year prior. It's alright. He basically moved on from singing in 1992 and returned for some live performances in the 2000s.

02. Atsui Beat de Fiveman / Kenji Suzuki

An upbeat fight song that never appeared in the series. The music is basically a wall of artificiality outside of Suzuki's singing and the guitar. It's alright...maybe a bit too on the cheery side.

03. Oretachi wa Ura Hero / Y.F ZOMBIE COMPANY

This song, to me, is trying way too hard to be like Dragonball Z's ending song Detekoi tobikiri ZENKAI Power.  It's not bad, in fact I think the groove is pretty smooth. It's a bit too quirky though this early into the CD. Not a fault of the song itself.

04. JanKenJump! Fiveman / Kenji Suzuki, SHINES

Another upbeat fight song that, like Atsui Beat never made it into the series. Very catchy, but it suffers the same shortcomings of the previous Image Songs.

05. Itsutsu no kokoro de Fiverobo / Hironobu Kageyama

From: The CD Collection-- Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~:

The third Sentai mecha theme song from Hironobu Kageyama. They finally got it right this time. It's an energetic song for one. Kageyama is definitely on-point this time. Even if this isn't my favorite mecha theme song, it's certainly one of the best that Kageyama had to offer. Really, there aren't many flaws when you listen to it. The only thing that sucks is the mecha that it's based on. Heh.

06. Kung Fu Dance / CHIEMY

Love this song. Not to get ahead of myself, but this is by far the most put together song on the Song Collection outside of the Fiverobo theme song. Whenever I've talked to anyone about Fiveman, the episode that this is associated with comes up for obvious reasons...but the song also gets a mention.

07. Super Arthur / Rika Matsumoto

Robotic plod. This is the worst thing Hirohisa Soda has ever written.

Now that that's out of the way, can I talk about Rika Matsumoto? Matsumoto has worked in just about every genre of Tokusatsu as a Seiyuu and sang theme songs in two genres (Alive a Life for Kamen Rider Ryuki...which is a great song and In Your Heart from Ultraman Neos...which is also great). 

I just wanted to mention this since if you've ever seen a movie, any movie, there is a chance she dubbed a voice for the Japanese version and she voiced the main little bastard with the hat from everyone's favorite digital dogfighting series Pokemon.

What a damn career.

08. Brother Blood /  Kenji Suzuki, SHINES

This song is a lot of fun. It's a good old fashioned fight song, but one that was good enough to make it into the series. One episode, but still.

The weapon calls are pretty cool, and I just like this one on a technical level. Take one listen and listen to the focus on the guitar. I love when songs are detailed like this without becoming a mess.

09. Hand in Hand / CHIEMY, SHINES

Eh, I've never been into this one at all. This and Super Arthur both get the skip from me usually. This is the only song here that makes use of 1-2-3-4-Fiveman. I should say that it's wasted on this song.

10. Fiveman, Ai no theme / Kenji Suzuki

The series ending song. It's cheesy, but I like it enough. The energy is up, which gives me vibes of Ai no Soldier from Maskman. I also get strong vibes of Tom Sawyer no Bouken's theme song...which is one of my all-time anime theme faves. Some people probably outright dislike this song, but I guess I like it...because it reminds me of two better songs...

11. Chikyuu wa hogara kajima / Tomota Suzuki, Morinoki jidogashoudan

Meh. Episode 23. Lame song.

12. Kyodai robo da ze! Star Five / Kei Takahara

From: The CD Collection-- Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~:

The bland secondary mecha theme song from the series. I like the tempo and horns, but not much else. It's an otherwise bland song for a bland mecha. A match made in heaven!

13. Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman [Original Karaoke]

14. Atsui Beat de Fiveman [Original Karaoke]

15. JanKenJump! Fiveman [Original Karaoke]

16. Itsutsu no kokoro de Fiverobo [Original Karaoke]

17. Kung Fu Dance [Original Karaoke]

18. Super Arthur [Original Karaoke]

19. Brother Blood [Original Karaoke]

20. Fiveman, Ai no theme [Original Karaoke]

21. Kyodai robo da ze! Star Five [Original Karaoke]


22. New Town Shogakou kouka [Piano Bansou]  

This is an instrumental version of the school theme song. This would be a little more at home on the Music Collection in my opinion, but it's nice to have it somewhere.


This is by no stretch a great song collection--by I can't help but be fond of it. For some reason this and Kamen Rider Amazon's Song Collection were really hard to find in like 2002/2003. I spent a good chunk of change to get this one and when I did it smelled like it had lived it's life in a fish market up until that point (it no longer stinks, but I do have an image of a fish monger blasting the Fiverobo theme in their stall). 

I'm nostalgic for this one. It's songs aren't bad, and I do listen to most of them fairly regularly. If you told me you hate it, I'd understand. I like the Fiveman Song Collection though. It fits the series well.


Check out my CD Collection page for more! I am looking forward to my damn Fiveman DVDs.

Bye for now!



Tokusatsu Oh ~Forever Chumei Watanabe~

I felt it necessary to write a short passage on the recent passing of legendary Tokusatsu composer Chumei Watanabe. I know I haven't said the most positive things about Watanabe over the years, but I do very much enjoy a lot of his work. It's a miracle that he was active as recently as last year with his contributions to the Zenkaiger soundtrack while also giving us the wonderfully memorable music from Jinzoningen Kikaider fifty years ago.

You can look up his long, long career on your own time if you'd like. Today I am going to talk about what I really liked and a recommendation or two if you're interested.

Battle Fever J / Denjiman

Much the same way Shunsuke Kikuchi was the lone name in charge of Kamen Rider's music from it's inception until Kamen Rider ZX's special, Watanabe was in charge of the BGM for every Sentai series from Goranger to Goggle Five. Given the long run, he really shaped the tone of the genre. There are more moving parts in a Sentai series when you consider bigger casts, more situations and giant robots that need majestic music. 

I think Watanabe's sweet spot is right in the middle. 

Battle Fever's music is a lot of fun. The opening theme song isn't wonderful, but the ending theme song and BGM are great. I love the funk. Denjiman is *really* where it's at, though. I know I haven't gotten to him yet, but the soundtrack to Denjiman is like a proto-Uchuu Keiji Gavan soundtrack.

Not to mention the themes... The Denjiman themes are perfect. Both of them. The opening theme song in particular is one of my favorites for obvious reasons. There are very, VERY few opening theme songs that pass as badass, but Denjiman's opening theme song truly deserves it. The also-Watanabe opening theme song to Sunvulcan may be a better Tokusatsu theme song, but Denjiman's theme song is just perfect as a song.

I definitely recommend checking out the soundtracks to both of these Sentai series. Make sure you find the Complete Music Collections. The Denjitiger track on the Denjiman Music Collection is one of the most flawless jazz synth hybrid tracks of the era. 

Uchuu Keiji Gavan

The music and songs from Uchuu Keiji Gavan are peak Watanabe. Much like his turn being "the guy" for Sentai, he was *also* the guy for Metal Hero. His resume includes the first five Metal Hero series.

While I think there was a bit of an incline in his style taking hold with Sentai, he was hot right out of the gate with Gavan. Some people will say that he did a better job on the...eccentric...Shaider soundtrack or that Juspion has the best soundtrack, but I truly think that Gavan's music is just the coolest. The songs are so loud and obnoxious, the music just shines the most. It's no wonder that the Laser Blade theme became his signature from then on out. 

The DNA for the music is kinda there if you listen closely to the Denjiman soundtrack. Bits and pieces here and there. When the Laser Blade theme hit during Gavan, it was easy to see how this could be adapted with slight difference going forward with sequel series Sharivan and Shaider. You can also see why it was too good not to use beyond even those series...

I've joked that I could live on without ever hearing the Gavan theme ever again, but it's another purely great theme song. You can tell that Akira Kushida is proud of his singing part on it. The whole song collection is pretty damn great.

Definitely check out the both the BGM and songs from the series.

Ultra Anime Eurobeat Series Gaiden 
Tokusatsu Oh ~Forever Chumei Watanabe~

I've written about this album in the past and I just want to reiterate that it is one of the best kept secrets out there.

The gist of it is that it's one long Eurobeat Medley that brings back Akira Kushida and Takayuki Miyauchi along with MIO and Yoko Ishida to sing new vocals. I generally hate Eurobeat, but this whole CD is pretty magical. We even get a jazzy new version of the Gavan theme song sung by Kushida.

I bought this CD back when it was brand new out of curiosity and it's still one of my favorite CDs out there. Even if Watanabe didn't do much more than pose with a cigar for the artwork, this is still his music and clearly something that he endorsed. 

Also...MIO and Takayuki Miyauchi in a friggin duet is beyond amazing.

I highly recommend you give this a whirl if you can find it.


It's pretty sad when you think that one of the last remaining legends is gone. He was there to help bring Tokusatsu to life. TWO whole genres of Tokusatsu launched to the sound of his music. 

We'll always have the music. Farewell~



Sooo ahh...Hey Toei?

I hate writing about time-sensitive stuff, but this has been rattling around in my brain for a little bit.

What's going on with Toei Tokusatsu World's Youtube Channel?

As the 3rd subscriber I demand answers!

I genuinely loved the idea of Toei providing legally available Tokusatsu series on their centralized Youtube channel. I definitely watched a lot of series I otherwise never would've bothered to check out. I don't think I ever caught more than a few episodes of Exceedraft before this. Utau! Dairyugojo was also weirdly captivating... 

Maybe I didn't watch everything that was uploaded, but I caught up on a lot on Saturday mornings. The uploads were pretty regular until a few months ago.

When Toei released their list of shows at the onset of this project I spotted that the final Fushigi Comedy series, Shushutorian, was absent from the list. This isn't a huge shock considering it's ending song is Akiko Yano's Anata ni wa ienai (Can't Tell You), which is not part of the soundtrack and is probably not available to license for use. 

That's my theory at least...I can't imagine Ultraman's episode is that salacious.

No, the weirdness is beyond that. Just as Blue SWAT was rounding third base, the uploads ceased. Episode 38 was uploaded in late December and they didn't resume again until mid-April. 

At least Blue SWAT eventually completed. There are several series that seem to have been outright abandoned like Bycrosser, B Robo Kabutack and Robotack. Are those series *THAT* forgotten?

The only uploads that we've gotten in the past two months are trailers for Shin Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider Black Sun. The banner has also changed to something a bit more Kamen Rider-focused. 

I kinda wonder what the future holds for the channel. I hope that it can at least remain as-is going forward. It would royally suck if they pulled the plug and deleted everything!

Just a quick ramble. See ya.




Katana ~ 2022 Toyota GR86

It's finally here!

Years without travel and being limited to home meals mean that I...ummm, kinda ended up with some cash to burn. I could've invested--but wooo boy am I glad I didn't considering everything has gone kinda bust lately. So I began the laborious task of purchasing the car that I want in 2021.

The car that I was after was the brand new 2022 Toyota GR86. It is the evolution of my beloved 2017 Subaru BRZ. This car is the performance bargain of our time. The people that hate them, probably haven't driven them and the people that love them...LOVE them. I'm living proof! I wasn't shopping to replace my BRZ...I wanted another one.

Maybe I should explain.

The Toyota GT 86, 86 GT, 86, GR 86, GR86, FT86, Scion FR-S, and Subaru BRZ are the same car. They come out of the same Subaru factory in Japan. Here's a cool video from the assembly line. It shares an assembly line with the Subaru XV/Crosstrek and Subaru Levorg. The new GR86 and BRZ are completely redesigned for 2022 and feature a great bump in torque and power.

I decided against the BRZ this time around since...well, I don't dig the styling of the front bumper. The GR86 has a coherent look from the front and back of the car. I set about trying to get one.

I started contacting my local Toyota dealer in October and was told to try back in a month. I tried in November--nada. After being completely ghosted in December I decided to try some other dealerships. Another local dealer brought me in for a meeting which went nowhere. I *finally* got a hit at a dealership that promised me the get me what I wanted. Now we're talking.

I went to the dealer and we went through everything I wanted and talked pricing. All good--let's fill out a credit app. All good--let's get this baby signed and ready to go. They presented me with a bill with a $3,000 markup and an additional $4,000 in *required* dealership snake oil. I basically told them to get fucked and left. The echo of "You won't find it cheaper anywhere else" followed me as I walked away...

Two days later it was New Years Eve and I found myself at another dealership, ordering my car for MSRP. Fuck that other dealership--seriously. Their parent company rhymes with "Dentsky". I wouldn't even rent a truck from them...

Then...the wait...

I get an update in early April that my car was out of production. Sweet.

I get another update at the beginning of May that my car is in the Country. Yes.

...and then "It's here!".

The day that I scheduled to pick up my new car...my Tomica calendar had a very fitting car featured...

I had never seen a GR86 in person until I took delivery. First impression? It was beautiful. Very red and familiar, but oh so different. There was a grand total of NINE miles on the odometer. 

I did the deal and left with my new ride!


Now that I've spent some time with the car...how about some Pros and Cons?


It's *noticeably* quicker. Subaru and Toyota have rated the car at 228HP. That has to be underestimated. Some owners have taken theirs to the Dyno and have gotten some pretty great readings in stock form that are closer to 250HP at the crank. I believe it!

Everything is just a little bit better than the predecessor.

It's still the performance bargain of our generation. Nothing comes close all around. Everything it's been compared with is far different either in price or on paper. The closest thing is an MX-5/Miata and even that is more expensive and not a coupe.

I enjoy the brand new tech inside the car and the newly legal adaptive headlights. Turn the steering wheel and the headlights turn with them! It's a trick that's been around forever, but one that is newly(ish) legalized in the US.


The inconsistent badging. The prototype looks like this...

...and the final version looks like this...

So strange. The prototype badging is also etched into the keyfob leather, floormats, etc. We just get the generic 86 numbering on the back. Oh well.

The lack of a spare tire is...disappointing. I can easily add one in as other markets still get spares, so there is a mount point under the truck's liner.

My biggest gripe by FAR has to be the wheels. I sprung for the top trim level which comes with 18" black wheels. Sounds good on paper, but the designer of the wheels has to be losing their damn mind after Toyota decided to paint them black (they're gunmetal grey for the top trim BRZ). 

The spokes of the wheel are designed to resemble the tip of a katana. I've heard this in several reviews and really took notice when I took delivery of the car. Look for yourself...

You see it?

What if I share this helpful photo from a forum (sorry, didn't catch the name of the creator) where the wheels were painted silver in Gran Turismo 7...

That is INFINITELY better. This something I must must must correct on my car. All of those clever details are lost on stupid trendy black wheels.

That's really it...three little complaints about the car itself. We can go on about scarcity and awful dealers and how Toyota sells their cars (no such thing as an order--the dealer has to find the car you want). Nobody cares about that. 

This is an awesome car. I have both my 2017 Subaru BRZ and 2022 Toyota GR86 to cruise around. Some would think they're two sides of the same coin, but I like to think they're just my way of supporting the cars I wish more carmakers would attempt. Small, lightweight, quick, rear-wheel drive cars with manual transmissions available. I put my money where my mouth is and bought two of them brand new. 

The future isn't so bleak for fun cars. Here's to five more years of BRZ and many more in the GR86...

Happy Motoring!