[Alen Yen's ToyboxDX]

    9.8.01-- 9.21.01

9.21.01: Oh, Girls ...

Who wants some 'o this???

-- TBDX Rumble Crew

9.21.01: DX Gasha-Booth

Banpresto is present at the 39th annual JAMMA Amusement Show, running from the 20th to the 22nd. (Heck, Banpresto is JAMMA.)

Just check out the display for the premium Big Size Soft Vinyl Figure Series. The heck with the toys, I'd pay real money for the display.

Appearing in this series will be Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Super Robot Taisen related characters.
-- Darren

9.21.01: Rescue Relief

Support your firemen! One of the many groups that suffered tragic losses during the NYC disaster was the NY Fire Department. You might even see fire fighters around your town collecting money in "boot drives". In support of the NYFD, we present a Rumble on Rescue Roy, an icon of the heroes all fallen fire fighters are... MORE!
-- Darren

9.21.01: Kaiyodo Correction

About the Kaiyodo "Powered Suit"... Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa. Matt writes:

"This isn't an actual Starship Troopers piece. As I recall, the box simply says "Powered Suit," and the guys at the Kaiyodo table at Wonderfest were explaining that it was actually a powered suit that appeared in the "intro animation" debuted at one of the infamous '80s Daicon conventions. How's that for a handy way to get around paying copyright fees? (Nue recycled the design into the Starship Troopers design, but they're apparently subtly different. Different enough to avoid royalties. So they say, anyway....)"

Compare the toy (based on the 1985 Daicon design) to the 1989 Starship Trooper version. Note the more rounded lines on the late 80's design. Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa.
-- Yappy

9.19.01: Kong Quest

According to one Tokyo shop owner who was promised stock, GaoKong, the red variant of GaoGorilla, will be on sale on the 22nd through limited distribution. This means some stores will have it, some stores won't.
-- Darren

9.19.01: Machine Blaster SANDAIO

The rarest of the Machine Blaster series, SANDAIO. I think everyone knows that 90% of the resumed Sandaios suffer from broken chest, noone ever wrote why. I have a theory, it's pretty simple indeed. You can see in the picture I made that if the arms are rotated 180 degrees the metal hits the chest, pressures it and that's probably the reason why the chest is always broken... children faults (damn it, didn't they know that was an item for shelves!?)

As for the reason of its rarity I think we should check the actual item itself and compare it to the one pictured in the catalog.

You will notice that a lot of details were abandoned in the production: the yellow tips on fists were not made, sculpted mouth and eyes were replaced with stickers, same as for the number on the belt Looking at the other 3 robots they seem identical to the ones on the catalog. What comes in mind is that the Sandaio was the last in the production run and maybe Takemi was running out of money so they decided to drop details and produce less than the other ones so to save precious yen. (COULDN'T THEY JUST DROP THE RELEASE OF UGLY PICOTTO???).

Anyway now I remember that 1 year ago on yahoo japan I saw a sandaio which colored in ligther blue just like the one on the back of machine blasters toy boxes. I thought MAN! what is this? A proto??? I lost the auction and the picture was a tiny so I couldn't see details clearly. I didn't save a picture of it either... Now I think, could it be there are 2 sandaios around? One which is identical to the catalog one and one that is not? That's a mystery for sure... if anyone got a picture of the one that was on yahoo.co.jp please tell us on the forum.
-- Chris

9.19.01: Ode to a Parcel of Popinica

Of e-mail sent and money spent ... A diecast trio find ... Of long weeks suffering anxiousness ... for a packet tightly sealed and betwined... MORE!
-- Corey

9.18.01: Eau de Ark

A new Eau de Alt is hot out of the Toybox sweatshop! Don't miss it! It's all about the origins of Ark, makers of more freaky little kaiju (and gokin) than you can shake a Baltan at!

By the way ... Ark stuff is vintage!
-- TBDX Rumble Crew

9.18.01: Rico Gokin

How much gokin could a Powered Suit gokin if a Powered Suit could gokin gokin?

This much. (diecast parts in orange, folks)

Kaiyodo makes its first step into diecast territory with the recent release of their Starship Troopers Powered Suit action figure. Created by Studio Nue, this uber-mechy (to the point of being retro) design appeared in the 1989 OAV series ("Uchuu no Senshi") based on Robert A. Heinlein's novel. Verhoeven-esque political satire not included. ¥5800
-- Yappy

9.17.01: Just for Mario...

Declaring their unconditional love for our very own Mario, Toycom drops this press release about their upcoming Hero Collection 6" diecast super robot line:
A collection of the greatest Japanese heroes. Each has 14 points of articulation (same style as our Giant Robo).
Great poseability and attention to detail. Ships in a acetate window box and comes in a solid case of six.
MSRP:$29.99 [each]
Shipping in December 01
(Die-Cast: 70% / ABS Plastic:15% / Other:15%)

Mazinger Z | Great Mazinger (movie version)
Mr. Facets chimes in with the news that these are manufactured by relative newcomer Medicos (not to be confused with that other company), a company known more for their Go Nagai licensed polystone statues than anything else. Indeed, these early product shots look identical to the fixed-posed statuettes that Medicos released as part of a DVD campaign earlier this year. We await photos of the finished toys with anticipation...
-- TBDX Rumble Crew

9.17.01: Takara Wins Big!

Yes! Takara was presented the first ever Company of the Year award for 2001 at the 52nd annual Tokyo International Gift Show.

And what did they win that award for? Webdiver? Choro Q? Jenni dolls, perhaps?!?!? No, the award was presented for the Let's Beer product line. Enough said.
-- Darren

9.17.01: Sustained Containment

Kelvin Pang writes in with detailed information on the DX Container Station Box, and the Rumble has been updated!... MORE!
-- Darren

9.16.01: Horse & Whale

A cocky horse from Jiangsu province was on his way to visit the mountains, and encountered a busy whale going about his work in the fields.

The horse laughed at the whale, who toiled in the noonday heat. "Do not laugh at us," cautioned the whale, whose workers pretended to ignore the horse.

The horse replied, "Perhaps you are not fit to be a warrior like me." The horse's soldiers postured along the path, and one of them shouted, "What do you know of battle, whale?"

The whale answered, "I have trained with a great master."
-- Li-Tai-Pe

9.15.01: Kikaider Clarity

It's been the subject of much debate... Unifive Neo Action Figure Kikaider-- gokin or not gokin? The answer is, unfortunately, the latter; not a single sliver of zinc graces this 10" tall two-tone cyborg. What Kikaider basically is, however, is "Soul of Denki Pura-Dera" (Electronic Plastic Deluxe). Unifive resurrects that oft overlooked early 80's toy sub-genre with their usual spit-shine polish.

Other than its poseability (and detented knees... whee!), Kikaider's only real gimmick is its electronics. Switch the belt buckle to the left and the eyes light up yellow-green and various LEDs in the torso flash between green and red. Switch it to the right, and the eyes turn an angry red and the torso flashes at a slower rate. And that's it. No rocket punch, no kung-fu grip, no frills. However, it perfectly captures the charming art of Shotaro Ishinomori's early 70's manga-- setting it far apart from the usual "beefcake" Hero Robot and Mecha fare. Whether that justifies the ¥7800 retail price, I leave to you...

A few caveats: The dreaded "joint-stickiness." Fresh from the box, Kikaider is immobile until enough force is exterted on its paint-covered joints. This is especially worrisome with the ridiculously flimsly PVC elbow joints (thankfully the only PVC on the toy other than the fists). The bonus "suspension capsule" that encases the toy is also a disappointment. The clear cylinder is low-grade cellophane, so it buckles all too easily. But (and a big one)... it negates the need for those infernal twistie-ties. Genius.

And before I forget, Darren wants everyone to know that Neo Action Figure Hakaider is next...
-- Yappy

9.15.01: Hobby Project Howdy

Kanzen Hentaro, the twisted yet cuddly mastermind behind the diecast Boss Borott and Gekiganger toys from Hobby Project, sends ToyboxDX readers a special preview of his still-under-construction website.

It's all in Japanese for now, but check out the link to images of Hobby Project's complete oeuvre. From the very first Geki-Go-Kin diecast of 1997 to the ultra-tough-to-find convention exclusive "Joint Gekiganger DX kits" for the SOC Mazinger Z, it's all in there.

Please bear in mind that the site is basically just a gallery for now, and none of the pictured items are for sale. And our publicity-shy friend still isn't ready to list an email link for getting ahold of him yet. Think of the site as a Hobby Project Datafile, a tantalizing preview of things to come. Kanzen promises to post some info just as soon as he gets his revamped toy-studio up and running. In the meantime, enjoy!
-- Matt

9.15.01: Toy Lust Contained

I'm going to make a prejudicial assumption about you. Ready? You probably like Japanese robot toys. Vintage ones, too. (FREAK!)

There will be no Japanese vintage robot toys in this Rumble. Why read about new toys? After all, they've long since lost that "thing" that they had, didn't they? No. It's still there, lurking... MORE!
-- Darren

9.15.01: Sunrise MSiA

Into limited edition MSiA? Of course, you're a fanatic. Admit it. Here's a chance to get two of them.

People who buy the "first publishing" of the PS2 game "Sunrise Epic 2", going on sale November 29, will find extra goodies in the box such as booklets filled with Kunio Ohkawara concept art.

But that's not all -- you'll also be eligible to enter a contest to win Zeta Gundam and Gundam Mk II premium figures. The Mk. II is Amuro Ray's version, and the Zeta looks like a special "game version".

Entrants will have a 1:10 chance to score, amounting to 1,200 winners.
-- Darren & Yappy

9.14.01: GaoRudolph

Katchy clues us in on the details of GaoDeer, the mighty green Gaoranger reindeer.

If you're a collector of Gaoranger toys, your Power Animal zoo should now be stocked enough to form dozens of different robots, which is the true strength of this line.

Like his symmetrical mold-mate GaoGiraffe, GaoDeer features spring-loaded fun -- with a press of his mane, the antler weapon opens and closes. A feat of minor engineering, GaoDeer's antlers spring closed in deer-mode, and spring open in arm-mode.

GaoFalcon follows soon ...
-- Darren

9.13.01: Gokinmon

Scoff if you must, but Bandai has done the unimaginable with their new line of transforming 'Hybrid Super Evolution' Digimon Tamers toys. Hybrid meaning a mix of plastic and... pure, uncut diecast metal. Admittedly, there's not that much gokin in the two current releases; Gargomon/Rapidmon features a diecast head and lower arms (in Rapidmon mode) while Growmon/Megalogrowmon sports a set of fashionable metal shoulder pads. But you've got to appreciate the chutzpah displayed in this oddest convergence of two once disharmonious worlds.

Note: as per Bandai's usual practice, the Japanese releases are radically different from the smaller, all-plastic releases currently available in the western hemisphere. Japanese fan Zara has revealing comparison shots of Growmons, Megalogrowmons, Gargomons, and Rapidmons (oh my!-- Japanese versions on the left) on his henkei-phillic Toys and Games website.
-- Yappy

9.13.01: Webdiver Releases

Our good friend Katchy shows off the latest Webdiver releases. Daitalion is especially big and powerful looking.

Wyverion is out, too. His transformed mode is somewhat ironic considering the ongoing events. Bear in mind, this was all designed and in progress long, long ago -- it shouldn't be interpreted as some kind of jab. The Japanese show great interest in their aviation history -- all of it, including aircraft such as the Zero. It's no different from today's Americans continuing to build WWII model kits while today's Germany is our ally.

Don't forget to check out the links at the bottom of the pages for more pictures of their combined modes ( Daitalion | Wyverion ).

Pegasion and Ligaon combine with Daitalion to form weapons, or alternate heads. Very Headmasters. They can also hitch a ride on Daitalion's airship mode.
-- Darren

9.13.01: Stability

After much internal deliberation, we've decided to get the Rumble back to its mission. The fate of many, many lives are still in question, and we are still far from recovering ourselves of this unthinkable horror.

But in these times, we must deny the evil in this world the victory of destroying our lives any more than can be avoided.

Some of you have told us the world of Japanese toys is a valuable distraction from the violence thrust upon our nation. For others, it's reassurance that the world hasn't collapsed under our feet.

And so we go, back to the toy world, not because it's time to ignore the deeds of September 11, but because we must return -- because we all need an escape from time to time.

We will mourn, we will pray, we will not self-destruct.
-- TBDX Rumble Crew

9.12.01: Keep In Touch

The ToyboxDX community has many friends in the New York City area, several of whom we've lost touch with over time, and a few we haven't been in contact with since yesterday's senseless act of mass violence.

No matter where you live, please take a moment to stop by our BBS and check in. We all want to know how you and your friends and family are doing. If anyone has information about G28, please leave a note.

The thousands affected by this tragedy are in our hearts and prayers.
-- ToyboxDX


9.10.01: Masked Dollies

Well, we said "Real Action Figures" were going to be a new Bandai focus. Here it comes.

JP21, a toy campaign distribution company, has partnered with Bandai and Ohtsuka Kikaku to sell limited distribution action figures thru special channels.

Omocha Hakase Corner: Ohtsuka Kikaku or 'Hyper Hobby' figures are a pretty long-in-the-tooth line of 1:10 scale dolly kits. They came out around 1996 as an alternative to Medicoms. They handled mostly Ishinomori licenses at first, then P-pro. In fact, the Medicom RAH 220's were an 'answer' to the popularity of the Kikaku line. Unlike later Medicoms, Kikakus are pseudo kits (like Marmits) and require cutting and crazy glueing.

The fruits of this partnership include Goranger set of five (¥20,000, limited to 1000) and original Kamen Rider 1 & 2 (both for ¥10,000, limited to 1000) in November. These items originally came out around 98-99.

JP21 will also distribute non-Ohtsuka Kikaku goods. Yamato's Sosumu Kodai / Derek Wildstar (1:6 scale, October, ¥7,800) and a first-ever Desular Leader (1:6 scale, November, ¥8,800) figure are first up. December will see the Ultraman Cosmos Daikaiju Battle Set, a three-pack of Ultraman Cosmos, Garamon, and Gorumede (¥2,500).

A "special version" of DX Gaohunter will be featured in November for ¥5,000. No telling what that's about.

Want 'em? Ask your favorite dealer if they can get JP21 goods.
-- Yappy & Darren

9.9.01: Gaijin Gamera

I recently received my set of US-exclusive Gamera figures from Marusan-USA and I am impressed! First of all, they are HUGE. Forget the Japan-issue "shrunken" versions of this toy you may have seen, these are the full-size versions of the character, and look perfect when standing on a shelf next to vintage "standard" size vinyls. In addition to their size, they check out in every other category: the paint job is excellent, and the vinyl is thick. I highly recommend these, and at only $45 apiece the price is definitely right.

Marusan-USA says that there are still some left, so order yours before rest of these turtles fly away...
-- Roger

9.9.01: Personal Hygiene and Fun!

It started as a dream. Of two grown men, Matt and myself, playing in the bathtub, enjoying each other's company... MORE!
-- Jape

9.9.01: Jeepers O'Toole

They did it! They finally did it! Ten years since the Gundam GP-02A's debut, those maniacs at Bandai America have finally brought it to life in toy form... MORE!
-- Roger

9.8.01: Haro, Genki

It is the coolest toy Bandai has ever done. Ever. To heck with that Gatchaman fire-chicken-thing -- THIS will be Toy of the Year. It is the EL Hobby Series Mascot Robo HARO, in 1/4 scale. Yes, you can die now.

On the 22nd anniversary of the first Gundam anime, we have the first real Haro toy. He has auto-wiggling ears. WIGGLING EARS! His hands and feet retract. He rocks back and forth and tells you he's ready to go!

He is a clock that tells the time in Haro's voice. (Haro is voiced by Yo Inoue, who did the voice of Haro and Sayla.) He recognizes your voice and tells you he's GENKI! Astonishing! And, if you buy the new Zeonic Front game, you can send off for a full-scale Haro beach ball.

He's ten centimeters tall, wide, and deep, and he's ¥3,980, available in December. Requires two batteries. Buy twelve.

Also check out the Jumbo Grade Gundam. It's being described as "realistically painted finished goods". Twenty inches of hard soft vinyl. (Yes, you read that right.) We know he's poseable at least at the elbow, maybe more, but not too much more. Gundam comes with a beam rifle and shield, and sells for ¥16,000 in December.

Speaking of the Gatchaman Phoenix, the latest announced released date for it is the bottom of November.

Some information courtesy of Hiroaki Fukuda.
-- Yappy & Darren

9.8.01: All 7 & We'll Watch Them Fall

Minutia, man. Where else are you going to find such vast arcane knowledge about such tiny little robots? Duban and Alt have uncovered more information about Seven than even their own employees remember! All four of 'em!

Yeah. We know we're geeks. Question is, what kinda geek are you?
-- TBDX Rumble Crew

9.8.01: Let's Dance

Bandai conducted another semi-private shindig with their big buyers. It looks like "real action figures" will be a focal strategy for next year.

The big B also gave mixed messages concerning the availability of GaoGod and GaoKong. How can you get them? How limited will they be? It would seem nothing has been set in stone, yet. Don't worry, the wishy-washy attitude irritated the buyers, too.

Lastly, it was mentioned that the direction of the SoC and SoP lines will lie heavily on the success of SoC Getta Robo. Read into that what you will. (Remember, their economy is sucking wind, too.)

GaoDeer | GaoDeer Solo | GaoKong | GaoFalcon Box | GaoFalcon
FIX FAZZ | FIX G-Armor | Goranger Figures

Images courtesy of J BOY.
-- Darren

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