Monday, May 9, 2016

Its been a long time...

Update: I forgot I had a few unfinished reviews if the draft state that I will be wrapping up and posting as well. They will be posted as older reviews before this one.

I know it's old hat to report about it being a long time since I've posted, and anyone who is still reading at this point, my apologies. Life got busy and then I got behind on reviews I wanted to do, and then it was the old "now it has been too long" which just kept me from starting back up again.

But I have missed it, I just like getting my thoughts out in this manner when possible. Also having a record, and being able to go back to it and see what I was doing, and how I thought at the time. You know before the Fallout style Apocalypse happens and everything changes.

But onto other things....

My State of the Toku address.
-Kamen Rider-
I didn't realize it had been this long since I talked Toku toys, but since I last talked about Kamen Rider Drive stuff...I ended up getting just about everything. All the Primary Shift Cars and Weapons for Drive himself, and got my first Secondary Rider Belt in the Mach Driver (which is rad as hell). I just didn't get the Signal Axe or the Senrin Shooter, of the Signal Bike's that went with them. I ended up really liking Drive despite my tepid response at the start. Which is also being matched by my tepidness for Ghost, I just the main dude is kind of a wiener, but I think it's funny he ends up hugging all these people to get Ghost Eyecons. I do have the Ghost Driver and I think its rad, and have started getting some Eyecons. As I have more time to catch up on Ghost maybe it will grab me more than just how nifty the gear is.

-Super Sentai-
Sentai I have really dropped off since the end of Tokkyuger. I gave Ninninger a shot but it just didn't connect with me. I just wasn't a fan of the tone, in my opinion its wasn't as goofy enough or serious enough, and left me cold, also thought many of the toys were lame, which didn't help. Now that Zyuohger has started, I'm giving that a go. My first reaction is I don't find this years Red that tough, he comes off as kind of a wimp. Captain Marvelous(Gokaiger) and Daigo(Kyoryuger) were just so tough, they make these new guys look bad. This series is big into cubes, for the morpher and the mecha, so its even more blocky than usual and the changer doubles as a cell phone which I hoped we were done with for a while. But that's all I got from the first episode, so we shall see. I want to love another sentai show again, and I was hoping this being the 40th Anniversary show it would grab me right away.

State of the Games Address

Many games have happened, most notable from last year was Metal Gear Solid V, and Mario Maker which still has a grip on my soul. I loved both of those games, Put a lot of hours in MGS but still have so much to do, hopefully I will get back to it at some just plays so damn good, and is so satisfying. Mario maker similarly plays just the way you want it to and the jumping/physics is so good. That game is so close to being perfect, they get closer with every update and addition. I also finally got around to playing the Tomb Raider reboot from a couple years ago. That game was fantastic, really enjoyed it, and tried to do just about everything in that game. Also I’ve burned through a lot of smaller games recently, Firewatch and Superhot. Firewatch had a great story, and good characters, I only wish the ending was as strong as the beginning. But that game gave me the creeps in a way i haven’t felt in a bit. Superhot’s gameplay
is really fantastic, I had a lot of fun with that, I’m sure I’ll come back to it from time to time to mess around and do some of the challenge rooms. I’ve got Rise of the Tomb Raider started but I need to get back to it. Also recently I’ve had an inclination to finally play Dragon Age: Inquisition, even though I know it is suuuper long. But just in general my backlog has never been longer new awesome games are around the corner at all times now. It has never been a more exciting time to play games. Things are changing and getting weirder with new hardware from possibly Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all being seen really soon.

I hope to start doing more toy reviews, comic reviews, game reviews, etc. As well as some opinion pieces. As we all have strong opinions on things sometimes, and I need to get the thoughts out of me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Drive Shift Cars

The next one should have been a Pack of Wizard Rings, but there's just not much to really say about them, but they are cool.

But as it turns out I have been getting a bunch of Kamen Rider Drive Shift Cars. I still think that shift cars and how they interact with the Drive Driver + Shift Brace is pretty darn cool. I've just been getting all the DX Shift Car Packs. So I have 1-4 and the Shift Car Holder which comes with Funky Spike. They have all been reasonably priced, Pack 1(3 Cars) and the Shift Car Holder were around $18 each on Amazon, Pack 2-4(2 Cars a piece) were all less than $10 on Amazon.

- Funky Spike - Spiky Hotrod (Shift Car Holder)
- Justice Hunter - Police Car (Shift Car Set 1)
- Spin Mixer - Cement Truck (Shift Car Set 1)
- Massive Monster - Monster Truck (Shift Car Set 1)
- Dream Vegas - Fancy Limousine (Shift Car Set 2)
- Dimension Cab - Taxi Cab (Shift Car Set 2)
- Mad Doctor - Ambulance (Shift Car Set 3)
- Rumble Dump - Dump Truck (Shift Car Set 3)
- Fire Braver - Fire Truck (Shift Car Set 4)
- Rolling Gravity - Steam Roller (Shift Car Set 4)

Since the Drive Shift Cars don't have any electronics in them, they are a lot cheaper than the Gaim Lockseeds, which I like. Rumble Dump might be my favorite, cause its such a silly name.

By themselves the Shift Cars, other than looking different, have similar functionality. Part of the car can be flicked to "shift" the car into a mode so it can be used into the Shift Brace. Its very satisfying to do, its simple, and from time to time I'll just have one in my hand and just keep flicking it back and forth. Doing this also reveals the car's logo. They can also be used like toy cars, they all have movable wheels and roll pretty easily. They all have a pretty distinct look, Dream Vegas is all white with red 777 on the side and a handle similar to a slot machine, Rumble Dump is a bright transparent yellow plastic When used in conjunction with the Drive Driver it announces their name, displays their logo on the Driver, and they each have a signature music clip. Some of those are pretty cool, and they are all very distinct. Overall they are nifty, and cheap, and give my Drive Driver some cool stuff to say.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Drive DX Trailer-Hou

For a while I stopped buying toys, first to save for my wife's birthday, then I didn't buy anything because vacation and my birthday was coming up, then I had to do a lot of traveling for work. Things have calmed down a bit now and my birthday was extremely fruitful. My wife is pretty amazing as it turns out, while she doesn't understand why I enjoy this stuff, she just knows I like it.

So for my birthday she got me the Kamen Rider Drive DX Trailer-Hou, loosely translated, the Trailer Cannon. The Trailer-Hou is the weapon Drive gets when he changes to Type Formula(a form based on F1 cars). Unlike the other two weapons Drive uses, which are based off of car pieces, Handle-ken(steering wheel) and Door-Ju(car door), the Trailer-Hou is kind of like a giant Shift Car. Instead of shifting to be used with the Drive Driver, it changes to a giant gun.

While speaking of Shift Cars, Trailer-Hou comes with the Formula Shift Car, so you can use it with the Drive Driver to shift to Type Formula, and unlock all the sounds that go with it. Trailer-Hou though a bit smaller than the one used on screen in the show is still pretty big, and very hefty for a toy. It's mainly blue to match type formula, and it has the names/symbols of all the shift cars on it, as if they were sponsors on a NASCAR. Its supposed to look like a semi truck, but illusion is broken by the end thats supposed to be the cab, but is also the handle of the gun, but over all it looks very good, and matches the look on the show perfectly. To shift it into gun mode, you hold the front end of it by the cab of the truck, there is a button there, you press and then can move the handle down and lock it there. Gun mode is where this thing really shines, as it has original sounds to go with every shift car and the two main signal bikes(mach & chaser). The only issue for me is all of these sounds are looooong, very heavy on the extended explosion sounds. But all of sounds for the various gimmicks are pretty cool. It has a port on the top, that accepts any of the cars/bikes/cores. To "charge up" the gun. It also has a port on the end of the barrel of the cannon with which to put a shiftcar/signalbike. That one is the reader port so you can get the different sounds. Once inserted then the voice will say the name of it with "-Hou" after it. Ex: Insert the Formula Shift Car it says "Formula-Hou"(Formula Cannon).

For the sheer amount of sounds this thing is cool, but it also looks cool. I just really appreciate how big it is and it feels hefty. Now I didn't pay for it so its hard to judge it on value. But it is currently at $60 on amazon with free shipping, which isn't a bad price at all considering the size of the package. So for that price I would definitely say its a good buy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Fourze Super Rocket Switch

To keep the Kamen Rider train moving along, next up is Kamen Rider Fourze. I got the last thing on my wish list from that show. My wife got me the Super Drill Switch last year, and now I finally bit the bullet and got the Super Rocket Switch.

I got it used on eBay for about $21 with shipping.

Its pretty simple toy like most of the switches, this is kind of an upgraded version of the standard Rocket Switch, Astro Switch #01 that comes with the Fourze Driver and like every lot of switches I've purchased online. But this one, Astro Switch #S-1 is much bigger, the part you press actually looks like a Rocket Booster. Now in the Driver is still activates the same sounds, so when you put it in the Driver is says "Rocket" but then is immediately followed by the Switch itself saying "Super". Which sounds cool, and the timing makes it have a nice effect. Its one of the hand full of electronic switches like N & S Magnet, Cosmic, and Fusion. Also when turned on the Belt says "Rocket On" and then the switch plays the Rocket States jingle which is a nice Rock and Roll riff.

Fourze was probably my favorite Kamen Rider series and the Fourze Driver is probably my favorite belt after my new CSM Decadriver as well. It just has so many sounds, and gimmicks, and of course the lever. Anything that gets me more out of that toy is great by me. It sadly didn't come with batteries since it was used, so I had to take them from the Super Drill switch, I havn't been able to use both at the same time yet. I think this might be my last Astroswitch, I have 1-40, Super Rocket & Drill, unless I stumble upon a cheap Meteor and/or Meteor Storm in my travels I think this is it for me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Decade CSM Decadriver!

Update: Neo-Heisei Riders in CSM Decadriver, check below for Demonstration

Got a bunch of stuff this couple weeks, kicked off with...

Complete Selection Modification Decadriver from Kamen Rider Decade.
Now I already had the Superbest Henshin Belt Series Decadriver, which is just the original DX version, but the Superbest includes 20 cards and they are made of plastic, the DX version only came with 10 cards and they were standard card stock. Whereas the Superbest 1-Ups the DX version, the CSM 4-Ups the Superbest.

At first glance the CSM looks very similar to the previous versions, but the painted are much more detailed, certain parts are engraved as opposed to painted, and the lens on the front has a metal piece instead of plastic, and just over all looks much more show accurate. Also the belt is of much higher quality, and is more likely to fit an adult waist, and unlike the other versions of the belt the belt can detach from either side, where previously one side was always connected making it more difficult to display. But the biggest changes are under the hood for this edition of the Decadriver. They have gone back and gotten the voice of the belt to rerecord many sounds that were not in the original release. Kamen Rider Decade's main gimmick was cards and he had a few different types of cards, Kamen Rides, Final Form Rides, and Final Attack Rides which all had sounds in the Belt if you had the cards. Now other types of cards like the regular Form Rides and Attack Rides, as well as cards that didn't show up till much later now all have sounds. Sadly the CSM doesn't come with all those cards, this time it comes with 30 cards, the other 77 being made available in a separate set. But the driver comes with the 20 that came with the Superbest version(but redone to be more show accurate) as well as all the main Attack Ride cards and Form Ride cards. The only issue with the new sounds, is they don't sound exactly like they were said in the show,

Adding all those sounds was necessary for this to be worth it, but the other thing they added is just brilliant, and for me sold the CSM version. There is now a button that plays Music, press it once and it plays the dramatic music in the lead up to Decade transforming, hit the button again and it plays his Henshin theme. Then to make it even more rad, if you hold the button in for a sec it will play the first track until you put a card in the driver, then it plays the Henshin Music, which is just so awesome. You can completely replicate Decade's Henshin sequence, which makes me happy. The music and driver sounds play independently from each other, so you can use the belt while music plays seamlessly, that whole gimmick is super satisfying.

The belt itself is very nice, Its wearable but I wish it was a little bigger but that is more on me than the belt, but I'm working on that part :-). Its a super rad version of that toy, which a lot of features added, but if your my wife she wonders why I spent so much on something that looks exactly like what I already had. I know my trained eye is a little better, but she's not entirely wrong. It would have been nicer if it was an all new mold, slightly bigger scale, but then the cards may have needed to be bigger, and you couldn't use the old ones, so I kind of understand. The packaging is super nice, feels like a chunk of the price was spent there, and that is fine, but the box is waaay to big for my display area, so it goes in the basement with the rest of the boxes.

I really like this and I definitely feel this to be the definitive version of this, to the point where I can get rid of my Superbest Version of the toy, hopefully recoup some funds so I can re-invest in getting the rest of the cards...which I can't believe how expensive they are, and that I still want them.

Update: Also I forgot to mention the addition of sounds that there are currently no cards for. They have included Kamen Ride callouts and Henshin sounds for all the main riders after Decade, the Neo-Heisei Riders. That consists of W, OOO, Fourze, Wizard, Gaim, and Drive! I have spent some time compiling codes for those Riders and was able to get them working in my Driver...they are hella cool. Check the video below for a Demo of that.