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.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Comics - Ultimate FF

So I have been sitting on a backlog of comics here and there, mostly stuff I've purchased out of discount bins, in this case the short lived book, Ultimate FF. Now this is obviously an Ultimate line book, in case anyone is uncertain the Ultimate line of books was started in the early 2000's as a fresh start and continuity clean versions of classic Marvel characters interpreted for a new age. Since then throug being around for almost 15 years itself, is has become very different from when it started, not in a bad way, not always in a good way, but its definetly its own universe. Still most of the Ultimate books I would consider good or worth reading, especially Ultimate Spider-Man and the first 26 issues of the Ultimates. But we are not talking about any of those books today. The line has gone through many changes, first Ultimatum, Doomsday, Death of Spider-Man, Divided We Fall. This book takes place after Cataclysm. Cataclysm seems totally bizzare when you write it out, but due to Age of Ultron where Marvel Universe history was torn apart, that caused a rip in reality where Galactus from the regular Marvel Universe was sent to the Marvel Ultimate universe, where he merged with his Ultimate counter part the Gah Lak Tus swarm, becomeing even more powerful. Galactus then made his way to earth and wreaked havok before he was stopped.

After Galactus was defeated, aparently further rips in reality kept appearing, and this book follows the Future Foundation (FF, get it!)which has tasked themselves to close the rifts as they appear. Led by Susan Storm(Invisible Woman), and main operatives Tony Stark(Iron Man), Sam Wilson(The Falcon), and Danny Ketch(Machine Man), and finally Victor Van Damm(Doom). Danny is actually a human consciousness surviving inside a robot body made from salvaged tech from Gah Lak Tus, which if the book lasted longer would have panned out into a story or two.

The book only survived for 6 issues, and while not a bad book, definetly a bit off kilter. It seems to tangentially relate to the story occuring in Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers leading to Secret Wars, where reality and the multiverse is broken, and some the realities that are opening up on their earth are coming to an end. Though at the time the full scope hadn't been revealed yet. They pull in some Ultimate Universe leftovers that havn't been seen in a bit like Namor, they of course have a check in with Reed who had become a bad guy in their universe, as in he did some stuff so bad he can never be forgiven, he is someone we will be seeing a lot more of in Secret Wars. We see him a couple times, but the big thing is bringing Doom in the fold, I mean literally they hate Reed so much they would rather goto Doom for help. They come accross the Spider-Ham version of Miles Morales, who stumbles through one of these portals, we even see what is effectively a whole Ultimate Universe but with animals, that part is kind of fun.

I like this book, it tries really hard, but the art is switching hands seemingly every other issue and not always with ones I liked. It seems like they need to explain the team more, they are together at the start so we dont' really see why/how this group came together, and its extremely reliant on knowing a lot of the Ultimate stuff that has come before which becomes a tall order at some point. That dependancy on knowing more of the history makes it hard to recommend to other people. But it does have some cool scenes and sequences. So if you read Cataclysm I think this is worth a read if you can find it in the discount bin like I did, or in Trade...if they made one.