Hey, my fellow Plastic Addicts. Today we continue our look at the new characters that were revealed in the previous livestream by looking at 2 characters. One from the stars and one from Japan. First off, we look at Galactus’ first known fire-based Herald, Firelord. It is great that we finally have this character and Hasbro has said we will get another one this year. The most likely candidate is an updated Terrax but we could also see Air-Walker, Red Shift or Stardust.
Also up today, we have a quick look at Japan’s tokusatsu answer to Marvel, Spider-man (Toei). Disney+ has a documentary as part of the “Marvel 616” series (which i recommend you watch to get a full back story of the development of the show and characters) but what basically happened is Stan Lee, president of Marvel at the time, was vacationing in Japan when Toei approached him to develop one of Marvel property. Stan liked the idea of one of his characters being developed for Japanese audience but also gave them permission to change the aspect of the characters to suit the Japanese audience.
Thus, having success with tokusatsu series (live action hero series that would eventually become Power Rangers, Beetleborgs and more in the west), Toei decided to incorporate Spider-man into one of these. Except for the name and basic costume design, Toei changed everything about the character for Japanese audiences. He was now Takuya Yamashiro, and instead of gaining his power through a spider-bite, he instead was given a special bracelet and costume by an alien. He also had a transforming spaceship that would change into a Mecha called Leopardon (more on that in a bit.)
For the most part, the show was a “monster of the week” show, which they had been doing for years with their Super-Sentai series. Spider-man or someone he knew would have some kind of problem, Spider-man would battle a monster, Monster would grow, Spider-man would summon Leopardon and defeat the monster. Because of all the changes, Bandai was able to claim shared ownership of the series with Marvel. So, when the character appeared in the original Spider-verse comic story line, they weren’t happy and told Marvel not to do it again. But when they saw how the character was gaining popularity, Bandai relented and has since allowed Marvel to continue to use the character for whatever they wanted including merchandising, thus the reason we have gotten this figure.
About Leopardon, while not the first, this show would inspire Toei to incorporate Mechs into the Super-Sentai series more, with it becoming the standard for series. That’s right. It’s mainly because of this show that Power Rangers, Super-Sentai American counterpart, has Zords.
With that long winded explanation out of the wave, I have also started adding universe to the new Misc. Universes page, including the 2020 universe, the 2099 universe, the Bishop’s Future and the Universal Church of Truth universe.
Next time (possibly Wednesday) we will look at the X-Babie Wolvie II and the X-men: The Animated Series semi-original character, Morph.