Team TokuNet staff writer Brody Salzman attended New York Comic Con 2018 to seek out tokusatsu merchandise and news.
New York Comic Con (NYCC) is the largest pop culture convention on the East coast with its last reported total attendance reaching over 180,000 people (in 2016). NYCC runs for four days, includes events and panels hosted by creators and celebrities both on and offsite, and brings together top vendors to show off and sell games, comic books, artwork, collectibles and more.
This year, NYCC ran from October 4th-7th. I attended on Saturday clad in a thrown-together Eiji Hino (Kamen Rider OOO) cosplay and got to work looking for tokusatsu merchandise. My first stop was the Renegade Game Studios booth to check out Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid.
In a single session, Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid would normally have players facing off against three boss monsters with two being small and one being Megazord-sized. For the demo, participants only had to take on one boss. Players could choose from each of the original Power Rangers to play as, and each had their own special ability. I got to play as the Blue Ranger with a special card exchange ability.
Next, I visited the BOOM! Studios booth to check out their many Power Rangers comic books like Go Go Power Rangers and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Throughout the day, the BOOM! Studios booth also hosted Steve Cardenas (Rocky DeSantos in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) who was signing autographs and taking pictures with eager fans.
I also had the chance to meet Dekamexican while he was working at the BOOM! Studios booth. He was excited to pose for a quick picture and tell me about his upcoming project, Jamminger, which will be a show about a music-themed superhero team inspired by Super Sentai. Team TokuNet featured Dekamexican and his cosplay back in August.
Next, I navigated the convention floor to locate the tokusatsu merchandise Bluefin previously announced it was bringing. There were a lot of interesting figures including Megazords from the Bandai Shokugan line.
Between wandering the floor and taking pictures of unique cosplay, I made my way to the VRV industry panel to find any potential information about tokusatsu offerings coming to the streaming service. The panel was an overview of VRV’s current offerings, but I had a chance to ask directly about the future of tokusatsu at the end of the panel. After recognizing my cosplay and singing the Kamen Rider OOO “TaToBa” jingle (much to my amusement), Caleb Goellner answered my question:
“Everything cool that you want is being talked about or thought about. Just hold tight to the powers that be.”
While vague, we know Crunchyroll announced it would no longer feature some of the Ultraman series it previously offered but that VRV recently gave its users access to the Shout Factory release of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger and added HIDIVE to its channel lineup. This means fans of tokusatsu who subscribe to VRV will have access to HIDIVE’s library of Godzilla movies and Garo television series. This sequence of events following Goellner’s comment gives me hope for the future of tokusatsu on VRV.
My day ended on a high note with Jason David Frank’s panel. Here, JDF and his daughter, Jenna Frank, talked a lot about the projects they’ve been involved in and delivered some motivational words. Many fans had the chance to ask questions and explain how much his character, Tommy Oliver from the Power Rangers series, meant to them.
During the panel, JDF discussed providing insight into Tommy’s character for Kyle Higgins’s work on the upcoming graphic novel, Soul of the Dragon, he reminisced about how he felt to bring a character to life for so long, and he connected how he sees Tommy to his love of X-Men. My personal favorite moment of the panel had to be when a putty patrol cosplayer went up to the microphone and asked how many of his own kind JDF had killed. The answer?
“I don’t know… might’ve been your second cousin…”
Overall, my con experience was a Saturday packed with fun experiences and some interesting information. With this being my first time cosplaying a tokusatsu character NYCC can definitely be an overwhelming experience with its sheer size and crowd, but I hope to attend for longer next year so I can take more of it in.