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Anime Expo 2019 Coverage: Interview with BlueFin Brands


Anime Expo 2019 Coverage: Interview with BlueFin Brands

The Tokusatsu Network sits down with Steve Schultze of BlueFin Distributors to discuss the future of Kamen Rider in the West.

In speaking with Steve Schultze, Sales Executive over at BlueFin this weekend at Anime Expo in downtown Los Angeles, the Tokusatsu Network was given the opportunity to discuss several factors that  attribute to showing the viability of Kamen Rider in the West. In recent years, the Kamen Rider brand has not been seen as less than profitable in the West, in part due to the performance of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight and it’s predecessor, Saban’s Masked Rider. Additionally, accessibility appears to be a large part of what fans seem to be influenced by, evidenced by GameStop having recently begun taking orders for SH Figuarts, albeit in small numbers of both variety and quantity.

There was also the issue of the visibility of what merchandise there is. This weekend, for example, fans attending Anime Expo may see a handful of vendors that sell the transformation belts and accessories from their favorite Kamen Rider. However, on the whole, the accessibility and visibility of Gundam models or Dragon Ball figures is noticeably larger than what you would see available for the currently airing Kamen Rider Zi-O. We also spoke at length about the hype and hopes for the upcoming first series of the Reiwa era, Kamen Rider Zero-One, and the merchandising posts that will be released very shortly.

Mr. Schultze assured us that there were things currently in the works that could use the help of the fandom to make happen. The largest way for fans to help is to go over to the BlueFin website and take part in their survey and let them know their preferences when it comes to Kamen Rider. For many years, the passionate fans of Kamen Rider in the West have gone to many lengths to seek ways to support the show they know and love. If the  community can contribute to this effort, many positive changes could go into effect that would allow for fans to be able to finally show their support for their favorite motorcycle riding, Rider kicking heroes of justice.

Actor, Tokusatsu enthusiast, cosplayer, host of Rider Rewind & co-host of the Beyond the Black Rims on YouTube.

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