Connect with us

The Tokusatsu Network

The Tokusatsu Network 2023 Convention Year End Review


The Tokusatsu Network 2023 Convention Year End Review

Team TokuNet staff writer Charlie Li attended conventions all year long in 2023 to bring you the latest in tokusatsu-related announcements, merchandise, and events from the largest conventions in the U.S. 

First, Team TokuNet staff member Charlie Li attended Comic Con International in San Diego, CA in July.

San Diego Comic-Con is one of the largest and most well-known pop culture conventions in the world, attracting a diverse range of attendees and offering a wide variety of panels, exhibits, and exclusive merchandise. Comic-Con attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture. Exhibitors include movie studios and TV networks, comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. There is also an autograph area, as well as the Artists’ Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches

Starting on Thursday, the first tokusatsu-related panel the convention featured was the It’s Morphin’ Time with Boom! Studios panel in Room 25ABC from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Boom! Studios and Hasbro celebrated 30 years of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers storytelling in the  comics. Melissa Flores (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), Meghan Camarena (Power Rangers HyperForce), and series editors Allyson Gronowitz and Dafna Pleban discussed the history of the series, looking at what’s next, and offered some special surprises.

From 6:45 PM to 7:45 PM in Room 6A, The Official Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Celebration was held to commemorate 30 Morphinomenal years of the franchise. Attendees celebrated 30 amazing years of the Power Rangers with some fan favorite Ranger actors from across the decades, including Dwayne Cameron (Dino Thunder, Operation Overdrive), Patrick David and Christopher Khayman Lee (Power Rangers in Space), Selwyn Ward, Roger Velasco, and Tracy Lynn Cruz (Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers in Space), Blake Foster (Power Rangers Turbo), and featured a surprised guest appearance from the original Black Ranger, Walter Jones. The panel was hosted by comedian Ben Kliewer, from

On Friday, the The Kaiju Kingdom Podcast: Original Ultraman and the Rise of the Shin Universe panel was held from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library. Talents from Japan’s most beloved franchises—Ultraman, Godzilla, and Gamera—discussed with Jessica Tseang (co-host of The Kaiju Kingdom Podcast, pop culture historian The History Channel) and Chris Eaton (co-host of The Kaiju Kingdom Podcast) the long-lasting legacy of Ultraman. Topics included what the future holds for the Shin Universe and the ever-expanding landscape of tokusatsu and the kaiju genre. Special guests included Danny Simon (president of Tsuburaya Fields Media & Pictures Entertainment Inc) and official Tsuburaya artist Hiroshi Kanatani.

Gamera closes out the convention panel schedule on Sunday with the Gamera Rebirth: Special Release and Talk Show panel. Held in Room 25ABC from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, the giant monster Gamera, which has been beloved by Kaiju fans across the globe since the 1960s, was revealed to return as a brand-new animated series: Gamera Rebirth. The panel featured a special release along with the appearance and an exclusive talk show by anime director Hiroyuki Seshita.

Front and center at this year’s Bandai and Tamashii Nations booth at San Diego Comic Con 2023 was Ultraman. Figures displayed included: Ultraman Suit Ace, Ultraman Suit Jack, Ultraman the Animation, Ultraman Suit Taro, Ultraman Suit Zoffy, and Ultraman Suit Ver 7.

At San Diego Comic Con 2023, ThreeZero had product spread out at various distributors’ booths. Over at the Diamond booth was none other than two brand new 1:6 scale figures for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – the Armored Mighty Morphin Black Ranger and a Putty Patroler.

Image Credits to ToyArk

On Saturday, they replaced their 1:6 scaled Mighty Morphin Ranger figure with a brand new figure unannounced. Revealed on Saturday was their 1:6 scale Power Rangers Zeo Red Ranger figure.

The folks at Icon Heroes had plenty of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers product on display at San Diego Comic Con 2023 including pins and bobbleheads featuring the original teens with attitude.

At SDCC 2023, Mezco has their 1:12 scale Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on display featuring the core five team: Red Ranger, Blue Ranger, Black Ranger, Yellow Ranger, and Pink Ranger.

Hasbro brought the Power Rangers Lightning Collection and the latest batch of upcoming releases to the SDCC 2023 show. Team TokuNet did a quick visit yesterday and captured some more up close and personal pictures. Check out the remastered Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Rita Repulsa, Pink Ranger, Black Ranger, Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Armored Red Ranger, and Green Ranger figures. Also displayed is the Lightning Collection Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue Blue Ranger, Power Raangers RPM Ranger Operator Yellow, and Power Rangers Turbo Red Turbo Ranger figures which were released later this year. Lighting Collection Power Rangers x Cobra Kai figures, ZAP Astro Megazord, ZAP Dragonzord, ZAP Dino Megazord, Lightning Collection Power Sword, Lightning Collection Alien Rangers set, and Lightning Collection Tenga and Minotaur figures were all featured in the Hasbro Vault display as well.

Next, is tokusatsu at New York Comic Con 2023.

New York Comic Con (NYCC) is the largest comic con on the East Coast of the United States, and NYCC 2023 was held from October 12-15. The show floor hosts the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. Panels and autograph sessions give fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators. Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. And with dedicated professional hours, New York Comic Con is a market place, bringing together the major players in the entertainment industry.

Starting on Thursday, Oct 12, 2023, the Ultraman: Special Appearance Panel was held from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM in Room 408. Attendees had the chance to meet the people behind the global journey of the Ultraman Series. They could also participate in an in depth behind-the-scenes discussion about Ultraman. Some lucky fans even won prizes and got a chance to encounter the mysterious giant himself!

On Saturday, Oct 14, 2023, the Ultraman vs. Kaiju Live Stage Battle was held from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM in Room 409. Live onstage for the first time at New York Comic Con, Ultraman Blazar confronted monstrous Kaiju (Earth Garon) in an action-packed battle! In this exclusive event, Bandai showcased some of its newest toys and action figures alongside extra-special guests. Fans got a sneak peek at the latest news about the Ultraman franchise, which is coming up on its greatest year ever on the international scene. Then, the floor cleared, music came on, and giant monsters crashed the room to do battle with our greatest Ultra Heroes! This exclusive battle was for all fans of Japanese pop culture.

Signing at Rangerstop Booth #4642, fan favorite Power Rangers actor made appearances to meet and talk to fans from all around the world. These included Nakia Burrise (Power Rangers Zeo), Karan Ashley (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Steve Cardenas and Catherine Sutherland (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Power Rangers Zeo).

Signing at Galactic Productions Booth #1180 was the original Red Ranger, Austin St. John (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Power Rangers Zeo) and Jason Narvy, who played Skull from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Power Rangers in Space. On Friday the 13th, Walter Jones made an appearance at the StashLoot Booth, signing the brand new Whatnot Exclusive Battle Damaged Black Ranger Cover by Tyler Kirkham for the Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Special.

Signing at the Urban Action Showcase Booth #2373, Jason Faunt (Power Rangers Time Force) and Tracy Lynn Cruz (Power Rangers Turbo/Power Rangers in Space) were excited to meet fans and answer any questions about working on Power Rangers. Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force) sat at Booth #3200 to sign and meet fans of all generations.

All Power Ranger guests, with the exception of Walter Jones, appeared all four days of the convention so fans had the chance to meet them no matter which day they attended.

On Friday, October 13th, an unofficial Power Rangers Cosplay meetup took place featuring Rangers from different seasons both from the TV series and the Boom Studios! comics. Characters included Mighty Morphin Green Ranger, Mighty Morphin White Ranger, Red Sentry Ranger, Dino Fury Gold Ranger, Blue Space Ranger, and Dino Charge Grey. Various other Power Rangers cosplayers grazed the show floor including a group that cosplayed the six Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995).

The Bandai and Tamashii Nations booth featured a large statue of Ultraman. Figures displayed included: Ultraman Suit Ace, Ultraman Suit Jack, Ultraman the Animation, Ultraman Suit Taro, Ultraman Suit Zoffy, and Ultraman Suit Ver 7. Tamashii Nations even sold Event Exclusive figures such as the S.H. Figuarts UltraSeven (The Mystery of UltraSeven) and S.H. Figuarts Ultraman (Rise of Ultraman). Various Godzilla kaiju and S.H. MonsterArts figures were also on sale at the booth.

At the Robo7 Booth #2579, amazing t-shirts and prints of Ultraman, Jet Jaguar, and Godzilla were displayed and sold for fans of the Kaiju-verse. All products and prints were done by talented artist, John Bellotti Jr.

Moving to Artist Alley, Ryan Parrott (pictured) and Kyle Higgins were stationed to greet fans and talk about the comic book issues they worked on for the Boom Studio’s Power Rangers comics.

Ryan Parrott is most well known for his work on Boom Studios!’ Power Rangers line of comics with around 100 issues in total of contributions. Parrott currently works with fellow former Power Rangers comic writer, Kyle Higgins, on the Massive-Verse line of comics specifically Rogue Sun.

Kyle Higgins is the creator and writer of Boom! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book series. He is best known for his work on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise at Boom! Studios. Kyle appeared as a guest in Power Rangers HyperForce when the HyperForce rangers entered the comic continuity. Kyle portrayed the Pumpkin Rapper impersonating Captain Michael Hicks.

Matthew Groom, the booth next to our Boom! Studios Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book series creators, sold a few original prints featuring Ultraman.

Ending the 2023 convention scene, Team TokuNet staff member Charlie Li attended Anime NYC 2023 in Manhattan, New York in November.

Anime NYC is an annual 3-day convention at the Javits Convention Center. Anime NYC is one of the largest and most popular anime conventions of the year as thousands of attendees come from all over the world to showcase their cosplays, participate in various events, and have fun with old and new friends.

Starting with the Anime NJ++ booth, attendees received a sneak peek at a key guest attending this December convention. For those who aren’t familiar, Koichi Sakamoto (坂本 浩一) is a Japanese director and producer who is best known for his works on the more recent Kamen Rider Series, after having worked on Power Rangers and then Super Sentai, as well as Ultraman ever since 2009. Various kaiju and Ultraman figures were displayed at the table along with a S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Revi figure.

Going into the Dealer’s Hall, Image Anime (Booth #222) and Megaroad Toys And Entertainment LLC (Booth #2247) both supplied tokusatsu merchandise for con attendees to purchase. Items for sale included DX toys, DX gimmicks, photobooks, plush toys, figures, Kamen Rider Figure-Rise Standard figures, and CSM Releases.

Making their first ever Anime NYC appearance, Tokullectibles caught the eyes of both tokusatsu and anime fans with their Gashpon machines filled with cute keychains and charms from the latest series, such as Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger and Kamen Rider Gotchard. A claw machine with Power Rangers and Super Sentai goodies was also displayed and allowed fans to attempt at grabbing their favorite goodies. The table itself displayed DX/CSM Kamen Rider belts, Memorial items, Power Ranger weapons, and statues. The shelves lined up with DX toys from the latest series, plush toys, figures, gimmicks, and more. A true paradise for any tokusatsu fan.

Robo7 returned with more amazing t-shirts and prints of Ultraman, Jet Jaguar, and Godzilla. All were displayed and sold for fans of the Kaiju-verse. All products and prints were done by talented artist, John Bellotti Jr. The Art of Mark Dos Santos is perfect for anyone who is a fan of Godzilla, Jet Jaguar, or anything from TOHO’s kaiju-verse while also appreciating traditional Japanese art styles.

The tokusatsu community on Saturday afternoon of the convention gathered at the Tokusatsu Anime NYC 2023 Cosplay Meetup, hosted by Heaven’s Gem Cosplay. Fans cosplayed as characters from a myriad of tokusatsu shows such as Super SentaiPower Rangers, and Kamen Rider. Each cosplayer came to the meet-up with cosplays they’ve spent so much time and energy on as well as their undying passion for tokusatsu.

As our 30 minutes allotted time frame came to an end, the final picture was snapped, and we all went our separate ways, I reflected on how much the tokusatsu community has evolved since last year’s convention year and how everyone’s love of the tokusatsu genre contributed to the huge success of bringing tokusatsu representation to all of these conventions. We want to thank everyone who attended these fun events as both fans and cosplayers. We had a great time meeting others who share our passion for tokusatsu. We can’t wait for what’s in store for tokusatsu at the 2023 conventions next year.

All AnimeNYC photos are taken by Jason Linetsky/Freeze Frame Foto. Please do not repost or alter in any way without permission and proper credit.

Also known as HebitsukaiLi Cosplay and @sentairidertaisen45 on Instagram, Charlie Li is a current MFA Student at New York School of Interior Design and a New York University Game Design BFA Graduate. He enjoys tokusatsu of all kind as well as anime and k-pop. His top 3 Sentai include: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, and Denji Sentai Megaranger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Newest Posts

Subscribe to TokuNet

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Tokusatsu Network and receive notifications of new posts by email.

To Top