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What you see above is a page from the fall Bandai toy catalog for Sentai. Oddly enough, toys for Metal Heroes are in there! Specifically, Space Sheriff Shaider and Space Sheriff Sharivan. One can guess that Toei’s recent release of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs Uchuu Keiji Gavan helped bring the franchise back into the public light and is thus getting Bandai to make new toys, but Toei Bandai never makes new toys without a new show or movie. Okay, context is needed for that. These are mass market toys. Unlike the Action Works Figuarts-like figures that the original Metal Heroes received a few years ago, these are meant to get into the hands of kids and be easy to find. So what’s the point in doing this without something to back it up?
This is where the rumors come in! Lately there have been rumors flying around all over the place that the Metal Heroes franchise, specifically the Space Sheriff portion of it, is aiming to make its grand return. The most prevalent rumor states that there’s going to be a new Gavan movie in the fall (likely around October or November) that will feature Sharivan and Shaider. In addition to this, it’s being stated that this will be Kenji Ohba’s final time in the role of Gavan. A few specific rumors have surfaced that say Kenji Ohba is basically being forced out of the role of Gavan to be replaced by a younger actor, but that this movie will also act as Ohba’s goodbye to the role and that there’s no bad blood here. My best guess? Some odd time travel story or something that has Gavan growing younger to accommodate the new actor. And why bring a new actor in? This is just my best guess, but I believe we’re probably going to see a new Metal Heroes series in 2013 at the very latest. We’re getting a plethora of Metal Heroes related items in the fall to celebrate the franchise, including the toys, and this leads me to believe that at the very least fall 2012 will see a new Metal Hero movie come our way.
Granted, this is all speculation, but I see it as pieces of the puzzle starting to fall into place. I’m willing to bet that the next year is going to be a very exciting one for fans of the Metal Hero franchise.