What are some seasons of any toku (specifically Sentai) do you think did collectibles right? Most seasons today do have this logic of collectibles to sell, but I thought the Ranger Keys of Gokaiger worked since it had a huge role in the actual story.
That would actually be my go-to example of it done right as well. The Ranger Keys offered not only new powers and such but played into the central quest of the show without having to be found. The heroes started with almost all of them at the beginning but had to learn how to unlock their true potential to find the object of their quest.
They also played up the Anniversary theme of the show and gave an excuse to bring in older heroes from previous shows to help unlock their Grand Powers. It was well integrated and unforced.
Super Sentai really doesn’t suffer as badly from this when compared to modern Kamen Rider. We actually still get the occasional show without a massive collectible aspect in Super Sentai (such as Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters which may explain why the toys didn’t sell as well as the shows the surrounded it which did have collectibles). There are forced collectibles in a few shows though such as the Shuriken in Shuriken Sentai Ninninger and the Zyudenchi in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger.
However, the relative failure of toy sales for series that do NOT include the collectible aspect probably means Bandai will double down on the concept going forward.
For the record I believe Kamen Rider Ex-Aid did a good job of integrating their collectible gimmick. As it was based on video games and video games publishers tend to release a lot of games over the course of a year, they made sense. Even the power up versions like Mighty Brothers XX or Maximum Mighty X make sense because how many annual sequel games or spin offs do we get? Think about how there seem to be new Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed games every single year.