POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)
Since it’s arrival on US shores in the mid-90s, Power Rangers merch has been produced by Bandai, who are generally the go-to for Japanese media that gets imported. They’ve been doing that thing for like two decades, but admittedly started to falter as Power Rangers‘ reach grew outside of its original, younger demographic. Bandai, or their American component at least, has never been one for the more collector’s oriented side of the toy world. You know who’s actually pretty good at that, though? Hasbro. And Hasbro really wanted to make Power Rangers toys, apparently, and decided that the easiest way to facilitate that was to buy Power Rangers. Not the license, the brand. They officially took over at the beginning of the year, with their first products being for the latest incarnation of the show. The big exciting thing, though, is their go at a collector’s line, dubbed The Lightning Collection. I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, the White Ranger, or, if you’re my drunk best friend, the White Ragnar.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The White Ranger is the first of four figures in Series 1 of The Lightning Collection. He’s clearly designed as the natural pairing to the Lord Zedd figure also featured in this same assortment. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. The Lightning Collection is designed as a counterpart to Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series and Marvel Legends lines, so it’s scaled pretty similarly, kind of bridging the gap between the two of them. But more importantly than that, let’s discuss the scaling relative to other Power Rangers lines. The Figuarts and Legacy offerings were on opposite sides of the rather nebulous 6-inch scale, and kind of both off on their own. This line definitely scales a lot closer to Figuarts. They’re a little taller, but it’s close enough scaling that it’ll work more or less. At the very least, this version of Tommy will fit in alright with the Figuarts releases of the main five Mighty Morphin’ guys. Like the scaling, the styling of this figure’s sculpt falls somewhat between the two prior collectors lines. While he’s definitely got a little more bulk to him than the Figuarts stuff, he’s nowhere near as crazy buff as the Legacy stuff was. It’s actually a rather nice happy medium, and I think my favorite styling so far. The sculpt on this figure is all-new, of course, and a pretty strong recreation of his design from the show, in a pretty realistic fashion. The details aren’t quite as crisp as the Figuarts stuff, but that’s largely due to the slightly more rubbery plastic, which ultimately makes the figure feel a lot sturdier than those guys did. I do miss the ability to remove the holster on the belt, like you could on the Figuarts, but beyond that, I like it a lot. The White Ranger’s paintwork is decent overall, but I did encounter a number of issues from figure to figure when I was looking through them. I picked the best of the bunch, and he still has a few issues, so there’s definitely some flaws to be had. Overall, though, the issues I encountered were all pretty minor; I was just being picky. The White Ranger was packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in a karate chop/gripping combo, as well as his Saba Sword, an effect piece for the sword, and an un-helmeted Tommy head. That’s quite an impressive accessory compliment, and I hope Hasbro can keep this up for future offerings.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I passed on the Figuarts White Ranger when he was released, so there was this White Ranger-shaped whole in my Power Rangers line-up. I sort of filled in that spot with the 20th Anniversary Movie White Ranger, but it wasn’t quite the same. When this guy was on the list for the first line-up, I was actually pretty excited and I’ve been waiting for this line to hit. After being kind of let-down by the Legacy Collection, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from these, but I gotta say, I’m really happy with the end result. He’s a little sturdier than a Figurarts, which makes him a lot more playable, but at the same time, he scales pretty well with them, meaning there’s less of a need to rebuy everything again.
I grabbed the White Ranger from All Time Toys, where he’s still available here. If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.