DRAGON SHIELD BLACK RANGER
POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is no stranger to toy coverage, and they’ve had action figures in all shapes and sizes. For the purposes of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, the Mighty Morphin’ characters have had similar coverage in a similar style in the form of the Legacy Collection and Figuarts, making the Morphin’ characters an interesting proposition for the line, should Hasbro want to avoid making die hards double dip on the characters too soon. They’re doing a respectable job of it so far, mixing them in one per assortment, with a few exclusive offerings to bridge the gap of releases. These exclusives have all followed something of a common theme: the Dragon Shield, the distinctive armor worn by the Green Ranger. There are a few instances of the shield being passed to other Rangers, so the Red Ranger got his version in a SDCC two-pack, and now the Black Ranger is getting his due courtesy of a Walgreens exclusive.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Dragon Shield Black Ranger is the first Walgreens-exclusive for The Lightning Collection. Given Hasbro’s current relationship with Walgreens, it seems unlikely that it will be the last. The figure is based on Zack’s time wearing the Dragon Shield from the episode “An Oyster Stew”. It’s notable because this concept is one of the ones introduced by the “Zyu2” footage, which was the additional suit footage commissioned exclusively for Mighty Morphin’, and not present in the original Zyuranger series. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Construction-wise, he shares a good deal of his parts with both the Red and Green Rangers, sensible given how close the designs all are. It follows the established style of the Lightning Collection so far, being ever so slightly bulkier than the Figuarts stuff, but generally more relalistic than anything Bandai America put out. Zack gets a new helmet and, rather surprisingly, a new belt. The helmet is as nice a recreation of the show design as any of the helmets so far from the line. The belt is a real shock, because it’s definitely an area where they could have just gone with a painted emblem to differentiate the rangers, but they instead have sculpted in the proper emblem. That’s actually pretty impressive. The paintwork on the figure is about par for the course. It gets all the basics done, and generally looks pretty solid on my figure. Zack is packed with his Power Blaster, Power Axe, an extra set of hands, a blast effect, and an unmasked head, which sports a pretty decent likeness of Walter Jones, though it’s perhaps not as spot on as some of the modern rangers.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been mostly avoiding the main Morphin‘ Rangers from this line, since I’ve already got the Figuarts line-up, so I was initially planning to skip this one. However, I swung by Walgreens while looking for the Clone Wars Obi-Wan and saw this guy and he proved too hard to resist. It helps that he’s not just the standard Black Ranger, so I don’t feel quite as bad about double-dipping. This is a pretty solid release, and a pretty smart choice not just for an exclusive, but also for Zack’s first inclusion in the line, since it’s more likely to be picked up even by those that have Zack in another form.