MIGHTY MORPHIN NINJA BLUE RANGER
POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)
Wait, another Power Rangers thing? Wasn’t I supposed to be done with these? I mean, I finished my two times, right? Okay, but hear me out: Blue Ranger. Yeah. See how that instantly changes the dynamic? Makes so much more sense now. Which Blue Ranger, you ask? Well, it’s, uh, Billy again, but, you know, in a different outfit. What’s the deal with that? Well, depending on which continuity you’re going by, the Ranger’s source of power was destroyed by either Rito Revolto or Ivan Ooze, and they had to go train to gain new powers, which meant getting new “ninja” suits. Boom. Perfect excuse for new toys.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Mighty Morphin Ninja Blue Ranger was, alongside Mighty Morphin Ninja Black, the debut of the Target-exclusive Ninja Rangers sub-set of Lightning Collection. That said, they seem to have more or less hit at the same time as the White and Pink Ninja Rangers. They’re all hitting in solid cases, though, so it’s probably just a regional thing. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. This version of Billy uses the newly developed parts used for all of the male Ninja Rangers. The articulation scheme for this one is similar to the standard Rangers for the line, albeit with some slight adjustments to match up with more recent Hasbro figures from their other 6 inch lines. The butterfly shoulders have a tendency to pop out of place, but otherwise, the range of motion is pretty solid. He’s also got the pinless construction for the elbows and knees, which works better from an aesthetic standpoint. The sculpt proper is pretty solid; it takes the design from the show, which is admittedly kind of sloppy and hokey, and does its best to make the design notably less sloppy and hokey, while still looking the part. The figure gets three different head sculpts. There’s the fully masked look, which is the same across all of the male Rangers, plus the movie-inspired hood and half-mask combo, and the unmasked with headband look, as well as two different styles of collar piece to match up with them. Of the heads, the hooded appearance is definitely my favorite, as I think it looks the sleekest. It and the fully unmasked head both sport pretty solid likenesses of David Yost, on par with the one included with the standard MMPR Blue. Ninja Blue’s color work consists of a bunch of molded blue plastic, plus painted accenting for the other colors. The white is a little fuzzy on the edges, but the rest of the details are pretty sharp. The two heads with the face visible use the printing for the details, which works pretty well. The unmasked head has a stray smudge of brown on his chin, which is kind of frustrating. The eyes on the fully masked head are also printed, but it’s not quite as effective for that piece. Ninja Blue is packed with two pairs of hands (fists, and a flat and striking gesture pair), as well as an effects piece for the hand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
While I’m largely done with Lightning Collection at this point, and I’m also done with store exclusives (or at least hunting them down), this guy piqued my interest when he was shown off. I do like my Blue Rangers after all, especially when they’re Billy. That said, I didn’t put much effort into it. I just wound up finding him during a quick stop at my local Target for some other things. He was a rather nice surprise. He’s a solid figure, and honestly a noted improvement on prior offerings from the line.