ALPHA 5 & ZORDON
POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)
The Achilles Heel of just about any Power Rangers toyline since the brand launched has been its treatment of the franchise’s American-exclusive characters. Since so much of the early product was repurposed Super Sentai merch, any American characters would require all new molds, and frequently were treated to molds of a slightly lesser quality than the others. Additionally, given their largely supporting roles, characters such as Alpha 5 and Zordon just didn’t set themselves up for figures that put much “action” into “action figures.” Fortunately, under Hasbro, things are looking up for them!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Alpha 5 and Zordon are a standalone release for Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, and are currently a Walmart exclusive, though time will tell on that, I suppose. The two are patterned on their appearances in Mighty Morphin’ Season 3 and Zeo. The set-up of this set is nominally a two-pack, but it works out more as a single figure with a really big accessory, so I’m going to tackle it that way. Alpha stands about 5 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. There a few joints present on the Rangers that are missing here, but given Alpha’s more diminutive stature, this gives him most of the movement he needs, without turning him into a floppy complicated mess. Moreover, it’s not like Alpha was the show’s most agile character; this figure can probably pull off more poses than the actual suit could. The sculpt for Alpha’s all-new, as you’d expect, and does a respectable job of capturing Alpha’s design from the show and translating it into the line’s style, while avoiding making it look too hokey (seriously, the suit on the show isn’t something you want to look to closely at; there’s a reason new Alpha suits were made for both of the movies). Alpha’s chest plate and waist piece are floating pieces much like White and Gold Ranger’s armor. They’re actually sized pretty well to the body, and don’t bob around too much during posing, so I really don’t mind the set-up. Alpha’s paint work is a little bit on the rough side. It’s not atrocious, but Hasbro’s certainly done better. The application on the yellow sections in particular is really sloppy, and my figure has a couple of noticeable scuffs on the top of his head. Nothing that ruins the figure, but enough to be a little bit annoying. Alpha is packed with his little robot-headed teddy bear that he’s seen carrying in a few episodes of Zeo. It’s rather obscure, but a fun little extra nevertheless. The second half of this set is the Zordon…well, “figure” seems inaccurate. He’s more of a display piece. He’s about 7 inches tall and has, predictably, no articulation, because he’s just a head in a tube. For a head in a tube, he’s not bad. The sculpt does a reasonable job of capturing that weird ripple effect thing he had going on. He’s perhaps a little small for proper scaling, and only meant for being viewed from head-on, since his back is totally flat. There’s a light-up feature (which you’ll need to provide three of your own AAAs for), which is okay. I was hoping for maybe some dialogue or sounds or something, but it’s an okay base level item.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Alpha, but his figures have never done much for me. I was pretty excited to see him added to the line, though this significantly lessened when I found out he was a Walmart exclusive. Fortunately, Max had my back on this one, and was nice enough to snag me one during one of his runs. Alpha’s a fun figure, and I love that little teddy bear accessory. Zordon…Zordon’s a big accessory, and not even that impressive of one. I would have liked to see them do more, but ultimately, it’s Zordon. He’s a head in a tube.