#3099: In Space Pink Ranger

IN SPACE PINK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, let’s wrap up this Power Rangers focus in the best possible fashion, by circling back around to Power Rangers In Space, aka my favorite Power Rangers incarnation.  Following up on yesterday’s discussion of Turbo, as well as Tuesday’s discussion of change-overs for the Rangers, I guess I could talk about how exactly the In Space came to be.  After the replacement of half of the Rangers in MMPR‘s later run, and the later replacement of Kimberly and Aisha in their roles of Pink and Yellow respectively, the remaining cast transferred over to Zeo, and then again to Turbo, minus Rocky, whose actor left due to a pay dispute.  The rest of the MMPR/Zeo cast left at Turbo‘s mid-point, and were replaced with four newcomers.  They would continue on to In Space, keeping the roles until that show wrapped, and brought to an end the “Zordon Era” of the show.  Of particular note was Patrica Ja Lee’s Cassie Chan, the Pink Ranger of Turbo and In Space, and almost the replacement Pink Ranger for Lost Galaxy, until contract negotiations fell through.  Alas, I suppose it just means she went out on a high note, and we’re looking at that particular high note today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The In Space Pink Ranger is another part of Series 10 of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection line.  Cassie marks the sixth and final member of the In Space line-up to be added to the line, making her the second figure in this assortment to round out her respective team, as well as the second of two In Space-branded figures in this line-up, since Phantom was moved over to In Space.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Unsurprisingly, In Space Pink shares her construction with In Space Yellow.  As with their male counterparts, its a total parts share, without even a new helmet sculpt.  It’s true to the show designs, of course, and the sculpt for Yellow was pretty strong on its own, and it’s still strong here.  The color work on this release changes up, of course.  The base layout remains the same, but with pink in place of yellow, as well as the adjustment to the shaping on the edge of her visor.  As with the recent Pink Ranger two-pack, there’s a mismatch between the shades of pink of the torso and the limbs.  It’s not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world, I suppose.  The figure has two sets of hands, her Astro Blaster, her Satellite Stunner, an effects piece for the Stunner, and an unmasked head for Cassie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been chipping away at the In Space Rangers, and it’s been getting more exciting the closer I’ve gotten.  Getting Cassie is rather similar to getting Tanya in her Zeo gear, in that she herself isn’t the most thrilling of the characters or designs, but she’s a solid by the numbers figure, and she finishes out her team on a high-note.  Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted all of the In Space Rangers in one cohesive style, but I’ve never gotten the chance until now.  I’m really happy about this one.  I really love this particular set.  A lot.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3098: In Space Phantom Ranger

IN SPACE PHANTOM RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION

I’ve discussed my two favorite Power Rangers shows, Zeo and In Space, here on the site before.  What I haven’t really discussed is the season that fell between them, Power Rangers Turbo.  Turbo is…well, it’s an interesting product.  It’s generally not looked at very fondly by…well, much of anyone.  There are a multitude of reasons for this, notably the clashing tone between the psuedo-parody stylings of Gekisou Sentai Carranger and Turbo‘s own darker and edgier approach, to say nothing of the addition of a less than well received kid-Ranger, and the fact that most of the cast left halfway through the season.  The season saw a rather heft drop in ratings, and the entire franchise was almost wrapped up, until In Space came along and picked things back up.  Turbo was not without its positive elements, of course.  While Turbo didn’t *technically* have a sixth ranger, at least in the sense that surrounding seasons did, there were two contenders for the role.  The one with “ranger” in his title always felt like the more logical choice for me, of course, but what do I know.  Whatever the case, Turbo‘s Phantom Ranger is generally seen as one of its most redeeming parts, so him being the first Turbo thing in Lightning Collection is far from a surprise.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Phantom Ranger is part of Series 10 of the Lightning Collection.  Curiously, he’s not billed under the Turbo banner, and is instead an In Space release.  Phantom Ranger does have a few appearances in Space, so it’s not the craziest thing.  It’s just slightly weird that they’re avoiding Turbo entirely on this one.  It also results in two In Space figures in one assortment, though I’m hardly going to complain about such a thing.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation.  Phantom Ranger is sporting an all-new sculpt, appropriate given his rather non-standard design.  The articulation scheme is pretty impressive, especially given the bulkiness of some of the armored parts.  Additionally, since this release isn’t built on older parts, he’s got the pinless construction on the elbow and knee joints.  Beyond just the posability, the quality of the sculpt here is pretty top-notch.  He sticks closely to the Phantom Ranger’s on-screen appearance, and has a nice contrast of clean and sleek armored sections, and well-textured undersuit detailing.  It’s a very strong mix.  The paint work on this guy is generally pretty basic.  Largely, he’s a lot of black, but he’s at least got a variance of finishes to the blacks, so it’s not too drab.  The other accenting colors are quite sharply applied, which gives the whole thing a very polished appearance.  Phantom Ranger is packed with two pairs of hands, a Turbo Navigator, a blasting effect, and the impact effect piece we previously saw on the Z Putty.  The blast effect is compatible both with his Turbo Navigator’s barrel, as well as the Phantom Ruby on his chest.  It’s cool that they made both of those work.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite my investment in the two seasons on either side of Turbo‘s run, Turbo itself was one that largely never clicked with me.  I remember seeing the movie in theaters, largely on the basis of it being Power Rangers, and me being 5.  I mostly remember Phantom here for his appearances on In Space, where I very much enjoyed him.  I had his toy as a kid, again based on those later appearances, and he was one of those designs I’d really wanted to see updated for this line.  He’s truly a fantastic offering, and takes the spotlight in an assortment that finishes my two favorite teams, so that really speaks to his quality.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3048: Ecliptor & Astronema

ECLIPTOR & ASTRONEMA

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Ecliptor adopted Astronema and raised her as his own, eventually becoming her second-in-command as she serves Dark Specter”

Hey, remember yesterday when I was talking about Power Rangers, and more specifically how most of my Power Rangers reviews as of late have been centered on Power Rangers In Space?  Well, surprise surprise, we’re back on In Space.  No actual Rangers today, though.  Instead, I’m looking at two of the show’s antagonists, at least for most of its run, main baddie Astronema and her surrogate father turned henchman Ecliptor!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ecliptor and Astronema are an Amazon-exclusive Lightning Collection two-pack, which, like other recent exclusives, also had limited quantities available through Hasbro Pulse.  Unlike the Pink Ranger pack, they weren’t part of any particular subset focus, just a general Lightning Collection push.

ECLIPTOR

The new piece of this set, and certainly its main selling point, Ecliptor makes a rare toy appearance here, doubly interesting because he’s a non-MMPR antagonist who wasn’t an any point a Ranger or Ranger equivalent.  And he’s even slated for another figure down the line, if you can believe it.  Ecliptor is seen here in his most standard set-up, before his power-up or cyborg reprograming.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation.  Despite how bulky and squared off his design is, Ecliptor actually has a pretty solid range of motion, and can get into quite a number of impressive poses.  And, thanks to the really huge feet sported by the original Yugande design, he’s also quite stable, which is a definite plus.  His sculpt is an all-new piece, set to be shared with the upcoming Red Ecliptor figure, but unique for now at least.  It does a rather nice job of capturing the show design for the character, in all of its wire-frame-y, limited polygon count glory.  It’s very clean and sharply detailed, and just looks really slick.  The paint work on Ecliptor isn’t *quite* as in-depth as it should be for true show-accuracy.  There should be a great deal more green linework than is currently present.  That being said, they’ve done a respectable job of at the very least giving it a bit of visual shorthand, so that the overall appearance is preserved.  Ecliptor is packed with a fairly nice selection of extras, including his sword, two sets of hands (fists, and a gripping/open with effects combo), an effect for the sword, and a larger effect that’s meant to encircle the whole figure.  The right fist on my figure is rather oddly missing all of the green detailing, but it’s otherwise a solid selection.

ASTRONEMA

Wow, remember when it was a big deal to have the *one* Astronema?  And now there’s *two*?  Who could have foreseen getting an Astronema as a hum-drum affair.  I mean, I guess it’s really not that hum-drum.  Astronema does have a slightly evolving appearance throughout the show, meaning there are a few options for looks, beyond just what we got on the first figure.  This one specifically draws influence from the show’s first three episodes.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Though at first glance, the figure seems like she’s a pretty straight repaint of the last figure, she’s actually not.  The head is all-new, sporting a slightly different hairstyle, but she also gets an all-new torso piece, which replaces many of the simple painted details from the last with proper sculpted details.  It takes a figure I already quite liked, and makes her even better, which is quite nice in my book.  The paint work isn’t terribly different from the last one, though the face paint is a lot more subtle with the coloring than the last release.  It’s again an improvement on an already pretty solid release.  Astronema is packed with two sets of hands, her spear, and an effects piece, much like the last time.  The effect is at least a different color, so there’s that going for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, given how much of an In Space fan I am, I wasn’t going to miss out on Ecliptor.  While I wasn’t initially thrilled about getting another Astronema, it annoyed me less than the pack-out on yesterday’s set.  While I missed the Pulse window on this set, I was able to get in through Amazon, and they also didn’t get cancelled, so that was a win.  I really like this set in hand.  Ecliptor is a fantastic figure, and I look forward to seeing more variants of him.  Astronema is a figure I definitely warmed up on, especially after seeing how any improvements they’d made.  All in all, not a bad set.

#3022: In Space Blue Ranger Vs Silver Psycho Ranger

IN SPACE BLUE RANGER VS SILVER PSYCHO RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Hey, the Power Rangers In Space-themed reviews are getting closer together!  This is something that I can definitely get behind, my guys.  Have I mentioned that I really like that show?  I definitely have, but is it really possible for me to say it too much?  Probably, but it’s my site and I set the rules around here.  So, you know, there it is.  Slowly but surely, we’ve been assembling the main team from the show, as well as a few of the foes they faced.  Thus far, we’ve gotten four of the six team members, as well as all five of the evil Psycho Rangers.  The remaining two main rangers are both slotted for release, quite soon.  So soon, that I’ve in fact already got one.  And also, there’s a sixth Psycho Ranger.  Bet you didn’t see that coming!  Especially because it’s actually the seventh!  I’m bad at counting, you guys.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

In Space Blue Ranger and Silver Psycho Ranger are one half of the third assortment of Power Rangers: Lightning Collection two-packs, with the other half being MMPR Yellow and Scorpina.  This pack specifically calls out being based on the episode “Five of a Kind,” the fourth episode in In Space‘s Psycho Ranger arc. That’s mostly in regards to the presence of Psycho Silver, but the Blue Ranger is also really central to that particular episode as well, making for a pretty natural choice pairing him off with Silver for the set.

IN SPACE BLUE RANGER

TJ Johnson, aka the Blue Space Ranger, is another entry in my list of “Red Rangers being way cooler when they’re not Red Rangers.”  As Turbo Red, I didn’t care, but as Space Blue, I’m quite a fan.  Of course, I guess I’m just a little bit biased towards Blue Rangers.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  As expected, TJ shares his construction with Andros, Carlos, and Zhane.  All of the male Rangers have the same approximate build, and have classically shared their parts when it comes to toy form, so this is all fairly sensible.  It helps that it continues to be a rather serviceable sculpt on its own, so there’s not really anything that warrants changing.  The paint work is the same as the others, but, of course, with blue in place of the other main colors.  The application is nice and clean, with no notable slop or bleed over, and they’ve made the appropriate adjustments to the shaping on the edge of the visor, so as to give him that extra bit of uniqueness.  TJ is packed with two sets of hands (gripping and a fist/flat combo), his Astro Axe, Astro Blaster, an effects piece for the axe, and an unmasked head.  The unmasked head has an okay likeness of actor Selwyn Ward, but he does seem a little bit serious and dour for how TJ tended to be portrayed.

PSYCHO SILVER RANGER

Rather amusingly, the Psycho Rangers are one of the two most thoroughly-explored Rangers teams in the line thus far, down to even getting both of their add-on members.  The first was Psycho Green, a later addition from the comics, while the second is today’s other focus, Psycho Silver.  In “Five of a Kind,” as part of a ploy to defeat the Psycho Rangers, the whole team disguises themselves as Space Blue, while Zhane pretends to be an all-new Psycho Ranger, his own evil counterpart of Psycho Silver.  Originally, it seemed that Psycho Silver was going to follow the trend of all of the Psychos barring Yellow, in being released prior to his main team counterpart.  However, regular Space Silver snuck in under the wire, and they wound up showing up at about the same time.  That’s pretty cool, I guess.  The figure is 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s identical to all of the male Psycho Rangers, again as expected.  It’s a good sculpt, probably even a bit better than the main Space sculpt, and all of the costumes on the show were the same, so it makes sense.  The paint is the main change-up, as he gets silver in place of the accent color seen on the others.  Psycho Silver gets the same alternate effects hand as the other Psychos, as well as a new Psycho Silverizer piece, and an unmasked Zhane head.  The unmasked head is unique from the one included with the standard Silver.  The hair is sculpted to the head this time, rather than being a separate piece, and the expression is just generally a more stern one.  While the hair seems a little better on this one, the face’s likeness seems a little too angular for Justin Nimmo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m slowly chipping away at the In Space team here, so there was never any doubt that I was picking up this pairing.  Both figures here are, admittedly, rather by-the-numbers in terms of construction and such, but that’s also exactly what they’re supposed to be, so I can certainly dig it.  They do what they need to, and they do it well, so I’m very happy to have them.  And, hey, I’m only one Ranger away from the whole team!

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2999: In Space Silver Ranger

IN SPACE SILVER RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, when I reviewed Zeo Gold, I may have been a little overzealous in calling him the greatest Power Ranger ever.  And why is that?  Because I may have been overlooking this guy, Zhane, aka the In Space Silver Ranger, Power Rangers In Space‘s resident Sixth Ranger.  Because, the thing is, Zhane?  He’s pretty darn cool.  Possibly the coolest.  And I’m down for that.  And now he’s got this brand new figure from Hasbro’s current run, which I definitely a win as far as I’m concerned.  So, let’s explore this win just a little bit further, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Silver Ranger is a Walgreens-exclusive release from Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, with limited quantities available through Hasbro Pulse as well.  Thus far, only the Pulse quantities have shown up.  As with yesterday’s Andros, this figure’s release is a bit wonky, since we saw him before Hasbro had officially announced him, and then he showed up on Pulse with no actual quantities, before finally being put up for order, with an actual in-stock status.  Zhane is either the fourth or fifth of the Space Rangers to make it to release, depending on if you count the small quantities of Blue that have made it out as an actual release.  Whatever the case, it’s notable because it’s the first time Zhane hasn’t been the last member of team by a large margin.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s using the same construction as the other male Space Rangers.  It’s a consistency thing, really, and at this point, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  He does get a new belt piece, which has been tweaked to remove the holster.  Otherwise, it’s the same basic piece.  The colors are where the real changes occur, since he’s now, well, silver.  Unlike the others, it’s more than just swapping silver for the main color, since Silver gets a whole different selection of accent colors as well.  They’ve gone for more of a toy style to the colors, since his suit is actually silver, rather than a flatter shade than the helmet as it was in the show.  It’s a slightly more intriguing design in toy form, so I get the choice.  The silver is molded plastic, rather than paint.  It doesn’t look quite as slick, but it will probably hold up better over time.  Zhane is packed with an unmasked head (which looks a lot better in person than I’d expected), two sets of hands, his Super Silverizer in both blaster and blade configurations, and an effects piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In Space Silver is at the very least tied with Zeo Gold for my favorite Ranger, so I was very anxious to see him show up in this line, especially after he got left out of Bandai’s Legacy Collection.  When he was shown off in-hand with no announcement, I was worried about him being an exclusive, and sure enough, there he was.  Fortunately, I had Max in my corner on this one, and he was able to help me snag one through the Pulse order window.  I’m very thrilled to have this figure in-hand, and I’m very happy to have a decent In Space Silver.

#2998: Andros

ANDROS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The continuing narrative of the first six years of Power Rangers, and its conclusion in Power Rangers In Space allowed for a slightly different structure to the show’s first episode.  Since most of the team had already been introduced in the preceding season, the show places its main focus on the one new member of the team, Andros, the season’s Red Ranger.  We first encounter him on a recon mission spying on a gathering of villains from prior seasons, which requires him to have a more incognito appearance, at least at first.  It’s a design that has as of yet not gotten any toy coverage, but Hasbro’s addressing that here, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Andros in Disguise is a Target-exclusive one-off release for Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  Or he’s at the very least an exclusive to Target for now.  It’s a slightly confusing situation, as has been the case with a handful of releases from Hasbro recently.  Photos of him showed up with no official announcement, and then Hasbro themselves showed him off, but with no actual mention of release plan, and no mention of any exclusive status.  And then he just showed up on Target’s website, and was very quickly in-stock, making the whole thing a rather surprisingly quick turn around.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, his actual sculpt is identical to Andros in his Red Ranger gear (and all of the other male Space Rangers, for that matter).  It’s a sculpt that gets the job done, and it matches up with the other Andros, so it makes sense.  The main structural change up is the addition of a cloth robe piece for him.  It kind of looks like a bath robe, which I don’t really think is the intended appearance.  It’s a little goofy looking, especially in the photos, but I’ll admit it looks a fair bit better in person than I’d expected it to, and actually holds shape pretty well.  Even the velcro on the front stays secure, which isn’t always a guarantee.  The color work on this guy is another notable change up. Technically, in the show, he’s just wearing his usual Red Ranger gear under the cloak, but it’s shot in a way that hides it in the shadows.  To simulate this, Andros is wearing all black this time.  It’s an interesting look, and the presence of extra gold accenting, especially the insignia on the front, makes it feel like this is an established design from elsewhere.  That being said, I don’t know specifically where, and my brief searching on the internet hasn’t turned anything up.  So, I guess it’ll just remain a mystery.  It certainly looks cool, though.  Andros is packed with two heads, one helmeted (and in all-black to match the main figure), and one unhelmeted (re-used from the prior release), as well as two sets of hands, his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and effects pieces for both weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is an odd release, and certainly not one I really thought I would need.  That said, In Space is my favorite incarnation, and there’s very little I wouldn’t buy from it.  So, this guy was certainly on my radar, not that I was in a rush or anything.  Max actually wound up ordering one online, before managing to find one in store.  Since he didn’t need two, he was kind enough to set me up with the spare.  He’s not essential, and it’s not like he really does anything new, but he’s a rather fun one-off variant.

#2921: In Space Black Ranger

IN SPACE BLACK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

When it comes to Power Rangers, there’s not much I love more than Power Rangers In Space, the show’s sixth season.  It hit at just the right time for me to catch most of it first run as a kid, and it’s also just genuinely one of the show’s best seasons, all things considered.  As a kid, I never did get the whole line-up in toy form, but I’ve always wanted them, and now, as an adult, that’s something I can more genuinely work on.  Lightning Collection has been doing a pretty alright job for the team, with three members already released, two more already in the pipeline for release, and the sixth showing up somewhere as of yet unrevealed.  Boy, I do sure hope he’s not an exclusive.  That sure wouldn’t make me so happy.  Don’t make me not happy, Hasbro.  Before I descend into madness anymore, let’s look at the latest addition to the In Space line-up, Carlos Vallerte, aka the Black Space Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Black Ranger was released in the 9th standard assortment of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: Lightning Collection.  He’s the third Space Ranger to join the line, and is one of two Zordon Era figures in this particular assortment, the other being the Tenga Warrior from Mighty Morphin’.  Carlos follows in his predecessor Adam’s footsteps, with his first figure in the line being his second Ranger incarnation, and also his second Ranger color, since, in a reverse of Adam, Carlos began as a Green Ranger and switched to black in his second season, when the Japanese footage changed over.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Carlos’s mold is a total re-use of the one that we saw used for Andros, which makes total sense, since the male rangers were all pretty close in build, and this was one of the few seasons where the only differences on the helmets were painted.  It was a good mold the first time around, and it’s still a good mold here.  The paint obviously changes things up, swapping the red of the first figure for black, as well as changing the shaping on his visor, and adding the extra lining around the black dome on the helmet, since, well, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it.  Carlos is packed with an alternate unmasked head, as well as two sets of hands (gripping and a fist/open gesture combo), his Lunar Lance, Astro Blaster, and an effects piece for the lance.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the In Space team is pretty much the top of my list when it comes to this line, so I’ve been mad hype about each successive figure announced.  I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Carlos in particular, so him being a relatively early addition to the line-up was very cool.  Sure, there’s not a ton of new going on here, but he still works very well, and each additional figure just really makes the whole team dynamic work just a little bit better.  Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to get the rest of the team?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2688: In Space Red Ranger vs Astronema

IN SPACE RED RANGER VS ASTRONEMA

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Hitting the airwaves in 1998, Power Rangers In Space was, as noted previously on this site, kind of my jam.  I was six at the time, and that made me very much in the right target audience at the right time.  With the show being my jam and all, I had some of the toys as a kid, but I’ve been waiting to get some proper updates for a good while now.  I’m still kind of waiting, but at leas there’s been *some* progress made, because Hasbro is slowly feeding the show’s cast into their Lightning Collection line.  We’ve already gotten the whole Psycho Rangers line-up, as well as our first member of the main cast, the Yellow Ranger, Ashley Hammond, but now we’re getting both the team leader and Red Ranger Andros and the show’s main villain (who is also secretly Andros’ long-lost sister…spoilers) Astronema, in one convenient two-pack!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The In Space Red Ranger and Astronema make up one half of the second assortment of two-packs for The Lightning Collection, the other being the SPD A and B Squad Blues.  It follows the thus far established versus trend of the two-packs (well, the main release ones, anyway).

IN SPACE RED RANGER

Andros is clearly following in the footsteps of Galaxy Red, placing the team’s leader in a two-pack shortly after getting another team member in the main line.  It’s admittedly mildly surprising for him to show up in a two-pack first, but given Galaxy Red’s also getting a single release later this year, I’d imagine we’ll see a single release Andros sooner than later.  Hopefully they’ll at least give us a few other members of the team first.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, there’s not a ton of new stuff here, which I suppose isn’t a huge shock.  He’s using the basic core Ranger body, with his own helmet and belt pieces added in.  Andros is definitely one of those times that I feel the standard body is just a touch too bulky for the character, but it’s not terribly far off, I suppose.  The new helmet piece matches up nicely with Ashley’s in terms of design, and is likewise a pretty good match for the helmets as seen on the show.  The belt is likewise a pretty decent piece, and one I’m certain will be seeing re-use for the rest of the male Space Rangers.  The paint work on this guy is pretty basic, but also pretty straight forward.  The application’s pretty cleanly rendered, following the overall improved trend of the last two main line assortments.  Andros is packed with two sets of hands (pointing/fist combo, and gipping), his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and an alternate unmasked head.  The unmasked head’s definitely one of the better ones we’ve gotten, with a more than passable likeness of Christopher Khayman Lee.  Notably, Andros includes no effects pieces for himself, a first for one of the Rangers in this line.  I can’t say I miss it *that much* but still notable.

ASTRONEMA

Oh wow!  Is that a non-Ranger antagonist from one of the non-MMPR shows?  That’s certainly a first!  …Okay, yes, I do know that she eventually served as a Ranger later down the line, but she’s not one here.  Don’t take this from me.  Everybody be cool.  Astronema is a character that kind of does a little bit of everything available for the Power Rangers mythos.  She’s the main villain for In Space, but ultimately follows the path of redemption, and even becomes a Ranger proper in the following incarnation of the the show, albeit for a brief time.  She’s also got that whole “sister of the Red Ranger” angle going on, and even gets to be brainwashed and crazy for a bit.  Astronema really just liked checking off all of the possible boxes, huh?  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  She’s using some of the parts from Ranger Slayer, with the upper torso, abdomen, upper arms, and lower legs overlapping between the two figures.  I had some issues with the ankle joints on Ranger Slayer, but on this release, they seem a lot more solid, and Astronema has far less issue staying standing.  She gets a new head, forearms, and add-ons for her torso armor and the strap on her leg.  The new head is definitely the star piece; it’s got a great likeness of Melody Perkins in the role, and specifically is based on her blue-haired appearance from episodes 26-29 of the show.  I sums up her general look from the show quite nicely.  The new forearm pieces have a lot of really great detail work going into them as well, and the torso armor is designed so that it can be removed, adding some variety to her potential appearances.  Astronema’s paint work is generally pretty decent, but has a few drawbacks.  The biggest issue is on the face; they’ve attempted to emulate some blush on her cheeks, but they’ve gone just a touch too intense with the coverage, making her look a little too clown-esque for my taste.  It’s not the worst thing ever, and it’s better than it looked on some of the prototype shots, but it could definitely look a bit better.  Otherwise, things aren’t too bad.  The edge of the silver on her waist is a little fuzzy, and there are a few spots on the armor that would certainly benefit from some extra accenting, but for the most part it looks pretty decent.  In terms of accessories, Astronema is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), her Wrath Staff, the boomerang looking thing she has on her leg, and an effects piece for her staff.  It’s a shame there aren’t any alternate heads with her differing hair.  We even saw a cyborg Astronema head when this figure was originally shown off, so clearly they planned for it.  Ultimately, I guess it just didn’t cost out.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Given how much of an In Space fan I am, it’s surely no surprise that I’ve been waiting to get more of them since this line launched.  Obviously, I was all in for an Andros, since I definitely want the main team, but I was also holding out at least a little bit of hope for an Astronema, given that she’s always been left out previously.  Getting both of them together?  That was bliss, honestly.  Sure, Andros is rather by the numbers, and Astronema could stand to have a couple of improvements, but ultimately I really like this set, and I look forward to a deeper In Space component for the line.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures to review.  If you’re looking for Lightning Collection, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2587: Psycho Rangers

IN SPACE PSYCHO RED, BLUE, BLACK, YELLOW, & PINK RANGERS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Remember yesterday, when I was talking about Power Rangers In Space, and how it’s my jam, man?  Well, that continues to be the case.  While the main team of Rangers from the show is just now starting to make their way into Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, we do already have one complete team of Rangers from the show, specifically the Psycho Rangers.  These evil counterparts of the main team were notably absent from the show’s tie-in toys at the time.  They eventually surfaced in Bandai’s Legacy Collection, but the line was cancelled before the whole team could be completed.  The Lightning Collection initially started out with seeming plans to release each Psycho Ranger individually, but then rather quickly threw in that towel and just dropped the whole darn team all at once.  So, uh, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Psycho Rangers were released as an Amazon-exclusive boxed set, as part of the Lightning Collection line-up, hitting towards the end of the summer of this past year.  Black, Yellow, and Pink are exclusive to this set.  The Red and Blue Psycho included in this set are indistinguishable from the prior releases, reviewed here and here, though there is also an effects piece included for Red’s sword, albeit one re-used from elsewhere in the line.

PSYCHO BLACK RANGER

Psycho Black was fortunate enough to be one of the ones Bandai got to, by virtue of being largely a parts re-use of the other male Psychos.  Hasbro’s version sticks with that, rather unsurprisingly.  He’s still 6 inches tall and he still has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation on this body, specifically the arms, is a bit on the limited side, but otherwise, I do really like this sculpt, and I certainly don’t have any issues with its re-use here.  Obviously, he swaps out the paint scheme, with the primary color accents of the least two being changed to black here.  I do appreciate that they kept the shinier finish to the accented parts, thereby keeping those parts from getting too lost in with the rest of the black on the costume.  Psycho Black is packed with his Psycho Rod, and two sets of hands in gripping and a fist/electrical effect combo pairing.  I’m bummed that he didn’t get an effects piece for his weapon, but it’s worth noting that his effect hand is actually a unique sculpt from the other two male Psychos.

PSYCHO YELLOW RANGER

Absent from Bandai’s attempt at the Psychos were both female members of the team, Psycho Yellow included.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation here is pretty similar to the male body, with the slight limitations on the shoulders and all.  The double elbows are swapped out for the universal joints, as is usually the case for female bodies, but no major posability is lost.  On my copy of this figure, there are a lot more loose joints, notably in the arms and the neck.  This means she struggles a bit with holding a pose and staying standing, but fortunately not as bad as some figures, but it’s still annoying.  While Black was a total re-use, Yellow, being female and all, is mostly new, apart from the helmet, which is identical for all of the Psychos.  The sculpt matches up well with the other version, and it means she slots in beside the other three team members just fine.  The paint on Yellow pretty much matches up with everyone else, with the accents changing to Yellow, of course.  Yellow is packed with the two sets of hands to match the male body’s and her Psycho Sling.  Again, no effects piece, which is a shame.

PSYCHO PINK RANGER

See what I wrote above, about Psycho Yellow?  Great, you can pretty much just swap the word “Pink” in there and you’re good to go.  Okay, maybe not quite, I guess.  The joints on my copy of Pink are a little tighter than on Yellow, so that makes her a slightly more easily used figure.  At the very least less frustrating.  Paint’s more or less the same, color change aside.  She gets the same hand selection as Yellow, plus her Psycho Bow.  Also, somewhat astoundingly, she gets an effects piece, the firing arrow that MMPR Pink and Ranger Slayer got.  I guess that’s not too bad.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As cool as the Psychos are, and as much of a fan of In Space as I am, I will admit that I was kind of cold on this set.  I was all prepped for picking them up one by one, and that’s why I’d gone and gotten Red and Blue.  I was waiting for the other three, so when they decided to drop the whole set of them all at once, it sort of felt anti-climactic.  Not helping things was the fact that Red and Blue are included again and are also completely unchanged for this round, meaning I was only actually getting three new figures in a set of five.  And, of course, one of those three new ones is a straight repaint, and the other two are the same mold as well.  It’s just a lot of sameness all in one go, I guess.  So, I opted not to jump right in on this set.  Max, on the other hand, did, but upon receiving them, was iffy on keeping them.  Since I’m a big In Space fan, and I did want to get them eventually, I was happy to take them off his hands.  Ultimately, the set’s fine.  Nothing amazing, and I still think spacing them out would have been better, but I’m glad I have them.  Now, I need to figure out what to do with the extra Red and Blue, I guess…

#2586: In Space Yellow Ranger

IN SPACE YELLOW RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

It’s not much of a secret around these parts that, when it comes to Power Rangers, Power Rangers In Space is kind of my jam, man.  I’ve been eagerly waiting for a solid plastic version of the team pretty much since the ’90s, if I’m honest.  Hasbro’s been trying to introduce at least one new Rangers line-up with each series of Lightning Collection, and they’ve finally come around to the inclusion of the Space Rangers.  As has become a trend for a lot of the line-ups, they aren’t starting with the Red Ranger (classically the obvious choice); instead, they’re going with Ashley Hammond, the Yellow Space Ranger, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Space Yellow is another piece of Series 6 of the Lightning Collection line-up.  As I touched on in the intro, she’s our first Space Ranger in the line (though not our first character from In Space, since we already got the whole Psycho Ranger line-up).  She’ll be joined shortly by Andros, who’s coming in a two-pack later this year.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Unlike the prior female Ranger I looked at, the articulation on Space Yellow is a bit closer to her male counterparts, and subsequently gives her a slightly easier time of standing.  I’m definitely okay with that.  Ashley is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on her show appearance.  Presumably, it will be more or less entirely shared with Cassie when they get around to her.  They won’t even have to change the skirt piece, since Cassie’s one of the handful of times that the original Japanese counterpart of the Yellow Ranger was also female.  The sculpt’s a pretty strong offering.  It’s appropriately sleek and clean, just as the Space Ranger outfits are supposed to be.  I particularly like how well the helmet’s turned out.  I felt the MMPR helmets ended up looking a touch off for this line, but the Space helmet looks spot on.  The paint work on this figure is pretty clean, and the application’s nice and sharp.  There’s minimal slop or bleed over, and as with Zeo Red, the figures are definitely better across the board in terms of paint consistency this time around.  In terms of accessories, Ashley keeps up with the slightly better standard we saw with Zeo Red.  She’s got two sets of hands (in gripping and a fist/flat combo), her Astro Blaster, Star Slinger, effects piece for the Slinger, and an unmasked head.  Again, I’m glad to see her get her Ranger-specific weapon here, and I like how well the hands work with the Slinger.  The unmasked head is…kind of rough.  It’s definitely not one of the better ones from this line, and it ends up making Tracy Lynn Cruz look a good deal older than she did on the show.  Still, it’s better than nothing, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in 2014, when I got the Figuarts version of the MMPR team, I was hoping for the chance to get the Space team in a similar quality.  When the Legacy Collection did the team, I gave it a try, but I just wasn’t impressed enough to spend the time trying to get the whole line-up.  I’ve been patiently waiting for the team to turn up in Hasbro’s line, and I was thrilled when Ashley was announced.  She’s another strong entry in the line, and I look forward to getting the rest of the team.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for Lightning Collection, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.