RED SPACE RANGER
POWER RANGERS: LEGACY (BANDAI)
When most people think “Power Rangers,” they think of the Mighty Morphin’ incarnation, which launched the show. That’s pretty fair, as it’s by far the most distinctive, and represents the franchise at its highest point in terms of popularity. I was born in ’92, so, while I still remember a little of Mighty Morphin’s original run, it’s not what I consider *my* Power Rangers. That would be the show’s fourth incarnation, Power Rangers In Space, which is actually pretty well-regarded in the community, and is widely considered the season that saved the show, following the less than stellar performance of Turbo. Unfortunately, nowadays, there’s very little product for any Power Rangers that aren’t either the current incarnation or the Mighty Morphin’ Rangers, meaning I’m mostly reliant on my old figures from the show’s original run. I’d love some Figuarts, but those are little more than a dream. Lucky for me, Bandai America is offering the next best thing, courtesy of their Legacy line. I picked up Andros, the Red Space Ranger, which I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Red Ranger is part of the second series of Power Rangers: Legacy. He’s one of the two In Space Rangers included in this set, with the other three figures hailing from Mighty Morphin’ (the rest of the main In Space Rangers are in Series 3, and the Silver Ranger is as of yet unannounced). Though the line has been touted as being about 6-inch scale and the figures are clearly designed to mimic Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, the Red Ranger stands 7 inches tall, placing these figures more in scale with the Masters of the Universe Classics or something from NECA. There’s no commingling with the Figuarts Rangers, that’s for sure. The figure sports 36 points of articulation, which is certainly an impressive count. The movement on the joints isn’t terrible, but there are some slight oddities on a few of the joints, which means it can take a fair bit of careful posing to make sure he doesn’t look a little mangled. Still, it’s a pretty major step-up from the last Banda America Ranger I looked at. In terms of sculpt, the US Rangers figures have always skewed the proportions a bit more to the side of super-heroic. This guy does some of that, but reigns it in a bit, resulting in a final product that is somewhere between the old figures and the actors in the suits. I don’t mind the look, and it’s consistent with all the others from the line so far. The sculpt is of varying quality. The helmet is by far the best work on the figure, and it’s a pretty much pitch-perfect recreation of the helmet from the show. The body is decent, but the articulation sticks out more than a little bit, especially on the hips and shoulders. The shoulders in particular feel like they’re set too far out from the torso, as if they got the length of the pegs off or something. Also, it would appear that the forearms have been reversed, which makes them look rather strange. By and large, he’s pretty solid, but there’s still some of that Bandai America flavor of “why would you do this?” In terms of paint, the Red Ranger is pretty straight forward. Everything is pretty basic color work; all the lines are nice and crisp and the colors are pretty much on point. For extras, Andros includes his trusty Galaxy Blaster, as well as the torso and head of the In Space Megazord. Bandai’s doing something slightly different with these figures and only packing corresponding Zord pieces with each Ranger (i.e. the Mighty Morphin’ Zord is only packed with those Rangers and so forth), meaning each Zord is spread over a minimum of two series. Time will tell how this works out for them, but the fandom seems rather split.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I caught the first series of this line several times, but I don’t really have any attachment to Ninja Storm and I’ve already invested in the Figuarts versions of the original team, so I passed. As soon as I learned the In Space figures would be part of the Series 2 line-up, I started looking out for this guy. He seems to have been the hottest figure in the set, at least initially. I finally tracked him down at my closest Toys R Us, back in January. Ultimately, the figure’s okay. I can’t say he’s fantastic, but he’s better than the usual Bandai America product. I’m holding out to hear if there’s going to be a Silver Ranger before committing to the rest of the In Space team, but I can see myself picking up the occasional figure from this line (especially the Series 4 Gold Ranger). If you don’t have the Figuarts stuff, I’d definitely recommend checking this line out. I think lack of comparison may do these guys some favors.