#2182: Beast Morphers Gold Ranger

BEAST MORPHERS GOLD RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

So, the thing about Power Rangers is that the sixth rangers are always the coolest part of any given season of the show.  The other thing about Power Rangers is that the term “sixth rangers” refers to any of the additional rangers added after the start of the season…which means it might refer to the fourth or fifth ranger, in actuality.  Case in point?  Today’s “sixth” ranger, the Beast Morphers Gold Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beast Morphers Gold Ranger is part of the second series of Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, one of two Beast Morphers in the line-up, as well as one of two Sixth Rangers in the line-up.  He’s also the most currently relevant figure in the set, being very recently introduced in the show and all.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s sporting another all-new sculpt, which appears to be fairly faithful to the show.  I myself must admit to not having watched the show myself (I didn’t really keep up with things post Time Force), but he looks fairly accurate from what I’ve pulled up online.   The design is, in my opinion, one of the strongest of this particular iteration, and to my eye calls out a lot of similarities to Kamen Rider.  Similarities to Kamen Rider are never a bad thing, so that works for me. I’m not the biggest fan of the boots, but that’s just me being picky, I suppose.  The construction on the figure is mostly pretty solid, with just one overlay piece for his shoulder harness; it’s free-floating, which is better for the figure’s posability, so kudos to Hasbro for leaving it un-affixed.  The paintwork on this guy decent for the most part, though not completely without its issues.  The coverage on his visor is a bit inconsistent (and this was the better option of the two figures I had to chose from).  The other paintwork isn’t that bad, though, so the overall appearance is passable.  The Gold Ranger is packed with an unhelmeted Nate Silva head, his striker morpher in blaster mode, his striker saber, an effect piece for it, and two pairs of hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The thing about this Gold Ranger is that he’s not the one I wanted.  Like, I mean him no offense, but my favorite sixth ranger is the original Gold Ranger, you know, the one from Zeo.  That one was an SDCC-exclusive this year, and I therefore didn’t get it.  This one was announced shortly after, and prior to seeing the pictures, I had a brief glimmer of hope that he might be a quickly turned around re-issue.  Then this guy showed up instead.  And no, he’s not technically what I wanted, but that’s admittedly not his fault, and it doesn’t stop him from being a good figure either.

I grabbed the Gold Ranger from All Time Toys.  If your looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2169: Magna Defender

MAGNA DEFENDER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Upon its release, Power Rangers in Space was meant to serve as the franchise’s swan song.  The days of Mighty Morphin’ were behind them, and the likes of Turbo were quickly bleeding any remaining fanbase they may have had, so they decided to do one last series to wrap up the five years worth of running stories and give things a nice ending.  Unfortunately, it was a little too nice, and the end result was one of the most successful seasons of the show…with pretty much no set way for continuation.  Interestingly, while the first five years of Power Rangers had been one continuing narrative, the same was not true of the original Japanese material, where each season was a completely different show, unrelated to the prior season.  For In Space‘s followup Lost Galaxy, Saban decided to start following that model.  Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, the show which Lost Galaxy was adapting, was a nature-based series, while Saban was hoping to stick closer to the sci-fi success of In Space, leading to a bit of retooling.  Whatever the case, Lost Galaxy was a decent success in its own right.  It also had one of the franchise’s coolest sixth rangers, the Magna Defender!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Magna Defender is part of the second series of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, alongside Beast Morphers Red and Gold, and Mighty Morphin’ Pink.  He’s the first Lost Galaxy figure in the line, but was very quickly followed by Galaxy Red, who is in a two-pack that’s hitting shelves now.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation.  Magna Defender’s articulation and construction is pretty much the same as the rest of the figures we’ve gotten so far from this line, which I’d call a definite plus, seeing as the articulation design has a little bit more of a natural flow to it than The Black Series and Legends.  That said, while the other figures I’ve gotten from this line have made use of an underlying body with various overlay pieces, Magna Defender is a solid construction figure; all of his armor and such is sculpted right onto the body.  Ultimately, this works better for this particular design, so I really don’t mind that particular change-up.  Magna Defender’s sculpt is nicely rendered, and captures his distinctive knight-inspired armor from the show quite well.  I like the very slight texturing on the armored parts, as well as the clean, defined line-work.  It’s a shame that the cape isn’t actually removable, but I do rather like it myself.  Magna Defender’s paintwork is probably the most complex I’ve seen yet from this line, and it does it pretty well.  There’s not anything crazy going on, but they did get all of the different sections painted correctly, with little-to-no slop and no noticeably missing apps.  Magna Defender is packed with his Magna blaster in both sword/sheath mode and blaster mode, plus two different sets for working with both modes, and an effect piece for the blaster mode.  It’s a shame that with all of the extra heads we’ve been getting we didn’t also get an unmasked Mike head, but given that there were two Magna Defenders on the show and one of them was never seen unmasked, I guess I can let it slide.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Hasbro said that their Lightning Collection line would be focusing on sixth rangers, Magna was on the short list of characters I was hoping to see.  I was ecstatic to see him announced at SDCC, and thrilled that he arrived as quickly as he did.  He’s got a killer design and it translated into a killer figure.  This guy more than any other figure in the line has really sold me on these things, and I look forward to getting more kick-ass sixth rangers as we go along.

#2158: Goldar

GOLDAR

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Though not as unfortunate as the completely American creation Lord Zedd, as a villain, Goldar, originally named Grifforzer in Japan, wasn’t exactly rolling in action figures.  In particular, he was absent from all of the higher end offerings, which mostly meant there was no Goldar to go alongside Bandai Japan’s Figuarts version of the Mighty Morphin’ team.  Fortunately, he was pretty high on Hasbro’s radar when they took over the property.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Goldar is his own solo offering in the Lightning Collection line-up, offered up as GameStop-exclusive figure.  Though he ended up being the second proper exclusive to hit, he was the first to be announced and offered up for pre-order.  He was initially supposed to ship in October, but ended up arriving a bit ahead of schedule.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 42 points of articulation, which includes a fully articulated set of wings.  Goldar’s sculpt is a unique affair, and follows pretty closely with what Hasbro’s done so far stylistically.  He’s got a combination of solid construction on the body with some overlay pieces to properly get his full armored appearance, which allows for some pretty solid mobility.  Compared to Zedd, the overlays work out a bit better, holding to the figure more solidly than Zedd’s, resulting in a figure that feels less flimsy for the most part, especially when posing.  The sculpted work is pretty nicely detailed, with the best work being on his face and his wings, but even his armor exhibits some decent texture work.  If there’s one slight downfall to this figure, it’s the paintwork, or rather the general lack thereof.  In the figure’s defense, the end product is much better than I’d anticipated.  The big thing is that a good portion of his gold armor is molded plastic.  The thing about molded plastic is that colors like gold and silver don’t tend to look quite as good as painted plastic.  That said, a number of sections are actually painted, which helps maintain the illusion of proper gold.  Additionally, the gold plastic used isn’t quite as disappointing as I’d expected, especially when compared to the Legacy Collection Gold Ranger.  Goldar is packed with two different sets of hands, a sword, and a lightning effect to go over it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Goldar isn’t my favorite Power Rangers foe, but I still think he’s a cool enough dude that I wanted him as a toy, so I was on board for this figure as soon as he was announced.  Fortunately, Super Awesome Fiancee was kind enough to order one for me, originally as a birthday present, although it did end up being ever so slighlty delayed.  I wasn’t sure how I’d like him at first, but having gotten him in hand and played around with him for a bit, I have so say, I’m quite pleased with the final product.  Here’s to more releases like this!

#2111: Lord Zedd

LORD ZEDD

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“I am Lord Zedd, Emperor of all I see. You have failed to complete the mission assigned to you. I will now resume command. Prepare the planet for my return!”

For the second season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Saban decided that they wanted another big bad to pair off with the first season’s Rita Repulsa.  There was just one slight problem: no such character existed in the original Japanese material they were importing.  So, it was up to them to introduce their own.  Enter Lord Zedd, a villain so frightening that parental complaints led to him eventually getting toned down.  Given his US-based nature, Zedd’s been less lucky than the Rangers when it comes to action figures.  Fortunately for him, he was right at the forefront of Hasbro’s recently launched Lightning Collection.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lord Zedd is the second of the four figures that make up the first series of The Lightning Collection, designed to pair off with the White Ranger also featured in the assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Unsurprisingly, he follows the same basic construction-style as the White Ranger, which is a slight departure from the articulation schemes on Black Series and Legends, but is actually a very solid layout, and I’d wager it’s something Hasbro’s probably going to try to phase into their other lines as well.  Zedd is another all-new sculpt, as one would expect; there aren’t exactly a lot of characters that Zedd could share parts with.  It’s a pretty solid match for what we see in the shows, albeit adjusted ever so slightly to remove some of the “guy in a rubber suit” elements that the real Zedd possessed.  The star element is definitely the head, which capture’s Zedd’s distinctive visage quite nicely, and isn’t horribly under-scaled like the Bandai offerings tended to be.  The body is…a little less impressive.  They’ve followed the same lead they went with on the White Ranger, so he’s a base body with armored elements on top.  Not a terrible idea, and honestly much nicer looking than the solid-construction Bandai figures, but the add-on elements are a very soft plastic.  While this worked well for the White Ranger’s chest armor, on Zedd’s more piece-meal affair, it leads to some parts that are a little floppy.  On my figure, the leg guards pop out of place a lot, as do the wrist bands whenever you go to change the hands. Posing him is definitely not quite as much fun as it was with Tommy.  That said, he sure does look the part.  Aiding in him looking the part is the paint work.  The silver armored elements are a stark, clean silver, while the “flesh” elements get a wash to bring out all of the recesses of the body, doing a pretty solid job of capturing Zedd’s intimidating presence from the show.  Zedd is packed with two sets of hands (two open gesture, one gripping, one fist), his signature staff, a lightning effect piece, and a growth bomb.  Not a bad load out at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since acquiring my Figuarts Rangers, Zedd’s been at the top of my list.  He was pretty much off the table with Figarts, but with Hasbro taking over, I had renewed hope, and it paid off, because here he is.  Of course, I’m not the only one desperately waiting for a Zedd, and he’s the shortpack of the first assortment, so he’s by far the most difficult figure in the set to get ahold of.  I wasn’t able to get one from All Time’s first shipment, but lucked into one being traded into the store loose just a couple of weeks later.  He’s not as strong a figure as the White Ranger, and that’s only further punctuated by him having a lot more riding on him.  With that said, he’s unquestionably the best Zedd figure ever made (not that it takes much) and he is still a solid offering.

#2089: White Ranger

WHITE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Since it’s arrival on US shores in the mid-90s, Power Rangers merch has been produced by Bandai, who are generally the go-to for Japanese media that gets imported.  They’ve been doing that thing for like two decades, but admittedly started to falter as Power Rangers‘ reach grew outside of its original, younger demographic.  Bandai, or their American component at least, has never been one for the more collector’s oriented side of the toy world.  You know who’s actually pretty good at that, though?  Hasbro.  And Hasbro really wanted to make Power Rangers toys, apparently, and decided that the easiest way to facilitate that was to buy Power Rangers.  Not the license, the brand.  They officially took over at the beginning of the year, with their first products being for the latest incarnation of the show.  The big exciting thing, though, is their go at a collector’s line, dubbed The Lightning Collection.  I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, the White Ranger, or, if you’re my drunk best friend, the White Ragnar.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The White Ranger is the first of four figures in Series 1 of The Lightning Collection.  He’s clearly designed as the natural pairing to the Lord Zedd figure also featured in this same assortment.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The Lightning Collection is designed as a counterpart to Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series and Marvel Legends lines, so it’s scaled pretty similarly, kind of bridging the gap between the two of them.  But more importantly than that, let’s discuss the scaling relative to other Power Rangers lines.  The Figuarts and Legacy offerings were on opposite sides of the rather nebulous 6-inch scale, and kind of both off on their own.  This line definitely scales a lot closer to Figuarts.  They’re a little taller, but it’s close enough scaling that it’ll work more or less.  At the very least, this version of Tommy will fit in alright with the Figuarts releases of the main five Mighty Morphin’ guys.  Like the scaling, the styling of this figure’s sculpt falls somewhat between the two prior collectors lines.  While he’s definitely got a little more bulk to him than the Figuarts stuff, he’s nowhere near as crazy buff as the Legacy stuff was.  It’s actually a rather nice happy medium, and I think my favorite styling so far.  The sculpt on this figure is all-new, of course, and a pretty strong recreation of his design from the show, in a pretty realistic fashion.  The details aren’t quite as crisp as the Figuarts stuff, but that’s largely due to the slightly more rubbery plastic, which ultimately makes the figure feel a lot sturdier than those guys did.  I do miss the ability to remove the holster on the belt, like you could on the Figuarts, but beyond that, I like it a lot.  The White Ranger’s paintwork is decent overall, but I did encounter a number of issues from figure to figure when I was looking through them.  I picked the best of the bunch, and he still has a few issues, so there’s definitely some flaws to be had.  Overall, though, the issues I encountered were all pretty minor; I was just being picky.  The White Ranger was packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, the other in a karate chop/gripping combo, as well as his Saba Sword, an effect piece for the sword, and an un-helmeted Tommy head.  That’s quite an impressive accessory compliment, and I hope Hasbro can keep this up for future offerings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on the Figuarts White Ranger when he was released, so there was this White Ranger-shaped whole in my Power Rangers line-up.  I sort of filled in that spot with the 20th Anniversary Movie White Ranger, but it wasn’t quite the same.  When this guy was on the list for the first line-up, I was actually pretty excited and I’ve been waiting for this line to hit.  After being kind of let-down by the Legacy Collection, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from these, but I gotta say, I’m really happy with the end result.  He’s a little sturdier than a Figurarts, which makes him a lot more playable, but at the same time, he scales pretty well with them, meaning there’s less of a need to rebuy everything again.

I grabbed the White Ranger from All Time Toys, where he’s still available here.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.