#2449: Zeo Blue Ranger

ZEO BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

When it originally started over in the States, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was adapting footage from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger.  That was all well and good for the first season, since there was a whole season of equivalent footage to use.  However, when Season 2 came along, Saban opted not to adapt the follow-up, Dairanger, quite as directly, largely due to wanting to keep the Rangers with a consistent look for US audiences.  By the next season, Kakuranger, they came up with a story relevant reason for the new looks (being tied to the Alien Rangers, who replaced the de-aged Rangers).  When it came time for the next follow-up, they had thoroughly exhausted any and all Zyuranger footage, and even burned through the extra footage they’d commissioned, so for their fourth season, they gave up the ghost and decided to fully revamp the show for Power Rangers Zeo, which adapted the 19th Super Sentai series, Chouriki Sentai Ohranger.  Zeo is finally making its way into Hasbro’s Lightning Collection line proper, kicking things off with Rocky Desantos, the Blue Zeo Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zeo Blue is one of the four figures in Series 4 of The Lightning Collection.  Technically, he’s the second Zeo figure in the line, if you count the SDCC Zeo Gold from last year, but he’s the first at standard retail (a proper retail release of the Gold Ranger will be joining him in Series 5).  He’s also our second Blue Ranger in the line.  I’m always a fan of getting more Blue Rangers!  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  A surprising amount of this figure’s sculpt is new, if you can believe it.  I mean, I’m certain that, like, 90% of it’s going to get re-used for the other two male Zeo Rangers, but given how few new parts there were on Galaxy Red.  I was expecting to see a touch more re-use here.  As it stands, it looks like it’s just the upper arms, hands, and feet are shared with prior figures.  Everything else is new, and looks pretty spot-on to the show design.  As usual, the helmet’s really where the best work shows up, but I must admit, I was quite impressed by how ornate the detailing on the gold sections of the costume was.  It really gives the sculpt that extra pop, that I kinda felt was missing from, say, Galaxy Red. The paintwork on my Zeo Blue is pretty decent, but as with prior entries in this line, I had to check against a few different versions to check for the best paint.  As a whole, though, it does look like this assortment has less issues than prior releases.  Zeo Blue is packed with two sets of hands (in fists and gripping), his pod sword (with an energy effect), laser pistol, and an unmasked Rocky head.  While I’d love to see a little more variety in the weapon configurations, such as a collapsed version of the pod sword, or even a combined advanced Zeo Laser, this is a decent basic layout.  I’m still definitely a fan of getting the unmasked heads, and Rocky’s is sporting a pretty decent likeness as well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve discussed previously how In Space is “my Power Rangers”, but Zeo‘s kind of the one that actually got me into it, and was the show I had the most toys from.  Zeo Blue was actually my second Power Ranger, and I at the time still believed it was Billy under the helmet, before then erroneously believing it was Jason, because I knew it was the “former Red Ranger” and my mind hadn’t quite wrapped its head around Rocky as a character.  I was actually pretty happy to see him show up as the first regular retail Zeo release, so he was a day one figure for me.  I’m very happy with the final product, and look forward to getting the rest of the team in this style, hopefully sooner than later.

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.

#2347: In Space Psycho Blue Ranger

IN SPACE PSYCHO BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Hasbro’s collector’s toy lines seem to be really getting into the exclusives game across the board.  Though it’s relatively new, having only been running for a little under a year, The Lightning Collection has had its own handful, including not one, but two different exclusives for Gamestop (with a third on the way later this year).  Goldar was their first, and he got a lot of promotion, but by contrast, their second exclusive, Psycho Blue, pretty much just showed up one day.  And here he is now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Psycho Blue is, as noted above, a Gamestop exclusive piece of Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  He started hitting in small quantities back in November of last year, but appears to have really hit in full force just after the new year.  He’s either the first or the second of the Psycho Rangers from Hasbro, depending on how distribution in your area worked out.  Red was shown off first, and he’s the one I got first, so I’m counting Blue as number two. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  It’s not really surprising, but Blue is a total re-use of Red’s sculpt.  The costumes in the show were the same, so it’s a fairly sensible re-use, and one that Bandai did too when they released them.  It was a strong sculpt the first time I looked at it, and it’s still a strong sculpt here.  I do wish the range of motion was better on those shoulders, but that’s still my only complaint.  I’ll be content to buy this at least twice more for Black and Silver.  The figure is differentiated by his paint, which, unsurprisingly, swaps out the the red accents of the last one for blue.  I find myself preferring the blue overall, and its application seems a little cleaner on my figure.  Psycho Blue gets the same two sets of hands as Red, plus his Psycho Axe (the one new piece included here), and the White Ranger‘s effect piece, but in yellow this time.  I appreciate that they actually did give him one additional piece compared to Red, even if it’s just a re-used one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t find Blue in his initial shipments last year.  My first find was after the new year, and at the time Gamestop was trying to get $29.99 for him, which I was definitely not paying.  Fortunately, I came across him at another location a few weeks later, and he was now marked at a far more reasonable $18.99, at which point I quite happily picked him up.  There’s not much new here, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great toy.  Honestly, I like him even more than Red, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the team.

#2317: Lost Galaxy Red Ranger & In Space Psycho Red Ranger

LOST GALAXY RED RANGER & IN SPACE PSYCHO RED RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Following Power Rangers move from one overall narrative from Mighty Morphin’ into In Space, to the more one and done, self-contained approach starting with Lost Galaxy, the show still had the Super Sentai counterparts’ yearly team-ups with their predecessors for the prior year.  That meant that, in the midst of establishing a new universe for Lost Galaxy, they also were bringing back the last of the wider universe they’d wrapped up the prior year.  Alongside the returning heroic Space Rangers, we also saw the return of In Space‘s resident evil Rangers, the Psycho Rangers, who found new adversaries in the Galaxy Rangers.  Hasbro is paying homage to that in their latest two-pack, pairing Psycho Red off against Lost Galaxy‘s own Red Ranger.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Red Galaxy Ranger and Psycho Ranger are the second two-pack in the Lightning Collection line-up, hitting shelves about a month or two after the Green and Putty set I looked at yesterday.  They also starting hitting right around the same time as GameStop’s exclusive Psycho Blur figure, giving the Psychos a bit of jump start.

RED GALAXY RANGER

We got Lost Galaxy‘s sixth ranger in the second assortment of the main line, so getting the Red Ranger in rather quick succession isn’t much of a surprise.  It also introduces the Galaxy Ranger-specific tooling, clearly opening the door for the rest of the team.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s using the core Ranger parts, with his only truly unique parts being his helmet and belt, something we should all get comfortable with as Hasbro fills in more of the more basic-looking Ranger teams.  Both new pieces make for a decent match for the design from the show, and match pretty well with the already sculpted base body parts.  There’s not much to write about beyond that; he’s a pretty straight-forward, no frills design.  The paint work is respectable, but again follows that same basic model of the sculpt, being pretty straight-forward.  There’s a little but of fuzz on the edges of the changes from white to red, but other than that, things look pretty solid.  The Red Ranger includes an alternate unmasked Leo head (with a pretty solid likeness), two pairs of hands (in gripping and a fist/flat combo), the Quasar Saber in full-sized and compact modes, and a flame effect for the full-scale Saber.

RED PSYCHO RANGER

Evil Power Rangers aren’t an uncommon element for the franchise, but the Psycho Rangers are probably the most prolific, with ten television appearances under their belt, making them the natural choice for first Evil Rangers to get toy coverage.  Bandai was supposed to do a full set in their Legacy line, but ended up not completing them, so Hasbro’s giving it a shot.   Their starting with Psycho Red, who’s a fairly sensible starting point.    The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Psycho Red is an all-new sculpt, though I would imagine that a number of these parts are shared with Blue.  I can’t say for sure, because I’m not paying GameStop’s mark-up on that one, so it’s totally conjecture.  How dare I?  It’s a pretty nice sculpt, all things considered, and there’s a lot more going on with this sculpt than with Galaxy Red.  The poseability isn’t quite as free range as I’d like, especially on those shoulders, but for the most part it turned out very well.  Psycho Red’s paintwork is pretty solid.  Again, there’s a little more going on than with Galaxy Red, making him the slightly more visually interesting appearance.  Application is pretty clean for the most part.  There are some slightly sloppy points, but it’s nice looking overall.  Psycho Red is packed with his Psycho sword, and two sets of hands (one pair gripping, one pair fist/lightning effect).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Lost Galaxy is right as I started to fall out of Power Rangers.  I had a few of the original toys, and I love me some Magna Defender, but I don’t have any major connection to Leo.  He’s fine, but ultimately nothing much to write home about.  Psycho Red, being from In Space, my personal favorite incarnation, is right up my alley.  He’s got a few small issues, but is otherwise really cool, and the definite star of this set.  I look forward to getting the rest of this team, as well as some proper Space Rangers to fight them.

I picked these two up from my friends All Time Toys, and they’re still available here.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2316: Fighting Spirit Green Ranger & Putty Patrol

FIGHTING SPIRIT GREEN RANGER & PUTTY

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

At the beginning of 2019, Hasbro took over the Power Rangers brand, and got right to work producing their own line of 6-inch scale figures on par with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black Series lines.  They’ve been working to bolster their numbers within the line through any means necessary.  We’ve gotten three standard assortments, augmented by two three store-exclusive figures, an SDCC two-pack, and two wide-release double packs.  I’m looking at the first of those wide-release packs, Fighting Spirit Green Ranger and the Putty Patrol, today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Green Ranger and the Putty were the first Lightning Collection two-pack to hit shelves, initially showing up (in a small capacity, at least) in the late summer of last year.  They started hitting more in full force just before the end of last year.  Both figures are, of course, based on the Mighty Morphin’ incarnation of the show.

FIGHTING SPIRIT GREEN RANGER

Tommy Oliver’s other MMPR Ranger incarnation served as the backbone of the first standard assortment of the line, so I guess it’s appropriate that this one would anchor the two-packs.  This figure is officially dubbed the “Fighting Spirit Green Ranger” on the package, as he’s based on the Power Rangers: Dino Thunder episode “Fighting Spirit,” which see’s Tommy facing down three of his prior Ranger identities.  While the White and Red designs would go unchanged, the Green Ranger costume had some minor tweaks (which the fanbase was *so* forgiving of, of course…), and this guy reflects those. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  I’ve actually looked at most of this figure previously, when it was used for the Dragonshield Black Ranger, though this figure was *technically* released first.  Whatever the case, the two share all but their heads and belts with each other.  It’s sensible enough, given the similarities of the base costume designs, as well as the fact that the Dragonshield is cannonically the same piece between them anyway.  The new helmet is a solid recreation of Tommy’s green helmet, matching well stylistically with the other MMPR Rangers we’ve gotten so far from this line.  Sculpturally, the only thing that sets this guy apart from a proper MMPR Green is the belt, which has his dagger sheathed on the right hip, rather than the left.  Big change-up, I know.  The paintwork is where most of the changes between the two designs crop up, with the most prominent change being detailing the helmet’s crest in silver rather than leaving it green like on the original piece.  As much as it may be sacrilege, I don’t hate the extra detailing there; it adds a nice little pop to the helmet.  Beyond that, he’s got a couple smaller changes.  The belt buckle is silver, like the other five rangers, rather than his unique gold, and the sheath for the knife is white instead of black, again matching the holsters of the core five.  If you want to get really picky, the green’s a slightly more saturated shade as well, which can be seen in the comparison between the Figuarts and this guy at the end of the review.  The Green Ranger is just as well accessorized as any of the solo-packed figures, with an unmasked head (borrowed from the White Ranger), four hands, his dagger, his sword, and an effects piece for the sword.

PUTTY

As I discussed in my reviews of Zedd and Goldar, the Rangers villains don’t tend to get quite as much toy love from the Japanese side, and by extension seem to miss out on the best of the toys.  This was also true of the franchise’s original army builder, the Putty Patrol, who were a conspicuous absence from the Figuarts stuff.  Bandai’s American side did at least give them a little more coverage, but they always felt a little more phoned in than the Rangers themselves.  Fortunately, Hasbro seems committed to not phoning in the villains for their ownership of the line, and the Putty is finally joining Zedd and Goldar.  As with most toys of them, this Putty is sporting the more basic Season 1 appearance, from before Lord Zedd retooled them into his own force.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  The construction on this figure is actually largely shared with that of the core Ranger body.  For the most part, that’s pretty reasonable; they were all similarly build guys in spandex, so it’s not like there’s a *whole* lot different you can do.  That said, he does end up sharing his boots with the Rangers, which isn’t strictly speaking accurate, as they should sit lower and be less ridged for a proper set of Putty boots.  It’s quite minor, though.  He does get a new head, lower arms, and belt, though, which sure do help to sell the Putty-ness of the figure.  The head and hands both spot quite a nice selection of texture details which give him that real world feel.  The paint on the Putty is fairly monochromatic; they were just shades of grey on the show, and they remain shades of grey here.  It’s more or less accurate, although I suppose there are some spots where they could stand to have dialed up the differences in shades a little bit.  It’s really not bad, though, and the monochromatic nature does help those red eyes to really pop.  The putty is packed with hands in both standard hand configurations, as well as a blade/club combo, which gives you some options if you opt to army built.  He also includes an effects piece, which he borrows from the White Ranger.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I already had the Figuarts Green Ranger, so my Green Ranger in this scale was covered, meaning I didn’t *need* this set.  Of course, I like the Putty, and I’ve wanted a few of those for a while, which did leave me mighty conflicted on this set.  With the Green Ranger *technically* being a different version of the suit, it did make things a little easier, so once I was able to take a look at one in person, it wasn’t exactly a hard sell.  Ultimately, I think I still prefer my Figuarts Green overall, but this one’s still a lot of fun, and the Putty is definitely a cool figure that I hope Hasbro makes more of, because boy do I want to army build.

I picked up this pair from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2263: Dragonshield Black Ranger

DRAGON SHIELD BLACK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: THE LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is no stranger to toy coverage, and they’ve had action figures in all shapes and sizes.  For the purposes of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, the Mighty Morphin’ characters have had similar coverage in a similar style in the form of the Legacy Collection and Figuarts, making the Morphin’ characters an interesting proposition for the line, should Hasbro want to avoid making die hards double dip on the characters too soon.  They’re doing a respectable job of it so far, mixing them in one per assortment, with a few exclusive offerings to bridge the gap of releases.  These exclusives have all followed something of a common theme: the Dragon Shield, the distinctive armor worn by the Green Ranger.  There are a few instances of the shield being passed to other Rangers, so the Red Ranger got his version in a SDCC two-pack, and now the Black Ranger is getting his due courtesy of a Walgreens exclusive.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Dragon Shield Black Ranger is the first Walgreens-exclusive for The Lightning Collection.  Given Hasbro’s current relationship with Walgreens, it seems unlikely that it will be the last.  The figure is based on Zack’s time wearing the Dragon Shield from the episode “An Oyster Stew”.  It’s notable because this concept is one of the ones introduced by the “Zyu2” footage, which was the additional suit footage commissioned exclusively for Mighty Morphin’, and not present in the original Zyuranger series.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has  34 points of articulation.  Construction-wise, he shares a good deal of his parts with both the Red and Green Rangers, sensible given how close the designs all are.  It follows the established style of the Lightning Collection so far, being ever so slightly bulkier than the Figuarts stuff, but generally more relalistic than anything Bandai America put out.  Zack gets a new helmet and, rather surprisingly, a new belt.  The helmet is as nice a recreation of the show design as any of the helmets so far from the line.  The belt is a real shock, because it’s definitely an area where they could have just gone with a painted emblem to differentiate the rangers, but they instead have sculpted in the proper emblem.  That’s actually pretty impressive.  The paintwork on the figure is about par for the course.  It gets all the basics done, and generally looks pretty solid on my figure.  Zack is packed with his Power Blaster, Power Axe, an extra set of hands, a blast effect, and an unmasked head, which sports a pretty decent likeness of Walter Jones, though it’s perhaps not as spot on as some of the modern rangers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been mostly avoiding the main Morphin‘ Rangers from this line, since I’ve already got the Figuarts line-up, so I was initially planning to skip this one.  However, I swung by Walgreens while looking for the Clone Wars Obi-Wan and saw this guy and he proved too hard to resist.  It helps that he’s not just the standard Black Ranger, so I don’t feel quite as bad about double-dipping.  This is a pretty solid release, and a pretty smart choice not just for an exclusive, but also for Zack’s first inclusion in the line, since it’s more likely to be picked up even by those that have Zack in another form.

#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.

#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.

I got this guy from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#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.