#2920: Lord Zedd & Rita Repulsa

LORD ZEDD & RITA REPULSA

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The central villain of the first three seasons of Power Rangers, and perhaps the franchise’s foe with the most iron-clad name recognition is Rita Repulsa.  Unfortunately, despite the franchise being as toy-driven as it is, Rita’s never been quite so lucky in the world of toys.  During the show’s original run, her figure never made it past the prototype stage, and when she finally did get a figure in one of the legacy sets many years later, it was a rather infamously bad offering.  Even in the Lightning Collection, a line generally kinder to villains, she’s stuck in an exclusive two-pack with a figure a lot of people already grabbed.  No respect…

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd are a GameStop-exclusive Power Rangers: Lightning Collection two-pack, released last fall.  Rita is an all-new figure who has as of yet not been planned for another release, while Zedd is almost identical to his single release.

RITA REPULSA

Let’s at least give Rita the courtesy of reviewing her first, shall we?  I mean, she is kind of the star attraction here.  It’s not like anyone was buying the set for Zedd.  No, it’s all about Rita.  Rita was originally completely sourced from Power Rangers‘ re-used Zyuranger footage’s Witch Bandora, portrayed by actress Machiko Soga, and overdubbed by Barbara Goodson.  When they ran out of Zyuranger footage in Season 2, Carla Perez was cast in the part for the new footage (still overdubbed by Goodson), with the reasoning in-universe being an attempt on Rita’s part to try and woo Zedd.  For the purposes of this figure, they’ve chosed to base her on Soga, which is probably the more distinctive of the two actresses, but is also amusing from a standpoint of Soga’s Rita never actually interacting with Zedd, since he was himself a wholly American creation.  All that said, the two looks really aren’t that drastically different, and really, it does make sense to go with the more commonly associated actress.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 34 points of articulation.  Rita breaks the traditions of what we’ve seen from this line so far and goes for a mixed media set-up for her outfit.  The dress is all cloth, presumably because it allows them to got the slightly cheaper route of re-using one of the female Ranger bodies underneath of it.  Beyond that, she gets a new head, chest piece, feet, hands, and bracelets.  The head is nice because it’s a properly expressive face for the character.  She’s very angry and is gritting her teeth, as she was quite prone to do on the show.  It’s a shame there’s not an extra head with a mad cackling grin, but I suppose that’s an option for perhaps a non-exclusive release down the line.  Rita’s paint work is generally alright.  There’s quite a lot of detailing on the face, which works out surprisingly well, and there’s some extra embroidering on the dress, which gets the proper patterning.  Rita gets quite an involved selection of accessories.  There are two sets of hands, as well as her staff, which make up the more general stuff.  Since the set is *technically* based on “The Wedding” (ignoring the whole “it’s the wrong actress” thing), she also gets her bouquet of flowers, the love potion she uses on Zedd, their wedding cake, and what I believe are supposed to be the Zeo crystals.  That’s actually quite a bit of stuff.

LORD ZEDD

Remember when getting a Lord Zedd was a cool novelty?  Boy, how’d they suck the joy out of this one?  Okay, I guess it’s not all bad. This figure is largely the same as the Series 1 release, just with a touch of extra paint on his hands and accessories.  Probably should have just included those details the first time around, right?  Maybe they could have tried actually chroming the armor.  Or even making it so the armor sits a little more securely.  As it stands, it feels kind of weak and lacking.  I mean, the new paint on the hands does look better and all, but still.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set being announced as a GameStop-exclusive came not too long after me officially swearing off supporting GameStop as a company, so I was definitely not about rushing out to buy this one.  Likewise, I wasn’t really in a hurry to drop a bunch of money just to get another Lord Zedd, since I already felt rather content with the first one.  I opted to play the waiting game, and it worked out, since one got traded into All Time just a few weeks ago, giving me an easier excuse to pick it up.  Zedd’s improvements are minor, but between the two, this is the one I’ll keep.  Rita’s certainly the star here, and while she’s not perfect, she is honestly pretty good.  Certainly the best Rita figure out there, and I do appreciate them giving her all the extras to help offset the cost.  Ultimately, I feel this set shouldn’t have been an exclusive, I think it should have been earlier in the line, and I think it should have been a debut for both characters contained, because that would have generally made it a little more appealing.  There are drawbacks to that, too, of course, but it just seems more sensible than what we ended up with.  Hopefully, Hasbro’s planning to give Rita another release on her own, so that fans aren’t forced to pay a premium and wind up with an extra Zedd.

#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.

#0711: Lord Zedd

LORD ZEDD

MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

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Remember yesterday’s discussion of US-exclusive looks from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers? Well, prepare to meet the king of the no-Japanese-counterpart brigade, Lord Zedd. Yes, one of Power Rangers’ coolest bad guys was not in the original source material. That seems almost criminal. Fortunately for Zedd, he hasn’t been as absent from toys as the movie-style Rangers, but it’s still kind of a big deal when he gets a figure with the same level of care devoted to him as the Rangers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

LordZedd2Lord Zedd was part of Bandai’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers 20th Anniversary line, which, like the movie line, was released exclusively at Toys R Us. Zedd was the line’s one non-Ranger. The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and has 17 points of articulation. Like yesterday’s White Ranger, his range of movement is hindered by his lack of some key joints, but this is a little less of an issue for Zedd, who did a lot of standing there looking menacing. Zedd’s sculpt was all-new to him, and it’s a decent enough sculpt. He’s a little devoid of texture, and he’s definitely got a bit of a pin-head thing going on, and his articulation is even more obtrusive than the White Ranger’s, but the overall sculpt is alright. What really ends up holding him back is the paint, which does the sculpt no favors. The lack of any sculpted texturing or fine detailing is only made more obvious by the straight, shiny colors. Rather than being a truly frightening, skinless monster, he’s just kind of this….red mess. It causes him to lose pretty much all of his menace, which really sucks, cuz that’s most of what Zedd’s got going for him. In addition, the silver paint is all over the place, with tons of bleed over, so it’s not even well applied! Zedd includes his signature Z-topped staff. It’s okay, but not great. It definitely feels too short, and it’s got this random bit in the middle where it’s just wider, for no real reason.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Zedd at the same time as yesterday’s White Ranger. He too was purchased by my far too supportive Super Awesome Girlfriend. I’d actually looked at this Zedd figure a few times before. Since he’s not in the Super Sentai stuff, it’s highly unlikely he’ll find his way into the SH Figuarts line, meaning this is likely the best we’re going to get. All-in-all, he’s not a bad figure, just kind of a mediocre one.

LordZedd3