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.
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.
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.