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.