#3010: Blue Ranger

BLUE RANGER

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (THREEZERO)

Oh man, I haven’t reviewed any Power Rangers since last year!  …get it?  Because we’re only two weeks into the–okay, yeah, it’s not that funny, I guess.  Also, it’s a joke I’ve already pulled once.  So, you know, there it is, I guess.  Look, I’m not proud of it either, okay?  Let’s just get to the actual review, I guess.  As far as Rangers reviews go, the original incarnation, Mighty Morphin, has become a bit rarer around here, what with me having already gotten the whole core team in my preferred scale some time ago.  I do have a soft spot for the Blue Ranger, of course, so that does leave me more avenues to review the occasional release here and there.  While we’re here and there, ThreeZero has recently picked up the license for the purposes of some 1/6 scale figures, which includes my boy Blue, so I’m taking a look at their take on him today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Blue Ranger was released at the same time as the other five Rangers in ThreeZero’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers line, hitting late last fall.  He and the others were available both as single releases and in one boxed set for the whole team.  Obviously, mine’s the single release, but the actual figures are the same between the two styles of box.  The figure stands just shy of 12 inches tall and he has over 30 points of articulation.

In true 1/6 form, the most prominent piece of sculpting here is the head, or in this case more specifically the helmet.   Blue’s triceratops-inspired helmet is nicely recreated here.  It’s not quite a perfect match for the on-screen helmet, but it gets all of the elements, and it’s pretty close.  It’s quite sleek in its implementation, and the sculpting is all properly clean and sharp in its detailing.  The paint work is likewise clean and sharp.  The extra panel lining on the edges isn’t strictly show accurate, but at this scale it helps to make the sculpted elements pop a bit more, which is a plus.  The overall finish of the helmet is glossy, in proper fashion for how it looked in the show…most of the time, anyway.  There’s no alternate unmasked head included with these releases, which is on one hand a slight letdown compared to other 1/6 stuff, but on the other hand totally understandable given how much lower the price point is on these figures compared to others on the market.

In contrast to my last two ThreeZero reviews, where the figures were fully sculpted, and a mix of plastic and diecast parts, the Rangers are more classic 1/6 scale figures, making use of cloth costumes with plastic accents and underlying body.  It’s appropriate, what with all the spandex involved with the actual costumes and all.  The main suit is a spandex-like material, which scales well to the body and is generally well-tailored to match.  Obviously, some of the stitching is a little larger than it should be, but not by much.  The metallic finish on the material matches the original Sentai costume, and is just overall very sleek looking, which I’m all about.  The white elements are applied via a rubberized paint, which is clean, sharp at the edges, and offers consistent coverage.  The belt piece is a mix of cloth and plastic, with the main belt being a pleather like material, and the buckle being plastic.  The back of the belt is a little bit rudimentary in its design, but otherwise the piece works well.  The cuffs for the boots and gloves are sculpted plastic parts.  They’re nicely fitted to the body, and help to further keep the costume in place, as well as maximizing the posability on the wrists and ankles.

The body under the suit is clearly designed for function over form, as you would hope for this style of figure.  It shapes well under the suit, but is largely built for being well articulated.  There’s a rubbery sort of a padding on the mid section for more proper shaping, which does its job nicely.  The articulation is a little stiffer than I’m used to at this scale, but that makes it more practical for holding poses.  It just takes some getting used to hearing the joints make a rather noticeable squeak every time you pose them.  All things considered, this body certainly competes well with the top end of 1/6 scale bodies, which is a definite plus.

The Blue Ranger is pretty decently accessorized.  He includes 4 pairs of hands, his Power Lance, and the Blade Blaster.  The hands are great for all manner of poses, giving you a lot of options.  The Lance and Blaster are notable for actually being fully transformable.  The Lance can be used in the separate dagger forms, as well as combined, and full extended.  Likewise, the Blade Blaster is capable of all three of its forms, in one piece, rather than three separate versions like we tend to see.  The weapons getting their full compliment of set-ups was actually a pleasant surprise for me, as I’d fully expected them to just be in their collapsed forms, since that was how the Figuarts release handled things for all the non-Reds.  Ultimately, the combined form on the Lance is a little wobbly, but it’s still cool that the functionality is actually there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

ThreeZero has been a rather pleasant discovery for me in the last year.  I really liked both of the prior offerings I’d grabbed, and when I saw this guy go up for order, I was definitely down to at least give him a try.  I was expecting him to be a passable figure at least, but at the price point, I wasn’t expecting him to be nearly as impressive as he wound up being.  For less than half of the price of your average Hot Toy, you get a figure that’s maybe not *quite* the same quality and is a little lighter on the accessories, but it’s not as much of a gap as you might think.  This is another win for ThreeZero as far as I’m concerned, and they certainly have my attention for future releases.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2999: In Space Silver Ranger

IN SPACE SILVER RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Okay, when I reviewed Zeo Gold, I may have been a little overzealous in calling him the greatest Power Ranger ever.  And why is that?  Because I may have been overlooking this guy, Zhane, aka the In Space Silver Ranger, Power Rangers In Space‘s resident Sixth Ranger.  Because, the thing is, Zhane?  He’s pretty darn cool.  Possibly the coolest.  And I’m down for that.  And now he’s got this brand new figure from Hasbro’s current run, which I definitely a win as far as I’m concerned.  So, let’s explore this win just a little bit further, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Silver Ranger is a Walgreens-exclusive release from Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, with limited quantities available through Hasbro Pulse as well.  Thus far, only the Pulse quantities have shown up.  As with yesterday’s Andros, this figure’s release is a bit wonky, since we saw him before Hasbro had officially announced him, and then he showed up on Pulse with no actual quantities, before finally being put up for order, with an actual in-stock status.  Zhane is either the fourth or fifth of the Space Rangers to make it to release, depending on if you count the small quantities of Blue that have made it out as an actual release.  Whatever the case, it’s notable because it’s the first time Zhane hasn’t been the last member of team by a large margin.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s using the same construction as the other male Space Rangers.  It’s a consistency thing, really, and at this point, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  He does get a new belt piece, which has been tweaked to remove the holster.  Otherwise, it’s the same basic piece.  The colors are where the real changes occur, since he’s now, well, silver.  Unlike the others, it’s more than just swapping silver for the main color, since Silver gets a whole different selection of accent colors as well.  They’ve gone for more of a toy style to the colors, since his suit is actually silver, rather than a flatter shade than the helmet as it was in the show.  It’s a slightly more intriguing design in toy form, so I get the choice.  The silver is molded plastic, rather than paint.  It doesn’t look quite as slick, but it will probably hold up better over time.  Zhane is packed with an unmasked head (which looks a lot better in person than I’d expected), two sets of hands, his Super Silverizer in both blaster and blade configurations, and an effects piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In Space Silver is at the very least tied with Zeo Gold for my favorite Ranger, so I was very anxious to see him show up in this line, especially after he got left out of Bandai’s Legacy Collection.  When he was shown off in-hand with no announcement, I was worried about him being an exclusive, and sure enough, there he was.  Fortunately, I had Max in my corner on this one, and he was able to help me snag one through the Pulse order window.  I’m very thrilled to have this figure in-hand, and I’m very happy to have a decent In Space Silver.

#2998: Andros

ANDROS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The continuing narrative of the first six years of Power Rangers, and its conclusion in Power Rangers In Space allowed for a slightly different structure to the show’s first episode.  Since most of the team had already been introduced in the preceding season, the show places its main focus on the one new member of the team, Andros, the season’s Red Ranger.  We first encounter him on a recon mission spying on a gathering of villains from prior seasons, which requires him to have a more incognito appearance, at least at first.  It’s a design that has as of yet not gotten any toy coverage, but Hasbro’s addressing that here, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Andros in Disguise is a Target-exclusive one-off release for Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection.  Or he’s at the very least an exclusive to Target for now.  It’s a slightly confusing situation, as has been the case with a handful of releases from Hasbro recently.  Photos of him showed up with no official announcement, and then Hasbro themselves showed him off, but with no actual mention of release plan, and no mention of any exclusive status.  And then he just showed up on Target’s website, and was very quickly in-stock, making the whole thing a rather surprisingly quick turn around.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, his actual sculpt is identical to Andros in his Red Ranger gear (and all of the other male Space Rangers, for that matter).  It’s a sculpt that gets the job done, and it matches up with the other Andros, so it makes sense.  The main structural change up is the addition of a cloth robe piece for him.  It kind of looks like a bath robe, which I don’t really think is the intended appearance.  It’s a little goofy looking, especially in the photos, but I’ll admit it looks a fair bit better in person than I’d expected it to, and actually holds shape pretty well.  Even the velcro on the front stays secure, which isn’t always a guarantee.  The color work on this guy is another notable change up. Technically, in the show, he’s just wearing his usual Red Ranger gear under the cloak, but it’s shot in a way that hides it in the shadows.  To simulate this, Andros is wearing all black this time.  It’s an interesting look, and the presence of extra gold accenting, especially the insignia on the front, makes it feel like this is an established design from elsewhere.  That being said, I don’t know specifically where, and my brief searching on the internet hasn’t turned anything up.  So, I guess it’ll just remain a mystery.  It certainly looks cool, though.  Andros is packed with two heads, one helmeted (and in all-black to match the main figure), and one unhelmeted (re-used from the prior release), as well as two sets of hands, his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and effects pieces for both weapons.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is an odd release, and certainly not one I really thought I would need.  That said, In Space is my favorite incarnation, and there’s very little I wouldn’t buy from it.  So, this guy was certainly on my radar, not that I was in a rush or anything.  Max actually wound up ordering one online, before managing to find one in store.  Since he didn’t need two, he was kind enough to set me up with the spare.  He’s not essential, and it’s not like he really does anything new, but he’s a rather fun one-off variant.

#2922: Lost Galaxy Blue Ranger

LOST GALAXY BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

I go back and forth on my favorite Rangers from a given season of Power Rangers, generally finding myself most enjoying the changes of dynamic that the sixth ranger brings along.  Of the core team, however, my initial connection to Billy, the original team’s Blue Ranger, has always given me a little bit of affinity for the Blue Ranger of any given line-up.  The Blue Rangers do have a tendency to be the unsung heroes of any given season, being pretty central most of the time, but also just shy of being the most central.  What I’m getting at is, really, where’s my “Forever Blue” crossover?  Seems like a missed opportunity.  Well, I’ll just build my own crossover.  With blackjack!  And….okay, actually, forget all that.  I guess I’ll just stick purely with the Rangers.  Anyway, while we’re on the topic of Blue Rangers, let’s look at another one, specifically Kai Chen from In Space‘s follow-up, Lost Galaxy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lost Galaxy Blue Ranger is another figure from the ninth standard assortment of Lightning Collection.  He’s the third Galaxy Ranger in the line, and the second of the core team members, following Red back in late 2019.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s, unsurprisingly, largely the same as the Red Galaxy Ranger.  Kai’s another rather average sized person, and the elements were shared between the Ranger costumes in the show, so it makes a degree of sense.  Kai does get a brand new helmet sculpt, which does a nice job capturing his gorilla-themed helmet from the show.  Otherwise, it’s pretty standard issue stuff, and it all works just as well as it has all of the other times.  Kai’s paint work more or less matches up with the Red Ranger in terms of how it works, just with blue in place of the red.  He does get a fair bit more detailing on his helmet design, which is cool, but he’s also still got the slight fuzziness on the transitions from white to blue, like Galaxy Red.  Galaxy Blue is packed with an unmasked head for Kai (sporting a pretty strong likeness), two sets of hands (one set gripping, the other fist/flat combo), the Quasar Saber in both forms, his Transdagger in Cosma Claw form, and a lightning effect for the saber.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I do really like Blue Rangers, and I was still kind of in on the Power Rangers thing for Lost Galaxy, but I didn’t really ever have much of an attachment to Kai, for whatever reason.  I think I was just distracted by the awesomeness that was Magna Defender.  But, if I’m game on this whole Forever Blue thing, Kai’s kind of necessary.  He’s honestly not bad.  Pretty straight forward and by the numbers, but I do like him just a bit more than Galaxy Red, so that’s cool.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2921: In Space Black Ranger

IN SPACE BLACK RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

When it comes to Power Rangers, there’s not much I love more than Power Rangers In Space, the show’s sixth season.  It hit at just the right time for me to catch most of it first run as a kid, and it’s also just genuinely one of the show’s best seasons, all things considered.  As a kid, I never did get the whole line-up in toy form, but I’ve always wanted them, and now, as an adult, that’s something I can more genuinely work on.  Lightning Collection has been doing a pretty alright job for the team, with three members already released, two more already in the pipeline for release, and the sixth showing up somewhere as of yet unrevealed.  Boy, I do sure hope he’s not an exclusive.  That sure wouldn’t make me so happy.  Don’t make me not happy, Hasbro.  Before I descend into madness anymore, let’s look at the latest addition to the In Space line-up, Carlos Vallerte, aka the Black Space Ranger!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In Space Black Ranger was released in the 9th standard assortment of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: Lightning Collection.  He’s the third Space Ranger to join the line, and is one of two Zordon Era figures in this particular assortment, the other being the Tenga Warrior from Mighty Morphin’.  Carlos follows in his predecessor Adam’s footsteps, with his first figure in the line being his second Ranger incarnation, and also his second Ranger color, since, in a reverse of Adam, Carlos began as a Green Ranger and switched to black in his second season, when the Japanese footage changed over.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Carlos’s mold is a total re-use of the one that we saw used for Andros, which makes total sense, since the male rangers were all pretty close in build, and this was one of the few seasons where the only differences on the helmets were painted.  It was a good mold the first time around, and it’s still a good mold here.  The paint obviously changes things up, swapping the red of the first figure for black, as well as changing the shaping on his visor, and adding the extra lining around the black dome on the helmet, since, well, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it.  Carlos is packed with an alternate unmasked head, as well as two sets of hands (gripping and a fist/open gesture combo), his Lunar Lance, Astro Blaster, and an effects piece for the lance.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Completing the In Space team is pretty much the top of my list when it comes to this line, so I’ve been mad hype about each successive figure announced.  I’ve always had something of a soft spot for Carlos in particular, so him being a relatively early addition to the line-up was very cool.  Sure, there’s not a ton of new going on here, but he still works very well, and each additional figure just really makes the whole team dynamic work just a little bit better.  Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to get the rest of the team?

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#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.

#2741: Zeo Green Ranger

ZEO GREEN RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The color thematics of the core Power Rangers teams for the show’s early run (and, in turn the runs of the Sentai shows that Power Rangers was adapting) generally followed a pretty established pattern.  The starting team of five always included red, blue, yellow, and pink, but the fifth color would typically bounce back and forth between either black or green (and early on, the sixth ranger would frequently sport a costume predominately made up of whichever of those two wasn’t already in play).  When the show was still attempting to keep a running narrative and share some of the same rangers between seasons, this meant that we wound up with situations like Adam Park, the second MMPR Black Ranger, becoming the Zeo Green when the footage switched over.  Pretty nifty!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zeo Green is part of the 8th main line assortment of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: Lightning Collection.  He marks our fourth of the Zeo Rangers, following Red, Blue, and Gold.  Just waiting on the girls now.  This figure also marks our first non-Tommy Green Ranger, as well as our first non-sixth ranger Green Ranger.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Surprising no one, Zeo Green is predominately made up of the same parts as both Zeo Red and Zeo Blue.  I did note that this time around, the arms seem to have an easier time sitting flush with his sides, as opposed to their slight tendency to stick out on prior versions.  He gets a new helmeted head sculpt, which follows the same general set-up as the prior ones, but swaps out their respective visor shapes for Adam’s rectangular visor.  Truly his was by far the most sensible of all the Zeo visors.  Zeo Green’s paint work follows the trend set by Zeo Red, being rather clean, even given some of the more lax paint on a few other Hasbro figures recently.  The colors are nice and bright, and that green really pops.  Zeo Green is packed with two sets of hands (one gripping, one in fists), his pod sword, laser pistol, an unmasked Adam Park head, a blast effect for the pistol, and his Zeo IV Power Axes.  At this point, I’ve accepted that we’re not going to be getting the collapsed version of the pod sword, at least with the standard releases of these figures, so I’m deciding to not let that bug me.  Beyond that, the Adam Park head is probably the best of the Zeo-era likenesses we’ve gotten so far, so that’s nice.  It’s also nice that he included his Power Axes, though it does make it more glaringly obvious that Rocky didn’t get his own power weapon, now that both Tommy and Adam have gotten theirs.  Perhaps Rocky’s weapon can get packed in with someone else?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Adam, specifically as the Zeo Green Ranger, is a rather important piece of Power Rangers for me, less because of anything to do with the show directly, and more because Zeo Green was my very first Power Rangers toy, back in the day.  The summer Zeo came out, my grandmother bought a batch of figures for the each of the grand children to have one while we were on vacation together.  My cousins had already claimed Red and Blue by the time I got there, so Green was the one waiting for me.  At the time, I wanted blue more, but I was honestly happy with anything.  Over the years, I’ve come to have an appreciation for Adam as a character, and I was definitely looking forward to this guy.  He’s probably my favorite of the basic Zeo Rangers so far.

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.

#2689: Pumpkin Rapper

PUMPKIN RAPPER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Ooh, you Rangers make me mad, waking me up with a rap that bad!”

Hey, did you know that Power Rangers launched in the ’90s?  I know, that’s crazy.  It’s so easy to forget, what with there being no notable clues about the decade contained within the show, in any way that might date it and make it really zany and hokey when you look back on it.  None at all.  Just devoid of that sort of thing, right?  Now, let’s discuss this action figure of a rapping pumpkin monster, so wonderfully named “Pumpkin Rapper.”  Truly a timeless creation, this one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Pumpkin Rapper is part of the inaugural assortment of the “Monsters” spin-off line of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection line, alongside fellow MMPR monster King Sphynx.  Since he was a Zyu2 creation, Pumkin Rapper wasn’t privy to a toy tie-ins at the time of the show’s airing, since no molds already existed for him.  Because of this, this guy’s the first proper figure treatment Pumpkin Rapper has gotten, which is pretty nifty.  The figure stands 7 1/2 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme for this guy is essentially the same as the standard Rangers, with the exception of the neck joint, which is a balljoint connected to a cut joint.  It’s a kind of odd design, and means the head has a tendency to come off a lot, but it does give him a good range of motion on the head.  So, it’s ultimately a decent trade off all things considered.  His sculpt is an all-new one, and it’s a pretty solid translation of the suit from the show.  The head sculpt is definitely the coolest part, and really does the mask from the show justice.  The body suit gets the proper quilted pattern as well, and adds a nice bit of variety and texture to the sculpt.  When it comes to the paint, Hasbro definitely put in some effort on this guy, but still does wind up coming up a bit short on some elements.  They’ve added some accenting to both the head and the collar, in order to bring out some of the sculpted details.  Largely, this works out okay, but on the head in particular, it feels like he could really use some darker detailing on the eyes, because they have a tendency to get a little lost as is.  It’s also a little jarring that there’s accenting on the head and collar, but nowhere else.  It makes him look a touch uneven.  Pumpkin Rapper has a decent selection of accessories, including two sets of hands (gripping and an open/fist combo), two different vine whips, an effects piece, and three smaller pumpkins.  The pumpkins are definitely a lot of fun, thanks to the inclusion of a socket compatible with the standard Ranger neck joints.  It makes for some amusing display options to be sure!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I only caught the occasional episode of MMPR when they were airing, and mostly in the syndication re-runs or the odd VHS copy from Blockbuster, so I didn’t see Pumpkin Rapper’s debut episode as a kid, but he’s one of those designs that just really feels very classic MMPR, and as I’ve gotten back into Power Rangers stuff as an adult, he’s very definitely one of those Monsters that I’ve really come to appreciate.  So, when they announced they would be doing some monsters, and that he’d be in the first round, I was definitely on board for it.  Ultimately, he’d benefit from a slightly improved paint job, but overall this is a very fun release.  I look forward to other figures in this set.

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.

#2688: In Space Red Ranger vs Astronema

IN SPACE RED RANGER VS ASTRONEMA

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Hitting the airwaves in 1998, Power Rangers In Space was, as noted previously on this site, kind of my jam.  I was six at the time, and that made me very much in the right target audience at the right time.  With the show being my jam and all, I had some of the toys as a kid, but I’ve been waiting to get some proper updates for a good while now.  I’m still kind of waiting, but at leas there’s been *some* progress made, because Hasbro is slowly feeding the show’s cast into their Lightning Collection line.  We’ve already gotten the whole Psycho Rangers line-up, as well as our first member of the main cast, the Yellow Ranger, Ashley Hammond, but now we’re getting both the team leader and Red Ranger Andros and the show’s main villain (who is also secretly Andros’ long-lost sister…spoilers) Astronema, in one convenient two-pack!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The In Space Red Ranger and Astronema make up one half of the second assortment of two-packs for The Lightning Collection, the other being the SPD A and B Squad Blues.  It follows the thus far established versus trend of the two-packs (well, the main release ones, anyway).

IN SPACE RED RANGER

Andros is clearly following in the footsteps of Galaxy Red, placing the team’s leader in a two-pack shortly after getting another team member in the main line.  It’s admittedly mildly surprising for him to show up in a two-pack first, but given Galaxy Red’s also getting a single release later this year, I’d imagine we’ll see a single release Andros sooner than later.  Hopefully they’ll at least give us a few other members of the team first.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, there’s not a ton of new stuff here, which I suppose isn’t a huge shock.  He’s using the basic core Ranger body, with his own helmet and belt pieces added in.  Andros is definitely one of those times that I feel the standard body is just a touch too bulky for the character, but it’s not terribly far off, I suppose.  The new helmet piece matches up nicely with Ashley’s in terms of design, and is likewise a pretty good match for the helmets as seen on the show.  The belt is likewise a pretty decent piece, and one I’m certain will be seeing re-use for the rest of the male Space Rangers.  The paint work on this guy is pretty basic, but also pretty straight forward.  The application’s pretty cleanly rendered, following the overall improved trend of the last two main line assortments.  Andros is packed with two sets of hands (pointing/fist combo, and gipping), his Spiral Saber, Astro Blaster, and an alternate unmasked head.  The unmasked head’s definitely one of the better ones we’ve gotten, with a more than passable likeness of Christopher Khayman Lee.  Notably, Andros includes no effects pieces for himself, a first for one of the Rangers in this line.  I can’t say I miss it *that much* but still notable.

ASTRONEMA

Oh wow!  Is that a non-Ranger antagonist from one of the non-MMPR shows?  That’s certainly a first!  …Okay, yes, I do know that she eventually served as a Ranger later down the line, but she’s not one here.  Don’t take this from me.  Everybody be cool.  Astronema is a character that kind of does a little bit of everything available for the Power Rangers mythos.  She’s the main villain for In Space, but ultimately follows the path of redemption, and even becomes a Ranger proper in the following incarnation of the the show, albeit for a brief time.  She’s also got that whole “sister of the Red Ranger” angle going on, and even gets to be brainwashed and crazy for a bit.  Astronema really just liked checking off all of the possible boxes, huh?  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  She’s using some of the parts from Ranger Slayer, with the upper torso, abdomen, upper arms, and lower legs overlapping between the two figures.  I had some issues with the ankle joints on Ranger Slayer, but on this release, they seem a lot more solid, and Astronema has far less issue staying standing.  She gets a new head, forearms, and add-ons for her torso armor and the strap on her leg.  The new head is definitely the star piece; it’s got a great likeness of Melody Perkins in the role, and specifically is based on her blue-haired appearance from episodes 26-29 of the show.  I sums up her general look from the show quite nicely.  The new forearm pieces have a lot of really great detail work going into them as well, and the torso armor is designed so that it can be removed, adding some variety to her potential appearances.  Astronema’s paint work is generally pretty decent, but has a few drawbacks.  The biggest issue is on the face; they’ve attempted to emulate some blush on her cheeks, but they’ve gone just a touch too intense with the coverage, making her look a little too clown-esque for my taste.  It’s not the worst thing ever, and it’s better than it looked on some of the prototype shots, but it could definitely look a bit better.  Otherwise, things aren’t too bad.  The edge of the silver on her waist is a little fuzzy, and there are a few spots on the armor that would certainly benefit from some extra accenting, but for the most part it looks pretty decent.  In terms of accessories, Astronema is packed with two sets of hands (fists and gripping), her Wrath Staff, the boomerang looking thing she has on her leg, and an effects piece for her staff.  It’s a shame there aren’t any alternate heads with her differing hair.  We even saw a cyborg Astronema head when this figure was originally shown off, so clearly they planned for it.  Ultimately, I guess it just didn’t cost out.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Given how much of an In Space fan I am, it’s surely no surprise that I’ve been waiting to get more of them since this line launched.  Obviously, I was all in for an Andros, since I definitely want the main team, but I was also holding out at least a little bit of hope for an Astronema, given that she’s always been left out previously.  Getting both of them together?  That was bliss, honestly.  Sure, Andros is rather by the numbers, and Astronema could stand to have a couple of improvements, but ultimately I really like this set, and I look forward to a deeper In Space component for the line.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with these figures 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.

#2627: Mighty Morphin Z Putty

MIGHTY MORPHIN Z PUTTY

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Late last year, Hasbro put out a couple of two-packs for their Lightning Collection line, one of which paired fan-favorite Green Ranger Tommy Oliver off against one of the fan favorite minions, the Putties.  It was a pretty popular set, but packing an army builder in a two-pack with a non-army builder doesn’t make for very easy army building.  Hasbro addressed this twice, first with a Hasbro Pulse-exclusive pair of Putties, and now with a variant Putty actually getting a main line release.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Mighty Morphin Z Putty is part of Series 7 of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection line, an overwhelmingly MMPR heavy assortment, which also includes a variant of the Putty’s original pack-mate the Green Ranger.  As the name denotes, this guy isn’t just a standard Putty, he’s a Z Putty, one of the upgraded Putties from the second season of the show, after Lord Zedd takes leadership of the bad guy brigade.  Essentially, they’re just slightly more armored versions of the same minions from earlier in the show.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Structurally, this putty has quite a bit in common with the first figure, but he does get a new set of knees and boots, as well an add-on piece for his chest armor, all of which does a really solid job of capturing the upgraded appearance from the show.  In particular, I really dig the new boot sculpts, because they’re the sort of thing that could’ve gotten overlooked, but I’m very glad didn’t.  Like the prior Putty, this guy is fairly monochromatic, as a Putty should be, but it’s worth noting that he’s differently monochromatic than the last guy, which does make him feel slightly unique.  Kudos to Hasbro on actually putting in the effort there.  In particular, I like seeing the face painted a darker grey than the hood, since they frequently appeared that way on the show, and it ends up really helping to bring out the sculpt.  The best work is again on the hands, which get some accenting to help really sell their rocky nature.  This Putty is actually quite impressively accessorized, getting two different sets of hands (one gripping, the other in fist/open combo), a flame effect piece for the fist, and an effect to clip over the torso simulating him getting hit by one of the rangers.  It’s a solid selection, and honestly more than I was expecting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been wanting more Putties since getting the first version, and I was definitely hoping for some sort of a single release.  That being said, I’m starting to move past my need to just own a bunch of identical army builder figures, so when this guy got shown off, it really worked for me.  I like the changes he makes, and I really like the new accessories he gets.  I definitely consider this guy a win.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.