#2587: Psycho Rangers

IN SPACE PSYCHO RED, BLUE, BLACK, YELLOW, & PINK RANGERS

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Remember yesterday, when I was talking about Power Rangers In Space, and how it’s my jam, man?  Well, that continues to be the case.  While the main team of Rangers from the show is just now starting to make their way into Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, we do already have one complete team of Rangers from the show, specifically the Psycho Rangers.  These evil counterparts of the main team were notably absent from the show’s tie-in toys at the time.  They eventually surfaced in Bandai’s Legacy Collection, but the line was cancelled before the whole team could be completed.  The Lightning Collection initially started out with seeming plans to release each Psycho Ranger individually, but then rather quickly threw in that towel and just dropped the whole darn team all at once.  So, uh, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Psycho Rangers were released as an Amazon-exclusive boxed set, as part of the Lightning Collection line-up, hitting towards the end of the summer of this past year.  Black, Yellow, and Pink are exclusive to this set.  The Red and Blue Psycho included in this set are indistinguishable from the prior releases, reviewed here and here, though there is also an effects piece included for Red’s sword, albeit one re-used from elsewhere in the line.

PSYCHO BLACK RANGER

Psycho Black was fortunate enough to be one of the ones Bandai got to, by virtue of being largely a parts re-use of the other male Psychos.  Hasbro’s version sticks with that, rather unsurprisingly.  He’s still 6 inches tall and he still has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation on this body, specifically the arms, is a bit on the limited side, but otherwise, I do really like this sculpt, and I certainly don’t have any issues with its re-use here.  Obviously, he swaps out the paint scheme, with the primary color accents of the least two being changed to black here.  I do appreciate that they kept the shinier finish to the accented parts, thereby keeping those parts from getting too lost in with the rest of the black on the costume.  Psycho Black is packed with his Psycho Rod, and two sets of hands in gripping and a fist/electrical effect combo pairing.  I’m bummed that he didn’t get an effects piece for his weapon, but it’s worth noting that his effect hand is actually a unique sculpt from the other two male Psychos.

PSYCHO YELLOW RANGER

Absent from Bandai’s attempt at the Psychos were both female members of the team, Psycho Yellow included.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 34 points of articulation.  The articulation here is pretty similar to the male body, with the slight limitations on the shoulders and all.  The double elbows are swapped out for the universal joints, as is usually the case for female bodies, but no major posability is lost.  On my copy of this figure, there are a lot more loose joints, notably in the arms and the neck.  This means she struggles a bit with holding a pose and staying standing, but fortunately not as bad as some figures, but it’s still annoying.  While Black was a total re-use, Yellow, being female and all, is mostly new, apart from the helmet, which is identical for all of the Psychos.  The sculpt matches up well with the other version, and it means she slots in beside the other three team members just fine.  The paint on Yellow pretty much matches up with everyone else, with the accents changing to Yellow, of course.  Yellow is packed with the two sets of hands to match the male body’s and her Psycho Sling.  Again, no effects piece, which is a shame.

PSYCHO PINK RANGER

See what I wrote above, about Psycho Yellow?  Great, you can pretty much just swap the word “Pink” in there and you’re good to go.  Okay, maybe not quite, I guess.  The joints on my copy of Pink are a little tighter than on Yellow, so that makes her a slightly more easily used figure.  At the very least less frustrating.  Paint’s more or less the same, color change aside.  She gets the same hand selection as Yellow, plus her Psycho Bow.  Also, somewhat astoundingly, she gets an effects piece, the firing arrow that MMPR Pink and Ranger Slayer got.  I guess that’s not too bad.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As cool as the Psychos are, and as much of a fan of In Space as I am, I will admit that I was kind of cold on this set.  I was all prepped for picking them up one by one, and that’s why I’d gone and gotten Red and Blue.  I was waiting for the other three, so when they decided to drop the whole set of them all at once, it sort of felt anti-climactic.  Not helping things was the fact that Red and Blue are included again and are also completely unchanged for this round, meaning I was only actually getting three new figures in a set of five.  And, of course, one of those three new ones is a straight repaint, and the other two are the same mold as well.  It’s just a lot of sameness all in one go, I guess.  So, I opted not to jump right in on this set.  Max, on the other hand, did, but upon receiving them, was iffy on keeping them.  Since I’m a big In Space fan, and I did want to get them eventually, I was happy to take them off his hands.  Ultimately, the set’s fine.  Nothing amazing, and I still think spacing them out would have been better, but I’m glad I have them.  Now, I need to figure out what to do with the extra Red and Blue, I guess…

#2586: In Space Yellow Ranger

IN SPACE YELLOW RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

It’s not much of a secret around these parts that, when it comes to Power Rangers, Power Rangers In Space is kind of my jam, man.  I’ve been eagerly waiting for a solid plastic version of the team pretty much since the ’90s, if I’m honest.  Hasbro’s been trying to introduce at least one new Rangers line-up with each series of Lightning Collection, and they’ve finally come around to the inclusion of the Space Rangers.  As has become a trend for a lot of the line-ups, they aren’t starting with the Red Ranger (classically the obvious choice); instead, they’re going with Ashley Hammond, the Yellow Space Ranger, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Space Yellow is another piece of Series 6 of the Lightning Collection line-up.  As I touched on in the intro, she’s our first Space Ranger in the line (though not our first character from In Space, since we already got the whole Psycho Ranger line-up).  She’ll be joined shortly by Andros, who’s coming in a two-pack later this year.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Unlike the prior female Ranger I looked at, the articulation on Space Yellow is a bit closer to her male counterparts, and subsequently gives her a slightly easier time of standing.  I’m definitely okay with that.  Ashley is sporting an all-new sculpt, based on her show appearance.  Presumably, it will be more or less entirely shared with Cassie when they get around to her.  They won’t even have to change the skirt piece, since Cassie’s one of the handful of times that the original Japanese counterpart of the Yellow Ranger was also female.  The sculpt’s a pretty strong offering.  It’s appropriately sleek and clean, just as the Space Ranger outfits are supposed to be.  I particularly like how well the helmet’s turned out.  I felt the MMPR helmets ended up looking a touch off for this line, but the Space helmet looks spot on.  The paint work on this figure is pretty clean, and the application’s nice and sharp.  There’s minimal slop or bleed over, and as with Zeo Red, the figures are definitely better across the board in terms of paint consistency this time around.  In terms of accessories, Ashley keeps up with the slightly better standard we saw with Zeo Red.  She’s got two sets of hands (in gripping and a fist/flat combo), her Astro Blaster, Star Slinger, effects piece for the Slinger, and an unmasked head.  Again, I’m glad to see her get her Ranger-specific weapon here, and I like how well the hands work with the Slinger.  The unmasked head is…kind of rough.  It’s definitely not one of the better ones from this line, and it ends up making Tracy Lynn Cruz look a good deal older than she did on the show.  Still, it’s better than nothing, I suppose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in 2014, when I got the Figuarts version of the MMPR team, I was hoping for the chance to get the Space team in a similar quality.  When the Legacy Collection did the team, I gave it a try, but I just wasn’t impressed enough to spend the time trying to get the whole line-up.  I’ve been patiently waiting for the team to turn up in Hasbro’s line, and I was thrilled when Ashley was announced.  She’s another strong entry in the line, and I look forward to getting 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 Lightning Collection, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2585: Zeo Red Ranger

ZEO RED RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Perhaps the most definitive Power Ranger in the entirety of the franchise, Jason David Frank’s Tommy Oliver began as the franchise’s first sixth ranger.  Initially just an antagonist for the main team, he eventually became an ally and a member of the core team proper.  When MMPR ran out of Zyuranger footage to use for the Green Ranger, Tommy was retired for a while, until footage of Gosei Sentai Dairanger’s Kiba Ranger was adapted into MMPR‘s White Ranger, granting Tommy a new identity.  In this new identity, Tommy slowly shifted into more of a leader role, a transition fully cemented when the original Red Ranger and team leader Jason Lee Scott departed the show in the third season.  When MMPR  became Zeo, things were streamlined a bit, making Tommy the Red Ranger proper, and thereby the team’s default leader.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zeo Red headline’s Series 6 of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: Lightning Collection.  He’s our third member of the Zeo team, following Series 4’s Zeo Blue and Series 5’s Zeo Gold.  He’s also the resident Red Ranger for this assortment, and the fourth version of Tommy in the line.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  For the most part, he’s a heavy parts re-use of Zeo Blue.  It’s expected, really, since the costumes are virtually identical, and the builds aren’t too far off either.  It’s a solid sculpt, so certainly a good starting point.  He gets a new helmet, of course, sporting his star-shaped visor.  It’s as goofy here as it was in the show, but that doesn’t make me like it any less.  The paint work on this guy is pretty straight forward and basic.  I did find that it was a little more consistent across the board from figure to figure this time around, which is certainly a plus for the line.  I’m glad it looks like things are generally improving for the paint work on the line, especially given the other paint issues Hasbro’s been facing this year.  Like Zeo Blue, Red gets two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, the pod sword, and laser pistol.  He adds in the Zeo Power Sword, an effect piece, and an unmasked Tommy head.  I still would have liked to get a collapsed version of the pod sword for more proper holstering, but I’m glad to see them actually including the individual Ranger-specific weapons.  Hopefully they keep it up for more than just the Red Rangers.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the unmasked head is actually a new sculpt, and not just another re-use of the one from the White Ranger.  This one’s a slightly better take on Frank’s likeness, so I’m glad Hasbro gave it another go.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Blue and Gold, I’ve been eager to fill out the rest of the Zeo roster, and Tommy was kind of an inevitable part of that.  I don’t know that I was expecting him quite this quickly, but I’m certainly not complaining.  He had the potential to be a far more by the numbers figure than he actually is, and I definitely appreciate Hasbro not just phoning it in here.  Now we’re officially at the half way point on Zeo, and I’m honestly pretty excited about that.

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.

#2549: Alpha 5 & Zordon

ALPHA 5 & ZORDON

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

The Achilles Heel of just about any Power Rangers toyline since the brand launched has been its treatment of the franchise’s American-exclusive characters.  Since so much of the early product was repurposed Super Sentai merch, any American characters would require all new molds, and frequently were treated to molds of a slightly lesser quality than the others.  Additionally, given their largely supporting roles, characters such as Alpha 5 and Zordon just didn’t set themselves up for figures that put much “action” into “action figures.”  Fortunately, under Hasbro, things are looking up for them!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Alpha 5 and Zordon are a standalone release for Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, and are currently a Walmart exclusive, though time will tell on that, I suppose.  The two are patterned on their appearances in Mighty Morphin’ Season 3 and Zeo.  The set-up of this set is nominally a two-pack, but it works out more as a single figure with a really big accessory, so I’m going to tackle it that way.  Alpha stands about 5 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  There a few joints present on the Rangers that are missing here, but given Alpha’s more diminutive stature, this gives him most of the movement he needs, without turning him into a floppy complicated mess.  Moreover, it’s not like Alpha was the show’s most agile character; this figure can probably pull off more poses than the actual suit could.  The sculpt for Alpha’s all-new, as you’d expect, and does a respectable job of capturing Alpha’s design from the show and translating it into the line’s style, while avoiding making it look too hokey (seriously, the suit on the show isn’t something you want to look to closely at; there’s a reason new Alpha suits were made for both of the movies).  Alpha’s chest plate and waist piece are floating pieces much like White and Gold Ranger’s armor.  They’re actually sized pretty well to the body, and don’t bob around too much during posing, so I really don’t mind the set-up.  Alpha’s paint work is a little bit on the rough side.  It’s not atrocious, but Hasbro’s certainly done better.  The application on the yellow sections in particular is really sloppy, and my figure has a couple of noticeable scuffs on the top of his head.  Nothing that ruins the figure, but enough to be a little bit annoying.  Alpha is packed with his little robot-headed teddy bear that he’s seen carrying in a few episodes of Zeo.  It’s rather obscure, but a fun little extra nevertheless.  The second half of this set is the Zordon…well, “figure” seems inaccurate.  He’s more of a display piece.  He’s about 7 inches tall and has, predictably, no articulation, because he’s just a head in a tube.  For a head in a tube, he’s not bad.  The sculpt does a reasonable job of capturing that weird ripple effect thing he had going on.  He’s perhaps a little small for proper scaling, and only meant for being viewed from head-on, since his back is totally flat.  There’s a light-up feature (which you’ll need to provide three of your own AAAs for), which is okay.  I was hoping for maybe some dialogue or sounds or something, but it’s an okay base level item.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Alpha, but his figures have never done much for me.  I was pretty excited to see him added to the line, though this significantly lessened when I found out he was a Walmart exclusive.  Fortunately, Max had my back on this one, and was nice enough to snag me one during one of his runs.  Alpha’s a fun figure, and I love that little teddy bear accessory.  Zordon…Zordon’s a big accessory, and not even that impressive of one.  I would have liked to see them do more, but ultimately, it’s Zordon.  He’s a head in a tube.

#2480: Ranger Slayer

RANGER SLAYER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Though they were a smash success on TV, Power Rangers and comics didn’t have the strongest start.  Attempts were made to start some sort of on-going in the show’s hey-day, but nothing really took off, and eventually things just got dropped.  However, a renewed interest in the MMPR-incarnation of the show allowed Boom Studios to launch a comics-based revival in 2016, which ultimately expanded into its own full-fledged continuity.  One of the bigger stories to come out of it was “Shattered Grid”, an alternate universe story featuring an evil Tommy Oliver as its primary antagonist Lord Drakkon.  Serving Drakkon was a brainwashed and crazy Kimberly Ann Hart, now under the monicker of Ranger Slayer.  Hasbro is starting to delve into the comics a little with their toyline, including Ranger Slayer, who I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ranger Slayer is the final figure in Series 5 of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection.  Following Lord Drakkon’s release in Series 3, she’s our second Boom Studios-inspired figure.  The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and she has 30 points of articulation.  Ranger Slayer is sporting an all-new sculpt, and even gets a slightly tweaked articulation scheme, most notably on the ankles, which are a slightly more compact design than the standard boots we’ve been seeing on other Rangers in this line.  The articulation’s great in concept, but perhaps a little iffy in execution, as on my figure, her feet tend to fall off at the ankle during posing a lot.  This also makes her not exceedingly stable on her feet, so she falls down a lot.  I’m not a huge fan of this.  In contrast to Magna Defender and his permanently attached cape, Ranger Slayer’s cape is totally free floating, and doesn’t actually attach to the figure.  Ultimately, it works out okay, but it does mean it falls off a lot, which I’m again not the biggest fan of.  At the very least having it peg into her back would have helped.  The final issue with my figure is one that isn’t a line-wide one, but is an annoying one nevertheless.  It seems the head on my figure wasn’t quite properly molded, resulting in the socket for the neck joint not actually clicking into place.  It just sort of wedges on there, and never all that securely.  That, coupled with the cape and the feet, really makes posing her a pain.  Moving past all of that, I will say that the figure has a good *looking* sculpt, and I particularly like the way the cape has been sculpted so dynamically.  Her paint work is decent, but probably the weakest of my Series 5 set.  There’s a few spots of noticeably missing paint, and some sloppy edges, especially on the legs.  Ranger Slayer includes her Bow of Darkness, Blade Blaster, a stock of three arrows, a shooting arrow effects piece, and two sets of hands (gripping and fist/flat combo).  It’s too bad she didn’t also get an unmasked head, especially given that Drakkon got one, but at least she doesn’t feel like she comes up too light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I haven’t really followed the comics from Boom, but I have been aware of some of the broad strokes elements, which included Drakkon and Ranger Slayer, both of whom have some pretty nifty designs going for them.  I missed out on Drakkon’s initial release, but I definitely didn’t want to miss this one (or any of this series, really).  Ultimately, this is a figure I had pretty high expectations for, and unfortunately, especially in the case of my personal copy, I definitely feel a little bit let down.  She’s not a bad figure, and she still does have an impressive design, but she’s just not quite as playable as I’d like.  Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing Hasbro go back to the comics well again for things such as the Ranger Sentries.  That’d be pretty cool.

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.

#2479: Time Force Red Ranger

TIME FORCE RED RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

My relationship with Power Rangers is a little bit turbulent.  While I recall the tail-end of the original run of MMPR, it wasn’t until Zeo that I jumped into the merchandising aspect of things.  Then Turbo came along and kind of killed any real interest I had, before I got thoroughly hooked by In Space.  Its follow-up Lost Galaxy was fine, but not my favorite, and Lightspeed Rescue has really always left me a little bit bored.  My last true hurrah with the franchise was Time Force, after which I pretty much tapped out (but then again, so did Saban…at least for a bit).  Time Force is finally making its entrance into The Lightning Collection, with its Red Ranger, Wes Collins, who I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Time Force Red is part of Series 5 of Hasbro’s Lightning Collection, and is both this assortment’s requisite Red Ranger and our first Time Force Ranger.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 34 points of articulation.  Surprisingly, Time Force Red is an all-new sculpt.  Given how Galaxy Red was handled, I was definitely expecting this guy to be fairly re-use heavy.  Obviously, I’m sure most of these parts will end up used again for the the other three male Time Force Rangers, but it’s nice to see them actually go to the trouble of mixing things up a bit with some new parts.  I actually like how these parts turned out a little bit more well put together than some of the earlier parts.  It’s definitely a slightly sleeker sculpt than the MMPR parts, which definitely suits the design aesthetic of Time Force in general.  If I have one complaint about the sculpt, it’s that the helmet seems a touch wide, but it’s possible my memories of the old figures are playing tricks on my eyes with that one.  It’s certainly not a *bad* sculpt, so I’m hard-pressed to really complain.  His paint work is pretty clean, and is probably the best in this particular assortment, at least as far as my copies are concerned.  It definitely works well with the more crisp and clean nature of the design, as I think paint errors would have been more of an issue here.  Time Force Red is packed with his Chrono Blaster, a pair of Chrono Sabers, an effects piece, two pairs of hands (gripping and a fist/thumbs-up combo), and an unmasked Wes Collins head.  The sabers can combine as in the show, resulting in a slight compromise to the handles when they’re separate.  Still, it’s a cool gimmick.  The thumbs-up hand is one the better alternate hands, and the unmasked Wes head is another strong likeness.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Time Force still ranks pretty highly for me in terms of Power Rangers shows, and while Wes isn’t necessarily my favorite member of the team, I’m still glad to be getting our first taste of the team.  He’s a pretty solid figure, and I really dig all of the new parts they’ve given him.  I look forward to getting the rest of the team to go with him!

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.

#2478: Mighty Morphin’ Blue Ranger

MIGHTY MORPHIN’ BLUE RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

Continuing on yesterday’s Lightning Collection theme, today we’re jumping just a little bit back in Rangers history, with a Mighty Morphin’ era figure.  Hasbro’s been slowly weaving the inaugural team into the Lightning Collection line-up, and the latest to join them is Billy Cranston, the Blue Ranger, notable for being the only member of the MMPR team to stay with the show for its whole run, before being retired from active Ranger duty during the events of Zeo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mighty Morphin’ Blue is part of the fifth series of Lightning Collection figures, and is the MMPR offering for this particular set.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Billy is largely built out of the same bank of parts as the other male MMPR Rangers, which is fairly sensible, and also fairly expected.  It also means he’s a pretty straight-forward figure in terms of what he does.  The new helmet’s a nice enough piece, though as with all of the MMPR figures, I think I do prefer the Figuarts one. Something about the proportions on this one just seems a little off.  Of course, it’s still got all the important Blue-specific elements, so it’s still very identifiable as Billy’s helmet.  As with Red and Black, Billy gets a slightly tweaked belt, with the proper belt buckle, which continues to be a really cool, and not immediately expected element.  Billy’s paint work is pretty straight forward stuff; if you know general Hasbro paint, you know how this one goes.  There’s minimal slop or bleed over on my sample, so that’s certainly good.  For me, the part where this figure really shines is the accessory selection.  He gets an unmasked head (with a pretty solid David Yost likeness; it’s easily the best of the MMPR likenesses), two pairs of hands (in gripping and fists), his power lance in separated and fully extended form, and a blue lightning effect.  The unmasked head is definitely a lot of fun, but I was also really happy to get the fully extended Power Lance, given its absence from the Figuarts release.  Now, between the two, I have the full accessory complement.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I generally haven’t felt the need to pick up the MMPR cast in the Lightning Collection style, thanks to already having the Figuarts and still being quite happy with those, Billy is by far my favorite member of the team, and just one of my favorite Rangers in general.  Given the extra unmasked portrait and the extended lance, this one was pretty easy sell for me.  Not gonna lie, he’s making it harder for me to stick to the my plans to skip MMPR, because I do really like this figure.  I think I’ll be able to manage holding out on the others, though.  Whatever the case, this guy’s pretty sweet.

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

#2477: Zeo Gold Ranger

ZEO GOLD RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LIGHTNING COLLECTION (HASBRO)

ZEEEEEEEEOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLD!!!!!  OH YEAH!!! …ya know?

I began my last Zeo Gold Ranger review with a note that I don’t review many Power Rangers here, a statement that has become patently untrue, so I guess I can’t very fairly repeat it.  However, if I *didn’t* review many Power Rangers around here, this guy would still probably make the cut.  Why is that?  Because he’s the Zeo Gold Ranger, and the Zeo Gold Ranger is the best damn Power Ranger there is.  And I will fight you on that.  Okay, I probably won’t.  It’s okay if you don’t agree.  I’m gonna be sad, and that means you made me sad on my birthday, but I guess we’ll all learn to live with it.  I can learn to forgive.  Where was I?  Yes, the Gold Ranger review.   Excellent.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zeo Gold is part of Series 5 of Hasbro’s Power Rangers: The Lightning Collection, following Zeo Blue’s debuting the show’s coverage in Series 4.  But, as I noted in the review of that figure, Zeo Gold was technically the debut figure, thanks to an early release last summer as part of an SDCC two-pack last year.  At their core the two releases are the same, but there are some differences when it comes to accessories, which I’ll touch on when I get to that section of the review.  This actually marks the third Gold Ranger in the line, after the Beast Morphers and Dino Charge versions, for those keeping track of such things.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  A number of Zeo Gold’s parts are shared with Zeo Blue, but he still gets a new set of arms, lower legs, head, and armor, which keeps him looking *fairly* unique when compared to Blue.  It’s a solid selection of the parts for him, and does a really nice job of capturing the suit as seen in the show.  The torso armor is a little more floaty than I might have liked, especially when compared to the White and Green Rangers.  It’s not terrible, and the floating is preferably to being totally fixed when it comes to posability.  It’s a really nicely sculpted piece, though, and it and the helmet are definitely the coolest parts here.  On the helmet, I especially like the raised kanji element, as the Bandai figures usually didn’t have quite as nicely pronounced.  It looks really sharp here.  The paint work is overall pretty solid on this guy.  The helmet’s definitely the best, with the sharpness again really coming though, but I also really like the accenting on the chest piece.  There’s a touch of inconsistent coverage on the upper sections of the knees, but beyond that, it’s pretty good.  Now, for the change-ups from the SDCC release, the accessories.  The biggest shift is the unmasked head, because while the SDCC figure was Jason, this release is Trey of Trifecta, and gets the corresponding unmasked head.  It’s just the one Trey head, and it definitely would have been cool to get all three triplets, but only one of them actually wore the suit at a time, so I guess this is fine.  I totally don’t need three of him.  That would be silly.  It’s worth noting that the Jason head that went with Jason in the SDCC set actually got packed with the standard Mighty Morphin’ Red in Series 3, meaning it’s pretty easy to make him Jason on your own.  No matter who you prefer to have in the suit, Zeo Gold gets two sets of hands in gripping and fists, as well as a yellow effects piece (both of which were the same on the SDCC version), and his Staff of Gold, which is in a slightly different configuration than the two versions included in the SDCC set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted in the intro, Zeo Gold’s my favorite Ranger, so when be was initially released in the SDCC set, I was a little bummed, but figured a single-release was inevitable.  It was quite a wait (with two other Gold Rangers taunting me in the meantime), but he finally showed up, and boy was I excited to see him in the line-up, and he was the first figure I tore into once I got the set in-hand.  I was happy with the Legacy Collection Gold when he was released, but he’s not held up, and I was definitely glad for this upgrade.  He’s really awesome, and I’m so happy to have him.  ZEO GOLD!

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.

#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.