#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.

#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.