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.