Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie: The Toys: The Review: Of...the toys.

The year was 1995.  I was twelve years old, and I was pretty freakin' STOKED for this movie.  There was only one other thing more exciting: TOYS.  I mean, did you see them in that movie?  They were out of the spandex and into some armor!  There was no internet to prepare me for the toys I would find, so I kept my eyes peeled, because I knew they were comin'.  What did I eventually find?

The Power Ranger movie toys were.....just the normal Power Ranger toys, but with metallic paint jobs.  Don't get me wrong: I was excited for them, and my friend's mom graciously bought my friend and I both a White Ranger 'cause we freaked out when we saw 'em.  I'm not going to tell some story of how disappointed I was, 'cause I totally wasn't.  That doesn't change the fact that I still would have liked some toys based on the movie suits!  They were awesome!  I mean, they looked awesome.  According to background information, the actual suits fell apart during filming and weighed forty freakin' pounds (and hurt the backs of some of the actors).  That has no effect on how cool they looked, though!

So here we are: Somehow, some way, Bandai saw fit to bring us movie-accurate toys of a the Rangers.  I honestly didn't think it was EVER going to be on their minds!  What brought us here?  I don't have my ear to the Power Ranger's fan forums - were people actually asking for these?  If so: Thank you, fans!  If not: Bandai, you folks are crazy.  In a good way.

These little babies are Toys R Us exclusives, which means I dunno when I can count on restocks.  I got lucky today and found the Red and Black Rangers, along with the movie's villain: Ivan Ooze (the man that sounds like the secret fourth cereal in the Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frakenberry line).  I'm a sucker, so I'll probably pick up the rest if I see them.  In the mean time: I'm pretty dang happy with the ones I got!

The Rangers are both sporting all the detail you could expect: The suits are well armored and the proportions are fantastic!  A real departure from the SUPER MUSCLE bodies they've been putting out, recently.  It's almost strange to see a Ranger so human looking (unless you collect Figuarts).

The Coins are painted and recognizable in the belts, rather than just being nondescript golden blobs, and the same design is larger and slapped right on the chest.  The paint is clean and in the lines, and you'll notice that the Black Ranger in particular has some cool silver panel lining on his helmet that really makes 'em pop.  It feels weird, seeing so much paint on a US Power Ranger figure!

The articulation is just enough to have some fun with.  There's ball joints in the hands and feet, though they don't allow for too much movement beyond turning them.  The ankles have a little side-to-side, though, so you can get them in a wider stance than normal.  Otherwise, these follow the same articulation standards as the current Power Ranger toylines, with outwardly moving hips and shoulders, knee and elbow joints, and ball jointed necks (which do allow them look up, a bit).

None of the current figures have bicep swivels, so these don't either, but I would have liked to see them go the extra mile with these.  They don't come with accessories that would need them to swing their arms in and hold them with two hands, but I feel like the bicep swivel adds to all sorts of poses beyond just weapon poses.  Might have been cool to see a waist swivel as well....but like I said, these are mostly following in the footsteps of the current figures, beyond the wrists and ankles.

Both Rangers come with...things.  I had to look them up: Apparently they're "Power Blasters", in the folded-up mode.  They fold out in to guns, like the little dagger/guns from the series, but these stay in the Ranger's holsters throughout the film and are never used.  The wiki link above shows a picture of the blaster unfolded, and I wish we would have gotten that.  These are folded up like the daggers from the show....but they aren't daggers.  Still, I can imagine they fire out some sorta wave slash, I guess?  Imagination is a powerful thing!  But these are still kinda strange to add as weapons, even if they are accurate to the film.

The Rangers barely had any weapons, for some reason, but they did get some random new powers, here and there!  I think the rest come with movie-specific items (though, the Black Ranger doesn't have anything).  The Red Ranger has a whole other head sculpt to show off his crazy special visor thingy.

I haven't seen the movie in ages, so I don't remember it.  According to the Ranger wiki, the "Power Scope" helps him see camouflaged enemies.  Maybe he can see through things too?

It's a neat little addition both in design ('cause it just looks cool) and in the fact that Bandai was paying that much attention!  I would have settled for basic movie figures, but they actually went out of their way for sculpt these weird little items that showed up for probably only a few moments.

I don't have a Black Ranger for comparison, but I did find the Red Ranger.  You can see what I mean by the big 'ol muscles that are used in the current designs of the toys.  Plus: The head is super tiny, compared to the movie one!  I never realized how stylized the current toys are, until I had them next to one with normal proportions.  I still enjoy the current toys for being sort of superhero-esque, but I really appreciate that they went for a straight-from-the-film interpretation with these.  Bandai really understood that the fans were probably going to want what they had seen originally, back in '95.

As I had said: The Rangers didn't have their classic weapons, in the movie, so you'll have to swap them in from other figures, if you choose.  They still look great - hell - I think they look better on the movie figure!  Plus, they feel a bit more complete.  I get that the movie was different in a lot of ways, but I don't quite understand the change in armament.

Now, true to form with Power Rangers toys: We get all the Rangers, and one enemy...Ivan Ooze.

Ivan was built just for the movie, so he was introduced and killed all within the film's timeframe.  Nothing more for him to do!  He was formidable, however, as he managed to destroy the Command Center and nearly kill Zordon...which honestly doesn't seem that hard.  I mean, what was stopping any of the monsters and main villains from just teleporting to the Command Center when the Rangers were busy and smashing Zordon's tube?  It's not like he can do anything about it.  What are you gona do, floating head?  LOOK at me?  You can't even have an attitude about it!  You need to hire teenagers specifically for attitude!

Ivan comes with little snotty ooze things that hang off his arms.

His hands are on ball joints, so you pop those off, and slide these things on.  They have slots on them to fit them to his arms, but I find it better to let them hang loose.  You can arrange them easier that way, for various poses.

And his arm poses are important, because that (and his neck) are all he has!

I'm not usually fond of these kinds of things, but for Ivan, it would be a waste to give him any leg articulation.  His arms and head do all you need, for dynamic poses, as they give him a decent range.

The detail on Ooze is just as nice as on the Rangers, and all the paint applications seem neat and tidy.  The facial expression is nasty, and he, uh...looks like he smells of lavender?  He seriously looks like a lavender scented candle, or something.  An ugly one.  That's good, though!  He's supposed to.

His only accessory is a wand molded into a swappable hand, which is nice, 'cause I don't see any reason for the tiny wand to be separate.  The ball joints on his wrists don't allow for extreme ranges of motion, but it's just enough to get what you need out of a spell-casting pose.  If you move the ooze hanger things on to his elbows, you'll be able to position them realistically in just about any pose!  It's pretty impressive, for a figure with articulation only in the upper torso.

I was going to skip Ivan Ooze, originally, but seeing him in the store changed my mind.  Bandai doesn't often paint faces this well; he turned out real nice!  He's a little more than just a stand-next-to-the-heroes kinda figure.

Overall, I'm far more impressed with these than I thought I would be.  When they make exclusives, they always end up feeling a little bit less than what you're paying for (though, I know the extra paint apps go a long way toward the higher price, nowadays).  These guys are very cleanly painted and look super sharp to go along with the new sculpts.  They still feel a little expensive for what they are (16.99) but since most figures in this size go for ten or more, I can see this as sorta reasonable.

If you're one of the few (or maybe there are more of you out there?) that always wanted accurate movie figures from the Power Ranger movie: Here they are!  Bandai didn't cut any corners (in terms of Bandai's usual stuff) and they just about jump right out of the movie.  If you're a fan: Go for it!  I wouldn't miss 'em.


  1. These are pretty nifty. Has Bandai released all of the rangers? I think we're about the same age Alexx (I would've just been about to turn twelve when the movie was released) but the movie was kind of my last hurrah with Power Rangers. I do remember being disappointed that the movie figures were just metallic repaints of the basic figures, although the box art was pretty nice. I had the McDonalds figures which seemed more movie accurate to me than the larger stuff. Strangely enough, other than the first season of the show I just don't have any real nostalgia for MMPR. Shortly after the movie came out I read the novelization for Star Wars, saw the THX editions of Star Wars on VHS, and pretty much left Power Rangers behind.

    And always remember: The same guy (Paul Freeman) who played Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark played Ivan Ooze. Crazy, right?

    1. Yes, the whole set of Rangers is out at one time (these were all that were left when I went to TRU). I was kinda hoping for some Tengus or the goo monsters Ooze makes, but this is a standard assortment, at least.

      It's funny how interests go! I actually grew up with Return of the Jedi, but I didn't really catch on to what order the movies were in until I got older (though I would have been well aware, by 12). Power Rangers wasn't a HUGE thing for me, but for some reason it always stuck in my mind. I like the team-fights-monsters aspect, and I kinda wish someone would try to make a different kind of show in that same vein, but one that was a bit more aware of the tropes. The movie style figures always seemed to go in that direction - the more realistic armored style, as if Power Rangers was going to go in a different direction (though the movie was still the same stuff as the show, pretty much). I still don't really pay super close attention to Power Rangers, but I'll always love the designs and the toys.

      Oh, and I had some of the McDonalds figures as well - just the White and Yellow Rangers. I want to display them when I find the new versions of said Rangers, in another review. I'll have to dig out my metallic White Ranger as well, as the "official" movie figure.

      I had no idea he was Belloq! Ha! Funny how so many interests end up bleeding into each other in some way or another.

  2. The movie has one of those great mid-90s moments where CG effects show up and they were super amazing at the time but almost immediately became laughably bad.

    I stuck with Power Rangers all the way up to the "Lost Galaxy" series, and sorta petered off after that. We had a lot of the figures from the first MMPR series - all of the rangers with switching heads, a few monsters, and the deluxe Megazord - and bought a few here and there from some of the following ones.

    Sometime in college, I heard about the episode "Forever Red." Ever seen that one? It's a special from, I think, Wild Force, in which they brought back all of the previous red rangers. Even Bulk and Skull have a cameo. The funniest part is when Austin St. John, the original red ranger, shows up, he looks very different (being maybe 10 years older), but when he morphs, they use the same stock footage from the 90s show. So you see this really beefy guy suddenly become a much thinner guy.

    1. Yeah, I really gotta sit down and watch this again. I don't think I've seen it since then (though I looked up a fight scene on youtube, for reference). I'm sure it's hilarious.

      I stuck with it until Turbo, where it pretty much lost me entirely. I like Transformers and all that, but for some reason, car or vehicle themed Power Rangers just totally kill the interest, for me. From then on I lost track of Power Rangers until I wikied the history and all the stuff I missed after Turbo. No idea why! It's all just as corny as ever, but damnit, it's interesting! The only toys I had from back then were a Green Ranger and a White Ranger (movie version, all shiny). Dunno why I wasn't able to get a hold of more, considering how much I wanted a good portion of it.

      I've heard of the "Forever Red" episode, but never saw it. There's also a recent one with the pirate Rangers (Super Megaforce?) that brings together almost ALL the past Rangers in one episode. I bet that had to be heavily edited, since we only started with....what, the tenth one? Probably more. I'll have to catch these, at some point.

  3. "Off the turnbuckle."

    Heh heh.

    1. I remember wrestling! Like, waaaaay back. I should do a post on these two giant hard-rubber figures I have of Hulk Hogan and The Iron Sheik. Assuming they still exist....

  4. Hi Alexx, it´s me Merso from the He-Man forums (the one that asked for help on that script for an animated short that never came to pass). I never leave a comment here as I feel I don't have anything to contribute, but I always visit this blog. It's a favorite of mine, and always makes me laugh. Anyway I was glad to see these movie figures getting a review, as I'm personally looking forward to this wave. Based on screenshots alone I share your impressions, except that while I agree that the proportions on these guys are miles better than that of the basic figures, they are still a bit off: their legs are a bit short for their bodies. It's one thing that once seen, can't be unseen. Still, better than the basic figs. A couple of months ago I purchased the White Ranger figure and promptly took it back sto the store some days later - its proportions were an eyesore but the worst offender was the way the figure had an overly arched back that maked him seem as if he was twerking. Ugh.
    Also, similarly to you I watched the show until Turbo, and then years later took a look at the timeline via youtube videos and the like instead of actually watching the episodes, it's something that it's weird to explain: I can't stomach watching whole seasons of this stuff, yet I keep coming back to it. That being said I really do recommend you to take a look at Forever Red, easily the best half hour of the show (at least of the episodes I have seen). I have watched than darn awesome/stupid episode so many times.
    I released a Power Rangers fangame last year called "Beats of Power", I don't know if you'd be interested in giving it a try. I mention this mainly because currently am making a TMNT fangame, and would like at some point (very long term) if you could take a look at the dialogue from the intro and ending cutscenes so you can inject some of that classic Alexx humor. I think you would enjoy the process, but if it doesn't interest you that's fine.
    Talk later!

    1. Hey, glad to have ya readin'! Thanks!

      Ya know, I was thinking about the legs being a little short, but wasn't sure if it was enough to bother mentioning. I can certainly see what you're sayin', but it doesn't bother me much. Like you say: The rest of the proportions are fantastic, so the overall look works well. The best part is that the head no longer looks small.

      I'll have to catch Forever Red, at some point! I should also follow your example and look up a lot of important points on Youtube. I also don't think I could stand actually watching all the way through a series, but I wouldn't mind highlights. A friend of mine tried to watch the original series all the way through, but couldn't get very far. It's just....ah man, too much 90's.

      I haven't heard of the game until now - it looks awesome! I took a look at a Let's Play on youtube, and that is some classic SNES-style action, man. I'll have to download it and see if it works on my ancient laptop (you'd be surprised at how many simple games just do not work on this thing. Not to mention new things...I downloaded Steam at one point, to try the demo of Mighty No. 9, but it skipped like an old video with bad tracking). If it DOES work, I'd very much love to see your TMNT game! Shoot me an email about the dialogue; I'd love to see that as well, if you think I can help. I'm always up for writing dialogue!

  5. Man, those are some nice looking figures! Even Ooze, who I thought was kind of a loser back in the day. I also remember this movie being my last hurrah with Power Rangers. I was pretty much done with it, and I took my brother to see the movie. He was still into it, I think, but I don't remember being too impressed.

    The Power Ranger toys have dragged me back in though. Well, not to the shows, but I just can't stop buying new figures. And now that I know the current series is going to have a ton of monsters, I'm super stoked bro!

    I think I'll get Ooze from this series, and probably the yellow ranger. I had the ninja ranger version of her as a kid (actually, I still have it). I remember she was Trini's replacement. What was her name? Aisha? That sounds right. Anyway, her ninja ranger figure was really butch looking. I'm sure they just reused the same mold for the whole team. It would be nice to have a version of her that actually looks like a female.

    1. I honestly can't remember if I loved it or not - just that I was geeked for it to happen. But yeah, I don't think you're wrong about Ooze. Though, somehow, he ends up being dangerous, 'cause his first order of business was to head straight to Zordon and fuck 'em up.

      Yeah, I can't believe they're bringing monsters back in to the toyline! Or maybe I mean to say: I can't believe they haven't done it before now. I mean, they may have literally not had monster-of-the-week figures since we were kids! I'd have to look into it.

      Yeah, I think it was Aisha. Would be cool to get the ninja versions, at some point, but we'll see what they end up doing.

  6. What figure is that sword from? It looks real good for that movie figure I just picked up!

  7. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00MAT7H5A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1437829953&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=mighty+morphin+red+legacy&dpPl=1&dpID=51%2Bisqy2zqL&ref=plSrch

    Whoa, that link ended up huge! Anyway, that's the Legacy Red Ranger. I wouldn't buy that one, though. The price is a little ridiculous. I think he should be around ten (unless I'm remembering wrong) so you should shop around a bit. Sadly, it seems to be the only way to get the fully painted sword in that scale.

    1. Was looking it up and discovered several figures similar to the link you sent. The red ranger you linked me to seems to have the non-removable gold chest plate. Seems the figure in your pictures above is more elusive and costly. Crazy how a simple questions becomes a project.

  8. Man those Cool wish i could get them :-/ but what i really want is a great Mighty MORPHIN Power RANGERS Video Game!