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.