Toy Review: Mini Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Go Go Power Rangers 8-pack

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It was an odd realization to me the other day when I remembered just how much I loved the Power Rangers. As Ninja Turtles were winding down, my young self sought out a new show to attach to and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers worked great. Evil monsters and color coded heroes? Sounds great! What is most odd is that I never ended up owning more than 5 Power Ranger toys that weren’t from McDonalds. I just had two of the hideous auto-morphing figures, Lord Zedd, a goat and a giant beetle. Now with a single pack, I’m able to remember my original fascination with these crazy heroes.

The Mini Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Go Go Power Rangers 8-pack showed up suddenly in stores, just a few weeks after Bandai first said they were making them. These figures are the exact same as the one’s sold in two-packs. The packaging isn’t terribly exciting, just a flimsy box, with a flimsy cardboard background and a flimsy plastic tray. It just felt like it was going to rip apart in my hands. But it seems like Bandai made this set just to be open for collectors to put on their shelves.

All the figures are based off their appearances from the first season of Power Rangers (except Lord Zedd, who didn’t appear until season 2). It’s been 17 years since these characters debuted so I don’t see this set appeal to modern kids, though ABC has created a revival of the original run with modern special effects but enough about the show, on to the toys!

The Red Ranger was originally the leader of the Power Rangers and had the most badass of all the zords: the Tyrannosaurus Rex! He’s wielding his power sword, which very rarely ever made an appearance in the show but all toys need weapons! His pose is decent with his sword drawn. His boots are oddly oversized, but that seems to be the style of these figures.

Jason (I’m assuming it’s Jason because I don’t remember who the next Red Ranger was) has much less articulation than you’d initially expect, only his head and right arm move.

The butt of many jokes about how racist the original Power Rangers were, Zack was the Black Ranger. The sassy comedian who for some reason came equipped with a giant battle axe never seemed to make up for the fact that his Zord was a Wooly Mammoth, the least impressive of all the Zords. Zack’s pose is an odd one with a deep squat that doesn’t look very menacing. His sculpt is good, with plenty of neat details in his helmet. For articulation, he’s got his right arm, neck and waist but his waist is limited by his immobile left arm.

Next up is the group nerd, Billy the Blue Ranger. I remember him as being the least impressive combat wise, but the smartest Power Ranger (plus he helped make the White Ranger, which is super badass). Billy’s pose is one of the most dynamic, with his dual-trident behind his back and his arms stretched out. He looks great, but the figure looks almost comically skinny. But I love this figure, probably because my wardrobe all too often looks like it belongs to the Blue Ranger. (Zordon, if you’re looking for a new Blue Ranger, I’m ready to go!) Billy’s articulation is the same as Zack’s: right arm, neck and waist but none of it is inhibited. Since his dual-trident is cast in a very flexible plastic, it can easily go over his head to be either in front or behind.

The crush of every boy in ’93 had to have been Kimberly, the Pink Ranger. Girls driving giant robots always wore pink, remember the Princess in Voltron who drove the blue cat but wore pink? Yeah, it’s some weird rule. Kimberly suffers the most from this style though. By being a girl, her limbs and torso are thinner but her boots are the same size as everyone else’s making her feet huge! She’s sporting her light bow since girls clearly couldn’t fight back then. Plus her head looks absolutely massive on her tiny body. Her articulation is at the neck, left arm and right wrist but that last piece is pretty useless.

For all the guys who didn’t want to like the same girl as everyone else, there was Trini Kwan, the generic Asian girl who just so happened to be the Yellow Ranger (and she got shafted like Zack and didn’t get an actual dinosaur as a Zord, just a sabretooth tiger). But the most interesting part of Trini’s character is that in the original show that Power Rangers was based on, she was a guy. Kimberly’s costume was blatantly girl-ish, in bright pink with a skirt and she actually had boobs. Trini wasn’t that lucky and if you go back to Season 1 episodes, the Yellow Ranger lacked any female features because the character she became was a guy in the Japanese series.

Back to the figure, like Billy, Trini’s figure has a great pose that looks good and has the ability to get in a few different stances. She’s equipped with her power daggers which look oddly like a pair of sai. Her articulation is only at the waist, neck and right shoulder. I guess Bandai just hates left arms.

Originally a pawn for Rita, Tommy was the first real threat the Power Rangers ever faced: the Green Ranger. After breaking from the magic bonds to a green candle that powered his power coin, Tommy became the new leader of the Power Rangers and is a total badass. While all the other rangers got dinosaurs for Zords, he took it one step further and had the Dragonzord. It was awesome.

Since he’s the leader, he had to look different and came with the Dragon Shield, which gave Tommy some great gold look that made him stronger and more badass. He’s also known for his Dragon Dagger, which doubled as a flute making him possibly more awesome than Link, the Hero of Time. While the concept of the Green Ranger is still awesome in my head, the figure disappoints. His pose looks so… casual. He should be ready to jump into the fight but instead he looks like he’s on the sidelines just biding his time. His articulation is at the right and left arms along with the neck but all parts are limited by his Dragon Shield.

But the biggest offense to this figure is the paint. All of the Power Rangers seem to be made for collectors to put on their shelves for display, because none of them have paint applications on their backs. For the original 5 Rangers, this isn’t so bad but for Tommy it means his Dragon Shield is half gold and half green. It looks really cheap and seriously detracts from the figure.

While a set with just the six original Power Rangers would have been enough, Bandai included two more figures in the pack. First up is the neurotic robot that should have been left disassembled after the destruction of the Command Center. Alpha 5 (come on, even the name insinuates that there were four before him!) is known as that annoying robot sidekick that Zordon the giant floating head kept for company. If I was trapped with that robot, I’d seek out some teenagers with attitude for company too. Note: if you actively seek out teenagers to befriend you and hang out in your “Command Center,” the police will be called.

But Alpha 5 doesn’t look too bad for a figure. His paint is clean and looks enough like how I remember him, but it isn’t exactly the same. His UFO sized head rotates along with his odd looking arms. But the biggest issue has to be scale. I remember Alpha 5 as being much smaller than the Rangers, like that annoying little brother to the cool teenagers. This version of Alpha 5 is as tall as the Rangers, which makes him seem terrifyingly huge.

After a season of Rita bumbling along with her space monkeys, a new villain showed up in a special Power Rangers primetime special that blew my 8 year-old mind at the time. Growing up, I only knew bad guys who were grossly incompetent. Skeletor would never get Castle Grayskull, Shredder was always beaten by the Turtles and Optimus Prime would always beat Megatron (except for the time he didn’t and it was devastating to an entire generation). That’s where Lord Zedd comes in.

Created just for the show, instead of being reused footage from the Japanese show, Lord Zedd was awesome. What was basically a skinless version of Shredder with super powers and the ability to get things done, he shook up the universe. He destroyed a bunch of Zords (though Zordon was like, “It’s cool, I got plenty more. And they’re better.” Dick). I still remember seeing the Zords fall into the lava. He was awesome, too awesome in fact since after his debut, parents complained to say he was “too evil.” Sadly, this toy doesn’t convey all of that badassery.

While the Power Ranger figures didn’t feel that stylized other than giant boots and gloves, Lord Zedd looks like a slightly more detail Super Hero Squad figure. His squatting stance makes him look undersized. I want my Lord Zedd to tower above the rangers. His sculpt is super detailed though, but suffers from the lack of paint applications on his back that leave many details ignored. His articulation is only at the arms and neck. Zedd is holding his Z-staff, but the Z isn’t visible when looking at it head on which is a shame.

Another little Easter egg on the package shows drawings for Rita herself and a Putty Patrol done in a stylized way, possibly a reference to the next wave. While this 8-pack was under $20, it feels like a cheap cash in. The lack of paint applications, the scale issues between figures and the fact that they’re the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers makes it seem untargeted. Bandai seemed to hope if they cast a big enough net, they’d catch everyone but it seems more like this set won’t appeal to fans of the show, toy collectors or kids looking for fun toys. It’s a shame, because with a little more thought and an additional coat of paint or two, these could have been excellent and worth a higher price.

Written by jestergoblin

February 4th, 2010 at 12:40 am

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