In the early days of the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic I found myself filling the social hole in my heart with toys. That has continued, but in the earliest days I went backwards. I grabbed some toys that I had wanted as a kid, but never got, and I talked about them here. One such toy was the Bandai Dragonzord and Green Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Toys from the show were shockingly hard to come by in 1993 and beyond, and it was something I always wanted despite not really being a huge Power Rangers fan.
Another thing you should know about me is that I’m kind of anal when it comes to toys. Especially my own, and it seems to extend to toys my kids own. I treat my toys well, and as a kid, if I broke one it really ate me up inside. When I got those Power Rangers toys for myself, I also grabbed a Red Ranger and Pink Ranger for my son and daughter. Over the summer, my nephew visited and he wanted to play Power Rangers with my kids. He was nearly 4 at the time, but he’s notoriously mean to his toys. Still, I didn’t want to be the grumpy uncle so I let him play with my Green Ranger. I do not blame the 4 year old for what happened, I blame myself for allowing it to happen. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be telling you this if it was an uneventful play date. It was not, as when I went to put the Green Ranger away at the end of the day I found his head was flopping around. Somehow, the kids managed to break the housing for the neck joint that is in the figure’s chest. It’s an odd setup for head articulation, as I found when I opened the figure up. My attempts at repairing the break failed, so now I have a Green Ranger with a floppy head. Oh, joy.
Just as I was when I was a kid, the broken toy has bothered me ever since. It looks okay on a shelf, the head just sits a little lower than before, but it’s enough to make me want to replace it. Rather than replace it with a vintage toy though, I was able to score a recent release: the Hasbro Lightning Collection Green Ranger. This figure is sold everywhere, but a new packaging variant was released to Target this fall. It’s rather snazzy, though the figure is the same as the other versions out there. I was drawn to it because it’s a more show accurate version of the character. It has the gold armbands, dragon dagger, and black holster. And since it’s a great deal smaller than the vintage figure, it looks a little better beside the Dragonzord than the vintage figure, which is basically the same size as the zord. It’s still not even close to scale, but it is a bit more aesthetically pleasing.
2020 has been a year for me to get reacquainted with Hasbro. Over the summer I bought a Peter Venkman, a Deadpool two-pack, and more recently a Soundwave from the Transformers RED line. The Green Ranger is definitely similar to the Deadpool I acquired earlier. The body may even be identical to that figure with different paint applications. The neck, torso, and legs especially look to be the same and the articulation is quite familiar at this point. This isn’t a bad thing as the figure differs where it needs to and this sculpt is able to pack-in a great deal of articulation while remaining pleasing to the eye.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Green Ranger certainly looks the part. The figure is mostly green plastic with the feet and forearms cast in white plastic. The sculpt-work is quite nice. The helmet features all of the details I remember from the show while the gloves and boots contain detail I didn’t even know was there! That’s standard definition for you, but in looking at some pictures from the show today I was able to confirm that these details, like ribbed material across the knuckles, was indeed present in the show. Where things are less impressive is with the paint. The paint application to the gloves and boots is quite sloppy in places with the gold parts in particular. The helmet could have also used a bit more to give it less of a plastic look and the dragon’s teeth around the visor are all silver rather than silver teeth on white. There’s more slop around the morpher and there’s a green dot on the inside of the right foot that really stands out on the white of the boot. At least the paint on the golden shield is neat as that would have really stood out if it was sloppy. I ordered this guy online, but I wish I had run across it in-store so I could have looked a few over and found a better one, but maybe they’re all like this. I should also point out that the chest is unpainted. The shield doesn’t appear to be designed to be removed, but if you did the figure wouldn’t be show accurate as he’s missing the white diamond. Hasbro actually worked in a piece of white plastic in the butterfly joint to create the impression that the undershirt was accurate. It seems rather lazy on their part.
The articulation on those old Bandai toys was pretty impressive for 1993, and isn’t even too bad by 2020 standards, but it doesn’t come close to matching what this guy can do. Nearly everything is articulated here. He can rotate at the head and look up and down as well. The arms can go all the way around and come out to 90 degrees. There’s a butterfly joint that works really well and is also hidden by the shield, which is a nice benefit of that piece. There’s a bicep swivel and double-jointed elbows that allow for a full curl. The wrist rotates and there’s a hinge as well. There’s a ball-joint in the diaphragm that allows Tommy to tilt and rotate with an ab crunch below that which allows him to go back a bit and forward pretty much all the way. Just watch out for the lower point of his shield. The legs can go forward, but not really back. There’s a thigh swivel, double-jointed knees, boot cut, and ankle hinges with ankle rockers. Really, the only things he lacks are a true waist swivel and a toe hinge, neither of which are really needed. The only thing I wish he had was a side-to-side hinge on at least one hand for wielding his sword or dagger. He can achieve a variety of poses though and is well-balanced so he can even do the old one foot kicking position.
The Green Ranger comes with a few accessories. He has his trusty Dragon Dagger which fits into his holster and he’s able to hold just fine. He can’t quite get it to his “mouth,” but you can get him into poses where it looks like he’s at least getting ready to summon the Dragonzord. He can play it off to the side, but it doesn’t really look the part. He also has his evil sword, or Sword of Darkness, if I remember it correctly. It’s the sword he used when he was in the employ of Rita Repulsa. It’s a nasty looking, curved, blade with a tassel at the end that’s sculpted plastic. It looks cool and it gives him something else to wield aside from the dagger. There’s also a green lightning effect piece that can attach to it that looks pretty impressive. He also has two extra hands. He come with gripping hands in the box which work well for both weapons. The extra hands are a closed, left, fist and an open, pinching, right hand that’s probably meant to work with the dagger as the hand pressing the flute buttons. Lastly, he comes with an alternate, unmasked, head featuring Tommy with his long hair and green bandana. It looks fine, but I’m probably never going to use it. Both weapons are well-sculpted and the paint is fine on both of them, which is a relief considering the paint issues on the main figure. The paint on the alternate head also looks great and they even remembered his lone earring.
Fans of the Power Rangers seems pretty enthused about Hasbro’s Lightning Collection and it’s easy to see why based on this one figure. This figure really looks great, especially considering it retails for right around 20 bucks. I even scored this for less as Target had a promotion running at the time that I wasn’t able to use on the NECA products I had purchased. It’s a shame the paint wasn’t a little better, but that’s pretty much the only negative piece of criticism I have for this one. The sculpt is quite good and the articulation is fantastic. It may be hard to get him into a proper flute mode, but I honestly don’t know how Hasbro could have done better. Best of all though, is that this figure just hits the right nostalgia points. If I had this toy when I was 10 I would have been over the moon. Similarly, whenever I see him next to the Dragonzord I’m going to get that little rush of excitement. Like I said, I’m not a huge Power Rangers fan, but this figure makes me want to be. Wish me luck in suppressing that urge, for the sake of my wallet.