It's been so long since I've been interested in a Bandai figure, I think the last time I considered buying one was when the recent Thundercats cartoon got figures, and even then I had to pass on them because the articulation and giant screw holes in the backsides looked terrible.
But now, enter the Pink Power Ranger, who has no unsightly screw holes in her rear.
I tried so hard not to be lewd this year, but there goes that resolution.
Anyway, I wanted to submit something new to this Journal section after seeing that goofy Stormtrooper for so long lol. I'll add pictures eventually, I don't have the best lighting for taking decent shots.
In a time when disgusting aliens fall to Earth and destroy all the best pizza places, the only thing to do is put on a cool helmet, slip on a mini-skirt, and spinkick them back into space!
While my memory may be hazy, I'm pretty sure that was the premise behind the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers show. It made perfect sense to me at the time, and still does.
PACKAGEBandai presents Kimmy in a stylish matte black box with streaks of pink lightning, looking especially sharp when lined up on a shelf with the rest of the electrifying collection. A few pieces of tape can be slit to easily remove the contents.
On the back we see the Build-A-Figure Dino Megazord in all its glory, along with the rest of the Series 2 figures available. There's no blurb about Kimberly Hart's talents or achievements or how many citizens she's terrified with that giant screeching Robo-Pterodactyl of hers, just cold hard reminders that all our toys are made and imported from China.
SCULPTUnderstandably, Bandai chose to use recurring body parts across this "Power Rangers: Legacy" line of highly-articulated figures. The MMPR outfits are basic enough to do this without too much criticism, plus it gives them a uniform look. All the stuff you'd expect is there, like the padding on back of the hands and strips over the toebox. There are embellishments here and there, like the raised white ridge on the skirt and the raised trim on the gloves and boots, and while I appreciate little "enhancements" like that, die-hard PR fans out there may take issue because those aren't screen-accurate.
These PR:L figs have a cartoon aesthetic because there aren't any sculpted winkles or folds in the outfits, relying on the lack of muscle definition to suggest a bodysuit. For example, on Pinky here, there's no zipper or parting line running down the gloves. No creases at stress points like the ankles or neck area. The skirt is a completely flat piece of plastic, without any of the sculpted bunching found on the Dino Drive Pink Ranger's skirt. Despite being a live-action show, the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers feel more like sleek comic book super heroes than hyper-realistic movie stars anyway, so this aesthetic suits them.
Being a fan of 6-inch scale, I was disappointed when I read the PR:L figs were going to be 6.5-inch scale. Now owning this figure, I can see its size in full effect when standing next to 6-inch scale Star Wars and Marvel Legends. Mini Kim stands almost 6.5 inches tall, which is enough to give even Wonder Woman a staredown. I imagine the dudes from this line are like 7 inches, which would actually let Billy go a few rounds with Hulk, so that's cool, right? lol
And now for some other quick nitpicks and observations:
The feet are way too small. They're even more problematic when you try to pose a figure this size.
The figure's shoulders are slightly wider than its hips, giving it a strong, tomboyish vibe.
There are carved lines on the helmet and edges of the white diamonds. The morpher looks like it's detailed, but the thick paint application erases it. Bummer.
Even though the skirt has slits strategically added up the sides, it's made of a stiff plastic that prevents the legs from moving forward and back. Hey, at least the fig can do jumping jacks. I hope someone passes this note on to Bandai so they start using more rubbery plastics for things like this.
The helmet looks a hair too small for this body, but if you put it on a smaller body it looks perfect. In fact, you could transplant a lot of the body parts onto a smaller figure and make a kickass custom. This fig reminds me of DC's New 52 female figures, which are the same size, but only because the limbs were clearly stretched as an afterthought to fit the larger scale.
Something odd about the arms; the section between the shoulder and the bicept-swivel is a separate piece. Maybe this lets Bandai replace that small piece on other figures as needed? Say, for example, they needed to attach shoulder armor somehow, they can swap that piece out for the armored piece and now they don't have to replace the entire arm or modify the whole torso with an attachment point. Though I guess they could also just use the sunken pin areas in the shoulders as a place to pop on some armor too, like the Marvel Legends GOG Iron Man.
PAINTIf you're a stickler for accuracy, you'll probably find some faults with the paint deco. Black stripes on the holster, yay or nay? White belt versus pearl silver? Black or white soles? Sea Green eyes on the helmet versus Emerald Green? Haha
I'm happy with the color scheme, the pearl belt looks okay as a compliment to the silver mouth and the silver tip of the blaster. Plus, it makes the fig look more girly, which is funny, until your neighbor starts making fun of your "Barbie", that is.
Not counting the glaring exception mentioned before, the paint apps are neat enough for a mass-produced figure. The morpher coin is such an iconic piece of equipment that it's a shame the detail got muddied with thick gold paint. I'll have to try and clean it up with some acetone to repaint it.
The figure's parts are cast in their primary colors; the body is pink, the gloves/boots are white, etc. The blaster is made of red plastic with a bit of white paint while the holster is solid white plastic. I've been tossing the figure around in a bin with other figures and none of the painted bits have scraped off yet, so I think the colors will stay put for a long while.
JOINTSHere's to hoping I simply got a wonky figure because many of the joints have barely enough friction to hold poses. They're not floppy, but give the impression they will be eventually. Smartly, the hinges at the knees and ankles have an added ratcheting action to keep them stiff enough to support the figure's weight.
All the joints work as expected, they're very WYSIWYG. I would have preferred a ball-socket for the head, similar to Hasbro's figs, because being able to slightly cock a figure's head can add so much expression, but this swivel-hinge works fine. Single-hinge elbows instead of double-hinge...eh, it's not like the figure needs doubles since we don't even get Kim's bow. Come on, Bandai.
I've taken a liking to these wrists, they basically use a Revoltech joint, which is a ball-shaped hinge with two swivels. This lets the hand hinge in any direction, letting the figure hold a gun realistically or throw out a peace sign. The hands on this figure can be easily popped off, which makes me think that at some point we were going to get extra sets of hands included with the figure, along with an open blaster...and bow...before the idea was scrapped. If Bandai releases an accessory pack later on and wants to charge us like $20 just for a weapon and some hands, we'd better riot!
There are swivels at the glove and boot cuffs, though they're completely unnecessary. However, making the gloves and boots as separate pieces like this makes it easier to swap in a different pair of gloves and boots for some other character. It also eliminates the need to paint the pink areas on this fig. It's fun to speculate why toy companies design their toys the way they do, also, they never respond to my emails, so speculate is all I can do.
I'm not a fan of the exposed pins at the neck, shoulders, and ankles, but from a customizing standpoint, I appreciate that it makes those joints easier to disassemble, and cover with a bit of Apoxie. In fact, a lot of the figure is customizer-friendly. Notice how the bicept-swivels are straight cuts instead of cupped (like on Marvel Legends figures), this eliminates paint-rub issues there. The upper torso floats around on a single ball-socket-rod that pops into the abdomen, and can be easily pulled apart. There's enough clearance around the shoulders and in the elbows to paint and move them without scraping all the paint off. All this interests me, especially because I want to turn this Pinky into the armored movie version.
What else...oh yeah, the rim of the upper torso has a funky shape. I think it looks cool, it even fits the pterodactyl motif, but the reason for the irregular shape is to maintain full articulation. You'll notice those cut-outs are necessary for certain poses, though I don't think I'll be bending her ankles up over hear head all that often.
ACCESSORIESWhat's a girl without her blaster and severed mech arm? The Pinkster comes ready to do battle with the Dino Megazord's right arm and a blaster in the closed position. Huh. Okay, well, if you're crafty you could replace Kim's arm with the Megazord's, which would be frikkin' sweet. The closed blaster...can be used as a lighter? It's still useful! From Putties to evil marshmallows to your dad's stack of moldy old magazines, there's always something begging to be set on fire!
There's also a removable white holster included for the blaster, for when Kim isn't contemplating pyromancy.
VALUEAbout 20 bucks is what figures like this cost nowadays. A long time ago I read that the reason toys got so expensive is because oil prices were rising. Okay, that was years ago, and oil prices have dropped dramatically, so what's up? Why are articulated 6-inch figures getting even more expensive? I'm guessing the next excuse is going to be that the cost of the metal for the molds is going up. Or maybe the cost of cardboard for the packaging is soaring. Maybe everyone is full of crap.
Anyway, if you can swing the 20 to 25 bucks for the fig, and don't mind the "large" scale, go for it. The "Limited Edition" tag on the box may not just be a marketing thing, because according to Bruno from MMPRtoys, these figs won't be re-released after they disappear from store shelves. I find that hard to believe though, based all the overpriced reissued Power Rangers stuff Bandai pumps out.
Listening to: Eternal Champion