Power Rangers Samurai
Red Mega Ranger
4 Inch Scale
By: Bandai
$7.99

Power Rangers are back for their incredible 19th season on the air. With Haim Saban back in control of the franchise, so too comes more new toys from Bandai. I haven’t seen any of the new show, nor have I watched any of the other shows aside from the original. However I had some TRU bucks to blow and these were there only cool thing in the store, so let’s see how the most recent incarnation of Power Rangers break down.
A new generation of Power Rangers must master the mystical and ancient Samurai Symbols of Power which give them control over the elements of Fire, Water, Sky, Forest, and Earth. Under the guidance of their all-knowing mentor and the aid of their devoted animal Zords, they battle the dark forces of the Netherworld and a mysterious Warrior bent on destruction.

Obviously the story isn’t much different than any Power Rangers story. This time they seem to have additional element powers, but whether or not that truly factors into the show much or not I can’t say. For the figures themselves, it seems to be a non-factor.


With Bandai snagging the Thundercats license, there is a renewed interest in what exactly Bandai does with major toy licenses in the United States. While the Thundercats line shows a lot of promise, a look at the Power Rangers’ newest line is a good starting off point to see what the future may hold. You know that time it is? IT’S MORPHIN’ SAMURAI TIME!

Packaging:
The packaging is a pretty basic J-hook style card with a squared bubble in front and a cardboard back. The Power Rangers logo is raised on the package and the colors are the traditional red/silver tones we’ve seen from this line for years. It stands out in the aisle well, but it does very little to stand out from previous Power Ranger packages.


These are tri-lingual cards. Each Ranger is known as a “Mega Ranger” which appear to be slightly suped up versions of the regular costumes. In essence these are the American show suits, as opposed to the Japanese stock footage suits. It doesn’t list their color names but underneath lists the element in three different languages: English, French and Spanish. This is Ranger: Fire/Feu/Fuego!

The back of the package is tri-lingual as well. I’m not a fan of tri-lingual packages, though I realize why they exist. They’re an eye sore and look cheap, though. The font is also really small and kind of hard to read, because they have to squeeze three versions on a card.


You also get a pretty large instruction sheet on the inside. I don’t really know why you need instructions at all, but the size comes from the fact that this explains how to put everyone’s weapons in their hand. Again, three languages are present.

Sculpt:
The simple bright colors and sharp contrasting colors have always made Power Rangers pop. In recent years the changes to the helmets have been one area that really draws your attention in. This Red Ranger is no different.


The design is really cool, with the red and the symbol for his helmet visor. The Red Ranger also has a little gold badge of sorts on his chest. It makes him look a little bit like an outer space sheriff.


As I mentioned before, these suits have extra padding and embellishments on them. This is sort of the difference between say, the original Power Rangers outfits and the Power Rangers movie outfits. This is probably a wise choice for Bandai as the figures are more visually appealing in this costume, as opposed to the more basic spandex costume.


Scale wise he’s not going to fit in with much. While listed at 4 inches, he’s actually just a sliver under 4 1/2 inches. This puts him pretty much out of scale with everything on the market right now. Definitely a head scratching decision by Bandai.


He looks okay bashing some Ben 10 baddies and aside from slightly oversized hands, he fits in well enough with GI Joe and other brands. Except for the height issue. I suppose you could imagine that the Ranger suit makes everybody like 6’6″.


The real question is how does he fit in with my awesome Lord Zedd Figure that I reviewed back in 2009? Well he only works if you imagine Zedd as an 8 foot imposing intergalactic badass. I’m okay with that. Your mileage may vary.

Paint:
Paint is next to non-existent on this figure. Sure, there are a handful of paint aps and even a couple of small ones, but nothing much impressive. For the most part these guys are cast in the appropriate colors and that does the work of paint.


There is a faint numbering system on the leg. It’s hard to see with just your eyes, but it shows up in a few of the pictures. Bright light will do that. It definitely lets you know that this is a TOY.


With less paint there is less room for errors and slop. It also means that you can play with these figures and play rough without fear of losing any paint. I guarantee I could throw this guy against the wall a dozen times and he’d look much better than if I did the same with a DCUC. That’s an important quality for kids that play with their toys, as I suspect most Power Rangers buyers will be.

Articulation:
This little guy has quite a bit of articulation, but he’s missing one important bit of movement. While this still isn’t up to say GI Joe 25th levels, he’s much better than Bandai’s recent 3 3/4 MMPR figures. So it’s a step forward, but still not quite where it needs to be.


As you can see, the main point of articulation that’s missing is the ability to swivel at the waist. It seems like such a strange point to miss. Especially when you consider that his ankles can swivel.


You can also see the joints as they’re cast in a white plastic. This is a staple of Bandai, with either metal rivets and screws or visible white plastic joints. I’m curious to see if that will continue in some of the Thundercats products or not. Bandai’s philosophy is that kids don’t really care about those things and they’re right… But collectors do.

Accessories:
You get a handful of accessories in this figure pack, but not as many as I would have hoped. Remember that these guys are competing with GI Joe and Star Wars at this price point and scale. As such, they really need to have something that puts them over the edge. Accessories is not that something.


You get two swords. One is a ridiculous Anime Cloud Strife Buster sword type deal and the other is a more traditional type of robotic looking sword. The Buster sword does have a little paint work, while the other is cast in a plain silver/grey plastic. Weapons still seem to be a side thought for Bandai.


Both swords fit in his hand well enough, although it’s much harder to get him to stand up with the giant one. Of course, nobody could carry a sword like that in real life without falling over most of the time anyway. He also has a removable communicator and “morpher”, or at least, that’s what I assume those are.


Feel free to be the guy who corrects me on that. Both have a little bit of paint detail and sculpting, but aren’t going to knock your socks off. The regular sword can actually plug into the side of one and he can carry it that way.


With a little paint and couple more little accessories this figure could have been bumped up a notch. Bandai always does fine sculpting on their accessories and then leaves them without a drop of paint. It’s a bit disheartening.

Value:
I’ve seen these at $6.99-$7.99 at a couple different retailers. At that price, these guys simply aren’t “worth it”. They’d be perfect at $4.99-$5.99 but there are definitely better toys out there for your bucks. However, if you’re a die hard Power Rangers fan and need to get some new Ranger toys, these are perfectly acceptable and are of a higher quality than most the PR products.

I’m sort of the believer that one type of Ranger is good enough as any, so this could the original MMPR figures for my collection. I’m sure that’s sacrilege in Power Rangers circles, but whatever. This guy is Rocky to me. Yes ROCKY, not Jason. Screw Jason.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 6
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Regular Sword, Giant Sword
Value – 5
Overall – 6 out of 10


It’s nice to see some respectable (albeit overpriced) Power Rangers toys on the market. There’s nothing here that is going to win over collectors, but it’s good that kids are getting a little better quality out of Bandai. The Power Rangers line still has a long way to go to catch up to other modern lines, but it’s coming along even if it’s in baby steps.

11 Responses to Figure Review: Power Rangers Samurai Fire Ranger

  • Russ says:

    I want 5" figures, like the majority of Power Rangers have been for years now.

    Otherwise, they're really not in scale with almost anything else, save for the Rangers that were released last year.

  • wesitron says:

    Holy Crap, you have Double Dragon figures? I thought I was the only one who watched that show!

  • Bill says:

    Bandai has always seemed to me like a company that doesn't put much "love" into their toys (Their US lines, anyway). As you noted, Newton, they are trying to appeal to kids here, not collectors. These do that well. Kids love these toys, and they DO take rough treatment and keep fightin'. Why they don't keep sizes consistent is anybody's guess.

    I too, am interested to see what they do on Thundercats. I am hoping for a delightful surprise, but I remain skeptical.

  • Indeed I do.

  • Yeah the Thundercats stuff looks great so far. I do think they are trying to cater a bit to collectors finally with that, but everything else has definitely been kids business.

    As I mentioned in the review, these guys are pretty durable. Which is definitely important.

  • I'm not sure why they went with this scale. They do have larger figures, but they look like the usual unarticulated action feature crap that PR seems to pump out ad nauseum.

  • Mark says:

    Excellent review as always Newton. Seems a cool little figure. I seen the Toy Fair pics of some of the larger Samurai figures and they looked real nice….also a nice god zord.
    I could be wrong on this, but I believe the Dragonball Z movie 4" figures did not have the white joints. Again I am not 100%….they are selling them off here for £1.99 so I might pick one up.
    I think the new Thundercats stuff loks amazing.
    I only owned some of the large 8"and smaller 4" Power Rangers when I was young, and they were solid and got an intense amount of play and held up realy well. My younger cousins have them now and they are getting far more play and the paint and plastic etc still look great….apart from missing accessories the white ranger still looks like the day I got him.
    Bandai have always had quality plastic in all their products.

  • Mark says:

    With the new Thundercats toys I want actual toys that I can display and let my cousins look at and mess about with (I plan on getting doubles ) without fear of then being fragile collectors pieces that will break and scuff easily. Althouh the new line is for kids and collectors, I am sure the collector's classics figures will be sturdy and solid toys aswell…..but those will be for me to play with LOL.

  • You could be right on that. I wouldn't say it's necessarily indicative of every line of theirs, but shows up a lot.

  • Mecha-Shiva says:

    The redesign looks great as a toy,I was a bit underwhelmed with the Shinken red figuarts compared to this figure.Cool review,shame about the scale but kids really don't care about it,I think the amount of plastic on the giant sword accessory is the factor for his weird height choice.

  • SengalBoy says:

    I like Rocky too!

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