Figure Retrospective

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Re: Figure Retrospective

Postby oroboru » November 9th, 2010, 9:21 pm

Now that I've had the chance to take some more pictures, I can continue on with my little project here. Pictures continue mid way down page two of my gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22877494@N ... 52/?page=2

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Power Rangers Time Force Megazord Set - Time Force Megazord and Time Shadow Megazord. This set, if memory serves me correctly, was obtained for $30 from some guys on Craigslist back in 2008 or so. This set was produced at a time when the materials and paint used for the American sets were pretty close to the Sentai releases, minus a few parts and electronics. Also, characteristic of American vs. Japanese releases, it seems that that actual QC and tolerances from production sucked the big one in comparison. The Time Force Megazord was unique in that it had a "carrier" mode, along with TWO Megazord modes - Red & Blue, each mode used for a different purpose. The Time Shadow only had one Megazord mode/vehicle mode, and served as the expected upgrade to Ultrazord mode. The Megazords themselves look kind of wonky, but the vehicles looked great, complete with opening cockpits for the non-existent American mini-figures. As with most PR lines, most of the major releases were available for this series, with some of the more quirky items being available only in Japan.

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GoGo Sentai Boukenger - Ultimate DaiBouken. This one was obtained the old fashioned way, through various cheap auctions sniped from eBay. Back in 2007, the Power Rangers Operation Overdrive series came out. This series marked a very important milestone, specifically it was the year that Bandai of America (BoA) really, really, really screwed up the Megazord designs. Due to the small sizes of the individual components, BoA decided to make a different scaled Megazord. The good news was that it as significantly larger than the releases seen in recent year. The bad news is that the damn thing couldn't combine as shown on the show. As a result, people who usually settled for the cheaper BoA releases basically scrambled to get the Japanese ones. An adventure themed series, things started off alright with DaiBouken and the supplementary mecha, composed of several exploration vehicle... well, most of them anyway. Things got really weird with DaiVoyager (i.e. Battlefleet Megazord), which was made from several war machines. Combining the mecha is different ways, you can form Daibouken with auxiliary weapons, Super DaiBouken, DaiTanken, as well as its ultimate form. Some people don't like this ultimate combination, citing things such as non-symmetry and a spaz-tastic colour scheme. Personally, I love the multitude of colours and, with the exception of the gimpy arm, I think that it's a nice, mean looking set with above average articulation.

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Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger - Gao Icarus (aka. Isis Megazord from the Wild Force line). This set, much like Ultimate DaiBouken, was obtained in several pieces, with Gao Falcon (red bird) purchased by a relative in Hong Kong, and the remaining parts purchased from eBay. Gao Icarus is the ultimate expression of power in this series, and it looks freakin' sweet. Everything from the large swooping wings to the crazy head sculpt is quite unique, and hasn't been recreated since. The American name kind of invokes an Egyptian theme - however, it's more of a totemic, Native American theme. The components of Gao Icarus can be mixed and matched with all other mecha from this series, as well as others with similar connector components. The American version retained most of the die cast parts, but lost some paint in the process. The American version of Gao Falcon, however, has some crazy sound box not present in its Sentai counterpart.

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Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger - Gao Hunter Blue Moon ver. (aka. Predazord from the Wild Force line). This set was obtained from a brick and mortar store in Hong Kong. This mecha belongs to the "loner" ranger of the series, Gao Silver, who also used to be an agent of the enemy, which is reflected by the head sculpt on the combined form. Composed of three animals (Alligator, Wolf, Hammerhead Shark), this vicious looking mecha is capable of being operated by one ranger. The blue moon version is a repaint in a predominately blue scheme, based on the single-occurrence power up Gao Hunter, and was never made available to North America. As with the other Gao Ranger mecha, the pieces are interchangeable.

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Seijuu Sentai Gingaman - Gou Taurus (aka. Torozord from the Lost Galaxy line). This set was purchased during my wandering of Chinatown, Vancouver, BC in March 2009 for $50 CAD. Again, this is the loner ranger mech, operated by Bull Black. Transformation sequence isn't particularly mind blowing or complicated, but it is a nice variation on the typical "fold out arms and legs" routine. What is neat about this set is that Bull Black is a part of the toy, and so you get a heavy little action figure. It is part of the combination into humanoid mode, but is not an integral part of it. A neat toy, if you can find it, though it's not something you should be participating in bidding wars over.

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Mahou Sentai MagiRanger - Wolkaiser (aka. Wolf Megazord from the Mystic Force line) - I personally love the dark purple which is predominate on the figure. This set was purchased again during sniping wars on eBay. Included in the set is Wolzard and his horse, Valkyrion - as the name indicates, this series was based on the possibilities of magic, with each ranger being provided with a different element to control. Undoubtedly, the series was heavily influenced by the Harry Potter craze which was in full swing at that time. Being an evil ranger (can you guess what eventually happened?), Wolzard operated a one man mecha, which was a match for the primary mecha in the series, MagiKing. Growing to large size, Wolzard could ride on Valkyrion, combine with it in a centaur mode (WolCentaur) or full on humanoid mode (Wolkaizer). Due to the chest swapping gimmick of this series, MagiPhoenix from MagiKing could be swapped in for the Wolzard figure, and was used to form FireKaizer, with its mane of flames.

While this figure was never released in North America, we did get a 100% Sentai accurate version of Saint Kaiser (aka. Steedergon Megazord), which was a white repaint featuring a small amount of remoulding, and a MagiPhoenix figure instead of Wolzard. Saint Kaiser was a mecha that was featured twice - once in an episode, and in the MagiRanger movie. I believe the UK got both Wolf Megazord as well as the Steedergon Megazord.

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Denkou Choujin Gridman - Super God Thunder Gridman (aka. Synchro from Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad). This set was purchased from the sadly defunct anime store Kimono My House, formerly located in Berkeley, California for $50. These toys were developed by Takara, who of course, are well known for their Transformers figures. They were an interesting concept - armour pieces which form their own robot, but at the same time, can combine with a somewhat articulated core figure to create yet another potent combination. There was only one season of this show, and my understanding is that it had better rating during its North American run than in Japan. The Gridman figure (aka. Servo) had electronics which were absent in the American version - I couldn't tell you what they actually do, because my were DOA. The weapons were also provided with a nice shiny coat of silver paint, again absent from the American version. Other than the fact I don't have the Drago set, my only other lament is that the two helper program sets didn't combine together to give Gridman even more ass kicking power.

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Delta Squad and OmegaMax Megazords from the Power Rangers SPD line, purchased from some guy on a forum. Being the American releases, these figures are missing paints apps and some accessories. The Delta Squad Megazord is your typical humanoid shape, and is provided with police related instruments of doom (I don't know why it's a sword, and not a baton or something like that). The OmegaMax Megazord has the look of a biker cop, though as a toy it more or less sucks. The two do interact in a rather interesting way, which, sadly isn't purely recreated by the toys - The Delta Squad Megazord can ride the OmegaMax Megazord like a bike. However, the toy needs to remove its feet to ride, which looks really, really stupid. The two mecha are then capable of combining into the DeltaMax Megazord, which looks pretty impressive. Just leave the sounds off - they get all sorts of annoying really, really quick.

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Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger - Killer AbarenOh (aka. Dino Rage Megazord from the Dino Thunder line). Abaranger was an interesting series in that it brought back dinosaurs as the theme. The Mighty Morphin series also involved dinosaurs, and in an effort to capitalize on this, Disney brought back the character of Tommy Oliver, the former Green/White/Red Ranger. Abaranger didn't really have any of these tie ins, so it was treated like a run of the mill series. Unlike Season One, however, there would be predominately be three rangers rather than six. Ranger four acted as a consult at times, and Ranger five had, for most of the series, murderous intent. Killer AbarenOh is made up of two sets - Killer Oh & AbarenOh. The toys had more of an organic, beast like appearance, in comparison to the figures found in Season One. Combinations were neat, though not as intimidating as those in other series. There are a few modes of AbarenOh that I've never seen used - one without the Pterodon, and one where AbarenOh actually has a sword and shield.

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Thunder Megazord from Season Two of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This set was obtained from some dudes basement. One of my favourite mecha from the line, the toys is unfortunately incomplete. This is theme which, unfortunately, is very prevalent in my collection of Sentai/Power Ranger mecha. The first thing which strikes you is the size of this thing - back in the day, 13, 14 in. tall Megazords were the norm. It was only when they started doing all sorts of weird combinations was the size of the components reduced. The Thunder Megazord was very symmetric looking - in fact, its formed by wrapping armour around the central piece, the Red Dragon Thunderzord. The Thunder Megazord also had a very cool samurai motif to it, including a very badass looking helmet. The individual components weren't very impressive, mind you, as had as much play value as a pet rock. Hopefully one day I will be able to get my hands on a DaiRenOh, the Sentai counterpart of this mecha, complete with proper stickers and lots of chrome.

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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger - Senpuujin (aka. Storm Megazord from the Ninja Storm series). This set was obtained from an offline eBay transaction... not that those actually happen in real life... yeah. This set has definitely grown on me - I originally purchased it because the price was pretty good ($30, missing an easily replaced part). I didn't think it would be very good - three components versus five, and Playskool looking proportions. I tell you though, once you pick this sucker up, you know you've got some quality in your hands. While Senpuujin isn't the largest mecha around, it's pretty damn heavy - I would estimate it to be in the 3 to 4 lb range. Like Playskool toys, however, Senpuujin is built like a brick, and is most likely capable of withstanding all sorts of play abuse. The finish on the components is quite nice as well - lots of chrome accents, and of course, all parts are painted and not just left as the basic plastic colour. Proportion wise, the head isn't too small, and the arms have a bit of more natural, humanoid look to it. I could go on for a few more paragraphs regarding the strengths of this figure, and I haven't even started to talk about what you can do if you get a few more sets from this series. Let me put it this way - I have somehow amassed pretty much every mecha related set this series had - I think I only lack the Harrier mode Senpuujin. While there are people who have voiced their concerns over QC, I haven't had any issues beyond what I normally expect from a kids toy. Yeah, the Karakuri ball thing kind of makes the body of the sets bulky, but the actual gadgets themselves interesting. All in all, Senpuujin is a great set, and is worth your trouble to get a hold of.

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Seijuu Sentai Gingaman - Ginga Phoenix (aka. Stratoforce Megazord from the Lost Galaxy series). This set was purchased from a brick and mortar store near my house. One of three legendary Ginga Beasts, Ginga Phoenix is an entirely self operated mecha which, over the course of time and evolution, has gained the ability to separate into flying components. I dunno... I certainly can suspend my belief over many things, but I always struggle with this one. Anyway, Ginga Phoenix is like the twerp of my Sentai - it's so tiny compared to everything else I own. There's nothing particularly good about this set - it just has this old school look to it. It's also incredibly fragile - I put some good cracks into the pieces the first time I transformed it.

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Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger - Gao Muscle (aka. Kongazord from the Wild Force series). This set was purchased from a brick and mortar store in Chinatown, Toronto, ON. This set is interesting - it's not actually a totally different mecha. Rather, taking advantage of the crazy interchangeability of the parts in this series, Gao Muscle is a combination of the primary set (Gao King) with some auxiliary pieces forming a different looking combination. Nonetheless, it was sold as a set, and as a result I guess I have half of Gao King as well. Gao Muscle looks like a real brusier - wide upper body, narrow waist, scary face, bear faces for fits, and armed with a weighted chain - the eagle on the belt is also a nice touch. Gao Bison is able to fold out and serve as a carrier of sorts, though it's not very convincing. Die cast content adds some nice heft to this set, though it's not as heavy as other entries in the Sentai family.

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Gosei Sentai Dairanger - Won Tiger (aka. White Tigerzord from Season Two of the Power Rangers series). This set was purchased from Kimono My House for $50. Much like the first time I was introduced to the Dragonzord, the White Tigerzord amazed me. Single ranger - check. Operate on its own - check. Combines with primary mecha - check. Piloted by Tommy "Dreamboat" Oliver - double check. Adding to the awesomeness that was this mecha had a humanoid form, which was armed with a larger version of Saba, the White Ranger's talking sword. While the American toy wasn't bad, I eventually learned of the things taken away from the Sentai version, and didn't hesitate to add this to my collection. What is also nice about having a minty fresh Won Tiger/White Tigerzord is that I now have the feet for the Firebird, needed for combination in the Kiba DaiOh (Mega Tigerzord). While a neat toy on its own, clearly I bought it in hopes one day I will obtain a DaiRenOh for some combination fun.

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Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive - Liner Boy (aka. Max Solarzord from the Lightspeed Rescue series). This set was purchased from Anime North 2010 for $40 - had to dig into the piles of crap that a store had. The figure itself is a block, and as people have mentioned, looks like a glorified Go-Bot from the 1980's. Clearly, the figure itself has almost no redeeming values, other than being from the GoGo V line. Vehicle mode isn't bad, and the simple transformation between shuttle and train engine mode is a plus. Like many Sentai pieces, this one was purchased for future expansion plans - I'm not sure if any other "expansion" mecha has ever been as boring to play with.

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Shogun Megazord w/White Falconzord from Season 4 of the Power Rangers series. What's not to love about a Megazord with individual robot modes and (if I hadn't lost them) weapons, spends it downtime disguised as a castle, and combines with the White Falconzord, possibly the coolest thing to come out of Season 3? Not a whole lot - only adding to the awesome factor is the sheer size of this thing, as well as the size of the flaming sword it uses. Sadly, the US version not only lost some chrome, but also, the White zord was changed to Pink, and many of the stickers/symbols were changed to be more marketable to international audiences. I certainly didn't appreciate the changes they made, but then again, I'm not the target audience. The Sentai equivalent is called the Muteki Shogun, which translates into Invincible General - based on the looks of that thing, this name certainly was well earned.

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Jungle Pride and Jungle Master Megazords from the Jungle Fury series. Like with most decent North American releases, these two were purchased during outings to the US on business. The series was based on stock footage from the GekiRanger series, where the two mechas were called Gekitouja and Gekifire respectively. BoA made most toy collectors happy during this line - they released the main deluxe sized Megazords, as well as reduced size "transformable" sets, which would be employed during the RPM and MMPR 2010 lines. Unfortunately, while all the mecha, including auxiliary piece, were released in transformable size, only the two Megazords were released at full size. Fortunately, with the power of eBay, obtaining the Sentai ones was quite easy. In addition, it was also great that with the exception of a couple of flashing lights and an extra item code on the figure, the Megazords were indentical to their Sentai counterparts, so at least all the combinations shown on the show could be achieved. There were five auxiliary mecha sets - Gekiwolf, Gekielephant, Gekishark, Gekibat, and the evil mecha set which was used for a quick team up. Haven't got them all, but I have obtained most of the them. Hopefully with the new PR series coming up, we'll go back to having deluxe scaled Megazords.

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The original Ultrazord from Season One - you know, before they needed to add all sorts of prefixes because they call everything a Megazord. Not my favourite piece per se, but it has it's moments, and is pretty intense looking and has nostalgic value, particularly for my brother. Obviously incomplete, though interestingly enough, the Dragonzord and Titanus actually survived my childhood - the Megazord was only purchased in 2001 or so at a garage sale for like $0.50 or something ridiculously low like that. Of all the components, I'd have to say that the Dragonzord was the most interesting part. It's basically a pimped out Mecha Godzilla which fires missiles from its fingertips and has a drill for a tail. Furthermore, it can combine with the Megazord in two ways - either as a new upper torso, or, for lack of better terms, a neck warmer. Not a bad set, and it definitely stands up to modern day designs.

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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger - Black & White GouraiSenpuujin & Revolver Mammoth (Thunderstorm Megazord & Mammothzord from the Ninja Storm line). GouraiSenpuujin was obtained from a brick and mortar stores in Hong Kong for $150, whereas Revolver Mammoth was obtained from a seller on a board for $100 shipped. Before the insanity of combining four or more sets of mecha to form an often unidentifiable mess of limbs, there was a simpler time of putting a humanoid shaped mecha on top of a moving carrier piece, forming a huge, hulking mass of destructive power. IMHO, the entry from Hurricaneger ranks amongst the best.

GouraiSenpuujin expands on my love of Senpuujin by introducing a fierce looking colour scheme, as well as the second mecha of the series, Gouraijin. Unlike Senpuujin, which had circus animals for influences, Gouraijin was made up of two heavily armed beetles. Combined form was quite intimidating looking. Although Gouraijin was not as heavy as Senpuujin, it had a many more visible mechanical details (including some made of die cast metal) which made up for this. Individually, Senpuujin and Gouraijin had a nice shelf presence, but combining them together (along with a new helmet and hands) formed the even more impressive GouraiSenpuujin. Throwing in Revolver Mammoth only makes things even more crazy - the thing shoots balls out of its trunk, is mechanized, and alone is already the size of the original Ultrazord. Combining it with GouraiSenpuujin only makes it bigger.

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Mahou Sentai MagiRanger - MagiKing (aka. Titan Megazord from the Mystic Force series). Purchased from a local brick and mortar store for $70. This set had the distinction of being the very first Sentai set I had ever purchased. You have to love just how streamline and symmetric everything looks. Unlike other Sentai entries, not only is it difficult to determine where each component starts and ends, the combination is a bit out of the ordinary as well (in a good way). MagiKing also has a really imaginative dragon mode, which is something that hasn't been recreated since. The only negative thing about this set is that due to the chest swapping gimmick, the read of the body is small in comparison. There was also a release of MagiKing with show accurate metallic colours - if I ever found one at a decent price, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

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RPM Ultrazord from the Power Rangers RPM line. This set was purchased from, oh, I dunno, I think three separate stores while I was in New Jersey in November 2009. As mentioned, the Go-Onger line started the trend of combinations that just looked awkward, a mass of limbs and parts just flying all over the place. For the RPM line, BoA decided to skip the deluxe Megazords, and go straight for the transforming ones. The end result was four Megazords which more or less resembled the characters on the show, but with fewer parts and smaller size. BoA did quite well - they were able to release a cheaper product which was capable of all show combination, which was something they goofed during the Operation Overdrive days. While the set wasn't as sophisticated as its Sentai counterpart, it had one important advantage - the thing held together properly, and had better proportions. Overall, this was definitely a winner for BoA, though I have no idea how Canadian kids get their PR kicks these days, as we never seem to get distribution of all products.

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Hurricane Megazord from the Ninja Storm line. The last of my Ninja Storm/Hurricaneger items, this set was obtained through various forum trades and eBay auctions. The Hurricane Megazord is the combination of the three main sets - Thunder Megazord, Storm Megazord, and the Samurai Star Megazord. The Samurai Star Megazord, for the most part, is identical to the Sentai release. The Thunder and Storm Megazords, however, are missing a slew of paint applications, as well as any and all die cast metal content. The combination still looks pretty good, but it's missing that sparkle that chrome accents, metal, and a good coat of paint bring to the party. Personally, I find that the Samurai Star Megazord is too big for the combination, and prefer the Thunderstorm Megazord combination.

Phew... well, I've got a few more days of my vacation left. Maybe I'll have time to photograph a few more things before I'm back to the grind.
Plastic... cool, sterile, and oh so pretty!
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Re: Figure Retrospective

Postby BigPfeiffer » November 11th, 2010, 7:43 pm

Some really nice photos there :) Some of the sets look very very cool but you're right in that some of them just look clumsy at this point, Go-Onger I'm looking at you.
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Re: Figure Retrospective

Postby caren_otaku » November 17th, 2010, 5:05 am

my PVC figure bought from E2046.com recently. prefect kit. the second pic is of E2046's Gathering brand. It looks fabulous either.

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