Sunday, April 3, 2011

We Love Power Rangers Samurai (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger)

I only vaguely paid notice to Power Rangers in the past, always thinking they were kind of cheesy and lame. But recently, we happened to catch an episode of the new Power Rangers Samurai series on tv. The American acting is definitely over-the-top goofy, but Kaz loved the show and we could hardly blame him. The quality of the costumes, most of all for the monsters, is amazing. The "Samurai" action is pretty entertaining, and the "Zords" are impressive.

The toy instructions share a sense of humor with the series.
Having had our interest piqued, my husband and I did more research behind the Power Rangers series, becoming familiarized with its Super Sentai roots. We were able to order copies of the Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and Tensou Sentai Goseiger series, plus the Samurai Sentai Shinkenger "The Fateful War" movie. Even without understanding Japanese nor being able to read the subtitles, Kaz has no problem immersing himself into the Shinken world. Right now, he loves "The Fateful War" movie most of all. In addition to the loving the appearance of a "Shinken Gold," he gets up-on-his-feet, eyes-wide-open, calling-for-everyone-around-to-take-notice excited when the "Hyper Shinken Red" gets revealed with a dramatic upward pan of the camera that climaxes with his regal red collar.
Birthday Boy Kazuo with his new Megazord
Fortunately, with the recent release of Power Rangers Samurai on Nickelodeon, we have had lucky timing to score in the toy department, as well. For Kaz's recent fourth birthday, Mommy and Daddy caved in the night before his birthday and got him one more gift: the Power Rangers Samurai Deluxe Megazord! Without having yet looked into Power Rangers merchandise, we lucked out in discovering the Megazord on an impromptu trip to Toys R Us.

"Go, go Power Rangers!"
The quality of the Megazord was a pleasant surprise. Having been disappointed by the substandard durability of some of Kaz's other toys--Transformers being some of the worst--we were relieved to find that this Bandai line offered strong plastic parts that could stand up to the play of a four-year-old and his not-so-adept parents. The sturdy construction alone earns the Megazord a high rating.

But, the awesomeness of the Megazord and its accompanying accessories--which we couldn't hold back from securing for Kaz post-birthday--does not end there. While I'm mentioning the other "accessories" here, let me just list them now: (1) Swordfish Zord and Water Ranger, (2) Tiger Zord and Fire Ranger, (3) Beetle Zord and Forest Ranger, (4) Blue Samurai Cycle and (yes, another) Water Ranger, and (5) Red Samurai Cycle and (yes, another) Fire Ranger. (We were a little sad that we ended up with two red ranger figures and two blue ranger figures--why no pink or yellow rangers?)

Swordfish Zord
Tiger Zord
Beetle Zord
Cycle Zords
Given the limited time I have to write, I'm going to have the rein in my obsessive-compulsive need to detail all of the features of these toys, and it won't be easy. The ability for them to transform and connect in multiple configurations is seemingly endless and what makes these toys such a joy to play with. I honestly can't even figure out all of the combinations yet! At the most basic level, you can start with the Megazord, which can be taken apart to form five separate Zords: Leo (lion), Dragon, Bear, Monkey, and Turtle.

Leo Zord (torso and head of Megazord)
Dragon Zord (leg and sword of Megazord)
Bear Zord (leg of Megazord)
Monkey Zord (arm of Megazord)
Turtle Zord (arm of Megazord)
Each of the accessory Zords (Swordfish, etc.) are also able to transform to interchange with parts of and/or add to the Megazord. For instance, see all of the different headgear options you end up with for the Megazord.

Standard Samurai headgear that comes with Megazord

Swordfish Zord Provided Headgear

Tiger Zord Provided Headgear
Beetle Zord Provided Headgear
Similarly, the cycles can transform into legs for the Megazord.

Standard Megazord Legs
Megazord with Cycle Legs
You can take apart the Swordfish Zord and use half of it to switch in for an arm.

Standard Megazord Arm
Megazord with Swordfish Zord Provided Arm
You can alternatively combine the Swordfish, Tiger, and Beetle Zords to create an awesome Battlewing craft that can even be attached to the back of the Megazord to create the ultimate Megazord incarnation.

Megazord with Battlewing and Cycle Legs (from front)

Megazord with Battlewing and Cycle Legs (from side)

Megazord with Battlewing and Cycle Legs (from back)
Hopefully you get the idea...these toys are awesome. Go, go Power Rangers, indeed!