Monday, July 20, 2020

Two more Lightning Collection figures revealed

Psycho Green was found in a Walmart but not for sale just yet. And in some Targets, Black Dino Charge Ranger has been spotted. Also overseas White Dino Ranger.

Photo from Ray Alcantar on Facebook.

Photo thanks to @KidMtheman

Some fans are complaining about paint applications on White Ranger's helmet and Black Ranger's buckle. I honestly don't mind.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Speculations: What could not adapting Sentai mean for Power Rangers

UPDATED 7/20/20
Last week Illuminerdi brought out news that Hasbro would no longer be adapting Super Sentai footage from Toei, the majority of the fandom does not believe this unless Hasbro makes an 'official' announcement. As the news broke, there has been confusion. Some fans thinking Hasbro no longer being connected to Toei meant they would lose copyright to existing Power Rangers characters. As Jason Bischoff, who used to work for Saban Brands and briefly Hasbro told me via tweet once that if it is already Power Rangers, there is no copyright problem. Toei can't take that away. Hasbro cutting ties with Toei means Dino Fury will be the last season (for now at least) adapting from Toei's Super Sentai.

So by the chart above, Dino Fury will be the last season in 2022. This is my projection as presently the Nick contract ends in 2021. But since they have been doing 2 years each season, it makes sense they would extend it for a year. What is to come for 2023 is unknown. Michael Louie, former webmaster of Power Rangers Now, said in a recent interview with Illuminerdi that is unlikely Hasbro will be making their own footage for Power Rangers as that would be expensive and Toei was doing a good job, so why do it? Michael made it clear Hasbro's choice was not because of Toei's quality. I think it was a money issue and in Hasbro's vision, they don't see the current formula working. I personally see that Hasbro doesn't see that Sentai is part of the DNA of Power Rangers. Many fans have said that the live-action show is part of it and without it, it wouldn't feel like Power Rangers.

Taking a Break
Insiders believe Hasbro is putting all their money in the upcoming movie and toys will continue. They want Power Rangers to be as popular as in 1993 and want to tell more stories of Mighty Morphin team because that is what the public is familiar with. Franchises without a constant show are not unheard of. Transformers, My Little Pony, Ninja Turtles, Marvel and DC franchises have survived without having a constant TV show or movie on. Hasbro probably sees this as a break. As for MMPR, people are more familiar with Jason, Kimberly and Tommy just like mainstream people are more familiar with Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and Megatron for Transformers. As Super Sentai has never taken a break and even with Covid, it doesn't look like it will end. 

What Hasbro sees producing the live-action series
This is just guessing, I don't know the actual details. I don't even know the ratings but word is the ratings are stable but lower than before. Power Rangers the series has not been as popular as it was in the 90's. Some seasons have been popular (good ratings or good sales) but not at the same level. Power Rangers Zeo had 50 episodes in 1996 while Power Rangers Wild Force had 40 in 2002. When Disney started producing Power Rangers, episode counts started at 38 episodes with Ninja Storm in 2003 and then lowered to 32 by RPM in 2009. In 2011 once they joined Nickelodeon, the episode count was down to 20 per year with some specials, and each 'theme' was expanded to 2 years. Let's look at facts:

1995 - Zeo - 50 episodes
2002 - Wild Force - 40 episodes
2003 - Ninja Storm - 38 episodes
2009 - RPM - 32 episodes
2011 - Samurai - 22 episodes
2020 - Beast Morphers - 22 episodes

Episode counts have stayed steady for 9 years on Nickelodeon but it is few and many fans have complained of the few episode count. But it looks like all we can get. There simply is no other network. Cartoon Network is now simply in house cartoons that range to 13 minutes in length. The other choice is a streaming service but no children's franchise is surviving on a streaming service exclusively. The most popular TV series for kids would be Spongebob and that is on Nickelodeon. And Nickelodeon hasn't been kind to Power Rangers as much as the Disney networks were, probably because of the violence and it is not the same anymore on television. The restrictions on television are tighter nowadays. I don't mind the violence but it has always been an issue with Power Rangers. I am not saying it is the ONLY reason but could be a contributing factor.


The Future
I foresee if Power Rangers does take a break from Super Sentai, it doesn't mean they can't go back. Let's face facts, Power Rangers has had a lot of different owners--Saban, Disney, Saban (again) and Hasbro. And whoever owns them later or even Hasbro, can always go back to adapting Sentai. Even if Sentai ends, they have plenty of series to choose from (Toqger, Zyuoher, Kyuranger, Lupinranger vs Patranger, and Kiramager). While I am not happy with the live-action factor of Power Rangers taking a break or ending, I do find all of this interesting. I don't see the Power Rangers franchise ending. I would really like to see how an animated series would play out. Without Sentai, Power Rangers could really stretch its wings and come out of the 'make my monster grow' formula and go on its own pace. It would be interesting to see rangers, weapons, zords, and villains designed by Hasbro and a story going by its own pace and not relying on footage. Now for those who don't believe this happening, I am not going to force anyone to see it my way or whatever, everyone is free to their opinion. The truth will come out soon one day. But let me tell you this, I am oddly positive moving forward. What am I basing this on? 27 years of consistency. Ironic that on the 30th anniversary, there won't be a series based on new sentai. But who knows, maybe there will be because of this whole Covid thing. Hasbro could extend the Nick contract for 3 years until 2024. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Musings about Star Wars The Mandalorian and ideas for the future of Power Rangers


Disney Plus not only released Star Wars: The Mandalorian late last year but also Disney Gallery which is a behind the scenes round table show with the creators John Favreau and Dave Filoni and the directors and cast. Watching all the episodes, I got inspired. In "Connections" (the last episode), they reveal the various props and easter eggs from comics, video games, animated series and other things used in the Mandalorian. 

Dave Filoni mentions the difference between doing a lipservice to fans and weaving in canon and callbacks into the story and emotion of the story. He says it takes time. He says it is better when the producers actually understand where fans come from than just saying "Look, it's this past thing." just to make fans happy. It has me thinking of recent callbacks in Power Rangers seasons trying to service to fans that come out hallow. They even made a vehicle based on an old Kenner/Hasbro toy to put in the show. It was never used in the movies and was only a toy.

What had me interested is in the cosplay group 501st stormtroopers. It is a large group of cosplayers who are usually called for big public events. They also go to charitable events and hospitals. They made their armors themselves. Mandalorian producers called them and they didn't know they were going to be in the show. Needless to say, they were surprised and happy. It has me thinking about Power Rangers cosplayers. For the Legendary Battle, they hired extras to be other Power Ranger teams but they didn't have enough of them. It would be great if cosplayers got together like a big group and each one as assigned a team and could get together to be each team. So this is speculations and dreams, it would be great if a company was doing a mini-series or movie that needed past Rangers and called this hypothetical cosplayer group.


Has me thinking of Shattered Grid which had all Ranger teams get together and battle. It would be great if there was a mini-series or TV movie based on Shattered Grid or something similar. Or maybe a series similar to Mandolorian that dealt with past teams and had one lone ranger from the future or something like that. And it could be an open sandbox to play with toys--using props and characters from past seasons, comics, games, and movies. I always had an idea about the "Last Power Ranger" which the Power Rangers Super Legends game had the Omega Ranger from the future. So let's say this idea could tie in with "Sliders" and the aim is the protagonist Ranger can travel to different dimensions since Dino Charge and RPM teams are in other dimensions. 


What do you guys think? Would it be great to have live-action mini-series or TV movies that deal with the canon and large Power Rangers universe? Amit B. had an idea for Power Rangers Ninja Storm called "Hexagon" where the rangers had an "Avengers" like organization. And there would a divide between two sections of Rangers. Even though I like that idea, I think the "Last Power Ranger" idea would be interesting, in order to cover different aspects of the Ranger universe. Also, if said mini-series is successful, it could lead to the "Hexagon" idea and other spin-offs. So reiterating what I already said, it would be cool to have a mini-series and a cosplay group of past ranger teams in case they can be used for any movie, etc. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hasbro breaking ties with Toei?

Illuminerdi claims Hasbro has cut ties with Toei. Toei, for those who do not know, is the company that creates the source footage of Super Sentai. Toei has been tied to Power Rangers since the beginning in 1993 and also created Kamen Rider, Metal Heroes, and other series that were adapted into Masked Rider, Beetleborgs, and VR Troopers. Illuminerdi says after Dino Fury, they will no longer be adapting from Sentai and future plans have not been announced. This is all speculation. Some fans say this could be a hoax but usually, bad news is true news. Last year on Netflix's The Toys that Made Us said Hasbro was no longer working with Toei, which fans took as a mistake. The only reason I can think of dropping Toei is to save money and not rely on the footage, which it was rumored Disney wanted to do. The following are not true and these are my guesses only.

Here are my speculations and ideas:
1. Hasbro creates its own footage
This would be the ideal that Hasbro creates their own footage instead of Sentai, which includes arsenal, ranger, zords, and villains created by Hasbro. I would love to see designs and footage created from Hasbro. 

2. Animated Series -- comic-based
An animated series is the most obvious choice if Toei is gone. Going animated would be cheaper. With Transformers, Hasbro has gone from regular traditionally animated to computer-animated. The Boom comics are popular and fans have loved the storylines. Having an animated series based on Shattered Grid would be a dream for fans. The comics are mostly for teenagers and adults, so an animated series based on the comics would be for age group older than the usual age group. I would love it to be not TV-MA but at least TV-14.

3. Animated Series - based on the past
Disney had ideas of an animated series based on Doggie Kruger from SPD with a new team or a team mixed with old characters. An idea for an animated series would be not based on comics but a story that continues the canon. It could have the MMPR team or a team made of rangers from different teams. As it is animated, it doesn't have to rely on actors, they could have other voice actors.

4. Animated Series - Newly created series
Hasbro can choose just to make a new series like Sentai does but animated. It can be unrelated to the lore and canon like any other season. 

5. Independent streaming series 
They could have a regular series (live action or animated) for the young audience and then an independent series for older audiences like mentioned before. it could be animated or it could be live-action. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Psycho Ranger Lightning Collection 5-Pack


This 5-pack comes with several accessories inspired by the characters, including the cult weapons of the Psycho Rangers Contains 5 figures, 8 accessories and additional hands. At this time it unknown if this will be sold exclusively at Gamestop, online or at a convention. Fans were wanting Silver instead of Red and blue, to have Silver. Because if someone already bought Red in the Lost Galaxy set and Blue as a Gameboy exclusive, now you will have twice. I personally own Bandai Pyscho Red and Blue. I am selling Gamestop Blue on ebay. I would get this full set anyway.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Lightning Collection Waves 2-5

I realized I covered Wave One but I didn't cover the other waves.

WAVE TWO
(Summer 2019)



We were told we would get Pink Ranger, Goldar, Magna Defender, Red Beast Morpher and gold.




WAVE THREE

(Winter 2019)


Dino Charge Gold, Beast Morphers Blue, Lord Drakkon, Red Ranger (Jason)


WAVE FOUR
(Spring 2020)

Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger (Trini), SPD Red, Zeo Ranger Three Blue, and Blaze.

WAVE FIVE
(Summer 2020)

Gold Ranger (Trey), Ranger Slayer, Time Force Red, and Mighty Morphin Blue


CONVENTIONS
SDCC 2019 Red Ranger/Gold Ranger (Jason) Two-Pack.


EXCLUSIVES

Gamestop Exclusive - Goldar (summer 2019)


Walgreens Exclusive - Black Ranger with Dragon Shield (Zack) (Fall 2019)

Gamestop Exclusive - Pyscho Blue (Fall 2019)

Lost Galaxy Red Ranger/Psycho Red Two Pack (Fall 2019)
Fighting Collection Mighty Morphin Green Ranger and Putty (Summer 2019)

Walmart - MMPR Alpha and Zordon (Fall 2020)

Gamestop Exclusive - Rita and Zedd (Summer 2020)

Hasbro Pulse Exclusive Putty Patrollers Two Pack (Summer 2020)

Hasbro Pulse Exclusive - Psycho Green (Summer 2020)

Amazon Exclusive Omega Ranger and Uniforce Cycle (August 2020)

Amazon Exclusive - Psycho Rangers (August 2020)



Target Exclusive - Black Dino Charge Ranger (July 2020)

Walgreens Exclusive - White Dino Thunder Ranger (2020)