Monday, February 7, 2011

Can Saban really reclaim the exact height of past popularity of Power Rangers?

I sort of have been avoiding this conversation but the more media outlets that have been covering the premiere of Power Rangers Samurai, they are calling it a 'comeback' or an attempt to 'regain the former splendor' and I feel compelled to say something now. Some incorrectly say Saban is making a comeback, as if he always owned it and it hasn't been on the air for 15 years. Some get it right that Saban acquired the franchise back from Disney after selling it in 2002. I, as a long time fan, have been reminding people Power Rangers is quote 'still around' since Lightspeed Rescue (2000). Kids still know its around, it is still a staple (important element). If parents have taken their children to the Disney Store or Disneyworld in the past 8 years, they would know Power Rangers was still around. But what I had not realize that these non-fans and people who haven't been aware of it have, is they mean that Power Rangers haven't been in as in the height popularity of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers back from 1993 through 1995 (During Season 3, popularity waned).

Another thing that hurt the franchise has been the lack of visibility. Disney buried it, on channels that not everyone had. They had it from 2003 to 2005 on ABC Family--which wasn't as big as it is now, and then moved it to Toon Disney, which not everyone has on their cable plan. Once it became Disney XD, they kicked off Power Rangers and buried Power Rangers RPM (Season 17) to ABC. Some local affiliates of ABC refused to show it as it doesn't reach education requirements and some put it at 5 in the morning (like in my area of Miami). Disney thought when they sold it to Saban, he was going to put it on another channel that wasn't Nickelodeon, but it is now on Nick. And putting it on Nick instead of NickToons is smart, like if Disney had put Power Rangers on the Disney Channel. NickToons is the equivalent of ToonDisney/Disney XD and it will be airing repeats soon enough.

So do I think Power Rangers will return to its former glory? I personally believe that with Disney, merchandise-wise, it picked up a lot of vendors. It was very visible in stores like Wal-Mart and Disney Store (well, in later years they buried their PR section). But I don't think it will completely be like it was back when, but it will be better than it was with Disney or when it waned in popularity. Saban Brands is definitely embracing technology, like iPhones, Twitter, Facebook and from what I hear, Netflix--hopefully. What fans are hoping for are DVDs. I am looking forward to this, all fans are giddy to all these new things. So in short, I do think Power Rangers will have more visibility and be popular with kids. There is no doubt about kids loving Power Rangers (I am an elementary school teacher and see kids under 8 still playing Power Rangers). Many kids that grew up with the first season are adults like us, but I suppose just a fringe amount. Maybe it won't be as 'big' as a cultural phenomenon with adults older than 40.

"Video games for Nintendo Co.’s Wii and DS will be released this year, and a movie may follow in time for the live-action series’
20th anniversary in 2013, Dekel said." Fans were wondering about the 20th anniversary, it seems it will be following the 20 years and not 20 seasons, like past anniversaries counted seasons. Where Power rangers Samurai has been considered by fans as Season 18, some sources quote it as 19, counting the MMPR Reversion in 2010 as Season 18.


***Firestarter1331*** said...

nice commentary.. i like you take on this :)

Jon B said...

Very well thought out.

Daniel said...

Disney will buy everything back! Really!