2016/09/17

Toy Story: The Time I Loved A Power Rangers Toy...

...because it's been so long since I did one of these Toy Story posts...


Welcome to the series where I tell the story behind the toys you see on my Youtube Channel. This story is wildly different from ones in the past for several reasons. So far I have only covered Super Sentai toys that I acquired during my collecting years. This time around I'm actually covering a toy from my youth...and it isn't even a Super Sentai toy!

My Birthday is one of the worst you could possibly get. The 19th of September just...sucks. When I was a kid it meant the touchy first weeks of back-to-school. In college it was always the first week of exams. These days it means a dramatic jump in workload at my job. I've never been a fan of my Birthday or Birthdays in general. Call me cold, but unless your Birthday falls within a few weeks of say...Christmas, you don't know how easily you'll be left in the dust by the more important things.

Outside of my recent 9th Anniversary post, I rarely shed a light on my personal life. Even more rare is for me to go back to being a youngster. The story actually takes place on my ##th Birthday. 19th of September, 1996. Here goes...

By the time I reached this particular age I had grown fairly weary of Birthdays in general. I had just come off of a particularly lonely Summer and had a big move looming in the near future (one that took nearly six months). On top of that, my Grandmother had a major stroke earlier in the year that left her largely unable to speak or use her right hand for the remaining eighteen years she lived after. I spent a lot of time watching the old Sentai tapes I had accumulated over the years (this is the Summer that my undying love of Dairanger and Kakuranger were born out of repeated viewings).

This was all kind of saved with a trip to Toys R Us after school on my Birthday. Being 1996 Power Rangers Zeo was in full swing. This was the era of Bandai America releasing the major Sentai toys largely unmolested poor, poor Shogun Megazord and adding a ton of weird localized toys. I didn't dig a lot of the localized stuff (and still don't) but enjoyed a good nugget whenever I spotted one. On this particular trip to Toys R Us I found what is to this day my favorite Bandai America exclusive Power Rangers toy.

Sitting on the shelf was three rows of these curious looking Power Rangers Zeo toys. It was the mecha for all of the male Power Rangers that year...but the box art showed photos of figures of the characters. What the...? On closer inspection I noticed that these were both! Figures that somehow transformed into their mecha?? How in the world did they pull this off???


I could only really afford one so I ended up buying Zeo Ranger V, naturally. I was really curious to see how the hell this thing worked. I mean, could you really trust the photos on the box? They always use more detailed-looking prototypes, or the Japanese version in a lot of cases for Bandai America (very misleading IMO). I couldn't wait to get into this one...

You know what? This toy did not disappoint! I was genuinely impressed by how well done it was. Sure there were a few signs here and there that gave away that there was more than meets the eye to this toy, but they did a fantastic job. I'm not sure what fever-dream these toys were born out of, but I'm glad whoever came up with these was able to get them made. There is no reason for them to exist...but I'm really glad they do. I absolutely loved the Zeo Ranger V figure...it was something that I really enjoyed for many years. I never did get a chance to get the other two, but it didn't matter. The red one was badass.


For some hair-brained reason I thought it was a good idea to sell this toy about ten years ago. There are plenty of other toys I've owned for longer that I really need to get rid of, but I *had* to sell this one for some reason... It didn't really hit me how much I missed it until I was cruising the excellent toy guide of GrnRngr.com and was hit with a wall of regret. Why did I get rid of that one? It was a legit good toy that really brightened my mood for a solid bit of time. I sold it before I even started my Youtube Channel...so I never even had the opportunity to make a video of it.

So I bought one. Yep. Not only did I buy Zeo Ranger V, but I bought the other two. I have the full set! It's been exactly twenty years and not only am I bringing the nostalgia back, but I'm discovering what I have been missing out on all this time.

The only thing different is that I didn't buy them from Toys R Us this time. I still swing by TRU on my Birthday every year, though. The same exact TRU since 1996, in fact (it helps that they haven't remodeled...just like the good old days). These days I usually buy a Hot Wheels car (or nothing)...but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking for the next impressive surprise every year. I came close to buying this weird Power Rangers/Toyota transforming thing a bunch of years back...but it wasn't the same.

So now the big question...will there be a video (or videos)? Yes! The final Sunday of September will have all three Zord Morphin' Zeo Rangers! I can only speak to the awesomeness of the red one so far...so I'm just as curious as anyone out there at how the other two turn out. [UPDATE] Check the video out here: https://youtu.be/gg5DTzP2XN0


Thanks for reading my latest Toy Story. I will be back soon with a long-form article about Tokusatsu theme songs that you won't want to miss. Stay tuned!

-CC

P.S. Expect me to reference this post whenever some dumbass says I hate all things Power Rangers and am a blinded Sentai fanboy Power Rangers and Sentai are the same, afterall!. I give credit where it's due...however rare that is... It's not like all Sentai toys are winners either. Hahaa.

Previous Toy Stories...

Toy Story: Masking Brace [Hikari Sentai Maskman]
Toy Story: Prism Flash x2 [Choshinsei Flashman]
Toy Story: Super Liverobo [Chojuu Sentai Liveman]
Toy Story: King Brachion/500th Video [Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger]

4 comments:

  1. A very interesting story, regarding your Birthday.
    It would really sucks if your Birthday is on Christmas/ Christmas Eve, since that mean you can only get presents once a year. Thank god my Birthday is not on those days, since I can get presents twice, but I digress.
    Never thought I get to see you write topic dedicated to Power Rangers. lol
    I really missed when Bandai of America used original Japanese mold for PR toys; now a day, Bandai used their original localized mold… where it tends to be mostly miss.
    Speaking of Hot Wheels, are you going to do reviews of them?

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    1. Reviews of Hot Wheels? Hahaa no way. I don't think they would make for very interesting videos...not to mention I would have no idea where to begin. I have hundreds of Hot Wheels/Matchbox/etc.

      I had a friend whose Birthday was December 23rd. We were both pretty miserable about the whole thing. I didn't mention this above, but I share my Birthday with a cousin, my first girlfriend, and my Mother-In-Law. Each one of those has made me miserable...the latter still gets in my way. Spent my Birthday a few years ago on a quest to the other side of the State for dinner at a specific Korean restaurant for my Mother-In-Law. The AC died in my car and we didn't get back with my MIL's dinner until almost midnight thanks to traffic.

      Not that it really matters...I gave up loooong before that happened.

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  2. Although my interest in Power Rangers was waning by Zeo, I still don't remember seeing these toys. They're...pretty weird to me. But fairly creative, it kind of reminds me of the way EVERY toyline in the '80s had a spin-off of random transforming figures, to get in on some of that Transformers money.

    And I just wanted to say that I think you're the only person I've come across on the internet who's about as reluctant to talk about themselves as I am! It's considered weird in this day and age of oversharing on Farcebook, but I'm always surprised that people seem to have no problem putting it all out there. And if that makes me sound like an old fart...it ain't the only thing to do so.

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    1. These guys would have made much more sense if they were from Kakuranger...but I have no idea where they would even begin on that.

      Early on in Facebook's life I had two people at work who were really good friends. The next day they came in and immediately started screaming and shoving. I pulled them apart, and sent one home and the other to a Home Depot to pick up some stuff. I asked everyone what the hell happened and they were all like "Oh yeah, they were fighting on Facebook all last night.". Yeahhh... I've been FTS ever since.

      Really, though... Nobody needs to know me. I have nothing to hide, but I just want none of this weird new lifestyle that people are after.

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