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21 minutes ago, Old_Nash said:

I wonder if this will affect Boom Comics' license? Their Power Ranger books have been way better than I imagined they ever could get, but Hasbro seems pretty content to give IDW their brands.

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When Hasbro announced the Power Rangers Lightning Collection it was kind of in one ear, out the other for me.  I was aware that it was a thing that was coming but as someone who's limited his collecting (mostly) to Transformers I didn't really pay it much mind.  I mean, as an adult I'm much more into, say, Marvel Comics, but I don't collect Marvel Legends.  And yet, Power Rangers occupies a weird spot in my head.  It debuted when I was 13, which I think was too old for it to make the kind of lasting impression the cartoons of my youth (like Transformers) did, but I was still young enough to be enthralled by a live-action karate Voltron and I did watch all the way through Power Rangers Zeo before drifting away from the franchise.

Well, the first wave of the Lightning Collection started to hit stores within the past month, I guess.  Or, at least three figures have (Lord Zedd is apparently in Wave 1, but good luck with that).  Two of them mean absolutely nothing to me (apparently, they're the Shadow Ranger from Power Rangers SPD and the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Charge).  But that third one... even though this line shouldn't be anything I'm interested in, I found myself compelled to pick it up...

It's the White Ranger, from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (season 2).

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So the Lightning Collection is a line of slightly more expensive 1/6-scale figures aimed at the adult collector's market.  Although I don't collect them, they're priced the same and seem similar to the Star Wars Black Collection or Marvel Legends, if that gives you an idea.  And like those other lines, what I think sets the Lightning Collection apart from both the cheaper mainline toys and the more expensive stuff like the SHFiguarts is that the sculpt here is more realistically detailed.  Instead of smooth plastic and fake muscles there's a texture here that includes folds and wrinkles in the suit.  The belt, though snug, is a separate piece made from a more rubbery plastic, as is his vest.  Combined with a fair amount of gold, silver, and black paint it's evident that the Lightning Collection is intent less on being toys mean for play and more being toys that look nice is a display.  Which, weirdly, I'm fine with, despite demanding a level of playability with my Transformers.  I think this looks more appealing to me than, say, the SHFiguarts White Ranger, even if the SHFiguarts has better articulation, because it looks like a real person and not an anime version of that person.  And that's good enough for me.

 

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You might have noticed that his right hand is a claw for gripping, and the left is kind of a straight chopping hand.  The White Ranger also comes with a right and left closed fist, a translucent blue effect part, his trusty sword, Saba, and an unhelmeted Tommy Oliver head, complete with rubbery ponytail.  Saba has a nice amount of paint on him, although his tiny eyes lack the red you might find on a pricier figure, and can store in a holster on the White Ranger's belt.  The hands are pegged in, and can be swapped by simply pulling them out and putting in the other, while ridges at the base of the peg keep the installed fist snug.  As for the Tommy head... I mean, I guess it looks nice enough, and pretty in-keeping with the kind of sculpt and paint you see on the aforementioned Star Wars Black Edition or Marvel Legends lines... but I know I'm never going to display him with that head, so I'm not going to risk stressing anything by pulling the helmet head off.

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Articulation is... well, it's funny, because I think it's better than a lot of the action figures I had as a kid, but I understand that it's probably a little lacking compared to something like the SHFiguarts version.  Anyway, his head is on a ball joint inside the helmet, but the ball joint has a hinge at the base so he can look up and down about 45 degrees either way in addition to turning his head and a slight sideways tilt.  His shoulders something that might be more familiar to 1/6 humanoid figure collectors, but I've never seen anything like it with transformers.  The rotation and lateral movement is something like a disk hinge, but the socket it's set it is also hinged to give him a bit of forward/backward butterfly as well, and in a way that moves the textures around so it still looks like cloth.  So he can move his shoulder in a way that seems pretty natural with most of the range you'd want, except for one minor thing... he can't really bring his arms too close to his body in a relaxed pose.  That first picture?  That's about as relaxed as they get.

Moving along, he's got bicep swivels just below the shoulder, and double-jointed elbows that allow his arm to curl all the way up (with a separate elbow piece that fills the gap between the joints).  His wrists can swivel, plus there's a hinge in his hands that lets them bend palm-up or palm-down.  That's great for the karate hand, but I wish the sword hand bent on the other axis.  His upper torso is on a ball joint in the chest, which gives him a swivel plus some forward/backward/sideways lean, while a hinge in his abdomen gives him a little more arching back/ab crunch.  His hips are ball joints that get a little less than 90 degrees forward, about 60 degrees laterally, and basically nothing backward due to the sculpt.  There's a cut thigh swivel at the top of his thigh, and another swivel below the knee at the top of his boots.  The knees, like the elbows, are double-jointed and can bend until his calves reach the backs of his thighs, with the kneecaps being separate parts.  His feet can tilt up a little and down to a very realistic just short of 90 degrees.  His ankles can also pivot both left and right around 45-ish degrees.

The gripping hand has kind of rubbery fingers.  It takes some doing, but you can work Saba into it.

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He can even hold Saba upside down for a Saba talking or firing eyebeams pose.  As for the effect part, there's a notch in one spot that the tip of Saba's blade fits into.  I'm really not a fan.  The effect part seems a little too heavy for the White Ranger's butterfly hinge in his shoulder.  It's too large to look like the spark of a deflected attack, and two round and explodey to look like an attack from the Ranger.

There are a ton of Power Rangers/Super Sentai toys out there, most of which I'm probably not familiar with.  I don't think I'm qualified to say if the Lightning Collection White Ranger is the definitive White Ranger figure.  Even with what little I am familiar with I can say that there are, at least, ones with better articulation.  I do think that this is a good-looking figure with a fair amount of realistic sculpted detail.  This is definitely a figure that's worth the $20 price tag.  I can't promise that I'd buy more (of the ones released and announced I might buy Zedd, Goldar, and the Mighty Morphin' Pink Ranger, but I won't feel put out of I miss them), but if they get around to my other favorites (the Mighty Morphin' Green Ranger and the Zeo Gold Ranger) I'd be interested.

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