Thursday, 21 November 2013

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Despite their huge popularity on a worldwide scale as the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, it seems not even the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger team can escape the Tamashii Web Exclusive curse that has been placed on every Super Sentai character that isn't red (or in some cases, a sixth ranger). Following on from the mass release S.H. Figuarts Tyranno Ranger and Dragon Ranger a few months ago, the third installment to the team is the only female of the group - Risha Tribe Princess Mei aka Ptera Ranger! MMPR fans will know this character as the Pink Ranger aka Kimberly (and then later Kat), and the figure has also been released in America via Bluefin with special Power Rangers packaging to celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary.

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai ZyurangerBandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Continuing the recent trend of Tamashii Web exclusives, it seems the days of plastic window boxes is over for this selection of Figuarts. Ptera Ranger comes packaged in a windowless, pink carboard box with a great shot of the figure firing the Ptera Arrow adorning the front. The back is in a similar style to the previous Zyuranger releases, combining the pink with a black background and silver/grey lettering. Of course if you happen to own the Bluefin version of this figure, your packaging will look a little more like this...

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai ZyurangerBandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

As is typical for the female Super Sentai Figuarts Ptera Ranger is noticeably shorter than her teammates, but hasn't lost any of the articulation. The shade of pink used seems a lot hotter on the final product than the initial preorder images seemed to suggest, but this isn't at all a bad thing as if anything this shade is far more accurate to the original suit. The skirt is two pieces so can be moved a bit if it's getting in the way of posing, but any hindrance can be avoided altogether by taking advantage of the mould's swing-down hip setup. And with that skirt in place, any unsightly gaps remain completely covered, perfect!

Ptera Ranger's remaining articulation includes a ball jointed head, double jointed neck/shoulders/elbows/knees, ball jointed torso, triple jointed ankle and finally a toe hinge. A bicep swivel is pretty much the only thing missing, and it's more than clear that inclusion of that is a rarity amongst these figures.

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai ZyurangerBandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Then we come to the accessories, which where my complaints about the figure both start and end. Altogether we have eight different hands, the Ranger Stick in holstered mode, Ranger Stick/Thunder Slinger combination and Ptera Bow. A Ptera Arrow is also included, attached to one of the left hands rather than as a separate piece which is MUCH better as it avoids difficulty trying to get the arrow to stay in the hand. Sculpt-wise I can't fault any of these weapons, they all look great and are beautifully painted without a single detail lost.

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai ZyurangerBandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

The problems lie in what Ptera Ranger DOESN'T come with. If it wasn't already obvious from the windowless box that Bandai were trying to cut down costs with their web exclusives, it certainly will be when you think about what this figure could (and possibly should) have come with. Despite being a signature team weapon, the Ranger Stick isn't included in either gun or sword modes so you're already out of luck is you planned to have the team posed together with them. No separate Thunder Slinger is a huge loss (the weapon wasn't particularly memorable save a few episodes in Zyuranger and completely forgettable in MMPR), but choosing the Slinger/Stick combo over either of the Stick's proper modes is baffling. There's also no fully open right hand, so getting a perfect roll call pose is sadly impossible unless you borrow a hand from another figure. One thing I'm not sad to see the loss of is the "action poses" skirt pieces seen with the Shinken and Gokai girls, because they looked stupid.

Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai ZyurangerBandai's S.H. Figuarts Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

I absolutely cannot fault the Ptera Ranger figure itself, it's another addition to Figuarts' brilliant Super Sentai entries this year and undoubtedly the best figure the character has ever had. However I can't really overlook Bandai's obvious cost cutting here like I did with the recently released Kamen Rider Black renewal figure. There is absolutely not reason why she didn't need to come with the gun or sword versions of the Ranger Stick - the pieces have already been made and its a signature weapon for all five core Zyurangers. It's also a pity that there aren't two corresponding hands to recreate Mei's roll call pose properly, something I really liked about the selection with Tyranno Ranger. Zyuranger and Power Ranger completists are going to love this figure, but be prepared for this lack of accessories to continue in the remaining three releases.

5 comments:

Story said...

About box window´s, I don´t understand what you say.
There are two versions of these?
The pink carboard box and the Bluefin?
Are the same?

Sorry, I don´t understand.

Alex said...

The completely covered box is the Japanese Tamashii Web exclusive release, which you would get if you bought the figure from Japan via a middleman.

The plastic-window Power Rangers version is the Bluefin release, which is available in America/Canada via Amazon and various other online stores.

The figure itself is EXACTLY the same. Hope that makes things a little clearer!

Story said...

Thanks a lot!
I have your page in favorites from now! It´s awesome!!!

Another question... White, Red, Green and Pink MMPP are os sale but, whats happens with Blue, Yellow and Black?

Are going to release soon?

And, you know if are thinking on releasing more seasons of PP? like Mystic Forces?

Alex said...

No problem, thank you for favouriting :)

Black is due for release in Japan in February (or March for the American release). Yellow and Blue haven't been officially given release dates yet, but will likely follow later in 2014.

What's worth noting is that the Japanese and American releases of the Yellow Ranger are probably going to be different. Tiger Ranger is a male in Japan, but the Yellow Ranger is female so Bluefin are releasing a different version using the female body (like this figure) rather than the male one. Absolutely no idea if they're releasing both versions though.

As for other figures - the Red, Blue and Black rangers from Operation Overdrive are currently out, as is the Red Wind Ranger from Ninja Storm. The other Ninja Storm rangers are also due out next year (except the Green Samurai Ranger). No plans other than them so far though unfortunately, I'd love some Mystic Force rangers :(

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