Sunday 16 March 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Mammoth Ranger

S.H. Figuarts Mammoth Range

It's been quite a few months since the last Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger character joined the ranks of the S.H. Figuarts toy line, but rest assured Bandai Tamashii Nations are still cranking these figures out and will have the team completed by mid-2014 - still in perfect time for the Bluefin Western releases to continue marketing them in celebration of Power Rangers' 20th anniversary. The fourth character to join the line is the mighty Mammoth Ranger, aka the "Warrior of Wisdom" Goushi of the Sharma Tribe. Power Rangers fans will also know this character as Black Ranger Zack Taylor, who was later replaced by Adam Park.

Fancy boxart

Stop looking at the back, just open me!Mammoth Ranger and his glorious accessories

Those who were looking for any semblance of uniformity in the Zyuranger boxes are going to be bitterly disappointed, as Mammoth Ranger breaks away from the status quo once again. Like the previous (web exclusive) Ptera Ranger release it's a windowless box, which further suggests that this is going to be the norm for web exclusive releases from here on out. However the style is slightly different, with the figures name emblazoned across the top in bold lettering rather than quietly tucked away in the bottom corner. The back is also quite different (besides featured the figure in array of different poses like ALL Figuarts boxes), with a white background with the front's print placed faintly over it.

The moral of the story? If you're one for displaying boxes and have serious OCD about them looking the same - stick to Bluefin's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers releases.

I could be Goushi...

Or Zack......or even Adam!

Collectors of the Zyuranger Figuarts will be all too familiar with the general sculpt of this figure by now, but despite being the third male character release there's still something incredibly striking about it. Maybe it's the fact that a lot of figures have the tendency to look great in black (otherwise the Transformers line wouldn't continue to crank out black repaints like there's no tomorrow), but Mammoth Ranger certainly stands out even among his fellow Zyurangers. The helmet is beautifully sculpted, with the white detailing around the visor and mammoth trunk really helping to make everything pop.

Articulation is as great as ever, despite my figure have a little bit of (easily-remedied) stiffness in the right shoulder. The shifting balljoints in the shoulders are nice and seamless, allowing a good flow of movement in that area without fear of breakage. With the rest of the figure covered head to toe (quite literally) in ball jointed, hinge joints (both double and single) and the usual swing-down hip mechanic, getting your Mammoth Ranger into a number of dynamic poses couldn't be easier.

Mammoth Breaker!

Ranger Stick!Ranger Slinger!

Unfortunately Mammoth Ranger suffers the same fate as Ptera Ranger (and thus, likely the Tricera and Tiger Ranger figures too), and only comes with the Ranger Stick in holstered mode and Ranger Slinger as standard sidearms. So if you want to pose the figure with a Ranger Sword, Ranger Gun or Thunder Slinger you're going to need to borrow pieces from Tyranno Ranger. In addition to this, Mammoth Ranger comes packaged along with his unique weapon, the Moth Breaker (in axe mode) and a total of nine changeable hands. The Moth Breaker is a really hefty and nicely detailed piece, and while not wholly accurate can be held by the figure in both axe and gun modes.

Power Axe!Uh...these weapons aren't mine...

However Mammoth Ranger also comes with a few other surprises, as he is the first of the final three Zyurangers to include the parts needed to form their combined weapon - the Howling Cannon (Power Blaster for all the MMPR fans). Of course these parts are their standard individual weapons, but these new pieces include the necessary peg moulding to hold them together, keeping their own copies as accurate as possible. And the two pieces Mammoth Ranger comes with are...the Ryugekiken (Power Sword) and two divided Tricera (Power) Lance pieces? Other than the obvious reason being to make sure collectors buy all five rangers, Tamashii Nations have lost me a little on this decision. Sure the Power Sword makes sense, but why not have the Tricera Lance pieces come with the forthcoming Tricera Ranger. Especially when Mammoth Ranger could have had an extra Moth Breaker in gun mode, which would have actually MADE SENSE and gone well with this release. Bizarre. 

The Zyurangers/Power Rangers so farOr Power Rangers season 2 onwards if you prefer

Odd accessory choices aside, Mammoth Ranger is possibly one of the best Zyuranger releases yet. Sure he doesn't have the accessory count or cheap prices of Tyranno Ranger or Dragon Ranger, but sculpt wise the figure is just as good and the Moth Breaker a really nice accessory. This figure was always going to be special to me just because the original 12" Black Ranger figure was my first Power Rangers toy (and thus, first ever piece of toku merchandise), but I don't think I was fully prepared for just how nice he is in hand. And with the Howling Cannon pieces finally coming with the releases, this is one team I really can't wait to have complete.


Anonymous said...

The thing I don't like about the helmet is the bold white line in the trunks + the trunks looks longer than the original design. That makes the visor looks like it is split to two.

Alex said...

Aha yes I can see what you mean. On the helmet itself the white line around the visor doesn't wrap around the trunk.