Monday 16 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Tricera Ranger

S.H. Figuarts Tricera Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Blue Ranger)

Proving that the S.H. Figuarts line hasn't forgotten about Super Sentai just yet, the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger team nears completion with its fifth figure - Tricera Ranger. Whether to you this represents the "warrior of courage" Etof Tribe Knight Dan or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' Billy Cranston the Blue Ranger, as the penultimate member of the team this has been one hotly anticipated release. Despite being another Tamashii Web Exclusive in Japan, Bluefin have also released the figure stateside to make sure that there's plenty of blue to go around.

Nice box, shame its not cohesive with all the others

Icy BlueA lot of stuff that isn't his

To further annoy any buyers who were expecting any form of uniformity in their Zyuranger Figuart boxing, Tricera Ranger uses the same style as the previously released Mammoth Ranger - making that three different box styles between five releases. It's a rather basic but effective blue box with prehistoric style cracks in the background, turning into a lighter blue (almost white on the back). The spines of the box are ablaze with big images of the figure, and does it look good.

Of course, if you want uniform boxes it might be a better idea to go hit up Bluefin's Power Rangers release of the figure instead.


Blue Ranger powerCool blue

Sentai figures may not go through mould improvements release by release, but given that the Zyurangers got it pretty damn right the first time it doesn't really make much difference that (if you've been buying the whole team that is) this is another identical figure bar the colour and headsculpt. Tricera Ranger looks just as fantastic as his teammates do, with Tamashii Nations managed to provide a near-perfect rendition of the suit while at the same time cramming the figure with as much articulation as it needs. A full moveable head, ball-jointed shoulders and wrists, double-hinged elbows/knees, swing down hips, toe-hinge - what more could you want from a humanoid action figure? The hips might not be all that ideal for most Kamen Rider Figuarts, but it's hard to picture a Sentai release looking so good.


"Can't this thing turn into a gun/sword?""And where'd this other bit come from?!"

This won't come as a surprise to anyone already collecting the Zyuranger Figuarts, but Tricera Ranger doesn't come up too well in the accessory department. The Ranger Gun, Ranger Sword and Thunder Slinger have all been omitted for a third time, leaving Dan with just a holster-mode Ranger Stick and Ranger Slinger as his team-wide weapons. However the hand count stands at a fairly impressive eight - one pair of closed fists, roll call pose hands and two weapon-holding sets. Better than a lot of Tamashii Web Exclusives of late, but pretty on-par for the Zyuranger releases.

"I'm sure this thing can extend..."

"Oh well, best roll with it"POWER LANCE!

Which brings us neatly on to what was a hotly debated topic in the run-up to Tricera Ranger's release and continues to be so even now - his signature weapon, the Tricera Lance (or "Power Lance" to the MMPR fans among us). Just as it should be, both the separated and combined forms of the lance are included in this set, so that the figure can wield it both as a dual spears or, as the name suggests, a lance. However with the combined lance also able to extend, many were hoping that this would be included. And of course, it isn't - prompted varying degrees of disappointment across the internet. Don't get me wrong I can understand why an extended lance would be the preferred version (as well as perhaps being more memorable, it looks better and would allow for a lot better poses), but with the shortened version being the more common one in the show itself it's not hard to see why that was selected. Size aside, the pieces look great. Sadly the Triceratops emblems are just painted solid gold rather than detailed - a minor issue, but disappointing since they managed the Tyrannosaurus coin on Tyranno's sword.

"Not my weapons"Coming together nicely

Of course, Tricera Ranger doesn't just come with his own unique accessories! Following on from what started with Mammoth Ranger, Tricera Ranger also comes with a new version of Ptera Ranger's Ptera Arrow and Tiger Ranger's Saber Daggers - both of which are slightly larger and specifically meant to be part of the combined Howling Cannon weapon. With the Ptera Arrow now in hand, buyers can see full well how the Daggers and Tricera Lance pieces (which were included in the last release) tab into the bow. But as Tiger Ranger will be coming with the gun-form Moth Breaker, you'll have to wait a little longer to see how the Ryugekiken fits and the whole cannon looks altogether.

ZYURANGER! (or POWER RANGERS season one)POWER RANGERS! (seasons 2-3)

As we grow ever closer to a complete set of S.H. Figuarts Zyurangers/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, each release seems to become all the more satisfying. Tricera Ranger is another solid release from Bandai Tamashii Nations, though perhaps not quite up to the level of the heavily-accessorised Tyranno Ranger or the all-round great looking Mammoth Ranger. Whether the lack of an extended Tricera Lance is an issue for you or not, this is still a great figure worth picking up. And come the end of the month when Tiger is finally released, it's going to be all the sweeter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Where can i get the weapons separately