Monday 6 March 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Movie 5" Alpha 5

Release Date: January 2017
RRP: £9.99/$9.99

With only a few weeks to go until the release of the new Power Rangers movie from Saban and Lionsgate, promotion and the accompanying toy line are in full swing. Between the figures, zords and roleplay toys available in addition to the usual Legacy and Ninja Steel lines Power Rangers fans have never been more spoilt for choice. Leading the line for children and collectors alike are the basic 5” figure range, which are widely available as opposed to the 6.5” Toys R Us exclusive Legacy figures. This review takes a look at the line’s Alpha 5 figure, who now sports a slightly different look to his 1993 counterpart and is voiced by comedian Bill Hader.

As a general retail figure the packaging is a fairly basic plastic blister with card back, with a small title card inserted onto the tray to denote which figure it is. The front of the card features some rather generic Power Rangers movie-styled art with a Power Coin backdrop, while the back simply has images of the figures currently available in the line (Alpha and the five rangers). However in addition to that it also has silhouettes of some forthcoming figures, which include both Rita Repulsa and a Putty Patroller.

If you’ve frequented any sort of fan site or message board in the past few months you’ll know that the Power Rangers movie redesigns are a hotly debated topic, with Alpha falling quite comfortably into the category of “similar but different”. The red/silver colouring and dome-shaped head might still be there, but this Alpha is far more alien in design – shorter, pot-bellied and sporting two glowing eyes protruding from his head. For purists it can take a bit of getting used, but owning this figure has really helped me come round to him. Even for a basic figure this sells the design really well, with the body covered in plenty of moulded mesh detail to give off a more detailed look. The lower price point does mean Alpha is considerably under-painted in certain areas. There's a lot of moulded detail on the arms and legs which going by the concept art should be painted red, while the back is completely devoid of any paint whatsoever. Finally the globe section in the centre of Alpha's head should be vibrant orange, but here its just flat metallic silver. While the lack of paint is unfortunate, at least the areas that need it are marked out should any customisers want to take matters into their own hands.

Articulation-wise the figure is reasonably good, but of course lacks the wider range offered by more expensive collector-orientated lines. Alpha 5 features a turning neck ball-cut shoulders and hips and hinged elbows and knees. This allows the figure to get into a reasonable amount of poses, however the hips are severely when it comes to outward motion.

And sadly though that’s all there is to this figure. While the Red Ranger comes with a sword and the others a punching effect part, poor Alpha here is left accessory-less. Not that anyone really has any idea what he could have come with at this point, but it does diminish things a little bit that he feels “less” than his fellow wave mates.

All in all the basic 5” Alpha 5 is a fun little figure despite being nothing especially extravagant. For collectors his release may be somewhat overshadowed by the larger Legacy version (which also comes with a build-a-figure Megazord), but this one scales much more nicely with the Legacy ranger figures making it a respectable purchase in its own right. Sure it could do with a few more paint apps here and there, but what you get is extremely reasonable for the price point. Alpha’s new movie redesign might be a hard sell for some, but if anything can sell you on it maybe this can.

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