Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 01

Release Date: June 2020
RRP: $19.99/£19.99

As someone who collects far too many other toy lines to go all in on the Power Rangers Lightning Collection, I’ve tried to primarily limit myself to reds and sixths (outside of a few favourites) as far as the rangers themselves are concerned. That means it’s especially exciting when Hasbro delve further into the franchise’s history with a series previously untouched, and doubly so when it’s one S.H. Figuarts didn’t make any attempt at. Wave five of the line brought fan-favourite Power Rangers Time Force into the fold, and what better place to start than with the Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger. When the Time Force Rangers travel back to the year 2001 in pursuit of Ransik, Wesley “Wes” Collins becomes the team’s second red ranger following the death of Alex Drake. Though originally he was only given a Chrono Morpher to unlock the other Rangers’ abilities in the past, Wes defied them to become the red ranger anyway - becoming a valuable member of the team and even retaining the position after timeline fluctuations undid Alex’s death.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger Box 01

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger Box 02Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger Box 03Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger Box 04Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger Box 05

Time Force Red’s distinct red-visored helmet looks great on the main wave Lightning Collection packaging design, with the large sections of black really standing out on that plain white backdrop. The artwork that appears on the front of the box continues onto the connecting spine (along with the Time Force series logo), and then is repeated on the other spine separately. The back of the box features the usual CGI render of the figure, and this time around the non-existent paint apps aren’t really an issue (although the Chrono Morpher does have some additional black) - instead it’s just the weird composition of the render. Take a close look and you’ll see that in the render the figure is using a thumbs up hand to hold his connected Chrono Sabers, but on the physical toy that isn’t actually a gripping hand - the fingers are moulded into the palm. This is also quite visibly true on the render as well, and the weapon has just been precariously placed behind the hand as if it were holding it. It just looks pretty silly overall, and shows a certainly laziness when the they can’t even be bothered to render the figure holding its accessories. Inside the figure and accessories are neatly stored across a moulded plastic tray, tucked in front of the usual lightning bolt backing card.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 02

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 03Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 04Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 05Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 06

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 07Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 08Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 09Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 10Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 10

In a toy line with where all of your main figures are spandex-clad heroes you’d half expect Hasbro to just keep using the same body over and over again, but as Time Force Red proves this surprisingly doesn’t seem to be the case. Whereas to the naked eye they might seem the same on closer inspection and comparison to other figures you can see that this one sports some newly moulded body parts - very similar but slightly different in shape and the way the “fabric” hangs on the body. It’s nice to see Hasbro doing this, since it’ll make each ranger look that little bit more unique when multiple series are displayed together. Unfortunately as seems to be the case a lot of the time there are a few suit inaccuracies to talk about, but it’s nothing immediately obvious like it has been on some other releases. Starting with the helmet, the silver stripe going down the middle doesn’t come down into the visor as far as it should and ends on a flat edge rather than an arrow. Additionally the lips are slightly misshapen, with the top lip curved downward rather than sitting flat. On the body itself there are a few other items of note, such as the butterfly joint sections cast entirely in white plastic. From a figure construction point of view it makes a lot of sense, but it also means that the white part of the torso isn’t the shape it should be (this is a lot more obvious from the back). The white section on the torso isn’t 100% on the mark either, with the red line of the arrow being way too thin and the bottom of the white section considerably more pointed than it is on the suit. Minor complaints overall, but in an age where accuracy is put under a microscope by collectors it would be amiss not to mention them when there is so many. The predominantly red bodysuit means there isn’t a whole lot of paint apps to speak of on this release - mainly just the white chest and then silver/black gauntlets on the arms and boots. As previously mentioned the Chrono Morpher lacks the black circle the box render has, but the stripe and buttons have at least been coloured in. All in all the minor flaws really aren’t going to be a big deal for most people (myself included), and for the price point these figures are released at this is a damn good effort on Hasbro’s part. Easily the best Time Force Red Ranger figure there’s ever been that’s for sure. Looks the part, paint is well applied and has an excellent shelf presence.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 11

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 12Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 13Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 14Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 15

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 16Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 17Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 18Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 19

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 20Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 21Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 22

That Lightning Collection body continues not to pull any punches when it comes to articulation, with Time Force Red continuing to show off that impressive standard the line has set for itself. Altogether the figure features;
- Ball jointed head, torso and hips 
- Single hinge neck and ab crunch
- Swivel hinge shoulders, wrists and ankles
- Butterfly shoulders/pecs
- Double hinge elbows and knees
- Bicep, thigh and boot swivels
While there’s certainly nothing to complain about here as far as variety goes, there are a few areas that should perhaps be called into question. The first of which is neck, which has arguably been an issue on all these figures since they all share the same joint but has become really noticeable here. The ball joint sits so far inside the helmet that the neck hinge has barely any up and downward movement at all, and at the same time any sort of head tilt becomes practically non-existent. The head is still able to look side to side without any problem, but it’s clear this figure really isn’t getting the full range that the joint setup has to offer. The shoulders also seem a bit off here (at least on my copy anyway), as both arms don’t seem to be able to swing down to the same point alongside the body. Whilst the left arm can sit fairly parallel with it, the right arm sticks out on an angle. It’s nothing majorly important since the two shoulder joints seem to be able to work exactly the same otherwise (and the butterfly joints work particularly smoothly here too), but something I noticed immediately upon taking the figure out of the packaging nonetheless. The slightly different sculpt for the arms also makes the bicep swivels more obvious, and when turned you can see that the inner arm is flatter than the rounded shoulder part above it. Again, it’s nothing major but seems like a step down from the more seamless integration seen on previous figures. As far as overall poseability goes Time Force Red still feels like another winner though, with great joint tolerances and strong ankles that can support the figure in a variety of poses.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 23

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 24Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 25Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 26Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 27

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 28Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 29Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 30Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 31

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 32Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 33Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 34Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 35

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 36Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 37Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 38Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 39

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 40Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 41Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 42

The figure also comes with a great range of accessories, which covers all the bases of what a good Time Force Red figure should have. Included are two additional hands (a right fist and left thumbs up hand) to go with the default gripping pair, Chrono Blaster, twin Chrono Sabers and lightning effect piece. The Chrono Sabers are particularly nice pieces - moulded in clear plastic with black paint apps and able to combine into a double-bladed form as they do on the show. The swords are missing the red lines that run down the middle alongside the black, but still very much look the part. They connect simply by tabbing one sword into the other, and the connection itself is tight enough that they should then stay firmly in place. The Chrono Blaster is a much simpler accessory in comparison, but again nicely moulded and featuring enough paint apps to look correct.

The effect piece included is a yellow re-release of the purple one previously packed in with the GameStop exclusive winged Goldar, and can comfortably slot over one of the Chrono Saber blades to simulate an attack. Personally I find the connected blades to look at little strange when only one of them has the effect piece on, but there almost certainly wasn’t the budget to include two with this release. The only thing that feels really questionable is the hand choice, since open palms to recreate those signature poses might have been better than the odd ones we got here. But other than that, the only thing really missing here is a Time Force Badge. Since it was a big part of how the rangers defeated the monsters it would have been nice to seen it included, but then again it’s another small accessory that would have needed additional paint apps to look good. Not to mention it wouldn’t have worked with any of the optional hands included. If you really wanted to get into wish list territory though - how good would a broken helmet be with this figure? It’s not something I could see ever coming with a first release version, but a battle-damaged rerelease or two-pack variant? Definitely something I can see happening one day.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 43

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 44Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 45Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 46Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 47

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 48Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 49Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 50Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 51

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 52Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 53Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 54

Rounding off the accessories is the alternate Wes head, which is a decent likeness of actor Jason Faunt and certainly benefits from being another Lightning Collection head with a neutral expression rather than a toothy grin. The details are a little soft and perhaps make Wes look a little chubbier than he actually is, but it’s sculpted well enough that the head is recognisable. Possibly due to the aforementioned neck issue this figure has getting the head to pop onto the ball joint was a little more work than it usually is, and once properly applied the alternate head has the same articulation limitations that the helmet does.

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 55

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 56Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 57Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 58

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 59Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 60Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 61Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 62

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 63Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 64Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 65Power Rangers Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger 66

Granted there’s a list of slight suit inaccuracies and a few missing paint apps, but Lightning Collection Time Force Red Ranger is still another solid figure from a line that’s very much in its infancy. As far as build and articulation goes there’s very little to complain about, and undoubtedly most collectors will be satisfied with how it looks even when those inaccuracies are pointed out (I certainly am at least). Time Force is a solid favourite amongst Power Rangers fans and Hasbro have really set up a solid foundation. Here’s hoping Jen and Eric at the very least aren’t too far away.