Monday, 30 August 2021

Toybox REVIEW: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Pink Ranger

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Release Date: December 2020
RRP: $24.99

Hasbro may have gotten the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team out of the door in the Lightning Collection pretty quickly, but if there's one thing Power Rangers fans know it's that it doesn't take very long for them to show up again. With numerous different versions from both the screen and comics to tap into, the original Power Rangers team will remain a staple part of the toy line for some time.  In fact Hasbro showed their hand last year with the announcement of the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Pink Ranger figure, kicking off a new variation of the team based on the metallic armour the rangers don in season three to battle against Master Vile's enhanced Tenga Warriors. This Hasbro Pulse exclusive release also the marks the first release of a Katherine 'Kat' Hillard version of the Pink Ranger, with her having taken over from Kimberly Hart at this point in the series.

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The Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Pink Ranger comes in a jazzed-up version of the standard figure's packaging, sporting an added textured glittery finish over all of the pink sections of the character artwork and name card (which denotes the figure as being a metallic version) on the front. It actually looks really good in-hand, and sells the figure quite well as being the metallic armour variant without having to use a brand new piece of artwork. The back of the box features the same render as the standard version of figure, but again with an added glittery effect. It isn't quite the same as the one the figure itself has, but the renders not matching up to the figures themselves is nothing new (the bow on this render is also slightly different to physical version). Open it up and you'll find the figure and accessories neatly stored on a moulded plastic tray. Interestingly, this is the first Lightning Collection figure to be packaged with the alternate civilian head attached to the body as opposed to the helmet.

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A redo of the standard Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger figure, this metallic edition has been moulded in translucent coloured plastic with injected glitter. It's an interesting way of getting the metallic armour effect across in figure form that doesn't quite hit the mark, but is certainly a valiant effect and arguably the best that's been done with Power Rangers toys thus far. To really get the proper effect, the whole body would have needed to be covered in glitter the same way that the box art is. But while it might not have quite hit the glitter quota, the actual colours of the figure line up really well with the onscreen version of the metallic armour. Not only does the figure have that slightly darker shade of pink, but it's also got that pearlescent finish on all the white sections as well. Hasbro have done a really good job of matching up the paint apps with the plastic colouring as well, so everything here looks nice and consistent. Hasbro are also making the effort to fix any problems with the previous versions with these metallic versions (which will then carry forward into other variants they have planned), such as tweaking the helmets to make them more screen accurate. There's no obvious changes from the original release with the Pink Ranger in terms of sculpt, however they have seemed to have fixed the bow legs issue that was widely reported with the original. The Morpher on the belt is a little squished which obscures the detail, but overall the sculpting and detail is very good for a figure this size and price point.

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Articulation is the standard Lightning Collection female body, which in previous reviews I've stated is passable but definitely underwhelming when compared to what the male body has to offer. Altogether it has;
- Ball jointed head, torso and hips 
- Single hinge neck and ab crunch
- Swivel hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists and ankles
- Butterly joint shoulders
- Double hinge knees
- Thigh and boot swivels
The range on those butterfly joints isn't particularly great on this mould as it is, but one thing I did notice on this particular figure is that those joints were very sticky at first and required a bit of working to get the full range of motion out of them. My assumption is that this was due to the plastic/paint used for the metallic version, so it'll be interesting to see if this is also the case on the rest of the team when they're released. Everything else is the usual complaints when it comes to the female body - the swivel hinge elbows are decent but not a patch on the bicep swivel/double hinge elbow combination we get on the male figures. Mighty Morphin Pink is a figure that could really benefit from that as well for better archery poses. When it comes to the hips funnily enough it isn't the soft plastic skirt that restricts leg movement, but rather the sculpted buttplate which completely prevents the legs from bending backward. These quibbles aside - there is still plenty of the articulation that work just as well as ever, and since the joints have mostly been done with opaque plastic there doesn't appear to be any structural weakness when it comes to posing either.

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The accessories included with this release are a mix of ones carried over from the standard Pink Ranger figure, as well as a couple of new ones unique to the metallic variant. Returns from the standard version include two additional hands (giving Kat two accessory holding hands, an open right hand and closed left fist in total), Blade Blaster in gun mode, Power Bow, arrow and energy arrow effect piece. When not in use the Blade Blaster can be fitted into the holster attached to the figure's belt, and although being holstered in gun mode isn't technically screen accurate it's what Hasbro have opted to do for all the other single release Mighty Morphin figures as well so at least it's consistent. The Power Bow has been moulded in the same pearlescent white plastic as parts of the figure, sporting the red paint apps on only one side (curiously the opposite side to what's shown on the packaging). The other side instead has four clip parts moulded in their place, which can be used to attach the energy effect arrow as though it were being fired. The standard arrow is instead meant to be held in the left accessory-holding hand, but the grip isn't all that tight and it falls out of place rather easily. Overall it's a pretty expected set of accessories for a Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger figure without any real surprises, but does a good job of covering all the main bases.

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A new accessory unique to this release however is the alternate Kat Hillard head, replacing the Kimberly one that was included in the standard release. This was the first release to include a Kat head, and although a Mighty Morphin/Zeo Pink Ranger two-pack has now been revealed featuring Kat heads this particular variant remains exclusive to the Metallic release. The head sculpt has a good likeness to actress Catherine Sutherland, however much like many of the other Lightning Collection releases the toothed smiling expression can come off as a little disturbing and a more neutral expression might have done the job a little better. That said, it's still considerably better than the Kimberly head that came with the standard version so that definitely counts as a win. 

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The alternate head was to be somewhat expected, but the second unique accessory with this release comes as a rather pleasant surprise. Also included with the figure is Kat's segment of the Zeo Crystal, which she retrieved in the episode 'Sowing the Seeds of Evil' and is later used as the basis of her Zeo Ranger powers (the shape of the crystal top down matches the shape of Zeo Ranger I's visor). Although it's just a simple piece of translucent plastic, the Zeo Crystal is a big part of Power Rangers lore so it see the components released with their respective rangers is extremely cool. What makes it even better is that the other rangers will also be coming with their corresponding crystal parts (based on the promo images Blue is potentially coming with White's part, so hopefully that might mean White comes with the combined crystal), making this rather niche set of variants even more desirable to hardcore Power Rangers fans.

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The Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin 'Metallic' Pink Ranger is almost certainly going to be a divisive figure amongst Power Rangers fans. The metallic armour is a rather niche variant with mixed opinion to begin with, and it's very easy to be cynical and say the only reason Hasbro are releasing these now is that it's an easy way to get another six Mighty Morphin figures on the market with minimal changes. However as a big fan of season three and specific references such as this, I'm extremely pleased these figures exist. Truthfully the Pink Ranger figure isn't the best the line has to offer and the metallic finish doesn't quite line up with how it appears on the show, but it's a fun figure nonetheless and those unique accessories also help sweeten the deal for anyone on the fence about double dipping for a variant release. It's a pain that the Pink Ranger was released so far ahead of the others that she's only available via US Pulse and not the UK one as well, but that's still better than a lot of other places in the world have it. As far as Lightning Collection releases go this is going to be one with rather limited appeal, but it's a very welcome one nonetheless.

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