Sunday, 24 July 2016

POP! Television – Green Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)

Tommy Oliver - Green RangerSeries: POP! Television
Year: 2016
Company: Funko

I loved Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers as a kid. Or more accurately, I loved the concept and the toys – prehistoric creatures, martial arts and transforming robots made for a heady brew. And Tommy Oliver, aka the Green Ranger, was unquestionably the best element of the show.

Initially introduced as a villain, he pretty quickly became one of the good guys, bringing with him a sweet green outfit, the amazing Dragonzord, and a much better attitude than Jason the Red Ranger. And of course, Tommy went on to date Kimberley the Pink Ranger (cue joke: something something Twilight something better love story something). Poor Jason – ostensibly the team leader, he was demoted from fan-favourite overnight, and was never really able to reclaim his status.

These days, the actor who played him – Jason David Frank – is still a pretty cool guy. He’s still a martial artist (even having a brief foray into professional MMA), and covered in tattoos – though the long hair is long gone. He’s also got his own MMA clothing line (Jesus Didn’t Tap). I think he still does the odd bit of acting, but he seems to mostly be working the convention circuit and doing Power Rangers-related projects. You can find him on Facebook and Instagram, and man does he show a lot of love for his fans – it’s quite admirable.

Now three Power Rangers POPs were originally released back in 2013 – White, Red and Pink – and it’s only just now that we’re seeing the rest of the team make their debut. Those original three now sell for an outrageous amount of money online, and when this new wave was announced, Funko’s Facebook post went berserk with commenters demanding either that the originals be un-vaulted so that newer collectors could complete the team, and older hands demanding that they stay vaulted, so the value of their figures would be protected.

I’m kind of ambivalent myself; I would like a White Ranger without having to pay hundreds of dollars for one, but I was always a Green Ranger guy anyway – and I don’t plan to complete the team, this is likely to be my only purchase from the line. But I would like to see a 6” Dragonzord. It could battle with my Godzilla. Or Thanos, I guess.

The sculpt is quite good, capturing all of the essential details the figure should have – the dragon helmet and golden chestplate – even the Dragon dagger has made an appearance, stashed safely on his belt.  

But now, to the bad – Funko’s paint jobs are rarely stellar, and plenty of them were terrible back in 2013. This is a real throwback to that era – an annoying one, but oddly appropriate given when the original Power Ranger POPS were released. He was the best of the four they had at the store, and if you click to embiggen the picture, I think you’ll see that he’s adequate…but certainly not outstanding. Some of the other examples in the store were so bad I seriously considered skipping the character altogether.

In spite of the paint-based shortcomings, I am very happy to add this figure to the shelf. Though I am not typically an MIB collector, I think this is one POP who will be staying in his box for display purposes. Well done on finally getting him out Funko, even if it is a few years later than ideal.   

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