Hasbro’s Power Rangers Zord Ascension Project Megazord Review
Another day, another Mighty Morphin‘merchandise push. Power Rangers will probably never escape the shadow of his very first iterationespecially when it comes to toys, but Hasbro’s latest attempt to give fans something it’s been trying to do for a while: a classic Megazord toy that deserves to be the heart of a Rangers fan’s collection .
The “Ascension Zord Project” Dino Megazord is the first in a new line from Hasbro to attempt a more premium riff on its Power Rangers mechanical toys. There have been many attempts to bring a more modern version of the original Megazord to large-scale toys in recent years, from Hasbro’s more economical combiner to Nostalgia-charged Legacy Megazord a few years ago – recreating the iconic original toy, right down to the packaging – or even Flame Toys coming soon a more stylized version of the giant robot. But the ZAP Dino Megazord wants to strike a balance between something that looks more substantial and modern than typical Zord figures (largely limited by needing to be essentially five separate articulated robot figures as well as the whole Zord combined), while not as wallet-destroying as some premiums.
At $165, it’s still quite pricey, but what you get is mostly in that “just” window of feeling that’s worth it. Measuring just under 12″ tall when fully combined, the ZAP Megazord is bigand from the packaging to the ability to open the ports on each individual Zord to reveal a small cockpit with each Ranger molded inside (alas, unpainted – which, like the also included incredibly tiny team scale figures, feels a little weird for a “premium” toy, everything is covered in detail to make the mech look like his classic brightly colored self from afar, but more modernized and sleek the closer you get to her.
Unlike many older Megazords, especially those that can break down into individual mechs, the ZAP Megazord’s sleekness comes through in the surprising amount of articulation it has in its combined form. You won’t get mad poses as a dedicated figure of the Megazord might, given the nature of its components limiting what you can do, but there are enough points of articulation that aren’t so apparent when looking at the individual Zords that you can in achieve fun action poses that emphasize the giant robot as a heavy beast (it’s all plastic, so it’s not too bulky), rather than being particularly light on its animal-robot feet -prehistoric.
That said, all is not perfect in the toy. The ability to combine the Zords is quite a tall order, even with included instructions in the vein of those from Hasbro. Transformers guides. The sheer size of the Megazord, combined with very stiff out-of-the-box articulation points, more often than not leaves you wondering if you might break something as you put it together – a problem you don’t want for something that costs $165 (even then I had some issues with parts jumping out if you look at them the wrong way, especially Kimberly’s Pterodactyl Zord on the chest). And even then, some of those points of articulation don’t quite fit under the mass of the Zords, leading to some shaky moments, especially in the optional Tank form where you can combine the Zords into, which is as bad as it gets at showing off and as much as it’s done in the past on Megazord toys.
There’s also the weird halfway point between offering something that feels premium and yet isn’t. enough quite premium. There’s a lot of detail and paint on the finished product, including a particularly nice chrome plating on the Megazord’s included sword, but there’s also plenty of closer unwashed detail. The lack of metal parts or more chrome plating like the sword keeps the Dino Megazord’s classic color scheme intact, but it also looks cheaper when the Zord is mostly flat plastic. Maybe appropriate for something that was just a man in a costume on the show, but for something marketed as a high-end “Ascension” on older Megazord toys, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the asking price surface.
But if you are undecided, Rangers fans, click to see more photos of the Zord Ascension Project Dino Megazord in action – it should be available next month, and is in pre-order from Hasbro now.
A copy of the Zord Ascension Project Dino Megazord was provided to io9 for review.