In 1993, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy created a unique television show that was broadcast across the U.S. as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The martial arts action series was an adaptation of the Super Sentai franchise that was popular in Japan at the time. In fact, the show was a hybrid that featured combat footage taken directly from the Japanese version spliced among new English-language scenes that were filmed specifically for the American broadcasts. The basic premise of the Power Rangers franchise is that a group of teenagers has been chosen to protect Earth against alien invaders. They do so by morphing into warriors with superior martial arts abilities, and they also frequently summon the power of massive robots known as Zords.
The first several seasons of Power Rangers programming were incredibly popular among kids and spurred the creation of action figures and other toys related to the characters. Disney purchased the franchise from Saban Entertainment in 2002 and began to broadcast the show on the Disney Channel and ABC. The company also continued a longstanding tradition of changing the series' name each season to reflect the heroes' current mission. Saban bought back the rights to the Power Rangers in 2010 and transitioned it over to Nickelodeon. In addition to the ongoing TV series, the Power Rangers have starred in two major motion pictures, and a new movie is set to be released in 2017.
Action figures and play sets have long been among the most popular Power Rangers toys. These toys are based on the different characters from the series as well as the Zords with which they are associated. Many of the individual toys can actually be assembled with one another to create bigger structures--including the massive Megazord. Toy weapons such as swords and daggers are also staples of the franchise's merchandise collections. Fans might be interested in collecting toys related to a single character, or they may prefer to assemble all the characters from a single season. Vinyl figures and other collectibles are also available to display rather than play with.
In apparel, you can find plenty of clothes for both boys and girls who are fans of the Power Rangers. Graphic tees, tanks, sweatshirts, pajamas, and underwear feature the colors and insignia of the characters. Fans can also dress up as their favorite Rangers and villains with Halloween costumes modeled after the franchise. Costumes are available in kids' and adult sizes. Along the same lines, t-shirts and other novelty apparel options specifically target adult men and women who have been long-time fans of the series.
The Power Rangers franchise drew considerable ire from parents when it was first gaining popularity in the early '90s because of the martial arts violence that its episodes regularly contained. As time has passed, however, the level of action in the Power Rangers TV shows has stayed relatively stagnant while other series and video games have become increasingly more graphic. By today's standards, the franchise seems relatively tame, and it always promotes the triumph of good over evil. Many adults who grew up with the original series are excited to share their love of the franchise with a new generation. Toys and costumes are also fun for fans of all ages. We give Power Rangers 4 stars out of 5.