Retrofire Wild Force Megazord
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of Bandai America.
. . .
"In the city of Turtle Cove, Wild Zords recruit five young heroes from the modern world and grant them the power to become Power Rangers. To aid the Power Rangers in their battle to save the Earth from the evil Orgs, the Wild Zords descend from their habitat in the sky when the Rangers need them most. With a virtual zoo of animals fighting by their side, the Power Rangers Wild Force prove that when animals and humans work together to save the planet, nothing can stop them."
--from inside the cover flap
The Wild Force Megazord was the first megazord in the Power Rangers saga to be made of actual living Earthly creatures rather than non-living machines imitating the shape & movement of animals. While each Wild Zord contributed a separate attack feature when combined in Megazord form, it also used the Blue Shark’s tail as its basic-use sword, and its final Mega Roar blast to finish off giant Org monsters. The unique quality of the Wild Zords, however, is their ability to share their bodies and powers with the Megazord, allowing it to take on those powers in the form of numerous special weapons & upgrades- some examples of this being the Wild Force Megazord Sword and Shield Mode, …Predator Mode, or …Spear and Knuckle Mode. When not being used, the Wild Zords all reside on the flying Animarium island hidden in the clouds above Turtle Cove, and are summoned when the Rangers use their Crystal Sabers.
The 4” Megazord figure and its weapons are composed of mostly ABS and partially PVC plastics. Other than the sword, nothing on the figure is meant to come apart; the right fist and head can pop off if too much pressure is applied. While paint is minimal to keep things simple (rather than by BA being careless, inconsiderate, or cheap), it is rather lacking along the left arm and back of the figure... something I would have paid $1-2 more for to balance it out.
The point of having the Retrofire line is for both the alternate styling of the classic Megazord designs, and the action figure-like poseability which their larger Deluxe-sized equivalents cannot do. To allow a wider range of poses, an easy-to-assemble two-part silver ABS display stand is included in each set, the base of which is shaped like the Power Rangers’ trademark lightning bolt. Because the peg at the top of the stand is angled, the figure will never ‘stand’ upright vertically, only diagonally. (For some action poses, that is fine, but if you want more level poses, just take the figure off the stand.)
. . .
Other than the basic provided display stand, the Megazord has a PVC Shark Sword. The sword can only be gripped in the right fist. Due to the materials used for the right hand, you have to wedge the Blue Shark’s jaw open a little in order to get the sword in there; once in place, it grips very tightly.
For the Wild Force Megazord, none of the joints ratchet- all free-turn with no resistance other than friction. Its head is on a ball-&-socket joint, but sits so low on it that it can really only turn side-to-side. The waist can turn all the way around. The arms- unlike the other two Retrofire sets- behave in only a slightly different way from each other. While the right fist cannot twist at all, the left arm is different and the left fist can twist all the way around. Both shoulders only pitch up-and-down all the way around, but both elbows can only twist sideways! Clearly the arms were designed to achieve a few specific, on-screen-oriented poses with the weapons rather than act as a fully-capable action figure. The hips are also very poseable- able to swing both outwards, twist vertically, and pitch forward/backwards. The only restriction on the hips is on the skirt armor, which is PVC. The skirt armor is flexible to a certain degree, but it will break or wear out if pressed too hard and for too long. And really, this is the only restriction with the figure that may be unavoidable. However, in keeping with the design of the ‘real’ Wild Force Megazord, there is no skirt armor along the back of its hips since those joints were already exposed. (This allows a clear view of how the hip joints operate, compared to the other two Retrofire sets which have the same joints but are then completely covered.) And finally with the legs, the knees can also pitch backwards to 90-degrees, but both ankles cannot move. The feet of the Megazord, oddly, are angled slightly upwards, so getting it to stand upright on its own is sometimes a challenge!
The Retrofire line is an answer to one of my long-held protests, and that is having a poseable representation of a Megazord without having the toy be a Ranger with attachable armored sections or a static-pose 3” figure with just one-axis shoulders & maybe an action feature if we’re lucky. I can completely understand [now] why the Deluxe-sized Megazords can’t be posed beyond just the shoulders, and that is because their size and the complexity of such a design would be prohibitively expensive on a yearly basis. While I wish the Retrofire sets were about 1-2” taller and had slightly better paint apps, I am still quite satisfied with what we have here. Additionally, these sets are a reinterpretation of classic designs without being completely new or reboots or skewed by some random and pointless copyright infringement issues. If a Megazord were to appear in a Japanese anime series, I am confident that they would look just like this (as if jumping out from the screen) rather than big and bulky like their Deluxe-sized toy counterparts. They may not be transformable, but this is just as good- a true action figure of our favorite Megazord!
I have to say that, of the three Retrofire sets, this one is the most irritating. While the others have up-and-down motion in the head, this one does not. The arms are annoying too- only able to swing forward/backwards at the shoulders, and slide side-to-side at the elbows. While sculpted just fine, I don’t see how a lack of movement in these arm joints helps any- it’s very restricting, and I would say that the Deluxe Wild Force Megazord was more effective here! Similarly with the feet- I found that slight tilt on the bottom of them as completely unnecessary, despite the style of the figure overall. By contrast, what seems like an error I actually appreciated, and that is the exposed hips in back. While not exactly the same as its larger counterpart, it does make more sense to expose them than give it additional skirt armor because it’s emulating slightly how the transformation works. As was the case with the other two sets, this one could have done with a little more paint- notably on the left arm and the lower legs. So, the Retrofire Wild Force Megazord is a mixed bag of tricks- I like the overall anime-style of the figure and line details, but some of the poseability is confusing & annoying.
|Posted 19 May, 2009 - 14:25 by EVA_Unit_4A|