Retrofire High Octane Megazord
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of Bandai America.
. . .
"In Power Rangers RPM, in the shining city or Corinth, an elite force of Rangers must learn to drive and operate an arsenal of radically advanced biotech vehicles in order to battle the attacking machine army bent on world domination."
--from inside the cover flap
The High Octane Megazord is a combination of three Zord Attack Vehicles, and is the final line of defense the war-torn citizens of Corinth have against the Venjix computer virus and its giant robotic monsters. Though the tone of the series is rather serious from the past- taking place in a post-apocalyptic world- the individual Zord Attack Vehicles resemble modern-day machines like hot rods and cargo planes with animal-like features and large expressive eyes. In addition to their speed on the ground, the red-colored Eagle Racer could fly through the air. The High Octane Megazord is armed with only a Super Saber and defensive shield. The Zord Attack Vehicles are always at the Rangers’ disposal because Dr. K designed them to appear from the emblems on their chests and be powered by their own Engine Cell cartridges.
The 4” Megazord figure and its weapons are composed of even amounts of PVC and ABS plastics. Other than the weapons, nothing on the figure is meant to come apart; the right shoulder & 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 back and legs 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 Super Saber and hollow shield. The sword can only be gripped in the right fist, and the shield can be attached to a hole only on the left forearm.
For the High Octane Megazord, none of the joints ratchet- all free-turn with no resistance other than friction. Its head is on a ball-&-socket joint. The waist can turn all the way around. The arms, despite being nearly identical in appearance, behave in different ways. While the right shoulder can pitch outwards and the right fist can twist all the way around, the left arm is different. The upper left arm twists around but does not pitch outwards, and the left elbow is flexible while the right is not. 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. And finally with the legs, the knees can also pitch backwards to 135-degrees, and both ankles can pitch downwards a bit as well.
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!
This Retrofire set is identical in poseability to the Retrofire Mighty Morphin’ Megazord- featuring the same strengths and faults even if their outward appearance is different. Compared to the larger [Deluxe] High Octane Megazord, this one makes-up for some of its faults (most-notably in proportions) and it benefits greatly from the Retrofire style by slimming it down and making it look like it’s moving even when it’s not (thin legs, wider shoulders, smaller waist, etc.). Additionally, the shield is an actual shield with less holes in it rather than the leftover crap from the almost-as-tiny Bear Crawler on the [Deluxe]-version. I also thought some additional paint could have been used on the sides of the lower legs, and perhaps the back of the shoulder armor. However, unlike the larger transforming version- where all of the Zord Attack vehicles had large-yet-clearly-stoned eyes- they are treated as simple headlights that are painted light blue here, which I liked. The Super Saber was also better designed to look like an actual sword rather than a spear or pike, and has a slight curve on it; that was an improvement in my mind without taking away from the original design, but makes now it the longest sword of the three Retrofire sets! Considering how boring the [Deluxe]-sized version is, the Retrofire High Octane Megazord is a breath of fresh air. Highly recommended!
|Posted 19 May, 2009 - 14:25 by EVA_Unit_4A|