Chrome Prowler Tiger Zord
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of Bandai America.
Three years ago, a dangerous artificial intelligence known as the Venjix virus assaulted Earth’s computers, and shut down all forms of electronic communication, radio & TV broadcasts. Then Venjix proceeded to build an army of human-like robots with which to corral and enslave humanity. Regretfully we lost the war, and Venjix conquered the world. But on the central-eastern edge of Africa, the domed city of Corinth was created and serves as the last safe-haven for any human who can make it within its protective shield. Venjix, however, is ever-watchful of Corinth, and has built strong barriers around the city to prevent more humans from making it safely there… assuming that anyone can find the city to begin with! Whenever a survivor comes to the city, the shield must be lowered and then recharged, and during these times, Venjix sends infiltration units to cause havoc and destroy the city. But fortunately, a new team has been developed by the mysterious-yet-influential Dr. K which can successfully defend the city- the Power Rangers! Armed with powerful Engine Cells, the Rangers can summon both a unique arsenal of weapons & armored suits, and giant Zord Attack Vehicles which stand many stories tall and can create a giant humanoid robot form called a Megazord! Will they be enough to defend Corinth from the terror of Venjix?
In 2009, Bandai America began marketing a line of transformable animal figures under their Power Rangers brand whose vehicle mode are based on real modern-day cars, notably from the Toyota Motor Company™. The Transforming Beast Zords do not appear in the series airing at that time, “Power Rangers RPM”.
The Chrome Prowler Tiger Zord’s vehicle mode is that of a real Toyota Prius™ mid-size hatchback car (specifically the 2003 model NHW20). The draw of the Prius is that it is a first-generation commercially-viable hybrid car- utilizing a self-rechargeable electric motor to off-set the amount fuel its gas engine uses, making it far-more fuel efficient and thus cheaper to use on a day-to-day basis.
For movable features, just the four black ABS wheels independently turn. And, if you wish, the front doors can open, though this is strictly for the transformation and will expose the animal mode’s details.
Some years ago, rival toy manufacturer Hasbro and TakaraTomy produced the Transformers Binaltech line, which was a line of 1/25th-scale die-cast & plastic cars based on real modern-day brands (Chevrolet Corvette™, Scion xB™, Mazda RX-7™, Dodge Viper™, etc.) that could then transform into classic & well-recognized Autobot and Decepticon characters. One of these, the US-exclusive Alternators #26- Decepticon Ravage, was based on his original 1984-86 Generation One appearance where he turned into a jaguar. So, for me, it is impossible to not see that black jaguar transforming into a Jaguar XK in this set, albeit with a different car ‘shell’, since it is less of a tiger than it lets on. But, this is not a Transformer that is being reviewed here. This is a Zord, and Zords do not have personalities or feelings. On the other hand, I do feel that Bandai America could have taken a few cues from their rivals in designing this toy, notably in bulking up the details of the cannons & rocket engine as they should be rather than as flat surface carvings. It may be for the sake of cutting costs, but it’s really one of the downsides of the toy. Another is the last of robotic parts in robot mode, like inside the thighs, or keeping consistent coloring (lower back legs, mid-torso, etc.) The other thing is that even though the back legs have all the right joints for it, this set is very poor at posing- the mouth doesn’t open, the shoulders in front are limited by the wheel well, none of the shoulder or hip joints tilt outwards, the hip joints are rather tight, and the neck doesn’t move beyond the transfor- uhh, “morphin’” joints. On the other hand, even if not featured in the show, it is still a fair outing. Transformation is fair-enough, most of the surface details are good, the sculpts are clean, and things move the way they’re supposed to. To be honest, I do like the other set in the Transforming Beast Zord line- the Engine King Eagle Zord- more for its better-integrated pieces between vehicle & animal modes, and better coloring, but the Chrome Prowler Tiger Zord isn’t too bad on its own. With a little work (I’d spend another $1-2 more for better paint apps), these could become good little sets on their own, even if they don’t appear in the shows.
(What- a toy from Power Rangers that doesn’t appear on-screen? Unheard of! Heresy! /sarcasm)
|Posted 10 January, 2011 - 01:09 by EVA_Unit_4A|