Deluxe Astro Galactic Megazord
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
The Earth-built colony vessel Terra Venture is humanity’s first attempt to reach the stars. But in the midst of this glorious adventure, on the distant planet of Mirinoi, its people are being terrorized by the evil Scorpious and his minions. Several humans from Terra Venture are pulled through a wormhole to the besieged planet, and there they, a museum mechanic, and one of the natives of Mirinoi successfully remove the five legendary Quasar Sabers from their stone thrones. In their attempt to escape on the famous but worn-out Astro Megaship, one of their own is lost, and Scorpious orders Mirinoi turned into stone as punishment, and then turns his wrath on the peaceful colony vessel. The four human owners of the Quasar Sabers and the younger brother of the fallen soldier manage to unlock the power of the bladed relics in order to become protectors of Terra Venture- the Galaxy Power Rangers!
The Astro Megaship was once a powerful space vessel. It could travel between stars in the blink of an eye, and it fought against many foes both above and on the surface of planets, so its metal was proven many times over. But after the end of the climactic battle against the Alliance of Evil which threatened to crush the entire Universe at one time, the Astro Megaship was finally worn out after its gallant duty was finished. The ship- and her onboard computer personality known as DECA- was retired with high honors on Earth, and delegated to become a planet-side museum so that future generations could marvel at her and learn the value of dedication, courage, and teamwork. But when a desperate GSA officer from Terra Venture tried to commandeer the ship in order to save his teammates on a distant planet, the Megaship’s sole mechanic begrudgingly stepped in to fly the rescue mission. After saving all but one of the stranded Galaxy Power Rangers from Mirinoi, the Astro Megaship docked with the colony vessel, and then became their secret private transport as Terra Venture crossed the stars. Unfortunately, the Megaship’s previous owners- the Space Power Rangers- had chosen to remove key components before she became a museum, so the vessel was no longer capable of transforming into the Astro Megazord until their return.
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This set is known as the Astro Galactic Megazord to differentiate it from the original Deluxe Astro Megazord released the previous year from “Power Rangers in Space” (1997), but in-series during “PR Lost Galaxy”, it is still referred to as just the Astro Megaship. (I will do the same here. I’m not gonna type that whole repetitive name out every single frickin’ time unless there is a difference to be pointed out; no way!)
- Astro Mega Shuttle (back)- While it is not seen in “PRLG”, it still forms the head of the Astro Megazord.
- Astro Megaship (back)- The larger of the two halves, Megaship is a sturdy design that features several hangar & storage bays throughout its hull, and has a highly sophisticated computer system with a limited female-sounding artificial intelligence of its own, known as DECA. While it operates mostly in habitable regions of the universe, it can easily travel into deep space, or make landfall, with only a crew of five. The Astro Megaship forms the torso, arms, and legs of the Astro Megazord.
In flight mode, the Megaship is a compacted flying saucer shape, with two red diagonal stabilizers on top of the engine housing (though in both series, they’re really vertical), a set of cargo & access bays hanging beneath which also serve as landing pods, and a pair of twin energy cannons to either side of the bridge. The turrets can spin a full 360º, but the twin barrels cannot pitch up or down. When not in use, the Mega Shuttle is stored inside a large bay inside the split section of the nose; the only sign of its presence being the small V-tail stabilizer projecting above the hull. The hull detail is quite impressive and well executed. To simulate flight, you can either hold it in your hand, or roll it along a smooth flat surface using the four wheels on the bottom of the landing pods.
Unlike the original 1997 set, the Astro Galactic Megazord had the light-and-sound feature removed, which helped to reduce the cost of the toy by about $10. In order to remove the feature:
- The large transparent-red “M” on the chest is the same, but the two trigger buttons inside of it are replaced with non-moving parts to fill the gaps.
- While the battery compartment door remains the same along its back, the part immediately below it where the On/Off switch used to be has been replaced with another which eliminates & covers that switch, but otherwise they are identical.
- The hidden switch at the back of its neck- which would activate the F/X when attaching the Mega Shuttle to the torso- has obviously been removed as well.
Aside from coloring (which I’ll address later), these constitute all of the changes between the original Astro Megazord set and the Astro Galactic Megazord.
Very well proportioned compared with many of its own kind, the Astro Galactic Megazord (back) is well detailed and solid. The joints are nice and tight, and the decals don’t take away or distract from the overall look. The arms rotate 360º at the shoulders, and snap at every 30º. The legs, while not really designed for action poses, can be moved into some interesting if limited positions for a look of flying through space. The two small engines for the Mega Shuttle hang off the top of the shoulders and act as the main propulsion for the megazord. The only paint apps on the entire toy are the face of the megazord, and the cockpit of the Mega Shuttle. My only complaint might be that there was no joint at the elbows or shoulders; I can accept what they did with the legs.
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For accessories, the toy has three: the Astro Megazord Saber, Astro Megazord Shield, and Astro Megazord Blaster. The Saber is a soft, very light gray PVC weapon about 5 inches long. The black plastic Astro Megazord Shield is actually the belly of the Megaship, but split down the middle horizontally, and rotated in half. There is a small PVC handle for the Shield that the megazord can hold in either hand, though it’s preferred in the left. The Blaster is actually the booster assembly for the Mega Shuttle, with a PVC handle and cannon barrel folded out. As an added bonus, the Blaster can separate into its three different components, and attach to the Megaship as extra armament. The two small turrets the Megaship uses are not used on the megazord, but are still capable of spinning all the way around. So, if you want to take a cheap shot at your enemy one day...
The Deluxe Astro Galactic Megazord is a repaint of the Deluxe Astro Megazord; which in-turn is a re-release of the original Japanese toy, the DX Denji Gattai Galaxy Mega from “Denji Sentai MegaRanger” (1996). In general, aside from the differences addressed above physically between the Astro Megazord, the biggest difference here is the coloring used. Instead, for the Astro Galactic Megazord, all blue and silver plastic was swapped for black and gold respectively. All red, white, and light gray parts remain the same. The Megazord now features red eyes instead of yellow, and a gold-painted face instead of silver. The cockpit windows of the Mega Shuttle were also changed from brown to gold. The decals, also, have been updated. While retaining the same filling patterns and detail lines, again a simple color swap was made- silver for gold. The only exception on the decals is that the- shall I say- small rectangular belt-buckle decal was changed from bronze to black- the only modification made other than the gold swap. There are two decals on the outsides of the ankles that were originally blue that also swapped for black.
This also means that since the Deluxe Astro Galactic Megazord is the same as the Deluxe Astro Megazord, it is fully compatible with the Deluxe Delta Megazord also from "PRiS", which means you can make an alternate-colored version of the Astro-Delta Megazord.
Y’all remember that episode of the original “Star Trek” series from the late ‘60s, where some of the crew from the U.S.S. Enterprise were accidentally transported into a parallel universe in which their counterparts were the complete opposite of them in both appearance and personality? Well, this set represents what a mirror version of the Astro Megazord might look like- black for terror & death, gold for opulence, arrogance, & wealth, and red for blood. On the other hand, this set is rather unique to the PR franchise- it is a US-exclusive release! Many times in Japan, Bandai has released special black-and-gold repaints of certain DX sets from certain Super Sentai series, but almost none of them ever made over to American shores under the PR trademark. There were super-rare black-and-gold releases of the Deluxe Galaxy Megazord (minus all the metal parts of course).and the first Deluxe Megazord from 1993, in the US. However, this is the first US-exclusive repaint as well as the first US-exclusive black-and-gold Deluxe repaint (and so far the only of both). And usually with any of these black-and-gold repaints in Japan the price of the toy nearly doubles, but in this case it actually dropped about $10 due to the removal of the electronics. And so, with the exception of those missing F/X (which I really don’t think is a loss), the Deluxe Astro Galactic Megazord remains a winning toy, if you can find it anymore.
|Posted 28 April, 2008 - 02:37 by EVA_Unit_4A|