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Figuarts Mighty Morphin
Power Rangers Black & Blue Ranger Review

Sometimes in this crazy toy blogging business, there are toys you love, but don’t love having to review. The S.H. Figuarts Power Rangers are a perfect example. They’re stunning on the shelf, sturdy, well-articulated… I could go on. I don’t buy into the hype that import toys are superior to domestic toys (or the attitude that tends to go with that opinion), but it’s a fantastic set. I love getting them.

I don’t like the idea of reviewing them.

The main reason is because there’s a whole lot of the same going on. The MMPR suit designs are classic, etched into my brain in a way that ephemerally stamps this as cool, cooler than any other Power Rangers costume before or since (though there are a lot tied for second). And, like many other Power Ranger versions, the suits are basically identical from one figure to the next. The Black & Blue Rangers reviewed here are basically the Red Ranger with new heads.

They’re fantastic. But what can I say that I haven’t already? I mean, there are a few differences, of course, and I’ll cover those, but I just couldn’t figure out enough to say to review these two great releases separately. So, my poor Black Ranger has been sitting in his box for weeks, waiting for the Blue Ranger from my BBTS POL to make his appearance. He arrived yesterday.

I didn’t waste any time opening the pair though. It was great to get them both out of box and pull the Red, Pink, Green, & White up alongside them (the Yellow Ranger is here too, but she’ll have to wait for her review to join the group!). The base figure is fantastic – in any color. I could see buying it two more times – importing the male Yellow Ranger and I’m still kinda hoping for an unarmored Green Ranger.

The two new heads are well done, featuring the Mammoth & Triceratops. The glossy helmets have been a highlight of the line. They stand out well from the more satin-finished plastic and give an extra sense of realism. For the rest of the sculpt and thoughts on articulation, I’ll direct you to the links at the end of the review for the Red, Green, White, & Pink Rangers. Continue to Page 2…

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39 comments to Figuarts Mighty Morphin
Power Rangers Black & Blue Ranger Review

  • Are you forgetting that there’s an Armored Black on its way? It’s this year’s SDCC exclusive from Bluefin.

    I notice you didn’t make mention of how incredibly lame Blue Ranger’s Power Lance is (it comes up in one of the pics). Apparently Bandai used the wrong photo reference for making the accessory, and even though it was pointed out to them repeatedly, they released the figure with the tiny Lance. One of the biggest disappointments of the entire line so far.

    I’d like to get the male Yellow myself one day, but it is unfortunately not a priority when I’m still trying to get caught up on more unique releases (Gokia Blue and Green, Kyoryu Green, Blue, Black, Pink and Gold) and planning for more upcoming releases, like Akaranger (and, I’ll admit, I’ll probably end up buying Armored Black).

    • I missed Armored Black. Pregnant wife + toy blog = missing a lot. lol

      I didn’t think about the lanvce being short. I’m not a fan of their gear really. I realized this three other day when I was looking at the shelf and realized only the White & Green Rangers got to keep some gear. The rest all have empty holsters.

    • Battle Catman

      – Cutting the number of accessories (Blade Blaster modes) for everyone but Red.

      – Blue’s short lance.

      – No consistency with the Zyuranger boxes.

      But damned if it isn’t nice to complete my second team (Akibaranger was my first).

      • I was a little blind to the accessories. I just don’t have much use for them because I think of them more as martial artists and pilots then needing their weapons. The visual of the team as a group is what really tired it together for me.

        Hopefully they’ll finish off a few more of the classic teams. I’m ready to buy.

  • orionpax636

    Congratulations on the kiddo, Noisy! Ah Figuarts, an expensive delicacy. I don’t buy them often, but I’m often tempted to by the damn craftsmanship even for characters I have no attachment to. They may have sold me on that Injustice Batman of theirs.

    Oddly, there’s a Barnes and Noble in my area that’s carried a limited selection of Figuarts. It’s probably a pipe dream for me to hope they carry more or that more retailers carry them, but if not I guess that’s what Amazon Prime is for.

    • Thanks!

      I’m tempted by having all the Sailor Scouts together sometimes. I’m not even that big a Sailor Moon fan… I think they’d just look sharp together. It’s sad. lol

  • Brainlock

    Dangit, Peck! Taking all our fun!!

    I can only imagine the rest of that final pic conversation. >_>

    btw, for the retail line, are the pink and yellow rangers rare or something? they’re collecting dust around here almost as much as Max Steel.

  • J1h15233

    Funny, I was just thinking yesterday that it had been a long time since you reviewed these. My blue and yellow should be here today and then I’m done…unless they finally tempt me with the Megazord and Dragonzord…

    • I was waiting on Black for Blue and then Blue was alone in my POL for so long… Yellow is here now too, I just need to get her on the schedule!

      It would be nice to get the Zords…

  • J. Lee

    The mecha for the main five has been released in the chogokin line. Really cool poseable piece just around same.height as these.

    Blame my new found Sentai love cause they will be the Zyurangers for my display and Akaranger on the way. Maybe have him slap around the mmprs. That and I still see Saban’s reason for not updating the suits to Dairanger dumb for season 2.

    I await the review on Tiger and Yellow. Funny how one ep helps.show all how whole first season you are looking at a man baby.

    Really fun revies and man I hope somebody guts Peck, jerk kills all good things. (Great and funny use here)

  • Welp, thank you so VERY much, IAT, Noisy and Vault! I find myself firmly addicted to Figuarts, Figma, Revoltech… 🙂

    (I finally got Cobra, for example. Now I dither on do I really need his partner, Lady? I *did* splurge on the Cyclone motorcycle for my Kamen Rider, so…)

    So, Figuarts and Super Sentai. I picked up Red Eagle from Jetman, I want Black Condor but I fear the other team members will never be seen. I want to get Deka Red but I don’t think they’ve done ANY of the others. And Changeman is nowhere to be seen.

    ARRGGH.

    • And that should be Red HAWK, not Eagle. Yeesh. Gonna get my Super Sentai card revoked if I do that again.

      • Prototypes of Yellow Owl, White Swan, and Blue Swallow are known to exist, so there’s hope they may one day be released. Akaranger floated around in limbo for the better part of two years before a release date was announced. All of the Boukengers save Red were shown off in prototype form, and Blue and Black were finally released a year after Red (though Silver, Yellow, and Pink are still MIA).

        So, anything’s possible, though there are plenty of other Sentai Figuart prototypes that have been seen but haven’t been released. The Dekaranger SWAT forms, Deka Break, and Malshina all come to mind, along with the aforementioned Boukenger and Jetman team members.

        • That’s reassuring, thank you! Do you recall if the Yellow Owl proto had the proper ‘chunky’ body? It’s kinda key to that character and would be a useful ‘buck’ for some other Sentai shows that had chunky guys (even tho they’re supposed to be ‘fat’ it’s really hard to think of them in that way).

          I’m REALLY on the fence about Akaranger. He’s just not…baggy…enough. He doesn’t look like he’s wearing a costume made from cotton twill or serge. Too sleek. I can’t help but think that the ‘low rent’ look of Goranger is part of it’s charm. Blah blah. 🙂

          • Unfortunately, Yellow Owl was built on the same body as Red Hawk and Black Condor. It’s probably unavoidable in this line, where Sentai figures seem to always be on the verge of cancellation. Sentai figures, for reasons unknown, rarely reuse parts across teams, so a chunky body made for Yellow Owl probably wouldn’t see any reuse.

            Akaranger looks good to me. He’s definitely got more wrinkles and folds sculpted into his suit than other Rangers, and the holes in the visor, so I think he looks about as “low rent” as can be managed in the Figuarts aesthetic.

            • I have to get Akaranger & Baseball Mask for sure! And, yeah, I was disappointed Yellow Owl used the same body, but it will look okay on the shelf for me because I haven’t watched that version of the show, I just like the look.

  • Paul

    Love the last pic in the slideshow. Subtle and hilarious

    • J1h15233

      Care to explain it to the dummies out there 🙂

      • This is a guess, but I think it refers to the oddly uncomfortable ‘race casting’ that ended up, what with a Black guy being the Black Ranger and an Asian girl being the Yellow Ranger. Of course it *shouldn’t* matter but it seems some out there decided it was something to be outraged about.

        Heck, Tommy’s White Tiger deal isn’t even PART of Jyuranger, THAT is more worthy of outrage! 🙂

        • What I’ve always found more suspect, and no one ever seems to comment on, is that as soon as it was decided that Tommy was going to be the Red Zeo Ranger, it was suddenly revealed that he had Native American heritage.

          • !!!!

            In the immortal words of the ‘Kentucky Fried Movie’, “say WHAT?!”

            Wow, so that maybe is another layer on Noisy’s Fumetti?

            META HYPERTEXTUAL SUB-CONTEXT CONTENT!! 🙂

        • J1h15233

          I thought that’s what he was getting at but I wasn’t sure. Thanks.

    • Zach S.

      Hah…I think you guys are going too deep here. I think the joke was just that they were arguing, but the issue isn’t so “black and white”, or “cut and dry.” There’s some gray area…

  • Adam Hardy

    Although it seems the figures are nearly identical, a lot of Figuarts releases distinguish themselves with accessories and hands; hands are where I get a lot of my enjoyment of Figuarts from, since they suggest so many poses.

    I don’t know whether there’s as much posing in Power Rangers as there is in Super Sentai; it seems like the American versions fast-forward most of the henshin / roll call content. For me, the joy of the figures is being able to replicate a very wide array of poses from the shows.

    The base bodies among Figuarts also changed over time. Shoulders, hips, and whether there’s a bicep cut vary from team to team. I know Vault used to do Figuarts reviews; are the MMPR your first Figuarts?

    Anyway, thanks for reviewing them!

    • I do love getting all the hands. I wish there were more posing hands than so many gripping hands though, if that makes sense.

      I have some other Figuarts, but not as many, so these are among the first.

      Thanks!

  • Battle Catman

    I just received my MMPR Yellow over the weekend. I wasn’t planning on getting the team–just Red, Armored Red, White, and Green–but after a friend found me a Pink Ranger at half price because of a damaged box and I was able to use store credit to get Black and Blue, I figured “what the hell?”

    They really do look great standing together.

  • MST3KFan

    Finishing the MMPR team in Figuarts form is quite a treat given I just this last week did so…though it’s also heartbreaking to know a number of teams still need completion.

    Dairanger, Jetman, and if you count sixth/extra Rangers… Dekaranger (S.P.D.), Hurricanger (Ninja Storm), and even Kyoryuger (Dino Charge)…

    Bluefin has a poll going right now for fans to vote between Zeo, In Space, and Time Force right now even. As to if that means anything for us.

    It was also revealed that in Japan they have Figuarts of what we know here in the U.S. as Big Bad Beetleborgs coming next year.

    • I know the J-Fighter figures more as the Machine Empire generals from the “Forever Red” episode of Power Rangers, but, yeah, there’s still some great stuff in the pipeline.

      I think Kyoryuger’s about as complete as it’s going to get. They’ve made the “core” team. At least they got their sixth member. Cyan, Grey, and the rest are only slightly more likely to ever get made than Deka Gold (oh, how I yearn for a Deka Gold. If I had customization skills, I’d totally have made a Deka Gold already). Beet and Stag from Go Busters are almost too much to hope for at this point (not a huge thing for me, as I didn’t much care for Beet or Stag, but I know some people want their Go Busters to feel “complete.” While my team feels complete with the original three, others want the last two, and I wont’ begrudge them that. I’m the lunatic who wants Deka Gold, after all). We can just keep our fingers crossed for the rest of Jetman, Diaranger, and even Boukenger. While I’m not actually crazy enough to think we’ll ever see Deka Gold, and it’s probably even too much to hope for Bright or Swan (if Sentai figuarts were selling as well as Kamen Rider figuarts, I’d say there’s a good chance we’d at least see some of them as online exclusives), I won’t feel the team is reasonably complete until Master and Break are released.

      Even with Akaranger coming this fall, it’s great to see the granddaddy of all Red Rangers getting a figure in this line, but it’s also worrisome in that there’s a good chance the rest of his team will never get made. If they don’t, I won’t lose sleep over it, as I’ve no personal attachment to Go Ranger (other than a great deal of respect for their place in Sentai history), but I’m sure it will frustrate many collectors. And, if they do release the entire team, I’ll buy every single one of them.

      • It’s been my experience that the ‘Red Ranger is king’ mentality has been around for at least the last 15 years. Bandai will bend over backwards to make Red Rangers. I think it’s safe to say every single Sentai team will get their Red Ranger in the SH Figuarts line.

        I think ‘Ninja Captor’ is plumb out of luck.

        I need all of Jetman (could we have the ‘black birds’ and the bird people too?), I need Changeman, I need Bioman…

        (I like my Super Sentai old, back when they were shamelessly insane. 🙂 )

        • If we got every Red Ranger even, I’d be ecstatic. But it doesn’t seem like the Sentai SH Figuarts line is doing too well, and always seems to be on the verge of cancellation. They haven’t even announced Figuarts for ToqGer, this year’s Sentai, yet, and that announcement’s past due if the figures would be out before the show ends. Granted, I think the ToqGer suits look like ass, but I’d still buy them because they’re still Rangers.

          I think Aka Ranger is really a last ditch effort to try to drum up interest in the Sentai line beyond the current (or very recent) teams.

          If I had to pick one team to get a set, beyond what already exists or has already been announced, I’d have to go with Kakuranger, for the very stupid reason that I actually loved the Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers miniseries. There are several teams that I think need to be made, like Abaranger (how did two dinosaur themed teams get six members made as figures, but the middle one got none? Esepcially after the team-up movie. That’s usually the sort of publicity Bandai/Toei use to push a new team of Figuarts) and Time Ranger (hugely popular in both Japan and America).

          • It’s difficult to understand how Bandai thinks, but I run into that problem with the Revoltech figures as well.

            My completely unfounded belief is people get frustrated by not being able to complete teams/families, and the (not) thrill of those ‘first release special pack-in item’ releases. This frustration leads to a ‘wait and see’ attitude, which reduces reservations, which reduces initial orders to vendors which reduces production runs which leads to short selling times…

            Right now Bandai seems to be on a big Kamen Rider kick, and it looks like Sailor Moon is taking a greater chunk of resources.

            I have odd theories about the more vintage Sentai shows, about cycles where they go from ‘pretty serious for a kids show’ to ‘outright goofy’ and back, and I think we’ve hit the peak of the ‘goofy’ with the current show.* It might be they won’t start the Figuarts figures until just before the end of the series.

            *For example, Jetman was amazingly, shockingly dark, especially the ending, while the next show, Jyuranger, was much more lighthearted. I recall Kakuranger to be even more silly in many ways. YMMV or course. 🙂 (I attribute the tone shift to the increased use of ‘complete body’ costume villains for ALL of them, as opposed to the ‘heavy costume but you can still see the actor’ style. Half the fun of the show is watching the bad guys completely devour, not just chew the scenery.)