Most Requested Figures: Power Ranger’s Rita Repulsa

This suggestion comes to us from IAT reader, AllMindsAboutEverything. So a quick thank you to him and an encouragement to anyone else with a character for this article! We will read them, and though we can’t do everyone, we do appreciate hearing your ideas! A link for submissions will follow at the end of the article and we’ll try to remember to include that every time going forward.

Now, I have to admit upfront that I’m not a big Power Rangers fan. I’m not down on them. I could say that I’m too old – I was thirteen when it started and the ship sailed without me. But being old isn’t a defense since some of the older IAT writers, Rant & Vault specifically, are older than me and they both love it. Enough that I’ve sat through many plot recaps and discussions about a show I didn’t want to watch! Still, they loved it, they’re my friends, so I have respect for it even though it’s not something I care about.

As a toy collector, I can not deny the brand that is Power Rangers though. Make of it what you will, but those toys have held onto their four feet of pegspace for so long that plenty of my favorite lines have lived and died next to them at the store. Seventeen years – that’s staying power. Since I wasn’t paying close attention to the toys, I assumed that Bandai had made just about every character. I mean, I know some character inevitably gets skipped, but AllMinds informed me that there isn’t a Rita Repulsa. That blows my mind.

If you’re not familiar with Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa is THE villain. There have been plenty of bad guys in their seventeen years, but she’s their main foe for the first three years (appearing in 119 episodes) and then making return appearances sporadically throughout the subsequent series. This is Transformers without Megatron. The X-Men without Magneto. The Joes with no Cobra Commander. A toy line without the main villain for seventeen years! Can you even imagine? I say that’s well worth our attention.

I meant to ask Rant or Vault to do this article. Honestly, I can’t tell you a lot about Rita other than what I’ve gleaned from them over the years, but I’ll do my best to give her the proper write up.

I can tell you that Power Rangers fans agree with me about her being the main adversary. She won a poll in 2006 that set out to discern their ultimate villain. Lord Zedd, you might remember him – he’s the skinless dude that wears a metal exoskeleton and has more than a few figures – came in second. Apparently, a skinless dude is cooler than a woman figure several times over.

Is that what’s at play here? Is Rita being ignored because she’s a woman? We established that her husband, Zedd, has figures. So does her brother, Rito, and her father, Master Vile. The movie villains, Mordant and Ivan Ooze, have toys. Rita’s lackeys Goldar, Finster, Baboo, and Squatt all have toys. But her female lackey, Scorpina, suffers the same toy-less fate as Rita. Boiled down – every major villain (and plenty of monsters – Slotsky anyone?) from the original incarnation of the show has been made into a toy except for the two female villains. I hate that. All toy collectors should hate that. Even if you don’t like Power Rangers, make sure to share your condolences the next time you run across one on the net. It looks like they’ve been bedeviled by the “villains don’t sell” and the “women don’t sell” rules for seventeen years now.

There was hope for a Rita figure at one point. I can’t find the exact year, but both Scorpina and Rita were shown during Toy Fair before being canned from the assortment. From what I’ve gathered, she didn’t meet safety standards because of multiple sharp points and/or small parts. I’m not sure. To add insult to injury, eagle-eyed viewers of the show were able to spot the unreleased figure as a cake topper in the episode where Lord Zedd and Rita got married. I’m sure that felt good.

In the ensuing years, the toy line has gotten more female friendly. There have been plenty of female ranger figures since then. The villain Divatox even saw release in the Turbo version of the toy line. Still, with the recent Legends releases (which included a Zedd), Bandai hasn’t revisited Rita Repulsa. This brings us to today and the newest blow to Rita fans.

We’re in the middle of renaissance of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers right now. I see a couple different scales at the store while I’m looking for DC Classics. And in those scales, I see the rangers, the villains, and the zords. But I don’t see Rita. The reason for this is simple – they snubbed her. Again.

My favorite part of this story is a call I got from Rant a week or so ago. He had run across a TRU exclusive 8-pack of squashed down Power Rangers. It’s pictured here for you. You see, it includes the original five Rangers, the Green Ranger, their robot Alpha, and their second most important villain, Lord Zedd. But you see Rita too, don’t you? She’s artwork (as is the Putty). They went to the trouble of drawing up a squibbie Rita Repulsa and gluing it to the front of the package – you know, instead of including her. Suffice to say, Rant was not pleased. There was much cursing on that phone call. And while I found it amusing, I feel his pain. Quite simply, that sucks.

Bandai, I forgive you for not making those awesome Teen Titans Doom Patrol figures you showed. Mattel is onboard with comic versions, so you’re off the hook now. But not making a Rita in seventeen years has got to be one of the top ten worst oversights in toy history. It’s so crazy, that I still have a hard time believing that you actually did it. If you don’t take advantage of this popularity swell as you sell all these original figures in this new scale and make a Rita, I don’t know if you will ever get the chance. It’s now or never, Bandai – make Rita Repulsa.

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44 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: Power Ranger’s Rita Repulsa

  1. Honestly, a lot of Power Rangers fans disliked this new line from day one. The smaller figures, the smaller Megazord, the “useless” bikes and other things that kids love but collectors loathe–it’s old news for someone like me who frequents a PR forum, but it is nice to hear others chime in.


    Yeah, I’m a Power Rangers fan, but my priorities are the Zords, and since I tracked down the original 1993 Ultrazord a few years ago, this line has nothing to offer me. But I can see others’ frustration over not having a Rita figure. However, I really wish they’d exercise more of the thought process before foaming at the mouth and bombarding Bandai’s e-mail box with requests–no, DEMANDS–that a Rita figure be made.

    (No, seriously. They do that. It’s like a weekly event.)

    1. I can certainly understand the sudden shift in style/scale as a disruption that would upset long-term fans, but it didn’t cross my mind last night. That was one thing that was lost by a non-PR fan doing the Rita write up. I don’t know the ins and outs of collecting the line.

      If I were into PR, I think I’d be more into the Zords too. They’ve always been the most interesting part of the show to me.

      And You did an excellent job recreating the foaming at the mouth! I called Vault and read it aloud! LOL 😀

  2. I was doing a search for Rita Repulsa or Bandora (Japanese version) figures in Japan and came across an entry on an obscure site claiming that Rita had been released by Bandai of America in 1994. I realize even if this is true, people would be wanting new figures (or at least a re-release) and it is of little consequence in the here and now, but I was just wondering if there was any way to confirm if this information is correct?

    1. I don’t think so. Like the article said, there was a prototype, but nothing ever released. There is a little plastic figure of Rita that houses one of those “squeeze the character and it lights up” flashlights, but that’s about it.

    2. You might have found what year Bandai showed the prototype. I wasn’t able to find that. I had felt that the Rita figure was later on, but since Rita & Zedd got married early on the figure would have to have been planned in those first couple seasons.

      From what I’ve read on the Ranger message boards (and let me tell ya, Mattel fans can be polite folk…), the figure never made it out. The only picture I could find is from a magazine that carried the Toy Fair news that year, but I couldn’t find which one.

  3. I was 12 when Power Rangers became big and just a wee too old for it, though I always loved the Zords. I’ve seen enough MMPR to know the series and appreciate it. Had they made a Putty and Rita and put it in that mini “Heroes” pack, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I’m already debating about whether or not I want to buy that new Megazord, and that 3.75″ Alpha 5 with Zordon looks cool.

    1. Yeah the 8pk is great for fans of the show since the squibbies fit in well with all the other heroes lines. The only problem with it is that it’s not a 10pk.

      Well, the real problem is the artwork on the box – that’s just mean. But not including them sucks too.

      I’ve seen the smaller stuff in stores, but I haven’t seen an Alpha yet.

  4. I’m really liking the new throwback line! And yeah, there’s no Rita and there’s not a lot of anything besides the Rangers and their stuff that I’ve found so far. Hopefully, Bandai has plans for a Rita in the line and will show it at ToyFare!

    1. Minor nitpick… ToyFare is the magazine. Toy Fair is the show. 😀

      The thing that bugs me about Bandai is they don’t always make what the show. After all, even if a Rita is at Toy Fair, it wouldn’t be the first time.

  5. Thank you for doing this! Rita deserves her proper place on toy shelves even if it’s in the new line and not the old one, but would it be greedy to say I’d like it both ways?

    And thank you for keeping the article for yourself. You are my favorite toy blogger right now. I do like the Rants and the Vault reviews, but your writing is what makes this place great!

  6. Since I more or less cringe at the thought of Power Rangers, I can’t say as I care, but I had no idea they hadn’t made her. That’s just ignorant.

    BoA isn’t my favorite company though. I think just about all of their toy lines suffer from the ultimate sin of yours, showing stuff and then not making it. I’m not sure who is worse, them or DST.

    1. The ultimate sin of Most Requested is when a toy company shows off toys “they might have made”. Showing it and not being able to make it, does happen from time to time.

      But, I’d be happier not knowing there were Joe/Transformers, Sigma Six Covergirl, and last batch of 200x figures.

  7. It’d be about damn time, that’s all I can say. No props or praise, they make it and we forget they’ve been screwing the fans for twenty years.

  8. Yeah, Rant and I were both pretty annoyed about that box set. I get the whole “It’s a girl, so kids won’t want it” thing, but there’s no excuse for that box set. If you want the Rangers, you’re going to buy the set. So why not include Rita and that Putty to at least make it a little more well rounded instead of ALL the Rangers VS Zedd.

    1. This isn’t the first time that Bandai has crossed my Rant desk. Noisy mentioned the Doom Patrol figures, but what about Silkie!

      And, yes, I’m dead serious.

  9. I never understood the appeal of Power Rangers, but fans should get all the major characters as toys. Period.

    My kids don’t have prejudices against the girls and the villains so I never understand what the companies are going on about. They recreate the show and want the right characters to make the story work. We got my son a ton of Secret Saturday’s for Christmas. He was ecstatic, but he kept talking about getting Drew and there just wasn’t one to be had.

    1. No Drew Saturday. I was annoyed by that too.

      Brave & the Bold seems to have the same dumb restriction. What’s stupid is there aren’t a lot of female characters to do in some of these lines, so it’s okay to mix the handful of them in.

      The “Nurse’s Curse” isn’t as applicable today as it was back in the sixties and I wish toy companies would take the hint.

  10. I can guarantee you, if Rita and a Putty had been included in the box set, fans would STILL find something to complain about.

    “Now I have to buy the whole set over and over again to army-build my Putties!”

    Although, it would be funny as hell for a fan to end up with a pile of Rita figures when all was said and done.

    It’s crazy when you think about it though–in every other line I collect, there are a handful of recent figures that fans love. “There may be a few nitpicks, but overall it’s a great toy” the reviewers say.

    Not Power Rangers fans.

    “What?! They didn’t paint ALL the details on the little TWO-INCH figures?! Oh, that is just crap, Bandai. You didn’t try hard enough. It’s Disney’s fault, isn’t it? Disney doesn’t care about the true Power Ranger fans, so they put out sub-par crap like this to turn people off so they can kill the series and spend more money on their Hannah Montana and Jonahs Brothers crap. I don’t care that they made a hundred times more money than Power Rangers! That’s not the point!”

    The problem is that this new line has to compete with the original 1993 line in the minds of collectors. It’s somewhat similar to the MOTU situation–fans haven’t had a dedicated toy line for their beloved series in over a decade, so they cherish the old figures they have and learn to accept the faults and limitations as “part of the charm.” But once the new line hits, it falls under heavy criticism; EVERYTHING is nitpicked and compared to the original toys, and God help the poor toy who isn’t screen-accurate.

    1. LOL.

      I’m almost always favor new over old unless the new is just really subpar to the old stuff. I like to say that nostalgia gives old toys a huge advantage.

      I got my first experience with the Rangers fans last night while researching. There was a great (it was probably inappropriate for me to be amused) exchange about the backs of the squashdowns and the comparison to important details like Superman’s symbol. There pwning and reverse-pwning. It was a riot, but I imagine if I cared about the property more, it would drive me nuts.

          1. Yeah, that’s the forum I go to. I’m registered as “Jhiaxus.” I’ve had a few back-and-forths with other guys about a lot of things in that particular thread (MMPR 2010 Discussion). You’ll see I really wasn’t making up the things I posted here.

      1. I can’t be dragged into this…I bought the gashapon Big O stuff which had big O and big Duo…..but no Big Fau. Which is a Big Fail!

  11. I like the reading the comments on here, it’s like the letters-column in comic books sometimes xD

  12. *Deep breath* Hooookay. I think reading everyone else’s comments has calmed me enough to post something. Finally.

    I hate you, Bandai. Rita Repulsa is THE villain of my Power Ranger-lovin’ childhood (and no, I was not ga-ga over the Pink Ranger. I loved Trini, the Yellow Ranger). I can still hear she and Goldar conversing on the moon, looking into her telescope, and when I saw the 8 pack I was overjoyed… until I realized there was… no… Rita. I think Noisy will remember my reaction:




    More disappointment. Really, Bandai? At least make a puddy pack so people can “army-build.” But, seriously, give Rita the respect she deserves. Power Rangers was a great show and not one I am ashamed to admit watching. I had a crush on Billy and Tommy, was glued to the T.V. for the episode that was made just for Trini, and owned/watched and re-watched the Power Rangers movies. But the show wouldn’t have been all that great if there wasn’t a good, strong villain to battle.

    Please, please, PLEASE make a Rita! Even if it’s only a chibi squashed-down one…. please?

  13. All what i want in the new line is.

    Power Morphers. Gold and Silver Morphers with Dino Coins Dragon Coin, Tiger Coin and Ninja Coins.

    Rita Figure.

    DragonZord. TigerZord. Thunder MegaZord. Ninja MegaZord and Shogun MegaZord

    Saba. Power Weapons. Gold Power Staff (PRZeo)

  14. I’d love it if we not only got five inch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers action figures again, but also eight inch figures too. That way, when they make eight inch toys for the villain characters, they have a bad guy for Megazord to fight with. Having a new Megazord toy is pointless without having a Goldar or King Sphinx toy of equal height to fight it with. Well, at least Bandai confirmed we’re finally getting a Dragonzord… even if it won’t be sold until 2011.


    Here are the main things that I want Bandai to include into their new toy line (but in five inch form, because I don’t care for the new 3 and 3/4 inch height they have now):

    – Stop making toys of the Power Rangers in those new suits made just for their new toy lines. Seriously, I don’t care for them. They never wore anything like that on the show, so what’s the point of these new vehicles with the Rangers in new suits?

    – Make a new Power Morpher with the Rangers’ Power Coins included. Seriously, Bandai would make so much money by releasing a new Power Morpher for kids and collectors to buy. Plus, it’d be nice not to shell out $100 dollars and more for one on E-bay.

    – Make at least two toys based on the “villain-of-the-day” monsters. Any of ’em. Snizard, Eye Guy, King Sphinx, Madame Woe, Bones, Pudgy Pig… heck, I’ll even take a Mr. Ticklesneezer at this point! Just make a new monster toy already!

    – Make some new playsets, preferably with a bonus figure or two included. We have an Alpha 5 toy already, so why not make a Command Center playset? Or make a playset of the Juice Bar with Bulk and Skull action figures included? Or Rita’s Lunar Palace, so you include a Rita Repulsa toy with her telescope and a Finster toy with his Monster Maker machine? They’d make a lot of money by making new playsets and figures based on places and characters the original Bandai toy line failed to do. Besides, who wouldn’t want to finally own a Rita Repulsa toy or toys for Bulk and Skull? Speaking of which…

    – Make toys of the Rangers either with removable helmets or, better yet, toys of the Rangers as normal teenagers. That way, you’d get toys of the teens in normal clothes to go with both the Command Center and Juice Bar playsets mentioned above. If nothing else, I’d love to see toys of the Rangers with their real faces again. Who wouldn’t want new toys of the Rangers like their auto-morphing counterpart toys from 1994?

    One final thing: make more of the toys. Seriously, a lot of time when I go to the stores, they’ll either be sold out of everyone but Goldar, or just simply sold out. I talked to a couple of guys at my local toy stores, and they said the most popular MMPR toys were – #1 Pink Ranger, #2 Yellow Ranger, #3 Black Ranger, #4 Alpha 5 with Zordon, #5 Red Ranger and Green Ranger (tie)

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. What do you guys think?

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