Power Morphicon Bandai Panel Reveals Future for the Power Rangers Brand
Power Morphicon’s Bandai presentation revealed upcoming Ninja Steel toys, Legacy Figure Collection items, and a plethora of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers collectible merchandise.
Unlike previous years at Power Morphicon, Bandai and Saban partnered up to show fans a glimpse into the merchandising future of the brand, revealing new toys and items from all facets of Power Rangers.
This not only included items from the upcoming Power Rangers Ninja Steel series and the next series marked for release in the Legacy Figure Collection, but included a number of partnerships with various companies to produce a wide array of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers merchandise for fans of all ages.
The panel began focusing on a figure fans of Power Rangers Dino Charge have wanted since the reveal of key villains like Sledge, Curio, Wrench, and Snide: Poisandra. Greg Mitchell, Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Management for Power Rangers revealed that Poisandra is the first step in an initiative to work with retailers on exclusive releases of key characters and items that didn’t make the cut in the main series toy line. Toys R Us was impressed with the sales figures and fan interest in the 2015 and 2016 Ranger Key releases and hope to continue to work with the store on future exclusive releases.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel was the next focus of the panel. The collectible gimmick for the series are Ninja Power Stars. Unlike the Japanese NinShuriken, the Ninja Power Stars don’t appear to have removable blades. Instead, the Ninja Power Stars will feature foam blades. Bandai anticipated kids wanting to use the collectibles like actual ninja stars. The gimmick is slated to be sold in either three packs (like Ranger Keys) or two packs with an included wrist launcher (like Dino Chargers). The Ninja Power Stars will work in the role play toys using pins located on the back of the Ninja Power Stars and buttons located on the toys, much like the current Dino Charger products.
Roleplay toys were next, showing off the DX Ninja Star Blade and Ninja Star Morpher, Ninninger‘s Ninja Ichibanto and Karakuri Hengen respectively. Unlike Ninninger, the sword weapon isn’t the morpher of the series, instead being passed in favor of the star shaped weapon instead. Mitchell stated they created this idea and passed it along to Chip Lynn, Executive Produce of Power Rangers Ninja Steel, who liked the different take and approved the idea. Bandai did not want to make the sword the morpher for the series in order to produce more “in demand” toys. The morpher and sword toys are always Bandai’s biggest sellers, and the company wanted to make sure that two different toys were on the market for these categories instead of having to combine their two biggest sellers into one.
Bandai announced an all new line replacing the main cycle line fans are used to. These are the Mega Morph Vehicles. Bandai wanted to incorporate the ninja star concept into every toy in the line, thus creating a new idea that’s a first for the franchise. Each vehicle can fold into a ninja star shape, and with the push of a button, can pop up or unfold to create vehicles such as a helicopter or motorcycle in one quick motion. This idea is further pursued in a larger size class called the Mega Morph Battle Station. Shown on the slide is a larger ninja star that unfolds to become a large cannon weapon. These toys are said to have functionality with both the Action Hero figures as well as the Megazords.
Speaking of Megazords, the Ninja Steel Megazord was shown to have enough room in the body of the robot to house a 5″ Action Hero figure, to look as if it is piloting the robot instead of the Red Ranger’s Zord. While not shown in the slide, Mitchell confirmed that the toy will be able to transform into the Dragon Mode seen throughout Ninninger.
While both Saban and Bandai wanted to reveal more about the upcoming Power Rangers film, Lionsgate is keeping things hush-hush. The company confirmed that the toy line for the film will be larger than what we currently known. The 6.5″ Legacy Figure Collection releases of the movie Rangers were shown and reconfirmed as a Toys R Us Exclusive release.
Saban has announced partnerships with several major companies to produce Mighty Morphin Power Rangers inspired toys to bring the characters back in sight of the general public. Many fans have wanted re-releases of the Funko POP! TV series White, Pink, and Red Rangers in light of the newly released Green, Blue, Black, and Yellow Rangers. While Funko is set on not re-releasing their products, Funko instead will be releasing new molds of the White, Pink, and Red Rangers in battle ready poses, so fans of these products can create a full team.
Also announced was a new partnership with The Wish Factory, makers of the Kawaii Cube series of plush toys. The Wish Factory is set to release a new MMPR inspired line up with 12 different characters spread across their three sizes: Mini, Medium, and Large plushes. Shown in the presentation were the Red Ranger, Blue Ranger, and Rita Repulsa and are set to release this winter. Saban has also partnered with PPW Toys to create a MMPR inspired set of their popular nesting dolls.
Next up: Legacy Figure Collection. The first wave is out at retail stores now and is selling incredibly well. Fan reception is high with large amounts of photos and praise on various social media platforms. In a few months, the next wave containing Mighty Morphin Pink, Blue, and Black Rangers as well as In Space Red and Yellow will be released.
The third wave is slated for Spring 2017 containing Mighty Morphin Yellow and White as well as In Space Blue, Pink, and Black, completing both of those teams. Announced at the panel are figures for the six Power Rangers Zeo Rangers with Gold, Yellow, and Green releasing in early Fall 2017, while Blue, Red, and Pink will follow in late Fall 2017. The two remaining figures in each wave are currently hidden, with Bandai wanting to hear fan demand before deciding on a team.
The overwhelming response at the panel were for villain figures, including the Psycho Rangers from Power Rangers In Space. Bandai also addressed the lack of weapons included with the figures due to the large Megazord pieces being included with each figure. They are working on a solution that will please both fans and retailers alike, and hope to have more information soon.
Bandia closed the show with news on all new collectors grade products from XM Studios and Triforce. XM Studios are currently producing a new line of polystone statues of the Mighty Morphin team in an all new, more realistic look. XM Studios plans to begin releasing the statues in 2017 and continue until the team is complete. Triforce has a different take on Power Rangers statues with their “Moments Statues” line. Each Ranger is posed atop a Zord themed stand and include alternate pieces to get the statues into alternate poses. These statues are designed in a manga-esque chibi style. Shown were the Green, Red, Blue, and Yellow Rangers, with the remaining three Rangers shadowed out. Price and exact release for any of these statue series have yet to be decided.
Saban Brands and Bandai America ended with the announcement of RangerNation.com, an all new initiative to create a fun and friendly atmosphere and face for the Power Rangers brand. The side will be launched in the coming weeks, and is said to include news, reviews, forums, and more from Power Rangers fans across the web. The two companies hope to create a one-stop shop for all things Power Rangers while retaining a family friendly atmosphere so fans of all ages can enjoy.
Between Power Rangers Ninja Steel, the Power Rangers film, the ongoing Legacy Collection, and the sheer number of Mighty Morphin inspired collectible merchandise, 2017 is slated to be the biggest year the franchise has ever seen. Fans both young and old have something to look forward to.
Source: The Official Power Morphicon
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