Once I caught wind that the Power Rangers toy license was moving to Hasbro, I knew the partnership with Mattel’s Imaginext series was doomed, as Hasbro already had its own preschool orientated toy line in the form of Playskool Heroes. While I always held Imaginext in a tier above Playskool Heroes, the two lines are very similar, so I knew we would be in for some fun, kid-orientated toys. Hasbro delivered not only by making neat toys but by immediately moving past Mighty Morphin and making the line a brilliant anthology series that’s swinging right out of the gate with toys from Mighty Morphin, Wild Force, Dino Thunder, and Dino Charge.
The first batch of toys is just starting to hit both online and physical retailers, and while I haven’t been able to find the smaller $7.99 two-packs or the $2.99 blind bags, I was able to find the $12.99 Ranger & Zord two-packs at my local Meijer store. The first assortment includes the Wild Force Silver Ranger and Wolf Zord as well as the Dino Thunder Red Ranger and T-Rex Zord.
Each set includes one Ranger figure that corresponds with the Zord’s user. Each Ranger has a slightly poseable ball-jointed neck, outward swivels at the shoulders, rotations at the wrists, as well as a back and forth swivel at the hips that unfortunately move together. While it’s nothing to write home about, the figures are more poseable than those found in the blind bag assortment and are roughly the same as those from the Imaginext series. Both feature moderate levels of paint. The necessary details are there, but there are still several spots that could use a touch-up. The Silver Ranger outshines the Red Ranger just by having not only a nicer sculpt but having more paint on the helmet.
The figures all feature the new gimmick for the series, the Power Morph gimmick, indicated by the Power Morpher looking emblem on their left wrist. This means that the figure has a small magnet located in their left foot that activates some sort of feature in the larger Zords and playsets. While most Rangers will have this feature, it’s worth noting that villain figures do not!
The T-Rex Zord is arguably the better of the two, featuring a relatively accurate set of paint details that adorn the sides of this tyrannical T-Rex. While it’s missing a few splashes of gold here or there the sheer amount of silver sported on this spectacular specimen more than makes up for it. There’s no articulation to be found but the small button (a manual release for the Power Morph feature) on its neck will spring open the mouth revealing…a drill for some reason. Pressing the tail down will cause the drill to spin. Its body is hollowed out just enough so that Conner can hop in, the magnet in his foot activating the Power Morph feature if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, with Conner in the driver’s seat, the T-Rex Zord is just forever shouting into the ether because its mouth won’t close without him gone. Poor guy.
The Wolf Zord is a curious case where something can look practically perfect, yet so oddly off. Everyone knows I have a thing for silver paint and let me tell you the Wolf Zord is absolutely coated in it. It’s like a dog that decided to roll around in mud except the mud is gorgeous silver paint. Instead of having any major paint details outside of its little red demon eyes, the Wolf Zord sports a basically beautiful dark blue-gray on the head and feet that slowly gradient away as you go into the main body. I love these sort of effects, and it works wonderfully here. The Wolf Zord’s Power Morph gimmick is the cannon on its back extending upward. The missile inside can be fired via the button on the side. This action feature can be used without the need of Merrick by the small red lever to the left behind the Wolf Zord’s head.
Overall, our first foray into Playskool Heroes Zords is a pleasantly positive experience. Sure, they could do more, or even look better, but at $12.99 for both a figure and a big plastic Zord, there’s not much room for complaint. Hasbro has delivered a product perfect not only for fans of the franchise but a product perfect for fans of the franchise that want to introduce the show to their children that just might not be old enough for the mainline Beast Morphers offerings. Whether you’re an adult, a kid, or an adult with a kid, there’s fun to be had in the world of Playskool Heroes.