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Pink Ranger & Yellow Ranger

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive
by Artemis

Power Rangers is a silly, goofy show, but 'fess up - who doesn't love it just a bit, huh? Ninjas in spandex with laser guns? Giant robots beating up giant monsters? Amy Jo Johnson? Okay, she's not in all of the shows, but it's still a recipe for fun.

Yellow & Pink The Yellow Ranger is Veronica "Ronny" Robinson, a confident and sometimes overly competitive stock car racer. Her physical power is superhuman speed, which exceeds even the capacity of the eye to note. Before becoming a Ranger, Ronny was competing in an Italian race. The Pink Ranger is Rose Ortiz, a Mensa-level genius archaeologist who enjoys poetry and mythology. The latter interest makes Rose an invaluable source of information regarding the legends which she and her companions must use as the bases for their treasure-hunts. She lacks a robust sense of humor, though she has been made a figure of fun on some occasions. Her power is invisibility. Before she became a Power Ranger, Rose was studying in London.

There have been many and varied Power Rangers toy ranges over the years, but more often than not the female Rangers have missed out - even in lines of five action figures, it's not been uncommon for only the males of the team that's not what we meant by ''figure-hugging'' and you know it! (and various male guest Rangers who pop up from time to time) to get figures made of themselves. Fortunately the Operation Overdrive line takes the common sense approach and features all of the five core Rangers, including the girls. About time.

Power Rangers - while not as moronic as its detractors like to believe - is not a sophisticated show, and these are not sophisticated figures. From the neck down they're identical, not just in sculpt but also in paint - in a clever cost-cutting measure that doesn't really detract from anything, the paintwork adds the colours both figures have in common, so only the colour of cast plastic is changed. The figures are unremarkable but quite satisfactory representations of their on-screen counterparts - both female physiques in form-fitting (but not too tight, or figure-hugging) costumes, with various bits of sci-fi whatnot attached to them as belts, boot and glove tops, and so on.

As befitting the Power Rangers, band-aids hurt less when you pull them fast the design and appearance is bold and simple, with bright colours and clean shapes - the makers haven't sold the figures short on quality, but nor have they gone out of their way to include a lot of detail or texture. One oddity not often seen on action figures is that a factory sticker is still stuck to their backs in the packaging, and may not peel off cleanly if you try to rip it off too fast, so be ready to pick little bits of adhesive off your Ranger's back.

The heads - helmets, rather - are identical at a glance, but closer inspection reveals small differences clunk in the design, with the Yellow Ranger sporting a larger lower-face grille and narrower visor, and the Pink Ranger having a more streamlined design to the top of her helmet that doesn't extend as far forward as her twin's. The Pink Ranger I found has rather a nasty accidental spot of black paint on her jaw, and it wasn't the only anomalous dab of paint I saw among the figures on offer, so be careful when you choose one to take home - while the production standards aren't shoddy as such, there are notable errors.

Being functionally identical, pose-off! both Rangers have identical articulation: a swivel neck, swivel/peg shoulders, swivel/pin elbows, swivel/peg hips, swivel thighs, and pin knees. A waist would have been nice, as would swivel boot tops, but all in all the articulation is quite sufficient for broad action poses, and let's face it: Power Rangers aren't about subtlety. The lack of a balljoint neck doesn't hurt as much as it could, since the faceless helmets tend not to dominate the body language of the figures as much as bare heads with visible faces would.

Each figure comes with two identical accessories, gizmos and one unique one. The common pieces are a heavy pistol and a handheld communicator, both molded in light gray plastic with no paint apps, both rendered in the chunky, look-at-me-I'm-technology style of the show's props. The figures hands are grasping, but not open enough for either accessory - being soft plastic, they accommodate the pistols quite well, but the communicators are a touch thicker, and can take a bit of work to get in a satisfying hold.

The other accessories are BFG-sized blaster weapons, Ah! Back strain! both of which have a light-up feature. The sculpts are unique, with the Yellow Ranger having a blockier, techier-looking gun in yellow and gray, with an upward-angled muzzle showing off the light-up tip, and the Pink Ranger having a sleeker, rounder weapon in gray and white, with the light more shrouded by the muzzle. A button on top of the barrel lights up the tip, which shines nice and bright - batteries are built in, but accessible to be swapped if they ever run out. The blasters only have a single grip, suggesting they're over-sized pistols (like, really over-sized), but they're so big that it can be difficult to keep the figures standing upright if they're holding them outwards.

These aren't going to be up for Toy of the Year - their sculpts won't have McFarlane or the Four Horsemen shaking in their boots, their articulation isn't the envy of SOTA's Street Fighters, and their accessories won't have Diamond Select/Art Asylum slapping themselves for not putting in as much effort themselves. But they're cheap, colourful, and fun - if that's not good enough, you probably didn't want Power Rangers anyway.


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