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Eye Guy

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
by yo go re

For once, Alpha 5's "ay yi yi yi yi" exclamation would be appropriate!

Created by Finster, Eye Guy was one of Rita Repulsa's favorite monsters, sent to Earth to capture an extremely smart child's intelligence.

A lot of the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger monsters were based on classical mythology - that's how we got things like a sphinx, for instance. (By contrast, the American Power Rangers originals, you'll recall, were just random weirdness.) Since Eye Guy is Japanese, he gets that ancient pedigree: his Japanese name is ドーラアルゴス (Dōra Arugosu), revealing he was inspired by Argus Panoptes, the hundred-eyed giant who had the thankless job of keeping Zeus away from a cow he wanted to do sex to. Okay then!

Eye Guy is one of the few MMPR toys we've reviewed before, because a big monster made of eyeballs is a cool thing whether you know what it's from or not. It should come as no surprise to you that a collector action figure from 2022 has a better sculpt than a kids' action figure from 1994 (thanks, Dennis Chan!), but a mound of eyes is a mound of eyes - how much different was it going to be? The proportions are closer to the suit worn on the show, but the skinn is still nicely wrinkly. One thing you may notice? This Eye Guy only has two fingers, like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, not three, like Mickey Mouse. It's hard to tell which is correct: watching the episode, there are times when both seem accurate, thanks to the way all his bodyparts blend together.

Lightning Collection Eye Guy doesn't have the nipple-launching feature the old toy had, but he does still have the closing mouth/eyelid on his large central eye. That eye is an angry red with a blue-grey iris, and looks genuinely fearsome here! On the show, that's his "main eye," and as long as it's not destroyed, he can re-form his entire body around it. It's very glossy here, which matches the live-action footage.

The articulation is excellent. The '90s figure was okay for its time, but this one gets swivel/hinge feet, swivel ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljoint waist, swivel/hinge wrists and elbows, and swivel/hinge shoulders mounted on a balljoint in the chest. Like we said before, the big eyelid can open and close, but the real surprise is that the eye inside is balljointed! You can turn it all over the place! Awesome fun.

There's been one constant problem with Hasbro's Lightning Collection figures, and it's present here as well: the paint. For whatever reason, the paint is always the area where the first corners are cut, leaving us with figures that are frustratingly close to perfection, but then agonizingly fall short. The most infuriating thing about this release is that they didn't paint pupils on all his eyes, so a bunch of them are just white lumps: there are 310 eyes on him (not counting the "main eye"), and they only painted 141 of them; not even half! They didn't even paint the ones on his fingertips! I mean, yeah, painting a brown circle and then a black dot is pretty easy customization, but why do we have to finish the toy? Also, the skin is in dire need of a dark wash to bring out all those details. There's a little bit of one on the fingers and the front of the head, and it makes a huge difference compared to the rest of the body.

Eye Guy is sold as a deluxe set, and it's not because he includes an extra pair of fists. Packaged along side him is the free-floating main eye, off to have adventures of its own while the body fights the Power Rangers. In the American show, he just sort of showed up and shot loose eyeballs at the team until Rita made him grow; in the Japanese show, he sucks a young girl into his eyeball where he shows her illusions of her father as a vampire because... reasons? Zyuranger was much more complex than what we got!

The Main Eye rests on a clear stand that holds it almost as high as the actual figure's eye, and is sculpted with the wrinkly lid wrapping around the eyeball, and tendrils like ocular nerves dangling below it. Translucent aqua energy swirls up around the stand, representing the eyeballs returning to swarm around him and remake his body? Maybe? It's hard to tell because the eyes aren't painted at all, and they didn't really whirl around like this in either show - the gimmick was achieved by stringing a bunch on lines like Christmas ornaments, then swinging the strands toward each other.

Eye Guy had the ability to shoot a beam from his main eye, something this toy does in an interesting way: the glossy cover over the iris is actually a removable cap; take it off, and there's now a deep notch where the translucent effect can plug in! Pretty nifty, team! Theoretically the main eye in the full figure can do the same, but getting the contact lens out is pretty difficult even on this stationary version, it's tougher still on one that can move around.

The only bad thing about Lightning Collection Eye Guy is the incomplete paint. I think we'd all have been fine giving up the various energy effects (which were blue in the show, not teal) if it meant that part of the budget could have gone to the paint apps. After all, is anybody crying about losing the launching chesticles the '94 figure had? That was just as much a power of Eye Guy's as the energy beam, so if we're going to do without one, why not do without both, especially if it meant the figure looked better?

-- 06/04/22

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