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Pumpkin Rapper

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
by yo go re

[Editor's note: for the love of all that's holy, yo, make sure you never miss one of the P's when you're typing this guy's name.] Okay, you're right, "Umpkin Rapper" would just sound stupid. [That's not what I meant and you know it. --ed.]

There once was a rapping tomato.
That's right, I said "rapping tomato."
He rapped all day
From April to May
And also, guess what: he was me.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was originally planned to run for 40 episodes, but it proved so popular Fox Kids wanted more. The planned series finale was reworked to allow the show to continue, but that led to a problem: Saban had already used all the monsters that appeared in Zyuranger, so now they needed new footage. Contacting Toei, the company that made the original program, he contracted them to create new Zyuranger footage with new monsters and more western influence (for instance, having the Yellow Ranger act more girly, despite still being portrayed by a man). The Pumpkin Rapper was one of the "Zyu2" creations, a rhyming gourd with the ability to... summon evil pumpkins? Control evil pumpkins? I don't know, the episode is kind of unclear on that. Zordon warned that he'd distract his enemies using clever raps and rhymes, but that didn't really happen either.

Say what you will about his episode (it's worse than usual, with like 90% filler), Pumpkin Rapper has a completely distinctive look. His head is a gigantic jack o'lantern, one that's so large we can't imagine how the suit actor managed to move at all without falling over. For some reason, the face is carved upside down, with the mouth being above the eyes. If you really try, you can see it as sad eyes under a large unibrow, but that requires effort. Maybe the designers thought a normal face would be boring or predictable? Whatever the case, you can't claim this is mundane.

Pumpkin Rapper's body is a combination of vines and striated pumpkin texture. He has a collar of green vines, to support his gargantuan cranium. One of them forms a bow at his neck, then continues down the front of the suit like laces. there are loose vines on his shoulders, hanging down over the upper arms, but looking at the actual costume, there should be green running all the way to below the elbows, not plain orange. Also, the green on his knees should contrinue around the back, not stop on the front. And heck, while we're at it, the single long vine danging from his collar should fade to orange as it gets lower.

He does have really good articulation, as we've seen is par for the course with the Lightning Collection, though posing him remains difficult thanks to the weight of the head. The figure moves with a balljointed head, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, a balljointed chest, hinged stomach, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel boot-tops, and swivel/hinged ankles. Everything moves well, but balance will always be an issue, even if you just want him to stand straight up.

Pumpkin Rapper's accessories include the short vine he used to whip the Rangers' weapons out of their hands, a longer vine lasso, a translucent green energy effect, and three lumpy pumpkins. If the lasso is supposed to be his "pumpkin shock" attack, it should really have flowers and leaves on it, not just be a plain vine. Pumpkin Rapper has the ability to fire pink energy rings from his left eye, but there's no accessory to depict that. The green lightning appears to be the zap that flashes when he summons his lasso. Only the dopest of rhymes are at his disposal! No wonder this guy got served without even needing to resort to the Zords.

The pumpkins could be the bombs Pumpkin Rapper uses in his second appearance, but they're not: look underneath, and you'll see they have a socket sized for a balljoint. Why? Because in the episode, Squatt and Baboo had to plant Pumpkin Rapper and wait for him to ripen; to make sure he wasn't discovered/destroyed before he was ready, they also planted a bunch of traps around him, traps in the form of pumpkins that would latch onto the Power Rangers' heads and suffocate them. Also, he was backed up by a team of Pumpkin Putties, which were just like the normal goons, except they also had featureless pumpkins for heads. So you can put these accessories on the neck of your other figures, to re-create those scenes from the show! The end of the lightning effect is also wide enough to glom onto one of the pumpkins, though that's just an interesting coincidence, not something from the episode.

I got Rita and Zedd because they're iconic villains. I got Pumpkin Rapper because he's an oddball creature that will look cool in a Halloween display. He costs more than the normal figures ($30 vs $20) due to his size and all the accessories, but he's weird fun, even if you've never heard of him before.

-- 02/28/21

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