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Morphed Chun-Li

Power Rangers x Street Fighter
by yo go re

So is she life and fire incarnate?

As Chun-Li's allies fended off M. Bison's army of Evil Rangers, she faced him one on one. With her courage, determination, and teamwork, she was able to retrieve the Phoenix Power Coin and save her newfound friends.

Chun-Li didn't get to become a Power Ranger in the short film the way Ryu did - she had to wait until November of 2019 for a game update to give her that ability. Like that in-game bio said, she managed to steal a coin that M. Bison had forced Ninjor to make for him. Wait, Ninjor? That can't possibly be right. How would you ever convince him to stop working for Skeletor?

Back before Haim Saban sold the Power Rangers brand to Hasbro, he had introduced game developer nWay to contacts at Capcom, because the producer for Street Fighter, Yoshinori Ono, was a big Power Rangers fan; in fact, it was Capcom's idea to put Ryu and Chun-Li into Power Ranger suits, not something dreamt up by the game developers. Chun-Li's iconic Street Fighter outfit adapts well to the Power Rangers style, retaining the hanging lower edge of her dress and those giant spiked bracelets she wears, but giving her full sleeves and white gloves, plus a golden mantle shaped like flames.

The Blazing Phoenix Ranger helmet has a bird motif, naturally, but the crest on the forehead actually lifts up a bit, rather than sticking close to the curve of the dome like the Pink Ranger's pterodactyl does. So that we don't forget who's inside this armor, the helmet has Chun-Li's two little white buns on the top, with ribbons hanging down from them. Cute!

While there have been Rangers with a phoenix motif before, they've tended to be red (or pink), but Chun-Li gets to keep her traditional blue, once again suggesting that what color you wear in real life influences what color Ranger you become. The blue is darker and more vibrant than she usually wears, but that makes for a better contrast with the gold breastplate and belt. Her leggings are no longer brown, but rather tha same white as her gloves. There's a light gold stripe down the outside of each leg, but it's so light you don't notice it unless you're looking for it. Maybe if she had the massive thighs she's supposed to, they'd stand out more.

Hasbro's Lightning Collection figures always have good articulation, and Chun-Li is no exception. She moves at the ankles, boots, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, and head, with the hips being the kind that are a balljoint on a hinge, and the shoulders including both swivel/hinges and a pectoral hinge for the widest range of motion. The chest joint on my figure has a little wobble to it: not enough that it can't hold a pose, but enough that it'll shimmy when you pick her up. To make the poses extra dynamic, the ox-horn buns on her helmet can swivel, allowing the ties hanging from them to dangle different directions.

Chun-Li only includes one extra pair of hands, open wide instead of closed into fists. She does, however, include three translucent blue energy effects and a clear stand to support them: a cluster of four lumps to represent her Hyakugouka, a powered-up version of her classic Lightning Kick; a comparatively simple Kikoken fireball, with an extra spiral sticking out of one side; and a jagged... thing... that's not bird-shaped enough to represent either her Phoenix Dance breaker or Phoenix Palm projectile, so is presumably meant to be the impact effect of the Kikoken breaking over her opponent. Changing the hands out is a nightmare, because that's already always tough on Lightning Collection figures due to the way they get designed, and it's exacerbated here because of her spiked bracelets.

I actually found Chun-Li a while before Ryu, and just grabbed her on a whim. She was good enough that I really started looking forward to the others. It's just a good design, with good movement and fun accessories. What's not to like?

-- 05/04/23

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