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Morphed Ryu

Power Rangers x Street Fighter
by yo go re

Zyuranger, meet Ryu Ranger!

In 2017, the mobile app game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars was released to tie-in with the live-action film. A year later, a cross-promotional event saw several Street Fighter characters added to the game, and a short film was produced to hype things up. During the crossover, Ryu was was given a Power Coin and access to the Morphin Grid in order to become the Crimson Hawk Ranger.

Ryu is a fighter. He continues his training in search of true strength. He travels the world, seeking opponents who can give him a challenge. Ryu was granted a Power Coin to help in the fight against Rita and M. Bison, giving him Ranger powers.

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn't consider Ryu the prototypical fighting game protagonist. He is to fighting games what Mario is to platformers or Doomguy is to shooters. So naturally, if you're going to turn one character into a Power Ranger, it's going to be him. The initial concept designs were done by Capcom and Udon Entertainment, and were then handed over to nWay and Saban for final refinement. The Crimson Hawk Ranger suit retains the signature white of Ryu's gi, but adds golden armor over the shoulders. It's like the Dragon Shield, but has a different pattern on it, so presumably it's a... Hawk Shield? There are dark red gloves that reference Ryu's usual fist guards, with pads on the back.

The suit's helmet nicely blends both its inspirations. There's been a Hawk Ranger before - one whose civilian identity was Ryu Tendo, so it definitely feels like this is a nod to that (especially since his series, Chojin Sentai Jetman, has yet to be adapted into Power Rangers). In keeping with tradition, the helmet's shape references a bird's head, with a "beak" coming down between the eyebrows, while the red panels between the silver beak and the black visor symbolize Ryu's traditional headband - in fact, it even has the ties hanging off the back!

The white used for Ryu's chest and legs is a different shade than that on his arms and boots. It's unclear whether this is intentional or just the sort of color-mismatching we might see under normal circumstances, but the fact that it's the full sections (rather than, say, a change in color between the hips and thighs, or just for the middle of the elbows) makes it feel like something they did on purpose. Thin golden stripes run over his chest and legs, but not his arms. His gloves and belt are properly painted with the Furinkazan symbols, but his armor is a slightly lighter shade of gold than that used for the helmet, tops of the gloves, and on the boots.

This is a Lightning Collection release, so the articulation is good: a balljointed head, hinged neck, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, hinged abs, hinged/balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles, plus a swivel on the back of the helmet for the mask ties to point different directions as he moves. The pelvic hinges on mine are slightly loose, to the point where his legs wobble as one when you pick the figure up. It doesn't get in the way of posing, and he's able to stand just fine, but it is worth noting. It's also worth noting that Crimson Hawk Ranger in the games retained the chunky art style of recent Street Fighter games, while this figure is thinner. Think of the difference between a Frank Miller Batman and anybody else's Batman.

For fighting variety, Ryu includes both open hands and closed fists. He also comes with three unique energy effects, cast in translucent orange: a Hadouken fireball, flame that fits over his foot for the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and a Rise Hadoken, in which Ryu combines the power of the Morphin Grid and his own Hado to create a hawk-shaped energy blast. That description is right from the game, by the way. Cleverly, Hasbro has also given us a clear stand to support those energy effects in the air, rather than requiring the figure to hold them up somehow.

Crossing over Power Rangers and Street Fighter isn't the craziest collaboration either of them have had, though it does make for a good design. Though honestly, this could stand to be a little more "Street Fighter" and a little less "Power Rangers": if you didn't know what it was supposed to represent, you may just think it was some random Ranger from some season you haven't watched yet. The accessories help, but only if you choose to pose him with them appropriately.

-- 04/06/23

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