The other day, while perusing the card selection of my local Dollar Tree (which is something I've been doing more and more of lately), a particular pack of cards caught my attention. Among the 5 card, sample packs of 2015 Donruss/Topps Series 2 and the incessant supply of football and baseball junk wax repacks was a non-sports product that I had never seen before, yet still appealed to my nostalgic yearnings:
While some kids my age were all gung-ho about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was squarely in the corner of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. For those of you who don't know, the Power Rangers were a team of teenagers chosen by an alien force to protect the planet earth from whatever galactic villains attempted to invade it.
The show itself was culturally appropriated from Japan's long-running Super Sentai shows, which borrowed not only the concept and the costumes, but was often made up of mostly Japanese footage for action scenes.
When I was in elementary school, they started out as the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and the show was a cultural phenomenon for several years. However, as ratings dipped, in order to spice things up, they adopted a new set of costumes (again, all borrowed from Sentai) and alternated actors every season in order to drive up interest. Mighty Morphin' gave way to Zeo, which gave way to Turbo, which gave way to Space and so on and so forth. By the end of that run, I was already on to bigger, more adult things (like baseball cards).
However, for a good five years there, I lived and breathed everything Power Rangers. So, seeing this product on the shelves caused a little twinge in my heart and I couldn't help but sample a pack - I mean, it was only a buck after all.
The product itself is some sort of card game (like I'll ever learn to play it) in the vein of Pokemon and makes use of Rangers from every corner of Power Rangers lore. Thus, I was really, really, really hoping to pull at least one card of the original show.
These two definitely were not. I'd never heard of RPM Rangers, which means they came long after I or my little brother (who's interest went several years after mine ended) stopped paying attention. I'm guessing they had something to do with cars, which was a theme already used for Turbo (and it's accompanying major motion picture) during my childhood.
However, green and blue are my two favorite colors, so they've got that going for them.
Furthermore, there's a lot going on in the design here - I have no idea what the numbers on the sides indicate, though I assume they're entirely related to the gameplay. I guess there must be some sort of technological aspect to the game too, judging by the bar codes found on top.
The backs of these cards are all the same, featuring the over-arching Power Rangers combination mark over a "techy" red background. Like it says, these are for a "action card game," so like playing cards, they have to have a boiler plate backside.
Megaforce is another season of which I am not the least bit familiar with. However, the artwork is pretty cool - the lighting bolts on that red ranger are quite intense.
Ah - Zords. Zords are the Power Rangers giant vehicles that combine to form a giant robot. Think of them like human-operated versions of Transformers (esp. the Dinobots of Constructicons). The Rangers would call on these bad boys when their evil opponents were enlarged to gigantic proportions.
Also, they called Zords in honor of the Rangers alien creator and guiding force, Zordon.
Again, I sound like a broken record here, but these don't look or sound the least bit familiar to me either. That said, a "High Octane Megazord" sounds like something an RPM Ranger might pilot. At this point, I was starting to worry that my nostalgic itch wasn't going to be truly scratched.
Ah ha - crisis averted! Here we have two of the original five Mighty Morphn' Power Rangers, in all of their retro glory.
Zack the Black Ranger, who was coincidentally of African-American heritage (or not so coincidentally, the Yellow Ranger was also Asian...), was always the cool guy in group. Meanwhile, I think every kid in my age bracket's first crush was Kimberly the Pink Ranger (played by Amy Jo Johnson).
Even better - Tommy the White Ranger!
Tommy originally joined the original five as the Green Ranger, after being created as an evil counterpart and then breaking free from his puppeteers. Later, as his powers were wearing down, he was reborn as the White Ranger you see above.
Bottom line, Tommy was always the most popular Power Ranger, be it as Green or White; he was definitely my favorite too. While, I definitely prefer his Green incarnation, this will do just fine.
Can you figure out which one is the real one and which is my Halloween costume from a
of couple years ago?
Closing out this package of Power Rangers Action Card Game cards, we have the shiny foil version of the Red Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger. So, after going half of the pack without pulling single Ranger I was slightly familiar with, I ended up with four. Not bad (the collation though, might be).
What's really cool about this card is that, as you can see, he is wearing the same shield as the Green Ranger seen above. However, Jason (the Red one) didn't normally do so. In fact, Jason only wore that extra protection in one episode of the show, one that I can clearly remember, so I can attach this card to that specific memory. How's that for nostalgia?
Plus, it's shiny and who doesn't like shiny, right?
All in all, that made for a pretty fun, warm and fuzzy pack ripping experience. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these now, but that wasn't the point in buying them. Sometimes, it's nice to just kick back, while letting your inner child break free and run wild.
Anyway, that's enough Rangers talk - this is a Cubs/baseball card blog after all. Hopefully you all found this little tangent to be at least slightly entertaining.