Saturday, 17 October 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Power Rangers Samurai Megazord

Released in 2013, the Samurai Megazord (based on Shinken-Oh from Shinkenger), was the first of the Neo-Saban toys to be released under the new ZordBuilder gimmick. While not the first set of toys to be released under the gimmick, that honour belongs to Disney's Mighty Morphin line which had the Megazord and Titanus feature the gimmick, along with a bunch of other vehicles.

As for the Samurai Megazord itself, it comes in a large, open box with the Megazord in it's combined form, which has been a staple of Bandai USA since Mighty Morphin. Jayden, the red samurai ranger features in the boittom corner and there are pictures of all 5 zords in their origami forms.

The back of the box shows the Megazord and all 5 folding zords and how they combine. Underneath that there's a list of auxilary zords including the Beetle, White Tiger and Swordfish zords, which when combined with the Samurai Megazord would form the Samurai Battlewing Megazord. There's also shots of the Red and Blue Disc Cycles which could form new legs for the Samurai Megazord, which is toy only and never featured in show.

The Red Lion Folding Zord forms the chest and hips of the Megazord and comes with the battle helmet. Articulation in zord mode is very sparse, limited only to the legs and the opening jaw, which in show housed a flame thrower. In show, it had super attack, in which it lit itself on fire and dashed at high speed towards it's opponent. The head of the megazord pops out of the Fire symbol on the top of the zord. To transform Red Lion into the chest piece, simply fold the back legs into the thighs, lift the front legs up until they click into place, fold the body down and flip up the head.

The Blue Dragon Folding Zord forms the left leg of the Megazord, but due to the ZordBuilder Gimmick it can also be used as a right leg as well. It does have a little more articulation than red, moving at the neck and jaw. In show, the Dragon had a flamethrower in the mouth as well. Unlike it's Japanese counterpart which housed the helmet, the US toy stores the sword as it's tail. To transform the dragon into the leg mode, press down on the silver button just underneath the gold symbol on the knee, remove the tail and fold on itself, flick the dragon head up to form the foot.

The Green Bear Folding Zord forms the right leg of the Megazord, like the Dragon, thanks to ZordBuilder, it can be used as another leg for another megazord. It has 2 attacks in the show. The first of which, it can ground stomp and cause earthquakes. The second is that it can rear up and maul enemies with it's front claws. To transform the bear zord into it's leg form, simply fold up the leg panels into the body and lift up the head to form the foot.

The Pink Turtle Folding Zord forms the right arm of the Samurai Megazord. Being that it's Zordbuilder, it can become the arm of any other megazord in the toyline. It's special ability is much like the POPStation game City Fighter, or Street Fighter, or Street Overlord, depending in which name for it is being used this week, like the LCD game fighters, the Samurai megazord pulls off the Turtle Zord and throws it it's opponent. It is the only zord out of the entire megazord that can form the Emblem form, simply based on it's transformation. The transformation is simply pull the turtle apart, fold in the head and flippers, rotate the lower half to form a fist. 

The Yellow Ape Folding Zord is the last one and forms the left arm of the Samurai Megazord. It didn't appear to have any special powers in the show. Being that it's ZordBuilder, it can form the left arm of any Megazord in the ZordBuilder line and will work with the Legacy toys as well. Transformation is the easiest of them all, with the arms being raised above the head and snapped together. 

The Samurai Megazord stands around 12 inches from the top of the helmet to it's feet and the sword can be placed in either hand, but feels more secure in the left hand. The Japanese toy comes with a shield that can be placed in the hand, on the back or on the shoulder, but the American toy doesn't come with one nor does it have the attachment points on the ape zord or the back for holding one. The sword can sit on the upper part of the hip on either side as a make shift sheath, however, it isn't all that secure.

In all honesty, the Samurai Megazord isn't bad for an American toy. It's not in the same league as the original DX toys. The main detractors to many collectors are the paint apps, new molds for ZordBuilder, the missing shield and the missing emblem modes for the zords. However, the emblem modes were taken out to make way for the ZordBuilder gimmick. It depends on what you're after in the Megazord to be honest. If you want show accuracy, Shinken-Oh will be your best bet, if you want the playability, especially with other megazords from megaforce, super megaforce, dino charge and legacy, then I would go with Samurai Megazord. But then, your mileage may vary. 

*thank you Ashens for the POPStation and Street Overlord joke.