“Armored in Battle”

November 19, 2016

Over the past six years of this Neo Saban Era of Power Rangers, we have had “Megazord Only Armor” in four of those six years. Going forward, I think it is about time the armor move out of the Megazords and into actual battles.

When we first saw the toys of the Samurai Mega Mode & Mega Blade, I was overjoyed. I thought, “This is it! This is Saban coming back and making a statement.” Unfortunately, we soon learned that this mode & its weapon were only going to be seen & used inside the Megazord Cockpits. Despite this, I still loved the look of the armor. It perfectly captured the original Samurai suit design, but gave it that “powered” look. Everything about the Mega Modes screamed Power Rangers, and best of all, every Ranger had a Mega Mode.

Then in Super Samurai things were taken up a notch. The Super Mega Mode wasn’t much new, but the white chest armor still gave the mode a nice look. Once again, each of the core five Rangers got a Super Mega Mode. Plus the Black Box was able to attach onto the Samurai Mega Blade. Finally came the ultimate finisher, Shogun Mode.

Granted this mode was actually revealed from the toy a year early, but when it debuted in the show, it was worth the wait. Once more the design was sheer greatness. It had all the look I wanted out of a finishing mode. Plus, with it came the Shogun Spear weapon, adding even more original fun to it.  While the Morph Sequence for it showed all five core Rangers having a Shogun Mode, only three of the five were actually shown to use it. The Shogun Mode did get one appearance outside of a cockpit, during the Super Samurai finale.

Armored Cockpit Modes returned for Dino Charge with the Dino Drives. This mode’s central point is the chest armor, that is of course drawn from the Dino Chargers themselves. It also added shoulder armor for both shoulders. It all came together to make a decent looking power up for the team.

The final form for Dino Charge was the Dino Super Drive in Dino Super Charge. This put spikes on the arms & legs, kept the chest armor, and intensified the helmet. It truly gave the Dino Drive a more finished look. Plus, just like the Samurai Mega Mode had their Mega Blade, the Dino Super Drive had a Dino Super Drive Saber. Together the armor and saber once more captured the original Power Rangers feeling. It even looked more impressive than the Red Ranger’s Super Charge Mode. Sadly the armor never saw any action outside of the cockpit. Well, they were used outside of the cockpit, but only for promotional appearances at conventions & Bandai commercials.

Look at even the suits for the new Power Rangers Movie. Whether you like the designs or hate them, you have to acknowledge that they are different and original. They do have a armored & powerful look to them. Thankfully, we will of course get to see these suits actually fight forces of evil in the movie, as well as piloting the Megazord in the cockpit.

There was a time when Saban Entertainment were the experts on original Power Rangers battle armor. The Battlizer was a Power Rangers creation first in Power Rangers In Space. That tradition continued on for years, going all the way through essentially Jungle Fury, though Casey’s armor was just on his cycle. Yet now Saban Brands seems so worried about using armor for actual in show fights. This is one of my biggest complaints of the Neo Saban Era. Why go to all the trouble of making these new armors & suits, just to only use them in a closed sound stage? Yes I know the real reason is so Bandai America can pad out the figure line to span two years, but you should still get the most bang for your buck with the suits. Power Rangers thrives when it is original, and these power ups are Power Rangers at its best. I think it is time that Saban Brands use these armors outside of the cockpits, in actual ground battles and give fans young & old something to really enjoy.



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