The New York Toy Fair is currently in full swing. This is the time when companies create booths and give presentations to the press to show up what direction they are heading and what toys are coming out for the year. For toy geeks, it’s like Christmas seeing all the new reveals. But one announcement that rocked the toy world was made a couple days prior.
In probably the greatest shock to the fandom, it was revealed that Bandai of America and Saban Brands would be parting ways in 2019! After 25 years, Bandai of America will no longer make Power Rangers toys or import items from Toei Co’s Super Sentai. Though it should be noted that Bandai of Japan will still continue to support Super Sentai with toys and merchandise. To put this announcement in perspective this would be like Hasbro discontinuing their involvement with Transformers, while toymakers at Takara continue to make them for the Japanese market.
After this announcement, the fandom was full of speculation. What does this mean for Power Rangers’ future? What about all the product already announced? What will the status of the Legacy Line be now? And probably the biggest question: who will take over? Speculation ran wild. Then the day before Toy Fair officially kicked off, it was announced that Hasbro would be taking over the license.
Now what does this mean and what does the future hold? All I can do is speculate as Hasbro will not be showing off any new product (obviously), but they did just announce that the 2012/2013 Super Sentai series Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters is up next to be adapted as I write this article.
Our greatest clues to what Power Rangers in 2019 will look like is in two popular toylines that Hasbro currently produces, Transformers and Marvel Legends. Over the past couple of years, Hasbro has been on top of their game when it comes to both properties and I sincerely hope that the same dedication and care is brought to the Power Rangers license as well.
My biggest concern is what will happen to the Legacy line beyond what has already been announced by Bandai of America. Will the Legacy figures continue to be released as they have been with teams split up and Megazord BAF parts? Will Hasbro completely redesign the figures and start the whole thing over? Will we also get deeper into the characters, such as new personalities we’ve seen introduced in Boom! Studios comics? And what will happen to the Legacy Megazord line? I need a Legacy Shogun Megazord dangit!!
Personally, I would like to see the Legacy line continue with the figures as close as in style to the Bandai figures. The last thing I (and I’m sure you) want to do is start a collection all over again after spending a ton of cash because the figures changed aesthetically and no longer look good together on the shelf. Hasbro should continue with the teams (I’m sure a lot of fans are still waiting for figures of their favorite season) and even start to put in some of the classic villains and grunts. How cool would it be to have a Goldar, Snide, or Pursehead! Okay, maybe not Pursehead, but I would be stoked to add some evil characters alongside the Rangers.
Hasbro could even go deep down into the well and give us characters from the current comics, like Lord Drakkon’s Ranger Army.
Or the Black Dragon!
The possibilities are wide open and the sky’s the limit, as they say, so let’s go crazy!
With the pace that Marvel Legends figures have been coming out, we could potentially complete teams quicker than the crawling pace Bandai was releasing waves. Marvel Legends also typically comes with accessories in addition to the wave BAF part, and you know what that means. Let’s all say it together: “WEAPONS!” This could mean that we finally get weapons with our Rangers in addition to the Megazord part. I’d also love to see the Legacy Megazords continue with the same high level of show accuracy, die cast, and modern toy engineering. And speaking of toy engineering, will Hasbro continue the Zord Builder aspect of the Megazords? Legally, will they even be able to? I know a lot of people loathe Zord Builder, but personally I think it’s a lot of fun and opens the door for different play patterns for kids.
But what are your thoughts? Do you think Hasbro was a good choice or is there a different toy company you were hoping would pick up the license? How do you want to see the Legacy and normal Power Ranger lines continue? Are you excited that Bandai of America is out and Hasbro is in? Let’s discuss.
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