Man, I loved me some Power Rangers as a kid. As discussed previously, I never had the original deluxe Megazord as a kid. I had plenty of other Megazords, but never the original. Thanks to PoP! contributor Dan Mahoney (Thanks, Mahoney Claus!), I was able to fill a hole in my collection that sat empty for 20 years. A completed Ultrazord now sits safely in the hallowed Rodriguez National Museum of Cool Sh*t. Let us embark upon a Nostalgia-fueled romp down memory lane and revisit some of the coolest giant robot toys this side of Voltron.
Even today, every new season of whatever incarnation of Power Rangers is on the air brings with it a new set of Zords. The originals were the Dinozords: mastodon, pterodactyl, triceratops, sabertooth tiger and the tyrannosaurus. Never mind that both the mastodon and the sabertooth tiger are mammals; those are petty details. The five individual Zords aren’t really in scale with one another, but in order to combine, they can’t be. They are, however, seriously show-accurate, at least in design.
Even as a kid, the differences on the stickers drove me nuts. There are lots of generic lightning bolts and “M’s” all over these that don’t jive with the show at all, or their Japanese counterparts. The dinozords got off light comparatively, but it would have been nice to get a little more accuracy.
Megazord Tank Mode
This orgy of dino-mammal madness was usually spotted for a few seconds in every episode during the stock transformation scenes, but every now and then, the tank would be prominently featured in battle. It still looks really cool. It’s a tank that has five visible heads. That is awesome. Thanks to the wheels on the triceratops and the sabertooth tiger, it actually rolls along pretty well, despite its cumbersome size.
Megazord Battle Mode
Whenever I hear the word “Megazord,” this is the image that comes to mind. This thing blew up dozens upon dozens of monsters in the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and set the stage for plenty more giant robot suits to follow. The toy is a bit more stout than the show, but there’s not a dude inside of it and it doesn’t have the luxury of cheating. It does, however, come together and transform almost exactly like it does on the show, and that’s pretty cool. The one exception is that the canons for the tank peg on the Megazord’s back and don’t rotate into his forearms. Then again, the suit on the sow totally had the canons on the back… How the hell did they get back there?
The fact that the show relied heavily upon miniatures, and in some cases these toys, certainly doesn’t hurt with regards to show accuracy. It’s worth noting that the Deluxe Megazord towers over any villain figure in the series. It makes him a real beast of a toy, but he’s never going to look eye to eye with a monster like he would on the show.
Mecha Godzilla’s cooler-looking cousin was the first zord to include electronics. In an attempt to mimic the same effect on the show, the LEDs on its chest would flash and it would make a shrill beeping sound that’s really not at all like the one on the show. Dragonzord stood a bit shorter than the Megazord, so it did look a little more in scale with the villain figures, which was nice, plus it came with the Green Ranger figure. In fact, the ONLY way to get an 8-inch Green Ranger was to get the Dragonzord. They’d use the same trick with the White Ranger and the Tiger Zord. Sneaky, sneaky.
Of all the season one Zords, the Dragonzord got the short end of the stick when it came to stickers. Hardly any of the designs from the show made it onto the toy. Those lame lightning bolts were all over this thing. Note that the Dragonzord in these pictures (like everything else) is from my personal collection, and I ordered a replacement set of stickers from Reprolabels.com when I restored the Dragonzord last year. They make a huge difference if you’ve got one and would like a bit more show accuracy.
Dragonzord Battle Mode
This form of the Dragonzord wasn’t on the show nearly enough. It looks really cool. Combining the mastodon, triceratops and sabertooth tiger with Dragonzord, the “Battle Mode” was pretty awesome. Not only was it visually interesting, the chest and tail pieces removed in transformation were combined with a separate shaft to create a drill weapon that’s even taller than the figure itself. The weapon is show accurate, too. Much cooler than the Megazord’s finishing move of weird sword lightning, this guy would straight-up drill through a monster’s chest, complete with a peek-a-boo camera shot through the hole before it blew up. That’s hardcore. The proportions are a little weird due to how much bigger the Dragonzord is than the tyrannosaurus, but the presentation is still really nice. The shoulders forming the power coin symbol has always delighted me.
But there’s more! The Dragonzord can also combine with the fully-formed Megazord by removing its chest and neck-straddling it. As weird as it sound, the result was pretty cool to look at. The missing Dragonzord bits hang from the feet to keep everything together. It’s got some serous weight at this point. This is a LOT of toy.
Not to be outdone in the “lot of toy” department, Titanus the carrier Zord was introduced as an obstacle-turned ally in the show. The figure had some electronics, but not for sound. Instead, Titanus rolled across the floor thanks to a pretty powerful motor. What’s more, the locomotive design means that the feet move along with the wheels, giving a pretty cool walking effect. The treaded rubber tires are a great touch, too. Titanus can easily navigate across both carpet and bare floors, even fully loaded. It could even tow the Megazord in tank mode. And it’s huge. Neck to tail, it’s over a foot and a half long. Amazing. Also, despite some seriously dumb sticker changes (in which all of the wonderful gold detailing is turned flat black), the battery cover has all of the original Japanese Zyuranger markings molded into it, and that’s kind of neat.
This is literally the thing they used in the show whenever Ultrazord would blow the crap out of a monster, so it looks perfect (aside from the weird stickers). It is massive. Ultrazord is every bit as tall as it is wide. All together, it weighs more than a gallon of milk and is probably higher in calcium. Just like the Megazord, the mastodon head has nowhere to go, but every other piece fits onto Ultrazord. The same locomotion that moves Titanus’s feet instead pumps the enormous canons made from Titanus’s tail as this behemoth lumbers across the floor. It will terrify your pets.
This is probably the cleanest Ultrazord combination of the entire series. It looks like a cohesive thing. So many of the Ultrazords that followed either had zords completely tucked away out of view or have such a random hodgepodge of crap thrown together that they don’t really look like anything. For as cool as the new Samurai Gigazord is, it’s a mess of parts tossed in a blender. I like it probably more than I should, but it’s nowhere as regal as the OG Ultrazord.
As big as these are, some of the season two Zords were even bigger and offered up even more combinations, even if their Ultrazord sucked. We’ll get to those later. For now, relish in the glow of yesteryear. We’re only human, after all.