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Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger - Mexinter.net

Power Rangers Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger 01

Release Date: March 2021
RRP: $19.99/£19.99

The Disney era as a whole might be feeling a little under-represented in Hasbro's Lightning Collection but at the very least two Power Rangers seasons from that time seem to be getting plenty of figures. While Power Rangers SPD rapidly approaches completion, preceding series Power Rangers Dino Thunder also gains another key member with the release of the Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger in the line's eighth wave. The third release from the fan-favourite season, Ethan James is a skilled hacker and computer expert, using the powers of the blue Dino Gem to not only morph into the Blue Ranger but also found it could make his skin impenetrable.

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The Dino Thunder Blue Ranger is another main wave release, so comes in the usual white background packaging as opposed to the coloured variants saved for all the various exclusive releases. The design of the packaging doesn't really change at all between releases so there comes a point wherein you've pretty much said everything you can say about it, but nevertheless the Blue Ranger artwork that adorns the front and sides of the box looks as great as always. On the back you'll find the usual Hasbro render of the figure, which doesn't appear to have any additional paint apps this time around but is showing off almost every accessory that it has. Open it up and you'll find all these pieces neatly laid out on a moulded plastic tray.

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With the Dino Thunder suits being quite light on colouring and detailing it's all the more important that not only Hasbro get things right in regards to accuracy but also that the QC is good enough that nothing immediately looks out of place. Design-wise the only key differences between the three core Rangers are the colour and helmet, so for the most part the Blue Ranger is exactly the same as the previous wave's Red Ranger. That said the paint application seems to be much better here than it was on my Red Ranger, but of course that can wildly vary from figure to figure unfortunately. It also appears that Hasbro are sticking with the inaccurate silver trim around the visor rather than white, which is at the very least keeps this figure consistent with Red (and hopefully Yellow too). What isn't consistent though is that the white diamonds on the hands haven't been painted this time around, because it appears that said white paint has instead gone toward painting the Dino Morpher instead. This is a pretty strange move on Hasbro's part, since an unpainted blue would have not only been closer to the show look (even with all the missing details), but also matched the unpainted red used for Connor's morpher. Upon first opening this figure and messing around it I was pretty satisfied that Hasbro had righted some of the wrongs on their previous Dino Thunder figures, but the inconsistency of paint apps between releases is quickly becoming one my biggest bugbears with the line. They're matching suits, so it shouldn't be too much to ask that the paint matches between releases even if they are missing some of the colours from the onscreen suits.

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When it comes to articulation the Dino Thunder team are particularly good for showing off what the Lightning Collection body is capable of, as even by Power Rangers standards the suit design is relatively light on additional detailing and/or sculpting. That said, the male body is largely identical across the whole line and in this case features; 
- Ball jointed head, upper torso and hips 
- Single hinge neck and ab crunch 
- Swivel hinge shoulders, wrists and ankles 
- Butterfly joint shoulders/pecs 
- Double hinged elbows and knees 
- Bicep, thigh and boot swivels 
Not only is there a lot of great articulation in this body that the figure is able to take full advantage of, but (at least on my copy anywherein) there doesn't appear to be any notable QC issues either. Both my Dino Thunder Red and White Rangers suffer from loose wrist joints that can result in them struggling to hold their weapons upright, but all of Blue's joints are nice and firm so he can comfortably hold any pose the body is capable of.

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Dino Thunder Blue comes packaged with two additional hands (giving him two accessory holding hands and two posed hands in total, though neither are matching pair), Thundermax Saber, Thundermax Blaster, Tricera Shield and a translucent blue spark effect part for use with the Saber. Interestingly despite the Saber and Blaster being the same moulds as the ones included with the Red Ranger (meaning the Blaster still has the minor issue of sitting too high up in the holster), there are some minor colour differences between the two releases. Not only is the blue paint on these new ones slightly darker to match the Blue Ranger's own colour scheme, but they also lack the gold paint that Red's have (this is much more noticeable on the Blaster). While I get that different figures have different paint app allocations and that some of Blue's went elsewherein, it would be nice to have the shared weapons look identical across the board. The upside however is that the paint rub doesn't seem quite as bad on this release as it did on Red, so maybe those changes were actually made for the better. The effect part is identical to the one previously included with both the Beast Morphers Gold Ranger and Zeo Blue Ranger, which isn't necessarily a flaw but it is surprising that Hasbro didn't at the very least do it in a different colour here – maybe they just stuck with blue so it would colour match with the ranger? It's a fairly generic effect part that's meant to slot over the Saber blade – it fits comfortably over the tip but moving it any further down (like the box render suggests) would require some force and then would probably be extremely difficult to remove afterward. 

But the reuse of parts is fine on this release because the Tricera Shield is one hell of an accessory. While it is admittedly missing a couple of silver paint apps, it isn't anywherein near as egregious or noticeable as they were on the Tyranno Staff. This is a chunky hunk of plastic which not only looks the part but has some great colouring despite those missing paint apps. True to its appearance on the show, the bottom horn is able to extend in length. The Shield can even clip around the wrist of the figure to provide extra support when holding it up, but even without it the hands provided are able to comfortably grip onto the handle so that it can be wielded in a number of different poses.

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The Dino Thunder team has one hit and one miss when it comes to head sculpts, so precedent suggests it could have gone either way for Ethan's alternate head. Thankfully it's another win this time around, as the set includes a great alternate head sporting an excellent likeness of the character (or more specifically actor Kevin Duhaney). It's another head with a fairly neutral expression too, which just goes to show that's the route Hasbro should be taking with all these heads because they're consistently the ones that turn out the best. That's two out of three for Dino Thunder so far, and since it doesn't seem likely that Hasbro will mess up the Black Ranger's (they've had PLENTY of practice with Tommy heads after all) it's all riding on Kira really to see how the team has turned out as a whole.D

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On the whole the Lightning Collection Dino Thunder Blue Ranger could arguably be considered the best Dino Thunder release so far. The missing paint apps with Red were a little more noticeable, and although White may arguably be the superior figure overall that took a replacement parts scheme to fix. Blue on the other hand seems like it gets everything right the first time, especially with good the accessories (or more specifically the Tricera Shield) are. But once again it's those little Lightning Collection inconsistencies that stop the figure short of being perfect. I've no problem with missing paint apps, but it's frustrating when those missing paint apps are present on other figures that for all intents and purposes should look exactly the same. Even more so when a similar amount of paint has been placed elsewherein. But don't let the little nitpicks put you off, this is still another really solid entry for the line that continues to showcase the Dino Thunder team as a particularly notable offering in the Lightning Collection. Only two more members left to go now.



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