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Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger - Mexinter.net

Power Rangers Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger 01

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

There may be still plenty of Power Rangers teams untouched by Hasbro's Lightning Collection but at least a lot of the ones that have made headway on are nearing completion. While the prioritising of franchise golden goose Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was to be expected it's quite impressive how much love they've thrown to Power Rangers in Space as well - with numerous villains released from the fan-favourite series on top of the heroes themselves. The line's ninth wave continues to build upon that impressive streak with the release of the Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger aka Carlos Vallerte, who took over as the second green Turbo Ranger before blasting off into space with the rest of the team in search of the captured Zordon.

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As part of the main line of retail release Lightning Collection figures the In Space Black Ranger comes in one of the standard white boxes, which is the perfect background colour to make that bold black character artwork stand out. The view of the figure via the front window gives you a good look at the whole body (perfect for checking for any paint imperfections if you're able to buy this in a physical store), as well as the majority of the accessories as only the Lunar Lance is fully covered up. The sides of the box also feature that same character artwork as the front - one side simply continuing it from the front (along with the Power Rangers in Space series logo) and the other creating a new copy of it. On the back you'll find the usual Hasbro promotional render showing off the figure in an action pose, and then inside everything is neatly laid out on a moulded plastic tray.

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The third Space Ranger to be released in the Lightning Collection (following on from the Yellow and Red Rangers), the In Space Black Ranger naturally re-uses the same body as Andros with a tweaked helmet sculpt which reflects the very subtle differences in the team's visors. The suit design is one that works particularly well in black given the main use of white as the secondary colour, along along with the yellow around the collar really stands out on that sea of black. Running across that central chest stripe are squares representing each of the team's colour - a simple detail but another one that really stands out on these suits. That stripe also runs along the moveable butterfly section parts to keep the sculpt as close to the suit as possible, and whilst the lines might not be quite as clean in those areas it still works to the intended effect.

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With the Black and Red Space Rangers sharing the same body, articulation is exactly the same across the board. This means that Carlos features;
- Ball jointed head, torso and hips
- Single hinge neck and ab crunch
- Swivel hinge shoulders, wrists and ankles
- Butterfly shoulders/pecs
- Double hinge elbows and knees
- Bicep, thigh and boot swivels
Being effectively the same as all the other male ranger figures in the Lightning Collection this means that In Space Black has a great range of movement, and with no notable restricts to any of the joints is capable of plenty of fantastic action poses. What did immediately stick out with In Space Black though is just how unbelievably stiff everything was on this figure. Nearly all of the joints needed some real force to move as they're supposed to, and any attempt to use the ab crunch was met with a deafening crack that sounded as if something was breaking apart. Having not posed multiple copies of the figure this could easily be something that was limited to mine (or a certain batch of copies), but I've not really had anything like this with any of the other Lightning Collection figures I own. Thankfully some of the joints have begun to loosen about with a bit more movement/posing, but I'm still pretty hesitant to use that ab crunch.

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The figure comes packaged with two alternate pairs of hands (giving him a pair of accessory holding hands, closed left fist and posed right hand in total), Astro Blaster, Lunar Lance and a purple effect part intended for use with the lance. The additional pair of hands give Carlos the ability to replicate his roll call pose, which isn't always a certainty in this line so is definitely appreciated when it does happen. The Astro Blaster is identical the ones previously included with the Red and Yellow Rangers - nicely painted in blue with silver, gold and red detailing. When not in use, the blaster can be stored in the holster on the belt's right side. Finally we have the Lunar Lance, an extremely basic-looking weapon but accurate to how it appears on the show. It's a long, thin black lance with a silver crescent moon shaped attachment on the end. Getting it to fit in the figure's hands takes a little force since the grip is moulded so tightly, but once in you're able to make use of that Lightning Collection articulation for some superb poses. The effect part is a unique slash piece which hooks over the crescent shape to imitate an energy slash effect. The way it works feels like it would have limited use with any other Rangers' weapons, but it works quite nicely here. Again it's a shame that Hasbro are completely omitting each unique weapons' combination with the Astro Blaster, but other than that glaring omission it's a well-rounded set of accessories for the Black Ranger.

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Rounding off the accessories is the alternate Carlos head, which is definitely one of Hasbro's better efforts but still not perfect. The shape of the head isn't perhaps quite as rounded off at the bottom as actor Roger Velasco's is, but at the very least it's still recognisable as Carlos. Thankfully Hasbro opted for a neutral expression on this release too, which instantly makes it a hell of a lot better than Ashley's regardless. The hair is also a match for how Carlos appears in Power Rangers in Space which is good attention to detail, and will make for a nice contrast when a Turbo Carlos appears somewherein down the line. However much like the issue I had with the articulation on the figure, swapping the heads on this release proved a lot more troublesome than usual. Getting the helmet off the body was fine, but getting this head to properly pop onto the joint took a fair bit of force. In turn, getting it off the body again needed a similar amount of force. With lots of reports of neck breakages in the line recently (particularly with the disguised Andros figure) I made sure to take more care than usual, and will probably avoid changing the heads here too often just to be sure.

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With Power Rangers in Space being a firm fan-favourite it's great to see Hasbro showing just as much love to this series as they are to Mighty Morphin, and the Lightning Collection In Space Black Ranger is another great release. Carlos plays to the same strengths as Andros, highlighting the effective simplicity of the In Space suits as well the quality poseability the Lightning Collection has to offer. Due the stiffness and potential fragility of the joints on my copy I can't in full confidence give it full marks, but with Power Rangers in Space being one of the teams I am planning to complete in Lightning Collection form it's great to be over halfway there. At the time of writing they're all out in various parts of world now, so it's just a case of waiting until distribution evens out and then they'll be flying higher than ever before. 



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