Hasbro recently gave Power Rangers fans a lot to look forward to after a number of reveals at Pulse Con, which included the first Dino Fury Lightning Collection figure, an amazing Lord Zedd helmet, the first collector-styled Megazord, a Deluxe Line of figures, and more. After Pulse Con ComicBook.com had a chance to talk to Hasbro's Jon Firestone (Global Brand Marketing) and John Warden (Product Design) all about the big reveals and a bit about what else is to come, and we had to start with Dino Fury, which Warden said was a must in the Lightning Collection line as soon as they saw the design.
"As soon as we saw that, we're like, wow, the helmet design, the suit design, the weapons, the tech, it's on point. It's just a really good Power Rangers outfit and it needs to be in Lightning Collection," Warden said.
As revealed at Pulse Con, the first Dino Fury figure in the line will be Zayto, which Russell Curry had a chance to debut live during the broadcast. The likeness to Curry is fantastic, and if you were wondering if the figure ever included an alternate sculpt of Zayto with his antennae, we had to know too.
"Well, the reality is, when we started working on it, we had Russell's likeness and we had the suit and we were trying to get this figure together and then as, as the production went on, the sculpts were approved and we're going into tooling and production and deco and things like that and we start to see clips from the show and we see that to make it so that he appeared more alien, they did add those, but they were able to retract," Warden said. "The good news is that he spends most of the time with them retracted in the show. I think there's an opportunity in the future to do a cool version of Ion and Veto with their antenna. Yeah, absolutely."
"To what you were talking about building toys and product for content and entertainment that's coming out, that you're living in that moment as production's going on, it evolved and organically grows and goes in different directions as the story develops," Firestone said. "This is a great example of that. He didn't have those antenna when we started building the figure. The antenna came to him later on in the process. It's really one of those cool things that you get to see, we're building this figure as the story develops and it's cool. It's one of those fun things that's a part of living like actual entertainment development and living that production life."
Dino Fury just wrapped up its first season (at least on Netflix), and so we asked if more Dino Fury figures will start to drop in upcoming waves or if the same release model will be used for the team as other ones in the franchise to this point.
"I think it goes to, people have always questioned us about how we compose the Lightning Collection waves and how we decide what's going to go into each. The answer is, it's so many different things that you have to consider. You have to consider the colors, you have to consider the teams and make sure that you're representing different series, that all our fans who have varying tastes have something to hang their hat on," Firestone said. "There's also on the other side, the more hard science questions about tooling. If you have shared arms or legs, how can you use them efficiently so that you can do cool figures that maybe share the same arm in different ways at different times throughout the year and create new opportunities for yourself going forward? You're considering this all at the same time and it's one of those things that then allows us to do more, but also maybe constrains us in certain places. We have to consider the right way to go about releasing like a whole season or a whole series and the right cadence to finish a team, for example."
"Yeah. Props to our teammates, Rosaline in engineering and Loretta in design for doing that because you see Loretta in videos, but what she does behind the scenes of moving things around, it's alchemy. It's amazing," Warden said.
We also saw the first releases in the Deluxe Lightning Collection line, which will be Pirantishead and In Space's T.J. with his Galaxy Glider. That prompted me to wonder whether the Deluxe line would just be used for bigger monster figures or figures with vehicles or if it was more flexible. I offered up the example of a figure that doesn't need a vehicle but perhaps has far more accessories than normal. For instance, Dino Fury's Amelia, who instead of just her weapon and an alternate portrait could also come with her Spook Snare and some other fun nods to the fans from the show. That was just an example of what options are, and the good news is they are open to all of it. "Yeah. All of it, yes," Warden said.
"Yeah, short answer, yes, absolutely. That's what it's there for," Firestone said.
"It's also there if you look at Battlizers or any other small vehicles and larger heroes. There are all sorts of things that don't necessarily fit the mold of basic assortment or if they have the box size. I think it's trying to reach out to fans, hear what you guys think, but also try to make it cohesive with our story. Loretta's got this lattice of things happening in the six-inch range, but then how do those stories then weave into the deluxe range as well? I think that's a big piece of it," Warden said.
We of course had to talk about the amazing Lord Zedd helmet, though really it's more of a complete head than a helmet.
"It was something that we talked about doing a helmet as something in a different way, from what we usually do with our normal Ranger helmets," Firestone said. "We have the Pink and the Red and the White out there and doing something that was a little bit of a different creative direction was something everybody got excited about. Also, once we started working with the studio and with the franchise team, we saw plans for Zedd coming back and for the Halloween episode with Zedd and for Booms' origin story with Zedd and it just made sense to time it all up and really is, we've said this before, it's now the season of Zedd. He lives every everywhere. He's all with us. He's so iconic in terms of just the character within the brand, but also just within everybody's memory. He was so stand out and whether you were a Power Ranger fan when you were a kid or just somebody adjacent to it, you still remember Lord Zedd. You still know who he is when you see a picture of him. It was time that we paid him his due respects."
"He's got a voice changer too, which is another added thing. You've got the complexity of having a speaker here above and then the battery packs in the back. You've got the big visor and then you've got his mouth. You've got the spongy texture of the brain, which we literally, the first time we saw it, the brain was too hard and I was like, 'Is it spongy? We got to go back. We got to make it spongier.' The voice changer is a whole other thing too, getting that to work right. It's also got two sound effects too, which are Zedd's signature laugh, but also electricity sound, so we're able to get those in there, but then what's more fun than walking out if you're having a dinner party with your friends and you come out of your room with it. You win. You win the party instantly."
We also saw the first of the Zord Ascension line, which will bring the collector-focused detail, sculpting, and articulation the Transformers line enjoys to Power Rangers. The first release will be the Dino Megazord, and not only does he morph, but the individual Zords also boast articulation.
"Yeah. There's a lot that went into it. I mean, ever since John and I and Joe and the team came on, doing Megazords in a way that celebrates the foundation of what they are in the right way was something we really wanted to do. We knew it had to be premium. It had to be highly articulated. It had to morph. That's a big piece of it. To me, as a Mecha collector and giant robot fan for years and years and years, ever since I was a little kid in the eighties, I grew up playing with some of the Bandai greats like many people did as well as Transformers and Gobots and all of those things, I wanted to make sure that this was in scale and being in scale was really, really important. I was looking at everything," Warden said.
"As our team came together, we established that having these guys be 1/44 scale, premium articulation, but also having it be things that made it feel a little bit more real, things like working cockpits and all the nuances that are going to make this feel like it's the real thing and giving that promise that if it's, as we look to the future, other ones are going to be in scale with the ones that we release," Warden said. "Then, our branding team and packaging team, we talked about all of, of these other deeper things, like the origin. When they call their Zords, where do they go? The idea there is this repository in the universe of where these things go. As you can see, there's going to be more we're going to reveal when we finally talk about the Megazord project or the Zord Ascension project. This is just the tip of the iceberg or the excitement for this."
Now, as. a big Beast Morphers fan, it's awesome that we have characters like Devon, Ravi, and Blaze in the Lightnin Collection line. That said, fans have wondered when Zoey and Roxy are coming to the line or if they are coming at all. That's why I had to ask about both.
"Well, we can't say they're coming. We can't say they're not coming. We can only say, stay tuned," Firestone said.0comments
"Zoey, both of them are amazing characters. Zoey in Beast Morphers is one of my favorite Yellow Rangers. She's awesome, but yeah, stay tuned. I wish we could say more," Warden said.
What did you think of the reveals and what do you want to see next? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Power Rangers with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!