Power Rangers Seasons 13 – 17 Another Welcome Addition To Any Diehard Power Rangers Fan’s Collection

Courtesy:  SHout! Factory/Saban Brands

Courtesy: SHout! Factory/Saban Brands

Just over two decades ago, Saban Brands brought to young American audiences a little special effects laden, live action children’s series called Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Little did anyone think at the time that the original Power Rangers franchise would last a total of seven seasons. Even more surprising is the fact that those seven seasons would also not be the last for the Power Rangers franchise. Thirteen seasons later, the Power Rangers franchise is still among the most successful in children’s programming. Even those adults that were kids when Mighty Mrophin’ Power Rangers first debuted in 1993 are still fans of the franchise today. And thanks to Saban Brands and Shout! Factory, those same fans will get to enjoy five more seasons of the Power Rangers franchise with the brand new box set, Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17. The very first and most obvious positive to this set is that it includes Seasons 13 – 17 in one large box set. The set’s second most important factor is that while it doesn’t mark the end of the road for the Power Rangers releases from Shout! Factory, fans won’t be seeing Seasons 18 – 20 from Shout! Factory. That’s thanks to a deal between Saban and Lionsgate. And last but not least, audiences will appreciate that once again, Saban and Shout! Factory have included a load of bonus material both on a bonus disc and in the set’s companion booklet. That booklet and bonus DVD are the finishing touches to one more box set that any hardcore Power Rangers fan will want to add to their collection.

The first and most obvious factor that makes Power Rangers: Seasons 13 –17 is the fact that includes all five seasons in one full box. True diehard fans will agree that despite what seems like a hefty price tag, it is cheaper to own Seasons 13 – 17 in one box than paying separate costs for each separate season set. Odds are that eventually Shout! Factory will release each season in its own stand-alone box as the seasons progress. The collective costs of those stand-alone sets will likely be more expensive than that of all five seasons bundled together. That’s just part of what makes Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 worth buying. The space taken up on a DVD rack by Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 is another reason fans will appreciate this set. The total space taken up by the complete set is going to be nearly equal to that of the separate stand-alone season sets put side by side. The only X-factor here is that the box set includes both a bonus disc loaded with extra features and a bonus booklet. Even with their inclusion, the extra space taken up is minimal at best. So again, true diehard Power Rangers fans that want to complete their collections will benefit just as much from this box set as they would from the stand-alone season sets that will likely come later. The previous Power Rangers box set containing Seasons 8 – 12 also contained the bonus features disc and bonus booklet. So any doubts about the set’s ergonomics will be cleared up by comparing the two sets to what will be their stand-alone counterparts.

The cost and ergonomic factors tied to Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 are central to why the most diehard members of the “Ranger Nation” will want to add this set to their collections. By direct connection, fans will be pleased to know that this set is not the end of the road for Shout! Factory’s Power Ranger sets. It goes without saying that more than likely all five seasons of this set will eventually get their own stand-alone releases over time. But before they get their release, Shout! Factory will also take fans back in time again. Shout! Factory will release Power Rangers Turbo in two separate sets this Spring. It would be no surprise if sets for Power Rangers in Space and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy will follow before Shout! Factory releases stand-alone sets for Seasons 8 – 17, too. So those that perhaps can’t afford to pick up this new box set or just don’t want to shell out the money will more than likely be able to pick up their personal favorite season(s) over time. On a side note, it’s too bad that Shout! Factory didn’t get the distribution rights for the more recent Power Rangers Samurai, Power Rangers Super Samurai, and Power Rangers Megaforce. That is because Lionsgate as proven time and again that rather than respecting the “Ranger Nation”, all it cares about it releasing compilation after compilation rather than building anticipation and releasing proper full season sets. Shout! Factory has shown time and again with its Power Rangers releases that it has the utmost respect for the franchise’s fans and the series’ legacy. So it would have been interesting to see what Shout! Factory would have done with the newer seasons. They did plenty with Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 and its all previous Power Rangers sets.

Shout! Factory has proven time and again the respect that it has for the “Ranger Nation” and for the legacy of the Power Rangers franchise as a whole with all of its releases up to this new box set. The inclusion of a bonus features disc and companion booklet with the set makes the presentation and viewing experience with this set all the richer for fans. The bonus DVD includes even more in-depth bonus material than what was presented in Power Rangers: Seasons 8 – 12. Audiences are treated in this set’s bonus disc to discussions on the props used throughout Seasons 13 – 17. Stories on the props are shared by both those behind the cameras and by the cast members. Fans will really appreciate that those stories aren’t relegated to just the seasons included in this set. They go as far back as stories from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Also shared by cast members are stories of the cast’s favorite and least favorite sets as well as general fond memories of working on each series among so much more bonus material. The most intriguing factor that fans will take away from all of these stories is the fact that many of the actors that filled each season’s cast were themselves Power Rangers fans before Power Rangers cast members. Fans will appreciate the respect that said cast members have and had for the franchise both before being cast and during their time on their respective seasons.

The stories and other bonuses included in the set’s bonus DVD makes the overall viewing experience of this set so much richer for fans. The same can be said of the companion booklet included as a final bonus to the set. As with Power Rangers: Seasons 8 – 12, the companion booklet included in this set includes a comprehensive character guide and episode guide all in one. Both the Rangers (as characters and actors) are introduced as are each season’s villain. The episode guide for each season includes short but concise summaries of each episode from each season. It gives audiences just enough information to effectively set the stage for each episode. Those summaries, the episodes themselves, and all of the other bonuses included in the set make Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 one more welcome addition to the library of any true diehard Power Rangers fan. It will be available next Tuesday, April 1st and can be pre-ordered now through the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-seasons-13-17.
More information on Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Power Rangers Zeo Volume One Another Success From Saban, Shout! Factory

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

Thank goodness for Shout! Factory. This critic has said that of the company many times before. And this critic will continue to do so as long as it keeps releasing titles such as the latest in Saban’s classic Power Rangers franchise. Power Rangers: Zeo Volume 1 picks up where the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangersmini-series “spinoff”, Mighty Morphin’Alien Rangers left off. The Rangers’control center had been destroyed and new Yellow Ranger Tanya had been added to the team. She would be the third person to don the Yellow Ranger’s outfit in only a matter of three seasons. The Command Center being destroyed, the Rangers were left without their powers, albeit temporarily, which leads to the first important aspect of this latest incarnation of Saban’s hit franchise. The first important aspect ofPower Rangers: Zeo Volume 1 is the writing in the episodes culled for this volume. In direct connection to the writing, the episodes in this volume do something that the episodes from MMPR didn’t do nearly as much. They developed the characters more. This includes the show’s comic relief, Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (Bulk and Skull). And one can’t ignore that the special effects used throughout MMPR were carried over into this “season”,too. This too helped maintain the feel of MMPR thus doing even more to help keep fans from MMPR on board. And together with the writing and character development, it shows even more why this latest release is a must have for any longtime Power Rangers fan.

The writers responsible for the first incarnation of the Power Rangers series did an impressive job with that series. They wrote plenty of solid stories. Those scripts did an excellent job of balancing their action with the team’s development. They also had plenty of comedy thanks to Schrier and Narvy. The pair’s Laurel& Hardy style comedy was stepped up throughout Power Rangers: Zeo Volume 1, making for even more enjoyment. From trying to save Detective Stone’s roses to their antics with Goldar and Rito, Bulk and Skull get more camera time this time out. And it makes for plenty of laughs. Their increased comedic additions to the series are just part of what makes this incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise fun to watch. Fans of the series will also appreciate in this volume how the writers handled the transition of both villains and team members among the Rangers. The story arcs used throughout MMPR were good in their own way. There’s no denying that. But fans will appreciate that the writers hit the ground running this time. Even starting the new “series” with an extended story arc, the transitions still moved particularly rapidly. So the writers didn’t waste any time getting the new series moving. The only other real extended story arc in this volume is “There’s No Business Like Snow Business.” It’s a three-part arc. And while it isn’t a major story arc, it does do something important. It helps to illustrate the increased character development that took place in this series.

The writers on Power Rangers Zeo handled the transition from its predecessor quite well, all things considered. They developed new story lines and grew the show, too. That’s thanks to the increased character development in this series. Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) is fleshed out even more as he takes over the lead role in the show. He takes over the role of the Red Ranger as Billy (David Yost) steps down and takes more of a “tech assistant” position in the team’s new command center. Audiences see more of the confident, heroic side of Tommy as he takes over the team. But he also presents a more human side after getting a breakup letter from former love interest and Pink Ranger, Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) in the three-part story arc, “There’s No Business Like Snow Business.” Audiences also get more view of Tommy’s softer side in a two-part episode that sees Tommy introduced to his long lost brother. That more vulnerable side is something that he didn’t really show a lot of throughout MMPR. So it makes for an interesting look at this character. Newcomer Tanya also gets her time in the spotlight in this volume. She gets the chance of a lifetime when she is discovered by a record producer after singing at the Angel Grove Youth Center. It was the final episode in Volume One. But what better way to close out the volume than to focus on her again. Just as she was introduced in the volume’s opening three-part story arc, she was re-introduced in the volume’s final episode. So she really got her time to develop as a character and as a member of the team.

Both Tommy and Tanya get more time to develop personally as characters in Power Rangers Zeo: Volume One. Their development helps to make this “season” more interesting for viewers. They aren’t the only characters that get to show more of themselves. Both Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (Bulk and Skull) get to show that they are more than just comic relief, too. Although they still offer plenty of laughs. The pair is now working even more to try and be junior police officers.  While their segments are still largely for comedic relief, it’s nice to see that they are getting to be more than just lowly comic support.  They actually get to be more involved in the show at this point.  Again this goes back to the show’s writers.  It’s just one more positive to the show.

The writing and related character development that takes place in the episodes collected for Power Rangers Zeo: Volume 1 do a lot to make this underrated incarnation of the Power Rangers enjoyable in hindsight.  There is still at least one more factor that audiences will appreciate in this set.  That factor is the special effects.  Whereas so many of the “seasons” since (E.g. Power Rangers Samurai, Power Rangers Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Power Rangers Mystic Force) became more spit shined and slickly produced, the more raw special effects and general production values of PRZ were more akin to those of MMPR.  The show’s creators and staff made do with what they had.  And it showed, too.  Sure, they might have been slightly cheesy.  But there’s something more special about them because of that.  And it’s that special something combined with the writing and the character development that make this “season” of Power Rangers definitely worth having for any true fan of the franchise.  It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, November 12th.  It can be ordered online direct from the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/218412.  More information on this and other Power Rangers releases from Saban and Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Samurai Rangers Rise To The Challenge Again In New DVD

 

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Saban Brands

Lionsgate released two new volumes of adventures from the Samurai Power Rangers this week.  The second of the new volumes offers audiences four more adventures loaded with action and important life lessons that young audiences will enjoy.  Power Rangers Super Samurai: Rise of the Bullzooka teaches yet again the lesson of believing in one’s own self.  It also teaches the equally important lesson of never giving up in even the most difficult of situations.  The set’s second episode, “The Strange Case of the Munchies” is actually a valuable inclusion to this set as it not only teaches about believing in one’s self, but also of taking care of one’s self by not eating too much.  It takes on the subject of the obesity epidemic without being too preachy.  And as with previous releases, audiences also get the lesson of teamwork in the set’s third episode, “A Sticky Situation.”  This time, the lesson is taught when Mike and Kevin have to learn to work together, even when they face off against their latest Nighlok foe.  It all leads up to another confrontation between Jayden and Deker.  It is just one more in a rivalry that will later reach its peak for the two later in the season.

Fans of this latest team of Rangers will undoubtedly enjoy this new set of adventures for both the action and the life lessons that were more subtly tied in to each episode.  Also helping make the episodes more enjoyable is the continued inclusion of comic relief from Bulk and his nephew, Spike.  Long-time fans of the Power Rangers franchise will recall that Spike is the son of Bulk’s old friend Eugene “Skull” Skulovich.  The chemistry between Bulk and Spike harkens back to the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers franchise just as much as the adventures themselves.  Before this season came along, the last time anyone had seen or heard from Bulk (Paul Schrier) was in a cameo role in Power Rangers Wild Force.  While Spike isn’t Skull, the pairing of Bulk and Spike still brings about the same hilarious physical comedy that Bulk and Skull offered audiences during the original run of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Add in a little romance on the part of Spike (spike develops a crush on Mia, not knowing she’s also the Pink Ranger) and both boys and girls will have their own entertainment here.

While this latest set of adventures only boasts four episodes, all four episodes will offer audiences of the latest Rangers squad plenty of entertainment.  The comedy element instilled by Bulk and Spike plays its own role in the success of the episodes.  The stylistic link between the stories of the original Power Rangers franchise and this latest installment is another connection that will entertain both long-time fans and younger, newer fans.  The life lessons included in each story are another standard of the Power Rangers franchise as a whole.  It makes for one more element that both long-time fans and newer fans will appreciate.  Altogether, they combine to make one more set that any Power Rangers fan will enjoy.  Power Rangers Super Samurai: Rise of the Bullzooka is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via the Lionsgate store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=27841&TitleParentId=8042

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