Hasbro’s Power Rangers Team Talks New Offerings
In recent years, toy aisles have been the focus of debates about whether to call anything “girl’s toys” or “boy’s toys” any more. While the action figure industry has typically been a bit of a boy’s club, that’s changing at Hasbro, with a Power Rangers team led by women: designer Sondra Wiener, and global marketing’s Beth Samrick. “I think that we’re showing by our faces that we are diverse, and we’re proud of it,” Wiener told us. “It kind of speaks to what Power Rangers is, and also the team at work behind Power Rangers is also the same.” She adds, “I played with action figures and dolls, and I think that’s more and more what you see these days, that the brands cross over like that.”
Hasbro now owns Power Rangers outright, so it plays as more of an in-house brand like Transformers than a licensed property like Marvel. “We don’t have to consult anybody,” says Samrick. “We work directly with our studio team, the team in New Zealand, who is shooting. And we kind of figure out which products we want to do, what we want to do with the show, and all of it, soup to nuts, which is really exciting.”
Action figures for the brand are a consistent 6-inch scale, though the mass-market line is a little less bulky than the collector-focused “Lightning Collection.” Still, they all go for realistic physiques, a rarity in superheroic toys. “We wanted to keep true to what they look like in the show, which is why we didn’t go really broad-chested,” says Wiener. But there are limits. When it comes to some of the cheesier show costumes that revealed exposed zippers, for example. “We definitely keep it in mind, and we try to make an executive decision if that’s something we want to do or not.”
New reveals for Comic-Con include original Pink Ranger Kimberly, Nate and Devon from Beast Morphers, and Magna Defender from Lost Galaxy. And like other Hasbro lines, there will be higher-end deluxe wearable helmets starting with the original White Ranger’s. Both Samrick and Wiener declared their fandom for the original Mighty Morphin generation, but said there are as yet no plans for its primary villainess Rita Repulsa. As for classic high-school bullies Bulk and Skull? “It’s a great question.”
Right now action figures are the primary line driver, but since Hasbro owns it all, there’s a lot of further merchandise potential. Says Samrick, “There’s more to come as we get our feet wet with the brand. I think there’s going to be a lot more to come.”
Which Power Rangers characters do you want to see made into figures? Let us know in the comment section below!