Picardie, Justine, The Independent (London, England)
FORGET Postman Pat. Forget Fireman Sam. Forget even Captain Scarlet. Our house now resounds to the cry of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!" If you have small children, you may already know about this: for all of a sudden, the Power Rangers have taken over as this month's superheroes.
You can watch them on the telly on Saturday mornings: five apparently ordinary American high-school kids (two girls, three boys) who transform themselves into sleek kickboxers at the drop of a hat, ready to fight against evil. Evil appears in the shape of the oddly named Rita, a nasty piece of work from another planet. In order to defeat the monsters she unleashes, the Lycra-clad Mighty Morphin Power Rangers summon a variety of robot dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are just like the toys desired by a great many four- year-old boys for their birthdays this year: Transformers, which are robots that can be manipulated by small hands into rockets and dinosaurs and all manner of exciting things.
I'm not sure why the Power Rangers are Mighty Morphins: it sounds slightly sinister, if you ask me. (In fact the whole concept is probably a bid for world domination by some spooky toy manufacturer in league with a fiendishly clever film company.)
But Jamie loves it, and now spends his time rushing around shouting "Go Go Power Rangers!" while trying to leap into the air and kick imaginary baddies. He is also, briefly, the subject of enormous envy in the neighbourhood because my husband came back from America last week with a lurid Power Ranger T-shirt for him, and a baseball cap. …