Magazine article Variety

'Rangers' Trot out Tees, Toys, and Gadgets

Magazine article Variety

'Rangers' Trot out Tees, Toys, and Gadgets

Article excerpt

For nearly 25 years, Saban Brands' "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" entertainment franchise has fueled the imaginations and backyard adventures of a generation of young fans. Like its athletic, monster-fighting heroes, the tokusatsu ("special filming," meaning a blend of live-action footage and special effects) series has morphed into countless iterations, including 19 interconnected television programs and three feature films. With so many adventures to emulate, the "Power Rangers'" legions of fans have naturally demanded an equally sizable and diverse array of merchandise from more than 100 licensees to enhance their play or collections.

To that end, Saban Brands has issued thousands of different products over the years, from top-selling action figures by the venerable Bandai Co. to Halloween costumes, graphic novels, DVDs, and fashion for men, women and children, all of which have reaped a windfall for Saban. 2016 retail figures alone were $900 million.

The longevity and unwavering popularity of the franchise has granted the "Power Rangers" one of the rarest of super powers: the ability to translate into a pop culture icon with appeal across numerous platforms. "Power Rangers" merchandise has expanded into areas that few youth-oriented programming could imagine, from hip vinyl collectible figures by Funko to jewelry and cutting-edge fashion. Perhaps no surer sign of the "Power Rangers'" crossover appeal was the array of celebrities that donned Ranger costumes for Halloween in 2016, including Kourtney Kardashian, Brooke Burke, and their respective families.

Now, as the company stands poised to reinvent its most popular franchise with the upcoming feature film, "Saban's Power Rangers," Saban Brands is looking to broaden its appeal through collaborations with designers and such brands as Ronnie Fieg's Kith, Dannijo, and GlamGlow, while also crafting other products that speak directly to its longtime youthful fan base.

Chief among the latter are movie tie-in versions of the "Power Rangers"' most popular merchandise items - the Interactive Movie Megazord, a giant humanoid robot. It is created by combining the Rangers' respective fighting machines, or Zords, and the Movie Morpher, a device that allows users to transform from human form into the helmeted Rangers. …

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