19th Mar2013

Thrift Justice – Power Rankings

by Will


I had planned a Thrift Justice: Road Trip post for this week, but then The Robot’s Pajama’s had to go and do an antique store post. So, I’ll table it and go with Plan B. I need to clean out my Dropbox, and Power Rangers stuff brings all the boys to the yard. So, here are some Power Rangers things I’ve thrifted over the past few months. Yes, I save the Power Rangers stuff for it’s own, branded posts #marketing. Anyway, I’ve gotten spoiled because Power Rangers merch is fairly common in thrift stores these days. The whole disposal nature of it (new incarnation every year) means that you can almost time when you’re going to see stuff. As an added bonus, Power Rangers kids tend to be FANS, so you get an influx of the whole collection. You typically don’t find A zord – you find ZORDS. If I find a Zord at a thrift store, I will spend another hour frantically searching for the others that were surely donated along with it. With that in mind, I’m not sure I’ll ever pay retail for a Power Rangers item again.


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This is an interesting story, and probably deserves its own post; still, it serves as the real “meat” of this post. So, I was cruising Craigslist, and someone mentioned that they had some MOC Ninja Rangers for stale. Of course, learning from Brian over at Cool and Collected, I asked if she had anything else. Turns out her son was a huge fan, and she was a diligent mom. Apparently, he had everything both opened and carded. She had sold the Zords, but still had these MOC figures. She had tried to sell them on eBay, but didn’t really know what they were worth. By this point, she just wanted what she had paid, so I got them all for retail. 1995 retail. Yup, paid the price that was still on the sticker. And I thought I was gonna make a KILLING. And I thought wrong. The only real jewels here are the army builder Putties, Lord Zedd, and Goldar. Everyone else is the standard Monster of the Day, and few of those were very memorable. So, after listing them on Will’s World of Wonder, I decided to try my hand at selling them on eBay. And I sold them a few weeks ago…for the same price I paid for them. In fact, after eBay takes its cut, I’ll probably lose money. Womp womp. This is the problem with “shitting where you eat”. Power Rangers is MY thing. Sure, there are some items that have after market value (complete Megazords, Morphers, etc), the vast majority of it is disposable. Bandai’s good at that (look at the Ben 10 line). Even it being MOC, there’s still a small customer base unless I flew them to Power Morphicon or something. So, this was probably my last attempt at buying Power Rangers for resale. I’m going back to buying just for me, and that’s what you’ll see next.

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This is the Blue Dolphin Zord from Power Rangers Ninja Storm. That season was Disney’s first, and I loved it despite what fandom thinks of it. Mainly, I think I just love the theme song. Anyway, this is my first Ninja Storm zord, so now I need to track down the other 2 to build the Ninja Storm Wind Megazord. I used to hate the idea of a 3-zord Megazord (this was the first season of that), but it definitely makes them easier to complete!

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 This is the Mystic Phoenix Zord. I’ve said it before, but I’ve never seen a single episode of Power Rangers Mystic Force. I was defeated by the combined forces of premium cable and my lack of love for sword and sorcery shit.

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 This is an arm for the SPD Megazord. If you read this post, then you know that I’m now 3/5 of the way to completing this Megazord.

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 Here’s how thrift stores are weird: here you have two zords. However, these two zords were attached at the time, and I guess the staff didn’t realize it. So, I got this “combo” for $1.50. Again, since Power Rangers Jungle Fury‘s Jungle Pride Megazord was another 3-zord Megazord, I’m 2/3 of the way done here.

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 Here’s an interesting case of how some thrift trips connect to others, and you’d never guess it would happen. In this post, I bought 2/3 of the Power Rangers Jungle Fury Jungle Master Megazord, yet the Yellow Penguin (which forms the leg/foot) was missing. I had no reason to believe that I’d ever really find it, but I wasn’t going to pass up on 2/3 of a zord (especially since it could still stand without the penguin). So, imagine my surprise a few months later when I found this guy in a thrift store grab bag. Oddly enough, I didn’t even know what it was. I looked it and thought “This looks Power Rangers in nature”. I took a risk and bought it. Once I got home, I realized it slid right into its slot on the Jungle Master, and I ended up with the completed zord you see here:

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 Here’s the Armadillo Zord from Power Rangers Wild Force. I love this season, as the zords are all die-cast metal – a far cry from the cheap plastic of the recently released Megaforce Megazord. He serves as an alternate set of legs for the Wild Force Megazord that I showed you here.

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 I recently had a Thrift Fail (which I’m sure I’ll get around to writing about soon), and the only thing of real value in the lot was this guy. This is the Dozer Driver from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. This was one of those seasons with, like, 87 zords, and I seem to have acquired every single arm and leg. I still haven’t gotten a “core” zord, so I can’t form any of the Megazords. So, in terms of Operation Overdrive, I’m always a bridesmaid, but never a bride.

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This is the Power Rangers Wild Force Growl Phone, which is probably my least favorite morpher in PR history. I tend to hate the cell phone morphers because it’s just so…normal. I like crazy wristmounted things with lights and signs. I don’t want something just kinda looks obsolete compared to comparable tech of the day. I especially hate this one because it had the added gimmick of being a transformer. The phone, for some reason, turns into a bastardized version of a four-legged animal during the morph sequence. Needless to say, this “fun” doesn’t translate to the toy.

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This is the Senturion Synergizer from Power Rangers Turbo. I tend to love role play devices if they were actually used in the show. The Blue Senturian was a bit of a goober, but I still thought this badge/gun/sword was a cool concept.

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The Samurai Megablade, from Power Rangers Samurai. Oh, Bandai! This thing only exists because Bandai wanted America to make changes so they could make more toys. So, we ended up with the unnecessary  Mega Mode suits for Zord Cockpit shots, and the whole Megazord was controlled by these transforming swords. This thing sold for about $24, depending on where you went. I got this for $0.90. Yes, cents. I don’t even care that it has “BJ” written all over the blade. While I’m sure those are the initials of the prior owner, I like to pretend the Rangers had a really naughty finisher that never made it to air.

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 Here’s Aero Rescue 3 from Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. Yeah, it’s been beat to Hell, but I kinda like that. If Power Rangers ever had a Syfy incarnation produced by Ronald D. Moore, this is how it would look. It has probably taken me the longest to acquire the Lightspeed Rescue zords, as those kids have long ago donated those toys. With this, however, I’m now 4/5 of the way done with the Lightspeed Megazord, as you’ll see here (Aero Rescue 3 forms the head):

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 Above, you saw the Mystic Phoenix, and this is the Mystic Minotaur from the same Megazord. Since it forms the torso, I’m well on my way, but I’m still only 2/5 of the way to completing this one.

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This is another great example of Thrift Karma. Remember Operation Time Dig? If you remember, I ended up with a Red Dragon Thunderzord head that I had no clue what to do with. It was part of the haul, so I kept it. Fast forward six months. Someone on Craigslist was selling her kid’s Power Rangers stuff, and I saw the Red Dragon Thunderzord in the pics – WITHOUT THE HEAD! I’m ashamed to admit I paid WAY more than I should have for this thing, but I think I just wanted to see the transaction through to the end, as there had been a lot of drama and back & forth. I don’t even need this thing, so I’m definitely selling him. I just loved that it all came together unexpectedly.

2013-03-18 22.04.10

 I missed most of the Disney seasons, as I didn’t have cable. So, whenever I see the DVDs on the cheap, I snatch them up. After all, we’re a LONG way from these seasons being collected. I’ll just buy the box sets once they’re available and chuck these. I want you to notice something cute/sad about the “Joining Forces” SPD cover. It’s signed by “Lunar Wolf” and “SPD Red”. First off, Lunar Wolf wasn’t even a character in that series. Second, it’s clear these were just suit actors at a mall. Back during the height of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the “Rangers” used to do mall tours. Sure, if you lived in LA, you MIGHT get the real ones. Not in Bethesda, MD, however. I went to White Flint Mall, and ended up meeting the Red and Black Rangers. Of course, I knew they weren’t the real ones (especially since they wouldn’t take off their helmets), but to add insult to injury, they signed autographs as “Go Go Red Ranger!” Ugh.

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 This is the Triceratops Zord from Power Rangers RPM‘s Paleomax Megazord. It’s funny to me when later seasons “go back to the original”. Like, you see this and say, “That don’t look like Billy’s Triceratops”, as if MMPR was the end all, be all of sentai footage. Anyway, I’ll probably never complete this Megazord, as it’s obscure as Hell.

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Another Operation Overdrive zord, this is the Drill Driver. Again, no torso zord, so no Megazord yet from this season. I actually bought this from a guy in a facebook toy group. I didn’t get ripped off, but of course I ended up finding another in a thrift store a few weeks later.

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 Scroll up. See that 2-Zord combo I got for $1.50? Well, I thought that this guy would complete it. The same facebook guy sold this to me, and I thought, “Ha! Another Megazord completed!” I was wrong. In one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever encountered (and Bandai’s done a LOT of dumb stuff), Power Rangers Jungle Fury had the Deluxe Jungle Fury Megazord AND the Transforming Jungle Fury Megazord. In terms of scale, the difference is almost negligible. They basically look the same. But they don’t combine the same. So, now I’ve got 2/3 of one Jungle Force Megazord, and 1/3 of another – they are both the SAME Megazord. So, I guess the race is on to see which one gets finished first.

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So, here you go: I’ve assembled all of these guys purely through thrifting. Originally, they were each around $30-40, and I paid a fraction of that much for all of them here. It’s actually quite the treasure hunt, to come home and add another piece to my “puzzles”. Anyway, if I bought these at retail, I’d assmble them, put them on a shelf, and they’d collect dust. Kind of a waste of $40. Buying them used, however, I’m not as much of a stickler for condition, and it gives me a nice sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, thanks for playing our game, and tune in next time when I’ll talk about…well, I haven’t decided yet. Just come back, ‘K?