Power Rangers is recognized as a worldwide brand and, with Hasbro’s help, is shaping up to be a franchise for everyone. The long-lived superhero series has always included great diversity and appeals to many around the world.
However, even with all the growth there is still more accommodation that could be implemented in Power Rangers.
Power Rangers was originally targeting kids aged between 6 and 11 as the audience, with boys primarily in mind. However, over the years the early audience has grown with the brand, has abundance of fans, and has embraced diversity even further. Latest features include LGBTQ representation and even a Special Olympic guest in the live show. Even with all these inclusive additions, the one area that still needs to improve for accommodation are the toys.
Time For Hasbro & Power Rangers To Expand
Toys are always going to be the main merchandise for Power Rangers as every new addition is usually followed by a toy release. This doesn’t just apply to Power Rangers as the market is dominated with toys that may not be appropriate for everyone. Even though Ranger toys have improved compared to items available in the past, there are still some fans that aren’t accommodated with their requirements in mind.
There are a range of people that have various disabilities, but recent releases aren’t as entertaining for some of them as they could be. Most toys focus on lights or tablet-based designs, which may be great for some fans but not for all. Some need features such as textured buttons, or various sounds as they are great for those who may be visually impaired or even blind. However, for some toys in the past, the merchandise has either been too simply, or lacks engaging interaction, for these fans to truly enjoys the toys for their favorite shows.
Joe Darby, my youngest brother, is a fan of the franchise who lost his sight at the age of 2, after removing a brain tumor. He has a range of learning disabilities as a result and is also unable to walk, but that hasn’t stopped him enjoying Power Rangers throughout his life. Even now at the age of 23, he still enjoys watching the original series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, as well as enjoying random episodes from Dino Charge, Lightspeed Rescue, Samurai, and many others.
He also enjoys repeating phases and sounds from the show and demonstrates his fondness whenever his Toku-loving brother visits. Along with imitating the Kiai sounds features in Power Rangers, he also loves mimicking lines from the show and even tries to sound like the actors in the show. This may be specific lines said in the show or even the roll calls featured in shows like Power Rangers Dino Charge.
Certain toys in the past have barely been great for someone like Joe to enjoy. For example, the Chroma Fury Sabre wouldn’t be a great choice since the main feature is a Colour-changing blade. Most toys for past seasons were based on the same mould as the Japanese counterpart, which all had defined features that any fan could enjoy.
However, when changes were made to the toys, starting from Power Rangers Jungle Fury, the newer versions meant that releases had become harder to use or too simple to be entertaining. Even figures were too fragile for fans like Joe and weren’t as enjoyable as electronic-based merchandise.
Hasbro has changed this with some recent releases, such as the Dino Fury Morpher, being Joe’s current favorite Power Rangers toy. This specific release has various sounds, has defined buttons & parts he can find to use, as well as has an easy-to-use key gimmick. Even the Power Rangers Beast Morphers line has been better for someone like Joe, but there is still ways Power Rangers could add more variety.
Hopefully, Hasbro will continue making Ranger toys that any fan will enjoy, which for many has improved a lot compared to the merchandise of some past shows. It would be amazing if other features could be added to toys such as vibrations for those with hearing impairments or even various buttons linked to a range of sounds, like previous Morpher toys used to have.
With Power Rangers continuing to make itself a superhero franchise for everyone around the world, the toys could be another way to expand access. With the goal being to enable greater way to cater to fans that love their Rangers.
What do you think of the toys for Power Rangers? Do you know any Ranger fans with any disabilities? Are there any ways you can think Hasbro can improve the toy line? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more Power Rangers content.