Big Bad Beetleborgs is a fantastic superhero series that should be rebooted by Hasbro. The brand is currently entering a new era for the Power Rangers Franchise, which includes their partnership with Netflix. Beetleborgs and VR troopers were included in the deal when Power Rangers was purchased from Saban Entertainment, and so far, the focus has been on creating a Ranger Universe. Along with VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs has unlimited potential, and here are the reasons why Hasbro should reboot this iconic Toku show.
Big Bad Beetleborgs was originally released in 1996 by Saban after the success of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The series ran for two seasons with the 2nd installment called Beetleborgs Metallix and was adapted from two shows in Japan’s Metal Hero series, Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto.
The show was about three kids who made a wish to become superheroes from their favorite comic book series when they freed Flubber. Flubber forgot to deal with the dimension where the Beetleborg powers originated from and accidentally let out the villains into the real world. Drew, Rowland, and Joe decided to use their powers to defeat the escaped monsters and send them back to the comic books. The cast of Beetleborgs included the following key characters and stars.
- Drew, The Blue Stinger/Chromium Gold Borg, played by Wesley Barker
- Roland, The Green Hunter/Titanium Silver Borg, played by Herbie Baez
- Jo, The Red Stiker Borg, originally played by Shannon Chandler
- Jo, The Red Stiker/ Platinum Purple Borg, later played by Brittany Konarzewski
- Josh Baldwin, White Blaster Borg, played by Warren Berkow for several episodes
- Flubber, Mentor to the Superhero team, played by Billy Forester
Along with the villains of the show, there was also an odd addition of monsters that were added to the show as a form of comic relief. Due to copyright, the name of the Hollywood monsters was changed so they were similar and not exact matches. These characters lived in the Haunted Mansion with Flabber and chased the superpowered kids in an attempt to eat them. However, these monsters weren’t foes and were generally allies to the kids as they found a way to co-exist after many shenanigans.
The Monsters included Fangula (Joe Hackett), Wolfgang (performed by Frank Tahoe, voiced by Michael Sorich/Scott Page-Pagter), Frankenbeans (David Fletcher), Mums (Michael Sorich/Blake Torney), and later joined by Little Ghoul (Lina Godouse).
Ultimately, the series was ended without an ending to the story as Saban no longer had source footage to use from the Japanese counterpart. As a result, plans for crossovers and future content were canceled and Beetleborgs was left without a conclusion. Kamen Rider and other Metal Hero adaptations, VR Troopers, have shown their potential for audiences outside of Japan, however, content is still reliant on Japan’s original releases. Here is a full breakdown of why Hasbro should adapt this unique Superhero series.
Beetleborgs’ potential as a superhero series reboot
Big Bad Beetleborgs may have had its run in the 90s but the potential for a reboot could see the show’s return with an even better concept. The suits themselves are very detailed for both the original and Metallix forms and there are so many ways more content could be created for them. Most reboots often reuse characters and update them to fit the type of show they are aiming to create. Here are the prime reasons why a reboot could bring back Beetleborgs and how Hasbro could make it better than before.
Power Rangers needs a new type of Superhero
All superheroes in the universe of Power Rangers all have one thing in common, the Morphin Grid. This often means the only heroes in the universe are those connected to the Rangers. Beetleborgs could start diversity among the heroes of the universe by making them start the non-Morphin Grid protagonists. Previously, the Masked Rider has appeared as an ally to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers but has never returned since. The Beetleborgs reboot could integrate and become a fantastic show that adds a different origin of power instead of the Morphin Grid lore.
The original story could be reused or continued
The kids gaining their powers from comic books could still be a fantastic concept to update. There is also the potential of finishing the story that Saban started in the 90s, which Hasbro does have the right to. Even by passing their powers to descendants, the Beetleborgs could continue the story if Hasbro wanted and even bring back the original cast such as Herbie Baez. If Hasbro decides to take this route, there are many ways that they could backtrack and explain what transpired between the last episode and the present day. This would potentially be similar to the next-gen handoff seen in franchises such as Ghostbusters in their latest movie.
A reboot could start a new Origin with a different tone
No matter how Hasbro plans to reboot Beetleborgs, Hasbro could completely remake the origins of the Beetleborgs and change the aesthetic of the show. The tone could be shaped to a darker than the original simply by changing how the powers were created or given to the characters. Writers would be able to update the story and have various ways to even captivate the audience, including inspirations from similar heroes such as Iron Man creating his own suit.
bThe Japanese counterpart could also be used for inspiration as the powers were created by infusing Bio-machinery with the lifeforce of insects. The original characters and their personality traits could be used even if the trio are older, such as Jo’s wit and ferocity. Also, having them love their comic books at a later age would be relatable for a lot of fans.
The popularity of Tokusatsu has increased the Demand
The big Toku franchises, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman have all found themselves more popular in recent years. These include anime adaptations of Ultraman and the Kamen Rider W(Double) spin-off, Fuuto Pi. Shout! Factory has also helped by making various shows available via DVD releases or through their streaming service in the US.
The audience for Beetleborgs is also affected by the availability of B-Fighter as they aren’t available on Toei’s Tokusatsu Youtube Channel outside Japan. This means there is a whole for show’s content and the recent success proves the popularity of the Tokusatsu genre. A Beetleborgs reboot could capitalize on this opportunity and may also draw in new fans.
Unique Powers, Armour, Weapons, and Vehicles
Aside from the story seen in the original Beetleborgs, the beetle-themed armor and weapons are iconic items, which include the original and Metallix forms. The kids also had civilian powers that didn’t require their hero form to use, such as the Bug forms, Drew’s Telekinesis, Jo’s Super Strength, Roland’s Superspeed, and even Josh’s invisibility. From the Beetle Bonder to the Astral Sword, there are many weapons and Henshin Devices that fans will recognize to be fantastic designs.
The RV vehicles are also additions that could be redesigned to be as formidable as Zords, along with Roboborg seen in the second season. Even the 46th Sentai, Donbrothers, has proven what a concept change can do when they changed the formula with the Robotaro form. Both the B-commander (aka Beetle Bonder) and Input Magnum (aka Sonic Lazer) from Juukou B-Fighter have been released recently as part of the Complete Edition line from Bandai.
Beetleborgs may still hold the potential to become an epic series for the future, with many routes the story could take. There were also a lot of original designs used in the show, which is something that Hasbro could easily redesign or could even create completely new special additions. By adding it to Power Rangers, the greater depth will benefit both franchises and will allow Hasbro to realize the Multiverse concept they are looking to achieve. Considering how popular the show was, the only thing that stopped it, in the end, was the lack of source footage.
If Saban had decided to create original content, the show could have continued as the ratings were doing well even against Power Rangers Zeo and Turbo. It will be exciting to see what Hasbro may reuse or remake for a Beetleborgs reboot but the license will be waiting should they decide to unlock the concept’s full potential.
What do you think of Big Bad Beetleborgs? Do you think Hasbro should reboot the Superhero series? Have you seen the original Juukou B-Fighter Metal Hero series? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following us for more Tokusatsu content, we’re always watching.