Do I really need to explain what Power Rangers is? Is there anyone out there who has yet to experience this media phenomenon even least in passing? It seems impossible to me that anyone born before 1993 when Saban’s Power Rangers premiered could have been bypassed by the nearly 20-year-old series’ iconic imagery of spandex-clad teenagers in skyscraper-high robots battling gargantuan, monstrous foes for the fate of the world. Suffice it to say that, if you are indeed somehow unfamiliar with Power Rangers, the above description of the series should suffice for now and that, any number of dedicated websites can explain the series’ narrative more thoroughly than I in the space I’ve allotted to me here. Everyone else likely already understands the appeal of Power Rangers to the geek mind such as mine and therefore also understands why I was immensely excited to get the opportunity to review for you here the recent release of Time Life and Shout! Factory’s Power Rangers: From Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy DVD collection. And let’s face it, if you’ve ventured into this review, it’s for an appraisal of the titular set and not a series synopsis.
Just in time for the holiday season, Time Life and Shout! have released an impressively extensive, 40-DVD, 2-box set collection of Saban’s pop culture phenomenon. Unquestionably the penultimate Power Rangers release to date, and likely the best there ever will be, this must-own set for any fan of the series includes the first seven seasons of Power Rangers. This includes all three seasons of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the 10-episode miniseries Alien Rangers, as well as Zeo, Turbo, In Space, and finally, Lost Galaxy. Combined, that’s a total of 338 episodes across 37 discs with hours-upon-hours of special features on the remaining three.
The complete series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (along with Alien Rangers), itself a 19-disc box set, is available separately through Amazon and other such vendors. However, you can only get the Zeo through Lost Galaxy box set when you purchase the Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy gift set. And this “morphitudinous” collection is available exclusively at PowerRangersOnDVD.com for what I’d say is an incredibly reasonable $219.95, and it ships with a bonus, Mighty Morphin Red Ranger action figure at that. Many of you will no doubt be picking up Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy as a gift to give yourself this holiday, but as a potential gift for gifting, this set easily earns my nomination for top gift idea this holiday season. It’s honestly the perfect gift for any raging fanboy (which I am and therefore am not using the term derogatorily), geek (which I also am), or small child (which I… may be mentally). In short, buy it for somebody! They will appreciate it. I can pretty much guarantee it.
Even those of you who are skeptical of the value of such a collection at first, I’ll wager, will no doubt come around to it upon diving in to the special features. After all, it’s one thing to simply watch the series. You can of course enjoy the series on its own for its high concept blend of science fiction, martial arts, and comedy; the nostalgia of revisiting a favorite childhood text; or even the fascinating ways in which the series’ producers managed to weave the original Japanese Sentai footage into an entirely new narrative on a weekly basis. Yet, to fully experience the series as it stands today requires coupling these base enjoyments with a more complete understanding of its historical relevance and cultural impact. And the extensive special features included here provide incredible insight in to these facets of the program through numerous interviews with cast and crew as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
The special features here include hours of vintage compilations and specials, including clips shows, a taping of Power Rangers Live, the original Power Rangers Fan Club introductory video, and of course the “Lost Episode,” which features the original pilot as its centerpiece. But the real seller of this set features-wise are the six exclusive documentaries featuring recent interviews with Power Rangers’ cast, crew, and fans. These emotionally-stirring pieces highlight the hard work and dedication that went in to the production of the series and the positive effect it has had on its fans since it debuted in 1993. With these documentaries split evenly between the Mighty Morphin and Seasons 4-7 box sets, it really doesn’t behoove you to buy the standalone Mighty Morphin collection. After all, the 4-7 box set includes documentaries about the series’ stuntmen and the Power Morphicon fan convention, as well as an entire documentary dedicated to Bulk and Skull! Additionally, the “Lost Episode” special hosted by Austin St. John and Walter Emmanuel Jones (the original Red and Black Rangers, respectively) is collected on 4-7 rather than the Mighty Morphin set. With this and the added bonus of the action figure, Time Life and Shout! have truly given you every reason to go with the full Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy collection rather than settling for Mighty Morphin alone.
Again, the Power Rangers: From Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy collection is available exclusively from PowerRangersOnDVD.com. My suggestion: buy it… now!