Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Real Action Hero Red and Blue Go Ranger - Medicom 1995

Name: Gorenger -1, Gorenger - 2
Scale: 1/6
Manufacturer: Medicom/Takara/Time House
Year: 1995
Materials: Plastic, Vinyl
Country of Origin: Japan
Price: $10 - $90 each
Acquired Via: Yahoo Japan

There was a time when I was determined to collect every single Medicom Real Action Hero. When this line was introduced in the 1990's there was nothing quite like it. Taking the Mego or Captain Action concept a few steps further, by providing a main body, licensed from Takara (Combat Joe), add a removable costume and accessories and securing licenses of their own from such diverse properties as the Judge Dredd film starring Sylvester Stallone to Bruce Lee to the various Tokusatsu and Anime series their target demographic grew up on.

To be fair the idea likely had it's roots in Takara's own Henshin Cyborg line from the 60's-70's, but the primitive engineering of the day made sure that these were toys for young boys where Medicom definitely had the teen to adult collector in mind.

Back in the day these figures were very high end, costing from $70-$100 US dollars if you could find them, these were after all the days before eBay and the Internet were commonplace for rabid collectors. We used to have to rely on exotic dealers from California at local twice annual comic book conventions to get our Japanese toy fixes back then. Nowadays, with the vast improvements Medicom has made to their current additions to the RAH line, not to mention Hot Toys who pretty much ruined it for anyone by setting the bar so high, most even high end 1/6 toys look like crude customs, these original RAH's can be found for cheap if you are patient and spend a disproportionate amount of your free time trolling the thousands of Yahoo Japan listings all hours of the night.

These prices however do not come without their negatives, unfortunately companies like Medicom and Marmit were innovators, setting new prescient with each release and no companies before them had attempted this level of faithfulness to the source with the available materials. As a result, you often get tacky, sticky or wost case, completely disintegrated jump suits. JohnnyBoy once had a Marmit Spectreman suit completely fused with the plastic bag it came in...
For either collector fetish reasons or the fact that these products were so niche many remained unsold, it's very common to find most specimens have never been removed from the box and often they or at least parts of their costumes are stuck to the inside of the box. This was the case with bot Rangers, but only the capes were affected, the jump suits are made from some sort of material and coated in paint,
much like a silk screen.

I'm not going to get into the history of Go Ranger or Gorenger as it's spelled on the box, there are plenty of other sites that could do a much better job than me. Medicom actually made all five Rangers but I've only been lucky enough to acquire the Red and Blue so far and I have to think that the Green, Yellow and Pink are pretty rare, I never come across them in all of the exhaustive searches I've done, and when you do, it's a set and it's in the 25,000 ¥ range. These figures are great, a bit floppy by today's standards, both JohnnyBoy and I have the Red Ranger and his is considerably tighter jointed than mine. Both come in the standard Medicom RAH Black box of the time with weapons, Blue with a bow and red with a laser pistol and some sort of staff with a...thing on the end...forgive me, I've never seen an episode of the show. They both come with a pair of alternate flesh colored hands as well as a pair of dynamic gloved hands with the usual fists/open hand and Blue with a hand that can hold his bow. The costumes are both some sort of synthetic fabric, not prone to the same problems as the capes and are very nice, tight fitting with no bunching at the boot or glove areas. The both come with the same belt with retractable jets, that are just too cool. Red also comes with a holster that attaches to his belt for his pistol. No limited edition pins with the ones I've received, not even sure if Medicom was still doing that promo by this time anyway.

So if you are a Tokusatsu fan, collect 1/6 figures or just like cool toys, these are a steal and as I said can be found for peanuts if you look long enough but are definitely worth it if you pay a bit more.

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