Last week Hasbro delivered the digital feast that was Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest, which saw some genuine Power Rangers surprise reveals! Today, Jon Firestone (Marketing, Products), John Warden (Design Lead) and Bridget Stacy (Marketing, Entertainment) of the Power Rangers team with Hasbro took time to sit down with PwrRngr’s Mike, and answer some much needed follow-up questions!
You can read the interview below or watch it, in partnership with out sister-site TokuNation, at their YouTube video here.
PwrRngr (Mike): With the reveal of the four additional Metallic Armor Power Rangers -Red, Blue, Black, Yellow – joining the ranks with the Metallic Armor Pink Ranger, we now have a total of 5 Metallic Armor Power Rangers. However, we’re still missing one. Despite just having his figure re-released in the last 6 months, can fans expect to see the full Metallic Armor line-up of MMPR with the WHITE RANGER sometime in the future?
Jon – I do think that we all know that the team is not really complete without Tommy in there, and everyone always wants more Tommy’s don’t they?
John – Yeah, we heard it here first, Mike asked for more Tommy action figures!
Mike – It’s down to me!
Jon – Though we can’t confirm anything but it would make sense for him to come eventually.
PwrRngr: While on the topic of the Metallic Armor Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, they’re coming with new sculpting/tooling for the helmets that improve both the look and accuracy to the show. Can fans one day hope to see them available without metallic armor shine for their regular MMPR figures?
John – Absolutely, this is one of those things, you know, time will tell as we look into the wizard eye of the future! That’s one of the great things about our tooling library is that, Corey and Loretta, as part of what they do as designer and sculptor, and like any 6 inch sculpting line at Hasbro, we’re always looking for ways to improve upon what we do and the kind of figures that we offer to fans. So as our tooling library starts to grow, and we start to evolve as a brand and get better and better, we bring out new portraitures or able to update, like the Red Ranger helmet we’re able to update, and we’re coming up on the anniversary year and the future for MMPR, so I think absolutely, a character as popular as the Red Ranger, being able to bring that awesome head sculpt or helmet sculpt to an ordinary [release] or dragon shield version, or things like that we haven’t had a chance to do in a while – I think only makes sense cos it’s all about leveraging not just those deep cuts like some of Boom Comics characters but also casual fan entries, that the casual Sentai or Rangers fan love like the Tommy’s, your Green Ranger and Red Rangers, or the more casual fan seasons like In Space, we gotta balance those with the right amount of things that are unique and special about our brand. I think that’s what makes our hobby fun.
PwrRngr: Going off from BOOM! Studios, the reveal of the MIGHTY MORPHIN RED SENTRY figure – inspired from the BOOM! Studios comic book SHATTERED GRID – our minds think to the future. What are the odds that fans and collectors can troop build for their evil LORD DRAKKON figures with the other colored SENTRY figures from the comics? (Black, Yellow, Pink, Gold, White, Silver)
Jon – We also love the world of the coinless. We think it’s such a fantastic, different reimagining of the Power Rangers, their armour pieces, their style, their aesthetics, and from just our perceptive in terms of enjoyment, it’s such a cool way to stretch our creative juices, just go in a different direction, while also exploring some really cool looking figures, that even if you’re not into Power Rangers, you see the Tyrannosaurs Sentry and go “that is a cool figure!”. So the additional Sentry’s, we don’t have any plans we can confirm or announce in that fashion, but it’s a cool opportunity and place that we can explore and hunt going forward, especially in terms of the way that people have responded to the Tyrannosaurs Sentry. What we’ve seen from the fans and the audience has been fantastic, selling out of pre-orders on Target and Hasbro Pulse. People are excited about this figure and that tells us a lot, and that gives us more confidence in the way that we can go forward in terms of being creative and exploring these deeper cut items from the Boom Comics, from smaller seasons and different creative explorations.
John – I guess what Jon’s trying to say is that he loves the Mastodon Sentry, like me.
PwrRngr: The RED SENTRY figure is the most desired figure revealed during the POWER RANGERS segment of Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest – selling out 100% of pre-orders at both HASBRO PULSE and the partnered retailer. In the comic, one of the RED SENTRY figures is revealed to be an iconic character from MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS. Was there ever any consideration to include that character’s civilian head portrait with the RED SENTRY figure?
Jon – So there was definitely a consideration to talk about Skull and including him as part of the sculpt and the offering. As we went through the process, we came to a point where we chose that we wanted this Sentry to be more of an army builder. So that you didn’t start collecting too many Skull heads, we wanted you to be able to set up your dioramas with Lord Drakkon and Ranger Slayer and have them flanked by two, four Red Sentries behind them in that army builder sort of fashion. There is of course continued opportunity to bring that Skull sculpt and portrait in in the future in different options, and really, as we look at expanding the Lightning Collection and we talk about what we want to bring in, we’re really looking for those opportune moments to do sculpts like that, to bring in characters – especially civilian characters – where it most makes sense.
John – Absolutely, you said it all man. Cameos like that are really cool. We’re taking a bit of a risk doing somebody that’s a bit of a deep cut like Red Sentry, but it played off, in a big way. So our first step forward is to be able to have that build up Drakkon’s squad. Interviews like this, or forums, Twitter or Instagram, we’re able to hear more people saying the same thing. We always listen. Being able to understand fan’s reaction about this specific territory, gives us hope for doing something that’s a little bit more riskier in the future, so the more something like Red Sentry plays out, the more we want to dip our toes into that universe or think about Omega Rangers or the different Sentries, there’s such a great universe to explore. Weirder seasons that have really cool and unusual characters, some things are worth taking risks for.
Mike – So, ReleaseTheBulkAndSkullPack will start trending quite soon then, I take it?
John – I like that, I like that. But which costume, there have so many costumes!
PwrRngr: After the panel, it was revealed that Zeo Ranger III Blue’s power tonfas – omitted from release with his figure – will find release in 2022. We have to ask – the ZEO GOLD RANGER has an iconic weapon in the GOLDEN POWER STAFF. Between both the SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2019 and the regular retail release in 2020, the GOLDEN POWER STAFF still has one form that has not yet been released (staff closed, blade down). Any chance it too can find a home in release in the future?
John – That’s what so great about this hobby, is it allows us to capitalise on some of those pieces. I was just talking to Loretta how we don’t really have a Morpher that a Ranger can hold, that would be a cool accessory too. Or Power Blaster in the other modes. There’s a lot of little things that we could do, and as we start to think about different reasons why we would release figures or helmets and accessories, things like that – it’s great to know that we have such an awesome and deep library. I’m a big fan of Zeo Gold, I think he’s a great figure and that staff is epic. The fact his mask looks like it, so cool, so I agree with you 100%. We’re listening – Loretta especially, she’s a huge fan, she’s a 90s kid – so it’s on our radar for sure man.
PwrRngr: Fans are excited to see our first African American sixth Ranger (and Gold Ranger) with Jordon Fite in Power Rangers Dino Fury. What more can you tell us about his character, Aiyon?
Bridget – So, you meet Aiyon/Jordon on screen until the Fall, but I can tell you that he’s from the same planet, Rafkon, as Zayto. And if you think of Zayto, classic Red leader right? A little serious, got a lot on his plate, he’s been around for many millions of years. Whereas Aiyon, it’s almost a nice balance in opposite, he’s fun loving, charismatic, and a little bit more light hearted, so you can imagine everyone wants to be around him, but that can get him into situations. So they’re a good balance, and we’re excited that you’re going to meet someone else from Zayto’s planet, so it’d be interesting to see the two interact, and for Aiyon to meet the rest of the Rangers, and how he becomes Gold. I can’t tell too much.
John – Almost sounds like an Andros/Zhane kind of thing, where they’re like another planet, that to me, as a fan, that’s what’s exciting is the opportunity of having the other-worldly Rangers as part of the Rangers group. I liked Dino Fury Red Ranger from the start for this reason, it makes for a real interesting character.
Mike – Absolutely, yeah, sounds like a nice juxtaposition going on there with two different types from the same planet, it’s exciting.
Bridget – Yeah, it’s fun and I will say, with the cast in general – they have such great chemistry. You see that play out, and it’s been exciting to see Jordon to finally be able to reveal himself. The fan reaction to his announcement and even the casts reaction to support him has been great.
We’d like to thank the whole team at Hasbro for their time to talk Power Rangers with us, and look forward to speaking with them again in the future. Questions written by Mike and Chris.