Friday, September 7, 2012

Ranger Keys On Parade

I don't usually buy a lot of merchandise from the new tokusatsu shows -- unless I really, really, really, really like the show -- but I have a bit of an addiction to the Ranger Keys line, and I think the Japanese fans do, too. They're the rare toy release that's continued after the show it's associated with has finished, they're always sought after on auctions, they seem to be keeping Sentai's toy sales up in a year where viewers are disappointed with the latest show (Go-busters) and its lame-o toyline. And the funny thing? It's the old heroes that make the Ranger Key line so alluring. The old heroes -- what Toei is sooooooo deathly afraid to ever focus on in their shows or movies is what has made these things move. (Because it sure ain't hearing Tomokazu Seki shriek "BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOMAN!" when you put the Key into the Mobirates.)

They're kind neat little figurines, and some of the first new merchandise pertaining to old shows. You can find figures of every Kamen Rider ever in every pose ever, but old Sentai shows? Not so much. It's also a nice alternative to paying half a grand for a certain show's henshin item -- don't want to pay $500 for Dyna Brace? Having the Ranger Key's sort of the same difference, eh?

Now, I know there are people out there who collect every single Ranger Key that's released, but I just try to stick to either the shows or heroes I like, if it's a character played by a performer I like, or if I just think the Key looks neat. I've tried to buy at least one Key from each Sentai series, which was a pain to decide when it came to something like Boukenger -- I don't exactly have a favorite character in that show because, well, I freaking hate that show, but I ended up choosing Bouken Blue because he was least offensive, was a spy (because I'm a 007 fan) and because Yasuhiro Takeuchi was cool in-suit. Here's some of my favorites:

My Top 5 favorite Reds.

The Dream Team -- the awesome guest-star line-up from Gokaiger 49.

The cool guy Keys.

Gokaiger tried to make Aka Ranger and Big One the sort of Riders 1 and 2 of Super Sentai, when I think it should be Aka Ranger and Battle Japan. So...take that, Big One!

I wanted the Rio Key because I thought it looked cool and it was a villain Key, but I still think he's sucky, so here's the cooler Geki Violet putting him in his place.

The sucky thing about the Gashapon Keys -- the stickers always popping off!

A little idea I had.

And, finally, Keys of all of the Niibori Reds!

One thing that I think is a pain is...where do you store 'em? The treasure box that came out only holds a certain amount, and who wants the Keys all clashing together?

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