Cheesy Kockoff

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This edition of Cheesy Knockoff starts out as sort of a mystery. Our knockoff du jour is something called "Venture Ranker", a four-inch tall multicolored action figure that doesn't really look like much of anything. But it was only 99 cents at the small, West Virginia pharmacy where I found it on a Cheesy Knockoff expedition, and there was something naggingly familiar about it.

At first glance, the Venture Ranker appears to be a slightly more hideously-colored than usual Power Rangers knockoff. It's not really a size that's compatible with any decent toy lines. But that NAME....VENTURE RANKER...what the heck does it mean?

Is he some sort of intergalactic bank official? Maybe a stockmarket analyst who's been given the power cosmic? Just exactly what sort of "ventures" is he ranking? And how is he ranking them...does he use a star system, or does he give them letter grades? Why would anyone give an action figure such a confoundingly moronic name? I had plenty of questions, but it would take a lot of deep thought and allergy medicine to invent the answers.

At first, I thought that maybe this was some sort of mis-translation of "Adventure Ranger" but then it hit me. The garish colors....the oddball accessories...the initials. That was it! The initials, "V.R." in "V.R.Troopers", a short-lived TV show that was a knockoff of the Power Rangers. It also had a toy line. This action figure was a knockoff of a knockoff of the Power Rangers. All that buildup for such a lame payoff....seems rather...cheesy.

So after all that hoo-hah, how is the figure? Well, it sucks! There's hardly any articulation. The colors are horrid. The accessories are so goofy that it's hard to figure out just exactly what they are. There's one accessory that merits a blister all to itself on the card, and there's no way at all to tell just exactly what it is or what purpose it serves. It's too big to be a gun, since he could hardly hold it, and it looks sort of like a Swiss Army Jaws-of-life.

Let's just assume that it's a vital piece of equipment for him to use when ranking ventures, and leave it at that.

Unless you're building a collection of toys with outstandingly idiotic names, you'll want to give this guy a pass.