REVIEW: POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE LOOGIE
If you're a super-villain, or some sort of evil leader or whatever, that's out to conquer the world or rule the universe or some such, what do you need in order to do so?
Well, it helps to have an ego the size of the solar system, but that's not really what I was getting at. Let's face it, you're going to encounter some opposition in your plans. Most people don't want to be conquered and ruled by some sort of evil overlord.
It helps if you have some sort of secret headquarters. For whatever reason, most villains seem to pick particularly grim places in which to establish their secret bases -- inside an active volcano, the bottom of a dark ocean, some creepy-looking haunted castle.
It helps if you have access to advanced technology. Threaten people with blowing up an entire city, send in tanks and planes that are decades ahead of anyone else's current capabilities, wipe out ten million Facebook accounts with the push of a button, people are going to pay attention.
It also helps to look the part. If Doctor Doom or Cobra Commander or Galactus threaten to take over or destroy the world, they're likely to be taken seriously. If someone who looked like a real-life version of Dilbert tried it -- well, no offense to Scott Adams' popular office character, but -- don't think it'd work as well.
But what you really need is -- an army. Let's face it -- megalomaniacal world-conqueror or not, you're still just one person. You can't be everywhere. And you're going to get a certain intimidation factor if you send thousands of troops into a city to overrun the place. If you've managed to round up that many followers, you're going to make an impression.
Most villains know this. Certainly the various major villains of the multiple Power Rangers concepts know this. The only really odd point about them is -- in a lot of cases, they seem to come up with really silly-sounding names for their various disposable minions.
Looking all the way back to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. What were the bad guys called? I'm talking about the generic, nameless soldiers, who were a teeming horde of martial arts stuntmen that dressed up in weird, identical costumes and got their butts kicked by the Rangers episode after episode after episode. They were called -- Putties. Okay, maybe this lost something in the translation, I don't know, but the name "Putty Patrollers" (like this is an improvement) doesn't exactly inspire terror.
Over the years, some names worked better than others. Another Power Rangers concept had Piranhatrons. Okay, that sounds vaguely threatening. One had Chromites. Cool name, but it just doesn't sound that evil to me. Another had Stingwingers. This sounds like a weird dance craze, somehow. Another one used Putrids. This sounds more disgusting than evil. We've also had Cogs, Craterites, Swabbies, Quantrons, Krybots, Chillers, Moogers, and others.
With POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE, the basic enemy soldier has received an action figure. And early pictures I saw of it definitely made me want to track it down, since it looked to have a cool design, and it looked as well articulated as any of the Rangers.
Then I heard the name of the thing. The enemy soldiers for Power Rangers MegaForce are called -- LOOGIES. Just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier than Putties...
I actually found a translation of their original Japanese name. That name translates to "Demon Bug Soldiers Bibi". I have no idea what "Bibi" might mean, and the rest of it -- well, it does sound more impressive than "Loogies", I have to give it that, but it's also quite a mouthful.
If the Rangers are being attacked by a squad or two of these guys, by the time they manage to say, "Look! It's the Demon Bug Soldiers Bibi!", they've likely either gotten their butts kicked by the grunts, which is just plain embarrassing, or the show has headed into a commercial. But, if they say, "Look! It's the Loogies!" Well, assuming they don't break down with a nasty case of the giggles, they've got a good chance of winning the fight, and dispatching them before cutting to the next advertisement for snack food.
There's not that much I can say about the Loogies per se. The basic enemy soldiers of any Power Rangers concept don't get a lot of backstory. They're just sort of -- there. They're typically a large enough army to give the Rangers a challenge for about a minute and a half, until the main villains can throw something nastier at them. Most of the time, they don't even speak. As far as the production of the show is concerned, they likely do their job and then take those silly helmets off and go find the catering table for a coffee and sandwich. They're nameless, faceless, multiple minions, and more often than not, little more than a warm-up round for the Rangers. The costumes over the years can certainly be innovative, but generally, they're not so ornate that they upstage the main characters.
So, how's the figure? Very impressive, really. I've liked some designs better than others over the years. I liked the Triptoids. I was never that impressed by the Putties. The Loogies are cool -- despite the name.
And, frankly, they're cool despite the fact that they got handed that name, and the primary color of their costume is a bright, tennis-ball yellow-green. I have this mental image of the show's producers sitting around a table, figuring out how to Americanize the Tensou Sentai Goseiger series, and somebody suggested calling these guys Loogies, and there was a brief period of laughter around the table of the type usually reserved for first-grade boys who have just made a gross joke.
The Loogie is entirely humanoid, and the same approximate physical build as a Ranger, although the musculature is a little less pronounced than on the Ranger figures in this line. The main neon yellow-green of the costume is bright enough so that I wish I had an ultra-violet light. I'd love to see what would happen to this guy in that environment.
The face, or helmet, is interesting. There's a long black vertical stripe down the front, that branches off slightly into a "Y" shape at the top, slightly above the forehead. This then turns into a pair of ridged silver spirals that, as much as anything, make the Loogie look like he has some sort of eyes, although there's also a resemblance here to a pair of very stylized ram's horns. I have no idea if this comparison was intentional on the part of the original designers.
There's a raised silver disc in the center of the torso. This has several concentric circles sculpted into it, and ridges along the perimeter. Reminds me a bit of a combination lock to a safe, although I don't think I'd be terribly inclined to see if it serves the same purpose on a Loogie. I doubt he's carrying valuables inside of him.
Framing the disc is a thick black near-circle, that's open at the top, with thinner lines going over the shoulders. Two additional pairs of thinner clack lines extend around the sides of the figure. All six lines taper into points on the figure's back.
There's an additional, very thick black line that descends downward a shirt distance, and then thins out, and curves around the right side of the figure, wraps around the waist, comes back around the front, and finally tapers down into an arrow-like point on the upper right leg. This "tail", for lack of a better term, plus the six "legs" that go over the shoulders and around the sides, might well be the explanation for the Loogies' original Japanese name of "Demon Bug Soldiers".
The Loogie is wearing black gloves and black boots. These have quite a bit of raised and sculpted detail to them, and do add a little additional detail to what some might perceive as an otherwise slightly drab figure.
A couple of interesting points -- the gloves and boots seem to have been separately molded from black plastic, and attached to the figure during assembly. However, the figure is not articulated at either the glove tops or boot tops. Additionally, the backs of the hands have the same sort of ridged detailing on them that the Rangers' gloves have. But the molds are not the same. The Rangers' gloves have more detailing, delineating the stitching on the gloves, as well.
Paintwork on the Loogie is extremely impressive. Bandai, more than most toy companies, knows how to paint very precisely when they want to, and certainly the Loogie is an excellent example of this. Most of his body surfaces are quite smooth. And yet, the various trim lines of his costume have been VERY lightly sculpted in, barely perceptibly, and the black trim has been painted within these guidelines with great accuracy and precision.
Articulation is, of course, superb. The Loogie's head is on a ball-and-socket joint. He is also poseable at the arms, elbows, wrists, legs, and knees. That's just about the same as a typical Ranger these days, although the Rangers tend to also have articulated boot tops.
The Loogie comes with two accessories. One is this seriously creepy-looking critter, molded in black. It has a sort of bat-like appearance, in that it has these large bat-like wings. But it also has this long, dragon-like tail, and the head is this single, bulbous eye. There's a peg on it which enables it to attach to the Loogie's back, and it looks big enough to enable the Loogie to fly, although if it has to have a thing this ugly on its back, I'd wonder if it was worth it. Yeesh!
The other accessory is a short, ornate, silver blade. It's not really long enough for me to call it a sword. I'd be more inclined to call it a cross between a dagger and an axe. It's an impressive design, really, and I'd hate to be on the wrong end of it.
The Loogie also comes with a card that can be used with the Power Rangers Action Card Game.
So, what's my final word? There's no denying that the Loogie has a silly name. There's also no denying that the character has a cool design, and has been very impressively brought into the Power Rangers MegaForce action figure line. As of this writing, the figure has not been easy to find. Despite being an obvious "army-builder", he's probably short-packed. I certainly recommend him, and I also recommend that if you see one, get him right then and there if at all possible, because he's not likely to be there the next time you visit wherever you saw him in the first place. He's definitely an excellent addition to any Power Rangers collection.
The POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE figure of the LOOGIE definitely has my highest recommendation!