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By Thomas Wheeler

The Disney Store might seem like an unusual place to find Power Rangers toys, let alone exclusive ones, until you recall that Power Rangers airs on ABC Family and Toon Disney, which is owned by Disney. In point of fact, the most recent Power Rangers series, as of this writing, OPERATION OVERDRIVE, is a co-production between Disney and Toei.

Although most of the Power Rangers products to be found at Disney Stores are only exclusive merchandise in-so-far as being repackagings are concerned -- two-packs of 5" scale figures are especially prominent -- there are exceptions. And one of them was the whopping big, and very reasonably priced, 12" RED SENTINEL RANGER that I discovered recently.

Most Power Rangers figures tend to be in the 5" range, give or take a bit. The recent 15th Anniversary Red Ranger series presented us with figures that were around 6-1/2" in height. So one can well imaging how large a 12" Ranger looks compared to that.

Fortunately, this is a really well-made Red Sentinel Ranger, even if structurally in some respects, he was a bit of a stretch from his smaller counterpart, whom I have seen in other stores, and I don't mean just with regard to physical height.

Being -- not as familiar with the Operation Overdrive concept as I really needed to be for this, I had to do some research. I knew that over the past several concepts, there have been various versions of the Rangers WITHIN their respective concepts. The SPD Rangers gained somewhat armored versions during the course of their run. So, for that matter, did the Operation Overdrive Rangers. But the Red Ranger from that group didn't look like this. This 12" Ranger was a lot more ornate, and had extensive gold trim on him. The standard and even advanced Red Ranger in the 5" scale had silver trim. So where did this gold-trimmed one come from?

Finally, I saw a 5" scale figure marked Red Sentinel Ranger. It had the gold trim. It was also so heavily armored, you could've almost mistaken it for one of their robotic Zords. How had this come to be?

Fortunately, I got an answer, as the Red Sentinel Ranger thusly: Mack (the Red Ranger) can use the Sentinel Sword and a special morpher that resembles a red version of the Mercury Morpher to merge with the Sentinel Knight and become the Red Sentinel Ranger. The face of the Sentinel Knight is hidden in the chestplate and is able to talk. Attacks of the Red Sentinel Ranger include energy blasts, sword strikes, and whirlwinds.

The Sentinel Knight, by the way, is the original guardian of the Corona Aurora, a powerful object that is pretty much the focal point of the Operation Overdrive series.

And just for the record, "Mack" is short for Mackenzie "Mack" Hartford. the Red Ranger. He is described as a fan of adventure stories. His physical power is enhanced strength. He is the android son of Andrew Hartford, who acts as the team's dispatcher. Mack was transformed into a human by the completed Corona Aurora. He is portrayed by actor James MacLurcan.

Now, as to this 12" Red Sentinel Ranger. From a precise accuracy standpoint, I suppose he's a bit of a stretch. The armor is imprinted on him. What we have here is a basic body that was also used for the 12" Mercury Ranger, another Disney Store exclusive (see separate review), and for all I know, might have been used before, and might even be the basic body used for the cloth costumed 12" Rangers I have seen in other stores. The bottom of one of the feet has a 2005 copyright date. Ultimately, I'm simply not certain what other uses this body mold may have seen, but clearly it was not specifically designed for any one Ranger in mind, let alone a heavily armored one.

That does not mean, however, that this isn't a cool figure. In fact he is. For starters, the painted detailing is absolutely incredible. The intricate armor design is very carefully delineated across the uniform, especially the torso and arms, Lining this up with this level of precision can't have been all that easy. The overall decos are really outstanding.

Secondly, you have the figure's articulation, which is really quite remarkable. The Red Sentinel Ranger is poseable at the head, arms, upper arm swivel, double-jointed elbows, wrists, waist, legs, upper leg swivel near the knee, double-jointed knees, and ankles with a partial pivot. Although the 12" Ranger seems fairly lightweight, he is well-made and seems sturdy enough, and he's certainly highly poseable, likely capable of most of the fancy martial arts moves for which the Power Rangers are best known.

The head is the one area that could be fully sculpted and personalized to the Red Sentinel Ranger, and Bandai did a really outstanding job with this. Of particular note are the sculpted details beneath a transparent green section just above the black visor. Very intricate detailing, really, and nicely done.

One might expect the accessory to be included with this figure to be the aforementioned Sentinel Sword, but it isn't. It's a fancy-looking futuristic pistol. Unusual, perhaps, but it seems to be as well made as the figure.

As I write this review, I'm honestly not certain as to the availability of this toy, or its counterpart, the silvery 12" Mercury Ranger. The last time I stopped into the Disney Store, they seemed to be out of them, and since the Operation Overdrive line has pretty much run its course, with the new Jungle Fury line starting to turn up at other retailers, one might expect that the Disney Store will soon follow suit.

While this might eventually result in some 12" Jungle Fury Rangers, it doesn't necessarily help with regard to the 12" Operation Overdrive Red Sentinel Ranger. Even so, what's my final word on this figure? How about spectacular? Seriously, this is one cool Power Ranger. He's a whopping big size, but I got him for a very reasonable price. He has an astounding range of articulation, and seems a lot more sturdily made than I initially expected. This 12" Red Sentinel Ranger would delight anyone who enjoys the Power Rangers, whether child or adult collector.

But, you can only get him at the Disney Store, although it's possible he might also be available through their Web Site, although I wouldn't expect him to be available at either one for much longer. In any case, the POWER RANGERS OPERATION OVERDRIVE 12" RED SENTINEL RANGER definitely has my enthusiastic recommendation! If you like the Power Rangers, and even have to resort to the "secondary market" to get him, he's worth it.