REVIEW: POWER RANGERS MEGA FORCE ROBO KNIGHT
One thing that is always true about any given Power Rangers concept is that there is always a Red Ranger. Always. I don't care what other parts of the color spectrum turn up on the other team members, there is always a Red Ranger, and he's usually the most prominent member of the team.
Something else that is usually true about any given Power Rangers concept is that there is an additional Ranger, sometimes more than one, that turns up later on over the course of any given season. Given that the usual team number for a group of Rangers is five, this is customarily a sixth Ranger.
Sometimes this Ranger blends in well with the rest of the group. His costume might have a few more bells and whistles on it, but generally speaking, it's pretty much in keeping with the general design of the other five. Sometimes, it's something substantially different.
In POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE, we have something substantially different. The sixth Ranger, who isn't even called a Ranger, has been touted as a special character since the concept (and the toy line) started, and I finally came across the figure of him on his individual card recently. His name is -- ROBO KNIGHT. He's been promoted with the catch-phrase "A Knight to save the day!"
Power Rangers Megaforce is the 20th season of Power Rangers coinciding with the series 20th anniversary. The series is primarily based on Tensou Sentai Goseiger. This is the Japanese series from which Megaforce is based, and it originally aired in 2010 in Japan.
Megaforce features Gosei, a supernatural being who has protected the earth for centuries with his robotic assistant, Tensou. But when the evil Warstar aliens begin their massive invasion, Gosei calls upon five teenagers with attitude to form the ultimate team...the Power Rangers Megaforce!
When the teens morph into Power Rangers, they gain superhuman strength, agility, and mastery over martial arts. In addition to defending earth against the Warstar aliens, other monstrous factions emerge to challenge the Megaforce Rangers. Under the leadership of a malevolent alien, toxic beasts rise from their slimy underground lair to attack the Earth and a ruthless robot army launches an offensive from their deep sea compound. In order to face these new threats, the Power Rangers Megaforce unlock powerful battle modes to fight their adversaries.
The main villain is named Vrak, and his rather generic minions are called, of all things, Loogies. You know, the original generic soldiers back in the days of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were called Putties. From Putties to Loogies. Not my idea of an improvement.
As to the Robo Knight, Robo Knight at first appears in Troy's dream involving the previous Power Ranger teams fighting an unknown evil. It is later revealed that he was previously created by Gosei to serve as the protector of Earth and would emerge when the Earth is threatened.
Robo Knight is one of the earliest creations of Gosei, along with the Megaforce Zords. Robo Knight was originally meant to be the protector of Earth, built centuries ago by Gosei with powerful weaponry, sharp reflexes, the fearlessness of a lion and an unwavering commitment to his mission to protect the environment.
However, Robo Knight became dormant, and he did not awaken until the 21st century, when the planet itself somehow willed him to awake and fight the Warstar Army.
During his time in dormancy, Robo Knight lost some of his memories, including the one where Gosei created him. When Robo Knight finally awoke, his primary directives put him in direct confrontation with the Warstar, but centuries of deactivation took a great toll on his advanced Artificial Intelligence: such as memory loss, acting cold, aloof and distant towards the Rangers and Gosei.
Furthermore, the advanced technology used for programming Robo Knight's A.I. make nigh-impossible a mere reset to his earlier directives and memories. as such Gosei suggested to have Robo Knight's memories restored by having the Rangers gain his trust and win his alliance
When the Mutants emerge to pollute the planet, Robo Knight arrives up and helps the Megaforce Rangers fight Hisser. Afterwards, Robo Knight leaves them. Gosei tells the Rangers that Robo Knight has to re-learn his origin if he and the Rangers are to combat the threats to Earth.
Robo Knight is very different from the Rangers. He fights without thinking about human sacrifices, and usually leaves the saving to the Rangers.
He reappears in the episode "Prince Takes Knight" to do battle with the Psycho Tick. Vrak had sent for Psycho Tick in an effort to drain Robo Knight's power and reprogram him to serve the Warstar Army. During the initial battle, Robo Knight avoided several attacks without regard to whether or not the humans nearby were safe. The Megaforce Rangers struggled to protect the people Robo Knight was carelessly endangering.
Vrak's plan begins to work, as Robo Knight was captured, trapped in an energy-draining cage. Tensou was unable to get a fix on the knight's position, so the Rangers are forced to search on foot. Troy alone is able to locate them, and his speech about teamwork and loyalty causes Robo Knight some confusion. Psycho Tick was unable to hold the rest of the Rangers at bay, who rejoin the battle, but are defeated quickly. Robo Knight manages to reverse the power drain and escape, defeating Psycho Tick and forcing Vrak to retreat. When Psycho Tick grows, Robo Knight orders the Rangers to stay behind as he summons the Knight Brothers, a Zord duo with which he combines to form the Gosei Grand Megazord. After he defeats Psycho Tick, Robo Knight maintains that he needs to work alone to minimize errors in his mission, but demonstrates that he may be coming around through his use of the term "bad guy."
Robo Knight has the ability to turn into the Lion Zord. The Lion Zord can also combine with a dump truck to become the Lion MechaZord. Robo Knight also possesses the Sky Lion Zord and the Sea Lion Zord which can combine with the Lion MechaZord to form the Gosei Grand Megazord.
So basically, it seems our "Knight to save the day" is an extremely powerful, centuries-old warrior robot with a few missing bytes in his brain. Really, what could possibly go wrong? And here I worry when my toaster acts up...
So, how's the figure? Extremely cool. But it should be fairly stated that he doesn't bear much resemblance to the Megaforce Ranger team. They have cool costumes, that can basically be described as a colored helmet, shirt, and boots, with white trousers, and ornate patterning in gold on the front of the shirt. The helmets are designed to resemble one sort of animal or another with varying degrees of success in this.
To some degree, the Robo Knight's helmet mimics this concept, which is about as far as the commonality goes. The Robo Knight doesn't drive one of the Zords -- he turned into one -- which is probably something of a timesaver in battle. As he transforms into the Lion Zord, one can see the shape of a lion's head in profile on either side of his helmet, with the open mouth surrounding the visor.
In this, the Robo Knight does resemble the other Megaforce Rangers. However, there are differences even here. The other Rangers have their animal designs mostly imprinted on the sides of their helmets. The Robo Knight's lion design is more intricately sculpted. Additionally, his visor is red, rather than the traditional black.
The only other real common point is an ornate emblem imprinted in gold on the forehead of the Robo Knight's helmet -- and I suppose I should stop saying "helmet" because this is, I suspect, his actual head -- that can also be found on the foreheads of the helmets of the other five Megaforce Rangers.
The Robo Knight's body is mostly black, and has a very angular, armored look to it. Certainly it's humanoid, but if the show's producers wanted to create a character that looked humanoid yet robotic, I'd say they succeeded. And my sympathy to whoever has to wear this costume and try to pull off those martial arts stunts in it.
The upper part of the chest has heavy armor plating in gold, with a series of angular ridges rising from it. Two narrow green areas appear below the chest. The abdomen has a ridged area of silver armor plating on it, and there is more silver armor protecting the lower torso. The Robo Knight is wearing a gold belt with a device attached to the left side.
The shoulders have considerable silver-colored armor attached to them, also very angular and ridged in appearance. The lower arms are black, but the ridged silver armor is also evident on the backs of the arms. The Robo Knight's hands are black, although he has silver plating on the backs of his hands, and the backs of his fingers. Right here I have to say that I am very impressed with the precision of Bandai's paint detailing. He also has gold wristbands.
Not unlike the arms, the legs also feature ridged plating, which is mostly silver, but also shows large amounts of black. The ridges are mostly on the outsides of the legs, and taper down from the hips all the way to the ankles. The Robo Knight's feet are silver in color, and even here, are rather angular and somewhat ridged in appearance.
The back of the figure is rather flat, and almost entirely black, with an indented circular area, serving at the very least to further emphasize the Robo Knight's robotic existence.
The color palette used for the Robo Knight is surprisingly limited. It's almost completely black, silver, and gold. One wouldn't think you could get this cool-looking a figure out of such a limited color scheme, but he is definitely a very cool-looking individual. The only deviations from the color scheme are the red visor on the helmet, and the two areas of green on the chest, none of which are especially large areas, although the unusual red visor certainly draws attention, and in a way, gives him an intense "stare" of sorts.
The Robo Knight comes with two accessories -- a small fancy pistol and another weapon that looks as though it could serve as either a sword or a blaster, or perhaps both. There's also a card in the pack that can be used with the Power Rangers Action Card Game.
Articulation of the figure is excellent. Robo Knight is poseable at the head, arms, elbows, wrists, legs, knees, and boot tops.
So, what's my final word? I've been collecting the "basic" Power Rangers figures for many years now. The Megaforce Rangers are a cool new addition to the line, as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Power Rangers concept, and certainly, the Robo Knight is a remarkable "sixth Ranger" addition to the team. I'm glad he's finally available, and I'm pleased he's part of my collection. If you're a Power Rangers fan, you'll want to track him down as well.
There are two versions available, by the way: the standard Robo Knight, and one that's part of the new Metallic Force team, although they're close enough in appearance that a casual observer should make sure to read the name on the front of the package.
The ROBO KNIGHT from POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE definitely has my highest recommendation!