COMMENTARY: Power Rangers Toys Power Up for 20th Anniversary

When I was a kid, I was in love with the Power Rangers, from Saban Brands. I was a huge fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series in the ’90s and I was even The Red Ranger one year for Halloween (They were all out of The Pink Ranger costumes and Kimberly was my favorite, so I had to compromise). I recently re-watched some episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when the series was on Netflix, and you know what? I still thought it was great in all of its ’90s glory.

However, the lucky kids of today get to obsess over two Power Rangers series of their own—Power Rangers Super Samurai and Power Rangers Megaforce. Power Rangers Super Samurai, which began airing in 2011, is about a new generation of Power Rangers that must master the mystical and ancient Samurai Symbols of Power, which allow them to control the elements of Fire, Water, Sky, Forest, and Earth. Aided by their devoted animal Zords and guided by an all-knowing mentor, these Power Rangers battle the dark forces of the Netherworld and a mysterious Warrior out to destroy.

Power Rangers Megaforce is the 20th season of Power Rangers, coinciding with the series’ 20th anniversary. This season features Gosei, a supernatural being who has protected the earth for centuries with his robotic assistant Tensou. When evil Warstar aliens begin a massive invasion, the Gosei calls upon the Power Rangers Megaforce to form the ultimate team. When morphed into the Power Rangers, the five teenagers gain superhuman strength and mastery over martial arts.

In light of the recent news of Saban extending its agreements with both Nickelodeon and Bandai America to keep the Power Rangers franchise alive, here are some great licensed toys from Bandai America that celebrates this new season of the Power Rangers series, as well as the brand’s 20th anniversary: [Read more...]

Saban Brands Extend Partnerships for Power Rangers with Nickelodeon and Bandai America

image003Saban Brands has extended agreements with Nickelodeon and Bandai America Inc. through 2016 for its Power Rangers franchise. Nickelodeon and Saban Brands initiated their strategic partnership when Saban re-acquired the Power Rangers brand in 2010 and re-launched the TV series with Power Rangers Samurai in 2011. The extension confirms additional seasons of original Power Rangers programming on Nickelodeon through 2016. Bandai will continue to act as the global master toy licensee for the Power Rangers franchise.

Saban’s Power Rangers Megaforce, the 20th anniversary season, currently airs on Nickelodeon on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The upcoming installment of the TV series, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, will premiere early next year.

COMMENTARY: Kids Getting Older Younger—Or Younger Older?

Everyone always talks about how kids are getting older younger. Kids as young as 8 years old are swapping their Barbie dolls and Transformers for iPods and tablets—but this isn’t the case for everyone. There are big kids everywhere, and toys have a funny little habit of bringing an adult’s inner-child giggling wildly to the surface.

Nostalgia is a huge trend in toys today—classic properties such as The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pac-Man have resurfaced and are engaging a whole new generation. Traditional toys, such as Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven, Kahootz’s Spirograph, and POOF-Slinky’s Slinky, all still appeal to young kids the same way they did decades ago. However, adults and older kids will find just as much fun in new products primarily targeted toward youngsters, too.

RainbowLoom.Butterfly Blossom braceletThis weekend, I was loomed. A family friend’s daughter, Karli, had her wrist covered in the colorful rubber bracelets that are a product of Rainbow Loom, from Choon’s Designs. A huge craze among kids, I was enamored by the bracelets and begged her to teach me how to make one. She did, and of course, hers came out better. I’ve been staring at it on my wrist every day since she made it for me, and I was extremely tempted to purchase my own loom when I went into a Michael’s craft store and saw the enormous display (but I thought to myself: “You’re 23 years old, Marissa! Taking home product samples is one thing, but you cannot justify BUYING a toy!”).

[Read more...]

Saban Brands Announces New Episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce and Digimon Fusion

rangers Saban Brands and Nickelodeon have announced that Saban’s Power Rangers Megaforce will return with all-new episodes on September 7 at 1 p.m. (EST/PST), followed by the season premiere of the all-new Digimon Fusion at 1:30 p.m. (EST/PST) on Nickelodeon. The back-to-back episodes team up to create a power hour packed with action, excitement, humor and entertainment.

digimonThe return of new episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce continues the celebration of the franchise’s 20th Anniversary, with August 28 marking 20 years since the original series, Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, first aired on television in 1993. Power Rangers Megaforce picks up when a shadow-stealing monster attacks, and the Megaforce Rangers must teach Robo Knight the power of teamwork in order to defeat him.

This past Wednesday, when the Power Rangers turned 20, Saban Brands celebrated by releasing Power Rangers Dubstep 2.0 with the Power Rangers Lost Galaxy Rangers video on MyVortexx.

Digimon Fusion marks the sixth installment of the Digimon franchise, which Saban Brands re-acquired last year. The all-new Digimon Fusion series follows Mikey, a human boy, who is transported into the digital realm and must team up with his new Digimon, or Digital Monster, friends before their world is deleted once and for all. New fusion powers allow Digimon to combine and fuse their abilities to create endless battle possibilities. Unleashing countless Digimon combinations, Digimon Fusion takes today’s tech-savvy kids inside an adventure-packed digital world, where the heroes’ courage is matched only by the fusion of their teamwork, loyalty and humor.

COMMENTARY: Comic-Con Exclusives Bring the Fantasy Home

Comic-Con: A once-in-a-lifetime (annual) experience. Fans come from all over to get autographs, take photos, and experience the thrill of oversized Lego structures and men-in-costume. A place full of Hobbits, heroes, and happiness, Comic-Con allows consumers to share their love of all things fantasy. Best of all, the licensed merchandise and exclusive product offerings are abundant. These products allow consumers to get a little bit closer to the franchises they love, bridging the gap between fictional worlds and reality. From classic brands like The Power Rangers, to new favorites like Game of Thrones, the product arrays are seemingly endless, and everyone comes eager to take home their piece of Comic-Con history. Here are some of the limited edition and exclusive products we were most excited about in our office:

LEgacy Power MorpherThe Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was by far my favorite show growing up. Though the brand has expanded to include multiple modern versions, the classic series is still my favorite. For other nostalgic Power Ranger lovers, Bandai America released the retro-style, limited-edition Legacy Power Morpher in a Green Ranger/White Ranger Edition. The 24-karat gold-plated Morpher comes with two die-cast coins. With only 1,000 available, each Morpher is individually numbered.

Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, oh my! Though Marvel superhero merchandise is never in short supply at Comic-Con, the limited-edition Marvel exclusives are always something to look forward to. In preparation for the upcoming film, The Wolverine, hitting theaters this Friday, Diamond Select, in partnership with Marvel, has unveiled the Marvel Minimates Wolverine Saga Box Set. This four-pack features 2-inch versions of Symbiote Wolverine, Spacesuit Wolverine, Ultimate Wolverine, and Logan-san in Japanese robes with a variety of interchangeable parts. [Read more...]

Power Rangers Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Visit our Facebook album for photos of the Power Rangers taking over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Itching for some more Toy Fair coverage? Check out our additional news and albums from the week’s festivities on Facebook!

Power Rangers Franchise Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Thousands of fans of the Power Rangers franchise will join forces to celebrate as it approaches its 20th anniversary milestone, at the 4th annual Power Morphicon fan-run event at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif.

From August 17 to 19, Saban Brands will pay tribute to twenty years of action, adventure, teamwork, humor, and heart with events, including special guest appearances by previous Power Rangers cast members, a Power Rangers Super Samurai cast signing, a Power Rangers flash mob, and mega announcements.  Join the fun as thousands of Power Rangers fans celebrate the past, present, and future of the franchise. For more information about Power Morphicon visit www.officialpowermorphicon.com, tickets available at the Pasadena Convention Center box office.

This post was originally written by Lindsay Gordon and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Sun-Mate Announces Slew of New Licenses for Entertainment Brands

Sun-Mate Corporation has obtained a number of licensing rights to a broad spectrum of entertainment brands, including Star Wars, Spider-Man, Power Rangers, WWE, the recently announced Hello Kitty and KISS joint branding, and the fashion art brand Public Zoo.

For Star Wars, Sun-Mate will develop ATM machines, arcade-style games, tabletop games, and guitars based on the brand.

Spider-Man and other Marvel Heroes, including Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, will be featured among keyboards, drums, ATM machines, and other activities being developed by the company for U.S. consumers. Sun-Mate will also develop various Power Rangers-branded pinball game machines, which will incorporate Power Rangers’ themes of fitness, responsibility, teamwork, and helping others.

[Read more...]

Mega Brands Deal to Bring Power Rangers Samurai to Construction Aisle

Mega Brands, Inc. has entered into a multi-year global licensing agreement, excluding Asia, with Saban Brands to develop construction toys based on the new Power Rangers Samurai, the newest installment in the Power Rangers franchise. The Mega Bloks Power Rangers Samurai construction toy sets will match the style of the new series airing on Nickelodeon. Launching next spring, the Mega Bloks Power Rangers Samurai construction toy line will include popular characters, vehicles, and play sets.

Power Rangers Returns to Primetime on February 7

Saban Brands‘ Power Rangers franchise is returning to primetime on February 7 with a new series, Power Rangers: Samurai, to be aired on Nickelodeon. Power Rangers: Samurai will feature a new cast of five rangers who must master the ancient Samurai Symbols of Power, which give them control over the elements of Fire, Water, Sky, Forest, and Earth. The new series will also feature a new cast of villains.