Power Rangers Legacy Saba
The talking tiger saber!
Ban Dai (2015)
Earlier in the year, when I was at a convention in London, I met a peculiar Scottish salesman. He was pushing the Power Rangers Legacy toys on me, and to be honest I was growing quite tired of him. He didn’t seem to understand that I didn’t want to spend £400 on toys that I already owned. He also began telling me how I was “too young” to remember things, like when the toys first came out or when Philip Schofield had brown hair and a gopher on his hand.
But something in his display case caught my attention. A huge white sword that I recognised as “Saba”, the enchanted sabre that the Power Rangers’ leader would wield in battle.
I had the toy of this thing when I was younger, but what I saw was no toy. It was massive! And shiny. We regrouped and agreed to buy it. After approaching Bonnie Prince Ripoff once more, our hopes were simultaneously crushed when he said he didn’t actually have any to sell us – he was just taking pre-orders.
“Pre-orders for when?” I asked.
“Before Christmas” he replied.
Now, I knew that this sword wasn’t due for release in the States until summer 2015. So I told him that if I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I would’ve built a zipper and small length of hose into my costume.
So we left, and I filed the incident away.
You can imagine my surprise when, a week before Christmas, the postman shows up with a huge package. My brother, the optimistic little scamp, had been keeping an eye on the website to see if the man was for real, and placed an order.
We got the gang together and had a play with it, and I must say that it actually exceeds my expectations by a significant magnitude.
For a start, it’s big. Precisely 70cm long, or if you want that in Imperial, precisely (almost) thirteen shackles and a sixteenth of a barleycorn. For clarity’s sake, I have taken a picture of the sword alongside some items which almost universally can be seen to represent scale:
I had assumed, rather cynically, that it would just be a remolding of the existing toy, maybe with a longer blade or something. Not so. It’s a brand-new mold, bigger in all dimensions. It’s essentially the actual prop from the show – but of course, made of much higher quality materials. Weapons for TV are always made of rubber and foam – this is to ensure that the number of Power Rangers being rolled into A&E on a gurney with an animal-themed weapon up their bum is precisely zero.
The hilt and pommel are die-cast metal, plated with gold where appropriate. The grip is plastic, as is the blade. The first thing that I noticed as I picked it up was how heavy it was. In truth, it’s a little too heavy. You can’t swing it – or at least, doing so strains the wrists.
The detailing is astonishing – the lines are smooth and clean, there’s weathering and wash applied to make the detail stand out on the white parts, and all the screw-holes have been plugged. The battery case is practically invisible, with no obvious catch or hinge.
The only thing that detracts from its appearance are the buttons on the grip, although what they add to the toy far outweighs the visual intrusion. First, there’s two small buttons on the inside; these play some silly sword-clashing sound effects. There’s two buttons so that you can reach them regardless of how you hold the sword – a neat concession.
The other buttons are on the back, below the tiger head. It says on the box that you press them to hear the tiger talk. What it doesn’t say is that the tiger actually talks. His mouth moves, in time with the words! I was flabbergasted. His eyes light up and glow a fierce red, the voice is clear, there’s a good selection of phrases and there’s no obvious speaker grille or anything. Wonderful.
The only downside is the motor noise. The whine from the motor almost drowns out the words, and I can see how some fans might be put off by this. I must say that I found it a little disappointing myself, especially considering the flawless design of the toy. It was a bold move, though, and I’m willing to concede that such a feature is going to come with a downside.
Overall, the toy well exceeded my expectations. Ban Dai made this for us, and the hard work that went into designing and manufacturing it is evident. For you Power Ranger fans that are reading, I ask that those who buy it actually play with it. Most of these sorts of things end up on eBay – they’re snapped up by “fans” in order to be sold at three times the price on the secondary market. That’s not what toys are for, people.
Awesomeness Rating: 4.5/5 – It’s expensive. It’s stupid. But dash it all, I used to dream about things like this when I was a kid. I may look like a dork, but I’m a dork with a Power Ranger suit and a talking sword. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
“Play some silly”