Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Power Rangers Costume Commentary Part 2 (Turbo - Lightspeed Rescue)

Power Rangers Turbo (1997)

This time around we got an automobile theme, but the costumes don't really scream “Cars”. They’ve got “New 52 Superman” style lines all over their bodies which I think is supposed to look like metal plates like on a car but it really doesn’t. Between those marks and the square chest emblem, it looks like they’re all wearing rainbow variations of the “Iron Man” costumes from that Halloween store at the mall.

Also what is that chest emblem supposed to be? Is it a headlight? It can't because theres only the one, plus you already have headlights on the helmet and the belt buckles, so that'd just be redundant.

Also, the helmets have sunroofs. Why?

Power Rangers in Space (1998)

Its at this point that we start to see some carry over from the previous year. The sunroofs, the white armbands and the yellow collars are all back, and thankfully look a lot better this time around.

This may well be the single most uniform of uniforms in Power Rangers history. Not only do the visors appear very identical unless you look really close, but the decal on their chests contains patches of colors from their fellow teammates. I like that. Even when they're separated, they're still have the support of their friends by carrying their colors. 

Gone are the sculpted lips (which now that I'm an adult is something I just think is weird) instead we have smooth, silver mouthplates that lend an even more in sync with one another, but also makes them appear more alien. Plus the bubble shape of the helmets emphasizes "astronaut".  

Even the Sixth Ranger follows the pattern without much variation. He lacks the broad shoulder pads of previous additions, opting instead for an look as slim as his compatriots.

I am amused by the belt buckle decal though. Its supposed to be an "M" for the Japanese counterpart "Megaranger", but without that it looks they're decked out with an envelope on their suits. Maybe in the wake of declining ratings, the Power Rangers have joined forces with Planet Express. 

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)

This is usually exhibit A as far as bad design for this series goes, and it’s a point that’s hard to argue. Why does the white vest area only go down to the midriff area and not all the way to the belt?

I get that the squiggle line is supposed to look like a fierce row of teeth for their animal motif, but really it just ends up looking like Charlie Brown's shirt. Having a pattern like that right all through the relief whites in the suits can get to be a little overwhelming in group shots. 

At first I thought the Pink Ranger was supposed to be a bunny, but no its supposed to be some kind of wild cat. Green is clearly a bird, but the others are next to impossible to identify at first glance.

The Magna Defender makes better use of this squiggle motif, working much better as an accent for his shoulderpads and belt. I also like any helmet that breaks the silhouette, to help give the otherwise similar shaped rangers a distinct exterior identity. 

Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)

Mighty Morphin’ Peppermint Rangers! 

While a candy themed team wouldn't be out of sorts for this colorful series, these guys were rescue heroes by day and demon hunters by night. In that respect the motif on their chests is clever way of tying the two unlike elements together as the cross shape is widely associated with both medic aid as well as repelling supernatural baddies. The white axis is a good way to balance out the bold colors similar to what they did back in Mighty Morphin'.

Unfortunately, while the badge shaped faceplates may reflect their unique law enforcement roots, the opaque shields provides only so much identifiability as there very little to read into or project a face on to it. While Zeo's visors may have taken up most of their helmet as well, they at least had shapes that young viewers were able to easily recognize. Here we've got a shield, two triangles... um a curve topped square, and some kind of trapezoid? 

Much like the alien rangers, its distinct, but not very memorable.

Then theres the Titanium Ranger, a hero created exclusively for the American series to fit the toyable Sixth Ranger slot. 

Once again this character was a case of bad guy turned good by the end, so his dull color scheme was appropriately opposite and made his V-Shaped visor seem all the more sinister.  

Much like the White Ranger in Mighty Morphin' he designed after the fact, so he doesn't blend in quite as well, and again his suit seems to make the others seem brighter by association. 

Mighty Morphin', Alien, Zeo
Turbo, In Space, Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue
Time Force, Wild Force, Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder
SPD, Mystic Force, Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury
RPM, Samuari, Megaforce, Super Megaforce


  1. Ok I am finally getting to commenting on the rest of these. I had no idea about these various PR suits! Some of them are pretty awful! I don't mind the Light Speed and Space suits. They aren't amazing, but they have an interesting look to them. Lost Galaxy and Turbo though are just garish. I do not like them at all. That might be why I don't actively recall them! lol

    1. Its a fine line to walk between "unremarkable" and "unwatchable" when each set has to have both uniform for everyone and distinctly colored. I imagine its quite a challenge to come up with something that is both the same and new each and every year.


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