Memories of an Enduring Phenomenon

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20 years.

It was 20 years ago that I got my first taste of Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I had just recently started kindergarten. My brother had just been born. Life was good. Of course, I was five, so I don’t quite remember exactly what I was doing when I first saw “Day of the Dumpster” when it had aired on television, but I remember distinctly what happened afterward.

All of my friends had gotten interested in it. We all had the toys, we all watched the show, and we all talked about it. We used to argue every day on the bus to school about who would be what color. Of course, everyone else got to be whoever they were (You know well enough that this was well before Tommy’s entrance as the Green Ranger). So, being the dope that I was, I said that I was the “Brown Ranger”. “You can’t be that, it doesn’t exist,” they all exclaimed.

Of course, as the years went on, so did the show. As I got older, my interest waned, but never left completely. I would always have some sort of passing thought about Power Rangers. Of course, there was that awkward phase where I’d say that I didn’t like Power Rangers because everyone else said that they didn’t like it either, but deep down, my love for it was always there.

I moved. The toys either broke or were thrown out. I bought new ones. Nary a moment went by without some piece of merchandise in my posession. Why wouldn’t it? The toys were always some of the best out there. Everyone wanted them, almost everyone had them. And in destructive-phase fashion, I made the dire mistake of taking them apart. Let’s just say if there’s anything I regret in my life, it’s that I took apart my megazords and never put them back together.

High school hit, and around the same time, the Disney Era began. And so, the re-emergence of my interest came with a vengeance. Wild Force, Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, S.P.D., and Mystic Force  were fantastic shows in my eyes. Then, Operation Overdrive happened. More like Operation NOverdrive.

In high school was also when I learned about Super Sentai and how amazing it is, but that’s a whole other story.

Oh, and throw my love for the Titanium Ranger somewhere in the midst of everything that’s been said already. When the Titanium Ranger had been revealed in Lightspeed Rescue, I couldn’t get enough of him. Rhett Fisher, as Ryan Mitchell, gained every ounce of my respect that day. His acting, his fighting, all of it had bowled me over, as this was the first ever American-exclusive Power Ranger. 

Anyway, back on-track…

I grew even older, and discovered that Saban had regained the rights to Power Rangers, and decided to start again with Power Rangers Samurai. The only words I can use to describe this series is “delightfully tacky”. It was a fun show to watch, in most instances, but, in typical Power Rangers fashion, it had its fair share of facepalm moments. Same with Super Samurai. Though, I must say that the latter was by far the better season, in my personal opinion.

Today, I’m happily married, with a wonderful daughter. Power Rangers Megaforce has been introduced, and has partially aired. Power Rangers is on Netflix, just about in its entirety. Under its wing, Power Rangers has a large and loyal, if not volatile, fan community. Its popularity is as strong now as it ever has been. I’ve introduced my daughter to Power Rangers, mostly because as a baby, the bright colors kept her attention. That, and it wasn’t Spongebob Squarepants.

So, 20 years later, I’m as big a Power Rangers fan as I was when I was 5. A new generation has arisen to take our place, to keep the legacy alive. It’s our job as mentors, not to tell them what to do or what to like, but to encourage them to love Power Rangers not for our own experiences, but for their own new ones.



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