But there's never been a Purple Power Ranger.
Actually, it's a bit of a stretch to call this figure a Purple Power Ranger, since technically he's one of the bad guys. However, the form of the figure, especially the helmet, has a distinct Power Rangers-ish look to it, especially for the current "Mystic Force" series, although this guy is a bit more ornate than the Power Rangers. Still, that helmet, with the fancy black visor and the bit of silver over the lower face, does look more than a bit like the helmets of the Power Rangers.
The character is called KNIGHT WOLF, and since I don't really follow the Power Rangers TV shows, I had to turn to the Web Site "Wikipedia", which apparently contains a wide range of information on just about everything, to get a character summary of this guy. Apparently he's not very nice:
KORAGG THE KNIGHT WOLF: An agent of darkness, Koragg is a powerful dark magician and excellent swordsman. He was the first of the Morlocks to resurface when the earthquake made a crack in the seal. He wields a sword and a shield that holds the magical "Eye of the Master". He possesses a horse-based Zord of his own known as Catastros, with whom Koragg can combine with to become either the Knight Wolf Centaur or the Centaurus Wolf Megazord. He seems familiar with Udonna, although she does not recognize him, and also shares a rivalry with Morticon, openly opposing him in a power struggle. After seeing a possible future of the Red Ranger defeating him in battle through the Futures Pool, he has now a grudge against Nick, Red Mystic Ranger.
I'm not sure what some of that is all about. Obviously one would have to have followed the series to understand it all, but it gives us something of a background. I have heard rumors that somewhere along the course of the series, this character becomes one of the good guys, and his armor changes to red as a result. But, obviously, I sort of wanted the purple version, just for the novelty of it, if nothing else.
So, how's the figure? Well, as we all know, Bandai does a good job with their action figures, and Power Rangers has been their main line for over a decade. Of course, Power Rangers is first and foremost a Japanese show, which is repackaged for the American market, generally one year after it airs in Japan. They had this line of Power Rangers in 2005, under its original name of Mahou Sentai Magiranger, which translates roughly as Magical Squadron Magic Ranger -- a trifle repetitive. This year they're apparently getting a Power Rangers series based on construction vehicles. I expect we'll get that series in 2007, and I can't quite shake the rather bizarre mental image of Power Rangers wearing hard hats and overalls. I'm sure I'm wrong - at least I hope I am.
Anyway, the Knight Wolf figure, of course, is very impressive. The figure is decidedly more ornate than the standard Power Rangers in this line, and also looks a lot more armored. He definitely earns the name "Knight" Wolf. For that matter, he earns the "Wolf" part of his name. He has these two huge shoulder pads that look like wolf's heads. With big fangs. I wonder if these things bite?
Heavily armored, the predominant color of the Knight Wolf's armor is purple. At least it's the most obvious color, although there's no shortage of black, silver, and some gold trim on the outfit.
My one complaint with the figure is the same one I have with any Power Rangers from the past couple of years. Bandai has this nasty habit of pulling a cheap - and I do mean cheap - stunt on the Power Rangers they send to America, in that they don't paint them as well as their Japanese counterparts. Come on, Bandai, there's no need for this! But you can't tell me that there wasn't supposed to be a fair amount of purple on this figure's back, and it's just not there. And do you have any idea how hard it is to try to find metallic purple acrylic paint!? YOU should be doing this, anyway, not me!
This is one of those things that makes me want to write a letter to the company and complain. Maybe it's just as well that they haven't brought Gundam back to the United States. They'd probably find some way to cheapen those guys, too.
Still, there's no denying the basic quality of the figure. It's excellent. Bandai makes some of the best action figures around these days. The figure is very sturdy, superbly well-detailed, and very well articulated. About the only area lacking on the figure is a swivel-arm above the elbow, but I consider that a minor issue. He does have a swivel leg feature above the knee, and it has been very cleverly worked into the armor design. Emphasize that "very". That whole silver area you see on the upper leg is part of the swivel feature.
The rest of the articulation includes the head, arms, elbows, wrists, waist, legs, and knees. He's no Marvel Legends, but I'd still call this well above average.
As part of the "Mystic Light" series, which are the most basic of the 5- 1/2" scale Power Rangers this year, the Knight Wolf does come with a light-up shield. However, unlike the five Power Rangers, his does not flash multiple lights. It's a single light that just turns on when you press the button. He also comes with a very ornate shield.
It should be noted that more recently, a second and distinctly non-purple version of this figure has turned up. Called the "Knight Wolf - Knight Edition", it uses the same basic molds as its purple predecessor, but it is mostly white and gold, with a bit of silver trim and some very noticeable red.
This may be the "reformed" version of the Knight Wolf. Personally, I prefer the purple one, but this version is pretty impressive, as well.
And the MYSTIC LIGHT KNIGHT WOLF, in either color combination, really, definitely has my recommendation for any Power Rangers fan.