×

‘Power Rangers’ Merchandise Hits Stores for New Fans, Nostalgic Adults

For nearly 25 years, Saban Brands’ “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” entertainment franchise has fueled the imaginations and backyard adventures of a generation of young fans. Like its athletic, monster-fighting heroes, the tokusatsu (“special filming,” meaning a blend of live-action footage and special effects) series has morphed into countless iterations, including 19 interconnected television programs and three feature films. With so many adventures to emulate, the “Power Rangers’” legions of fans have naturally demanded an equally sizable and diverse array of merchandise from more than 100 licensees to enhance their play or collections.

To that end, Saban Brands has issued thousands of different products over the years, from top-selling action figures by the venerable Bandai Co. to Halloween costumes, graphic novels, DVDs, and fashion for men, women and children, all of which have reaped a windfall for Saban. 2016 retail figures alone were $900 million.

The longevity and unwavering popularity of the franchise has granted the “Power Rangers” one of the rarest of super powers: the ability to translate into a pop culture icon with appeal across numerous platforms. “Power Rangers” merchandise has expanded into areas that few youth-oriented programming could imagine, from hip vinyl collectible figures by Funko to jewelry and cutting-edge fashion. Perhaps no surer sign of the “Power Rangers’” crossover appeal was the array of celebrities that donned Ranger costumes for Halloween in 2016, including Kourtney Kardashian, Brooke Burke, and their respective families.

Now, as the company stands poised to reinvent its most popular franchise with the upcoming feature film, “Saban’s Power Rangers,” Saban Brands is looking to broaden its appeal through collaborations with designers and such brands as Ronnie Fieg’s Kith, Dannijo, and GlamGlow, while also crafting other products that speak directly to its longtime youthful fan base.

Chief among the latter are movie tie-in versions of the “Power Rangers”’ most popular merchandise items — the Interactive Movie Megazord, a giant humanoid robot. It is created by combining the Rangers’ respective fighting machines, or Zords, and the Movie Morpher, a device that allows users to transform from human form into the helmeted Rangers. Saban Brands will launch its first entry into multiplayer Player Vs. Player (PvP) fighting games on March 23 with “Power Rangers: Legacy Wars” for iOS and Android devices. And its long-running partnership with Boom! Comics will continue to delve into storylines that appeal to both young and older readers while paying homage to the series’ history.

Where the “Power Rangers” will break new ground is in its fashion and accessory collaborations, which seek to tap into millennial and older consumer markets.

“Our collaborations have to make sense from a very organic brand DNA level,” says Saban Brands CEO Janet Hsu. “We do them with the fan and brand always in mind.”

That strategy has yielded a capsule collection by Kith, which includes retro-cool reimagining of the Rangers on hoodies, crewnecks, and tees for adults and kids.

The collection, available at such stores as Bergdorf Goodman, has so far generated a “huge positive response,” according to Hsu. “At Kith.com, the collection actually sold out in four minutes. They freshen the ‘Power Rangers’ themes, but the product also celebrates the brand and its fans throughout the years.”

A second collection by jewelry designer Dannijo is built around the Rangers’ iconic lightning bolt logo. The items have already generated considerable appeal through celebrities including several Instagram stars.

“These take us directly to millennial and older consumers,” says Hsu. “We’ve always had product, but we haven’t driven these interesting stories [with them] until now, so we are really embracing that. And the strategy is translating for consumers.”

Already, Saban Brands merchandise has traveled the runways at both New York and London Fashion Week, while such influencers as Gigi Hadid have been spotted wearing Rangers fashion. Saban will also seek to broaden its reach through an e-commerce platform, PowerRangers.com, which will launch to coincide with the opening date of the film and feature merchandise with both classic and new themes.

“It’s brand new for us and we’re really excited,” says Hsu. “It’s a different execution on our products, but it always goes back to brand DNA.”

More Biz

  • Andrew Weatherall at Caught by the

    British DJ-Producer Andrew Weatherall Dies at 56

    British music producer, DJ and record-label founder Andrew Weatherall, who co-produced Primal Scream’s landmark 1991 album “Screamadelica” and helped bring the acid house genre into the mainstream, died Monday in a London hospital from a pulmonary embolism, his management confirmed to the Guardian. He was 56. “He was being treated in hospital but unfortunately the [...]

  • Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should

    Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should Be Free to Merge

    The CEO of German media giant Bertelsmann has said its RTL Group TV division should be allowed to merge with German rival ProSiebenSat.1 and called for a loosening of E.U. antitrust regulations in order to better stave off intensifying competition from U.S. streaming giants. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on [...]

  • Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following

    Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following Reports of Major Cuts

    A war of words around the future of the BBC continued on Monday amid reports of severe cutbacks to the U.K. public broadcaster. The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Downing Street, the seat of the U.K. government, was planning to replace the annual BBC license fee with a subscription service; sell most of [...]

  • Sharp Objects

    Entertainment One Commits to Drama: 'Hasbro Bought the Business to Expand It'

    “Sharp Objects” and “Run” producer-distributor Entertainment One is reassuring partners of its commitment to drama following its acquisition by toy giant Hasbro. EOne has always cultivated a strong set of procedurals, such as ABC’s Nathan Fillion-starrer “The Rookie” and Fox’s Stephen Dorff-led “Deputy,” but has also gained traction with cable propositions such as HBO’s “Sharp [...]

  • United States President Barack Obama (L)

    Barack Obama on Kobe Bryant's Death: 'Nothing Is More Heartbreaking'

    President Barack Obama spoke about the heartbreaking deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and the seven other victims of the shocking helicopter crash last month. “That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with — particularly, Kobe, because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    How to Get Tickets to the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Memorial Service

    The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that fans that wish to attend the public memorial of Kobe and Gianna Bryant can register for tickets online beginning Friday. The memorial will take place at 10 a.m. on Feb. 24 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine killed in a helicopter [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content