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Like his big brother before him, my five year old son is a big fan of the Power Rangers TV series. Power Rangers has been showing on TV in various different incarnations since 1993 and is still going strong with the current series of Power Rangers Samurai showing regularly on Kix! TV channel. For some reason, the programme and its range of spin-off merchandise really seems to appeal to little boys, as it features supposedly ordinary teenagers being transformed into super heroes, thanks to the help of their hand held morpher.
Of course, every little boy watching this programme wants to re-enact the scenes and what better way than with their own morpher? It was no surprise that my son chose a Power Rangers Samurai Morpher as a reward for good behaviour whilst out on a shopping trip with his Dad. What did surprise me was the price paid as this rather flimsy looking toy cost £11.99. I actually thought my husband was trying to wind me up when he told me that he had paid that much, until I found the receipt. On looks alone, I'd imagine the morpher to be worth £5 at most and that is only due to the Power Rangers branding which tends to command a premium. (If it wasn't a Power Rangers product this would certainly pass for a pound store purchase.)
The morpher looks like a clamshell style mobile phone and does superficially resemble the morphers used by the popular characters in the TV show. Unfortunately, the quality and design is incredibly poor. It is very light and flimsy feeling although, to its credit, my five year old has owned this for around a year now without breaking it, which is a surprise as the morpher certainly doesn't feel particularly robust. The cheap effect is not helped by any means by the inclusion of some glittery, faintly Power Rangers related stickers for the child to decorate their own toy. My son loved personalising his toy in this way but the overall effect is pretty dire, certainly for the price paid.
The morpher flips open, but not particularly easily, to reveal a numbered keypad and a cheap looking sticker declaring 'It's Morphin' Time' where the screen should be. Disappointingly, none of the number keys can be pressed and the only sound effects come from a single button which plays a series of familiar phrases from the series on a repetitive loop. The volume of the sound effects is okay, which is lucky as it cannot be altered or turned off, although there is only a very limited range of phrases available so the toy gets irritating to others fairly rapidly.
The one redeeming feature of the toy is that it will phone the child back up if it is not pressed for a while and, when answered, barks out instructions to the eager child. This aspect clearly appeals to an imaginative wannabe Power Ranger within the four to six year old age bracket. It is, again, annoying to me as a parent as the call back feature can't be turned off and can be potentially disruptive.
Despite this toy's many failings and its incredibly poor value for money, I can't deny that my son does actually like it and will use it to re-enact his favourite Power Ranger scenes. He loves being phoned up by fellow Rangers and told to 'Power Up!' I just wish the morpher had been better designed and better quality.
Having paid the full £11.99, it is slightly galling to see this morpher currently available at half price on Amazon for just £6, which is still, in my opinion, over priced in light of the poor quality of the toy. Despite feeling this toy is a total rip-off, I must admit that young Power Rangers fans will love receiving a cheap and tacky morpher of their very own this Christmas and this is likely to put a smile on their face!
Morph into your favourite ranger with the Power Rangers Samurai Morpher . Picture the scene: the sun is shining and humankind is merrily going about its business when a crazed warrior from the Netherworld appears from nowhere. This guy's got an evil plan to cause chaos and carnage and he's scaring the pants off everyone within a 10 mile radius. Thankfully with one swoosh of this powerful transformation device you'll morph into a battle-ready Samurai Power Ranger ! The cool gadget flips open like a regular phone and even makes sound effects just like the Samuraizers used by your heroes in the Power Rangers Samurai TV series . The Power Rangers Samurai Morpher requires two LR44 batteries, included, and is suitable for ages 4 and up .