Today’s Photober entry is two different pieces of merchandise from several years apart interpreting the same original costume design. Beet J Stag from Tokumei Sentai Go-busters was a really fun character out of a series full of really good characters. But J was a real fan favorite. It seems like the adaptation as Power Rangers, Beast Morphers, has made a likewise notable character from this costume, in its own ways.
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First up is the Super Sound Buddyroid Beet J Stag, released in 2012 during the run of Go-busters. This is sadly not an action figure in any meaningful capacity, though it does have movable shoulders and a ball jointed neck. It’s a lot like what’s there in the yearly vinyl figures that have typically been mostly what sentai got for figure representation. What it loses in poseability, it tries to make up for in being a good reflection of the suit seen in the show, and I think it succeeds rather well in that score. if you want essentially a small statue of your character of choice, it’s a good option.
Plus, it speaks a variety of phrases recorded by the character’s actual voice actor. Sadly, since this does not come in a fansubbed version to give me translations of the dialogue, so while a fun novelty – and literally the very reason this toy even exists – it’s not of much use to me. Thankfully, unlike in the show, this J has an off switch.
Fast forward seven years, and we have Beast Morphers, the long-overdue adaptation of Go-busters. This fulfilled a long standing wish of many fans by producing a detailed, poseable figure based on Beet J Stag. Being Steel, the “robot Ranger” for its official naming doesn’t really matter of course. It’s what’s on the outside that counts.
Having this side by side with the Super Sound Buddyroid figure quickly shows some drift in the interpretation of the original design, but that’s largely down to just variances in relative proportions. Everything that should be there still is, and it looks quite like the character should. Importantly, it’s also poseable. While an SH Figuarts is probably what most people would have wanted (though the SHF Cheedah Nick sure didn’t turn out all that great), having a poseable figure of this character at all is 100% more than I and probably a lot of others ever expected once Go-busters was skipped for adaptation originally several years ago.
This was a deluxe release in the same price point as the other Buddyroid robots, which gave it a little extra space to have stuff packed in. The focus is the beetle shell backpack. It clips in solidly, and pressing the horn in makes the shell open up a little bit. It can be used as a shield, too. In either case, it’s pretty heavy, so balance might be an issue.
The articulation model for Hasbro’s basic Power Rangers figures is more or less solid, though it can be weird and feel limiting in some places. In particular, hiding a swivel directly above the knee make the posing feel wrong in a way I can’t quite qualify, even though it ought to be functionally equivalent to an upper-thigh swivel. Ball jointed ankles would also probably have been nice to have, but I’m mostly just daydreaming now. It is poseable enough to use the various accessories it comes with.
The standard gear of the steering wheel sword and the Morphin Blaster (I just realized I don’t even know what they renamed it for Beast Morphers) is present, and both are done nicely. The Morphin Blaster is fully painted and has quite a bit of molded detail. The sword is a little more visually plain, but they make it nice and big – probably moreso than the show prop is relative to the actors. It looks very impressive when the figure is carrying it.
Figuarts for sentai anything anymore are a complete non-starter, so for a higher end figure of this design, Lightining Collection is about as much as I could hope for. I don’t think the odds are great, unfortunately. So for something articulated and built like a decent action figure, the one Beast Morphers version we have will certainly do.
But I’ve gotta give it to the Super Sound Buddyroid version if what I want instead is just a highly accurate physical representation of a favorite character from a favorite sentai season.
This week’s theme is probably becoming evident by now. What could possibly be next…? Come back and find out tomorrow with Photober the 15th!