It was not that long ago that five superheroes took over television programming and the toy aisle.
The Power Rangers, who turn 15 this year, were born of a 1975 children’s TV series in Japan called “Himitsu Sentai Goranger (“Secret Task Force Goranger”).
Then, in 1993 another Japanese show called “Kyoryuu Sentai Zyurranger” (“Dinosaur Task Force Beast Rangers”) was repackaged and renamed “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the U.S. The show was an instant success.
The series followed five teenagers who transformed into superheroes to defeat evil space aliens. And from the start, there seemed to be something special about the brand.
That was apparent during one of the first promotions for the Power Rangers. Hundreds of fans stormed a meet and greet at Universal Studios, causing a traffic jam on a major freeway, U.S. 101.
And today, the toys are as popular as ever.
“The brand has reached pop culture status by maintaining its core values of honesty, loyalty, teamwork and standing up for what’s right,” says Brenda Lynch, senior vice president, The Rogers Group, Bandai America’s PR agency. “These core values resonate as strongly as they did 15 years ago.”
By year-end, master toy licensee Bandai America will have created more than 200 million Power Rangers toys.
Since its launch, Power Rangers appearances have morphed into tours. A 15-city anniversary tour, which runs through November, lets kids meet the Rangers and experience interactive demonstrations of the new toy line. Already, more than 14,000 people have attended.
Kids can also nominate the toy line for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame and museum. A viral e-mail marketing campaign drives fans to www.Bandai.com to download nomination forms.