Do you have what it takes to fight monsters with the original (well, original American) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Don't be scared, because the creatures were already defeated by masked Japanese actors on a show that had previously been shown on TV in Asia.
The first Stateside Power Rangers were Austin St. John (Jason, the leader), Amy Jo Johnson (Kimberly), Thuy Trang (Trini), Walter Jones (Zack) and David Yost (Billy).
Actor Jason David Frank (Tommy) was added to the group a little bit later.
Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted on the Fox Kid's Network in 1993 and quickly became a smash hit. Entertainment Weekly had a big story on the phenomenon (and explains the premise of the show better than I could).
TV sets and McDonald's restaurants were invaded by the Power Rangers. Even if you did not watch the show, you could not escape the characters, since they appeared in countless commercials and public service announcements.
The friendly United States-based Power Rangers actors were no doubt a big reason why so many American kids tuned in to watch the show.
Ironically, the foundation of the series (masked characters swapped out for a different country) reduced the power of the actors, no matter how popular they were.
Merchandise for the show focused on the masked Power Rangers. The unmasked characters did appear in a video game.
Jason and the rest of the Power Rangers seem to be game for a cameo appearance in "Wreck It Ralph 2."
Power Rangers appeared in many different video games for SEGA, Nintendo and Tiger Electronics.
Prehistoric animal masks were worn by the original Power Rangers. They represented the T-Rex (Red Ranger), Pterodactyl (Pink Ranger), Mastodon (Black Ranger), Triceratops (Blue Ranger) and Sabre-Toothed Tiger (Yellow Ranger).
Tommy, the Green Ranger, had a Dragon mask.
The Green Ranger's mask sort of looks like Godzilla.
Jason David Frank's character later became the White Ranger, represented by a Tiger.
The White Ranger was a natural choice to represent the latest Power Rangers Tiger Electronics game you needed to buy.
Hand-drawn Power Rangers strike a Japanese action pose in an ad for a Tiger Electronics hand held game. The world was quite different before smart phones and mobile devices.
I think the Black Ranger has my favorite mask (the Mastodon) though it looks like the trunk might obstruct his vision a bit.
Troopers. Three. Virtual Reality! So said the theme song for VR Troopers, which was created by the same folks who brought us Power Rangers.
Hanna Barbera did the same sort of thing when Scooby Doo was popular. They churned out dozens of shows with a bumbling dog (or some other animal) who was joined by a group of mystery-solving (or music-making) teenagers. As was the case with VR Troopers, they never matched the popularity of the original.
The VR Troopers were Brad Hawkins (as Ryan Steele), Sarah Brown (Kaitlin Star) and Michael Bacon (J.B. Reese).
In 1996, Brad Hawkins and Sarah Brown appeared in "Power Rangers Zeo," one of many, many Power Rangers spin-offs.
By 2004, the Power Rangers had settled into their new home at Disney in the form of Power Rangers DinoThunder.
Disney inherited the Power Rangers with the purchase of the Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family) in 2001.
Power Rangers started appearing in the Disney Catalog in 2003.
The Disney Catalog and Disney Store had previously focused on Buzz Lightyear and Stitch for merchandise aimed at boys.
In many ways, Power Rangers set the stage for Disney's purchase of Marvel and Star Wars characters.
Did you ever wonder what would happen if one of the Transformers mated with a Triceratops? Well, wonder no more!
Hollywood is obsessed with youth, so DinoThunder's cast featured the youngest Power Rangers ever.
Somehow, Disney never thought of Power Rangers: DinoThunder Babies. What a missed opportunity!
Smelly feet won't scare DinoThunder slippers.
Don't be shocked if your bunny slippers vanish if DinoThunder slippers are in your house.
Before DinoThunder, there was NinjaStorm in 2003.
Notice the mask on the Red Ranger. Is this the son of Red Ranger Jason (T-Rex) and Yellow Ranger Trini (Sabre Tooth Tiger)?
Power Rangers SPD (Space Patrol Delta) was the new franchise for 2005.
SPD was so popular that it inspired titles like "Power Rangers: CSI Chicago" and "Power Rangers: SVU." Well, it inspired me to come up with them.
In 2006, there was a proposal for "Power Rangers: Space Cowboys." The leader was named Maurice, and he called himself "the gangster of love."
Not really. But there was a Power Rangers: Mystic Force. And one of the Rangers had a cow on his mask.
This may be the most rare Disney snow globe ever. It is a Power Rangers DinoThunder globe.
I imagine anyone interested in Power Rangers who received the DinoThunder snow globe as a gift probably smashed it to bits quickly (by accident or on purpose).
The Power Rangers appeared in the Disney Parks and the Disney Stores for a number of years (the Red Ranger was even a character in the die-cast Disney Racers car line), then the characters were sold back to Power Rangers guru Haim Saban in 2010.