A month or so ago during Hasbro PulseCon, the great folks over at Hasbro revealed the Power Rangers Lightning Collection – Zord Ascension Project. It’s their answer to everyone’s question ever since the Lightning Collection started: “Where are the zords?” The Zord Ascension Project has a lot going on that really differentiates itself from the Super Sentai DX toys, or even Tamashii Nations’ Soul of Chogokin line.
First, scale. The sets released in the Zord Ascension Project will be in 1/144 scale, which is a first for anything related to Power Rangers or Super Sentai. This makes it compatible with popular scale model kits — i.e. Gunpla. Second, details and aesthetics. Unlike the DX toys, or even the Soul of Chogokin releases, the Zord Ascension Project also draws visual inspiration from original design illustrations. This provides them more aesthetic choices never seen in previous releases. Lastly, proportions and articulation, enough said. So let’s take a look at the first set in this highly anticipated line, the MZ-0101 Dino Megazord from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Everyone’s very much familiar with how the Dino Megazord looks so I won’t go through each nook and cranny. What makes the Zord Asension Project version different is the amount of surface detail and the use of layered translucent pieces that provides more depth to the design. You could see this in the silver part of the Pterodactyl chest plate, as well as the designs on the Mastodon shoulder armors. These would normally be painted pieces or just solid panels but having details like these provide better depth and scale, making these appear to be powerful machines.
And yes, just like any Dino Megazord set, you can combine the individual Dinozords in either tank mode or robot mode.
Speaking of the individual Dinozords, here they are separated, and the same detailed aesthetics of the combined form is very much present in the individual zords. You can also have an idea of any articulation present in each Dinozord. To further reinforce the scaling aspect of this line, each Dinozord comes with a 1/144 scale ranger figures. And for someone who’s built several Real Grade Gunpla kits that come with 1/144 scale pilot figures, I can say these are small.
And they don’t stop at including scaled figures, as each Dinozord has an opening cockpit panel that reveals where each ranger is seated. The same is true in Megazord mode as you can remove the front face plate to reveal all five rangers in the Megazord cockpit, completely painted.
Part of the premium experience of the Zord Ascension Project sets are the packaging and we are getting one premium packaging for the Dino Megazord. They do mention that this is plastic-free which is part of Hasbro’s sustainability initiative. The Dino Megazord set is identified as MZ-0101, and each Dinozord is also identified as Z-0101-A to Z-0101-E. I suspect that the “0101” convention may pertain the series number and the set number per series. So, if they release, let’s say the Dragonzord as a standalone set, it might be identified as Z-0102. Or if they do the Zeo Megazord, then it may be MZ-0201. But that’s just me speculating.
The Dino Megazord would be the first in a new ecosystem of Zord collectability that promises premium sets and a, hopefully, wide selection of items. It’s not a gimmick-laden ecosystem like Bandai America’s Zord Builder and is instead their best effort for an adult-oriented collector line. I have, for the longest time, evaded buying Megazord / Super Sentai Robo sets outside of Super Minipla kits. But this might lead me to a new rabbit hole. Let’s see how this pans out.
Power Rangers Lightning Collection – Zord Ascension Project Mighty Morphin Dino Megazord
August 2022 / $165.99