A Mighty Morphin’ Autopsy

mmprbanner copyI dissected a 1993 Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger action figure and took pictures of it. That’s it. That’s what this is.

If you’re ready for this nonsense lets move forward…

I purchased a set of original 1993 Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger figures for $15. Now,  understand I did not want the set.  I simply wanted the Green Ranger. But, for whatever reason, the seller wouldn’t separate them. Perhaps he wanted to get rid of this dirty and scuffed figure rainbow plaguing his store in one simple transaction. Yet I’d like to think he believed in the importance of teamwork and to never leave your fellow ranger behind.

Either way, I now have my Green Ranger and thus planted the idea seed for this article. Not too shabby for $3.50 per Power Ranger.

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This is the Red Ranger I was forced to purchase. Upon examining my toys, I came to the conclusion he was the most battle damaged. A lot of paint chips, a broken belt buckle, and creaky limbs etc. No amount of Clorox wipes, soap, hot water, or toothpaste could return him to his Mighty Morphin’ passable self. After inspecting him I exclaimed, “Gee, there’s a lot of screws in this guy…” and that’s how Jason The Red Ranger became the cadaver. I decided to make a long article about it on my dead website. Go Go Power Rangers! 

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“I say we do!” “I say we don’t!”

More context because I’m longwinded: I love dissembling things. I have since I was a child. I do not know why. I enjoy the process of taking my toys apart, examining what made them what they were, and reassembling them. Could this be because of some deep seeded physiological trauma? A coping mechanism perhaps? Remember Dunkaroos? I graduated from simple action figures to game consoles and handhelds when I was in my late teens. And that led to soldering, cleaning, (aesthetically) customizing, and modding. My most recent project was completely refurbishing two Nintendo Game and Watches. If doing something along the lines of this interests you, my advice would to be to start cheap and have your subject be something you don’t mind messing up. Like…a beat-up $3 Power Ranger action figure. Speaking of that (oh yeah) let’s continue…

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The screws that were holding together this Power Ranger for 27 years. Thank you for your service, boys.

It only took me a few minutes to completely disassemble this figure. And, when the deed was done, it still supported itself nicely. I assume the figure was being held together by 27 years of sticky candy coated finger residue and dried up bubble bath.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGERY 

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I grew up with a couple of these Power Ranger figures and I always loved the heft of them. They were 8 inches tall, great articulation, and decent detail. They were action figures in every sense of the word. And I think that’s why nowadays one in the package is rare and one in good condition is pricey. Because these guys were played-the-heck-out of with. Wow, read that previous sentence. It’s terrible. These weren’t little 3 3/4th  inch stormtroopers with swallowable accessories. You could grip these guys around the waist and have them kick the shit out of your little cousin. POWER Rangers, man. Truly.

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Hollow inside. Turns out I have more in common with the Red Ranger than I previously believed.

In conclusion, it was pretty interesting to dissect a piece of your childhood. This figure actually turned out to be a little more intricate than I previously predicted. Reassembly is also pretty simple. And upon further inspecting the parts, this could be a great way to really refurbish these figures to their original glory. That being said, the thing to take away from reading this article is that I now own the Green Ranger action figure I truly wanted. And, deep down, isn’t that what we all wanted? That’s rhetorical by the way.

Thank you for reading about me literally taking apart a 27 year old action figure. Most of what I write is pointless, but I honestly believe this might just be the most pointless thing I’ve ever written.

I love it.  

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Rest In Power.

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I Dissected An Alien

Are toys as fun as they used to be? Would the modern kid rather have a touchscreen instead of a Stretch Armstrong? Years of experience as an expert man-child led me to realize that toys have sort of “grown up” alongside me. Trading “Glow In The Dark!” and “Oozing Action!” features for “collector friendly packaging” and “high articulation and detail”.

Yet sometimes you long for a toy that wants to be played with. It’s a wild concept, I know. So my 25% off coupon and I ventured to a Target toy aisle this holiday season in search of adventure. And I think I found it…in the form of a plastic capsule holding what looks like an aggravated cucumber.

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If you’re not here for this why do you even come here to begin with?

Enter the TREASURE X ALIEN. 

This dude cost me $12.99. They have two other alien designs you can slice into, but I chose this one because I wanted the rare opportunity to own something that looks like someone pickled The Creature from the Black Lagoon. 

ALIEN2Some research (scrolling through Amazon while eating a damp corndog) revealed that Treasure X is a line excavation toys that involve slime, sand, scalpels, skeletons, and serpents. Digging deeper revealed boards games, expansion packs, and promises of REAL (?) gold and meteorite treasure. Feeling overwhelmed and confused I longed for the simple days of baking a tray of insects using a low wattage light bulb. And using my recollection of Creepy Crawlers as a palate cleanser, I decided to (literally) dig into my discounted alien creature. You’ve come this far. You might as well finish the article.

ALIEN3Long story short: You cut open a slimy alien to retrieve a smaller slimier alien.

After struggling with insanely intricate packaging, I removed my oozing phallic space monster as well as several accessories needed to dissect it. The “directions” given were really creative, overall looking/reading less like directions and more like a special top secret assignment. I do not feel as ridiculous as I should I thought to myself standing in my living room dressed in Ninja Turtle pajamas holding a plastic toy scalpel.

I began to cut into the creature, eventually removing it’s rubbery skin plate revealing a bright yellow ribcage. I proceeded to snap it out because I watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe 5 times and that is what you do. That led me to discovering  the alien’s slimy yellow egg-like gut sac. Gut sacs normally don’t intrigue me but I was lost in my playtime imagination and proceeded with the autopsy as directed by my top secret government files from Target.

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What was thought to be a simple autopsy turned out to be a rescue mission.

Using my scalpel to slice open the egg-sac, it began to overflow with what I can only describe as thick dank green ooze. Feeling in the moment, I quietly exclaimed “My god…” to myself as my mutant cucumber’s innards dramatically dripped on the paper towel I laid down out of fear of my girlfriend’s wrath. I then dug my scalpel inside the snot-like region and “rescued” our dear alien adventurer. To the right of the gut-sac squeezed in tight was a “heart” bag containing more strange alien treasure. I put that to the side as I tended to the little mucus soaked creature I had just removed.

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The gooey contents within my creature…

After a quick cleanup I examined the little ninja alien guy. He was a pretty cool little action figure complete with moving limbs and a blaster. I also discovered a stretchy and sticky little pink slug monster within the gut-sac. If I was a child I would have ate that for sure because even as an adult I was debating doing so. Cutting open the creature’s heart-bag revealed this a small plastic accessory that looked like a late 90s pocket planner. Kind of a let down, but I made up the story that my alien devoured some sort of Michael Douglas-esque businessman during rush hour. So it had that going for it.

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The little adventurer dude that I extracted. I named him Barry.

That pretty much sums up the autopsy process. Think of this as those little “blind box” figures you see at the store checkout, but instead of ripping up some cardboard you have to cut into a large rubber alien to reveal your character.  It’s a very creative and fun way to go about it and isn’t that what buying toys is all about? So let’s breakdown the positives and negatives of this Treasure X Alien.

GOOD: 

Creative and fun. From the directions to the packaging to the actual dissection. It all comes together well. I took my time and the whole process took me about 15-20 minutes.

Affordable. For $13 you get a cool little action figure, accessories, rubber alien, slime, and a really awesome experience to retrieve it all. I could also see why Target has these dudes all over the store for the Christmas season: They are perfectly sized for CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS. Duh. Solid marketing there.

Gross with Variety. There’s 2 other types of aliens to slice open. And about a dozen different little alien adventurer guys to “save”. And in an age terrified of gender labeling, it’s refreshing to see something that is so clearly a “Boy’s Toy”. Though anybody can dig this, honestly.

BAD:

Messy. I don’t mind gettin’ down and dirty with my alien cucumber, but the toy scalpel isn’t very sharp and it may take some scissors to cleanly open/dig into things. I understand it’s for safety reasons, but at times I felt like my alien was like cutting a Dollar Tree steak using a glorified spork. And, obviously, slime is involved. And kids, probably. So take that as you will.

No Story. Is my alien dead? Who are these little guys I’m digging out? What are their names? Why is their treasure and why am I getting it? Imagination is a great tool but so is direction. I love that this isn’t some sort of tie in an existing property, but having some fun backstory is nice too.

One and done. You can’t “re-dissect” the alien. And if you somehow spend too much time reassembling it, the autopsy still won’t be as fun. The whole point of these being so cheap is to buy more and “discover” more aliens. So it’s understood. It’s just kinda sad that your big oozing alien has a huge permanent hole in his chest.


Overall this is an awesome little toy for an affordable price. It took me back to the days of Creepy Crawlers and Dr. Dreadful’s Lab. It’s original, it’s gross, and mysterious. I hope these gross dudes end up in some Christmas stockings this year, because I’d love for this line to continue and even expand into more intricate sets of gross slimy dissection.

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Pictured: My face when being forced to watch The Last Jedi

Plus when you’re done dissecting, you can jam as much goop into your alien’s head as possible, squeeze it, and watch him ooze from his eyes, nose, and mouth! Yum!

So are toys as fun as they used to be? While the innovation and creativity may have taken a backseat to collectability and intellectual properties, fun original and interactive toys are still in the aisles. You just might have to dig a little deeper to find them than, say, 20 years ago. The best thing about toys is the ability to pretend and imagine. And these types of toys are perfect for that. Like I mentioned earlier, these are toys that beg to be played with. Would I buy another one? Not for myself, but they’d make an excellent gift for kiddos on Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed reading my college thesis on pointless future trash that you don’t even care about. The thought “Why are you even doing this?” popped up several times when I was writing this article and photographing my toy. Then I seen green slime ooze out of my new rubber alien’s toy face and that’s when I knew the answer. It was all worth it in the end, folks.

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