Not everything is life is perfect. Even the most beautiful person in the world is flawed and with that, comes Power Morphicon 2016. Having gone the past few times, this one was a let down at the end of the day for a number of reasons. Perhaps, though, that’s because what was there was not new to me. Fresh eyes would be taken aback by their first time seeing the original Rangers in the flesh because let’s face it, any time you see something from your childhood, your tummy does a weird turn and you’re left smiling through memories.
See, the first time I went I was over the moon with excitement. Jason David Frank, better known as Tommy, was there and not charging a dime for a photo. He was and will likely always be one of the highlights of the event. Come 2016, there was no Tommy. While he’s been absent for some time now, the other OG Rangers were there meeting and greeting as per usual.
They were set up on the far side of the entrance and before you got to them you had to walk past a few regular booths: the guy who voiced Gir on Invader Zim, some artists recognized from other local cons and, of course, the other Rangers that super fans know: Zeo, Dino, Space. As someone who walked away after the second movie, it’s interesting to see that a lot of people kept up with this show and that those other Rangers mean as much to them as Mighty Morphin mean to people like me. Then again, walking around you pass teens, tweens, and actual kids who likely never saw “your” Rangers and have their own special connection to a later generation.
Going two days out of three, Saturday was the obvious big ticket item in the bunch. It has the most popular panel featuring the Mighty Morphin cast along with Skull of, yes, Bulk and Skull fame. Late, but still there. In fact, a handful of cast members walked up late like it was no big deal. The best part of this panel was the moderator keeping it real about the Q&A. In order to get to everyone in the long line (which included a man dressed as a T-rex), he noted to keep it quick and ask a question that had some uniqueness to it. Of course there were some not so great questions in the lineup, but your heart had to swell over when the wheelchair bound girl noted that her wheelchair was her Megazord, or when her boyfriend said they’d actually met at the last Power Morphicon two years ago. Then things turned a little sour when one guy completely crapped on the first movie — yes, in front of the cast and a room full of fans. Balls is what that guy had.
Of course, another highlight was the cosplay contest later that night. Which is kind of hard to do because it’s such a niche convention, but somehow a trio of guys managed to make their Rangers look like Vikings, while another guy had a full on Dragonzord, and then there was the engineer who made his Megazord in only three weeks. Safe to say he walked home with the top prize, which isn’t monetary, but more so merch. Another highlight was the photobooth in which you could get your face and name made into a poster that appears like the ones for the new Power Ranger movie due out next March.
While those things were enjoyable, the thing about Power Morphicon that needs to change is the organization. It’s a bit relaxed and because of that the panels seem a little mediocre and unattended. Also, the cosplay contest went on at the same time as Johnny Bosch’s band’s concert next door. So we could barely make out what anyone was saying throughout. It seems like there is a lot of downtime throughout the event that at a bigger con you’d spend wandering around looking at things to buy, but there weren’t that many merch tables to take in. The pair that sell the Power Ranger stickers and buttons are always a joy, but there was a lack of t-shirts available. Maybe because each of the Rangers has their own available at their booths — but still, it’d be nice to have more options in the mix next time around. More things to take home, more events throughout the day, and mixing up the cast members who attend. Do you know how crazy those fans would be if they got Amy Jo Johnson in 2018? Just something to think about. That’s how they can get tired eyes to feel new again.