Hello Tokusatsu community. Josh Perry here to talk about one of my favourite things from Toku and that’s Ranger Keys. Coming from Gokaiger back in 2011 Ranger Keys have been a major staple of the Super Sentai Bandai toyline ever since. While a new set has not been revealed since 2016, time will tell if this line has finally reached it’s end or if Bandai has something up their sleeve. Looking back at this line, let’s look at some of the things that make these little plastic Keys so special.
1.) Collectible Factor
Ranger Keys are highly collectible. Bandai struck gold when they came up with the concept of Ranger Keys. Having a series of toys that could double as action figures, display pieces, and unlock sounds (literally) is amazing.
Bandai did not make it easy to collect the Keys though. With there being many different types from DX, Candy Toy, Gashapon, Promotional, and Premium Bandai, and over 400 Keys in total they really are a pain to collect. That can be part of the enjoyment, it can feel like receiving treasure when finding some of the rare Keys from the toyline. To add to that feeling there is a Gokai Treasure Chest you can use to store the Keys show accurately.
2.) Only Toy of Some Characters
There are so many Rangers in the Super Sentai universe. With there being so many Rangers not all of them get as many toys, or any at all, as other Rangers. This is a fate suffered by many of the movie exclusive and V-Cinema exclusive Rangers.
Ranger Keys have gave these extra and 1 time appearance Rangers the representation they never had before. The line has gone from DekaGold, who appeared for only a few seconds, to X-1 Mask, the prototype Maskman featured in one episode, and many more.
More recently with the release of the Lost Edition Key Set in 2015 Bandai used Ranger Keys to show the official design of Gosei Green who never had a helmet designed revealed before his Key.
3) Amazing Displays
Ranger Keys are always nice on their own but one of the best things about them is how they look when they are all lined up together. The box for the Legend Edition shows a huge lineup of the Legend War from the beginning of Gokaiger.
The figure style of the Ranger Keys allow them to be displayed with any other Keys and allow fans to recreate many of the team ups and battles from the Super Sentai universe.
Bandai Japan has not been known to have long lasting or amazing line of figures for Sentai Rangers. Bandai America has also never been known to keep a line for a while and they have changed the scale of their figures all of the time in the Power Rangers line. But the Ranger Keys all follow the same size and overall basic template. Only difference n each one is the Ranger it is representing, the Key piece, and the stickers.
This is another thing that allows the Ranger Keys to look great on the shelf display with every team having matching sized “figures” for each member of the team.
5) Functionality with Other Toys
Ranger Keys may be great display features or figures for a collection but what they are at the core are toys. As with all the other gimmicks released in the world of Toku Ranger Keys have lots of functionality with other toys. Of course the 2 Mobirates use them the way they are used in the show to transform into the Gokaigers or Gokai Change into any of the members from Super Sentai’s past. Other changers like the Gokai Cellular use the Keys more for an appearance rather then actual functionality, but they give the toy a complete look.
Gokaigers’ weapons also use the Keys in great ways. Each weapon having the Final Attack have to be unlocked by a Ranger Key is a great play feature. Another amazing toy that the Ranger Keys can work in is the Super Sentai Robo. This toy is a Super Sentai Mecha cockpit that a team of Ranger Keys can sit in, which is a really cool display and play feature.
Overall Ranger Keys are a gold mind of fun that Bandai Japan and Bandai America have gave us over the years. But I want to look into Ranger Keys on a more technical level. To see that be sure to check out the new all Ranger Key related series Ranger Keys: From Suit, to Show, to Toy. This series will cover the way Ranger Keys took a Ranger design, turned it into a Key for the show, and then went and turned that show Key to a toy version. Find this series on Toku Topics, starting on Friday May 4th 2018!
What do you think about Ranger Keys? Do you own any in you collection? Leave a comment down below!