I liked the Power Rangers. Like, a lot. As most kids do, I went through many different phases of obsession over one thing or another, but none ever really compared to my love for the Power Rangers.
For years I would religiously come home after school and turn on the TV to watch those Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Despite the painfully methodical episodes, I couldn’t seem to get enough of them. Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini, Kimberly, and yes, eventually Tommy, were pretty much my favorite people in my life. They knew how to save the world and still have time to deal with the likes of Bulk and Skull.
Yes, I had many questions. How come nobody realized the characters dressed in their corresponding Power Ranger color? Why didn’t they just immediately get into their Zords and stomp on the bad guys? Or why did Rita and Lord Zedd always see if the bad guys could stop the Power Rangers before making them giant? Why oh why did they always send those useless Putties first?
But, I really didn’t care because of one reason: It was awesome. For half an hour there would be crazy bad guys, extended fight scenes, comedy, awesome music, lasers, gigantic robots, and explosions. As a young boy, there wasn’t really much else to life.
Even cooler than the TV show were the toys and boy did I have a bunch of them. My family is well-off now, but growing up we weren’t exactly rolling in money. Even so, my family spoiled me when it came to my Power Ranger toys. From the simplest things like the Happy Meal toys to the extraordinary like the entire Thunderzord Set, my parents selflessly fueled the fire. At the pinnacle of my collection I could pretty much recreate any episode I wanted. It was glorious.
Then, of course, the movie came out. “They made a movie? No. Way!” It was easily the most excited I had ever been for a movie. I nearly wet myself in anticipation watching the trailer. My parents took me to the theater to see it, which in its own right was a special occasion. It was the best thing I had ever seen. It was just like the TV show only a million times cooler. The effects were better, the costumes were better, and it was three times as long. It was all a little Power Ranger nerd could ask for and more.
But with the ups must also come the downs. My love of Power Rangers lasted just a bit too long for the rapidly accelerating joys of peer pressure. I noticed others’ interest waning, but mine wasn’t, because they were the frickin’ Power Rangers! How could you not love them?
I found out how. I came to school wearing one of my awesome Power Ranger t-shirts, the one with the five Ranger heads on the front (so cool). There I was, strutting my stuff, when someone approached me.
“You don’t still watch that show do you?” he asked, as if the answer was obvious.
“Um…” I hesitated, “Yeah. I do.”
“Seriously? That show is so lame.”
Power Rangers… lame? It couldn’t be. How could something I spent so much time watching and so much time loving be so lame? It couldn’t be true, could it? I was crushed.
Soon after that I realized that no one else liked the Power Rangers anymore. Slowly, I stopped watching the episodes. Power Rangers evolved into a new, less cool version of the show, but I didn’t notice. The toys began to collect dust, sitting in a drawer, unplayed with. Eventually they were packed away and finally sold at a garage sale, along with my Power Ranger VHS tapes and Power Ranger t-shirts. All traces of the show were wiped from my life.
I could go on and on about how this is just a part of growing up, but I think we all know that already. I could also talk about how I wish I kept those toys and what they meant to me, but that much is obvious. I think the point is that for a short time, as children, we all had that thing we loved. And for a short while, that thing was untouchable. It was a pure, innocent form of enjoyment. Yet, even though those things are gone now, we will always be able to look back on ourselves during those times and have a happy memory waiting. And really, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Except to have my Thunderzords back.