02 August 2009

Profile Preview: Putty Patrol

Goodness, I have a follower now! I guess I should continue then...

The Putty Patrol, unlike the zPutties, don't have any inherent weak spot—maybe mercifully so, though it sure makes things a lot less interesting from this writer's point of view.

Discinction between American footage of Putties and the Japanese footage of the Golem Hei is fairly obvious. Honestly, and many may agree with me here, the Golem Hei costumes are just that much better. They just looked that much more like clay than do the Putties. Their masks, however, made them look more like rock monsters than clay monsters. In that regard, maybe the Putties had them beat.

Unfortunately, there's nothing to tally, like the zPutties' shattering. I don't know if I should look for a correlation between the number of stripes a Putty has and how well/poorly they do by comparison. The fewest seen on a costume (in the American footage) was 2. The most is 5.

I love the pumpkin-head Putties in "Trick or Treat". They win. And they remind me of how I overlooked the western zPutties in my zPutty Profile... d'oh! I also liked the clown Putties in "No Clowning Around".

Unlike the zPutties, where I could find only one or two instances of this happening, there may have been three or four (or more, if I count wrong) instances in which the Putties actually looked physically stronger/better than the Rangers: "Gung Ho!", "Crystal of Nightmares", "Return of an Old Friend (part 2)", and "Two Heads Are Better Than One". That doesn't include "Day of the Dumpster", but I didn't include "The Mutiny" in counting the zPutties victories either.

One thing I am going to start incorporating into these profiles is including some of the ridiculous ways minions are defeated. I'm trying to think off-hand of one for the Putties... well, in one episode, Kim and Trini toss a couple into garbage cans, which doesn't hurt them, but they can't figure out how the heck to get out of them. In another episode, Trini throws one up a slide, because she's apparently that strong... or maybe Putties are just light. I hope there are a fair amount of these. It's a kids show, surely there's some comic relief to be had at the minons' expense. In light of this, I think the zPutties' profile will require an addendum.

21 June 2009

It's Been a While...

Indeed it has.

We're just going to take one step back and profile Rita's Putties, then take two steps forward to the Tenga Warriors, then go chronologically (though I suppose the Oozemen might come before that... did I even put them on the list?).

Unlike the zPutties and Season 2, the episodes and fights of which I've seen so many times to the point where I had simply memorized most of them, I'll have to actually go through and watch Season 1 in its entirety to try to catch every little appearance.

I may be retroactively updating these profiles down the road if I think of some quirky thing to add. For example, one thing that will be added is a list of the minions' most embarrasing defeats. Why? Because they happened in every season. It is a kids show, after all. These poor guys were bound to be on the wrong end of cruel writers looking to make them look silly. And they were. So, all one of my readers (is there one?) will have a Top 5 list of sorts to look for in that category.

In the mean time, anyone who sees this blog post should go watch the Super Freakin' Parody Rangers. Right now. Here are episodes one, two, and three, then the first parts of the movie parody (part 1-1, part 1-2, part 1-3, and part 2; don't ask me why it was broken up like that). WARNING: it is not for children. At all. F-bombs and sexual references. You've been warned. I even made it bold and red.

06 June 2009

Imperfection and Indecision

So, the first profile has been... well... profiled. I particularly enjoyed counting the exact number of times the zPutties shattered. Not sure why. I'll just blame it on the unhealthy obsession and move on.

If you (the reader... my readership is pretty low; you might be the only one) happen to see any oddity I missed in the zPutty profile, or any subsequent profiles, it'd be much appreciated if you pointed them out. Or if you think of any interesting statistic you might want to know—I don't know... the number of zPutties that actually got a hit in on Tommy, or any sort of random thing like that—look it up or suggest it. I can swayed to find out myself, if I'm curious enough (which I might be).

Not sure which minion I might cover next. Originally, I was thinking the Cogs. They have that whole short-circuiting thing, akin to the zPutties shattering. Not every minion has a fancy, graphic-intensive death animation (though Cogs didn't really die from that, did they? Is it gruesome to think of minions as dying?). Many either teleport or run away, or just stop appearing.

I may also profile Rita's Putties next. Considering the Pilot episode and the ZyuRanger footage, among other things, there's certainly information to be shared and oddities to be found. We'll see.

04 June 2009

Here Lie the zPutties

Alleigance: Lord Zedd
Abilities: teleportation, shape-shifting
Language: "putty babble", English (understood, not spoken)

Clay footsoldiers, light grey/white in color. Their hands/forearms are brown, larger in proportion, and rocky—perhaps to make for a better weapon. Their faces are either brown or grey, with red eyes, a rough, bumpy complection, usually depicting a twisted sort of smile, but sometimes with nothing more than a hole for a mouth [usually from using the older masks that have lost their shape; a faint reminder of the twisted smile could still be seen]. They wear silver vests/chestplates with a circular emblem with a raised letter 'Z' of their creator and master, Lord Zedd. They have silver boots and kneepads, the latter also bearing the same emblem that appears on their chests. They are often heard making a babbling noise that could be assumed to be a language only they understand. While they have the ability to stand upright, as humans do, they are most often seen hunched down, prepared to fight. Their gait, like their fighting stance, is awkard and clumsy, sometimes seeming to not so much run into battle as much as stumble.

Entrance: teleportation through static, flipping into view out of nowhere
Exit: teleportation through static, running away, shattering
Weaknesses: Striking the round 'Z' emblem on their chest would disrupt their power source, causing them to crumble to pieces.

First Appearance: The Mutiny (part I), MMPR Season 2
Final Appearance: Countdown to Destruction (part II), PR in Space
[zPutties appear in the Nintendo DS version of Power Rangers Super Legends]
Ultimate Fate: destroyed by Zordon's energy beam

Notes and Oddities:
It can be assumed from the way zPutties follow commands to them in English that they understand the language. When Zedd or Goldar would command them, they would respond appropriately.

As time wore on, zPutties would often appear dancing or performing some odd or comical gesture, perhaps in mockery of the rangers or to better serve their purpose as a distraction, as was their purpose in some episodes. [As I understand it, parents reacted negatively to the appearance and mannerisms of the character of Lord Zedd. Later episodes inserted more humor into the villains, perhaps to make them less scary.]

Bulk and Skull once pretended to be zPutties to lure the rangers into action. It made the zPutties look more apt by comparison.

If I counted correctly, 145 zPutties were shattered over the course of the series. That does not include the 8 who were struck in the chest plate and, in all likelihood, shattered soon thereafter, albeit off-screen (2 in The Mutiny, part II; 1 in Mirror of Regret; 5 in Rangers Back in Time, part I).

Zack never shattered a zPutty while unmorphed.

Tommy shattered the most zPutties with 38. Next is Kim with 25½ (the ½ comes from the three times Kim double teamed with another ranger to hit a zPutty in the 'Z'—twice with Aisha, once with Billy). Aisha had the fewest, with 5. Jason and Adam each had 10, Billy had 9½, Rocky, Zack, and Trini each shattered 6. Rocky, Aisha, and Adam once triple-teamed a zPutty, all three punching it in the chest. 27 zPutties shattered in a group, without any one ranger shown delivering the blow. One zPutty was shattered by another zPutty with a kick intended for Kimberly. The 8 zPutties that (assumingly) shattered off screen (not counted in the totals above) were hit in the Z by the following: 2 by Zack, 2 by Kim, 1 by Adam, 1 by Aisha, 1 by Billy, and 1 by Bulk.

It's hard to judge when zPutties actually succeeded in doing what they were sent to do, be it attack the rangers or distract them while another zPutty or monster did something else. There were 21 episodes in which they, arguably, won a battle, or got away with doing something: 7 instances in which they sabotaged or retrieved an item to be made into a monster, 6 instances in which they aided in capturing someone, 4 instances in which they successfully served as a distraction, 3 instances in which they aided a monster in stealing an item, and 1 instance in which the zPutties actually looked better than the rangers in a fight (though they did eventually lose).

While most fights with the zPutties would end with one or more of them shattering to bits, there were 18 times where the battle did not end on that note. In "The Power Transfer (part I)", the zPutties arguably win the battle with Rocky, Aisha, and Adam, though the rangers overcome them in the second round of the fight. In "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire", the rangers teleport from battle, leaving the zPutties behind. In "The Beetle Invasion", "Blue Ranger Gone Bad", and "Best Man for the Job", the zPutties just stop appearing on screen at one point, neither teleporting away, running away, nor shattering.

[During some battles, the putty babble usually uttered by the zPutties was noticeably missing. During at least one other battle, the metal clanging noise heard when a zPutty was struck was missing.]

[In "Forever Friends", the powering-up sound-effect heard before a zPutty shattered was higher pitched, quicker, and different from the usual sound effect.]

[The footage of the zPutties teleporting in "The Mutiny (part II)" was reused for the entrance of the zPutties in "Two For One".]

31 May 2009

First Profile Coming

Pretty much typed up. Got the feeling I've missed some other oddity that's worth noting. Ah well. Gonna find some good images to accompany it. Just one note beforehand: anything that appears in brackets and in yellow, [like this], is what I'd consider a production note—the kind of things pertaining to oddities as a result of filming or production, not necessarily notes about the characters.

27 May 2009

Profile Preview: zPutties

No, not a complete profile by any means. Just random things I'm noticing as I do my little research. I should probably change my profile picture, else people picture a zPutty in a lab coat and glasses diligently taking notes while watching episodes of MMPR. Meh.

I haven't gone back through every episode yet—it's proving to be quite the task so far. But there are some observations I've made, if not about the characters of the zPutties, then about the production of the show.

Sometimes the Rangers will appear to have hit a zPutty in the 'Z' (sometimes very clearly so), but nothing happens. I also think that, by the end of Season 2, the zPutties pretty much know they're fcuked, but don't do much in terms of trying to avoid their destruction. In "Rangers Back in Time" (part 1), after the kids discover their weak spot, you'd think they'd turn tail and run. But I suppose I give them too much credit as they also weren't bright enough to swat the ball away as the kids threw it (with amazing accuracy) at their chestplates—though one of them was coordinated enough to flip through the air and snatch the ball away from the kids before. I dunno.

At one point, I assumed Saban only owned 6 costumes for the zPutties, though in "The Beetle Invasion" up to 10 could be seen on-screen at once. Also happened in "Best Man For the Job".

There are a few times when I think scenes were filmed in which zPutties were supposed to shatter, but it never happened. The first time I found this out was from that behind-the-scenes home-made video made by Ed Neil (? Was that the guy who did it?) where they were filming "Putty On the Brain". After one zPutty is knocked off a cliff and lands in the sand, in the home-made video, he stands back up, they freeze the action, cut, he walks out of view, action, unfreeze, things continue. That's a definite instance, I think, though the footage they actually filmed never made it into the episode, and I'd bet there are other instances too. In "White Light" (part 1), right at the beginning, Jason appears to hit all the zPutties pretty square in the chest. Just before the camera cuts to the next shot, they all seem to freeze. In "The Power Transfer" (part 2), Rocky, newly christened as the Red Ranger, also hits a zPutty square in the chest, and you can even kind of hear that powering-up sort of sound effect that happens as they prepare to explode. But the zPutty is just seen stumbling backwards, then cut to Rocky looking all cool posing as the Red Ranger.

Good Lord, I'm just geeking out here. I should probably stop before I hurt myself.

24 May 2009

Future Unearthings

About the list there: the Power Ranger and Sentai lists are, more or less, complete. It's this last tokusatsu list that will require further addition. This list is also tentative. Just because I've listed a minion here doesn't mean I have some huge wealth of information about them. Really, the early Power Ranger seasons are the ones I'm most confident in my knowledge of (with MMPR Season 2 being my forte ;) obviously), the later PR seasons I'm lacking knowlege in, and the earliest Sentai seasons even more so. This will be like a nice ongoing research project... except this is one I'm actually interested in.

The first minion to be profiled will be the zPutties. No surprise. I have an idea of what sort of information will be in the profile. Biographic information, some odds and ends info, random observations I've made. I'll probably end up re-watching every episode and zPutty fight in the series, probably to tally various things. It'll be easier for the minions I actually like. For others, not so easy. But it will be done all the same. Hopefully.

Stay tuned. :D

The List

This will be the ongoing list of minions to be profiled on this blog.

MMPR Season 1: Putties
MMPR Season 2: zPutties
MMPR Season 3: Tengas
PR Zeo: Cogs
PR Turbo: Pirahnatrons, Chromites
PR in Space: Quantrons, Craterites
Lost Galaxy: Stingwingers, Swabbies
Lightspeed Rescue: Batlings
Time Force: Cyclobots
Wild Force: Putrids
Ninja Storm: Kelzacks
Dino Thunder: Tyranodrones, Triptoids
PR SPD: Krybots, Blueheads, Orangeheads
Mystic Force: Hidiacs, Styxoids
Operation Overdrive: Chillers, Lava Lizards
Jungle Fury: Rinshi
PR RPM: Grinders
Samurai: Moogers

VR Troopers: Skugs, Ultra Skugs

GoRanger: Zolders
JAKQ: Crimers
Battle Fever J: Cutmen
DenziMan: Dustlers
Sun Vulcan: Machinemen
Goggle V: Madaraman (Spotmen)
DynaMan: Shippo Hei (Tail Soldiers)
BioMan: Mechaclones
ChangeMan: Hiderers
FlashMan: Zolors
MaskMan: Anglers
LiveMan: Jimmers
TurboRanger: Wular Soldiers
FiveMan: Batzlers
JetMan: Grinam Soldiers
ZyuRanger: Golem Hei
DaiRanger: Cotpotros
KakuRanger: Dorodoros
OhRanger: Barlo Soldiers
CarRanger: Wumpers
MegaRanger: Kunekune
GingaMan: Yātotto (Seamen Yartots)
GoGo-V: Familiar Imps
TimeRanger: Zenitts
GaoRanger: Orgettes
Hurricanger: Magerappa
AbaRanger: Barmia Hei (Gelru and Zolru)
DekaRanger: Mechanoids (Anaroids, Batsuroids, Igaroids)
MagiRanger: Zobils, High Zobils
Boukenger: Karths, Jaryuu
GekiRanger: Rinshis
Go-Onger: Ugatz
Shinkenger: Nanashi Company
Goseiger: Demon Bug Soldiers Bibi
Gokaiger: Gormin Sailors

Speilban: Kinclons
RyuKendo: Familiars
Rescue Force: Axts
Rescue Fire: Jakasts

22 May 2009

Intro to the Minon Graveyard

I'm zPutty and I have an unhealthy fascination with Power Rangers, Super Sentai and Tokusatsu minions. You know, those spandex-clad humanoids you see hundreds of throughout a series, who usually end up defeated on the ground or utterly destroyed by the good guys? Well, I've always liked those guys, and it started with the zPutties from the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

zPutties had it rough. To date (and if memory serves me correctly), they were the least equipped of all Power Rangers minions and the most vulnerable. Their predecessors, the regular Putties would at least some times have the sword-hands or ball-hands, and the successors, Tengas, at least had the advantage to fly away when the going got tough. But the zPutties were often left high and dry: no weapons, minimal chance for survival. One hit to the chest—hell, one
touch to the chest—and they were done. Shattered into clay bits. Such a pity.

Well, the zPutties have my sympathy. Over time, the series came and went and I found myself watching the show only for that reason—to see what the cannon fodder looked like for that year. If I liked the minions, I'd look to watch the series. If I didn't, the series went mostly ignored.

I've always wondered what it would be like to be one of hundreds or thousands of nameless henchmen whose only purpose in life is to be thrown at a group of brightly-colored spandex-wearing fellows who you probably already knew were going to do you in. What goes through your mind? Do they really think they have a chance? I mean, the first few times, yeah, but how often can you be sent out there thinking, "Man, this time we're gonna get 'em!"?

See? Unhealthy. I probably think about such things way more often than necessary. But in my expeditions across the Internet, I've found but a handful of websites devoted to such a thing. Well, darn it, here's another one on the (short) list. Everyone loves the Putties (they're like the rock stars of Power Rangers minions), but I feel a number of the minions just get the short end of the straw. And since most of them are dead and gone (obliterated by one means or another), the title of this blog will be The Minion Graveyard.

So stay tuned. This blog will profile various Power Ranger, Super Sentai and Tokusatsu henchman, catalogue their highs, their lows, and any sort of instances that are worth note. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your visit to the Minion Graveyard.