Based on the Japanese Super Sentai Series, the American-made Power Rangers debuted in 1993. Since then, the show has made producer Saban Entertainment (and toy company Bandai) a whole lot of money as they continually reinvent the cast and characters. All told, there have been 19 iterations of the series over the course of 23 seasons. There’s also been two theatrically released films, and a number that went straight to video, showcasing the Mighty Morphin’ heroes and their powerful Zords. On top of all that, a movie with a rebooted premise will hit theaters early next year, and it’s already got tons of buzz thanks to a new trailer and some sneak peeks at the redesigns of classic characters.
Though some things have changed with each new series, one of the constants of Power Rangers is the massive, mechanical contraptions the Rangers use to fight monsters and aliens. Originally modeled after prehistoric beasts, the Zords have resembled just about every animal (and a fair few vehicles) that’s ever existed or been dreamt up. Still, there are a handful of a deadly critters that a Ranger has yet to pilot a robot version of, so here are 14 Animals That Have Never Been A Zord - But Should Be!
If someone were to ask you, “Hey, if you could pilot a giant, mechanized animal in an effort to save the world from monstrous threats, which creature from the animal kingdom would you want your robotic companion to be based on?,” surely one of your first answers would be “A scorpion, natch.” Of course, you’d be right. Not only does a scorpion have an armored carapace to protect it, it’s got two massive pinchers to dismember enemies (and carry stuff, if you’re into that sort of thing). What separates the mighty scorpion from a lowly crab, however, is its tail.
Not only is a scorpion’s tail tipped with a poisonous barb designed to puncture, hook in, and dispense deadly venom that can kill or paralyze, but the whole appendage is basically like a snake. It’s flexible and fast, allowing the scorpion to strike and essentially making it two killer critters in one (an idea Beast Wars used to amazing effect back in the '90s). Scorpions also glow under black light, making them a lot of fun at a party (you know, until they attack you for eating all the chips). One look at a scorpion and the mind boggles as to why no Ranger has ever owned a Zord based on one.
We can hear you furiously Googling in another tab already, but no need. It’s true that, like the ferocious scorpion, the many-legged spider has never been turned into a Zord. Like its fellow arachnid, the spider comes in many varieties and has a number of useful traits. While not all are poisonous, a Zord version surely would be. Modelled after a black widow or brown recluse, a spider Zord could rain pain down on many an enemy. And just as the scorpion boasts a glorious weapon in the realm of its hindquarters, the spider has a super helpful tool up its, um, let’s say sleeve.
Possessing incredible tensile strength (just ask Spidey), a spider’s silk can be used to bind foes (or food) and the creature can use it’s 8 nimble legs to create all sorts of lavish webs. They don't just look cool, though; they’re capable of snaring animals many times the size of the spider (we all know how hard webbing is to get off when you walk through it, and we’re giants!). The only thing scarier than a spider would be a skyscraper-sized one made of metal and controlled by a ninja. Get on it stat, Saban!
Sure, an ostrich doesn’t have a killer tail or super sticky silk, but these birds don’t mess around. Though often lampooned for sticking its head in the sand, the world’s largest bird is no joke. Get too close and they will kick you like nobody’s business using their powerful legs. In fact, their getaway sticks are so strong, they help propel this flightless bird forward as it runs up to 43 miles per hour. While cheetahs get all the credit in the department of speedy land animals, ostriches can outrun most of the animal kingdom.
On top of their super speed and crazy kicks, both of which would prove incredibly helpful when squaring off against a humongous alien threat, the ostrich can also be ridden around. Don’t try it in real life, but if Donkey Kong could do it, surely one of the Rangers’ humanoid Zords could jump on the back of the Ostrich Zord to get around quickly. Just imagine the look on the enemy’s mug as they start laughing at the sight of the Ostrich Zord only to get kicked square in the face.
Best known for murdering Newman in Jurassic Park, the dilophosaurus’ small stature hides its deadly evolutionary advantage. Zipping around like a feisty Jesus lizard, the dilophosaurus tricks enemies by appearing to be harmless. When it gets in close, it distracts them further by unfurling its colorful neck flaps. While you’re busy admiring its natural tats, it unleashes its venom.
That’s right, the dilophosaurus can spit burning, poisonous liquid right into your face. Now that sounds like one heck of a Zord. Imagine some corrosive acid blasting out of the maw of a massive, metal lizard monster. The Dilophosaurus Zord would make for a worthy addition to any team of Rangers. The one teensy little problem is that, according to “scientists,” the real dilophosaurus couldn’t spray venom (they also say it didn’t have the sweet neck frills). But who are you gonna believe, a bunch of stuffy white coats, or the guy who wrote Congo? Besides, science says Zords aren’t real either, so it sounds like a match made in Heaven.
If you’re a Power Rangers diehard, or a fan of of Power Rangers Samurai, you might be getting flashbacks to an Octopus Zord. Sadly, the show lied to its young, impressionable viewers. The OctoZord featured in the series was actually a squid (while we’re at it, Scooby Snacks aren’t actually dog treats). While a squid is pretty cool, what with its sharp beak and ability to squirt people with ink, it's no octopus. Like a squid, an octopus can also shoot out ink to distract enemies. Plus, it's got 8 powerful limbs that are equipped with suction cups, perfect for ensnaring enemies. But what if the baddie chops off one of the arms, you ask? Don’t worry, like lizards and their tails, an octopus can grow back a severed limb and even detach it voluntarily if it’s in trouble.
Furthermore, the octopus is one of the most intelligent animals, possessing both short- and long-term memory. Some people even use them to predict the future! While that intelligence might not factor into a Zord, it’s still pretty cool. Even cooler is the fact that many an octopus can camouflage itself. This mimicry could come in handy if it needs to hide or sneak attack, and the neon colors it can produce to copy coral means the Octopus Zord and the Scorpion Zord would be the life of any rave. Who wouldn’t wanna rave with the Rangers?
Now this is just irresponsible. Every day, the Power Rangers go out into the world, climb into giant robots, and fight deadly creatures the size of buildings who can shoot lasers and punch really hard. A Ranger is only as good as their Zord, so the more power it packs, the better. Knowing all of that, it’s hard to believe that no Ranger has ever piloted a Zord based on a wasp, hornet, or bee. Not even a dang mud dauber!
We’re talking about a creature covered in armor that can fly around, and has a venomous stinger attached to its rear. Imagine if scorpions could fly! No, don’t do that. It’s too scary. But so are monsters. And sometimes to fight a monster, you have to become one yourself (or at least pilot one).
Because this seems like such a no-brainer, we’ll give the producers of Power Rangers the benefit of the doubt and assume that one of these flying menaces has never been turned into a Zord because they die after they sting something. That would be pretty inconvenient in the middle of a battle for the fate of the world.
Both Power Rangers Mystic Force and the Thunderzords from the original series showed that it wasn’t only extinct and living animals that were fair game for a Zord adaptation. Using unicorns, phoenixes, and manticores as some of their inspirations, the Rangers called upon the power of all manner of mythical beasts from various mythologies. There’s one mighty monster that they’ve yet to use, however, and that’s the absolutely insane Chimera.
Hailing from Greek mythology, the Chimera boasts a combination of animal parts, like the manticore. Lions have proved especially popular for Zord choices, so how about an animal with the body and head of a lion, and then the head of goat sticking out of its back?! While one head’s gnashing, the other is smashing. That one-two punch is sure to leave an enemy phased, but the Chimera isn’t finished. While the scorpion’s tail may be snake-like, the Chimera’s tail is literally an entire serpent. First you get bit, then you get hit, then along comes the snake tail to pump you full of venom and... stuff (there might be kids reading). Now that’s what we call a triple threat.
Like the ostrich, people may balk at the idea that a big, blubbery hippopotamus could be a threat. Those people have clearly never watched Animal Planet. Though the hippo is mighty large, it uses its thick hide to protect it and keep it insulated. Much like Kingpin, it also hides its powerful muscles. Seriously, you don’t wanna step into the ring with one of these river horses (that’s what the Swedes call them). Aside from its bulk, making it the largest land mammal after elephants and rhinos (both of which have been Zords), a hippo’s most deadly trait is its jaws.
With a bite strength around 8,100 Newtons and the ability to open their mouth 180 degrees, hippos don’t mess around. Known to attack boats, people, and alligators, these seemingly docile critters are actually incredibly ferocious and deadly. While you definitely don’t want to pet one, they’d make an exceptionally powerful Zord for any Ranger brave enough to hop inside.
If you thought hippos were deadly, wait until you hear about the manatee! Just kidding. Manatees, or sea cows (just in case you might suspect they were secretly aggressive), are only a threat if you're some delicious looking river kelp. Mostly hanging out in the brackish waterways of Florida, these peaceful beasts love eating lettuce out of your hand. Sadly, this habit of human feeding leads them to stray too close to boats and many manatees bear the scars from wayward propellors.
So why should there be a manatee Zord? Well, because they’re adorable. Come on, wouldn’t you wanna explore the ocean depths in a friendly sea cow Zord? See, you’re imagining it right now. Sure, they may not have any defenses and if Rita brings a boat propellor monster to life the Manatee Zord would be screwed, but it’d probably be good for reconnaissance. Plus, we’re talking about robots here. Just mount a laser cannon on its back.
Okay, this one’s for real. Most of our planet is covered in ocean, so it’s useful to have some aquatic Zords in case a real-life sea monster shows up to cause trouble. Enter the jellyfish. Not only can its bioluminescence make it the third entry into our fast-assembling Raving Rangers spinoff, but these things sting. Seriously, if you've spent any amount of time at the beach, you know the threat stepping of stepping on one of these.
Sure, it’d be a lot more effective as an offensive attack if it proactively went after an enemy in the water and used its paralyzing sting powers. You have to admit, though, it’d be a lot funnier to end every episode of a Power Rangers series with the monster accidentally stepping on the Jellyfish Zord and jumping around in agony, asking Goldar to suck the poison out or for Lord Zedd to pee on its foot.
Not convinced by all the cuddly sea critters? Fine, let’s go back to dinosaurs. Sure, the archaeopteryx isn’t technically a dinosaur, but neither were mastodons and saber-toothed tigers. When it comes to prehistoric creatures, though, the archaeopteryx is pretty badass. The creators of Pokémon already saw fit to make this extinct reptile-bird into a pocket monster, so it’s time for Power Rangers to follow suit.
You really can’t have too many flying Zords, and while the archaeopteryx wasn’t particularly massive and doesn’t come equipped with a secret scorpion tail (as every animal should), it gets bonus points for style. While at first glance it may seem like a typical bird, what with its wings and beak and talons, it’s another story once this bad little beastie gets close. Once it comes in for an attack, the archaeopteryx will open its beak to reveal a full set of razor-sharp teeth. That’s right, it's a prehistoric bird with fangs. You’re welcome, Saban!
If the Jellyfish Zord didn’t float your boat, how about an Electric Eel Zord? As a snake that lives underwater, an eel is a perfect candidate for Zord status. Unlike the Moray, however, the electric eel is, well, electric. Considering the fact that robots are already packed full of the stuff, it makes all sorts of sense to design a Zord after this Electric/Water-type animal. As a fearsome sea beast plumbs the depths of the ocean, looking for ancient pirate earrings to steal for Goldar, the Electric Eel Zord could lie in wait within some coral reef. Then, as the monster swims by, the Zord bursts out, wrapping itself around its foe, and pumping it full of electricity conducted through the water.
Attach a couple of rockets onto the Electric Eel Zord, and you’ve got yourself an unstoppable force. Gnashing jaws, constricting body, electrical discharge-- plus it can fly now? This is the stuff of nightmares.
Hopping back onto the mythological monsters mobile, the Hydra is another beast of legend that would make for a killer Zord. Known best nowadays as the many-headed creature that gives Captain America’s nemesis their name, like the group’s motto, the Hydra’s multiple serpent heads regrow once they’re chopped off. While it’s cool that the Octopus Zord can regrow its severed limbs, imagine a baddie being repeatedly bit by a bunch of snake heads, only to have them grow back every time one gets removed. That’s gonna be hard to contend with.
In the Greek myth, the mighty Heracles (better know as Hercules) is eventually able to defeat the beast; but it takes some doing. Barring Hercules's resurrection, the Hydra Zord is not to be trifled with. Even better, the Hydra could make for a great Megazord design. Imagine a bunch of Electric Eel Zords joining together and granting their shocking skills to the combined warrior.
Come on. This is the Internet. There’s no way the honey badger wasn’t going to be number one. We’re not even going to link to the video because if you’re reading this, you’ve definitely seen it. Bearing similarities to wolverines and mongooses, honey badgers are ridiculously ferocious. They’ve been known to attack creatures many times their size, from horses to lions. Due to their tendency to get into fights, the honey badger has evolved a thick hide that even bee stings and porcupine quills can rarely penetrate. It’s eyes and ears are also minuscule, meaning it has very few weak points.
Given how vicious and destructive a cat-sized honey badger can be to the King of the Jungle, imagine a Honey Badger Zord. Without being hyperbolic, a Honey Badger Zord would be the most powerful Zord that has ever existed, easily being able to dominate every Megazord combined without breaking a sweat. It’s literally science.
Which animals that haven’t been Zords yet do you want to see show up on Power Rangers? Let us know in the comments!