While the status of the Power Rangers movie franchise remains up in the air, Saban has announced a 26th season for the TV show that started it all. Set to air in early 2019 on Nickelodeon - which has been Power Rangers' TV home for the past seven years - the newest incarnation will be titled Power Rangers Beast Morphers.
Created by Haim Saban and launched in 1993 as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, each new season of the series has changed its name and premise, establishing a new team of Rangers with unique superpowers. In 2018, Power Rangers celebrates 25 continuous years on the air, making it one of the longest running kids’ live-action series in TV history with nearly 900 episodes aired to date. Saban Brands also recently announced it has renewed its partnership with Nickelodeon to continue airing the series in the U.S. through 2021.
For Beast Morphers, the show will yet again head into the future. According to Saban, after a secret agency combines a newly discovered substance called 'Morph-X' with animal DNA to create the new Rangers, they must fight off an evil sentient computer virus bent on taking over the source of all Ranger power, the Morphin Grid itself. The new installment will feature never-before-seen leather suits and an all-new beast-themed arsenal (including dynamic new Zords) in a season full of secret ops and morphinominal fun.
It’s Morphin Time! We are excited to announce that Power Rangers Beast Morphers will be our 26th season of Saban’s Power Rangers, debuting in early 2019! #PowerRangers #BeastMorphers #PRBM pic.twitter.com/Hkee26gkKL— Power Rangers (@PowerRangers) February 17, 2018
In addition to being the first Power Rangers season after the brand's renewed partnership with Nickelodeon, Beast Morphers will mark the first Power Rangers toy collection hailing from the franchise’s newly announced global toy partner, Hasbro. Action figures, collectibles and more from the multinational toy company are scheduled to be in stores starting spring 2019. There is also a possibility that Hasbro will eventually end up buying the franchise outright in the future.
The premise for Beast Morphers seems to be taken from 2012's Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, the 36th iteration of the Japanese series Super Sentai on which Power Rangers is based. Ordinarily, Power Rangers has followed its parent series very closely in order to be able to use as many action scenes from the original as possible in the American version. However, Bandai (who was toy partner before Hasbro) had Saban skip Go-Busters in the U.S. in favor of moving on to Dino Charge after weak toy sales for that season in Japan.
This is the first time Power Rangers has ever gone backwards in choosing a Super Sentai season as the source material, and the choice opens up a number of possibilities for Hasbro. Either the toy company has some great ideas planned for the new action figures, or they at least think they can do better. Bandai still partially owns and designs the Japanese series, which will probably remain the same as always. But with Hasbro now controlling the toys in the U.S., it means they now have input on which version of the original series we get stateside. These are interesting times for the franchise.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers premieres in early 2019 on Nickelodeon.