Well, this was a bit unexpected.

For some time now, the fate of the Power Rangers franchise has been uncertain, with the strong possibility that Power Rangers: RPM, the 17th and current iteration of the franchise, might be its last. But, that may not actually be the case.

Instead, it appears that Bandai of America and Disney may be looking to turn back the clock… to the time of the dinosaurs.

Indeed, the two powerhouses of toys and media, respectively, are bringing back the original version of the franchise which kicked off a sensation across the nation, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. From the press release:

The inaugural and most recognizable of 15 Power Rangers themes, this powered up Mighty Morphin line will feature both fresh and nostalgic play and collection experiences. Including action figures, vehicles, Megazords and role-play items aligned with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series premiering Saturday mornings January, 2010 on ABC Kids; the highly anticipated toys will begin to arrive at retail by the end of this year.

“The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers captivated the country in 1993, and many kids who played with the toys now have children of their own,” said Tim Wills Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, of Bandai America Incorporated, “Families can experience their ‘morphin’ time’ once again as a whole new generation of kids are introduced to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys.”

“I’m tickled pink to have had the opportunity to be a part of this juggernaut children’s action series and brand,” says Paul Schrier, former Mighty Morphin actor and director, “The good-natured humor and strong messages of teamwork and friendship really hit home with audiences everywhere and I can’t wait to see what’s next from this fountain of heroic action!”

I’m a little unsure, however, if they plan to re-air the original episodes, and question if that is a wise idea, as the episodes seem rather dated– and I don’t just mean by special effects (granted, no one would mistake even the latest TV show for Hollywood, but they have gotten better over time).

On the other hand, there have been rumors for some time of Disney going animated with the series. I wonder if that could play a part.

On the other hand, the toys, seen above with the new logo, look stupendous. But something else others have noted is that it’s been shown previously that Disney does not seem to have the rights to the music from the original show– would they have to go on without the melody of “Go, Go, Power Rangers”?

In any case, while I like and appreciate the original Mighty Morphins– let’s face it, they’re iconic not only to the franchise, but pop-culture as well– I’ll miss seeing the newest Super Sentai series adapted from Japan– even if I’ve done a horrible job of watching it until only just recently.

On a related note, Bandai has also announced a “Power Rangers Power Up Video Challenge” contest, which has a video at this address showing the RPM Rangers meeting the Morphins, and in a rather odd way. This couldn’t be the story… could it?

As for the contest itself, Bandai has this to say:

To kick off the refreshed toy line, fans and families will get ready to battle not only for the salvation of the universe, but also for $11,000 in cash prizes in Bandai America’s “Power Up Video Challenge” contest. Consumers will be challenged to view a Power Rangers “cliffhanger video” online or at one of more than 2,000 movie theatres in the U.S., and then submit their own unique ending in a mini-movie or story-board at Bandai.com. Selected by both peers and a judging panel, the winning video and story-board entries will receive $10,000 and $1,000 in cash prizes respectively. Participants learn more and enter to win between October 1 and December 15 at www.Bandai.com.

Oh well… as long as the franchise lives on, I suppose I’m good with this. It might give me a good opportunity to get that rare new Green Ranger figure I missed recently, or maybe an even better one still. And I wouldn’t mind a Dragonzord…

News Credit: The Allspark