Tools of the Imagination

Tools of the Imagination — Dragon Dagger

Green Ranger Dragon Dagger

 Green With Awesome

Bandai, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, 1994



Our culture has some fascination with the odd man out, the ‘Plus One’ in any situation.  You have a regular team, and then you have the specialty figure that complements and adds onto that team.  You have some people claiming to be the Fifth Beatle.  In basketball, you have a six-man starting team.  And in Nerdom, we call it the ‘Green Ranger Syndrome’.

Back in the early 90s, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were unstoppable.  If you weren’t around for it, words can barely express the awesomeness.  One-part Godzilla, one-part cheap kung fu flick, and one-part… well, let’s face it, Voltron, all mixed together in an extremely colorful and rather campy sci-fi show.  It was beautiful and it would (believe it or not) turn into one of the longest-running sci-fi/fantasy franchises in television history.



The Green Ranger started out as a bad guy, an evil power ranger directed to destroy the good guys.  He was powerful, diabolical, and (thanks to martial-artist-turned-actor-turned-MMA-fighter Jason David Frank) had a hysterically over-the-top evil guy laugh.  Seriously, that laugh couldn’t have been made more evil than if he’d had a top hat and a monocle.

The Green Ranger came with a mech (a zord, in MMPR vernacular) known as the Dragonzord, which was basically a super-colorful version of Mechagodzilla, complete with the telltale roar.  And this zord was summoned from the depths of the ocean by the Green Ranger’s weapon of choice, the Dragon Dagger.  A combination flute/bowie knife, the Dragon Dagger could pipe several tunes as well as shoot laser beams.  So it was only a matter of time before Bandai turned out a role-play version of the weapon.


Appearance – 4 out of 5

The thing is spot-on.  It looks flawlessly like the prop from the show.  Yeah, sure, plastic has replaced metal, but it’s a toy so it’s quite forgivable.  The golden Green Ranger emblem in the crossbar is an especially nice touch.


Construction – 4 out of 5

Bandai does some good work, no doubt about it.  In something of a precursor to the melee toys of the modern era, such as the NERF swords that I am determined to review, this weapon has a soft plastic edge, rendering all but the most serious of hits as little more than an annoyance.  It’s not a perfect defense against injury, but it’s a sizeable one.  The plastic is relatively sturdy and the buttons have little give so as to ensure no problems from play.


Movement – 3 out of 5

I’m not sure how to score a toy that’s meant to be wielded like a knife.  It’s not supposed to have much in the way of moving parts.  But because of its sturdiness and sheer fun to handle, I feel comfortable giving it a middle-grade just because.


Extras – 1 out of 5

This toy comes with no extras whatsoever.  Not even some little cardboard cut-out men for you to knock over.


Packaging – 3 out of 5

The Power Ranger line was quite distinctive in the coloring of the packaging, so there’s that.  I’ve always enjoyed the consistency with the look of the characters and it continued through this toy and into the next several generations.  Nice, but there wasn’t much to write home about.



Overall – 3 out of 5

I really wanted to give this toy a ‘4’ but it just didn’t quite make it.  It’s lacking any appreciable bells and whistles, but otherwise, it’s an excellent toy that’s really reliable and well-built and it’s a fantastic example of a solidly done product.

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