Janet Hsu, CEO of Saban Brands, admits “it’s been awhile” since the last time the company’s iconic property Power Rangers graced the silver screen—1995, to be exact, with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. But upcoming flick Power Rangers, from Saban and Lionsgate, will change all that when it hits the big screen in March and ushers in the next stage of the brand’s evolution.
TV has been the home of the five costume-clad warriors for the past two decades, and an agreement made with Nickelodeon in 2016 guarantees that the 23rd and 24th seasons will air on the network.
The brand’s lasting popularity on television puts the upcoming film in a unique position, contends Hsu, noting it appeals not only to kids currently watching the various Power Rangers iterations on TV, but also to the adults who were fans of the show when they were young.
As a result, the consumer products program for the film will include various partnerships and interpretations in an effort to meet the diverse needs of its fans. More than 90 licensees, including global master toy partner Bandai, DC Comics, nWay Games and Funko, are launching products in categories like toys, apparel, collectibles, costumes, home décor and publishing.
While some products will appeal more to the kids who are fans of the TV franchise and experiencing the Power Rangers in the theater for the first time, there will also be collectible apparel and toy items that skew to older fans.
“We have a huge Millennial following and it creates a lot of enthusiasm since we haven’t had a film of this scale in quite a long time,” she says. “Considering how long the franchise has been around, the fact that the fan base is so loyal is significant.”
Beyond age differences, Hsu says the film’s consumer products program will also appeal equally to the Power Rangers’ male and female fans.
“Within the franchise there have always been male and female power rangers, and there has always been ethnic diversity,” Hsu says. “The movie is a four-quadrant film, and with that, it gave us a perfect catalyst to drive products that would really appeal to different parts of the fan base.”
Having Lionsgate as a theatrical partner was significant in creating this four-quadrant appeal, Hsu adds.
“They’re reimagining the franchise. Lionsgate has done really successful franchises in the past with Twilight and The Hunger Games and they understand this sweet spot.”