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KICK-BUTT POWER RANGERS

What happens when you combine five rowdy teens with legendary powers? Evidently, you have a media juggernaut. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers leapt forth from nowhere to claim the top toy spot among younger lads in 1993. The concept, for those wrinkly dudes too old to be persuaded by the bright marketing, is rather ingenious. Using footage from a Japanese fantasy series called "Super Sentai," stateside producers adapted and converted the show. The famed Power Rangers unleash their evil-thwarting assault whilst clad in face-covered helmets and costumes, so us Americans are none the wiser! Storylines have been altered to bring in English-speaking actors within a California-based setting, but the fights are oh-so Sentai.


Then there's the all-powerful moneymaker known as merchandise. Kids eat that stuff up! Action figures, PJs, home decor - you name it, Toys R' Us and other major retails carry it. The TV show itself is about to cross a milestone and reach its one-year anniversary. Fad though it may seem, Bandai America exhibits not one doubt that the flame will burn on, promising more adventures on the horizon for Zordon's young rangers and the Empress of Evil, Rita Repulsa. This begs the question, where are all the video games? Games, of course, take some time to develop, but rest assured the carts are on the way. Coming later this year for SNES and Game Boy is a somewhat secretive Bandai action-brawler. No doubt it will be accompanied by a fellow traveler on the Genesis and Game Gear as well. There's no escape from the craze, so you might as well enjoy the ride.


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"Go Go Power Rangers!"


[Article from the May 1994 Issue of PPM]



USE THE FORCE, LUKE!

Luke, Han, Yoda, and the rest of this legendary cast of characters seem to be popping up all over the place lately. It's undeniable we've faced a barrage of Star Wars related merchandizing in the past couple of years. This, of course, includes video games, but it stretches beyond that to apparel, toys, and comic books too! Fans of all ages are going nuts over those glowing laser swords and space-faring dogfights a whole ten years after the release of the series' final film, Return of the Jedi. Super Star Wars kicked off the mania, but with its roaring success came the realization that this property is as exploitable as ever (I'm not complaining! -Jet). See the new publication Star Wars Generation for example, a magazine based solely on that one specific niche!


George Lucas is himself aware of heightened interest in his brainchild, and just recently revealed plans to produce an all-new trilogy of Star Wars films. As the reports indicate, this trio will be a group of prequels set before the events of the known films. Some sources say these movies will star a young Obi-Wan Kenobi - the sage-like mentor to Luke Skywalker - and follow his very own adventures. Lucas is on record claiming no script is yet written for these features, and that he instead is focusing primarily on wow-ing the audience with special effects courtesy of his award-winning Industrial Light and Magic team. Preferring razzle-dazzle to smart screenwriting sounds somewhat troubling to our ears, but if Lucas can manage to hire a directorial wizard like John Woo to tie up the loose ends, audiences will flood the seats at lightspeed.


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In A Galaxy Far, Far Away


[Article from the January 1994 Issue of PPM]



THE ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR

Us dudes over at the PPM Headquarters are all about games. We play 'em all the time and, let's face it, we're as hooked as you are! But if anything comes close to video games in our hearts, it's getting a good scare from a horror movie! Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger have haunted our nightmares for a long, long while - so we figured we oughta share some of our favorite spooky flicks of the past few years to liven up even the stalest Halloween get-together. 1992 was a goldmine for chilling thrillers. Just look at Bernard Rose's Candyman, a supernatural story set at the basin of urban legend, or Bram Stoker's Dracula, where just the sight of Gary Oldman's face is enough to scare you. Just the thought sends shivers down our spines.


1990 back at the start of this decade had some goodies to offer too, like the sequel to every mother's worst nightmare, Child's Play 2, the frighteningly realistic tale of a possessed doll come to life. John, PPM's Publisher, is a giant fan of Stephen King, so naturally we're forced - uh, I mean treated - to a viewing of Tales from the Darkside each year: An eerie anthology film starring Debbie Harry and Christian Slater. What are we checking out this year, you may ask? Well, the scariest movie of the year will undoubtedly be the truly grotesque remake of Beverly Hillbillies, featuring the most dreaded villain of all: A soulless, corporate cash-grab! We jest (Sorta -Jet), but the reviews are in and it ain't pretty, folks!


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Shield your eyes from the horror!


[Article from the Sept/Oct 1993 Issue of PPM]



A JURASSIC PHENOMENON

1993 is shaping up to be the year of the dino. The best-selling novel Jurassic Park has officially been converted to the silver screen courtesy of Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg, and chances are you've seen the glorious reptiles in all their glory. The $65 million movie is not all - in fact we're also knee-deep in a host of other dino merch ranging from video games and electronic handheld devices to t-shirts and comic books. Though Topps' comic cards and Universal's fun tie-ins are plenty of fun, it wouldn't exist without the spectacular studio film and the ingenious dinosaur recreations.


Spielberg's direction and Michael Crichton's authorship of the source material were instrumental in bringing the story to life, but the film would not have achieved its box-office breakthrough without the special effects team. Jurassic Park's animators, led by stop-motion specialist Phil Tippett, and the small crew over at George Lucas' VFX computer lab (known for E.T.: Extra Terrestrial and Terminator 2), used their knowledge of the field to create eye-popping, photorealistic dinosaurs the likes of which we've never seen. Computer graphics are astonishing. We're super jazzed to see what's next in store from these wizards.


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"Welcome to Jurassic Park!!"


[Article from the July/Aug 1993 Issue of PPM]


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