The Power Rangers had it rough. Every week on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the “teenagers with attitudes” recruited by the big floating head Zordon had to face down a giant monster that threatened to destroy their relatively nondescript California town of Angel Grove.
In just about every episode, the formula was the same. The teenagers found themselves attacked by some monster sent from the moon by the constantly screaming Rita Repulsa and her goons, in her continuing attempt to conquer Earth. They’d use their dinosaur-based Mighty Morphin powers to become the Power Rangers and wail on the monster, and then Rita would use her magic scepter to make the monster get Godzilla-huge. The Rangers met giant monsters with giant robots, calling out their prehistoric creature-themed Zords, and then eventually combined them together to create the Megazord robot and finally make the monster explode.
Doing all that karate and robot-driving was a tough job, but one person might have had a tougher one at the start of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Finster. Though he wasn’t a fighter himself, his role in service of Rita Repulsa was to create those all various monsters in hopes of finally getting the Power Rangers out of the way. Finster’s monsters ran the gamut of themes and powers–he was constantly anthropomorphizing stuff, drawing on things like scary animals, plants, and objects, and turning them into Ranger-fighting villains with tons of goofy gimmicks.
It didn’t take long for Finster (as well as other monster-making henchmen, and later, Lord Zedd) to start scraping the bottom of the idea barrel, though. The show might have started out with cool monsters like a minotaur, a sphinx, a skeleton, and “what if a lizard man made of snakes,” but it quickly devolved to the level of “what if Kimberly’s purse, but with legs.” Clearly, it’s difficult to come up with endless creative creatures you can send to murder superpowered teenagers and fight their mechanical dinosaurs.
The fact that Power Rangers was made by adding American actors to footage from Japanese TV shows didn’t help in the realm of “things making sense.” There are some pretty out there explanations for a lot of these monsters–sometimes thanks to American writers making up scenarios to stick them into, and sometimes because the show didn’t bother and just completely adapted the source material for its American audience.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the series that started the Power Ranger phenomenon that continues to this day, we’re taking a look back at the strangest, most ridiculous, and most awkward creatures the original three seasons of the show dreamed up. And don’t miss our gallery of every Megazord in the show’s history.