Power Rangers: The Evolution Of Costumes Throughout The Years
By Phil Hornshaw | @philhornshaw on
The Power Rangers changed more than you remember.
Since all the way back in 1993, teenagers with attitude have been chosen to gain the superpowers of the Power Rangers, to defend Earth from a variety of monsters sent by a variety of bumbling baddies. Those superpowers have included heightened fighting abilities, spiffy weapons, giant robots, and special Power Ranger "armor" that protected them from the swords and weapons of the various evil monsters they've fought over the years.
The weird part of the superpowers the Power Rangers gained was that the Rangers' armor was always clearly just colored spandex with plastic helmets. In the world of the show, though, the gear was capable of deflecting various swords, energy bolts, and other weapons, often with a shower of sparks and a puff of smoke. The outfits never looked like they'd actually protect any teenagers from any deadly aliens, but the show at least had a consistent special effects game.
For 25 years of episodes, Power Rangers have been sporting that spandex, but that doesn't mean their costumes have been stagnant. The Rangers' outfits have gone through a whole lot of iterations in that time. While they started pretty simply with colored suits with white diamonds across the chests and dinosaur-themed helmets to go with them, some of the Power Ranger costumes have gotten pretty complicated. Ninja themes, car themes--there was even a group of Power Rangers whose costumes were based on pirates.
Power Rangers celebrated its 25th anniversary recently, and that warrants a look back at all the various costumes the Rangers have donned over the years. Here's every getup the Power Rangers have sported across their various series, and even the movies. When you're done, check out the best and worst Zords in Power Rangers history, the 19 weirdest monsters in the original series, and every different Tommy ranger ranked.
1. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with the Green Ranger (1993)
The first Power Rangers team has an iconic look, and eventually picked up the Green Ranger, who had the gold foam vest for additional coolness.
2. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with the White Ranger (1994)
As time went on, the Green Ranger got an upgrade to become the White Ranger, which might remain the coolest costume in Power Rangers history.
3. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
When the Rangers got their movie, they added knee and elbow pads to their costumes--so they're at least kind of practical at this point.
4. Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (1996)
This seems like a downgrade.
5. Power Rangers Zeo (1996)
When the Rangers got their Zeo powers based on mythological creatures, they got new outfits. The gold accents are cool; the weird symbol helmets, less so.
6. Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
For some reason, Power Rangers Turbo gets rid of cool themes like dinosaurs, and instead makes everything car-based, including the helmets, which now have headlights.
7. Power Rangers in Space (1998)
What exactly is space-ish about the Power Rangers in Space costumes is not especially clear.
8. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)
Other than the big weird Charlie Brown stripe across the Lost Galaxy uniforms, the basis of these Rangers on alien "Galactabeasts" was a nice change of visual pace.
9. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
Diamonds are so mid '90s. In Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, what's cool is--pinwheels. It looks like they're going really fast.
10. Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
For a team that travels through time, there's nothing really all that futuristic about the Time Force Ranger costumes, which is a massive bummer.
11. Power Rangers Wild Force (2002)
Wild Force has some fun animal-themed helmets that are actually a pretty cool. The Blue Ranger's head looks like an angry shark!
12. Power Rangers Ninja Storm (2003)
Ninja Storm goes harder on its theme than maybe any other set of Power Rangers costumes, and they're some of the coolest for it.
13. Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004)
I can't look at any of these helmets without thinking "Rar! Angry dinosaurs!"
14. Power Rangers S.P.D. (2005)
In the spacey future of Power Rangers S.P.D., everyone gets a number so you can keep them all straight.
15. Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006)
Power Rangers have been about dinosaurs, time travel, space, cars and aliens, so why not about magic? Everyone gets a goofy little cape, and they fling those capes around dramatically a lot.
16. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (2007)
The globe-trotting Rangers of Operation Overdrive have some cool chrome accoutrements to go with their outfits, which generally make them look like an especially dedicated NASCAR pit crew.
17. Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008)
Jungle Fury's outfits feel like they're phoning it in compared to the tiny capes of Mystic Force or the chrome shoulder pads of Overdrive, and the helmets look like something you could get at the bike section at Target in 1998.
18. Power Rangers RPM (2009)
The animal-themed helmets can be OK, but the car ones always come off as weird. In RPM, the Rangers' ears are wheels. Get it? They like cars.
19. Power Rangers Samurai (2011)
The Samurai Ranger costumes gave the impression that everyone got to wear pants, instead of one-piece suits, which seems like a step up, comfort-wise.
20. Power Rangers Super Samurai (2012)
The vests are how you know they're Super Samurai.
21. Power Rangers Megaforce (2013)
The Megaforce Rangers didn't get a whole helmet based on an animal, but just a decal on the side depicting it. To be fair, they're a little clearer. You can also see the beginnings of their Super Megaforce look...
22. Power Rangers Super Megaforce (2014)
...which goes full-on pirate, for some reason. The Megaforce does have to fight an alien armada, so maybe a spandex version of a 17th century Navy outfit makes some kind of sense.
23. Power Rangers Dino Charge (2015)
There's a lot going on with the Dino Charge costumes. Lots of colors, gloves, little dinosaur icons, a single shoulder pad--kind of makes you miss the days of single colors with white diamonds.
24. Power Rangers Dino Super Charge (2016)
Nevermind, it got worse, since the Super Charge version of the Red Dino Ranger now wears the full face of a plastic T-Rex.
25. Power Rangers Ninja Steel (2017)
The ninja-themed Rangers are all just flashy enough to be cool. Interesting helmets and cool banners have flare, but also a minimalism that doesn't make them look quite as dumb as the big plastic T-Rex vest.
26. Power Rangers (2017)
For the latest movie, the Power Rangers went full Schumacher Batman-slash-Marvel Cinematic Universe Iron Man. Pros: actually looks like armor, could probably stop a sword, probably doesn't ride up as much. Cons: has a sort of techno-lobster look.
27. Power Rangers Beast Morphers (2019)
The next iteration of Power Rangers is still on the horizon, but the look fans have gotten at the costumes is certainly a departure. No more spandex! The next set of Power Rangers will do martial arts in what appears to be full leather outfits. That's going to get...warm.