The Dragonzord is the best Power Rangers zord there has ever been; this is an undisputed fact. So says me. Yes, it may be limited in its range of arm movement. And in its range of leg movement. And... Well, look, it's just awesome, okay? The Green Ranger was the coolest ranger and he had the best zord. Even if he couldn't ride inside it.
As part of the 20th Anniversary line, some time ago (can't remember how long) Bandai released an updated MMPR Megazord, which was generally better than the original one because it featured a load of die cast metal. You can read all about it here. Due to the success of that, next on Bandai's list of updates was obviously the Dragonzord.
Before I get to the review I'll quickly cover the 'where to buy' details, because getting hold of this thing in the UK isn't super easy...at least for a sensible price. The Megazord was exclusive to Toys R Us (in the UK), making it incredibly simple for most people to pick up. In addition, TRU very kindly put it on offer a number of times, resulting in a big chunk of money being knocked off. Some time later, Amazon(.co.uk) stocked the Green Ranger dagger and morpher. Again, a large store who liked to knock money off.
Then Bandai announced the exclusive retailer for the Dragonzord...A1 Comics. Bit of a shock. The other shock is that it's on sale for £90, which is far more expensive than ordering it from the US and getting it shipped across the Atlantic.
Personally, I got mine from A1 Comics at Auto Assembly, where (thankfully) they were knocking a good few quid off it. It still wasn't cheap, but it came more in line with the importing price.
The Dragonzord, as you'd expect, is in scale with the Legacy Megazord and thus is a noticeable amount smaller than the original. This is probably the only downside to it in a comparison. Despite being labelled with a 16+ recommended age, this is no fragile collector's piece and can happily be played with by children.
There are large portions of die cast metal. You may remember I said the die cast didn't always look great in the Megazord, but there's no such problem with Dragonzord. The grey bits of the Megazord which weren't die-cast were simply flat, grey plastic and stood out a mile. The Dragonzord, however, has all it's plastic bits as shiny silver and blend much better. Also worth noting: there are zero stickers to apply, unlike the Megazord. All the deco is painted.
The tail is a massive improvement over the original Dragonzord, being much longer and fully articulated. It was a shock when I first saw it after looking at the stumpy old one for so long.
As you'd hope, Dragonzord retains both his old Megazord-combination modes of the original - the Mega Dragonzord and Dragonzord Battle Mode. These are formed, essentially, in exactly the same way as the old one, with a couple of minor tweaks. There is an issue with getting the feet to fold up and lock. I don't know whether this is due to a poor locking mechanism, the weight of the die-cast feet, or a combination of both.
Talking of minor tweaks, due to the new universal combination of Megazords, it is possible to combine the Dragonzord with zords from Samurai and Megaforce. The more mix and match fun the better, I say.
Due to the large amount of metal in the Mega Dragonzord, the weight of the thing is high and you can get a bit of a lean from movement in the leg joints. It's avoidable if you pose the toy carefully, but I wouldn't recommend plonking it on a shelf and walking away without checking, just in case it goes toppling.
Overall, Dragonzord is more or less perfect. I like him a lot more than the Megazord, which makes it very annoying that Bandai made him such a pain to get hold of in the UK. I'd have put this down to less than stellar sales of the Megazord, but a couple of days ago Bandai announced that Toys R Us are stocking the Legacy Titanus, which will likely be the poorest selling of the three.