2013 is a year full of anniversaries in geek pop culture: it is Superman's 75th anniversary, Doctor Who's 50th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I was eight years old when Power Rangers debuted as part of Fox's Saturday morning lineup alongside such classics as Batman: The Animated Series, Bobby's World and X-Men. It was an instant hit and soon began airing daily, and for a while, Power Rangers Mania swept the nation. Kids across America tuned in to see Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack fight against the evil forces of Rita Repulsa. and then begged their parents to buy them action figures, posters, lunch boxes, t-shirts and anything else that bore the image of the teenage superheroes. But as in all media, once something is a hit, there are bound to be imitators trying to capitalize on the success of the original. This is a list of five Power Ranger rip-offs that you probably forgot even existed.
5. Big Bad Beetleborgs/Beetleborgs Metallix (1996-1998)
Big Bad Beetleborgs was the most successful of these imitators and was created by Saban, the same company responsible for Power Rangers. The show revolves around three kids named Drew, Jo and Roland who free a ghost named Flabber. As a reward, he grants them one wish. Their wish is to become their favorite comic book superheroes: The Beetleborgs. But when Flabber forgets to close the portal between the comic book world and our own, the evil Vexor is also unleashed. It is up to the three prepubescent heroes to fight the forces of evil and protect Charterville and the world. I remember really enjoying Beetleborgs and being disappointed when it did not return for a third season. Unlike the Power Rangers who were in high school, the Beetleborgs were closer to my age. And in addition to their Beetleborg powers, they also had individual powers like super speed, super strength and telekinesis. Another unique aspect to the show was the headquarters of the group. Instead of a command center located in a desert that may or may not be on Earth, the Beetleborgs hung out in a haunted house with a ghost (the aforementioned Flabber), a mummy named Mums, a monster named Frankenbeans, Count Fangula the vampire and Wolfgang the werewolf. This added a fun element to the show and provided plenty of levity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeiXE60prpY
Samuel Moon is a geek. His passion for movies, TV, comic books, video games and Doctor Who knows no bounds. He is also an aspiring fiction author who is currently working on his first book of short stories. If he can overcome his chronic procrastination. Follow him on Twitter @Type40Blog or check out his site at Type40Blog.com!