There are certain constants in the world, and this was especially true in the 90s. You either liked Mario or Sonic, girls liked Barbies, and everyone’s favorite power ranger was Tommy Oliver. Whether he was green, white, or red, kids just couldn’t get enough of him. This was so true that in a later season, Dino Thunder, the character was brought back as an adult to rejoin the rangers as “Dr. Oliver”.
So, when the Morphin Madness site went live with a “vote for your favorite ranger” bracket system to narrow down every ranger from all twenty-one seasons down to a team of five, the choices seemed obvious: Mighty Morphin green, Mighty Morphin white, Zeo red, Turbo red, and Dino Thunder black. The winning five will be made into an exclusive ranger key set to promote the current Super Megaforce Power Rangers series.
Fans, though, have not been content to just sit back and let the inevitable happen. A new hashtag has started showing up on Twitter: #nomoretommy. It seems that fans are finally calling out for equality and for some of the less recognized rangers to get their time in the spotlight. Not everyone is doing it for the same reason, though.
Some are supporting the “No More Tommy” campaign for the “right” reasons. Bandai has already announced that there are certain rangers of whom they have no intention of making keys for the Super Megaforce morpher. Some people have seen this contest as an opportunity to change that. If these neglected rangers, like Turbo‘s Phantom Ranger and Lightspeed Rescue‘s Titanium Ranger, win the contest, then Bandai will create at least one key for each of them. Fans hope that Bandai, being business minded, will mass produce the keys to keep from losing money from making the molds.
Another “right” reason is simply fighting for less popular rangers to finally get some recognition. Many of the Disney seasons of Power Rangers are more or less forgotten about in the grand scheme of things. Rangers from these series, like the white ranger from Mystic Force, are simply so obscure that no one would normally think to vote for them. And so, like Robin Hoods of the Morphing Grid, some ranger fans are hoping to steal votes from the “rich” and give them to the “poor”.
Then there’s the strange group that seems to have come from the woodwork to hate Tommy Oliver for seemingly no reason. Citing ridiculous reasons like, “Jason David Frank is cheating by promoting his rangers” and “Tommy just wasn’t cool”, this sect seems bent on not only disqualifying Tommy’s rangers from the bracket but also bashing the characters as much as humanly possible.
Now, there are plenty of fandoms, and all of them have characters that everyone loves to hate. In the Power Rangers fandom, though, Tommy Oliver is the exact opposite. He’s been a fan favorite since day one and has stayed that way for twenty years. There are two possibilities here, and let’s face it, one of them seems more obvious than the other. On one hand, a large section of the Power Rangers fandom could have suddenly realized that their entire life is a lie and Tommy really isn’t as cool as they always thought… On the other hand, they could be turning against the character simply because it’s cool to hate the character that everyone loves.
Some “fans” have even gone so far as to start spewing hate in Power Rangers fan groups on Facebook so extreme that moderators have had to step in and remove the posts. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a Power Rangers fan to me at all.
Whatever the reason for this sudden rise in anti-Tommy Power Rangers fans, it seems to be gaining steam. The only question now is whose voice will be louder from the group. Will we continue to hear cries for recognition of underrated rangers? Or will those voices be drowned out by these neo-hipsters who feel the need to hate just because a character is popular?
Go vote for whoever the heck you want at www.morphinmadness.com.
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