Power Rangers is a long-running American entertainment and merchandising franchise[->0] built around a live action[->1] children's television series[->2] featuring teams of costumed heroes[->3]. Produced first by Saban Entertainment[->4], later by BVS Entertainment[->5], and currently by SCG Power Rangers LLC[->6], the series took its initial premise and much of its footage[->7] from the Japanese tokusatsu[->8] Super Sentai[->9] franchise. Its first entry, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers[->10], debuted on August 28, 1993, and helped launch the Fox Kids[->11] programming block of the 1990s, during which it catapulted into popular culture[->12] along with a line of action figures[->13] and other toys by Bandai[->14].
Despite initial criticism[->15] for its action violence targeted to child audiences, the franchise has continued, and as of 2011 the show consists of 19 television seasons of 16 different series and two theatrical films[->16]. Creator Haim Saban[->17] regained ownership of the franchise in 2010 after seven years under The Walt Disney Company[->18]. The current season Power Rangers Samurai[->19] debuted in the United States on February 7, 2011.
Since Power Rangers derives most of its footage from the Super Sentai Series[->20], it features many hallmarks[->21] that distinguish it from other superhero series. Each series revolves around a team of young people recruited and trained by a mentor to morph[->22] into Rangers, able to utilize special powers and pilot colossal assault machines called Zords[->23] to defeat and overcome evil forces that threaten humanity. At the end of a series, Rangers sacrifice their weapons, Zords, or powers in order to defeat the lead villain they had fought during the series. For example in Mighty Morphin, alien wizard Zordon[->24]recruits "teenagers[->25] with attitude" to harness the power of the dinosaurs to overcome the forces of evil space alien Rita Repulsa[->26].
When "morphed[->27]" rangers become powerful...