Holiday Gift Guide: ‘Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills’
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
Today, we’re offering up a gift that I’m pretty sure nobody is actually asking for — and maybe that’s a good thing: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills!
ITEM: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills: The Complete Series
CLASSIFICATION: 4-disc DVD set
AVAILABILITY: $6.49 on Amazon.com
Here at ComicsAlliance, we’re pretty big fans of tokusatsu, the Japanese action genre that gave us Power Rangers and Kamen Rider. The thing is, if you want to buy a present for a toku fan, you run out of options pretty quick: The entirety of Power Rangers for the past 20 years is streaming on Netflix for a fraction of the cost of DVDs, and Kamen Rider and the Japanese Super Sentai shows have never gotten a real American release. There are those awesome SH Figuarts action figures, but they tend to be a little pricier than you may want to pay for a piece of plastic with a bunch of interchangeable hands. It’s a problem.
The solution? Get the toku fan on your list something they never would’ve asked for: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills, released this year on DVD after a couple decades of obscurity.
In the wake of Power Rangers‘ initial popularity, a bunch of knockoffs sprang up, and TTAFFBH might have actually been the worst of them, and was also my favorite as a kid. Originally airing on the USA Network, it was produced on what I have to imagine was the lowest possible budget. Seriously, in one episode, the Galactic Sentinels fight a space heater. Not a heater from space, but a kerosene heater such as you would use to heat your home. That is the villain. This is not a joke.
But at the same time, at the risk of sinking right into ironic nostalgia, it’s pretty hilarious to watch, especially if you’re a fan of the shows it’s trying to ape. It’s so on-the-nose that if I didn’t have crystal-clear memories of watching the original run, I’d swear it was a Funny Or Die skit parodying ’90s television. At one point they’re warned of a monster who makes horrible noises, and the snarky alternative girl’s response is “Let me guess: He’s from SEATTLE?” In another, someone comes in and says they have great news, and one of the characters says “You’re the new lead singer for… SMASHING PUMPKINS?” It’s weird.
But it’s also fun, and, most importantly, cheap. The DVD has all 40 episodes on 4 discs, and it is currently SIX DOLLARS. Admittedly, they’re pretty cheaply produced, but that’s like 15 cents per episode. That’s exactly the price this thing needs to be to be worth it.