VR Troopers (1994 – 1996): A Blast from the Past in Live Action Superhero TV

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Once again, get ready to take a trip down memory lane and relive the excitement of the ’90s. The VR Troopers, a classic live-action superhero TV series, is what we will discuss today. Fasten your belt for a journey filled with the nostalgia of virtual reality battles and epic adventures.

For those of us who grew up in the 90s, the VR Troopers hold a special place in our hearts, as we remember the thrill of watching our favorite heroes fight against evil forces. In today’s article, we will look back at the background history of the VR Troopers, its impact on live-action superhero TV, and why it still holds up as a timeless classic today.

I remember it like it was just yesterday. I was a young child growing up in he 90s, and every day after school, I would run to the living room to catch the latest episode of the VR Troopers. I was enamored with the virtual reality world and the heroes who fought to protect it. I had all the action figures and even a VR Trooper lunchbox.

But what I remember most was huddling around the TV with my siblings, anxiously waiting for the next episode to start. We would cheer on Ryan, J.B., and Kaitlin as they battled against the evil forces of Grimlord, and we were always on the edge of our seats, wondering what exciting adventure would unfold next.

And when the episode was over, we would race outside to recreate our favorite scenes and play out our own virtual reality battles. Those were some of the best days of my childhood and the VR Troopers will always hold a special place in my heart.

Looking back, I realize how much VR Trooper shaped my love for live-action superhero TV, and I’m grateful to have been able to experience the excitement and wonder of it all.

Background History of the VR Trooper TV Show and Why it Mattered in the Mid 90’s.

The VR Troopers: A timeless class of the mid-90s Live-action Superhero adventure still remains among the best shows of he era. Produced and distributed by Saban Entertainment from 1994 to 1996, the VR Troopers was a syndicated live-action superhero-adventure TV series that captivated audience with its virtual reality storylines. During a time when the world was fascinated with virtual reality, the VR Tropers sought of profit from that trend and the success of other Saban properties like Power Rangers.
As the first official “Sister series” to the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the VR Troopers was a fresh and exciting take on the superhero genre, blending American and Japanese tokusatsu elements to create a truly unique experience for audiences.

But what made the VR Troopers truly stand out was its ability to deliver thrilling adventures, memorable characters, and iconic action scenes that have left a lasting impression on fans. It’s no wonder why the VR Trooper is still considered among the best shows of the mid-90s, and a timeless classic in the live-action superhero genre.

The VR Troopers was a pioneering live-action adventure that stood out from the crowd. Featuring an innovative blend of CGI and video effects with Japanese stock footage from three different Metal Hero series, it was a visionary show that pushes the bounderies of what was possible in live-action superhero television.

On May 7th, 2010, the copyright of VR Tropers was transferred from BVS Ent to Saban Capital Group solidifying its place as a beloved classic. Despite being almost as successful as the Power Rangers, the VR Troopers was unfortunately cancelled after only two seasons, primarily due to the exhaustion of available Japanese footage. This forced the creative team to reuse stock footage multiple times throughout the series, but it didn’t detract from the excitement and thrill of watching the VR Troopers in action.
What set the VR Troopers apart from the other shows of its time was its willingness to experiment with new technology and storytelling methods, resulting in a truly unique and unforgettable experience for audiences. And, with the toy line and video games for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear, the VR Troopers left a lasting impact on the word of live-action superhero TV.

The VR Troopers Plot: Why it was a Groundbreaking Live-Action Adventure in a Virtual Reality.

Featuring three talented teenagers, Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Start, and J.B Reese, the VR Troopers was a show ahead of its time, combining martial arts, computer wizardry, and journalism in an epic battle between good and evil. The show took place in the fictional West Coast town of Cross World City, California, where the teenagers attended Tao’s Dojo and honed the skills.
One day, Ryan Ryan’s quest to find his missing father led him and his friends to a mysterious laboratory, where they discovered the truth about a parallel dimension called VR. This virtual world was home to mutants, led by the evil ruler Grimlord, who threatened to conquer both worlds. The teens were given the power to defend their plant through armored bodies with incredible firepower, and with the help of advanced technology like the Turbo cycle, Techno Bazooka, VR Troopertron, VR Shoulder Cannon, VR Battlecruiser /Intercepotor and the flying, laser-blasting skybase.

The VR Troopers was a groundbreaking show that set itself apart from others by using advanced technology, engaging storytelling and thrilling action. Its combination of martial arts, technology, and journalism made it a standout show of the mid-90s, and its impact on the world of live-action superhero television can still be felt today.

In the show, besides other regular characters, there’s Zeb (formerly know as Jeb), Ryan’s dog who gains the ability to speak like a human after an incident in Professor Hart’s laboratory. Woody stocker, who loves wearing wacky hats, is Kaitlin’s boss at the Underground Voice Daily. Percival “Percy” Rooney, the bumbling rival reporter of Kaitlin, is the mayor’s nephew. Tao, a wise martial arts teacher, owns the dojo and is a close family friend of the Steele family. The show also features recurring villains such as General Ivar, Colonel Icebot, Decimator the skug and more.

In the second season, the show underwent a minor formal change. Ryan’s long-lost father Tyler was finally located and returned to his normal self, only to depart soon after to aid the government in furher Virtual Reality technology research. This led to Ryan receiving and upgraded version of his V.R armor and powers.

The location of Grimlord’s base shifted from the virtual dungeon to a large spaceship and new Generals such as Oraclon, Despera, Doom Master, and his Vixens were introduced. Additionally, the Skugs gained the capability to transform into more formindable beings know as Ultra Skugs.

The Production of VR Troopers

In the early stages of production, the series was originally titled Psycon and Cybertron, with a focus on a solitary hero with a technological theme rathe than a group of heroes in a virtual reality setting. The pilot script for Psychon had different protagonist, Adam Steele, who combined with cyborg Psycon instead of transforming into it. The primary antagonist was Grimlord, whose true identity was Cyrus Ritker, and leader of the robotic army know as the Cyberdrones. Cyrus had a son named Percy, who was Adam’s martial arts adversay.
Adam was under guidance of martial arts teacher named Tao and was friends with Tao’s daughter Mia and a young boy called Mouse Mckenzie. The pilot episode for Cyberton featured Jason David Frank as Adam Steele, using sourse footage from the show Metalder. Frank’s character was portrayed as a single hero facing off against an army of robots called the Wardrones, led by Grimlord.

Grimlords secret indemnity was Cyrus Rikter (Played by Gardner Baldwin) who had a son named Percy, who served as Adamn’s Martial arts rival. Tao Chong (Played by Richard Robago) was Adam’s mentor and caretaker. Mia, Tao’s daughter was also a charger in the pilot. The fashback featured Tyler Steel, played by Dough Sloan. The pilot included a duo of comically inept news reporters, Elmo (Played by Jamie Kennedy), and Scuzzy, who were meant to provide comedic relief. The theme song was inspired by Ron Wasserman’s Go Green/white Rangers in the Power Ranger Series.
In the initial promotional material for VR Troopers, Kaitlin had the surname “Hall” instead of “Star” and Professor Hart was portrayed as a different actor with a distinct vice and personality from the one used in the final version of the show. Like “Power Rangers”, VR Troopers utilized a combination of American footage combined with fight scenes from Japanese shows. The Japanese shows incorporated into VR Troopers are space sherrif shadier, dimensional warrior Spielban, and Chojinki Metalder.

These three shows come from Toel’s Metal Hero Series. Chojinki Metalder provided footage of Ryan Steele’s first season robotic suits, Grimlord, and Virtual Dungeons, Grimlords four top lieutenants, Dark Heart, and military-style robots seen in several episodes as well as the exterior of Ziktor industries. Dimensional warrior Speielban supplied footage for of J.B and Kaitlin’s robotic suits, Ivar, Icebot, skugs and battle scenes involving the Skybase, shark curisers, tanks and figher jets. Space Sherriff Shaider contributed to new footage for season two, including Ryan Steele’s second robotic suits and the ultra skugs.

What Made the VR Troopers Production Stand Out

The Japanese show sources used in each episode of VR Troopers resulted in the main character being portrayed in separate action scenes. This made the episode stand out form other super hero shows at the time. Plus, the technology used on this one was also on another level that made it appear to be of a higher quality compared to others.

However, to overcome the limitations on sourcing footage, the show used plot devices to separate Ryan, JB, and Kaitlin, leading to individual fights. The majority of episodes ended with either Ryan or JB defeating the monster of the day, with Kaitlin never having the chance to do so on her own.
The group’s fight together was shown through original American footage with low-quality spandex suits and recolored helmets from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. In the first season, original American footage was limited to the Battle Grid, but the second season featured more U.S fights.

Additionally, unlike Power Rangers, and Big Dad Beetlborgs, VR Trooper has its own unique differences as an adaptation. Being syndicated rather than aired on Fox Kids allowed for more violent destruction of monsters, including splitting in half, impaling, and decapitation. Unlike the other two shows, the VR Trooper forms were not named as they didn’t have one main color.

The show ran for two seasons with almost 100 episodes. Despite its ratings being closes to those of Power Rangers Franchise, the supply of fights footage ran out by 1996. The Japanese Metal Hero series used in VR Troopers had many human vs human battles, but close-up of Japanese actors made this footage unusable.

Footage from Shaider featuring distance shots of Japanese actors was utilized in some fights, while fights with monster footage were limited (spliced up to 2-3 episodes). However, the use of fight footage from Metalder/Shaider and Spielban in a single episode depleted the footage faster, leading to the show’s cancellation without resolving its storyline. It was replaced by Big Bad Beetleborgs, which continued to use footage from the Metal Hero Series Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto.

Final Thoughts

VR Troopers was a television series that was popular in the 90s and it was a unique take on the superhero genre that was popular during that time. The series was a combination of American footage spliced with Japanese shows, which was a common technique used those days. The show lasted two seasons and had nearly 100 episodes, which is a testament to its popularity back then.

Although the series was not as big as Power Rangers, it was a critical success and had ratings that were close. If you are looking for a perfect nostalgic trip or a blast from the past, VR Troopers is a great show to watch. It is a reminder of a simpler time when TV Shows were made for families to enjoy together. The show’s themes of technology and heroism are still relevant today and the fact that it was aimed at a young audience makes it perfect for families to watch together. The special effects and fights scenes are also a testament to the creativity and hard work that went into making this show.

VR Trooper is truly a show that is well worth watching for its nostalgia factor and the memories it brings back of the 90s. It is a unique take on the superhero genre that was popular during that time and it is still as relevant today as it was when it was first aired. The show is suitable for families to watch together and its themes of heroism, technology, and good versus evil are still as relevant today as they were back then.

What do you remember about VR Troopers?