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Trivia / VR Troopers

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  • Creator Backlash: Kaitlin's actress Sarah Brown does not have fond memories of her time on this show and said the reason why she stopped acting along with refusing to attend conventions related to Power Rangers and VR Troopers is that co-creator (and then-fiancé) Shuki Levy was physically abusive to her and that Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl were complicit in such a thing along with telling fans to boycott themnote  and the franchise because of this.
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  • Dawson Casting: Ryan Steele was called "an 18-year-old martial arts instructor" in a promo video and Brad Hawkins was 20 when the show began.
  • Defictionalization: In a sense. While the series' primary depiction of VR obviously ain't gonna happen, the VR headsets they used have become the current wave of VR technology, what with Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, PlayStation VR, and even View-Master VR.
  • The Other Darrin: This trope was not kind to the Swordbot Brothers. Magician, Fistbot, Spitbot, Minotaurbot, Wolfbot, Amphibidor also. Played around with when Zelton turned into Graybot and Metalbot.
    • Once, the Swordbot Brothers even switched voice actors from the previous appearance. But it seems they never got the same VA twice, and they kept getting prominent appearances (rather than the standard "hanging out in the background in Grimlord's lair sequences 'til it's your turn as Monster of the Week" situation.) The last voice actor ended up playing both characters.
  • The Other Marty: Jason David Frank was originally set to play Adam Steele in the unaired Cybertron pilot while Brad Hawkins was cast as Rocky the White Ranger on Power Rangers. Saban realized that replacing Frank on Power Rangers was too risky so Frank returned to the show as Tommy in the role of the White Ranger and Hawkins stepped into the role, renamed Ryan Steele. A second pilot was then made which featured Professor Hart being played by an Einstein-esque Caucasian. (The name Rocky ended up being reused for for the second Red Ranger in MMPR.)
  • Prop Recycling:
    • The suits used for the battle grid fights were based on the spandex suits used in MMPR, notably using the Red Ranger helmet mold from MMPR. You could even see the dino details on the helmet.
    • Meanwhile, Kenner reused molds from other toylines to fill out the VRT toy lineup- the "VR Skyborg" was recycled from the COPS n' Crooks line (where it was the "Jailbird Speeder"), while the "VR Pursuit Jet" was an unused mold from the cancelled Aliens toyline- which in turn had began back in 1986 as the Cobra Firebat from G.I. Joe (Hasbro having bought Kenner in 1991).
  • Recycled Script: Not only the underground lab raid, but the brief Once per Episode sequence of a giant floating head thingy (knows as "Gargantus") that would attack Ryan, only for the VR Troopertron to come and shoot it down throughout Season 2. There's no explanation given as why they're not used for more than this sequence.
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  • Romance on the Set: Sarah Brown was briefly engaged to the show's executive producer Shuki Levy and the couple had a child together in 1998; Levy is 28 years older than Brown. Their relationship ended on acrominous terms, as Brown said in a 2019 interview that Levy was physically abusive towards her, along with attempting to kidnap their daughter and attempting to murder her by setting their house on fire.
  • Stunt Double:
    • When the actors are oddly dressed in '80s clothing for certain scenes in an episode, anticipate the show using footage of the Japanese actors as this in the very next shot.
    • Similarly, if part of the plot revolves around an Asian-American child, expect them to be kidnapped by a monster, in order to sync up with the kidnapped child in the Japanese footage.
    • Doom Master, the Vixens, and Despera all do this as well.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Grimlord and Jeb both had figures planned, but they were both scrapped, Jeb at the last minute, for reasons unknown. The VR Troopertron never got a US release; obviously the Gran Nacza (Spielban's equivalent) was released, but not in the US.
  • Troubled Production: Like its sister series, this show has a fair share of headaches as well.
    • Originally a vehicle for former Green Ranger Jason David Frank, a short pilot using footage from the Metal Heroes series Choujinki Metalder called Cybertron was filmed with him alone. However, his immense popularity as Tommy led to Saban deciding to pull him back to Rangers. As such he switched places with Brad Hawkins (who was originally supposed to be the White Ranger during the second season of MMPR,) who became Ryan Steele. This alone led them to believe the show was beyond hope, but because of commitments to broadcasters, they had to press on.
    • Since they didn't have Frank's Green Ranger star power to support the show, they decided to expand it, buying up a second Metal Heroes series, Jikuu Senshi Spielban, hired two more actors, and made the show about a trio. Since the two series were completely unrelated, the only footage they had off all three Troopers together and morphed were things they filmed themselves, which they didn't have the time or budget to do a lot of, so the majority of episodes involved finding new and unique ways to split Ryan away from Kaitlyn and J.B.
    • While filming the show, they noticed several new problems. Alongside the fact that the Metal Heroes footage was almost a decade old (unlike Sentai footage, which is never more than a year or two old, Metalder and Spielban were from 1987 and 1986,) the shows in question also used a lot of unmorphed battles, meaning the usable footage was thin to begin with. Stock Footage was abused, with the same scenes of a drill driving through the wall of an underground lab seeming to be in almost every episode. Despite all this, the show was a hit and a second season was ordered.
    • The second season had the Metalder footage (Ryan's armor) run out fast, so they had him get an upgrade to new armor, this time from Space Sheriff Shaider (an even older series). The second season limped along with its endlessly repeated Stock Footage, until, by the end of the season, both Shaider and Spielban footage had run dry. They bought up a fourth Metal Heroes series, Juukou B-Fighter, but rather than run the risk of alienating kids by overhauling everything at once (Power Rangers Zeo hadn't happened yet, so Saban wasn't sure if a complete visual overhaul would work; until that point, even though Rangers got new zords each season, the suits were still the same familiar ones from Zyuranger), they decided to finally chuck Troopers in the bin and instead turned B-Fighter into Big Bad Beetleborgs.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The show's premise is essentially 'virtual reality can create anything,' but even beyond that, at one point the characters bemoan the fact that they cannot contact one another at any time, being dependent on pay phones and landlines, resulting in a specific piece of tech being created for them, the VR-VTs. The complete lack of cell phones place the show blatantly in the early nineties.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Saban originally conceived the show as a vehicle for Jason David Frank. However, the runaway popularity of his Power Rangers character Tommy led to their keeping him on MMPR and recasting the role in VRT. Jamie Kennedy also had an early role.
    • The Cybertron pilot also shows that the series was originally intended to be a stand-alone adaptation of Metalder, with Tao as his ally and Ziktor having a son. It was only after Jason David Frank was replaced by Brad Hawkins that the series was revamped into a team show and the Spielban footage was brought in for the two additional main characters (since Metalder was a lone hero, whereas Spielban had a costumed female sidekick). By that point, Saban was also using footage from two different Super Sentai series for MMPR (Zyuranger and Dairanger). Not only that, but Hasbro nearly sued them over the use of the name "Cybertron", which is the name of the Transformers home planet, which might explain why VRT toys were made by then Hasbro subsidiary Kenner rather than Bandai. The Cybertron name was retained in the ending credits, listing the production company as "Cybertron Productions", in the same mold as "MMPR Productions".
      • If Cybertron was made and successful, Saban could have potentially adapted one Metal Hero series per year, in a manner similar to Power Rangers.
    • A promo seen on certain Power Rangers videos prior to the show's debut had Jeb with a different voice, Kaitlyn with a different last name, and Professor Hart was played by a Caucasian who looked like Einstein.
    • There was loose talk during production of possibly doing a crossover with Power Rangers. Various interviews with the cast revealed the sets of both series were in close proximity of each other, but nothing ever came of it. It's suspected that the lack of any usable Japanese footage was the primary reason.
      • This tied into rumors that Ryan Steele was to become a Transplant and end up as the Gold Ranger on Power Rangers Zeo, due to Brad Hawkins voicing Trey; this was actually a stopgap until Saban could hire an actor (or as it was, actors) to play him.
    • Reportedly, Saban planned on making a third and final season to tie up all the loose ends, with Blue SWAT as the intended series for adaptingnote . However, Saban reportedly did not want to alienate the existing fandom, so they instead chose to use Juukou B-Fighter, and eventually to make an entirely new series, Beetleborgs. Ironically, Saban would later end up adapting the Spiritual Successor of Blue SWAT, Kyukyu Sentai Gogo V, as Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue.
    • The video game, which was released for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear, was going to have a version for the Super Nintendo.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Metal Heroes Wiki covers VR Troopers.
  • Working Title: Cybertron, and before that, Psycon.


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