Power Rangers

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Another year, another backpack in the dinosaur-eat-turtle world of children's TV. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers—six multicultural teenage superheroes who battle Evil, dominate ratings and cause mini-riots in toy stores—have zapped the once-invincible Barney. An Americanized version of a low-budget Japanese serial, Rangers has run up $1 billion in profits so far for Egyptian-born entrepreneur Haim Saban, who introduced them to the United States last year. Now, says Saban, 50, "we look on the whole world as our market." The whole world isn't thrilled by the karate-kicking Rangers, though. They've been given the heave-ho in New Zealand, Canada and—briefly—in Norway by authorities concerned that the show promotes kiddie violence. And three of the original actors—Austin St. John, Thuy Trang and Walter Jones—have left the series, citing, among other things, burnout schedules and inadequate salaries. Yet on Oct. 22, the trio, out of uniform and not using their Power Ranger names, drew 45,000 adults and children to an appearance at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Even ex-Rangers, it seems, have the power.

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