Power Ranger Pasta Out of Action

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Not even the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers could help their producer conquer the food business.

Haim Saban, producer of the popular children's program, is folding the food business he opened last June to market Power Rangers canned pasta. His company, Saban Foods of Burbank, cited lackluster profits.

The timing of the announcement suggests that the pasta, which competes with well-known brands such as Campbell's Spaghetti-Os, is doing poorly. Power Ranger products are expected to get a boost from a film starring the super-heroes that will be released in June.

The pasta is sold at several supermarkets nationwide. Locally, an executive at Stater Bros. said he never heard of the brand. Vons described sales of Power Rangers pasta as "not strong, but adequate." The pasta was produced under contract with Saban Foods by a private-label food processor, which Saban Foods refused to identify.

Frank Reyser, editor of Playthings magazine and a related newsletter, Licensing Times, said sales of other Power Rangers items are beginning to slow.

"Demand is not as sharp as it has been," Reyser said, noting that Mattel's Street Sharks now outsell the most popular type of Power Ranger action figure.

Commenting on the Power Ranger pasta, Reyser said: "Is there really a reason for a kids' pasta? You see these items fail because they are irrelevant."

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