|"Three typical, average kids,
Inside a haunted mansion,
Just by chance, freed a ghost,
Who made them BeetleBorgs!"
Riding the success of its various Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, Saban Entertainment produced another live-action superhero show with skilled youngsters fighting big monsters in makeup and rubber suits. Big Bad BeetleBorgs kept the ideas of color-coded uniforms, super-charged weapons, and comic interludes, adding some classic horror to the mix.
Roland Williams, Drew McCormick, and Jo McCormick were all ordinary kids, big fans of a comic book called BeetleBorgs. Young but tough, the three accepted a dare from local bullies Van and Trip to spend a night in spooky Hillhurst Mansion, not knowing that the place really was haunted. The pre-teen intruders accidentally awoke monsters Frankenbeans, Count Fangula, Mums, and Wolfgang, who gave the kids the fright of their lives.
Trying to escape, Jo accidentally hit the keys on an old pipe organ, freeing the magic Flabber (who looked like a blue-faced Jay Leno with an Elvis pompadour and a big schnozz). Flabber was grateful for his newfound freedom, and as a token of his goodwill, he granted the kids one wish each. All three knew what they wanted: to become their idols, the BeetleBorgs.
Flabber granted the kids’ wishes, turning them into armor-plated superheroes. Roland became the Green Hunter, Drew the Blue Stinger, and Jo the Red Striker. Unfortunately, Flabber’s magic also accidentally freed the Borgs’ mortal enemies, the Magnavors, from the comics pages. Led by the evil Vexor, the Magnavors were determined to destroy the Borgs and all of humanity. Between the Magnavors and the monsters (who got along great with Flabber, but couldn’t quite overcome their monstrous tendencies to chase and try to eat the kids), the Borgs had plenty of opportunities to use their newfound powers.
"Then new villains came along,
Blew away their powers.
BeetleBorgs were in a fix,
And now have gone Metallix!"
Like Power Rangers before them, the BeetleBorgs went through name changes over the course of their syndicated run. In the second season, the Borgs finally succeeded in banishing the Magnavors back to the pages of comic books, but new enemies soon arose. The Crustaceans destroyed the BeetleBorgs powerful armor, forcing the kids to be reborn as BeelteBorgs Metalix: Platinum Purple (Jo), Chromium Gold (Drew), and Titanium Silver (Roland). The show was retitled BeetleBorgs Metallix to reflect the change.
While not as popular as their Mighty Morphin predecessors, the BeetleBorgs won their share of fans. The show ran for two syndicated seasons, and several episodes were edited into two direct-to-video features, Big Bad BeetleBorgs: Curse of the Shadow Borg and BeetleBorgs Metallix: The Movie.