Earlier this year, you may have gotten a sneak peek at the TMNT franchise that Nickelodeon is set to reboot, as well as some prototype figures by Playmates Toys to accompany the new series. Airing soon on September 29, it’s only natural to have a toy line ready.
However, the following figures are not currently available on store shelves and not due out for another month or so. Below is our exclusive and first official look at what the retail toys have to offer.
These blister packs for the turtle gang are nice and tidy, doing away with excessive cardboard and plastic. The colors are also vibrant and eye-catching. The rear (not shown) also displays character bio, as well as the rest of the first wave—including Shredder, Kraang, a foot soldier, Splinter, and April O’Neil; a total of nine figures.
Removed from the cardboard backing, you can see that the turtles are geared up with additional weapons, still attached to sprues. I had no interest in removing them, but here is a list of their extended arsenal:
- Leonardo: Large Katana, Kaiken Dagger, Kunai (3), 8pt Shuriken (2)
- Donatello: Naginata, Sansetsukon, 9pt Curved Shuriken (2)
- Raphael: Jutte (2), Hook Sword (2), 4pt Shuriken (2)
- Michelangelo: Kusarigama, 4pt Shuriken (2), 4pt Curved Shuriken
And now a look at these Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles, with their traditional weapons.
Right off the bat, you can see that these brothers have character. Not only does each turtle have a different skin tone, but each one has their own specific mold. There’s no reusing one mold with different painted bandanas. Each has their own unique body structure and amount of battle damage. Their expressions are the iconic teeth-bearing grins, save for Donatello. Interestingly, Donatello has gap teeth in the new series, but sports a serious look here. It’s probably easier, and looks much better, to produce him in this manner.
Stylistically, I think that these figures are on point. Whoever designed them had an eye for detail. I feel the choice of skin tones work really well for each character. Leonardo is that natural, run-of-the-mill green color. It’s the basic green that all other greens are based off of, creating that vibe that he is the leader. Donatello is a softer, muted green. It gives him a more subdued look, and the lighter color really makes his purple bandana pop. Raphael looks menacing in dark green, and plays to the darkness of the character. The stark contrast with the complementary red bandana looks impressive. And Michelangelo has a lime green brightness to him. Paired with bright orange, it screams loudness and he looks very energetic.
The teens are molded in a soft plastic, but not too soft that it detracts from the figure, just enough to get some flex. Softer, rubbery plastic is found on the portion of the chest plate as well as the belts; the hardest being on the back shell. I think they all work well in harmony and makes a nice solid figure
One thing to note with these new Turtles is that they now possess three toes. This is possibly a make-or-break situation for many fans, as they have always sported two toes. Initially, I thought it was kind of dumb, but it quickly grew on me and I think it was tastefully executed; it doesn’t look too out of place. Plus, it does make sense to have the same amount of toes as fingers.
Here’s Leo exhibiting his Niten Ryu (double katana) where one is curiously longer than the other. I actually like the idea that he doesn’t have two identical swords. It’s a bit more on the realistic side (saying that like ninja turtles are real) and it seems like Leo had to scavenge for his weapons.
The tallest of the group, and my personal favorite hero-in-the-half-shell, Don wields his famous bo staff. Another “realistic” weapon in which Don has to make do with what he can get his hands on. I love the molded-in knots and grain, emulating found timber with varying thicknesses. Not lovin’ the shortness of the staff, though. It also would have been nice to have the wrapping in the center painted white to be more recognizable as his staff than just a stick.
Raph—the lean, mean, green, fighting machine. As the hot headed one who charges into a fight without thinking, he displays the most battle damage out of the four, clearly looking like a seasoned fighter. It would have been nice to have both hands wield sais between the fingers, rather than just his right.
Last, but not least, is fun-loving Mikey. Along with his expression, his short and squat stature makes him look pleasantly entertaining. Definitely the “party-dude.”
These are an amazing set of figures for kids and collectors alike. It’s a nice blend of a modern look and the classic 80s/90s Turtles. I think what gives them that classic look is omitting the iris/pupils in the figures, even though they are present in the character design for the show. I greatly appreciate that the toy designers chose to do so.
The Turtles pack a lot of punch for their size—4 inches (10cm). I never expected so much detail and textures to be molded in. There are a nice amount of articulation points; however, the range is hindered by the shell and elbow/knee pads.
For the most part, the figures stayed true to their prototypes in terms of molds. It would have been nice to get a dark wash brushed on to really showcase all the molded textures.
For safety reasons, the weapons are soft plastic, but it would have been nice to have them solid. I would have applauded them if the chained weapons had real metal chains, but know all too well it’s not cost effective. It saddens me that Michelangelo’s nunchaku are already showing stress marks. That doesn’t bode well for the sansetsukon and kusarigama.
Overall, I think these figures are a nice addition to the TMNT line. A must-have for someone who wants the style cues of the classic ‘toon, but also want something fresh and modern. With a variety of articulation points, though limited in full range, the figures are stable enough to get some decent poses. The small size helps out with the stability. Any larger and you’d be fumbling with a heavy figure that can’t pose well. The extensive array of extra weapons are a nice plus.
In the end, with a retail price of $8.99 US, you’re getting a nice package for the cost. That is a very respectable price point in regards to many other expensive collectible figures.
GO Rating: 4.5/5