Turtle fever sure is going around in the collecting community of late. Vault was sucked in when he found the new Nickelodeon figures at TRU. I held out until I saw the Classic Turtles at my LCS and… well, I didn’t buy any… the first day. I went back the next!
While I do enjoy me some Ninja Turtles, I don’t have as fond memories for TMNT as I do a lot of other childhood lines. I assume that it’s because it came (a little) later in my youth. It’s not that I was just already starting that jaded “hates new things” collector silliness. It’s just that by the time Turtles were around, I wasn’t an only child anymore. All of a sudden, “sharing” had come in to my life…
As an adult, my brother is one of my best friends, but if you have siblings, I’m sure you’ve got a story or two about how that wasn’t always the case, especially if you’re the oldest. All of a sudden you’re sharing your parents, sharing your room, and, while my old toys were adamantly my own, sharing new toys. By the time my bro was old enough to enjoy an action figure, I’d long been spoiled rotten with Super Powers, Joes, Transformers, all sorts of stuff. But, see, TMNT wasn’t ever “my” toy line. Not like those were.
I hated it back then, but looking back I have to give our parents some credit. I had been an only child for a long time, I didn’t really like kids my own age or younger (let alone my little brother). I preferred to play alone or with my parents or Uncles; Transformers lived and died at my whim, Joes could turn heel if I so chose, my favorite Super Powers always triumphed. Not so with TMNT.
If a “storyline” called for Genghis Frog or Ace Duck, I would require “assistance”. There was no playing with my “bro’s toys” unless I played with him. Ugh! Again, I tease here a bit because this is likely a strategy I will employ against my own kids some day. The fond memories of TMNT I do have almost entirely revolve around playing with my brother. Y’know, antagonizing each other, arguing, fighting all the good brotherly stuff!
So TMNT was maybe something we shared moreso than something I loved dearly. And, as I’ve gotten older though, I have gotten away from TMNT. I wanted to snag the NECA Turtles, but never got around to it, for example. I didn’t realize how I much I’d left it behind until these last few weeks when I started seeing these massive “It’s Comparison Time™” pics (wait, do I have to pay Pixel Dan like a nickel for every time I say that? Maybe I’ll just buy a shirt and he’ll call it even…). Some folks can line up these impressive displays, even for just one character. The old ones I know – Chief Leo, Lifeguard Leo, but there were a lot that passed me by like the Next Mutation figures, the ’07 Movie figures, etc.. I guess I was off just not paying attention for a few years there. Musta been girls or something. Whatev, I’m back now.
Anyway, my point being that I’d let Turtles go. I missed a lot. I didn’t make the NECA figures a priority. I’d moved on. And then I’m standing in this LCS starting at Ninja Turtles that are $20 a pop and finding myself halfheartedly trying to talk myself out of it while the inner part of my brain is screaming “want”.
The rational part of my brain says, “These have to be everywhere, right? And they’ll be $15 or something. Wait.” Well, that mostly works until you get to Leonardo. Leo’s my man. He and I have been through a lot together because all my friends like Raph, Mikey, or Don and express confusion when I’d tell them Leo was the turtle for me. I don’t care what they say, or even if he is the least popular Turtle. Leo’s cool. Turns out he’s $5 extra cool too cause I went back the next day and snagged him.
And now here we are. Yes, I bought him with some nostalgia in mind. Yes, I bought him because he’s my favorite. But, really, I bought him because he looked like a damn good action figure. We get too wrapped up in nostalgia or just wanting a totem of something else we like. I do it myself, and those factors are at play here, but once you dig into Leo. He’s a great toy. Heck, he’d be a great toy even if he were… uh, an alien from another planet. He’s that cool.
The major part of that is the sculpt. The first thing you notice about the sculpt when you see him in person is the scale. They’re HUGE! Well, I mean kinda. They’re not much more than 6” tall, but they are considerably bigger than previous turtle figures and their width & depth is much more accurate to their media portrayal. They’re pretty big, so much so, that my turtle-loving wife almost felt they were too big. I pointed out Thundercats though… and case dismissed. Continue to Page 2…