My most anticipated toyline of the year has to be the Nickelodeon relaunch of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And judging by the response of our toy-reviewing colleagues, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not alone. So here’s my review of the Nickelodeon Leonardo and Raphael.
Unlike Noisy, who was forced to share his toys, I remained a single and spoiled child. One of my favorite lines was TMNT. I watched the cartoon, read the comics, and bought the toys. In fact, during this time period, I don’t remember buying anything but TMNT and those lines that fit in with them (I.E. Toxic Crusaders, Earthworm Jim, Bucky O’Hare). So when Playmates announced this new line, it was like they dropped a nostalgia bomb directly on my head.
I found my first few figures at our local Toys R Us. That first endcap display was a bit sparse with only one case of figures and a couple of the cheaper vehicles. Donatello is my favorite, so of course I grabbed him first. Unfortunately his bandanna was painted a bit shoddy, so I decided to go with Leonardo and Raphael instead.
One thing that amazes me about this new toy line is how inexpensive it is to buy. TRU is always one of the pricier stores, but even here the figures were only $8.99 each. I could pick up a figure that’s taller than three inches, has a great sculpt, and has multiple articulation for under ten bucks. It felt like the early 90’s again.
Even though the figures aren’t expensive, that doesn’t mean they are cheaply made. The sculpt for each figure has some really amazing detail. First off, each turtle has their own unique body, which is always a bonus when you’re dealing with the four main characters. The four brothers have character specific skin texturing and pock marks/cracks in their shells. They also each have sculpted elbow/knee pads, and cloth wrapped around their hands and feet. Speaking of feet, I know not everyone cares for the new three toed look. It really doesn’t bother me at all, and I kind of like that they have their own unique design.
Their heads are also original, and their expressions are even a bit reminiscent of the classic figures’ design. Leo has this interesting half annoyed/half intense smile, with the left side of his mouth opening a bit wider like the original figure. Raphael on the other hand is baring his teeth like a wild animal about to attack. Again, similar to the original figure but way more extreme.
The one area on these figures that you definitely need to watch out for is the paint jobs. For the most part their body pieces are molded the color the need to be. But you should check out areas like their wrappings and shoulder/knee pads. The biggest issue was the bandanas. Like I said, I was able to find Raph and Leo without any issues, but all the Dons had slop that either was on his face or just not enough on the bandana. Continue to page 2…