Vault Review: Nickelodeon Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles Donatello

Sometimes Noisy and I coordinate without even knowing.  I had no idea he was going to review another Classic Turtle for Thursday, and he didn’t know I was doing another Nick Turtle today.  So for the second week in a row, we’re bringing you a TMNT double dose!

As soon as I pulled Leo and Raph from their packages I knew I’d be getting more figures from this line.  I wasn’t sure how many, but the four turtles were a definite.  Flash forward to this week and our Target finally getting in their first case.

Donatello is my favorite turtle, but unfortunately I had to hold off on buying him.  All the Dons our Toys R Us received had paint slop issues on his bandanna.  So I was forced to just make do with Leo, and I grabbed Raph too as an extra consolation.

I think almost every review I’ve read about these guys mentions that all four turtles have unique sculpts.  It really can’t be stressed enough how amazing that is, especially since we live in the age of companies making a universal body to represent most characters.

I don’t have Mike yet, but I’m pretty sure Don is the tallest of the four brothers.  This, coupled with his light green skin color, are two very simple yet effective ways of giving his figure personality.  But to me, it’s his face sculpt that really gets his character across.  His right eye is a bit wider than his left, which gives him that raised eyebrow expression that Mr. Spock and The Rock are so famous for.  Add in his frown and Don could easily be giving a determind battle stare, or a WTF look at something Mikey just said.

That little bit of paint slop I mentioned earlier is one of the few issues you have to watch out for when scanning the pegs.  Luckily it’s not even that extensive of a problem since most of the figure’s body is molded the color it has to be.  The only other painted areas are his knee/shoulder pads and the wrappings around his hands and ankles.  Any slop on these parts can be seen as a variation in the fabric, so it’s really just the bandanna you need to watch out for.  Continue to page 2…

20 thoughts on “Vault Review: Nickelodeon Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles Donatello

  1. Damn fine review again! Don was my favourite of the heroic turtles. Still won’t be getting him, though. I hate the animated style, and besides, Playmates have joined Bandai America for being jingoist jerkbags and not allowing non-Americans to have any.

      1. I sympathise, Jesús. However difficult it is to get things outside the USA, it seems it must be even harder to get them in Mexico.

  2. Wow. Between these, the classics, and the TMNT figures I have, I’m going to have to hunt down the original four again. still so upset that I sold them when I got to middle school 🙁

  3. I’m surprisingly loving the Nick Turtles more than the Classics. The Classics are quality figures, but the new style just appeals more to me. I’m hoping that the sales of the four turtles convinces Playmates to make a new Shredder with better articulation…and a Metalhead, who’s mentioned in Don’s bio card…

    As for the weapon, that’s a three-section staff. If you ever saw the movie Surf Ninjas, Ernie Reyes Sr.’s character uses it pretty well.

  4. the tri-chuk is called a sansetsukon in japanese… the ring thing looks like a stylized shuriken to me, or a wind and fire wheel (though that’s a chinese martial weapon, not japanese… and you get into a strange thing here where the taoist deity nezha wielded a set of W&FWs, and he takes inspiration from krishna and nalakubar, who wielded chakram which resemble W&FWs but were obviously thrown weapons, where W&FWs are melee weapons… so yeah, call them W&FWs unless you intend him to throw them… or call them shuriken, since that’s a japanese term, and applies to a broad category of weapons)

    1. I thought the three joined sticks thing was just an ordinary rice-flail that happened to be handy and made for a good makeshift patooty-kicker.

      1. The three-section staff, historically, has its roots as a Chinese weapon whose use eventually spread to the Ryukyu kingdom (modern-day Okinawa). It’s the nunchaku that has been theorized as having origins as an agricultural tool for threshing grain (or alternatively, as a wooden bit for horses) but even those ideas are of questionable historical accuracy as with a lot of claims when it comes to the traditional Asian martial arts, where myth and true events are often conflated and presented as supposedly unburnished fact.

  5. Donatello’s biceps looked reversed to me. Must be too much Mattel influence creeping into my toy habits. I switched them on mine, and the elbow pads look a little better (cover more of the outside of the elbow than the inside), but the shoulder joint doesn’t look great either way.

    I can’t make up my mind which way I like them.

    I do like the soft plastic that let me swap these so easily back and forth!

    1. They look reversed to me as well. On the 2004 figures, fixing that was as simple as swiveling a few joints around, but because these guys appear to have swivels BELOW their elbow guards, it’s a more difficult fix. Bummer.

    2. I thought this too. It slightly restricts how close he can hold the bo to his body, the way the pads are angled out. Peaugh on twitter swapped them and said it was no good, so I didn’t try.

    3. Yeah, those shoulders are actually correct. My Don has his oriented the same way, and the triceps are more correct this way, and also if you look at what would be his deltoids if the arms were switched, you will notice that they do not have any detailing (since they aren’t really meant to be seen).
      For some reason his shoulder joints are just more visible than on his brothers, but these are on correctly.

      I have found that the turtles can have their forearms swapped (my Raph had this), but they are an easy fix, and really they are not that noticeable anyway (unlike, say Stinkor) due to their mostly conical shape.

  6. @Beedo – How can you ‘hate’ these figures, you must be on one, these are the best figs since the NECA ones dude.

    1. Easy. Like I’ve said, I don’t like hyper-exaggerated animé-style figures. That’s all there is to it. If these’d been done in a more “realistic” style, I would’ve snapped ’em up. Oh, wait, I couldn’t . . . because non-Americans aren’t allowed to have any!

      Also, the reports of limited / blocked articulation across the line doesn’t exactly warm me up to them to begin with.

      1. who’s to say what a ninja clad man-sized mutant turtle would really look like in real life, maybe these are realistic looking….from a certain point of view.

        1. Look at the April in this line and tell me you’ve seen girls walking around looking exactly like her. I rest my case.

          Now stop persecuting me for my beliefs. };D

  7. Hey guys, I have all four of the main turtles as well as April and I have a quick question. Are the belts glued on your turtles? They are on all of mine. This wouldn’t be a problem, but it’s not glued on straight on Donny. I might take him back and exchange him because its so off center.

    1. The belts seem to be glued on the left side, under the arm. If you’re careful you could probably pry it off and readjust it. But if you don’t want to hassle with it then you should take him back and get a new one.

  8. Great reviews! Where did you get such awesome wooden crates? They compliment these figures very nicely!

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