My favorite toy line of last year was Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. It was extremely fun and appealed to my collector side and the kid inside me who still likes to play. But the line wasn’t perfect, and those issues still persist in its second year.
Leatherhead was one of my favorite figures as a kid. There’s just something about a Cajun crocodile that wields a shotgun and bear traps that’s hard to say no to. So I was really looking forward to his reboot figure, especially after getting a peak at those fantastic sketches Toy Fair. Unfortunately he was a bit disappointing when I finally found him on the peg last week. But I still bought him, hoping he’d be more fun out of the box.
I’ll start off with Leatherhead’s sculpt, which is definitely this figure’s best feature. The toy looks like it popped right off the sketch pages for his character design. He stands slumped forward with large spines running down his back and all the way to the end of his tail. His arms and legs are covered in diamond shaped scales, while his shoulders have a large plated armor look. His webbed claws are outstretched like he’s about to grab an enemy, while his face has a menacing smile.
All these great sculpted details are regrettably brought to us in the wrong scale. In the new Nick series, Leatherhead is a massive mutant croc. With his slouching body, Leatherhead’s shoulders sit highest at about eight feet. This means he should dwarf all the turtle brothers, who are only about five feet tall. Some reduction is size would have been fine and entirely understandable, especially with how bulky the character is. Unfortunately Playmates gave us a figure that is about Mikey’s height.
Leatherhead’s loss in size wasn’t made up for in articulation either. His shoulders and hips are swivel/hinges, while his head and tail are swivel joints. That’s it. Like a lot of the secondary figures, hinged elbows and knees would have been great here. Without them he’s really stuck doing one or two good looking poses, none of which are very action-y. But the real crime is not giving him a hinged jaw. Like the original, it would have given the new figure loads more personality. Continue to page 2…