REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection - LEONARDO
Sword Swingin' Turtle Takes the Spotlight...
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Twenty four years ago, the collective minds of kids across America were stricken with a "Turtle Fever" in a way that nobody could expect. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the animated series had introduced kids who weren’t reading comic books to mutation and other dimensions. The toys produced by Playmates were fun but not exactly a perfect representation of what was seen on the show. At long last, Playmates Toys brings us the CLASSIC COLLECTION that includes the original four turtles - Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo - completely redone with new looks inspired by the original animated series from 1988. Much in the same way that G.I.Joe 30th Anniversary series and Transformers Masterpiece has reenergized my interest in the characters I’ve grown up with, the same applies here because these figures kick so much shell. They kick so much shell in fact that I need to focus on one at a time because they’re that cool.
Leonardo, the dutiful leader of the turtles, was probably my favorite of the four (with Raph being a close second). I always had an affinity for the color blue and what kid isn’t fascinated with swords?
Scale is a new thing on these Turtles as they’re much taller than the 6” scale (almost appropriate for Masters of the Universe Classics). It makes these turtles even more display worthy. The sculpt on Leonardo is also pretty darn close to perfect. Its expression is stunningly similar to the vintage expression without looking confused or scared, this updated Leo is stern and ready for battle.
Articulation on these Turtles is also greatly improved from the vintage figures that had only about seven points. These new figures boast 34 points of articulation! It says so on the box! But my own count, there’s about 40 unique joints (two in the thumb alone) so that’s quite an impressive count. There’s basically enough joints to do all the poses you’ve always wanted to do. Some joints are slightly looser than others so you might need some support for some of the crazier poses.
Leonardo comes with only his two signature katana blades and a manhole figure stand. The katanas are painted blue and silver and fit into his back sheath.
Now one thing I definitely have to bring up is toon vs toy accuracy. The packaging of these new Classic Collection figures is reminiscent of the vintage toy packaging with stone bricks breaking away to reveal the character. But the packaging itself states that these figures are inspired by the original TMNT animated series. But if they truly were inspired by the toon, the belt buckle should be gray and the colors of the Turtles each should be the same green hue as well. Leonardo also has a shoulder strap for additional support, something that was absent in the toon but doubled in the original figure. It’s a good balance overall and something I don’t mind too much. The most important thing is that these are truly toon inspired sculpts and with improved articulation to boot. These are the definitive vintage Turtles we’ve all been waiting for and I can only hope that Playmates is planning an entire line of villains to go along with it.
Leonardo and the other Turtles are available at retail for about $15-17 NOW!
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Classic Collection Leo Courtesy of Playmates Toys