REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection - DONATELLO
The Nerd of the Herd Gets His Due...
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Playmates Toys’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection continues to be a hard toy to find these days since it seems like Toys’R’Us is the only retailer (for now) carrying the product. Lucky fans have found their heroes in a half shell and others have resorted to Amazon (not a bad price originally) and other online e-tailers. Figures.com has taken a closer look at three of the turtles already but we’re finally giving Donatello his due. The reason this review is a lot more delayed is because it actually took me a good long time to find one with decently painted eyes. The sample we received was a bit derpy to say the least.
Getting right to it, the retro packaging is a sight to behold, resembling the original toy packaging from the 80s. The card and bubble for each of the turtles is just about identical with the same artwork and text with the exception of the character name. The one thing that sticks out for me, however, are the illustrated turtles themselves. These are certainly a tribute to the original toon AND toyline but they’re using the marketing artwork used on products and merchandise. They’re the super fun, happy, kid-friendly version of the Turtles which isn’t exactly the right mood for these figures.
Donatello is the nerd of the herd, the inventor of crazy gadgets, the smart, insightful turtle. The turtle in purple colors is also the master of the bo staff. Playmates has given Don an expression that is almost like the vintage version but not quite. He’s gritting his teeth on the right and closed mouth on the left. Along with the determined eyebrow expression, Donatello isn’t one to be messed around with! The rest of the sculpt is very similar to the other turtles.
The scale on these Turtles are a bit taller than the usual size since these are turtles and should be shorter than humans. They’re just about right with Masters of the Universe Classics but too big for most Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics.
Articulation on Donatello and the rest of the turtles are greatly improved upon 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.
Don only comes with one bo staff and a manhole figure stand. The bo staff is painted brown and white and a tad shorter than I was hoping. Still, I’m glad the bo was not painted purple since the other turtles had weapon handles that matched their colors. The bo can be stowed away on the belt strap on his shell when not fighting.
When it comes to paint, the majority of the parts are produced in that specific color plastic so most everything is pretty clean. The big if in this case are in the eyes. It took me a while to find one that was pretty decent looking so that is one of the risks you face when ordering online. I think the later batches of the Turtles should have better looking eyes overall so let’s hope more of these make it to the shelves.
The last thing I want to touch up on is toy vs toon accuracy. These Classic Collection figures boast their inspiration from the original cartoon. But if that were really the case, Donatello would be the same shade green as everyone else. Don was more of an olive green in the original toyline so he’s definitely a lighter shade here, which I’m fine with. Also the belt buckles would be gray in the cartoon but here they are black with yellow lettering. These aren’t deal-breakers to be sure, but it’s always bewildering when a few things aren’t 100%.
In the end, I couldn’t be happier with Playmates’ Classic Collection Ninja Turtles. Now if only there were swappable heads! Donatello and the other turtles are available at retail for about $15-17 if you’re lucky enough to find them!
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Classic Collection Leo Courtesy of Playmates Toys