REVIEW: Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Nickelodeon Animated Series
If You Love TMNT, You Will Love These Figures...
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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back and with a brand new animated series on Nickelodeon and Playmates Toys is right there with them with a new line of action figures to go along with it. I’m starting to lose track of just how many times the Turtles have been relaunched, but it’s always satisfying for some reason because no matter how many things change, the core things stay the same. Leonardo is still the leader, Donatello is still the genius inventor, Raphael is still the cool rude one, and Michelangelo is still looking to party and goof around. Oh, and they’re still teenagers, they’re still ninjas, and they’re still mutants.
The new line of action figures should already be hitting retail stores now, or very shortly, depending on where you live. The first wave consists of the classic four Turtles, Splinter, April O’Neil, Shredder, Kraang, and Foot Solider. We’re just going to look at the classic four in this review.
As someone who has collected TMNT since 1988, I do find it funny that I’m always buying the new versions of the main four Turtles, even if I don’t faithfully watch the show or even like the film (TMNT). But having done this so many times, Playmates has managed to deliver brand new action figures that are the best we’ve ever received (Ignoring the new Classics line, of course. Read our review HERE).
Each turtle is uniquely sculpted with their own facial expressions, weapons, and belt straps. Even their shells have their own distinct mold with different cuts and battle markings on each (Raphael seems to be the most cut up of the bunch). Each turtle has a belt that can hold their respective weapon with Leonardo and Donatello having the extra shoulder strap to hold theirs. Scale-wise, these are pretty close to the original vintage line and it also needs to be stressed that Michelangelo is slightly smaller than the rest of them.
And if you did need reminding, Leonardo (blue) comes with two katana swords, Raphael (red) comes with two sai, Donatello (purple) comes with one bo staff, and Michelangelo (orange) comes with two nunchuks. Like the vintage Turtle figures from 1988, they also each come with a menagerie of other plastic ninja weapons to twist or cut out. The difference this time is that they’re not all orange; only Michelangelo and Donatello have the orange/brown hued weapons while Leonardo and Raphael have the gray or silver colored weapons.
It would have been nice if the main weapons had more than one color, more importantly on the nunchuks and the bo staff, but it’s a minor quibble. Another minor quibble is for Donatello’s bo staff, which could be a bit longer. Again, these are plastic weapons so putting Michelangelo in a dynamic pose will be the most challenging.
Articulation on the four turtles have been greatly improved with each relaunch and I think kids and collectors alike will get a kick out of what these turtles can do. On my count there’s about 19 points of articulation on each Turtle, which is significantly higher than previous releases.
Paint on these four are decently good for mass market figures. And obviously, they went with the decision to not paint in the pupils even though these were fully intended to go with the new cartoon series. That may be an issue for some but I personally think these designs look better with the mysterious white eyes. Each turtle again has a different shade of green with Raphael being the darkest this go-round. I believe the turtles are the same color in the toon so it is somewhat of a head scratcher why the toys are constantly different from the toon designs.
If you were debating about picking up another round of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I highly recommend that you do. They’re seriously a lot of fun and in the same scale as the vintage Turtles, meaning all your vintage vehicles can be pulled out again if you’re feeling nostalgic. Playmates has been with TMNT since the beginning and it’s fantastic to see how far they’ve come with it. Even without watching the show, you can’t help but enjoy the toys on their own. And for $9 each, this is a better deal than anything else out there. If you love TMNT, you will love these figures.
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Courtesy of Playmates Toys
Re: REVIEW: Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Nickelodeon Animated Series
These are seriously great products at a great price. I bought two sets each.