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    REVIEW: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Out of the Shadows Action Figures

    Turtles For A New Generation Of Fans...



    Coming out of the shadows of the sewer this summer is another live action/CG outing of the four most bodacious Ninja Turtles from New York City in Michael Bayís TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS. And like all things Ninja Turtles, Playmates Toys brings it all back with new action figures based on the film, which means fighting for shelf space at your local Targets and Wal-Marts are both animated Nickelodeon turtles AND Out of the Shadows movie turtles. Both sell for the same price point and should be easy enough to differentiate.




    Weíre going to take a look at the four main turtles today, as well as the evil KRAANG (or is it Krang?). All basic figures will run about $9-10 at retail give-or-take and will come on a standard card stock and bubble. The lead turtles each have individual packaging designs while the side characters and villains have a more generic card back featuring all four turtles together.




    The card back offers a look at the entire assortment but offers little about the individual characters youíre taking home. Hopefully youíll have seen the movie first anyway.




    The sculpt on all four turtles are completely unique with practically no parts shared amongst them, which makes sense given how different they do look in the film. Gone are the days where you choose your favorite based on color or weapon, as these turtles are as different as can be with different bodies, height, and width. One thing I should note is that all turtles are sculpted wearing either shorts or pants and some even wear shoes or boots. Slightly different from the on-screen turtles are their shells, which seem to be humongous in the film, are shrunk down severely in toy form.




    Leonardo, the leader in blue, is the most fit of the foursome, with a serious but calm expression. His armor, or lack thereof gives him the most ninja-like design whereas his brothers have a little bit more attitude in varying degrees.




    Raphael in red, is a bulkier turtle, with his mask covering his entire head rather than just around the eyes. Raph is the meanest of the bunch, expression wise. Ralph is bare footing it while his brothers are going with more protection.




    Donatello in purple is decked with a lot more electronic gear and some non-removable eye-ware. Interesting though that the goggles on his forehead arenít screen accurate. These are more X-Men Cyclops style goggles rather than the Ghostbusters Ecto Goggles look seen in the film. Don is the slimmest of the four turtles, and the only one with glasses over his mask.




    Michelangelo in the orange mask is almost cracking a smile. The one that likes to party is the shortest (though heís pretty close in height with Leonardo) and hippest, wearing sneakers, multi-colored shorts, and a hoodie sweatshirt tied around his waist.




    Kraang and his androd body isnít as large as youíd expect him to be, standing only a head over the tallest turtle. The design definitely takes cues from the original animated android body but changes it up a bit so that it looks more metallic and a lot more menacing. The Kraang brain part is a soft rubbery plastic that can be squished into place, but never quite looks comfortable. I canít seem to get him positioned properly so have fun with that. Heís got ten rubbery tentacles and a hollow centerÖ heís a solid looking brain but perhaps shaped a little too long for the droid body.




    In the category of paint, I found nothing to complain about, as most of the lines and edges are done rather clean. Where you might come off a bit more disappointed are in the lack of colors to really make each character pop. Not everything will be movie-accurate so donít expect the figures to have eyes painted on nor will all the details be accented.




    Kraangís paint on his body is a little less solid, with a lot of blurred edges and missed lines. You probably wonít notice unless you take a hard look but he could also use a few more details to really sell the robot body, but we have to keep in mind that these are toys made for kids.




    Now when it comes to articulation, Playmates Toys has really stepped up the game, with each figure almost as articulated as a classic G.I.Joe figure. With about 19 points of articulation per turtle, itís quite a lot more than the original Turtle figures from yester-year! The real trick is that each shoulder, elbow, thigh, and knee is a ball joint, giving you a full range of motion. Wrists and neck are standard points of articulation. If only the turtles had the ability to look up, you could really create some great poses.

    Kraang on the other hand only has about 14 points of articulation with only his right elbow, thighs, and knees having ball joints. The left elbow is a single pivot as are the shoulders and neck. While itís a tad disappointing itís generally better than most villains tend to get in this line.




    When it comes to accessories, each turtle comes with minimum their weapon of choice and maybe something else. Poor Leonardo only comes with his two unpainted gray katana blades, which fit comfortably in the holders on his back. Raphael has two sais and two other weapons, molded in gray plastic as well. Donatello has a high tech looking gray plastic bo staff, headphones (that can be held on his backpack), and a black plastic something that I may not be able to describe until I see the film. Michelangelo has a neat looking skateboard molded in gray plastic with orange wheels. Mikey also comes with unfortunate looking orange plastic nunchuks. Kraang has his body and brain and not much else.

    When it comes down to it, these are turtles for a new generation and fans of the movie should really get a kick out of these figures.


    Review and Photography by David Yeh
    Turtles Courtesy of Playmates Toys
    Kraang Purchased by the Reviewer


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