Maybe I'm just not paying attention, but how often is the name of the channel that airs the show actually on the card of the toys? I know sometimes there will be a little "blast" sticker on the front saying something about catching the cartoon, but Nickelodeon is right in the name of these guys! ...course that's just an observation. Doesn't give or take anything; in fact, I'm glad someone is bringing these back at all! Especially with these awesome designs!
Raphael has always been a big favorite, so he is always the first Turtle I get if I'm buying TMNT. My favorite color has been red for as long as I can remember, AND Raph is a hilarious jerk, so there's two high points on the Alexx List.
Anyway: So much detail! The skin is all scratched and pitted and just looks like turtle skin! It's not as rubbery as the old movie turtles, but it still has a pleasant feel that matches the look. The rest of 'em just says "Raphael" - from the crack on his chest to his ANGRY FRIGGIN' FACE. Love that! Big 'ol teeth snarling at you. Everything about Raph is battle worn; even his bandanna!
Speaking of battle:
He comes with his signature sais, though now he can actually hold (at least in one hand) the sai like you see 'em used in movies and whatnot. I wish I could think of examples, but I'm sure I've seen Raph hold his sai like he is in his right hand, and I'm glad that at least ONE of his figures can finally do that! Partly because of the hand, and partly because his sais are actual sais this time around, rather than sharp sai-like knives.
But wait folks - that's not all!
Raph comes with extra weapons; all great stuff for a little rough housing brawl. They come in a classic weapon tree (though I didn't take a picture of it...but most of you will know what I mean) that you can cut the weapons from; just like the old days. Now, I imagine that they could have put them in a tree to be all nostalgic 'n stuff....but I think it's to save costs. Toys are going up and up in price right now, so I don't blame any company when they can save money wherever they can. This works for that purpose and gives the figure that little nostalgic edge, so there ain't a thing to complain about! Well okay, maybe one thing: Did Raph really need two items that are just about the same thing as his sais, but minus one prong? The stars and hook swords are cool as hell, but those other two items just seem superfluous - maybe it's just me. I guess they can be backup!
Anyway, Raph has moved his favorite place to stow the sais:
He keeps them on his back now! Which is awesome, because the old front-mounted deal that he has been using up 'till now has almost always bent his sais or just were absolutely useless. Can't remember which, but I know there was one Raphael figure that actually couldn't use those front sai sheaths because of how they were positioned.
So they're on the back, and they work great.
Even better: You can put anything back there! Well, any of the items he comes with, at least.
Now I wish I had a ton of figures around for comparisons, but currently all my old TMNT stuff is in storage save for some newer ones from the last movie, soooo....
Gah! Ew man! Maybe I'm alone in this, but those previous movie turtles did NOT look that bad until I stood them next to this one. I was totally okay with them, in fact, I got all four of them (rather than just getting Raph, which I did with the 2003 line) because I thought they were the best turtles we had gotten so far. Well WOW they are friggin' freaky now! They look so....manly. I mean like dudes wearing a shell and a mask! I knew I liked the new turtles as soon as I saw them, but apparently they look so natural and cool that they just BLOW the previous ones away! At least the last movie ones, I mean. I still love my classic movie Raph.
So that's Raphael! I highly enjoy him, and he seriously shot to the near top of my list of favorite Raphaels. I didn't expect him to kill the previous ones so deftly, but I'll be damned if those turtles from the last movie don't look freaky now.
So lets move on to Donatello:
MAN I am blown away by the individuality of these guys! Where Raph was all banged up and scuffed with a cracked chest and tattered bandanna, Don is nice and clean with only a minor scuff on his chest and a perfect bandanna. And that boy is serious! You can see that his animation model has a gap in his teeth, so I assume that's why they close the mouth here, though I wouldn't have minded it to keep with his character. I mean, I'm loving these as just TMNT right now, but when the toon starts I'm gona get to know their new personalities and I'll probably want them reflected in the toys.
For now though, I love what the toys are building all on their own! As any TMNT fan knows, Don is the mechanic and smarty-pants of the team, so we have a serious and thoughtful face. It's really cool as a balance to the standard grimacing faces of TMNT figures, and I love it!
Now Donatello comes with the tree of weapons as well, though I was a little disappointed that he didn't come with any tools 'n stuff. I'm sure a future figure will, and heck, this is pretty classic as I've said, so all these items still fit. Don has his bo staff, a naginata, two bladed discs, and a three-part staff.
His classic bo is cool and wider at one end, so it's got a nice custom feel. That, and it looks like the three-part staff is supposed to be the same bo, because they line up in size:
The wrapping is the same size, and it has the same wider and thinner ends. Kinda neat! The naginata also has a thinner and wider end, but the wrapping is a different size, so I consider it a different item.
Main thing I want to cover is that I think the bo looks a little small. You really get the feeling when he holds it in both hands, though you can still see it with only one. It's like he's holding more of a wooden sword than a bo. It's not terrible, but here, look at an alternative:
See how the length makes the difference? Seems more like a staff that way, while the one he comes with is more like a long club.
Still, I can't completely come to a conclusion, because I like the stuff he comes with! I'm kinda torn on giving him something else and keeping him just with what he comes with - dunno why it matters. Anyway, you be the judge! Lets move on to the other items:
Like I said: I wish he had come with some tools but, dang he has some cool stuff! Somehow it just seems so...Donatello! Not sure how to explain it. He doesn't just come with the same ninja stars that others might come with - he comes with these industrial-looking saw blades, like they were custom made. And the naginata is an awesome addition, and...kinda odd. Not in a bad way - I think it's awesome - but it's funny to think how non-bladed weapons were usually preferred so they do less damage, but now they are adding blades to characters that didn't originally have them, like Don here (and Michelangelo comes with a bladed weapon as well!) It's just funny because they have to do the usual TV show thing and avoid having them really use the blades - you know, unless it's a robot.
Still, it's just another observation. I like it! The naginata looks good and it works with Donatello.
Then there's the three-part staff. Man! You ever see one of those used? It's like a Jedi's lightsaber, in that it's useless and causes self-induced injuries in the hands of the unskilled, but crazy useful and deadly in the hands of the skilled. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that shows this in use, but it's pretty impressive. There are quite a few ways to use it, though most of those are closed to the figure since this doesn't have a real chain. Not that I'd want one! I like the pre-posed item, as it works better for an action figure that'll be most often knocking other figures around.
Last thing that is cool about the variance in the figures is that they're all different sizes! Donatello is the tallest, and I believe Mike is the shortest. Raph and Leo are around medium (though still different I believe). It's yet another cool detail that sets these TMNT toys above the rest in my book! I love that their personalities don't have to be shown; you can see them right in the figures.
I really love these figures so far. Donatello is just as highly suggested as Raph, and honestly, I don't see any reason to skip any of them. If you've been waiting for just the right set of turtles to collect the whole team...well, I think this is it! I thought it was the last movie figures, but having these ones just puts the previous ones to shame. These are definitely the ones! They're so fun to play with and they just look fantastic. You can't beat the detail and the simple but useful articulation. I had a lot of fun with these, and I think any TMNT fan will as well. Heck, I would even suggest these to non-TMNT fans as well - they're just fun toys!