Friday, July 27, 2012

Nickelodeon Revives TMNT: Here's Raph and Don!

In case you didn't know: Nickelodeon is going to be bringing back TMNT in September.  So far it's lookin' pretty cool!  I'ma set my DVR to record that sucker but, of course - who has to wait that long to get some TMNT goodness?  Barely anyone!  The toys have been sighted out and about (though they're technically not supposed to hit until 7/29) so you can get your turtle fix before the show airs.  I found these at Toys R Us!

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!


  1. I am more excited for these than the Classics, even. They just look so fun! I still have a lot of affection for the 2003 figures, but their articulation wasn't great.

  2. Fun is certainly the key word here. The Classics look like they're gona suffer from too much articulation. I don't know why they need articulated toes and fingers....I have a feeling they won't hold their weapons well, but we'll see. I'm gona get Raph at least, and go from there depending on how much I like him.

  3. Argh, the more I see of these the more jealous I am that you've found them and I haven't. I agree with you about the individuality of each turtle. Even if the new show is a bust the toys look great (and in the end, that's what I'm looking for).

    1. Yeah, in the end I think these toys will shine on beyond the show; fail or not. People will be tryin' to get ahold of these ones years from now, I think. These seriously get the TMNT look down while being fun and interesting. I haven't felt like this about TMNT toys in a LONG while.

  4. I must admit these guys look awesome, and I'm kinda tempted.

    But, really, nothing is ever going to top the NECA set from a few years back. (And PS that Raph can also do the Sai thing. With both hands.)

  5. Gotta dig there big stompy feet.

    You've probably seen this Alexx, but that new turtle lair... should have sent a poet. So beautiful and fun looking. That is some impressive workmanship.

    1. Yeah, the turtle lair is knockin' me out. I know I don't have the space for it, but MAN I want it! We'll see what happens. If logic wins out I'll go without it but...we'll see.

  6. What playset is in the photos? An older sewer set?
    I haven't bought any of these figures yet, but I kind of think if I do it's going to result in one of the new Sewer Playsets being in my house. Remember the days when every two-bit toyline came with at least one big playset? ('Cuz I don't. I'm too young. I'm just nostalgic for things I can't even remember.)

    1. That is the Ghostbuster firehouse playset; useful for many things! And honestly, if you only get one big playset, then I think that new Sewer playset is THE ONE to get. I want it so bad, but it's SO HUGE that I don't think I'll have a place for it. But man, it would cover so many different wants for backgrounds. It's got the whole sewer, some stuff in between like pipes 'n such, a surface street with some building backdrops, and even a little higher with a fire escape and some phone poles! UGH I WANT IT SO BAD

      Anyway, yeah, lots of playsets back in the day. I didn't have many of them though. The only one my parents bought was Castle Grayskull, and from then on I bought everything else myself at garage sales. The Ghostbuster house has been with me since I was little, and I bought it for 50 cents with some meager cash my mom handed me so I could get a toy at the local garage sales on my street. Also bought a big Star Wars vehicle in the same manner.

      (Wait, how young are you?)

    2. Actually, I suspect we're close to the same age. I'm 27, so I had my formative years in the late 80s and early 90s, when big-playset-mania was coming to an end. That's not to say there weren't any AT ALL, they were just less common. We had a Batcave, for example, but we missed out on the really ridiculous stuff like the USS Flagg and Fortress Maximus and Eternia and the Hyve.

      Now that I'm thinking about it, modern lines haven't totally neglected the awesome playsets, they just come out infrequently. Moreover they seem to have the awesomeness condensed - have you seen the modern AT-AT? The thing is the size of a Great Dane. And the modern Millennium Falcon, and so on.

      Anyway I've already devoted about 45% of my toy room floor space for a USS Flagg that I lucked into a few years ago. Fortunately that monster also doubles as a display surface. I get the feeling that the Sewer Playset would have to be displayed, ridiculously, on the deck of the Flagg...

    3. Yep, I'm 28! So we grew up in the same timeframe. I guess I just considered it a similar area, even if I technically missed them. Our time was a time when that stuff would be at garage sales, and so they were! Sadly I didn't find many of the greats. I remember looking through old toy books at the time and wishing I had been just a tiny bit earlier for a lot of Joes and vehicles (though I did find a Hiss II collecting dust in an old mom 'n pop shop with my Grandmas back in the day).

      So I guess I talk more about times that I wasn't technically around or fully awake for, but I consider them part of my times. I mean, He-Man was in it's last year when I was awake enough, but it was there enough for me to enjoy it (mostly through my brother's toys). I think many He-Man fans were actually 10 or so around those times, which may be why they regard the toon higher than I do (since all I remember is sounds and flashy colors, which makes sense since I would have been in that stage).

      Anyway: Yeah I've seen a lot of those big ass playsets they bring out every so often. My friend has the AT-AT! Friggin' ridiculous. Not important enough to me to bother getting, though. If it's a huge playset then I really gotta want it to bother spending the cash and space. The MotUC Castle Grayskull is one, and the Sewer playset is driving me crazy, but we'll see if I can manage to avoid it. The new house will have more space, so we'll see.

      As for the Flagg - WHOO BOY I don't think I could fit that in without mention from my wife. If anything I'd probably use it as a coffee table. I would love one, though.

    4. Oh yeah, there was wife-mentioning when the Flagg was purchased. We weren't married at the time, but we were engaged. Fortunately she understands that I'm kind of insane.

      Speaking of looking through old toy books, my childhood days were spent pining after the entire G1 Transformers line, which was fizzling out by the time I learned about it. Any time I'd meet a new kid, my opening line was "Have any Transformers?" Looking back, my early childhood was during the only time when there weren't any Transformers toys in the US market since the line's genesis (also true for Star Wars, and partially true for GI Joe, which was declining towards Xtremity). G2 and Beast Wars were good, but it was those original characters I wanted, no matter how blocky and fragile the toys were.

      So it's no wonder that I carried the collecting bug into adulthood.

    5. Yeah it's good to have a wife that understands your insanity; the only reason I jumped on Grayskull so quickly was because my wife was cool with it. I'm used to wanting friggin' EVERYTHING, so naturally I keep away from things on my own. It's nice to have a second person that can validate certain things, or understand you well enough to say "It's obvious this is more important than any other set, so why aren't get getting it?"

      As for booklets: SAME THING, but with G.I. Joes. The HISS II I spoke of came with a big booklet of everything I had missed and would never see in stores (still have it, actually). I spent so much time looking over it and straining my eyes to see the details on the tiny pictures of figures. I spent a lot of time trying to track them down to no avail. Nowadays I could just buy 'em all pretty easily (in fact the local comic shop has a lot of them for cheap) but I know they would just be set somewhere with the knowledge of "Yay, I have it now!" so I stay away; especially when do many of them have been redone better nowadays.

      Transformers was never much my thing, though. I liked the crazy colors in the G2 days, but anything based on original molds bored the crap out of me. I realize why now: The action feature was transforming; plain and simple. If it could move afterward in robot form, then that was a bonus. I just hated the figures that looked like cool robots, but then they couldn't do anything. My first Optimus was the G2 version and I was GEEKED to get it, 'cause I always wanted the first version, but when I got 'em...meh. His legs bend at the knees, but the hips don't go forward, so they're pointless. He can't anything.

      Pretty much was the same for all of 'em until Beast Wars and thier brilliant ball joints; they were SO much fun. Still, after that I wasn't into Transformers again until Energon enticed me with translucent weapons and then Cybertron pulled me in with the first actually playable robot forms across the board (lots of great figures from Cybertron that I wana go over at some point).

    6. A fair and accurate assessment. A lot of the earlier G1 figures completely fail in the face of modern design - just look at Starscream. The poor guy is just a pile of wings, fists, and guns that rearrange into an immobile post pretending to be a robot.

      But unfortunately logic and reason don't stand a chance in the face of my overwhelming nostalgia! Ahahaha! Plus I've gotten to the point where I can appreciate their apparent flaws as beauty. It's the same mental method I use when I'm playing oblique NES games like Final Fantasy. All the same, if I pull down a figure to play with, it's probably NOT going to be one from the G1 shelf.

    7. That is also a fair assessment; because the original Optimus is almost cooler in my eyes now than when I was a kid, which is usually the opposite. I'm still not a fan, but I like the old boxy look. Maybe it's because I have displays now; I didn't when I was a kid. If I couldn't play with it, then what was a point? Now I can look at stuff and appreciate the view. I'm still glad to have the original Optimus and I won't get rid of him (especially because he has this awesome box with sounds and voices like "I AM OPTIMUS PRIME!")

      I also agree on the video game front, as I find myself hooking up the Nintendo kinda often now (though right now I'm playing through Mario RPG on the SNES for the millionth time for no good reason. I mean I've got a ton of untouched NEW games, I don't need to beat the every loving crap out of Mario RPG again).

      Funny story since you mentioned FF1: My copy was drenched in a flood somewhere in the early 2000's. I watched the water drain out of there and everything! However, to this day the cartridge not only still works, but my save is still on there. Amazing!

    8. I'm tellin' ya, Nintendo stuff from the 80s is built out of a combination of mithril, chogokin, gundanium, and whatever FISTO's fist is made from.

      And because this comment thread isn't long enough yet, I'm going to mention that I just beat Mario RPG for the very first time a few months ago. It's a game I'd played multiple times since it first came out, but I never owned it, and always managed to put it down before I got to the end. Well this time, I meant business, so I plopped down my thirty bucks at Game X Change and powered through that game. I even beat whats-his-name from FFIV. (Princess with lazy shell, man. Princess with lazy shell.)

    9. Oh yeah, the fact that I can even get my NES to do anything is a testament to that. My XBox 360 is barely used (we pretty much bought it for Tales of Vesperia alone) and it keeps screwing up. From just sitting there. Doing nothing. Granted, the NES has way less moving parts and is less complicated all around (save for the baffling push-in-press-down feature that they added for the american one and then thankfully took out of the second version) so I guess more moving parts and a CD reader means more chances for hiccups.

      And congrats on beating Mario RPG! I've gone through it so many times that there is little point to doing so; I'm so prepared for every fight that it's kinda like bullying. I am doing some new things this time around though, like getting some items I never bothered to get in the past. Just beat Culex myself as well (though he's a homage to Final Fantasy, he's not actually from IV though they use the boss song) and used my usual group of Mario, Bowser and Geno. Never used the Princess before, though bascially anyone you talk to does. 'Course that also probably led to me having a harder time back in the day, but now I can pretty much choose whoever and kill things. Fantastic game! Was one of my first RPGs.