What's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toyline without a guy covered in blades called Shredder? Nothin'! That's what. So here we go! If there's a TMNT toyline, then I'm gona buy a Shredder. I'd like to, anyway. There were a ton of great Shredders over the years, but most of them were back in the day when I had to ask my parents for 'em and...you know, happen to catch the figures in the store. For instance, I never found Super Shredder! Dunno why I never ran into him (or why I would want a guy that was around for a few minutes before being crushed under a dock and a massive end-movie "cowabunga.")
But never mind that! I'm an adult (more or less) and now I can grab any Shredder that comes around, so long as they don't get canceled or never see the light of day.
So this is our new Shredder! Just like the turtles you can see that he's quite stylized. Big 'ol feet, barrel chest, um...huge chunks of armor. While I can't say I completely agree with the fifty pounds of metal he has on each leg, it does make me think of the whole weighted clothing idea from Dragon Ball Z, and that's kinda cool. If you're unfamiliar with the idea: In DBZ some of them wore weighted clothes, so that when they took off the weights they were lighter and faster. In a sense. I mean, in the show they just got friggin' ridiculous, but that's DBZ for you. Anyway, it makes me think of that, but it doesn't quite go all the way because the armor is not removable.
The armor has kinda grown on me over the weeks of owning this guy, somehow. I might have skipped him normally, but this TMNT toyline is looking to be my top favorite so far, so I knew I would want the Shredder regardless of however Playmates decides to cripple him (like usual). Shredder has only a few crippling features: One, he has no knee joints. Just straight legs. Two, his sword just flops around in his hand.
The lack of knees doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and that's mostly because he has hips that allow him to do side kicks 'n such. That opens him up a bit more than if he had just had the cut joint hip that only allowed his legs to move forward and back.
The sword irks me a bit more. He'll hold it fine and it won't fall out of his hand, but it doesn't fit snugly. It flops around and slides and was not made for his hand at all. That's displayed by the fact that this is actually the sword that comes with the standard Foot Solider, so he was made for him first and just tossed in with Shredder for the sake of matching Foot Clan swords. But come on! Give Shredder his own thing - he's not gona be carrying around a regular ninja sword. That sucker needs some spikes or some crazy junk like he's got all over himself.
Anyway, here's two other options:
There's a sword from his previous movie version. It's a little large, but it is a Shredder item.
This one is my favorite, even if it's just another plain sword. It fits in his hand perfectly and it stays within the same toyline, 'cause it's the extra sword that comes with Leonardo! Since...well I dunno why Leo has an extra sword with no place to put it, I see no reason why Shredder can't have it to fix the problem.
One final thing has to do with the paint:
On the filecard up at the top of the post you can see that he's probably got some scars under the mask, and one of his eyes is noticeably redder and possibly injured from some battle in the past. Well...they ignored that and just made 'em white and boring on the figure. The turtles have white eyes, but...well, it works for them. I kinda wish Shredder had pupils like in the pic, 'cause I think that would make 'em stand out a bit more. Like this I can barely make out any details. Normally the white eyes would look creepy, but here they just look unfinished.
Moving on! What can you do with a Shredder? Well, I found out that his ninja stars can fit in his shoulder spikes:
They fit well enough though you might be knocking them out when messing around with him. Also, when his arm is fully extended to the side it makes his whole arm look armored. Kinda neat how the arm and shoulder spikes match up!
Next I wana talk a little about articulation, though I try to ignore that sometimes with Playmates figures. Still, they seem to be doing a bit better of a job here, though this certainly isn't the first Shredder to come with kneejointless straight legs. The 2003 version (which I have, but it isn't in a place where it's easy to grab at the moment) had similar straight legs and they also didn't bother me much 'cause the figure was so damn cool. Still, he had that annoying bent arm with a cut joint, which makes him hold swords to his body and swipe them around at his face rather than away from him.
So this new Shredder has elbows that swivel! So no he can finally hold a sword OUT and away from his body in both hands, or how you see fit. And yeah...so can the one I'm comparing him to above, but...well you'd have to have that Shredder to see how this one is superior. The one being compared is from the previous movie toyline, and that one had some USELESS articulation. The hips are the worst offender. You can sorta see them there, but they do next to nothing. The knees don't really help either, though they do move. And heck, the arms don't help and the cut joint in the elbows don't help and blahblahblah you get the idea. Overall he's an awkward mess that looks way better standing there than doing anything.
I'll grant that this new Shredder can't exactly pull off acrobatic stunts, but I have found him to be the funnest version since the 2003 one; the 2003 one would only beat this one out if it has the same arm articulation as this one, honestly. So really, the arms make all the difference for me!
So Shredder is a cool figure! Maybe not the best yet, but he's still pretty neat. I do wish he had knees and a sword to himself, but I don't regret the purchase. Still...I think I can only suggest him to those who are going full-tilt into this line and not just as a side item or a cool toy. If you're just looking to have a cool looking Shredder then I'd go with the 2003 version. If you're into this new line, however - grab 'em! He flows with the style of the line and he's actually pretty fun to play with (the heavy legs almost give him a side-kick action when you swing him!)
Give 'em a shot if you're into the current line, otherwise, wait until you see him in the store to really get a verdict.