Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nick TMNT: THE KRAAAAAAAAAANG - Wait, There's More Than One? They Don't All Sound Like Classic Krang, Do They?

'Cause if they sound anything like this then I'm out.  That's too many brains talkin' like frogs that smoked too much jello, or whatever gets your voice to that level of nauseous gooeyness.

Read, and be amazed!  Krang is now The Kraang; an alien race bent on colonizing Earth!  OH NOES!  And...wait, isn't this just a mix of old and new?  Or a mix of old, sorta old, and new?  Or just a mix of the two olds? 

Lemme pontificate ('cause I'm just looking this junk up):  The original "Brains in a stomach" are The Utroms.  The weren't brains, just brain-looking, and they were a peaceful race that were at fault for losing the mutagen canister and accidentally making the Turtles.  In the '87 toon the Utroms were not even there; instead, Krang was based on the idea of them.  Of course, Krang was an actual disembodied brain, but that's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of differences.  Next, in the 2003 toon, the Utroms came back pretty much like they were in the comics, but with one EVIL one in the form of that series' Shredder. 

So now we have The Kraang!  A mix of classic evil Krang and the Utroms.  Basically evil Utroms that look more like Krang than Utroms.  They come complete with the classic robot body in which they reside in the "stomach."

Ah!  Man, that little brain just burns holes in you with his eyes.  We'll get to the brain, though.  Lets tackle the elephant in the room: Playmates is at it again with the "action" poses.  And by "action" I mean "This toy is in the middle of doing something."  Like you couldn't get it to do something on your own.

*sigh* So here he is in the middle of walking, which is what he'll always be doing because he's molded to do just that.  I seem to remember that happening a lot in the vintage TMNT toyline, but they always had something crazy molded to the bent foot!  Like they were stepping on something and the crushed item or bug or whatever was molded right to their foot, so they looked like they were walking, but they had that extra item as a "stand."  It would hold them up! 

Kraang does not have that, so he falls over a LOT.  You can get him standing, but be aware that he'll just fall over if you walk by him.  I don't really see the point of this stance...I mean, I understand they are "action" figures, but I thought the "action" was supposed to be supplied by the one playing with the toy! 

Ah well; there are still ways to make use of it, I guess.

Come on!  Don't tell me you didn't think he was moonwalking as soon as you saw him from the side?

So yeah, the pose is a little annoying.  In fact, that's usually a deal breaker for me, but this guy is somehow charming in his own ways.

Moving on!  Any self-respecting space invader needs to come packin'.  Here we have two futuristic guns: A rifle and a pistol.  Not sure if the bottom parts are just designs or saw blades, but I like it either way! 

Mr. Big Gun is a 90's style square-barreled number.  If you pose 'em right he can hold it in both hands, which is cool! 

Lil' side-arm Suzie is your standard space-lookin' pistol that he holds well.  Can't get his finger on the trigger but who cares, really?  My main thing is holding ability, and he's got that down!

Now he's ready to take over any unsuspecting planet with SPACE GUNS.  But what about the specs on that beautiful body?

In case you didn't notice yet, there's a nice silver wash on 'em to make that brushed metal look.  Also yes, the brain comes out (he fits on his head too, if you wana do that. Hey, it's your toy. I'm not askin' questions.)! Leaves a hole that doesn't fit as many other things as you'd think, sadly.  I tried a lot of items, but that tab hanging down gets in the way of most things.  The brain fits in 'cause he's squishy!

Not too squishy where he'll be grabbing all the dust around, though.  Just right!  Also, you can sorta fold those arms under him in the hole if you want to get rid of 'em while he's in the bot (though it's tough to get them to stay). 

One more thing about the body before we move on to the brain: There are little ball joints on the sides, which I thought might be good for more arms, but apparently they're on the animation model as well.  I assume they're little electrodes for assuming other forms or some such science.  'Course, looking at the filecard it's obvious that this is missing that blue membrane covering the robot as well...that's probably what emulates the human skin, I guess. 


Brain!  This seriously looks like classic Krang, save for the three arms.  In fact, Krang has been this size at least once before, so I do have a comparison shot!

...of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to do a comparison shot.  I kinda wanted them to be as close as possible, and sometimes that has them on top of each other.  I do it with vehicles, mostly.  Sometimes it helps if the vehicles are on top of each other to get the whole thing in the shot.  I didn't need to do it with the brains, but...well I tried it.

And well, I just wanted you to know that there is a right way and a wrong way to compare things, sometimes. 

*cough* SO YEAH, that is a Krang from a smaller version of the old robot "big fat guy" body that he used in the old toon.  Just so's ya know: The new Kraang fits in there too!


Er, um...if you situate the arms...correctly...

There we go!  See?  Doesn't even look out of place!  The old toys even came with a tiny version of Krang's two-legged walker thingy, and he fits in that too.

Anyway, I think the brain is what gives this toy its charm.  It's fun to mess with, and makes the awkwardly posed robot more fun!  And heck, I think the robot is too cool looking to totally bother me.  The arms are on ball joints, and the head has a fantastic ball joint that allows for all sorts of movement!  The bend leg and toes are really the only thing keeping from liking this thing 100%.

This robot takes a classical sci-fi angle, and I think that really brings me over to its side.  Still, you gotta take into account that standing this guy is going to be a pain, so the look has to be the most important thing to you here.  I think he's worth it, but i've seen a few complaints that are perfectly legit.  The legs are annoying, but somehow this one still ends up being pretty fun.  At the very least, if you don't like the body so much; the Kraang is useful in a lot of ways! 

One more thing before I wrap up: The filecard says these things can take human form, which is obvious from the membrane shown on the card...the toy just doesn't seem to show off that ability, though.  Just wanted you to know that when it says it can "appear human", this is what popped into my head:

So though I don't give these toys points, I could give this guy a high score.  For me it leans more toward 90% awesome, but I could see the percentage lowering for others given that annoying foot.  My reasoning is that I've seen MUCH worse in the 2003 toyline when it came to awkward articulation choices, and worse still in the previous movie toyline.  The whole foot thing is small potatos when you consider all you can do with the figure; even with the handicap.  The ball joint shoulders and head give this guy a lot, and the removeable Kraang is fun enough on his own to give this guy a higher score. 

Go ahead a give him a shot!


  1. On the one hand, you need to update your blog more frequently for the sake of your unemployed readers with too much free time on their hands who are desperate for entertainment.

    On the other hand, how can I stay angry at ya when you bring so much funny? Raph shouting "This pisses me off!" and the panic button and the Billie Jean sidewalk all killed me.

    As for the figure...

    I had already seen other reviews online, from Newton Gimmick among others. The look of the the wee brain appealed to me a LOT, and I had planned that he would be the one non-Turtle I'd buy from this series.

    But then I saw him at the Wally World, and in person, the texture of the material they used on him is kind of off-putting. It gives one the sense that he might not hold up to extended posing or play; having touched it with your filthy mitts, what's your impression?

    I also saw April in the store, and while her head is just a smidge too cartoony for me (not in contrast with the Turtles so much as in contrast with the McFarlane figures and such that I plan to use with them), she is so friggin' cute from the neck down! Add some knee articulation and a slightly more realistic head and she'd be the greatest April figure ever by quite a wide margin.

    Great review, man. Keep 'em comin'! (At a faster pace).

    1. Ha! I never know which ones will be the winners with you. I just threw Raph's line in because I saw his pissed face on the side and thought he needed to be saying something.

      Anyway, I'm tryin' to speed it up; these just always take longer than I ever expect. Heck, the Joes have taken a blow thanks to these, and I still want to review some old toys as well! Wana beef this blog up with more than random He-Man jokes. So far my next plan is to do a few Joes, 'cause I'm done with the Turtles so far (save for my Classics Raph, which'll probably be after the Joes).

      As for the Brain: I felt like he was a good material, if that's what you're talking about. Posing isn't really an option 'cause his arms are gona be however they are in the package. The back arm on the brain worries me, 'cause it looks like I could pull it off, but otherwise the whole thing is pretty resilient. The squishiness isn't the gooey kind, so you don't have to worry about it picking up too much dirt and dust.

      As for the figure: He poses just fine save for the stupid toes on the one leg. Otherwise he doesn't feel like he'll get loose unless you put some years of play on 'em.

      As for April: I'm still on the fence with her. I really wish she had some dang knees! Just that! Would change everything. At the very least she does have the outwardly moving hips and shoulders, and that saved the Foot Soldier, so maybe it'll do well for her. I also don't like the headsculpt, which is annoying because it looks fine in the toon. It's obvious she's based on an earlier model. The thing that'll probably make me get her is the accessories. It looks like some great training gear, even if most of them look too big for her hand. Speaking of which...emphasis on "HAND." The other one is open. Why give her so much stuff and then only one hand with which to use them?

      Anyway, I suspect a future version that is more like the toon, and that's why I'm hesitant to get her (among the other reasons). We'll see.

    2. Oh my god oh my god oh my god, look what Newton Gimmick done did:

    3. GODDAMNIT. Okay well I'm not gona bother hunting down a 2003 April and....crap someone at the local comic shop JUST brought in a bunch of 2003 stuff.

      ...aaaand I'm probably gona go check soon, aren't I. Yeah. Son of a bitch.

    4. If you do, let me know how easy and stable it is. I am excited at the prospect!

    5. Newton has posted more information:

      Sounds like it's pretty much a boil-and-pop deal. I will probably do it someday. I like the look, and the only existing April I like at all is the Neca one, which I suspect is too tall for the Nick turtles.

  2. Also, because I haven't spammed the hell out of this post quite enough:

    It's really, really good!

    1. Well, I bought April. Knew I would fold. From the link you posted it looks like I've got the first one...? Maybe? I dunno. Anyway, I'm on the fence with the heads swap; it looks good, but the more I look at it from different angles I'm not sure I like the animation mix. We'll see if I end up finding a 2003 April. As I suspected though, April is quite limited. The legs really kill a lot of it for me; the hip joints are kinda awkward and there's no thigh swivel to make side-kicks more believeable. Also...ugh, so many weapons and only one open hand. I don't get toy designers sometimes. Especially since she's got two ninjs stars and two smoke bombs which are utterly useless with both her hands.

      Ah well, I'll save the rest for a review. Anyway, the move looks neat! I'll catch it when I got time to watch.

    2. I'm looking forward to the review!

  3. Yeah the new Shredder doesn't strike me as the type of Shredder voiced by Phil from Fresh Prince.

    1. Yeah, instead he's voiced by Captain Gantu from Lilo and Stitch (or pick any of the other mutlitudes of voices that guy has done, honestly). I don't think the voice fits him very well.