Sunday, September 2, 2012
Nick TMNT: April O'Neil and her Cache of Weapons
If you're familiar with TMNT, then you know that April will be along with any iteration. She's changed a bit as you went along with the different versions, however. In the original comics she was an assistant to Baxter Stockman and then eventually...uh...found out that she was actually a magical drawing brought to life by her father of whom really wanted a daughter. *cough*. Yeah. Ain't makin' this shit up. The one most of you will be familiar with is the 80's cartoon version; you know, the reporter in the yellow jumpsuit! She kept that going through the movies and would probably be the most known version if the 2003 cartoon hadn't brought her back to her lab assistant roots. That's right; the 2003 toon made her Baxter Stockman's assistant again, and then the Turtle's friend when Stockman turned out to be a dick.
So where are we now? Well, from what I have gathered, April is now a sixteen year old with missing parent(s), and she's being trained in ninjitsu by Splinter. Dunno what her living situation is like yet, though it sounds like she's rooming with the Turtles in the 'ol sewer, sooo....hope she's using some strong scented soap before heading off to school. Also, according to the offical site, Don has a crush on her, so there's some more awkward points if she is living with them.
Right off the bat you know April is MUCH younger in this one; without even reading anything about her. This is a stylistic approach, so they took a sort of puppy-dog style where her feet and head are kinda big - like she still has to grow into them. She's skinny, but looks like she'd be fast and athletic, which is cool since she's the first to be outright learning ninja stuff from the beginning.
...of course the athletic look isn't really helped by her inability to really pull off anything athletic.
They didn't really give her a lot to work with. You've got disc shoulders, so the arms and move outward, and swivel wrists, so she's got something to work with there, at least. The hips are a little annoying, though. The pins on the discs go straight up into the pelvis, rather than into the sides (where they would be facing each other). Without any swivel thighs, this means that she can kick to the front or side, but her feet will be at the mercy of those joints. It's not terrible, but it would be SO much better with some swivels on the thighs or - god forbid - KNEE JOINTS.
So you can get her to kick stuff, sorta, but standing is the only thing you'll get her to do if you want her to...well, stand. And even that is a little trying, because the hips aren't the best thing for getting those feet to sit right.
April has a saving grace, however:
April got a weapon tree! Kinda sad that Shredder didn't get one, but the kid in training gets a nice tree full of stuff. Still, it makes sense: It's all training gear! That's the coolest part, and sadly makes me want another April so I have matching wooden bokkens (training swords) or kendo sticks. Not that she would be able to use two of each item, but the Turtles can train with 'em!
Anyway, even though April only has one had with which to hold things, she still holds them well.
And speaking of the stick, it doesn't look too bad on Don if you're not happy with his staff.
The only problems are the standard throwing items, which are even more useless 'cause she doesn't have any realistic way to look like she's throwing them.
In the end I mostly want to suggest her for the people that are buying into this whole line. I mean, the Turtles are obviously the break-out stars of this toyline already, and I HIGHLY suggest getting them if you're a TMNT fan or just a fan of fun toys in general. April here is pretty much only for the person collecting for the sake of TMNT and the new show...or if you're a sucker like me and can't stand to pass up awesome accessories. 'Cause seriously, that's a cool batch of training gear!
So in the long run I can say skip her, because the lack of elbows, knees, and thigh swivel all adds up to really awkward poses. On top of that, she comes with a bunch of weapons and only one hand to hold 'em in, which is actually the thing that irks me the most. I mean...these are action figures. I can understand the lack of articulation (because articulation is not the end-all-be-all of what makes a good toy) but I see no reason why a toy cannot hold an accessory in each hand unless the other hand is in some sorta position that is important to the character (like a spell-casting hand for a magic person, or some such thing). There's no good reason for April's left hand to be wide open like that when she comes with so much stuff.
If you get her, the accessories will mostly be passed around and she'll be standing in your display, because it's what she does best (mostly). So keep that in mind!
Now to finish this off, here's a bunch of size comparisons: