Have you been paying attention, class? What does Alexx like? Robotic versions of the main characters? Yes class, YES INDEED.
This is the first Metalhead redo since the original, and what I'd love to do is start with with said original, but I can't freaking find it. I'm sure I'll find it once I'm finished moving and all that. Honestly I should just wait until I can find my old one and do it then, but I already tooks the pictures, so I'ma just have to deal with it.
The original Metalhead, if I'm not mistaken, was a badguy that was reprogrammed by Donatello to be a good guy. 'Course for some reason I can't remember him from the cartoon at all, so whenever I think of Metalhead I think of the boss of Alleycat Blues, level 2 in Turtles in Time. And when I think of a boss, I think of this:
And that rocks. ANYWAY: Metalhead was a particular favorite of mine because DUH. I've stated earlier that I'm pretty sure my obsession with robotic versions of the hero came from Faker, and continued on with Metal Sonic and so on and so forth. Metalhead is no exception. He rocked, even though the original toy had a swappable arm, but they didn't bother to make it easily swappable so it totally broke. Didn't stop me from playing with the toy anyway. He was chromed, he had light piping in his eyes, and he was all around awesome in every way.
I can't do any comparison shots though, so I've gotta move on to the only other robo turtle they made: the Turtlebot from the 2003 series.
So far that I know the Turtlebot was in no way connected to Metalhead, though I'm sure he was a sort of homage. I don't really count him as a version of Metalhead 'cause I think he was more of a one-off thing and didn't stick around as a character, like Metalhead. I could be wrong, of course, but it also looks like it with the figures. The Turtlebot - while totally cool - just looks more like a throwaway badguy while Metalhead seems to have more personality.
Moving on! Reading the filecard above will reveal that Metalhead is now Donnie's creation and fights for good 'n all that. If you've seen the recent episode with Metalhead, you'll know that The Kraang take him over for a short period so they can have the classic fight with Metalhead. Also, the episode shows some major differences! (and if you haven't seen the episode, take a minute or two to scroll through it in that link and check out Metalhead).
First off, you'll notice he's a tiny little guy in the show! Even shorter than Mikey. With the toy they make him the same size as Mikey.
Another thing you may notice in the show is that Metalhead is a friggin' arsenal all by himself. The thing he does most often is fire a gatling laser from his arm - his hand transforms into the barrel, in fact, you can see it right on the filecard. Other things he does it fire off a rocket punch, shoot off a flame thrower, and pop out his eyes (multiple sets of them!) which explode on contact.
So out of all that, what do we get with the figure?
One little flick missile of a flame. That's it. No pop out gun barrel from the hand, no launching fist; not even more items to shove in the hand hole that we have here. I mean he shoots off the flamethrower once! Above anything else we shoulda got the gatling gun arm or something.
Now, if you're familiar with any background information on how you get a wave of toys out, then you probably know that often times the company has a budget for a wave of toys. This means that the money gets spread out to the different figures for, well, the amount of plastic involved in each one, basically. For instance, you'll notice that each Turtle comes with a TON of stuff. They are pretty articulated as well! Accessories and articulation cost money, so it's obvious that the Turtles got the lion's share of the budget. This means that other figures in the same wave have to get less, so you see figures like Shredder with only two ninja stars and a small sword, like Splinter only comes with a staff, or the prime example of Dog Pound - he's a HUGE chunk of plastic, but he's got no accessories. One way or another, though, some figure is going to get the short end of the stick somewhere. April, for instance, got little articulation, but at least that allowed for all her accessories. Metalhead sadly got stuck with the shortest of the sticks; basically Turtle sized, but the money went to moderate articulation and only one little accessory.
Now all of this is total conjecture, of course, but I'm betting that they would have liked to throw in at least a tiny bit more with Metalhead, but the budget had to come out the way it did to get the important figures the accessories they needed. However, I would have proposed that they decrease the size of the figure to the way it was on the show. It would have used less plastic, and that would have allowed for an extra accessory or two to make up the difference. Maybe change the firing arm to a removable hand with alternate fire, laser, and normal hand.
Alright, enough talk! That's what I would have done, but that didn't happen, so what did we get?
The best part about this figure is that he looks like he's slapped together with junk - and he is! There's a hammered-on sewer cap for a shell, probably industrial metal tubing for the arms and legs, and just all around solid metal and bolts and awesome. He's even better on the show 'cause he's got a hilarious pop-out megaphone in his mouth (that I would have liked to see in the figure).
His head is surprisingly on a nice ball joint, allowing the little guy to look up at his enemies. Sadly he doesn't have light-piping in his eyes like the original, though you can see a PERFECT place for it. It's even perfect in the show, 'cause that little cookie shaped thing on top of his head lights up. I really think that should have been translucent along with the eyes to allow the old light-through-the-head-lights-up-the-eyes bit (you know, light-piping). I almost think that would have been the plan, but budget didn't permit. You can see that they couldn't even wrap the yellow paint around to both sides of his head, either.
Coolest thing about Metalhead that I didn't expect is the fully articulated legs; basically like the Turtles.
The arms are the only disappointment, really. It's just and odd choice all around; they bent his firing arm, but his laser shooting in the show is done so often with his arm outstretched. His non-firing arm is outstretched, but he doesn't get a laser! I mean they show it on the filecard, even! *shakes head* I understand budget constraints, but I still would have done this one differently. The only saving grace with the arms is that there's just a non-spring loaded hole in his firing arm. You can shove ANYTHING in there.
I tried all kinds of stuff, though I was mostly trying to find a good gun barrel. Nothing really worked out amazing, though the 200X Roboto barrel looked okay.
But mostly I just kept shoving different things in there.
When a comic just keeps going and going, you can always mark a good stopping point around the time when things start getting bloody. Also: That steady stream of blood shooting off from the side cracked me up. Reminds me of the first Phantasm movie when the silver ball lodges in someone's head and just shoots out this perfect stream of blood for an awkwardly long time. (Don't click that at work or anything).
But back to the toy review *cough*
As much as Metalhead is annoying for his lack of accessories when he so clearly should come with lots, I still can't help but enjoy the figure. I think it's the simplicity of the thing; he's fun even without any accessories. You could grab 'em and put 'em in your pocket and have a good time without needing to grab the accessories as well and risk losing them (not that you'd do that anymore, but you know what I mean in a back-in-the-day sense). On top of that, if you want accessories, you can shove just about anything you got in his arm and make a weapon. Plus, his other arm is outstretched for punching, and his legs have enough articulation to make him dynamic (along with the nice ball jointed head).
He's got everything that should annoy the heck out of me, but I can't help but love him. I'm certain that his status as a robot basically does most of the work there, but there are plenty of cool robot toys that still annoyed me because of a complete lack of ingenuity. I think Metalhead has a legit reason to be cool even beyond his most awesome status as a robot version of the good guys.
So I say: Give him a shot. He's a lot more fun than you'd think, given his limitations. Plus, if the Fox in Socks walked by while the above pictures was happening, Metalhead would rock the socks off said fox.