OH MAN you have no idea how much I had wanted this guy back in the day. Holy grail, I tell ya. Well, one of 'em.
In case you're unfamiliar, this here is Super Shredder, from the vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toyline. All I had back in the day was the malnourished, hunchbacked original Shredder. I spent any TMNT interest I had in the toy stores looking for a replacement - any replacement. Sadly, not only was Shredder actually not made that often, but many of them had that same stupid three-fingered hand (meaning he only held things with his first two fingers and thumb) and then a totally open and useless left hand. This was just...how he was. This one was no exception.
Anyway, I never got this guy back then. I didn't get friggin' ANY beyond the original one! They've made some cool ones since then, but I'm not gona lie - I still wanted this guy. Nevertheless, I didn't actually seek him out. Instead, fate lead him to my hands! One Saturday as I was hangin' wit ma crew (ah man I'm gona pay for that one later) my friend Simon brought over a box of all his remaining TMNT stuff from his childhood. Not for me to have of course, but to dig through and nostalgify our brains. Well, by some crazy set of circumstances that Simon couldn't remember, he had TWO Super Shredders! Amazing how this stuff works out. No idea why he did, but he did and he just happened to be friends with a guy who always wanted one!
So now I gots one. And - though I'm not usually one to care about perfection - this thing is friggin' BRAND NEW. I forgot to ask where he had this guy all these years, but it's in pristine condition. So yeah, lets take a look!
Super Shredder came with some kinda smashy-spikey stick for him to hold with his three fingers of death. He also had come with two mutagen canisters and some sorta walkie-talkie. I just got the smashy stick, and that's fine by me.
His belt also comes off, but that's pretty much standard TMNT, back then, and it's not like you could use the belt on much else. Honestly, I think it would have been cooler if those badass Mutant League Football pads could be removed, but oh well.
There's a loop on the back of the belt to awkwardly shove his death club. Whatever works! I wouldn't put that thing right behind my head, but this is Super Shredder we're talking about. He lasted a whole THREE MINUTES before...uh...
HUUUAAAHHH!! RRRAAAH!! BREAK THINGS! PICK UP TURTLE I'M TRYING TO KILL! THROW HIM DOWN! CONTINUE TO BREAK STUFF! OOOOH NOOES THAT WAS A BAD IDEEEEAAA! Man, so many questions! Why did the mutagen just make him huge? Why did it mutate his clothes and armor when he simply ingested it? Why did heavy piles of wood kill him? You can see why this was called "three minutes of terror." They were terrified, and a little less than three minutes later he was stretching his hand up in his final breath under a pile of wood. This had been my first encounter with a villain that had promised so much and provided so little! It's not like he was animatronic! It was Kevin Nash in a suit! Why not have him fight? If he simply HAS to be killed by wood, then at least have the Turtles bring it down on him and not have him go batshit looney nutballs and thrash around like he got in a slap fight with that bastard Teenage Mutant Ninja Dock that had been thwarting his plans all along. The dock did nothing to you!
Now I assume they sorta sculpted this guy like he had dragged himself out of that pile of wood. Or Vanilla Ice did it, I dunno.
Playmates always threw in the details, even if they didn't always paint them. He's all scratched up like he had been smashed with heavy things, so who knows? I'm sure I would have taken that thread and followed it if I had this when I was a kid. Personally I never believed that had killed him anyway, since the garbage truck in the first movie apparently didn't do the job either. So lets call this Super Shredder after the movie! You'll also notice some mechanical detail, so may be was upgraded as well?
Next thing you gotta take into consideration here is that he is most certainly a Super version of the original hunchback I was talking about earlier. So he's SHORT. Wide too, since he's super, but still he's gona be under any current Shredders you may have.
I mean the original Shredder would probably be taller if he were actually standing up straight! So rather than making him taller they just matched the height of the original guy who wasn't even standing straight...so I'm assuming the mutagen just filled in the space between his chest and stomach as he was hunching over. Filled it with MEAT.
In the end I gotta say: This guy stands the test of time. Or at least I assume he does, since he looks to have been barely played with. Perhaps if I had him when I was a kid he would be worse for wear, but I honestly had very few TMNT figures that broke or fell apart (two, off the top of my head, and one of 'em only broke because aerial drops aren't great for any toy). Really, a lot of Playmates vintage stuff were sturdy and ready for play with great accessories and detail; even if they didn't always paint in said detail. Super Shredder shows off Playmates' mastery of action figures. They make some confusing choices, like the three fingers of death, but this guy still does what he needs to do. He can stand, hold things, and feels like he can take a decent enough fall (within reason, of course).
If you're any sort of fan of Shredder, I'd say you should track down this old gem! He's silly when compared to the EVERYONE that is now taller than him, but there's still something appealing about this stocky pile of muscle. I'm happy to finally have him and honestly surprised that he still stands up to my desire for the figure back then.
Now as per my Code of Humor I'll leave you with a short comic: