Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nick TMNT: I'll Take Things You Find in a Dark Alley for $1000, Alexx

EAUGH!  What kinda dark alleys are you walkin' around in, Jeopardy contestant? 

Never mind!  Here's two of the newer TMNT villains from the current toyline: Cockroach Terminator and The Rat King.  Nothin' but the best for you people!

I'm not sure if these two are still hard to find; I've seen them a few times now.  They aren't the newest at the moment, but they should be pretty well out there.  I'm tryin' to run down all the various TMNT stuff I've gotten recently, so lets blast these two at'cher face!

So Rat King has been a few things over the years - not all of them the same, but most of them centering around him being some sort of zombie-like thing. 

Wait wait wait, lets get a close up of that beautiful face:

YEAH there we go!  Lookit that!  Teeth all fallin' out.  Or something.  In the cartoon they clack about when he talks, which is kinda funny.

Point is: Rat King is usually falling apart in some way or another.  He gets his name from some rather horrible mass called (naturally) a Rat King, which apparently is when a bunch of rats get tangled together by their tails and become your nightmares. 

In the original comics, he was a zombie monster thing that attacked everyone and was "killed" by Leonardo.  There's more after that, but you can look it up at your leisure.  In the old cartoon Rat King was....what, a homeless dude?  In the sewer?  He controlled rats, anyway, and looked similar to his comic self.  You get the pattern: Ugly mofo with the ability to control rats.  OH, and that one time he was a massive wrestler, in TMNT Tournament Fighters. 

Sprites from Spriter's Resource, ripped by Deathbringer

...and I've selected some sprites for you to view.  There ya go.  Don't lick the screen or anything.

Moving on!  Our current King of Rats is a one Dr. Falco, who was doing some sketchy SCIENCE and ended up like the ghoul you see above.  No no, above the wrestling majesty.  Yeah, the ghoul face.  You know what I'm talkin' about.  (I know you can't take your eyes off sexy Rat King).

The new Rat King is sort of a classic Death figure - long cloak, tall super-collar, and one of those wide-brimmed hats you see in old westerns.  Usually on bad guys.  You'll notice that you can't see his cool red eyes like in the filecard.  His eyes are bandaged up in the toon, but he takes the bandages off to increase his mind-control power, I guess.  I was hoping the hat would come off and maybe the bandages would come with it, but no dice.  Kinda feels like a missed opportunity for a cool feature, but they went with...well, no feature.  Instead.

He does have rats on him, though!  Two on the shoulder, and one on the arm.

...completely unpainted.  Same color as the coat.  Nothin' you haven't seen from playmates, and honestly I didn't expect them to paint the rats...but it still would have been nice.  Ah well!  Not like there aren't black rats.  Just...not with black tails. 

As for articulation: You can pretty much see what he's got there.  Shoulders move forward and outward, cuts on the wrists and neck.  Amazingly they bothered to do the rest of the body, though!  He's got a cut waist, for whatever that's worth.  Also his legs move forward and outward...but that also doesn't do much.  The cloak just restricts anything on the body that isn't arms or head.

I just want you to know I love you enough to show you more sexy pics of Rat King. 

Anyway, he moves well enough for what he is.  His preposed limbs don't give you many options that leave him standing, but I'm still glad they made the effort. 

Rat King comes with some exciting accessory options: A stick and a rat! 

...whoo!  I mean, I dunno what else they would give him.  The stick helps him stand, but I think I would have liked MORE RATS.  But oh well.  It's not like they can do wacky shit like they used to with the vintage line.  The original Rat King had a goddamned RAT GRAPPLING HOOK.  Not a hook shaped like rats; it was rats.  He even fired rats from a crossbow like Adam West with cats!  His belt was a snake!  He had a dead cat wrapped around the snake belt!  He was NUCKIN' FUTZ. 

But they're kinda tied to the cartoon a lot more now than they were back in the vintage days, so now he gets a stick and a rat.  Not even a stick made out of rats!  What's this world coming to?

Thankfully the rat is painted, and his open hand can hold him all nice 'n snug.  The stick obviously goes in his gripping hand, and fits well.

You can see how it helps him stand a bit better, since his legs are bent.  The stick is so important to his standing that your display won't be complete without him leaning on it, though I have gotten him to do various things without it.  Like so!

Okay so he was propping himself up on the stick a lot, but you get the idea.  You're not super limited with him, but it's also not the most exciting of action figures.  That's sorta why I wish he came with more rats.  At the very least, there's always Splinter!

And that's Rat King!  Not amazing, and I wouldn't be surprised if he were a skip for most people.  However, he does make a nice display piece in TMNT or know, Halloween.  Set him anywhere and he's a Halloween decoration!  He is supposed to be an action figure it would have been nice for Playmates to go the extra mile and give him removable bandages to show them eyes, and maybe give him some light piping to get them to glow with a light source.  Something, at least.

But lets keep it rollin'.

This is Cockroach Terminator!  The name says it all.  He's a mix between a cockroach and a Terminator, in that it doesn't stop hunting it's target.  In the TV show it begins as a roach that Donatello outfits with spy equipment.  Raph is apparently scared to death of roaches, so he tries and fails to kill it - freaking the roach out in the process.  Next they send the roach out to perform it's spy duties, but it falls in some ooze!  As you'd expect: it pops out like what you see above.  It spends the rest of the show hunting Raphael for having tried to kill it earlier.

...then it eventually mutates further into some sort of white larvae and gets exploded the end.

Story doesn't matter much though - how's the toy? 

Not bad, but could be better.  Once again it feels like the figure was just kinda thrown out there without any cool features.  Not that I want my toys to be one-trick ponies that only do one thing, but I do like a clever feature worked in when it makes sense.  At least this guy doesn't need it as much as Rat King! 

As you can see, he already has "lookin' like a cool cyborg bug" down pat!  You can see mechanical parts showing in certain areas, and Playmates even deigned to endow this guy with elbows along with his outwardly moving shoulders.  Nice!  No wrist cut, sadly, but he doesn't really need it.

Otherwise he has a cut neck, the little leg on the side moves up and down, and his hips can move forward and side-to-side...though that doesn't help much.  His feet are pointing outward, for some reason, and they don't twist.  So you're kinda stuck trying to keep this guy standing sometimes, 'cause he's so awkwardly heavy.  I think he could have used some slightly bigger feet...and maybe having the feet face forward.  No idea why Playmates thought the sideways feet would keep something standing (not that they seem that worried about things standing, so far). 

Now you may be asking: why the big 'ol hole in him?

That's where his buzz saw goes!  Duh.  What'd you think? 

...and that's it.  It just...sets in there.  I suppose the intended "feature" is that you hold it from the back and push it back and forth.  Maybe spinning it a bit.  I dunno - it's a freestyle action feature!  I'm not necessarily against it, but I can't help but feel like the whole thing seems lazy.  I mean they couldn't think of a single other thing?  I love when the toys match the cartoon, but when it comes to TMNT: They really need to branch out!  This would have been the perfect opportunity to make some crazy cyborg weapons to make this a fun TOY, but instead they awkwardly tried to mimic his buzzsaw thing from the show.  Barely tried, really.

However, that's my only real complaint.  The toy itself - without considering the wonky saw - is sturdy and works as a nice tank-like figure.  You know, the one that stomps forward and knocks guys down!  The saw is just so easy to ignore.  It feels like it gets in the way.  You could have him hold it:

...but it doesn't change much.  It still feels "extra", and that the real toy is just the figure itself.  Sooo...naturally, I played with 'em:

So I still had fun with him!  In the end, I had fun with both of them.  I just...felt they were lacking in the accessory and function department.  Even though they're limited by the TV show, I still think there were some obvious things to add to push these guys just a tiny bit further.  It's kinda like how Metalhead did a million things on the show, but the figure only came with a lame missile to shove in the hole in his arm.  Some figures just...get the short straw.  These guys had to get some corners cut; probably because some other figures in the same wave got to have more of the budget.  I dunno. 

I wouldn't call these two must-haves, but I can't completely dismiss them either.  They're fun in their own right.  They just could have been...funner. 

Now here's Rat King breakdancing, to lull you to sleep.

That's it!  Shoo!


  1. I've always been fairly indifferent to the Rat King. I've never seen any of his incarnations being that cool, but I find I still prefer the original toy version (and you pretty much explained why he's so much better in your post). On the other hand, Cockroach Terminator looks pretty cool. I agree that the saw feature is an odd choice, but between the freestyle action feature and skewering capabilities, I'm okay with it overall.

    1. Yeah, vintage Rat King was pretty badass with his all-rat accessory loadout. I really think this one could have been awesome if they had added something. But yeah, Cockroach Terminator works out well enough with the limited feature. Like you said, I like how you can use it as a sort of battle damage! Cockroach Terminator is the clear winner here.

  2. The original vintage toy Rat-King was, and remains one of my favorite toys from the vintage TMNT line. He's just so creepy and scary looking.

    1. Amazingly enough I never had the guy! He was one of those figures that most folks had though, so any time I was playin' with friends, SOMEONE had 'em at some point or another. He was pretty creepy lookin'! I should look around the web and see if anyone did a repaint of the old figure to bring out all those awesome details...

  3. I think the Rat King is out-shined by that albino rat. He'll serve any chump on the dance floor.

    Roachguy is full of joints (from a Playmates stand point) and I loves me some articulation, buggy-bugs creep me out man.