Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nick TMNT: Ketchup and Lickquid Rage

WHEW, who was the last one of these?  Metalhead?  Time to catch up and lick some villains!  But not any of these.  'Cause ew, man.  Just...all of 'em.

Ah but wait: One of them isn't a villain!  Lets start this up with Leatherhead, shall we?

Leatherhead is a good guy this time around.  You may remember him from the original 80's figure, where he was most certainly a bad guy.  You can tell, because in the TMNT toy world of wacky weapons that barely make any sense: Leatherhead came with a shotgun.  Not even a crazy shotgun with a gator mouth over the barrel or something.  Just a shotgun.

So Leatherhead is a name you can trust to mean business!  In the original TMNT comics he was a good guy, so the new Nick toon goes back to that idea.  He was accidentally created by the Utroms in the old comic; so now that the Utroms are The Kraang in the new series (and evil instead of good) Leatherhead has a bit more of a traumatic past!  The Kraang pretty much used him as a test animal to the point where hearing "Kraang" sends the poor guy into a mindless rage.  He befriends Michelangelo and the two seem to hit it off, with Mike sort-of being able to calm the guy (though when he goes into a rage, it seems he has a penchant for grabbing Donatello's face and swinging him around before Mike can calm him). 

Now one problem with the current TMNT toyline is that the folks wana make the big guys BIG, but the stores want them to sell most of the figures at the same price point (the regular ones, anyway).  So we get these normally HUGE dudes scrunched down to fit in the standard TMNT packaging.  So naturally, Leatherhead is a bit small.

Nonetheless imposing, though!  You can see he's all scaly, the eyes are kinda glassed over (they do that when he's enraged, so I guess the toy is always pissed) and you can see on the arm and leg bands that he's got some leftover ports from all the Kraang tests.  Either that or they're Pumps.  So he can pump it.

And Leatherhead comes accessories.  I think he's a little too big for them, even though he's smaller than he should be.  The tail comes separate in the package maybe that counts?

With the new style of TMNT toys, Playmates has finally hit a stride that allows most figures to have a decent amount of useful articulation.  You're not gona be getting anything dynamic here, but as usual, Playmates makes a STURDY toy.  It's just this time you have some nice options with outwardly moving arms and legs on the usual discs and pins.  His head only turns sideways like a puppy trying to understand you, but it works for him. 

Even without accessories, they still gave 'ol Leatherhead a hand with which to hold other items from this toyline.  He can hold any of the Turtle's weapons as well as various other things you'd think he'd use, like a lead pipe or maybe a tire iron, I dunno.  The other hand is a bit more open for holding Kraang heads 'n such.

So that's Leatherhead!  A sturdy little chunk of a toy.  If you're interested in the gator styles I'd suggest getting him - and of course I couldn't suggest this enough for kids.  Just be wary that, when thrown, this thing is solid enough to break windows.  Just sayin'.

Now who's next?  Ah yes, Snakeweed!  ...eulg.

Snakeweed came in pretty early in the new show, and mutated from a poor mook named Snake.  From what I can tell so far, people and animals mutate either by touching the ooze and just growing or morphing horribly, or by touching some other organic matter and THEN touching ooze, thereby merging you with whatever you touched.  Snake here fell in some weeds and was doused with ooze.  Snakeweed!

The transformation wasn't pretty.  At first he seemed angry with the Turtles for transforming him, but when he showed up again he seemed to have lost his mind and was doing...plant things.  Like putting people in pods as a sort of "mulch" for his...roots?  I dunno.  Point is: Snakeweed be ugly 'n crazy.  Crazy ugly. 

Aaaand quite articulated, like the rest!  Once again I was impressed with something that, with classic Playmates, wouldn't have moved much.  Nowadays he moves a bunch, and you've got a lot of options for twisting him around and whippin' folks.  Not that he's bendy, but the plastic is nice and soft, so you can bend his arms a bit and not worry about things breaking off.  And he can kick, so...there's that. 

You'll also notice some details from the show: the red on the inside of his legs is actually where they were cut apart.  His legs were just one big stalk at first, before the cut!  In the show it was like a cutaway shot of a plant cut in half, but here it's just a couple red streaks.  Still cool!  Also: his chest.  It's the weakpoint you hit for massive damage!  Also it's his heart, I think?  Whatever it is, when they destroy him (either by blowing him up or freezing and breaking him) the heart is always left off to the side for the audience to notice...still beating.

And for accessories...these!  More tentacles!  MORE!

These plug into the holes inside his little snappy plant claws (and in the show, when they're cut, they make little fart noises that never cease to make me happy).  Technically he ALSO comes with his legs - they're separate in the package - but I can't count those as much as Leatherhead's tail.  Also, I can't get them off again once they're snapped in, which is good, in the long run.

Snakeweed is pretty fun, pretty much based on the fact that he moves so well!  I wanted him because he was an early unique enemy to the new show, but I wasn't particularly excited for him until I got him in-hand. 

He's one of those figures that probably would have had an action feature back in the day, but doesn't really need one!  There's so much going on with the figure that thrashing him around pretty much mimics his action in the TV series. 

So I can suggest Snakeweed heartily.  He's not the most exciting figure, but I'm just happy that the TMNT line is putting out it's usual range of crazy monsters but ALSO allowing them to move around a bit, this time!  And hey, it doesn't hurt that I've seen him and other villains quite a few times now.  It's common to get the Turtles some fifty times over with different costumes, but I always find it important (whether or not it's true) to make sure there's enough things for them to fight.

Speaking of "fight," lets move on to our last guy: Fishface!  Another newbie specifically for the new show.

Fishface is a guy who they bothered to flesh out before he became...fishfaced.  Before this ooze accident, he was Xever; a Brazilian thief who was picked up by Shredder at a young age.  He uses a butterfly knife (or a balisong, whatever) and a kicktastic fighting technique that looks like capoeira to my eyes.  Lots of leg movement, either way.  Thing about him is: He was cool!  I figured he would only be around long enough to get mutated and be Fishface, but Xever was in quite a few episodes before that happened.  You really got to know him, even if he was a bastard.  I liked him! 

Granted, I like Fishface too.  He didn't change his personality much, at least, after he got his ROBO LEGS.

After he was transformed, he actually spent some time in Shredder's fancy fish tank floor in his...I dunno, throne room.  After The Foot got ahold of Baxter Stockman and some Kraang tech, he built Fishface some legs!  Magic legs!  Then he was back to his old kicking ways, but with the power of METAL.  Legs.  Metal legs.

Now 'ol fishy here is pretty articulated, and you get some options that may not be obvious at the start.  His waist turns, but so does his tail, so you can kinda balance him how you want (though it doesn't make much difference). 

And then he's got a neck cut, but ALSO a..face cut?  I dunno what to call it.  Grab his face and turn it sideways.  It helps when you turn his head side to side - when you turn his face too, it'll look more like he's looking straight ahead.  It's a nice little feature! 

Overall I was much more pleased with the articulation than I thought I'd be.  The arms are slightly bent, which is sometimes awkward for sword poses, but the cut wrists helps out there a bunch.  In terms of details, I like the colors, but one thing Playmates is still doing (from the old days) is adding detail and not painting it.

You can see the fins on the backpack and how they're supposed to be part of his back and not the water pack.  Of course, I don't really care.  Compared to some, this is barely noticeable.  AND these are some really nice toys for cheaper than most figures today, so I'll totally take this at the current price point rather than raise it to get a few more paint apps. 

But lets move on to dem accessories:

Two!  The butterfly knife he uses so often in human form (have yet to see it in fish form) and another thing I haven't seen in the show at all: A butterfly sword!  I have no idea how that works without him cutting things off in the process of opening it, but hey - I'm not complaining!  It looks awesome!  It do kinda wish they were functional, but that would just risk making them all wobbly and I like them how they are.

He holds them both VERY well, and you can almost get the sword in both of his hands.  I won't lie: The weapons sorta sold this one for me.  I've never been that big a fan of monster type toys, but you throw in a sword and I tend to take another look.  I'm glad I did, 'cause he's cool above and beyond the sword (though I still LOVE dat sword). 

So overall, I recommend this guy the highest among the three in this review.  The accessories push him over the edge for me, though he does have the best play value out of 'em (once again, for me).  If you only get a few villains in the line, make Fishface one of them.

On a final note: I haven't really bought into a TMNT toyline since the 80's and 90's.  I didn't get much from the 2003 series (though there was a LOT of great stuff there) but the few villains I did get kinda bummed me out with how limited and pre-posed they were.  Now that I have a good amount of villains in this line to even out with the Turtles, I gotta say: I'm impressed!  They really do match the good guys in terms of articulation.  Maybe not as much, but it doesn't matter when the articulation is useful.  You can get 'em in fun enough poses to keep the adult collector interested, and of course, these are way sturdy for kids!  These are the old fashioned accidentally-left-outside-in-the-rain-for-weeks-but-still-okay kinda toys.  The kind you don't have to worry about if they fall off your display shelf (so far that I know, anyway).  Point is: it's nice to see the villains get fleshed out in any toyline, but it's REALLY nice to see them given such great attention!  Kudos, Playmates.  Youse guys still gots it!


  1. Great reviews of these guys. It's a toss up as to whether I like Snakeweed or Fishface better.

    I don't think I ever realized that Fishface had that swivel at the face. Pretty cool stuff there.

    I think the lack of painted details and the lack of cool, wacky accessories are the two biggest problems I have with this line. The lack of painted details really bugged me on the Rat King the most, I think.

    1. Yeah, but when you look at the history of TMNT with Playmates; they've been leaving details unpainted pretty much the whole time. One I remember the most is this lifeguard Leonardo who is sculpted to be stepping on a tube of sunscreen - so a tube of sunscreen being squished with sunscreen squishing out of it - this is attached to Leo's foot. UNPAINTED. Just matches his green foot. So without lookin' too close it looked like his foot was melting.

      ...not like that matters on a random figure like that, but still - it was throughout the whole toyline. At the very least it's minimal, though I did see a review of Dogpound and WOW he's got a big patch of unpainted stuff on his back!

      As for Rat King, well, I'll be covering him soon enough. I agree, though.

  2. I don't have any of these guys yet, but they're out in stores here now, so I should get on it. I think Snakeweed might me my favorite of the new line (and I don't see that changing when I get him in-hand). One thing I really miss from the original line was just how asymmetrical a lot of the figures were. The new stuff is cool and probably a lot sturdier, but it's just so symmetrical, ya know? In the old days a lot of the figures had feet or hands where one was completely different than the other (sometimes it was entire limbs!). Now Snakeweed looks like he's going off in all directions at once, and I can appreciate that. A lot. He's not quite the same kind of asymmetrical figure from the old days, but he's a long way down the right path.

    That being said, all three of these guys are higher on my list of new TMNT figures to pick up, especially since I missed out on Leatherhead from the last line. My only Leatherhead figure is the tiny original baddie, and you thought THIS was was too small! The original Leatherhead was one of the smallest figures in the line!

    1. And now that I look at the pictures again, even Snakeweed is pretty symmetrical. But he's got that FACE. I dunno, he still looks a little more old-school than some of the others (though he would probably be right at home in the last movie series where they fought all those monsters).

    2. Well I can understand you there! I think the old toys were so asymmetrical because of the big gap between the toys and the cartoon. I think a lot of the toys were first, and sometimes they made it into the toon. So the sculptors just has free reign to detail the CRAP out of those old figures! Heck, you pick up some figures and look close (you had to look close 'cause so many details were unpainted) then you'd find all kinds of crazy stuff. General Tragg, for instance, was just COVERED with stuff in the crevices of his rocky skin.

      Now I think they're mostly tied to the new show, though they still have some great details to add (like with the first versions of the turtles). But yeah, they don't have the crazy asymmetry that they used to. Perhaps further figures will provide chances for the real freaks and monsters that you like!