Tuesday, April 7, 2015

T-U-R-T-L-E PILE (The First Part)

The whole joke with Grayskull finally got that monster off my table!  I figured: Why not take advantage of that and dust off the Ghostbuster house for some TMNT pics?

BUT WHAT TO CHOOSE?!  I haven't reviewed any TMNT in a long while, but I've still been buying them!  They're piling up, man.

*Sigh* Why don't we just review everything?

As you might expect....this is gona be kinda big.  I planned on takin' a couple pics each, but some figures are way too cool for just a couple pics.

Lets begin at the beginning!  For the Turtles, anyway.

It's Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles!  They come complete with makeshift wooden versions of their standard weapons and some basic articulation.  Just enough to get a couple poses, but not much else (and nothing below the waist).  They don't really need a whole lot, though.  I mean, a couple movements and you got them in a nice "training" pose.  Don't get me wrong - I'd love to get them in some other poses for mischief and all that - it's just that they make simple and fine toys as-is.  Sometimes you gotta admire the simple!

I also bought Splinter awhile back, though I never originally planned to.  Still kinda waiting for a nicer looking one, but I think Playmates is about done with "nice."

I bought Splinter strictly for jokes, essentially.

Well worth it, I'd say!  He moves well enough for what he is, but considering how agile he is in the show, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed.  Someday we'll get a nice articulated Splinter, right?

Whoo boy, that's an old pic!  Bought these guys awhile ago.

These are the Battle Shell Turtles - a favorite of mine, when I was a kid (though I only had Donatello).  Playmates has delivered pretty much the same deal as last time, which is great.  Unless you look close, you honestly can't tell that the shells open.

To top off the return of the Battle Shell, these figures also double as cartoon-accurate versions of the characters!

The sizes are a tad off from the first versions, but it's close enough (Mike and Raph seem almost the same size).  If you're looking for toon-accurate figures, then these are your toys!  They just about jump right off the screen and the articulation works even better than on the first versions; the elbows are especially nice.

There's only a few complaints: The faces on most of them, and the weapons in the shells.

Raph is fine and probably the best one of the bunch.  His sneer is right off the show and he looks just as ready to tear your face off (if not perhaps 10% dialed back) as the first version.

And then that happened and we ignored it and never spoke of it again.

Moving on to Mike, look at Mike!  Look!  Keep scrolling down!

As you can see, he's a bit taller.  Everything else works for Mike, though.  You wouldn't expect any other kinda face.  The guy should look like a walking party at all times!

*sigh*, then there's Don.  Don, Don, Don.  What's going on with you, man?  Is it all that sexual frustration with wanting April so bad?  It's not that he's not show-accurate, it's just that he gets more and more PISSED with each figure.  The first version is unamused in every way possible, and now this second one is just goddamned SCREAMING.

Donatello, you need to calm down.  Just relax, buddy.  I mean, he's not that friggin' crazy in the show!  Why is he the one that needs to be screaming?  It's hilarious, yeah, but totally not Donatello except for that instant when the whole team yells and runs into battle or something.  He's always yelling and running into battle.  At all times.  Raph can be angry all the time 'cause he's RAPH, but let Don have some downtime, will you?

Sadly, it doesn't get much better with Leo, who is now allocated to be the fun guy alongside Mike.

He always seems like the stoic leader type, so why not a big open laughing mouth?  YEESH.  Why is this so hard, Playmates?  You almost NAILED it with the first ones.  Just take a look at the show and grab the most common mouths, not only the instances of extreme emotion.

I can't fault him entirely, though, 'cause he's got the best articulation of the bunch and holds his swords with both hands REALLY well.  Just...not so much with one hand.  The sword handles are super thin, and they often end up turning sideways.

Dat two-handed pose, though!

The main attraction are the shells, and in this I felt that the old Battle Shell concept worked a little better.  They somehow fit a good amount of useable items in the old shells!  These ones they just sorta crammed in smaller versions of their extra weapons (from the first versions). 

Raph fares well, 'cause a jitte can be small, sometimes.  Don's three part staff is just crushed and tiny and useless.  If you try to bend it, it'll just break. 

The ninja stars are just that - small, tossable, and lost in seconds.  Usual TMNT stars.

Once again: One okay, one not.  Leo is cool, 'cause his little kunai is intact, but Mike's kusarigama is barely anything but a tiny sickle.  They tossed a chain on the bottom...sort of. 

Sacrifices had to be made to get stuff to fit in there, but....why even remake the extras from the first versions?  Just make some new stuff to put in there that is MADE to fit!  They did that with the originals - hell, vintage Don had come with a fishknife!  Just make something up, rather than shove something existing in there like this.

Overall, they're totally worth it if you want cartoon-accurate sculpts, but if you bought the first versions because they're plain good Turtles...then you won't need these.  The only thing these do better is the articulation, otherwise, they're just a different look and some negligibly useable items in the shells.

There is one second version that is worth replacing the first version, though:

Shredder v2!  He is miles above the first version, all the way into orbit.  The articulation is a little weird, but all of it works to his advantage.

The first one just looks silly compared to this majesty.  Plus: This one has KNEES!  None of the joints have an amazing range, but they do what you need them to do.  I mean, all of his poses are pretty freakin' menacing. 

In the show he's got these extendable blades, so it would have been nice to have them retract....but that's not gona happen.  There's no where for them to go!  They just magically appear, in the show.  They don't look segmented.  Not that this is a complaint....those blades are rad.  They don't need to go nowhere.

Then there's the helmet!  I've always been a fan of removable helmets, and Shredder is one that doesn't get 'em often.  Extra points for him being all hamburgered under there.

I wouldn't even hesitate to get him.  He's a great all-around Shredder, and you can still find him in stores now; they repacked him in the recent packaging change.

Alright, who's next who's next....Ah!  Here's a short one:

It's a Squirrelnoid!  This was the show's homage to Alien, if you can't tell from the photo. 

He's a nice little figure with ball jointed shoulders and hips, twists in the wrists, ankles, neck, and chest, and this cool Alien tongue that slides out of his mouth.

It's not really a must-have, but it's certainly nice for what it is.  The joints allow it to be creepy, but mostly just help for play.  Also: It's an army builder! Who doesn't love those?

Speaking of army builders....

Mousers!  Well, and Baxter Stockman, but he's not an army builder.  Lets just look at him real quick:

He's actually really fun and WELL articulated.  His only problem is his size - he's way too tiny for what he is in the show.  All you have to do is look at his head.  He would work well as a G.I. Joe!  Still, I've got a soft spot for armor and robots, and this is a super cool toy with great movement, so BLEH.  Bleh to your size inaccuracy! 

Let's not focus on Baxter, though.  Let's focus on the MOUSERS.  Oh man.  Oh man, folks.  I'm gona gush.  Grab one of those plastic sheets people use in the front row at a Gallagher show.

One pack nets you seven little Mousers.  Three silver, two gray, and two black.  The black ones are neat, 'cause they colored the inside of the mouth red.

You get so many Mousers in one pack that it's hard to buy just one.  I bought two, but...man, setting up these pictures makes me want MORE. 

There's a fantastic ball joint in the neck with great range, a hinged mouth, and the hips move back and forth.  You don't need much else!  Any more articulation would just hinder it, honestly. 

I cannot recommend these highly enough.  I would travel door to door to sell these little terrors.  Even one is enough hand-candy to mess with while you're reading something on the computer.  The more you add, the more you wana build little swarm pics, and they pose so freaking well!  They cover all angles too, from TMNT fans who have always wanted the perfect tiny Mouser (from cartoons or the games) to people who just love robot toys.  Seriously: Even if you don't care for TMNT!  Pick up a set.  They're still in stores as I type.  Do it.  Come on.

You can't even escape me in another paragraph.  Go buy some. 

Alright, I'll leave you alone!  Here, how about we wind down for today?  We need something ridiculous to end on.

PERFECT!  That's just....well that's just fine. 

This is Donnie the Wizard, from an episode of the show where the Turtles do some good old fashioned LARPing.  As you'd expect, the science man becomes a magic man.  He's sporting a stick with a snowglobe on the end (though you'd only know from pics of the show). 

He's missing the regular amount of paint that you'd expect from Playmates (until recently).  I felt like the top of the staff could use some color, so I grabbed a blue paint pen and spruced it up.

The colors look a little different from the first pic because they were taken with two different cameras.  The one in Grayskull was taken awhile back when I bought the figure.  The colors on the current pictures are a little dark, but closer to how it really looks. 

Anyway:  I thought the colored top of the staff helped a little.  He's still missing the colors on the stars of his robe, but I'm cool with that. 

He's a little restricted, articulation wise.  I was expecting a rubberized coat over a normal Turtle body, but they just sculpted a new torso.  It's all hard plastic, so the pose above is about as extreme as you're gona get.

No elbows either, but he has a wrist swivel.  Even then, you get enough to make some fancy and important-looking wizard poses. 

As per usual, with this line, Donnie has a serious F-YOU face.  You can toss his hat-and-beard combo on anyone you like!

Provided they're bald or have small enough hair. 

He's not a bad figure.  I'd probably be more unhappy with him if he had been restricted in any other way, but as he is, he's right on the edge.  I like him!  Something about the whole ensemble. 

I leave you, tonight, with the origin story of Donnie the Wizard.

ENOUGH!  Come on back for part two, where I'll be covering....more.  Of these.  I'm kinda picking things at random, so we'll see what turns up. 


  1. "Remember to only fight children. ... You'll be undefeated!"

    Somewhere, Kefka is writing the handbook that Splinter learned from.

    1. I dunno how I don't remember that quote, but Kefka certainly wrote the book on F-You.

  2. Oh man. You could probably fill an entire review with just the mousers. I probably bought 5 or 6 packs myself. They're frickin' mousers, man. They even work with the original turtles from the 80s.

    Every time I'm in Walmart I'll just find one set sitting on the shelf and I'll tell myself "I don't need anymore...but they're only like $7 or 8$." and then I'll grab another one. lol

    When I have the time, I plan to eventually put a set of turtles outside the Technodrome playset and have a horde of mousers walking down the ramp and snap a quick pic.

    I actually bought a wizard Donnie based on your last review, Alexx. He's a pretty cool figure, except for the weird penis at the end of his staff. I have to put some color on that one day. lol

    1. Honestly, I'm probably gona get the next few packs I see. I was trying not to, but....damnit, these things are so much fun! And now I'm looking forward to your Technodrome shot. And then you can give me your Technodrome. So I can...do that. Too. And keep your Technodrome.

      Anyway: If you put the right color on the end of the staff you could turn the top into a boob, instead! One way or another I think you should certainly stick to privates when you paint it. Just makes sense.

  3. The mousers are absolutely the best. They fit with any scale- oversized robot terrors against your lego or minuscule menaces against your figuarts! Zero cuts down a swarm of mousers! Science has gone to far with mousers against Gundam!

    I am intrigued and repulsed by the thought of what's in Drunk Gandolf's beard.

    ....put the beard on Teela.

    1. I knew I'd be preaching to the choir with the Mousers. How can anyone NOT love them?

      Drunk Gandalf keeps all his important and personal belongings in his beard. Like...bottles and cans, a glove, five and a half buttons, various sugar free candies (unwrapped), and NARYA, RING OF FIRE, ONE OF THE THREE MOST POWERFUL RINGS AMONG THE TWENTY FORGED BY CELEBRIMBOR AT THE BEHEST OF SAURON!!

      And dude, you totally asked me to put a beard on Teela before, and I DID.



    2. I know.

      Put. The beard. On Teela. Again.

    3. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v140/Alexx1083/0%20Masters%20of%20the%20Universe%20Classics%200/all%20for%20you.png

    4. YAY! It was everything and more than I hoped for.

      This is a thing now, you know.

  4. I never imagined that beard could be so versatile!

    Nice review and very funny comics, as always. One of the things that your review highlights to me, though, is how the quality of this line has dropped. While there have always been scale issues with this line, I've been OK with that. It's a kids line tied to a specific price point and that makes sense. It's watching how the figures continued to lose the paint apps, though. I like the LARPing turtles, but they definitely needed a bit of extra paint to cover the, you know, details that were sculpted. Now with the Mystic Turtles, as tough as it is, I'm calling it quits until I see some radical improvement in this line. I was a completest but now I'm being pretty discriminating with these. I'll wait to see Karai in hand before I buy her, but I've passed on Baxter, the rest of the Mystics, and Turflytle, which killed me. I love that guy.

    1. Beards are the kings of versatility! I once picked a lock with mine. It didn't work, of course, so I just broke the door down with my beard instead.

      I've felt like the TMNT lines through the years have always been missing a certain amount of paint apps that I'm willing to let go. Donnie has enough for me (for the most part). His wrists are still green where the wraps are, but there's so much other color on him that it doesn't stand out as much. Those Mystic Turtles....they hurt more, because it's just so OBVIOUS. It's not even as bad on Baxter-Fly, since the unpainted spikes don't stand out as much to me because of the other colors. He feels a bit more like some of the earlier ones, sorta (I guess the earlier ones usually painted the front, and left things off the back). I would have even accepted them painting just the fronts of the Mystic Turtles! Another thing was their choice of the bright colors, replacing the usual brown harness and pads with their signature colors. It just...makes the lack of paint elsewhere stand out more. They look like Dollar General exclusives. And ya know what? They would have been great as Dollar General exclusives! Just...not regular releases.

      On the other hand, I feel like they were made to offset cost somewhere else. You see that in MotUC too, where a figure has very little so another figure somewhere else can have a lot. I guess that doesn't hold up if we're seeing paint lacking across the board, though. *sigh* I dunno....I haven't given up yet. Some of the others are still within acceptable parameters. The Mystic Turtles were the frist ones that were just completely unacceptable. I hope they consider rereleasing them again, down the line, with paint jobs closer to their prototypes.

      One way or another...it's sad that, when I see new TMNT stuff at toy shows, the only thing I can think of now is: "Well those look nice! I wonder what they'll look like with next to no paint?"

  5. YES, finally Skeletor levels up to beard strength. Spookwiz gonna' give it to ya!

  6. I've been keeping away from the current TMNT line, mostly for the whole quality disparity thing, but also because my vested interest in TMNT has always been lower than some of the other properties I love. But I started picking up a few toys from the line earlier this year - so far I have three of the main turtles and a set of Mousers. I think I'll round it out with the fourth turtle (Mikey), and maybe a few villains - probably hamburger shredder, kraang, and baxter stockman.

    And maybe like a million more mousers.