Tuesday, April 14, 2015
T-U-R-T-L-E PILE (The Second Part)
OH MAN, there were so many more of these than I had anticipated! Here we are at the second part - and I can tell ya right now - there will be a third. I'm saving the best for last, though, so here's some good-to-just-okay ones.
And speaking of "just okay", lets start with the ones I most wanted to love! I figured this couldn't be hard, ya know? They would have the same movement as the regular Turtles Playmates has made so far, but they'd be all classic.
I was wrong! They decided, instead, to reinvent the wheel and make all-new stupid articulation.
To start, they each came with a little card. Nothin' on the back; just this pic one the front. Kinda neat! Also probably gona get stored somewhere until I forget about them.
I'll use Raph as the example guy (since they're all the same, save for the heads and weapons). On a current Turtle figure, you've basically got this same articulation, save for some very important things: wrist cuts, and the way the hips are articulated.
Wrist cuts are obvious: It would have been less of a hindrance if they had just taken out the elbows, honestly. Elbow joints without wrists - ESPECIALLY when the hands are sculpted palm-up - make for some very awkward posing. They went ahead and did a great example of when someone really wants to help you, but they keep screwing things up. You want them to help - you really do - but with how terrible they are, you could do it faster alone.
Same thing here. You want the elbows, you really do, but if you're not going to give them wrist cuts, then just leave them out and have the wrists move instead. I mean, I have to assume we didn't get wrist cuts because there was a budget on joints, this time around. They just made the dumb choice of elbows instead of wrists....or the dumb choice of making the hands palm-up while giving them elbows.
The hips are another wacky choice. All the current Turtle figures have hips that allow the legs to move forward. It's a little awkward when they move outward (you have to turn the knee to get the foot sideways) but it works. With these, they decided to have the legs move OUTWARD, rather than forward. I wish I could accurately explain how awkward this is. You gotta have him in-hand to really get it.
When you move the leg forward, you have to twist the leg, and the foot will be sideways, sorta. So you have to twist the knee to get the foot normal. The kneepads are facing forward with the hips, though! So bending the knee while the leg is out is nearly impossible, since they're stopped by the kneepads.
GAH! None of that is making sense as I reread it, but it all adds up to annoyance. These play terribly. Not fun, as hand-candy. They look pretty, but someone lost their mind when they went to add articulation to these sculpts.
The complaints keep piling on with Leo, since he can't hold his swords. Everyone has large handles for their weapons (almost too large for the hands) but Leo's sword handles are too small. They kept falling out, so I added some rubber bands to them.
Mike isn't anything new; he's always hard to pose with the nunchucks.
And, to top it all off, Don can't even get two hands around his staff. Nice!
The lowdown is just that they're pretty and they'll look nice standing, but chances are, if you wanted classic turtles, you've probably already got the NECA ones from awhile back. If you don't, and you just plan on standing them up somewhere, then these will make nice stand-ins. Otherwise: the articulation is restricted in the dumbest of ways, and I seriously wana talk to someone at Playmates to find out how this happened.
Seriously man: If anyone at Playmates ever happens upon this tiny speck of a blog, leave a comment and let me know why you decided to redo everything rather than just stick to what was already working.
WHEW....okay, lets move on to less complaining.
Movie Shredder! I didn't end up seeing the movie. I...didn't have the heart to. I saw the most recent Transformers movie and managed to get out just before vomiting, so I figured I wouldn't bother with this one.
The toys didn't interest me much, but Shredder did! I've always wanted a "cyber" Shredder, ever since TMNT Tournament Fighters on the SNES. Shredder was called "Cyber Shredder", for some reason. He wasn't cyber at all, in fact, he looked a heck of a lot like classic comic book Shredder (save for some blue energy on his fists when he punched).
So here's something I can't finally call Cyber Shredder!
He ain't a bad figure! Articulation is simple, but works. I could use a bit more range in the knees, but they're good enough for what he is. He's even got ankle joints, so he takes some nice intimidating stances. He technically doesn't have any accessories, but his hands are open for holding things, and his cape and arm blades come off.
Of course, if you take the arm blades off, you're left with some pretty skinny arms. I think Shredder was weak or dying in the movie? So perhaps it makes sense. Well, one way or another it makes sense, 'cause I figure if Shredder is THIS tricked out, he might be weakened to a point where he'd need the help to survive.
The only real problem I have with him is his eyes. Or...what sorta counts as his eyes. They're just holes in his head with some black paint in them.
I couldn't get a good pic, but they look like someone just poked some holes in there with an awl. Doesn't really hurt him all that much, but I'm wondering what he'll look like with the traditional white eyes.
Alright, keeping it movin'! Next is Mutagen Man, who you may remember from the vintage line. The vintage figure is a bit cooler, but this one is still formidable, if only a tiny bit less terrifying.
The vintage one was a tank full of goo and guts, like this one, but the arms on the original were zombified flesh arms. This guy has goo arms! His arms and legs move out and forward (legs less so, but he has what he needs).
You can pop his hand off and put in some separately sold Ooze. I guess, when you push the hand back on, the Ooze squeezes through the holes on the hand for some stank-palm action. It's just...you have to put your fingers right where the Ooze comes out so you can push the hand on, so it's not really an action feature. It's ruined the moment you try it....but I haven't done it myself, so what do I know? I just think they should have put a hole through his arm covered by a removable plunger, so you can put in Ooze and shove it through the hand from the back.
The other option is to put Ooze in the center! That's right - you can pull out da GUTZ and pour in whatever you want! Of course, the Ooze isn't see-through, so you probably can't see the guts through it. I imagine water is the better option....that I didn't feel like trying.
...but I did fill it with Mousers! So that's a thing.
Anyway, the guts could use some detail, but I didn't really expect any. It's a perfect sickly innards-pink, so it gets the job done. Those white things on the top are the eyes, and I kinda wish they were painted as such, but at least the white eyes adds to the nastiness. If you inspect it closely you can see some individual organs - there's even a mouth with a tongue hanging out of it in the bottom right!
I've always liked the idea of Mutagen Man. He's one of those "famous" figures that, if you didn't have him, you knew someone that did and he was awesome. I think this one gets across a similar idea for a new generation. I still like the vintage one better, but that doesn't mean that this one isn't pretty cool in it's own right.
Oh, here's a good one! This is Newtralizer, a fine addition to the ranks of pun-ishers. Nothin' like a classic TMNT pun name!
He's sort of a predator-ish bounty hunter from another dimension that is just littered with weapons.
He's got guns on his wrist, carries a knife (probably some explosives on his harness) and even has a Predator disc blade!
You can stick his fingers in the holes on the disc, or just have him hold it by the blades.
His harness has some neat details (like some Kraang tentacles he collects from his victories) and you can stick the knife in a sheath on his thigh.
There's even an unpainted blade on the end of his tail! This guy is loaded! I'm not totally caught up on the toon, but he was pretty awesome the last time I saw him.
You can also pull the harness off, though I don't think you're supposed to. There was a little bit of glue on the plug that keeps it on...but it just works like any TMNT armor you've ever seen. You can plug it back in with no problem. This way you can see all that cool paint on his chest! It's a skull! Universal sign of Badass.
This guy was a lot of fun. He's got all the articulation he needs, stands well, and can hold all his stuff. I would have liked the arms posed in some way that is good for firing the arm guns, but it's a tiny nit to pick and it's not really needed. I'd pick 'em up if you got a taste for alien bounty hunting newt people. If you do, then wow, man...that's a really specific interest. I'm glad they made something that tailors to your unique tastes.
Not being up to date on the toon can kinda bite you in the butt, if you're collecting the toys. This is apparently the next mutation for Dogpound, which is awesome! You might remember Rahzar from Secret of the Ooze, though this guy is just using the name and the fact that he's a dog thing.
Nah, this Rahzar is an undead werewolf monster that (presumably) isn't childish! He can also form weapons with his bones, so he's terrifying all around. I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in the show.
As usual, they're not really putting a whole lot of thought into the action features. On the other hand, I like that his arm isn't larger to house a spring loaded missile launcher. On yet another hand...this is just a larger version of his hand stuck in a hole in his arm.
You have to flick or throw it out with a motion. I would have liked an extendable claw, rather than his fall-out missile. It doesn't stay in there at all, so it's best just set off to the side.
I assume he's supposed to be larger, but his wideness makes up for it and he feels appropriately monstrous. I would have liked him to stand a bit better (he's got that classic TMNT slightly-forward-walk pose where one foot is up on it's toes) and I wish his left hand wasn't posed palm-up, but he mostly does what he needs to do. His arms and legs move forward and outward, so he can thrash around 'n such. Just doesn't leave a whole lot in the way of pose options, which is why there aren't many pics.
Regardless: I still LOVE how he looks, so he has grown on me. Overall he makes a fine toy, but you might have a few problems getting him to stand in a display. I'm hard pressed to tell you to stay away from a zombie werewolf toy, though, so I'd check 'em out if you see him.
*sigh* This one didn't work at all. You can imagine my disappointment that the robot ninja was annoying to play with.
He's got similar articulation to the normal Foot Soldier, but lacking the cut joints in the elbows, which hurts him a bit, but not too much. His back arms are attached via ball joint and have a nice range!
You can pop 'em out, too, if you want him to join your normal Foot Soldiers as a damaged robot.
It's just...without the elbows, you're going to have a hard time making him look like he's attacking anyone.
He also has a hell of a time standing, which is one of the more annoying things. He is hell to pose, though they at least tried. His head is on a nice ball joint so he can look forward while he's hunched down and ready to attack. However...he'll just fall over, so it doesn't matter.
All that stuff would't bother me that much if his main feature worked, though. He comes with four arm attachments for bladed, drilling, and smashing action! Sadly, they all just have falling-off action.
The holes in the attachments are too big and the hands are too small. They just rest in there without any friction.
NOTE: I did notice that the more recent releases of his figure seem to have some extra plastic inside the attachments, so this MAY have been fixed. I just haven't bothered to buy another to see, yet.
Just getting him set up like this is annoying as heck. He falls over and his attachments fall off constantly. I can't pose him doing anything, since he'll fall or things will drop or all of the above.
Even that one shot of the Turtles attacking him was annoying as all get-out. I'll have to see if the newer versions are any different, 'cause this one was just plain aggravating. This is a travesty, because robot ninjas should be cool at all times. My religion has been shaken to its core.
Slash is one of those figures that is only disappointing because I can't let go of my love for the vintage figure. The vintage one is COOL, man, like rad to the max. One of my top favorites from the vintage line, I'm tellin' ya. I was looking forward to an updated version of him, but this guy pretty much shares his colors and that's it. There's nothing technically wrong with him....he's just not the vintage Slash.
That's not really fair to this figure, so I'll say he looks good for the character that he is, and his articulation is pretty nice. I wish his mace handle wasn't the same color as his skin, though. I mean, the top is black! Why not make the handle the same color?
Another thing is that this guy is TINY. Comparatively. He's supposed to be a pretty big guy in the show, and you can tell, because his head is super tiny. It would look normal if he was correctly sized, but that's just how it is with this line. No figures can be over a certain size, so big guys like this come out small.
In the end, he's still a neat figure and worth a purchase as toy, if nothing else. I would like him just fine if I had him when I was a kid. His articulation works and he looks strong and dangerous. If you're getting him as purely a representation of the guy in the show, well...he comes up....short.
Okay, last guy for today! Tiger...Claw. Wow, that's a boring name, compared to some! Like, the first name off the top of your head for a tiger character. He looks BAD-ASS, though! He's also his own spoiler, because his filecard shows him with two eyes, and his figure has an eyepatch! So he's losing an eye, I guess.
This guy is a kung-fu tiger cowboy, and comes with two different pistols that fit in holsters on his thighs. They stay in...okay. Not great. Sometimes they fall out. His hands are also HARD plastic and the opening is small, so you really have to work those guns into his hands. The guns are also soft plastic, so they'll be warped a bit, if you keep them in there for while.
I really like this guy! It looks like, from pictures, that he's supposed to have a sword, too, but the guns still work for me. Otherwise, he's got great articulation and he looks fantastic. He even has a freakin' jetpack!
I highly suggest getting this guy, 'cause he's just classically badass. You can't go wrong with a gun-toting tiger man. There's also a mix-and-match version of him out right now, which is nearly the same thing (minus the joints in the knees) so you can take your pick. At least, with the mix-and-match one, you can pass his awesome tiger head on to other things!
Alright....another batch down. One more set (mostly, I'm kinda skipping some larger things) and we'll be done. Stay tuned!