Wednesday, April 15, 2015
T-U-R-T-L-E PILE (The Third and Final Part)
OKAY, this is the final one, I swear! I'm all burned out on TMNT now, so I'ma post this up early to get it out of the way. Then I can move on to something else!
This batch should have a little less complaining and more cool things, 'cause I like most of these. Before we get to it: One thing I forgot to do with the Mousers:
A comparison! I totally forgot that I had dug out my old Mousers for a comparison, so here they are. The vintage ones were wind-up toys and they sorta walked forward while chomping their jaws. I never had a fully working one, though, so all I can get these guys to do is walk forward half a step.
As you can see: These guys were big! Never understood that, besides needing to house the action feature. On the other hand, they still make great giant Mousers to put alongside the new ones!
Alright, lets get this rolling with the last low point:
Mystic Leo. Oh, you. As stated in a Schwag Brag: I'm conflicted with this guy. He's awesome! But he's almost completely unpainted.
There is NO paint on the body. At all. The only paint is on his head with the eyes and a little bit of white for the teeth. This is seriously a new low for Playmates in terms of paint.
On the other hand: This is still a good toy, ya know?
Articulation is great, he poses well, he can hold his accessories, etc. The only play complaint I have is the giant sword sheathes, and that only bothers me because you have to awkwardly plug it into his side. I don't think I'd even mind if they had found a way to attach it to his back.
So this is still fun to play with! It's just the glaring lack of paint holding him back, for adult collectors. If I had bought this as a Dollar General exclusive for a few bucks less, I think I'd be less bothered. He ain't bad for a budget figure! He's full price, though, alongside other figures with more accessories and paint.
Playmates is known for lacking paint apps in certain places, but as a toy fan first and foremost, I don't really mind so long as it's not staring you in the face. I'll admit I'm way more lax than most, but hey, I just want a fun toy! This one....well, it STARES you in the face. He's fun, but ugly. Playmates had managed to paint the wrappings on most Turtles so far (save for a few here and there, where it's less noticeable). I just don't understand why the Mystic Turtles got the shaft. I mean they put some really cool sculpting work into these! Why even bother, if they aren't going to paint it?
You could argue that it doesn't matter, in the long run: What kid is going to notice? If that IS the case....why even bother putting work into it at all? Someone sculpted this! Someone put work into it! The paintwork should be giving them some credit. If they are just gona toss out the excuse of "kids will buy anything" then they should just stop putting all this cool sculpting work into it. Save some cash on plastic, not on paint.
Now here's a swap with the Battle Shell Leo to show a bit of what you COULD have gotten:
That's the last of my super complaints, I promise. Rest of them are all pretty awesome!
Casey Jones, for instance, turned out awesome!
This guy is a bit younger in this series (probably to line up with April) so he's kinda got this "punk kid" look to him with a sports theme (as usual, for Casey Jones). He's got his classic hockey mask with a skull painted on it, and....um...
...a skull painted underneath it as well? Honestly, I find it hilarious and kinda smart, since, if he gets his mask knocked off, his identity is still safe.
I really love this Casey's new design. It still looks like Casey, but the getup helps show how he's younger, like with the hoodie.
Casey is mostly wearing modified hockey equipment - modified with SPIKES! This kid is dangerous, man! I think he would fit in pretty well in the Kick-Ass universe.
To keep with the hockey motif, he's got rollerblades sculpted right on to the shoes. They don't hinder his ability to stand at all, which is nice! In some ways, they almost help him stay up better than some others.
He's got pockets and little details on him, like the rag handing from his back pocket and the ring of keys on his hip. Unpainted, but they don't really need to be. You can also see that they didn't really paint his back, but that's standard for Playmates right now, and I don't disagree with the practice. Saves paint, and the front-and-center still looks good.
He sadly doesn't come with his Golf Bag of Sports, but he's still got a place to hold his items on his back. Casey has a hockey stick and a baseball bat, for some good old fashioned sporting justice.
I kinda wish they had been molded in brown, rather than white, but it doesn't look that out of place.
He holds them both well, though the hockey stick is the only item he can hold with both hands (the arms don't come together far enough to hold the bat with two hands). They also stay secure on his back! He's all around play-worthy, poseable, and nice for display.
Overall, I'd totally pick up Casey. He may not stand in for a classic Casey, but I think it's a cool younger look at the character and he makes for a great toy.
Next up is one of the few vehicles I bought. Only vehicle I bought? Wow, yeah, I think this is the only one!
This looked like a good set, because I liked the diving suit Don and the big sub shaped like a turtle just...spoke to me. As toys tend to do.
The back of the package shows an alternate paint job for Don, but I think they made some good choices. His hands aren't painted, leaving the wraps green, but as you can see on the package, they were originally going to leave this BIG dial on his arm unpainted.
If they absolutely HAD to leave something unpainted on the arms, I'm glad it was the hands and not this dial thingy.
Once again: When you consider that Playmates has to limit the paint, I'd say they did a good job in choosing where to put it.
Don comes with a bo staff with the blade extended, which is pretty cool! It's nice 'n long, compared to his other bos. You can put it in a holder on his back, but you really gotta twist it in there.
He can hold the staff well, but he doesn't have wrist cuts and his hands are molded palm-up. Still, the range on the arms is nice and he can hold his staff with both hands with no problem, so the restriction doesn't effect 'em much.
Don also has this cool little diving knife that can fit in a loop on his leg, for when he needs to straight up murder a gang of sharks. I'm lookin' at you, Street Sharks. Don is coming for you.
Only other thing I would have liked is the ability to put the goggles over his eyes. Otherwise, I like 'em!
The turtle sub ain't bad, but it suffers in the same way that a lot of G.I. Joe vehicles did in the Rise of Cobra line. It just...doesn't DO much. Seems like vehicles had all sorts of features, when I was a kid. Am I just waxing nostalgic and remembering things better than they were?
One of the more disappointing things is the missile launcher, singular. Yeah, just one. The launcher on the left doesn't actually fire anything - the missile just sits in it. It's not a mistake, either! There's no button or anything. It was meant to just be a flick-missile launcher, while the other one is a normal spring loaded one. On top of that, the missile just slides out, so you have to store it on top unless you plan to use it (you could also put Don's staff up there).
I can't help but feel that Playmates has a MASSIVE design phase, and then about two seconds of a production phase where they say "Can't do this, this, this, or this. Or that. Take that out. No paint. Done. Next one." You guys gotta communicate, man! Tell the designers what they can and can't do, and then plan accordingly. This whole things looks like a lovingly designed vehicle that was neutered once they realized they couldn't afford to make it.
It has wheels on the bottom, but you know this baby is going in the water, if you're a kid. It's a given. I was tempted to put it in the water myself, honestly - I just don't have a good way to take pictures of it that way.
Another one of its features is a moving mouth. I love that kinda stuff, but the feature is worked with a lever on the top, which is a little awkward. I think, if you were playing with this, a button on the top of the head would have worked better for play.
Finally, the sub opens up like a clamshell and just fits Don. It feels like it won't close, but it does. I always like more details in a cockpit, but this has enough, and Don can grip the controls with no problem. I only wish there was a way to see him in there, when it was closed. I love that he fits, but I always like to see evidence of a driver, in some way. Some sorta window would have been cool.
This set didn't blow me away, but it works for what it is. Not exactly a display kinda thing (though the sub looks cool and, dangit, I like turtle shaped things) but this would have certainly been a hell of a bathtub toy, when I was a kid, and I'll bet it's the same now, for any kid.
Ah, now these I should have reviewed a long time ago! I originally bought Don, because he makes sense (what with all the tech he's wearing), but I ended up with Leo 'cause he was so cool lookin'.
This is just a good look for Donatello. If you only bought one of the Stealth Turtles, this one makes the most sense. I could imagine him coming up with his own stuff, even if he doesn't make the same items for the rest of them.
There are a couple drawbacks to him: One, there's no wrist articulation, so he's a tad awkward, but they made one palm-up and one palm-to-the-side, so he can hold his bo. They made the best of a no-wrist situation. The other problem is the short bo! It's super tiny, even compared to the bos that his other figures come with that I also think are too small. I think it wouldn't matter as much if the bo had been teched-out in some way.
Otherwise, I like 'em! He comes with stuff you'd think Don should come with, too.
Each figure has a visor that you can push down over the eyes - a different visor for each character! Don gets two different eyes, so you can imagine they each do something different, which I love. They are all "steath" but the sculptors went the extra mile to make sure Donnie was, in no uncertain terms, the "tech guy."
Donatello comes with a recon robot! I would have liked him to come with a controller for said robot, but it's not a mark against him.
The neck turns at the base and the camera head is on a ball joint, so you do have some posing options. Technically it doesn't do much, but it's accessories like these that really spark the imagination, so I'm all for 'em, and it really is a big reason to buy the stealth Donatello.
Don's final accessory is a tri-eyed scope, of some sort. I wasn't quite sure what it was, at first, and I guess I could still be wrong, but it sure seems like a scope. So he's pretty tricked out! He can sent out a recon bot, he's got his "shell" phone on his belt (which, considering the way apps work, could possibly act as the controller for the bot), there's a light on his shoulder, he's got goggles for close range, and the scope for scouting long range!
This is one well thought-out figure!
Leonardo only makes it better.
He's similarly tricked out, with his phone on his shoulder and various pockets for important ninja things (like ninja change for the parking meter, and ninja chapstick for those shadowy, chapped lips).
He's also sporting the COOLEST freakin' sword sheaths on his back! The sheaths fit perfectly on his back, and the swords "click" in so you know they won't fall out. I love this thing. I have no idea why it needs so much wiring, but I imagine the swords might have an added shock effect, and perhaps this is the charger. Up to you! This is what I love about detail, ya know? Add a little bit, and your imagination can take you the rest of the way.
The swords are also pretty cool; looking slick and modern. He doesn't have wrist cuts either, but he doesn't need them. He holds his swords well, and he poses great! You could be a kid tossing this guy at a batch of Foot Soldiers and Leo still wouldn't drop his swords or loose the sheaths on his back. THAT'S what I like to see in a toy!
Otherwise, Leo has his own visor, making him Splinter Cell Leonardo. He's got the best one, I tell ya. The big red eye in the center really makes this whole figure.
Each Stealth figure also comes with a rope with a hook at either end and a double sided clip to put on the harness anywhere you like. There's no directions, so just string 'em up however you see fit.
Just like Don, Leo gets an extra item. Don was tech, so he got a scope. Leo is a fighter, so he gets an extra weapon: A crossbow! It sports a flick missile and looks pretty dang cool.
I really love these figures, and they stand out as my favorite of the variants so far. Mike and Raph didn't impress me enough to buy them, but I'm sure I would have found something to like, if I had. As it is: These two are fantastic and I highly recommend them. Leonardo especially, though Don makes the most sense, tech wise (if you're only getting one). Leo is just...ah man, so awesome.
Okay, one last guy and then I'll be finished with TMNT for a while! We'll end on a current one:
Stockman-Fly! Or, just Baxter Stockman, in the old toon series. Baxter Stockman has been a lot of things, but being a fly-man was just a thing that happened to him in the old series. He wasn't a fly in anything else, until now! (Considering all he went through in the 2003 series, I'd say this is an improvement for the poor guy).
This is one you might find disagreeable, in the paintwork area. All the spikes on his body are supposed to be brown, like his skin. They're all unpainted. You might think it strange, considering all the complaining I did about Mystic Leo, but: It doesn't bother me. You see, Mystic Leo is missing just about EVERYTHING. Baxter is just missing the spikes, and, while they are visible and all over his body, they just don't catch my eye like Mystic Leo's total lack of paint. I mean, you could easily imagine that the spikes just aren't poking all the way through his shirt or jeans, I guess. It's obvious they were sculpted to be painted, but I can more easily ignore this, compared to Mystic Leo.
With that out of the way: I love this guy! He poses well, I love the translucent wings and the translucent rings around his bug-eyes. I especially love that metallic sheen over the eyes. It all comes together pretty well, if you ignore the spikes!
His only accessory is a partially eaten bar of chocolate, which has something to do with the show (but I haven't caught up yet). It fits in his hand and the arm is sculpted and articulated in a way - along with the head on a nice ball joint - to bring it right to his disgusting little mouth.
What really makes this guy is the head. The ball joint has a lot of range, and it nearly got all the paint apps. You can even still see his hair on top and on the back!
I understand if the unpainted spikes bother you, but I honestly feel like that will melt away as you get the guy in-hand. He plays really well and is just freakish. In a good way. I would seriously consider picking him up.
OKAY! Ha! TMNT is finally out of the way! Ran through those like the Juggernaut on someone who doesn't know who he is. I can put these guys in a bin and get them off and out from around my picture table to move on to other things. Like MotUC. Or hey, G.I. Joes could certainly use this treatment! Heh. Yeah. Joes. Joooes.