Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Mega Bloks TMNT: Mike and Don (and two Blind Bags)
Mega Bloks is back (in my hands) with some new TMNT stuff and the tiniest articulation they can muster!
Awhile back you could swear I was married to Mega Bloks. Honestly, the love hasn't died, I just needed some different product to get excited about. Thankfully, Lego and Mega Bloks seems to be playing hot potato with properties, so while Mega Bloks tossed Scooby Doo over to Lego, Lego tossed TMNT back to Mega Bloks. Right in time to take advantage of Mega Bloks' new articulation system!
I've got a few items, but shorter posts are helping me out a great deal right now, so shorter posts you will get!
All four Turtles are being sold in separate packs that include a buildable stand and the turtle himself (along with a few doubles of turtles coming with a larger pack I'll cover later). On top of that, Mega Bloks is doing separate TMNT items for both the classic 80's cartoon and the current cartoon, the differences of which will be pointed out near the end.
For now, lets look at Donatello!
Pop open a box and you'll get this: parts and the figure in a little plastic coffin. The stand can be built quickly, and the figure is already together, thankfully, 'cause they're super tiny and a little tough to put together with my big 'ol hands.
The base of the stand is a square, but you snap this on top and boy does it looks fancy! Love the 'ol sewer lid stand for TMNT figures.
The stands come with this big piece of "pipework" to which you stick some items to make it look more sewer-y. Along with that, you get these little comic panels for...I dunno, effect? They're kinda neat, as well as optional, in case you don't want to use them.
Don snaps down easily and doesn't fall off, and they also give you a peg on the pipes to connect to a hole in his back, in case you want some aerial action poses.
Beyond that, the stands have little clips at the bottom of the pipes to allow you to connect everyone's stands together in a display.
Donatello himself is everything you'd expect from a Call of Duty Mega Bloks figure, only turtle-like. He's just DECKED out with articulation, and it all works well.
He also comes with his trademark bo and a ninja star to lose. The star can fit on his back, along with his staff.
You noticed the big words "METAL" on the front of the package: That's talking about the shell! The shell is die-cast metal and all sparkly and shinny (but not too much). It looks and feels nice! I'm not sure why they're metal, but I appreciate it all the same.
As stated further above: The figure comes apart like the CoD figures, but I ain't displaying that ability beyond this. I will, however, do this:
The eyes are kinda strange. It looks like they weren't meant to be seen without the bandanna, which is a little disappointing, but honestly....how often are you gona display them without the bandanna?
The little metal shell has a some heft, which means he kinda falls backward, but he's so articulated that you can generally find a way to balance him - OR - he's a brick figure! Just plug him into the floor of a build.
There are screws on the back of the shell, in case you want to do something with it. No idea what, but there's some info in case you need it.
All of the gear (save for the headband) is rubbery - like, rubber band kind of rubbery. They seem sturdy, but so did the treads on the CoD tank drone and I was totally wrong about that. I wanted to make sure these weren't at risk, so:
I didn't want to leave it stretched for long, but I didn't see any stress marks, so it seems like they'll do alright in the long run (plus, they aren't stretched to max and rolled around, like the treads on the drone). It does explain the lack of paint on the belts, too. I assume the stretchy plastic wouldn't hold the paint very well, and of course, when stretchy plastic like that IS painted, it rarely looks good over time. If you're not gona be taking the belts on and off, I don't think it would hurt to run a yellow paint pen over the center letter, though. Should be simple enough.
The rest of the items (sans bandanna, which is harder plastic) are the same kinda rubbery, but they are barely stretched at all, so there shouldn't be any worry. They slide right on and don't get in the way of the articulation, though you may find yourself turning them a bit as you move the figure, if you're a perfectionist.
Mike comes out the same as Don, except for the trademark nunchucks held together by a plastic chain. Feels like they're a little big, but I ain't complaining. They can be stored in the back, like Don's bo, and he comes with another ninja star. Kinda wish they came with other ninja weapons, but the stars are still cool, and can be held.
I like these guys! I mean, I'm already a fan of Mega Bloks' super articulated minifigures, so these are just a no-brainer. If you like TMNT, these just look amazing, and they kinda jump off the screen from the old cartoon with ease. I mean, in terms of paint, they're only missing some on the belt buckle. Otherwise: These are straight-up toon TMNT figures! Albeit super tiny, but that's never been a problem for the likes of me.
I can't find a single reason to skip these if you're in the market for tiny TMNT figures. If not, and you're just a casual TMNT collector: You've at least gotta pick your favorite turtle and try one. I think you'll be pleased.
Now, the sets I just reviewed are from Mega Bloks' "Collector's Series", meaning they're a bit more articulated, fancy, and come with displays for you collector types. On top of that, they're completely based on the 80's toon. The other sets that are out alongside these are based on the current cartoon, on Nickelodeon.
I'm not planning on getting into these as much, though I still like them for what they are. Just to keep it simple, I tried two of the blind bags, which seem to focus on out-of-the-ordinary scenes from the show, meaning: the basic turtles are sort of in the middle of some action and reacting to something.
It's a great idea, 'cause all too often I've seen toylines where they sell the basic figures, then randomly blind-bag the SAME figures, as if you would choose blind over just buying what you want. Mega Bloks thought ahead and made figures specific to the blind bags, but also not absolutely imperative to have unless you're a big fan of the show.
And boy are they cool, if you are a fan! You get Don fawning over April, Mike all hopped up on pizza (and apparently slathered on his body?), Raph pissed at Mike for painting on his shell, and Leo...interested in comics. Good enough, Leo.
On top of that, you also have a chance at two basic army builders, which are always welcome and a translucent variant! The most basic and awesome of all variants, and also Shredder, which is a bonus (I'd take anyone in translucent colors, honestly).
First one I got was Raph, all pissed at Mike for painting on his shell. Right away you can see he's missing some paint on the feet.
They also didn't paint the elbows or eyes under the mask (though I'm not really lamenting that part). The elbows also lack articulation, though that's the only part missing when you compare the articulation to the classic guys.
I can summarize the difference between the classic ones and the Nicktoons ones pretty easily: One is more "toy" and one is more "collectable", but only in the slightest sense. A kid can have fun with either, but the Nicktoons ones are gona have fewer items to mess with (like the knee and elbow pads) and will be ready to fight no matter how you move them. The classic ones will be a bit more fidgety and might be left in an awkward pose if you're playing around with them like a kid would (or like I would, let's be honest).
You still get the same stuff as the classic guys, like weapon storage and removable bandannas and belts, but everything is sturdier and geared more toward play (for instance, the belt is still rubbery, but no where near as much).
Raph has his sais, a pissed-off look, and the "evidence" in the form of a can of spray paint.
Other than the "Mikey" clearly written on his shell, this actually works as a basic Angry Raph, since he's prone to outbursts. Heck, if you've got a normal Raph, the bandanna can be swapped on to that, if you don't want the writing on the shell or the mark oh his head (denoting anger).
You'll also notice the hole on his back, which I assume is just for anything you can think of (unless there's a specific action feature I'm unaware of, in the larger sets).
I really like him, and I'd probably be getting more if it wasn't for the classic sets. I kinda feel like the slightly limited articulation, only when compared to the classic guys, is better and a little more fun. If there was no comparison to the classic sets, I'd say these are perfect. There's no need for the elbow articulation, honestly. The arms are held at an "action" angle and you'll be able to bash other figures without the arms bending in.
Now, when it comes to the blind bags themselves: I haven't found any markings on them allowing you to tell what's inside, but certain things are obvious: Turtles are big, because of the shells, and everything else is a smaller and thinner pack. Keep that in mind, I guess. That's how I found my second guy:
Yeah, red Shredder! Exactly what I wanted. He's beautifully translucent and I have no idea why, other than to be a variant. I haven't caught up to current happenings in the show, so I don't know if this is relevant or not.
He sports the same articulation as Raph, and comes with removable blades and armor.
If you like what you see, just choose! Or get them all, honestly, I loved everything I reviewed here. Only reason I'm sticking to the classics is because I gotta choose something and not buy it all. I would get any of the current sets for kids or adults or collectors or whatever. All good stuff!
I got one larger set that I'll cover next time. If you've seen what's out now, you can probably guess what it is.