Donatello the Playboy

Think you’re seeing double? Think again.

April O'Neil Variant

It has come to my attention that Playmates has released a variant of the April O’Neil figure in the new Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles line. The variant is a simple paint variant and I have no idea if this is as a result of a simple factory error or change in material or if this is a “correction” as the first batch of Aprils were slightly off color model.

Which is the real April O'Neil?

The changes are minor, but you’ll notice that in my April O’Neil Review that my April had reddish orange hair and a slightly dark, muted yellow shirt. The newer Aprils that are shipping out have a more brown color hair and a brighter yellow plastic shirt.

Different Aprils

Given that the color of the shirt has changed (and that requires more than just simply swapping paint) I’m going to assume that Playmates felt that the first run of April O’Neil figures were off model. There are several other changes to the figure that seem to confirm that as well.

April O'Neil Figures

Her arm bands are slightly different hues of brown and her eyes have had their irises go from a darker blue to a lighter shade. These are of course, minor changes and this isn’t something to get up in arms about, but you might find it interesting if you’re on the hunt for a particular variation of April.


I also noticed that my newer brown hair April has a sloppier, thick paint job on the hair. Compared to the smoother paint application of the older one. I’m not sure if that’s just true for this April or all of the new O’Neils.

Ninja Turtles April O'Neil Custom

Speaking of variations, I’ve had some questions about my “quick ‘n’ dirty” custom April. While fiddling around with my original figure, I wondered if I couldn’t swap the 2K3 April O’Neil head onto the figure.


It wasn’t particularly hard, it was a boil and pop. However the neck on the new April is rubbery and I pulled the whole joint out. So if you plan on doing this, be careful. It’s definitely better if you can keep that joint in the neck.


The 2K3 April’s head wasn’t on a ball joint, but her neck had a rather strange post instead.


Thankfully the ball can fit into her head with no issues. Some people have commented to me that her head looks a little big for the body, but honestly it’s not really any bigger than the new Nickelodeon April. The only difference is that her head is a bit taller and less of a football shape.


I didn’t hate the new April, but I like this quick custom as well. Suddenly April looks like an adult again, which ya know, I prefer.


Once the new head is on the body, it fits fine. The ball joint doesn’t really work as well, but she can operate her head as cut joint, which is fine. There wasn’t a ton of movement on the Nickelodeon head either, even though it was a ball joint.


I do have a little nudge on the back of her neck on mine, but I think that’s because I ripped the ball joint out and it didn’t quite fit the same going back in. I assume you can remove her head without pulling the ball joint out and thus you wouldn’t have that issue. Even if you do though, it’s pretty minor and only noticeable if you’re looking for it.

Ninja Turtles Mikey loves April O'Neil

So there you have it, a couple of April variants to chase down and an easy recipe for a completely different April O’Neil, should you want one.

April O'Neil Comic
Ninja Turtles versus April O'Neil

One Response to April O’Neil Variant and Custom Head Swap

  • Jeremy Miller says:

    Collector in Nashville, TN here. I came across an April (brown hair version) that I purchased for a friend. Turns out he had found an April recently and didn’t need it, so I elected to keep it. I already have orange and brown hair versions. I noticed two differences with the newer brown hair version versus my original purchased a few months ago. One, the weapon “tree” is package upside down (could be a simple error or change in the production process). The color of the weapons is slightly different (brighter, which could simply be dye fluctuations). The most noticeable difference though appears to be a resculpt of her bo, with the hand grip having less defined edges and being somewhat shorter in length than the original. Be on the lookout for a possible third variation!

Leave a Reply