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TMNT

Raph
Playmates and Nickelodeon have announced an exclusive figure for this year’s San Diego Comic Con and it’s somewhat of a surprise. Dubbed the “original” Raphael, this release features Raph in an exclusive black and white deco. What makes this particularly interesting is the fact that it’s an all new sculpt, that appears to be based on the classic Mirage comics. In fact, it bares more than a passing resemblance to the Mirage NECA Turtles that were released a few years back.

It also appears to use at least some parts of the never released Playmates Mirage TMNT (which looked like fine figures, but their style was quite different from the NECA figures and was more of a “modern” Mirage interpretation) but it is not a complete release of that figure. Instead this figure has a new plastron and other parts. Still it appears at least a little of that unreleased figure is in this. Of course, this begs the question on whether Playmates will release these style turtles at retail.

Playmates Original Raphael
It also makes me wonder if this figure will actually have articulation. It clearly has joints, but last year’s Night Shadow Leonardo also appeared to be articulated, yet wasn’t. The awkward posing in some of these early photos make it seem as though some joints are frozen. Hopefully we’ll get a definitive answer and price soon.

While it might seem strange for Playmates to release Ninja Turtles in a different style than the Nickelodeon show, it’s worth noting that Nick has been pushing a lot of retro TMNT products. KidRobot is doing a “original toon” line, while the Loyal Subjects are producing a vinyl Mirage TMNT line. Hopefully we’ll see a full color Mirage based line from Playmates, to help heal those old wounds of NECA leaving us without a wave 2 of their line.

POP Vinyl Ninja Turtles

Vinyl Pop Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Series 1)
Michelangeo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter & Shredder
#60 – #65

3 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Funko
$10

My friends over at Fun.com invited me to take a look at a few Funko Vinyl Pop figures in celebration of their big push for more toys and collectibles. They have tons of Funko Pop Vinyl figures at great prices and it only made sense that I take a look at the TMNT figures. Series 1 is based on the classic Fred Wolf Ninja Turtles designs. It includes the four turtles as well as their sensai Splinter and their arch rival, Shredder.

Fred Wolf Shredhead
There isn’t a ton of nostalgia TMNT product out there right now, but I expect more and more of it to hit shelves as the new Ninja Turtles movie draws closer to release. Among the various things that are out there, these Funko Pop Vinyls are actually pretty nice. Definitely better than some of the other stuff we’ve seen. It’s a testament to Funko’s knowledge of the “nerd” industry for them to have so many awesome licenses under one roof.

Vinyl Ninja Turtles
The other really nice thing about the Funko Pop Vinyl line, is that you can collect tons of different characters all in the same style. Which is basically unheard of in this day and age. Or if you’re only a fan of a single property like the Ninja Turtles, you can just get their whole series. Continue reading

teenage mutant ninja turtles-movie figures 4
Some photos of Playmates new TMNT movie figures have snuck out. The Michael Bay produced Turtles movie has been doomed from the start, but even if you had some hope that at least the designs of the titular heroes might be good, think again. These photos give us our best look at the designs to date. They’re easily the worst versions of the TMNT ever created. It’s like the Jim Lee Turtles had sex with the Next Mutation Turtles and then were mutated by a radioactive turd. Yes, they’re that bad.

teenage mutant ninja turtles-movie figures 1
It’s clear that the problem here isn’t Playmates, but rather the designs themselves. Even though the 1990 movie was done with much more rudimentary technology, they managed to capture the essence of the TMNT. These new desgins look terrible, not only in form, but function. The Turtles all have odd shaped bodies, different sized heads and of course, layers of clothes.

teenage mutant ninja turtles-movie figures 2
Oh and I almost forgot, the Turtles are apparently giants now. Some movie stills show the TMNT towering over April and other humans. It’s as if the guy behind this movie was intentionally trying to strip away all the elements that were recognizable while still leaving just enough to lure in nostalgia fans and unsuspecting kids. Oh right, Michael Bay.

teenage mutant ninja turtles-movie figures 3
For what it’s worth, the figures themselves also look terrible. The articulation seems almost non-existent. This could be an early draft, but I’m guessing it’s closer to the final figures. So why do they look so bad? I get the feeling that even Playmates knows these designs won’t sell and that the movie will cause a fan revolt and they want to focus more of their efforts on the popular Nick TMNT figures.

I am cringing at the thought of this movie actually seeing the light of day. The Turtles are getting so popular right now that it’s the PERFECT time for a well done movie to hit. Unfortunately, what we’re getting is the exact opposite.

Rocksteady Figure Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Classics
Rocksteady
7 Inch Scale
By: Playmates
$19.99

Despite being one of the core villains in the TMNT mythos, Rocksteady hasn’t gotten a figure in decades. To be fair, when the Ninja Turtles were relaunched in 2003, Rocksteady and Bebop were omitted as characters. Since that time, they’ve remained a fan favorite and now that Playmates is making a toy line in honor of the long history of the TMNT, Rocksteady (along with Bebop) was a natural choice for the line.

TMNT Classics
Even in the vintage line, Rocksteady and Bebop only recieved two “regular versions. The first release and the mutating version. None of the subsequent releases had a regular style, instead they tended to be doing some sort of wacky action or job. Playmates has had a lot of years to come up with a standardized look for the character, but what they’ve delivered here isn’t exactly that.

Rocksteady and Bebop
The TMNT Classics line has been a bit of an amalgamation from the beginning, but they also have a bit of their own style to them. There doesn’t appear to be a real rhyme or reason to their choices at times, but that doesn’t make this Rocksteady any less awesome. It’s clearly the best Rocksteady on a variety of merits. Continue reading

Playmates TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Nickelodeon
Snakeweed
5 Inch Scale
By: Playmates
$8.99

Snakeweed (briefly called Stinkweed) was one of the first additional mutant villains we saw in the new Ninja Turtles line. It should be no surprise that he was also one of the first introduced in the Nickelodeon cartoon. Surprisingly, despite coming in earlier in the line, he’s in a lot of ways better than some of the later creations.

Snake attack
Snakeweed represents a real change in philosophy for the Ninja Turtles line, offering up quite a bit of articulation and completely new functions that previous TMNT figures have never had. Yet, this is very clearly a Playmates toy, with many of the stalwart pieces we’ve come to know from the house of Turtle. So is this figure worth adding to you collection this holiday season? Continue reading