TMNT Leatherhead figure review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
5 Inch Scale
By: Playmates

In the 1980’s TMNT cartoon, Leatherhead is sort of a generic mutant villain who spoke like he was the reincarnation of cajun chef, Justin Wilson. In the Archie TMNT comics, Leatherhead developed beyond this point to actually become a hero. However, it was in the original Mirage comics that Leatherhead got his start.

Nick TMNT Figure Reviews
In the Mirage comics, Leatherhead is an important character as he’s the only other “mutant” created by the TCRI mutagen. Unlike his cartoon counterpart, he’s actually a brilliant creature, who was raised by the Utroms and wants to get back to their homeworld, as he only really feels at home with the Utroms.

The new Nickelodeon show has Leatherhead be a bit closer to his roots, but since the Utroms (Kraang) are evil, he’s more of a generic mutant than anything. Leatherhead loses some of his special qualities because of this, but he’s still a character that has appeared a few times and has potential to be more. So how is the action figure form?

By now you know the Nickelodeon TMNT package. It’s colorful and stylish, without being too generic, but it does lack the charm of some of the vintage packages. The back has a nice little bio card (again it does pale in comparison to the Playmates Ninja Turtle standard, though) and shows off the other main figures in the series.


In every incarnation of Leatherhead, he’s been a brood hulk of a creature, yet in every action figure version, he’s been woefully undersized. The same is true for this figure as well. While the sculpt does a great job of capturing Leatherhead’s unique look, he’s definitely undersized.

Nickelodeon Leatherhead
The face is really well done and he has a great, fearsome look about him. The CG cartoon has Leatherhead look very animal-like, but at the same time, he is able to have a range of emotions. This is replicated pretty good in the figure.

His arched over look, helps to make him appear a bit bigger. While he’s small, if he “stood up” he would be bigger. Unfortunately, he still wouldn’t be big enough.

It’s definitely an improvement over the vintage version, which was tiny by comparison. Of course, that never really bothered me much as a kid. It gave that version of Leatherhead a unqiue look. That said, it’s a shame we’ve never gotten a big massive Leatherhead figure.

His scales, particularly on the tail, are nicely done and give him a fair amount of character.

There’s not a lot of difference in the design between this and the 2K3 figure. The paint here is pretty minimal, but it’s not necessary for him to have a lot. Obviously if you added in some weathering and shading, you could make this guy look a lot better.

Unfortunately the articulation isn’t much to write home about either. Leatherhead is one of the more underarticulated figures in the line. He just seems like he should be able to move more.

He has ball joints at the shoulders, but the range is pretty limited. His legs have a swivel-hinge type movement, which works better than the arms. His head and tail can also be rotated.

In the package, Leatherhead almost seems like he’s going to be a deluxe figure. He just seems huge, But out of the package, you find out he’s pretty small and hunched over. As such, there’s not much of an excuse for him to come with no accessories.

I realize that there’s not a lot that Leatherhead COULD come with, but they could have thrown in a couple of TCRI mutagen containers or something, to amp up the value with him.

He’s still a decent figure for $9. I know a lot of people don’t like this version of Leatherhead and there’s no denying that he’s underscaled and underarticulated. He’s probably not even the best version of Leatherhead to date, but he’s not the worst figure out there either. If you don’t have the 2K3 Leatherhead, he’s an okay placeholder in your collection and I suspect most kids won’t even be bothered by his small scale.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 6
Paint – 6
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Nada
Value – 7
Overall – 6.5 out of 10

Leatherhead is far from a homerun. He’s not the worst figure out there and at the price, he’s still a decent toy for the kids who love Ninja Turtles. For hardcore collectors, he’s definitely going to be a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully Playmates will finally give us an appropriately huge Leatherhead, at some point, in the Classics line.

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