5 Inch Scale
We’re finally back to reviewing some stuff here at Infinite Hollywood. November is sort of “Ninja Turtle November” because we’ve got quite a bit of Turtles action to get to. First and perhaps most importantly, is the awesome new Fishface figure. Fishface is one of the two new core “hench mutants” on the show. In a nutshell, he fills one of the “Rocksteady and Bebop” roles. Although up to this point, Fishface has only appeared in one episode and in his human form as a streetwise thug, named Xever. He’s scheduled to reappear this week, so perhaps he’ll get turned into a mutant then.
One thing I do like about the character thus far, is that he’s been presented as a tough, no nonsense type of guy. This could translate into him becoming one of the Turtles’ more prominent foes, but it’s hard to say at this point. From an action figure standpoint, this is Playmates at it’s best. Here is where we see that removing some of the strict limitations that Peter Laird imposed on the 2003 cartoon, leads to more exciting action figures. Fishface is a mutant piranha with robotic legs. It’s brilliant and screams old school Ninja Turtles.
Another nice part, at least from my perspective, is that Playmates hasn’t went overboard here. Fishface looks and feels like a classic TMNT character, but he isn’t covered in needless garbage and funk that often adorned vintage Ninja Turtles figures for seemingly no reason other than to add in a “gross out” value. I’m glad to see it’s gone. Fishface looks to me like one of the Archie Ninja Turtle characters, had they been made into a toy if taken straight from the comic models… If that makes any sense. Unfortunately finding Fishface has not been easy. He’s part of a Wave 1 1/2 revision, which includes Dogpound and Metalhead. Those two can be found very easily, but Fishface is much more elusive.
There’s nothing here we haven’t already seen before. I’m not going to go over it too much. I still like the colors and even though these have been on the shelves for a while now, they still stand out.
Let’s get down to brass tacks here… This sculpt is fantastic. For some reason I’m reminded of the fish Zoanoid from one of the Guyver movies when looking at this guy. That’s a great thing. Fishface is truly an inspired and creative concept. Playmates have turned it into a figure, which as I mentioned above, that looks better than the material it’s based on.
The sculpting is really top notch, with a lot of intricate little details throughout. He’s got scales upon scales. The big teeth and the ridges all along the various parts of his body, truly stand out as some fine work.
He’s got a nice scale, although I have no idea if it’s accurate to the show or not. He looks like a relatively small character in the few snippets I’ve seen of him in action, so I assume that means he’s pretty decently scaled. I like his height in relation to the other figures, so that’s good enough for me.
There are tons of fun details, such as what looks like a gas tank port on the back of his legs and even sculpting on his feet. Playmates is doing some great work with the Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles line and I am so happy to see them rise from the ashes as it were, to show that they can still be a force in creating fun toys. For the past few years Playmates just hasn’t been able to find their groove, but it’s clear that with the Turtles, their mojo is back.
A lot of people will no doubt immediately point to what’s not painted as a glaring flaw. Yes, Fishface has several areas on his wrists that are sculpted as if he had robotic parts there. They are not painted. He has had a significant amount of paint applications cut from when we first saw him previewed. Personally, I don’t care. In fact I actually think the unpainted wrists as an example, make the figure look better. The simple divide between purple body and silver legs is much more stark in contrast this way. Cutting paint applications is not always a good thing, but in the instance of Fishface, I think it may have improved him.
And let’s face it, the color scheme here is magnificent. The ridiculous bright orange breathing tank, the dark maroonish purple skin tone, the basic silver robotic legs. It all works. If I had one complaint, it would be that mine has a little paint slop around the mouth. But it’s typical mass market stuff. Nothing to really whine much about.
But now the real test… How is his articulation? So many of the Turtles auxiliary characters have had their articulation needlessly stripped away.
Fishface has very good articulation in my view. Yes, he could be articulated out the ying-yang like some sort of Revoltech… But that’s an unrealistic expectation for a $9 children’s toy. For my money, Fishface is one of the best articulated Ninja Turtles figures yet. He has great range of motion in his arms, wrists and legs. The additional swivels at his face, tail and waist really allow you to get a great deal of personality out of him.
He also benefits from what I call the “Kenner effect”, which is to say that his arms and legs are bent just right. Allowing you to pose him and get the range that you need from him, without having hinges at the elbows or knees. Kenner was the master of this. They often made 5 POA figures, but because of how they shaped the arms and legs, you rarely felt like you were missing hinges at the elbows or knees. Playmates did this in the 80s-90s as well to great effect and it’s nice to see it back in action here.
I’m certain that articulation junkies will disagree with me, but I find Fishface’s articulation pretty much exactly what I need. Would more be great? Sure. But it’s not necessary for me to enjoy playing with the figure. That to me is the litmus test of articulation in a toy. Of course, you’re welcome to disagree.
Fishface doesn’t come with much, but what he comes with makes sense in context of the character. His human form, Xever, is obsessed with his butterfly knife. So Fishface comes with that.
It’s actually a pretty good sculpt for something so simple. I don’t think anyone would mistake it for anything other than a butterfly knife. I haven’t seen many butterfly knives in toy form, but I do think this one is pretty solid. Particularly when you consider the demographic it’s aimed at. In fact the entire concept of a thug using one of these is pretty intense for a kid’s show. I approve.
He also comes with a ridiculously huge “sword” that looks like a giant butterfly knife.
I suspect this is some sort of callback to when Playmates would often include “mutated” weapons into the vintage line. Taking something normal and turning it into some sort of outlandish weapon. It’s kind of neat in that sense, but it’s awkwardly gigantic and a bit useless.
Personally I would have had him come with some sort of blaster. I always like the generic blasters that Rocksteady and Bebop would use in the old cartoon and it seems to fit Fishface for some reason. Then again, perhaps I’m projecting a lot of this onto the figure. I don’t actually plan to use this figure as a singular character, but instead as a race of fish people, like a cross between the Utroms and Triceratons. Fish people who developed robotic leg technology to allow them to be mobile beyond their own aquatic home world. So there’s that.
It’s hard to say anything other than that these figures are a pretty good value. There’s really nothing else out on the market that’s even comparable. Ben 10, perhaps? But even that has so many different levels of price point that it’s hard to compare. Basically, this is one of the best toy lines in the stores right now and if they can continue to deliver strong figures like Fishface into the market… I suspect it’ll continue to be a success. Playmates has done a bang up job.
Fishface is my favorite villain figure from the Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles line thus far. I know that it’s still very early in the line, but I suspect this one will be a winner in my book for years to come. There’s just something about the design that strikes that gentle balance between completely absurd and downright awesome. Coupled with decent articulation and sculpting, Fishface is a real winner. Now if I could just find some more of them!