Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
5 Inch Scale
I always thought Krang sort of got ripped off in the vintage Ninja Turtles line. Krang ended up with a measly three figures. Granted while all three of those figures are great and do a pretty fantastic job of recreating his appearances in the cartoon, I think the line missed out on opportunities to create some wacky Krangs. Why not Beachcombin’ Krang or Birthday Party Krang? If it was good enough for the Turtles, it should be good enough for everyone’s favorite brain villain.
“See! It’s a brain thing! I told you it was some kind of brain-thing!”
The original cartoon Krang was based on the concept of the Utroms from the classic Mirage comics. In the 2003 cartoon, the Utroms were present but Krang wasn’t (aside from a throwaway cameo) as that cartoon was completely separate from the Fred Wolf mythos. Utroms were actually super peaceful creatures, despite their appearance.
Nickelodeon’s new take on Krang is, THE Kraang, a race that’s basically like the Utroms, only evil. We’ve only seen snippets thus far as the toon hasn’t debuted yet, but the concept is that the Kraang all work in unison and have a hive mind. It’s a pretty neat way to do a twist on an old classic, but for a lot of folks, this figure may as well just be the singular Krang. I’m not quite sure where I fall in the decision process, but I do have some opinions on Playmates’ latest take on the figure.
I quite like the Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles packaging. It’s nowhere near as dynamic as the vintage packages, but the card art really pops. Even the largely generic TMNT writing works for me. I guess I’m a sucker for green and purple.
The back shows off the other figures in the series and has a bio card for the Kraang. This bio seems to follow the story we’ve heard thus far pretty well, but there have been some conflicting bios for the Kraang, so it’s hard to say for sure. I will say that these bio cards aren’t nearly as interesting as they used to be. Playmates used to have a lot of humorous fun with them, but at least it’s included. Bio cards are essential in a toy line, IMO.
This figure is one of the few that doesn’t really 100% reflect the show too much. Yes this android body is similar to the show’s design, but from the looks of the early previews we’ve seen, this sculpt is a bit different. Clearly Playmates designed this off some earlier art before the final draft was complete or just couldn’t figure out a good way to do the translucent blue outer shell.
Thankfully, even without the blue coating, the design is good and it probably won’t bother kids and should only effect the most anal of collectors. In a lot of ways the design of the body is reminiscent of the Utrom androids from the classic Mirage comics.
That really shouldn’t be a surprise of course, given that the Kraang themselves are just a new take on the Utrom, as I mentioned in the intro. Speaking of which, I always thought the Mirage Utroms were going to turn out to be secretly evil. They were just so frightening looking, but they never did. It’s interesting to finally see an incarnation of them where they are inherently bad.
The design of the android body is neat and I love the face on it. Unfortunately Playmates has went back into their old bag of tricks and pulled out the “figure is dramatically stuck in a pose” that they just LOVED to do with the vintage Ninja Turtles line. The Kraang is perhaps the most heinous offender of the new toys as he’s shaped in a mid walk/run with elongated legs and bent knees.
One of the heels is bent backwards and the foot just has the tiptoes touching the ground. I’d heard horror stories that this figure couldn’t stand at all. Thankfully that’s more hyperbole than fact. It’s rather easy to stand The Kraang in several positions.
However when you add in weapons or try to steer too much away from the basic leg movement, you do run into a lot of problems. The spindly legs just can’t hold too much weight in any position other than the most basic one.
Poker Night in Dimension X
The mini Kraang inside is a lot of fun and honestly even if you completely hate the android body, you may want to pick one up just for this little guy.
He looks a lot like the vintage Krang in the face, particularly with one eye wider than the other. However, he has six tentacles now. The tentacles all have a thick end, which reminds me of the old Neo-Otyguh figure from LJN’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line.
The brain is rubbery, almost like a pencil topper. He’s not quite as squishy as the 2003 TMNT Utrom figure, which is a plus. Those Utroms were terrible about picking up dust and they had the consistency of a Wacky Wall Walker. This guy is more sturdy, though still rubbery.
The legs are designed to be folded into the body which is semi-hollow. This allows you to choose how to display the Kraang. Either with two tentacles out, four out or even all six out. He typically comes with 2-4 out and it’s harder to get the ones that have been folded under for a long time to come back out. Likewise it’s hard to get the two side ones to pop in for very long.
Personally, I love the Kraang with just two tentacles out and I’m inclined to just clip off the other four extra appendages. As neat as they are, with the two tentacles he looks a lot like vintage Krang to me.
Speaking of which, he fits in nicely to the old classic Krang android body and since his sculpt is much sharper than the mini Krang that came with that figure, I may even display him like this.
I just love this little dude.
There’s lots of fun to be had with him.
Or at least, I was having a blast!
“SO SUE ME!”
By now you may have heard how bad the articulation sucks on this guy. Frankly I feel like there’s been a bit too much hate on the Kraang’s articulation. By no means is it great, but it’s not as bad as some have made it out to be.
He has true ball joints at the neck and shoulders, which provide the most of his articulation. This is a really great ball joint at the neck and it adds a ton of personality. Likewise, the shoulders have a good range of movement since they’re true ball and socket style, as opposed to the more popular swivel hinge style we see on most toys today.
However at the legs he is a bit weak. The lack of knees really hinder some of his posing and it’s a bit frustrating given that he’s actually sculpted with ball joints there. I’m reminded of the 2K3 Utrom which had sculpted ball joints on the shoulders, but they didn’t actually work. Same idea here.
Some swivel wrists or hinge elbows and knees would have gone a long way towards making this guy a lot more fun. Even a swivel waist would have helped. Still, he looks pretty good in the few poses you can get him in, mostly because of the neck and shoulder joints. The added ability to pop the arms and head off, allow you to create battle damage too.
Is the android body the accessory? The brain? Who knows. I assume the brain is technically the accessory, but given that without him the body is just an empty shell, I say we just call it a wash.
Aside from the body and the brain, you get two blasters. One looks very typical of Laird/Eastman vintage stylings and it’s nice to see that sort of sci-fi is still sneaking it’s way into the Turtles toys.
The other one is more confusing, but it’s a nifty design none the less. Both fit in his hands with no real issues.
Most of these Turtles figures are a great value at $8.99, but is this guy? I’m inclined to say yes. The Kraang is nowhere near as good of a value as the TMNT themselves or some of the better figures in the line, but he’s a fun addition, regardless of that. I found myself falling more in love with him as I fiddled around with him. I think a good customizer could revamp his body with a few tweaks and I really dig the little rubber Kraang inside.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Paint – 7
Articulation – 5
Accessories – Two Laser Blasters
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10
The Kraang ends up with a considerably low 6 out of 10, but I want to make it known that I’m still recommending this guy. On the fun scale he’s probably a 7 or 8. He’s just tons of fun, even though he’s not a perfect toy. That’s been a recurring theme with these Ninja Turtles figures. Kraang is fun and he’s a neat toy.
He could be considerably better and in comparison to the better figures in this line, he’s a bit weak… But he’s nowhere near as bad as the naysayers would have you believe. I particularly love the head sculpt on the android and the little Kraang is a blast. I think he’d be great for someone looking for a new Krang, as well.
“TURTLES MUST BE DESTROYED!”
I’d pick up at least one to add to the shelf if I was even a moderate Turtles fan.