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

They say all the good ones end in O, at least as it pertains to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’d be hard pressed to disagree as Raphael is my least favorite Ninja Turtle. He was the last one I opened in these new Nickelodeon TMNT and after fiddling around with him for a few minutes, I thought I liked him the least.

Nickelodeon Raph Figure Review

That may still be true, but the more I played with this figure, the more I came to appreciate it. Likewise, it seems that most of the early footage we’ve seen of the Nickelodeon show has a much more palpable (to my tastes) version of the character. So do all the good ones truly end in O? Read on to find out!

Packaging:
Yes, I still like this package. I’m sure in time I’ll tire of it, but for now I still think it’s one of the more snazzy packages currently on the market. The card I colorful and it’s easy enough to remove the figure.


The back shows off the other figures in the series and features Raphael’s bio. Nothing you don’t already know here. He’s a no nonsense type who likes to solve problems with his fists. He’s still Raph… Perhaps a little TOO Raph.

Sculpt/Paint:
We’ve mentioned it before but each of these guys has a unique sculpt. Raphael’s really sticks out because he has a huge crack in his plastron. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this. It’s true to the animation, but seems a little silly to me.

Ninja Turtles Raph Nickelodeon Review

I’ve considered swapping it with another shell, in some sort of a custom… But who knows if I’ll ever really get around to that. Raphael’s damaged shell makes a great start for a Slash custom as well, in my view.


I do like the attention to detail and attempt to really add some uniqueness to each individual turtle. That is something that Playmates didn’t have to do, but clearly have spent some time on.


To that end, Raphael is drastically different in color than the rest of the TMNT. The action figure versions of the turtles have almost always had different skin tones, whereas the cartoons rarely do. There’s a few reasons for this…

1. It’s cheaper to produce animation in single colors, so it’s easier for the turtles to all be the same color. The new Nick toon does have them with very minor differences in tone, but it’s almost not noticeable.

2. This provides a different look for the figure and so kids can convince their parents to buy the extra character, because even though all the turtles have different bandannas and weapons, some parents might think all four figures are the same if they have the same color skin. This way there’s no concern that parents are buying the same figures.

3. Finally, it helps littler kids distinguish the differences between the turtles. Yes, the bandannas also cover this, but the skin tone is more of a subconscious thing as well.

All that said, Raphael’s skin tone is completely different than the rest of the Ninja Turtles. Perhaps it is a bit too drastic of a color change. A few shades lighter might have helped him blend in.


Because Raphael is showing so much of his teeth, they do look a bit off, especially in contrast to his dark skin. He’s got a bit of yellowing going on with his teeth and some have commented that it looks a bit strange. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I understand the complaint. Honestly, I think if they were bright white, they’d stand out even worse.


Ready to raise some shell.

One thing I haven’t really talked about is how well these guys interact with their vintage vehicles and playsets. Whether it’s the toys from the 80’s-90’s to the more recent 2K3 stuff, all the vehicles and such seem to be a solid fit.


That adds a lot of play value for kids and if you’re someone like me, it helps re-energize some of those old toys. I love it when I can inject some life into the old stuff and that’s definitely at work with Playmates new TMNT figures.


Raph is a pretty decent height, close to the same size as Leo, but shorter than Don and taller than Mike. Some folks think these guys fit in well with Marvel Legends. I think they’re a bit too short for that, but your mileage may vary.

Ninja Turtles Raphael Review

Raph and the rest of the TMNT are a bit underscaled for the 2K7 line, but work alright with some of the older lines. Depending on the figure and how much you’re content to fudge scale.

Articulation:
There are some of Playmates better work and while they did omit the double knees from the early protos, I think they’re pretty good like this. The only joint I think that would add much is a possible ball joint at the ankle.


These are really some of the more poseable figures to come out of Playmates in the turtles brands and what makes these guys great is that the articulation is very functional. We’ve had better articulated turtles, but few that are this easy and intuitive to use.


Some people get way too caught up in articulation, but these guys should satisfy even most of your articulation nuts.

Accessories:
This is where Raphael really shines. As with all the Ninja Turtles, he comes with his weapons on a tree. I just recently noticed that these all have their names on them and I don’t think I’ve brought that up before.


Raph’s weapons are all in silver and for some reason, that definitely pops a bit better than the brown of Don, April or Mikey.


First and foremost he comes with two sais. These are ACTUAL sais, which is pretty much a first for Playmates. Typically Raph ends up with something that’s closer akin to a three pronged dagger, than actual sais. Sais don’t have blades on them, as they’re often depicted in the toys. Raph can hold them in between his fingers on one hand, but you’ll need to cut the other hands to do that popular pose.


Otherwise the sai sculpt is nice, albeit plain and he can handle them well. They fit nicely into his belt in the back as well. Always a plus, but is sort of par for the course with these guys.


Raphael benefits from a neat assortment of other weapons as well, including a pair of hook swords. Sometimes these are referred to as twin hooks or Chinese tiger head hooks or Hu Tou Gou. They fit nicely into his hands.


His other weapons include a pair of Jutte, which are like a sai, but with one less prong. Believe it or not, this weapon was used in ancient Japan as sort of a billy club for police officers. It makes a fitting weapon for Raphael, since it’s so nearly identical to the sais. They also fit into his belt.


Finally he has a pair of throwing stars. These are quite nice in comparison to some of the others and he can hold them between the fingers on the one hand where it’s a bit more separated. Pretty fun stuff. I realize these stars are easy to get lost, but I’ve always LOVED the throwing stars as bonus weapons for some reason.


One of the nicest parts about all these bonus weapons is that you can use them to help outfit your Foot clan if you so desire.

Value:
At $8.99 even Raphael is a great value. As much as I thought I wouldn’t like Raph, he quickly grew on me as well. Typically Raphael is just a guy I have to buy, because you need all four, but he’s managed to win me over because of his cool weapons and unique sculpting differences. These are just about the best $9 toy purchases around.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – 2 Sais, 2 Hook Swords, 2 Jutte, 2 Throwing Stars
Value – 9
Overall – 9 out of 10


Raphael was always my cousin’s favorite Ninja Turtle and since he’s no longer with us, I often wonder how he would enjoy some of the new versions of the character. I feel pretty confident that he’d love this Raph and I wish I could share that with him. This figure (and the whole line to be honest) takes me back to that simpler time when we would mess around with the TMNT all day long. For that, I will always have a special fondness for these characters, particularly Raph.

Ninja Turtles Raphael

This Raphael figure is not the best of the new Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles figures, but he’s a very solid figure. I gave him a 9 because of the cracked shell and whatnot, but this guy is a must have because the Turtles are sort of a package deal. While I thought I might not love Raph as much as the rest, the quality craftsmanship and playability won me over yet again. Go get these figures already!

23 Responses to Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles Raphael Figure Review

  • Mark says:

    I want thse new Turtles so much…so much so I am slowly gettign back my vintage toys. 🙂

  • Bill White says:

    Raph is actually my favorite, and the figure I intend to buy first.

    IF I ever see him that is. As usual for my neck of the woods, I have seen no sign of these guys. I almost broke down and got 'em from Amazon, but I really wanna see these guys in hand before I buy them.

  • Geddy says:

    I've never been a huge Ninja Turtles guy, and the new cartoon looks like it's going to be a bit… Annoying, but I plan to buy every one of these figures. I picked Leonardo up the other day and he's awesome. I can't wait for the new villains to come out in September.

  • I definitely recommend picking these guys up, but you're right… Be patient. They will be everywhere soon enough. No sense in spending more than you have to, because this shouldn't be a line you have to hunt too much for.

  • This has definitely helped rekindle some of my vintage interests.

  • Yeah you and me both. I'm loving this line right now.

  • Cordicon says:

    Great read man…awesome shots!

  • jestergoblin says:

    What's weirdest for me is that the shade on Raph is very similar to the shade that used to be used for Mikey.

    I personally love that his shell is cracked (on the back too, there's a larger nick there as well).

  • Geddy says:

    I really dig the cracked shell too. I also love how Raph's arms, legs and neck are covered in scars. The detailing on Raphael really sets him apart from the rest of the guys.

  • mori says:

    the damage on raph is kind of cool, it seems to have the IDW book in mind when a cat makes off with him before he fully mutates, thus the scars.

  • Nick says:

    I live near St Louis and up until recently only Toys R Us was carrying them. Now they're popping up at Target stores in a big way. Very large displays at Target. So you might check around and see if Target stores near you have started putting them out.

  • michael says:

    Thanks again for the review and for touching on his skin color. i think what bothers me about it – is in the promo pictures he had a more olive tone, which while still a drastically different skin tone from the other 3, I think it would fit much better and not look so… obnoxious?

    I wasn't much a fan of the 2003 Cartoon, it just didn't resonate with me the way the original did, but there's something about the stylized CGI and comic-book style effects that really appeals to me, so I'm definitely going to give this series a shot.

  • Thanks man!

  • This series is really growing on me, at least from what I've seen. At first I thought it was going to be pretty terrible, but I now have faith that the people behind it are going to do some good things. I'm sure it won't all be homeruns, but I think there will be some in there.

  • I'm glad people like it. I appreciate the effort that went into it, but I do prefer a bit more uniformity, I guess.

  • Wes says:

    Interesting that you don't think Raph's the best of the new figures. Not that he's definitely the best… but they're all pretty much the same in terms of quality! And Raph can hold his sai like the cool cats do (I prefer to have him striking with the knuckle rather than the tip), so he's arguably even better than the others on those grounds.

  • H.R. says:

    Thanks oh so much for posting the pic of Raph in the SWAT Battle Shell. I was wondering if the new turtles would be (in my mind at least) a better fit for that vehicle scale wise.

  • No problem, been meaning to post some pics of them in vehicles. It's a pretty solid fit, though there is some wiggle room.

  • Raph's my least favorite in general, so he has that going against him.

    But on a more level headed ground, I like his head sculpt the least and don't care for the shell damage. So that's enough to knock him down just a tad in my book. Even though I like his weapons and the aforementioned hand thing.

  • Michael says:

    it can't get worse than all the space crap they did in the 2003 series.

  • oansun says:

    Raph's my fav. Leonardo was as a kid, because I had the toys before the show premiered and Danville, KY didn't have much in the way of a real comic store so my comic exposure was pretty much only DC and Marvel then. As I started to venture out into absorbing the world of the mutated Turtles, Raphael clearly earned my favor. "Raphael is cool, but rude." Shee-at, that's what I wanted to be! Didn't work, but he was still awesome. Sai's are also the most practical of the weapons to dual-weild.
    Anyway.
    I love this line so much, and hope it keeps on with the quality of these guys, and not so much April. Though, I think that's isolated. Raph's color scheme balanced with his skin and shell colors is the best of the four, imho of course (correct me if I'm wrong, but he's the only one with a different colored back shell?)

  • Indeed Raph is the only one with a different shell. I'm glad to hear people's differing opinions, that's one of the great parts about the TMNT. Everyone has a favorite for varying reasons. It's a neat property in that way.

  • clark says:

    Sorry, Newt, but I'm going to have to say Raph is the best of the bunch. Of course, he's also my favorite turtle so I'm biased, but I love the shape of this figure. I really like the thicker legs and arms, along with the rounder, puffier shell.
    I don't mind the darker skin or shell, but would have done some lighter colored wraps to offset those a bit more. I also wish his left hand had been designed just like the right, so he could hold the sai several different ways. Anyway, they're all winners in this line. I can't wait to get Metalhead and Fishface to fight these guys.

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