Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Movie Figures
4.5 Inch Scale
By: Playmates

Let me preface this review by saying Raphael is my least favorite turtle and I detest everything about the 2014 movie designs but when TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com sent along a Raphael for me to check out, I couldn’t necessarily refuse. Much to my surprise, there’s a lot to like about this Raph figure. In fact, it’s a really fun little figure.

Perhaps the nicest thing about this figure is that Playmates have done a good job replicating the actual movie design, without necessarily going so far as to translate the utter ridiculousness. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Raphael has the least ignorant redesign on the surface. Whereas the other turtles have random crap stuck to their bodies, Raph is pretty normal aside from the hunchback shell and skirt.

In fact Raph definitely channels the Next Mutation designs, which I actually loved. Clearly this goes overboard, but at least he’s not wearing glasses and oversized sneakers. So is this still worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out!

The package is pretty generic and green, but the revamped “Ninja Turtles” logo isn’t too bad. Teenage and mutant is missing from the logo, but I assume that’s because these characters were planned to be neither.

Unfortunately the front of the card is pretty hideous in general because it’s adorned with those god awful movie turtle designs. It’s like someone took a decent card and then barfed all over it. On the plus side, the hideous movie turtles do give a much needed pop of color to the front. Also, Raphael looks pretty good in his shot.

The back has the usual figure listing and a strange little generic bio story. I know it sounds like I’m being hard on this movie, but even the synopsis on the back of the card is pretty bad.

Look, let’s be clear, if I was tasked with redesigning the Ninja Turtles to look as terrible as possible, I still couldn’t come up with something as bad as these designs. But you can’t really fault the figures for that.

Playmates has done a good job here, creating a figure that has some charm, despite the terrible movie designs. The top half of the figure actually has a halfway decent look to it.

The bottom half suffers a bit. Not only because the wrappings come off looking odd, but because they just make the figure look a bit like a raisin in a mini skirt. One of the real issues with the legs is that the right leg is sculpted inwards. It’s very strange because it actually seems like he’s got two left legs. But I double checked, this is in fact the correct right leg. It’s just bent at a strange angle that does it no favors.

There’s some good detailing on the skin and the shell. A wash could definitely help the paint and there’s a fair amount of slop, but Playmates hasn’t done anything too bad here. This is a fairly accurate sculpt and paint job.

The darker colors and simple design work well for Raphael. Despite my objections to the design itself, I like this figure. It is the base for a neat turtle. Maybe I could use this as a start for a Slash custom.

The articulation on this figure isn’t bad and for a price point this low, I’m pretty pleased. The big omission is the wrist swivels, but swivel hinges at the legs, elbows, shoulders and knees give this guy a surprising amount of poseability. You actually get a great range out of the elbows and knee. The rest is pretty good, at least so far as the design will allow.

From the side you can see just how bad this “hunchback” concept is. It makes the figure have a tiny neck and despite being on a ball joint, you get virtually a swivel out of it. Again, not necessarily Playmates fault. It’s just another design problem because whoever created these turtles hadn’t actually ever seen a real turtle shell before, so they thought shells were giant tumorous backpacks.

The leg articulation is rendered pretty useless due to Raph’s skirt. There’s a good range of motion in the joints, but the skirt although soft, hinders it all. Who needs to do kicks anyway, it’s not like he’s a ninja or anything… Oh, right.

Raphael only comes with his two sais. Which of course, he can’t hold. Because while Michael Bay’s team was busy redesigning the turtles, they figured why bother to include belts that can hold their weapons. Makes sense really, because weapon holders with skirts are a real fashion faux pas.

Truth be told, the sais are quite nice even if they lack paint. The figure also comes with a checklist, although it doesn’t actually have the checklist function. It’s always good to promote the other available products. He can even wedge them between his fingers like Raph is known to do. BONUS POINTS!

You can snag these figures for under $9, which is an absolute steal in this market any way you slice it. I’m not a fan of the designs, but this is a good $9 figure. The articulation is good, but not great and the sculpt and paint are not bad. This isn’t up to snuff with the Nick TMNT by any stretch of the imagination, but value wise it beats pretty much everything else.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Paint – 5
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Sais
Value – 9
Overall – 7 out of 10

Despite all my critiques of the design and the movie’s concepts in general, this is a pretty cool figure. If you’re even remotely interested in this alliteration of the characters, you should definitely pick these up. Also check out TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com for more.

This figure was definitely conflicting to me. It’s a solid little toy, but I don’t much care for what it’s based on. Still, I think I can find a use for this guy. As Raphaels go, this one is pretty solid.

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