7 Inch Scale
Despite being one of the core villains in the TMNT mythos, Rocksteady hasn’t gotten a figure in decades. To be fair, when the Ninja Turtles were relaunched in 2003, Rocksteady and Bebop were omitted as characters. Since that time, they’ve remained a fan favorite and now that Playmates is making a toy line in honor of the long history of the TMNT, Rocksteady (along with Bebop) was a natural choice for the line.
Even in the vintage line, Rocksteady and Bebop only recieved two “regular versions. The first release and the mutating version. None of the subsequent releases had a regular style, instead they tended to be doing some sort of wacky action or job. Playmates has had a lot of years to come up with a standardized look for the character, but what they’ve delivered here isn’t exactly that.
The TMNT Classics line has been a bit of an amalgamation from the beginning, but they also have a bit of their own style to them. There doesn’t appear to be a real rhyme or reason to their choices at times, but that doesn’t make this Rocksteady any less awesome. It’s clearly the best Rocksteady on a variety of merits.
The package is basically the same as the TMNT Classics first wave, with some minor changes to the card to reflect the new figures. Since there’s only two new figures, the back of the package shows them off and they both share a bit of a “bio” on the card.
Rocksteady is immediately recognizable and clearly looks a lot like the vintage figure. It seems that the first release figure is the most inspiration for this guy. That said, he takes a few cues from the cartoon as well. If you’re looking for a perfect recreation of either, though… You’re going to be disappointed.
The sculpting is pretty good, but it’s definitely smoother than the vintage figure. He’s a lot more like a DCUC or MOTUC figure in that regard. There are a few little sculpting elements throughout, but it’s not like he’s got tons of bulging veins or warts like the vintage figure had.
He does have a couple of neat elements, such as the bandanna around his arm. This looks really nice and it’s a separate, somewhat removable piece. Unfortunately, he looks stupid without it, so I suspect a lot of collectors are just going to glue this piece down.
The paint work is solid, if not pretty flat. I think he looks okay and it fits in with the “animated” style that they’ve created thus far, but Rocksteady could probably use a light wash to really bring out the details. If you’re someone who loves that sort of thing, Rocksteady will look a bit naked to you.
What is painted, is done well, but there’s nothing spectacular. I do like that the shirt is molded in a color and thenthe surrounding body is painted. It will help prevent the shirt from scratching off, as the vintage figure was prone to do. His legs are painted in an odd gray camo, instead of the cartoon and toy accurate brown.
The scale is a horse of another color entirely. While he’s a big and imposing figure, he’s not to scale with the TMNT Classics Turtles. Oddly enough, I’m okay with that. Those figures were just too damn big. I kind of hope Playmates re-releases them in a better size down the road.
Despite being too small for the other TMNT Classics, he pretty much works for every other scale of Turtles ever released. Depending on just how big you imagine Rocksteady to be. I am elated to put this guy with my NECA TMNT, but your mileage may vary.
His head seems just a tad undersized. The snout area should be just a bit longer in my view. It’s not much, but a little bigger head and I think he’d be perfect. Speaking of the head, the hat is removable and that’s a nice touch, since Rocksteady only wore his hat in a few of the cartoon episodes.
Some people have commented that his shins are on backwards. This might be true, but I can’t tell the difference one way or the other. It seems that all the figures are this way, so it’s up to you to decide.
A lot has been made about the articulation. So much so, that I was worried this guy wouldn’t be poseable at all. That’s not really true.
One of my complaints about the other TMNT Classics figures were that they actually had TOO much articulation. Over time they got loose and like 90% of the old ToyBiz Marvel Legends, became impossible to pose.
The one area that he does suffer a bit is int he legs. His hips are on a ball joint, but it’s an old school ball joint like the vintage figure. You can’t quite get the range of motion that I’d like out of it.
Rocksteady comes with a decent assortment of weapons and at $20, he should. You get his patented machine gun deal and a big knife. The knife almost looks like a short sword and truth be told, I prefer the vintage survival knife.
It really hurt my soul to pay $40 for Rocksteady and Bebop. I think Rocksteady is the better of the two and if you are only getting one, he’s the one to get. That said, no one in their right mind is only buying one. Rocksteady has a lot of articulation and a cool sculpt, but he’s far from perfect. I have a lot more use for him than I do my TMNT Classics Turtles, but how much you enjoy this guy will be based a lot upon how much you’ve wanted a larger scale Rocksteady.
Ultimately, I’m pretty satisfied with Rocksteady. Don’t let some of the negative reviews get you too down. Once I got this guy in hand, I enjoyed him a lot more than I thought I would. He’s still flawed, but he’s probably the best Rocksteady we’re ever going to get.