Daily Archives: July 13, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2012

The 80’s are alive and well.  We have seen the revival of Transformers, not only for the big screen, but also for Television.  ThunderCats has made a return as well, but probably not as big.  I still love the show, and the toys are great.

Now it is time for a little Turtle-Power!  The triumphant return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is here.   We have seen a few previous attempts at bringing back Leo and the boys, but this one looks like it may stick around for a while.  The show, coming out late September, looks like it is going back to the roots of the original team.  No more time traveling turtles.  This time it looks like it is going to be straight forward with a focus on the boys and what they are best at doing… beating Shredder and his Foot Soldiers.

Of course I am interested in the show as well, but it was the look at the prototype figures for the new toy line that really got me excited.   And today, while going through Toys R Us, looking for something else (wait and see what that was), I saw a display of obnoxiously loud packaging.  What was that?  Of course it was the new packaging for the Turtles, in all of its glory.

Very reminiscent of the packaging of the original line, with the bright green and purple, this was already a plus going in the favor of Playmates.  Since they are being produced by the same company, just 24 years later, they probably still have some of the original reference material around to work from.


Leonardo, the leader of the Ninja Turtles, was my must-have figure.   I took a gamble on him, and even if the toys did not pan out and show to be any good, I would at least have my favorite guy,  He comes with his trademark Katana blades.   One is slightly longer than the other.   It is also nice that they are in a metal color, which I think the original was not.   He also comes with what they are calling a “Ninja Arsenal.”  This is the set of little weapons that came attached together.  We will look at the little weapons in a bit.

Playmates did a really good job with the posability of the figures.   Head rotates and tilt, shoulders rotate and tilt, elbows tilt, wrists rotate, hips rotate and tilt, knees rotate and tilt.   He has nice big feet to keep him standing.  He is slightly back-heavy, but you would be too if you had a shell on your back.   There are lots of great details in the sculpt.   His skin has great texture.  The pads look good and worn.  His wraps on his hands and feet are amazing.

His shell is solid on the back, with a hole for his Katana sheath to be attached to the straps in the back.  The front of his shell is a rubber material.  It allows for some extra movement around the hips so the legs can come forward.

April O’Neil:

Looks like they are going with a teenage April this time around.  I sure hope she is at least a writer for her school paper.   I decided the other figure I was going to grab today was April, since the girls are notoriously under-produced and therefore really hard to find.  So, I figured I would grab her while I saw her.  April comes with a Training Bo Staff.  I would like to see what makes it different from Donatello’s Bo Staff, but I will have to wait on that one.    She also comes with a “Ninja Arsenal” but this one is in brown.  It will be neat to see how many different Arsenals they actually produced.   We will also look at April’s Arsenal here in a little bit.

April is quite a bit less dynamic than Leo.   Since she is skinny, it is hard to make some of the articulation work, and still make it okay for kids to play with without ripping her arm in half at the elbow.  She does have articulation at the head, as well as the shoulder, wrist, hips, and feet.  I would liked to have at least seen some knee articulation.  It is hard to get her into any great poses with straight legs.  She can hold the Bo Staff with only one hand.  Other than that… she has big feet.  Good for standing I guess. 😉

April is a little taller than Leo, which is what we want to see.  She is supposed to be taller than the Turtles, so good to go there.

The Arsenal Weapons:

Leo’s on the left, comes with an extra Katana sword, which has some more details than his regular swords.  It also has a spike, two throwing stars, and three throwing knives.  A good set of weapons there.   April’s Arsenal comes with a wooden sword, a kendo stick, a baton, two throwing stars, and two… rocks?  I am not sure what they are, but they look good for training of some sort.    I think they did a great job creating extras that work with the figures.  We will have to see what everyone else comes with.

Final Thought:

This is showing to be a great set of figures.  I am definitely hooked.   I am looking forward to getting the rest of the Turtles, as well as Splinter, Shredder, Krang, and a Foot Soldier.  It looks like TRU got a jump on the competition.  Most online retailers are saying they will not be out until August.  These are very solid figures.  They look good enough for the fans of the original series to collect these and be happy with the designs.

And I know you are dying of curiosity:

Yes, the TMNT figures fit in pretty well with the ThunderCats figures.  As I said, the 80’s are alive and well.  🙂

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