Tag Archives: Playmates

Voltron Legendary Defenders

When the first season of Voltron came on Netflix, I knew my subscription rate was worth it. The show took me back to the days of eating bowls of cereal with Saturday morning cartoons. There was just something so special about the Japanese cartoons that made it over to the US. At the time, I was too young to know of Anime and Manga. There was not the culture in the US that there is today.

After the first few episodes, I was thinking that someone HAD to make some toys for this show. And then they did. Playmates was tasked with making the most anticipated toy of 2016. Unfortunately, Playmates was not in on the excitement of how much fans wanted the toys. Now there were two sets of lions that came out. A basic and a Legendary. The basic figures were just that. Basic. They had some gimmick that moved legs or shot a missile. But that was not what the fans wanted. What they wanted were the Legendary Lions. Five lions that combined into the 16 inch tall Voltron.

I initially found the Black, Yellow and Blue Lions. That was not enough to build Voltron, so I hung in there waiting for the rest They were under produced, so of course the secondary market exploded with price increases. Each lion going for double or triple the original price. Now I know Playmates. They are the makers of some popular brands like TMNT. They do listen to what is going on. So I was sure they were going to step up and release more lions. And they did. Phew!

The lions are fantastic. They look like they were pulled from the show. Black Lion is of course the biggest. It has articulated wings, opening mouth, and jointed legs. This is also the brains of the operation. The electronics and lights are in the body to allow all of the phrases and sound effects. It is amazing tech. It knows which Lion is being plugged in.

There is a hatch on the bottom that allows the driver (in a little ship), to come out. Each lion has a little ship that hides in the belly. All 5 are differently designed.

The rest of the lions have an attachable weapon system that is seen in the show. Green, Blue, and Red fire a missile, while Yellow fires a trio of discs.

Green and Red each came with a part of Voltron’s sword, which makes sense since they are the two arms, thus would be able to wield said sword. Both lions have spring mouths, with gaps in the sides of the mouth for them to hold the sword in both Lion and Voltron modes.

Voltron stands an impressive 16 inches tall, That is a very big robot, especially for being built from 5 figures. We do know of some other mechas that are multi-member teams too. We will look at them in a little bit. The Lions were so well engineered that they transform much the same way as they do in the show. In fact, I did not need to look at the directions, since after watching two seasons of the show, I pretty much have their transformations memorized.

The paint work on Voltron is amazing. His face is right on. He wears a great scowl, and looks ready for battle.

There is a lot of good articulation in Voltron. Now he is a combiner, and does have some limitations. When they get to be this big, we cannot pull off the same poses as we can with smaller figures. He does a good job holding his own.

Compared to some of the other brands multi-member teams, he is standing tall. Next to Devastator, Voltron is not that much smaller. And of course he has taken on entire armadas of enemies, so that would probably be an easy battle for Voltron to win. And next to the Legacy Megazord, he is WAY bigger. It is fun to have Voltron next to Megazord, since it was said that Megazord’s design was taken from Voltron.

 

I am so happy with this guy. It has been years in waiting for me to get this guy, from the initial hope that one will get made, to the Playmates mistake of under producing them. He looks great, and Voltron is a welcome addition to my ever growing robot collection.


Dire Beaver – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Season 3

Dire Beaver is the second of the four Dream Beavers to be released in the TMNT line. We met these freaky dudes back in season 3 of the show when the Turtles escaped New York to go to the farm. There was some pretty messed up stuff there, including these freaks!

Dire Beaver is a ‘repaint’ of Dark Beaver, who we saw quite a while ago. Since then, it didn’t seem likely that there would be any more beavers, and then Poof! There was Dire Beaver on the shelf.

For Dire Beaver, he is molded in purple. he has some highlights around, like the claws, tooth, nose, mouth, and eyes. He has a darker purple tummy with an exploding bomb on it. Can you say, “Demented Care Bears?”

I like these guys a lot. They don’t have the best articulation, but there are many in the line who lack there. They do have good movement in the shoulders and the legs, not to mention the ball jointed tail.

Two down, and two to go. Will we ever see Dread and Dave? Time will tell. I am not going to hold my breath for them, but I will be happy if we get them.


Dark Beaver – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The stuff of nightmares. Dark Beaver is one of the four “Dream Beavers” that haunt people’s dreams and use their fear to gain power. Somewhere between a Carebear and Freddy Kruger, these guys are bad news.

The symbol on Dark Beaver’s stomach looks amazing. A white flame around a skull. This looks very close to the cartoon version.

They did manage to take away some of the ultra creepiness of the characters. These guys were really out there on the strange scale. A nice dark wash could really help him to look a little more like the cartoon version. He would need a little extra work around the face too.

Their size is made to fit into the packaging that sets the size. Unfortunately, that is something that has hindered this line from the first wave. They don’t want to make figures outside of the bubble pack size, so we get a generic size limit. The Dream Beavers are either really big (in the dream world), or regular size (in reality). It would have been really fun to see them come in two 2-Packs like we saw with the baby Turtles a while back.

I have seen a picture of Dire Beaver (Purple), but I haven’t seen it in person, or anyone who has actually found one in the wild. I will hold onto my excitement for getting more of the Dream Beavers until I see them, but it seems like four similar figures would be a natural choice for Playmates.

Overall, Dark Beaver is a good figure. He fits in well with the rest of the line, and a big red beaver with a skull on his stomach stands out in any collection. Anti-Carebears to you nightmares!


Fugitoid – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Dimension X

Fugitoid is a great little character. From the Dimension X line of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line. He is different looking from the other figures that have come out, and he really stands out on his own.

This is the standard version that come with white plastic. There is a secondary version that comes with the 4 Turtles, where they are all clad in chrome, including Fugitoid. As I am not a fan of the Turtles wearing all of that miss-fitting gear, I waited until I found the standard version of Fugitoid.

He has good articulation, and the big feet allow him to stand fairly well. He has ball joints on his hips and shoulders to allow for most poses you want. He also has elbow and knee twisting joints to allow for more movement.

Hanging with his new bro, Megatron… seconds before Megatron tries to kill him.

He was a lot of fun to play with and pose.

“So sorry guys. I didn’t mean to knock you all down.”

“I need to find a Cortana of my own.”

“You look strangely familiar, but yet so different.”

“I always wanted a robot like you!”

If you missed it before, here is my review of one of the Dimension X Turtles that I did not like.


Dimension X Space Battler Raphael – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Yeesh! I sure am glad I only grabbed one of these Dimension X figures. They are seriously weak! I decided to grab Raph. I am not sure what made me choose him over Leonardo, since he is usually my go-to trial figure.

These figures come with space gear, clearly for going into Dimension X. They are a standard figure with a new belt, and space gear (helmet, arm bands, hand things, and leg do-dads). They also come with futuristic weapons… or their same weapons with a tech flair to them.

The main problem lies in the execution of the Space Gear. Of course that is all there is to the gimmick of these figures, so that is pretty bad. The accessories are very bulky, and make the figure stand weird. The real problem is with the helmet. It just doesn’t fit. It seems like they used a body mold that is just too small to fit. In the pre-production photos, the heads are centered in the helmet, but in reality, the heads are way down low.

They used the Battle Shell version of the figures, which are a bit smaller than the original figures, and that could have played into the problems. If you look closely at the back shell, you can see the hinge. It doesn’t open, since the belt wraps all the way around.

Overall, not a good figure. The parts fall off easily, the figure stands weird, and he just looks off. It is best to save your money for some of the new figures coming up that look to be much better. There is also a big pack that comes with the Turtles in this gear, but it is chrome. It looks to have the same problem with a shiny package.


Napoleon Bonafrog – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Napoleon Bonafrog was a hard guy to get a hold of.   There are still season one figures warming the pegs, but it is rather impossible to get my hands on some of the newer guest characters.   I am not fond of the previous season of TMNT,  where the Turtles spent their time on the farm, and running around through the forest.   There were some highlights, like the Vision Quest episode that gave us the Mystic Turtles.  Mostly there was some really strange stuff, like the mutagen car that tried to eat Casey Jones.   A few of the characters did stand out, and those made it to the shelves…presumably.   I am still looking for the Dark Dream Beaver, but it looks like they are listed on the back of boxes, but coming out much more slowly.    We end up with a lot of mixed story lines in waves.  We got Dimension X (space suit) Turtles, while we are still waiting for figures from last season.  So, things seem to be weird there.

Napoleon Bonafrog is a character that really stood out in the last season, since he was pretty much an homage to Napoleon Dynamite, and had him pegged to a T.   The figure is a pretty good representation, but that does not mean he is perfect.    Look-wise, he is great.  He has the mannerisms, with the great face, the giant forearms, and the fantastic clothes that include his unicorn shirt that says “Happiness is Friends,” as well as his amazing fanny pack.  Not to forget about his mud hat, that looks like a poop hat.  He comes with one accessory, his “Razor-Sharp Spear.”

The articulation is a bit wonky.  He has strange shoulder and hip joints that allow for swivel and pivot movement, to allow for some range of motion, but it is pretty robotic.  There needed to be one more joint in the elbow and knee to really work well.  He also has neck swivel, which is pretty standard with the secondary characters in the TMNT Playmates line.

Overall, I am glad I was able to find him, and add him to the collection.  He is a bit of an odd figure, and that is a good thing.   I would like to have seen more articulation in the figure for posing and photography, but a lot of these figures have been slight misses here, so you shouldn’t be too surprised.


Mystic Turtles – from Season 3, Episode 8 – Vision Quest

This was an amazingly fast turn around from show to toys. The show aired on TV probably one week before I saw these in the stores. I still haven’t seen them again in the week since, but I am sure they will be making a comeback.

I loved this episode. If for nothing else than the fact that the Turtles are finally getting their acts together and getting prepared to get off of the farm and back to New York.

I was very excited to see they were made these figures. They looked so cool in the show. Well, there are some short comings to each figure and it has pushed me to want/need to try my hand at customizing. It has been many moons since my model car days, but but I am ready for the challenge. I want them to look as good as the show.

Donatello:

Donnie might be the best prepared figure of the four.   He comes with his giant axe that he uses to bring down a mountain.  He also comes with a sledge hammer and a rope.  I assume the sledge hammer is supposed to represent the large hammers the foot soldiers used to try to bring rocks down on Donnie’s head.  Well, close but no cigar.  The hammers they used were much more crude and rudimentary.  He was never actually seen “climbing” the mountain, but I guess that is what the rope is supposed to represent.

IMG_3620I went back to the show to grab some reference photos the fastest way I knew how… camera phone.  The main details of Donatello are there.  There are just a few changes needed.  The colors are too bright on all of the purple.  He is missing a bunch of detail colors on his wraps as well, but at least they are all there.

Leonardo:

Ever since waking up at the farm, Leonardo seems to have a thing for the bow and arrow.  I was so happy to see that they actually went ahead and moved his swords to his hip as they were in the show.  They are gigantic though.  They seem way out of proportion.  His bow looks pretty good.  Maybe something can be done about both of them.

IMG_3627He has got all kinds of stuff wrong with his coloring.  What is up with the blue pads and belts?  Ah well, we will work on that.   And look at his sheaths on his left hip.  Those are pretty skinny and allow his arms to fall to his side.   I think I am definitely going to have to do something about that.  And it looks like the last part is the quiver on his back.  He can’t fight with only one arrow.

Michelangelo:

The head sculpt on Mikey is killing me.  He has such a chubby little face.  And smiling?  No, no, no!  This was not a time of smiling.  He has all of his wood bark armor, which is a great start.   He also has both of his kamas that he used so well in his spirit fight.  He was pretty hard core.

IMG_3615Overall his coloring is pretty good.  The orange is a bit bright in his head.  In the show it was much more of a peach color.  Something also has to be done with his pads.  And his Kamas need to be recolored as well.

Raphael:

Raphael might be the roughest of all.  He is going to take the most work to get into fighting shape.   Thankfully, once again all of the main details are there.  First off, he has a giant red thing around his neck.  I don’t know what the flat brain substance is, but it is NOT on his costume in the show.  That has to go.   He also has a flame thrower that doesn’t exist.   They gave him wraps around his arms that hold the tubes the flames came out of.  He never held anything like that in his hand.  Speaking of holding things in his hand, the Tegaki is terrible!  The main shape is sound, but it is made of rubber, and it is near impossible to get straight in his hand.  Besides that fact, he only came with one.  He needs two, so it will be easy enough to make two new ones as it would be to try to match the one that is already made.

IMG_3607There is also some work to be done with the fuel packs on his back.  They will need at least some paint, if not also some details.   Tubes will have to be made to go from the tanks to his wrist launchers.  One high point is that he came with a belt that has loops for his sais.  Now all he needs is a pair of sais that will fit in there.  I think that was a nice touch, since it seems Raph loves/needs his sais at all times.

Well, there you have it.  Four new Turtles.  They are a great starting point.  They look really good overall.  I would generally be happy with just putting them on my shelf, but I have that nagging feeling that they could be better.  So they are going to be my test subjects to see how well/if I can get them up to par.  Here goes nothing!


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