First impressions of Playmates new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

They’re back! Previewed at Toy Fair, Playmates updated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are starting to show up in stores across the country. Today at Toys R Us I came upon an end cap of Turtles and just had to try them out. I picked up a Donatello and a Kraang, and while I don’t do a ton of reviews on AwesomeToyBlog, I thought I’d share my impressions.

Donatello: Turtles have come a long way in twenty plus years – this is one sweet figure. Donatello features articulation at his knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. The figure is well articulated without being floppy, everything holds well, letting you make some pretty cool poses that stay put. And as a result of his large feet, Donatello is a pretty stable figure – easily standing in a variety of poses with no stand required (however his feet do include peg holes). One of the things that stands out is how well the articulation is hidden – knee pads hide most of the knee joints and his hips are obscured by his flexible, um, turtle belly. It’s a very different construction then we had on the original Turtles, thankfully.

Another difference that stands out is the improved head sculpt – I really like what they’ve done with Donatello’s expression. The furled brow, closed lips – there’s a lot of personality here. And like the bodies between turtles are not identical, neither are their expressions.

One thing that hasn’t changed though (and in this case its a good thing), is that with the exception of Donatello’s staff his accessories are tucked behind him in the bubble on its sprue. Donatello included a knife on a stick, a pair of nunchucks and a pair of throwing stars. All single colored brown, just as they should be. Toss in a magenta phaser and I’d be over the moon.

Kraang: When Turtles first hit the scene, I was a little old for them, so despite Kraang being one of my faves, I don’t think I ever owned a figure of him. I fixed that today. Kraang included Kraang, a robot body for him and two weapons. Starting with the blobby guy himself, he is removable from the robot’s abdomen – and he is squishy. The sculpt and paint is right on, I don’t think I could ask for more out of a squishy figure of a talking brain with limbs.

Kraang’s robotic body isn’t quite as impressive. Articulation includes hips, shoulders and neck. Without having knee joints, poseability is restricted and there’s more balancing required to get Kraang to stand. The ball jointed shoulders allow for some variety at least. There are some sculpted details and the limited deco is nice, but overall the aesthetic is clean.

The vibe is much more Terminator than the classic series Kraang body – and I just love it, despite the limited articulation.

Summary: I’m what you’d consider a casual Turtle fan – and even I think these figures are pretty great. The updated bodies and sculpts are great, I’m looking forward to grabbing the other three turtles, particularly since they’re not just recolors of the same mold. If you’re a fan of the property, you really should try these out – it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed. Thanks to Mike Small for doing some quick photography tonight.

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About the Author: MattG

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I have to say I’m very disappointed in the quality drop for these figures’ paint apps. When they were shown at TF, they looked great. Now they just look like colored plastic. Too bad Playmates couldn’t step into the 21st century will a little more panache.

  2. I know what you mean, to an extent. For an $8 figure, its right where my expectations are. I haven’t seen the classic Turtle figures yet, which should have that extra detail. If more paint ops aren’t there, then yea – that’s not cool considering the higher price point.

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