The fabulous green foursome is back! Playmates has returned from obscurity with their bread and butter, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is something many were not sure would ever happen. Given the relatively lackluster performance of Playmates last big lines, Terminator Salvation and Star Trek, we wondered if Playmates was about to head the way of Kay*Bee and disappear forever. But fortunately for us, they did not.
I’ve gotta say right off the bat that the packaging on this new line is gorgeous. As a graphic designer, it’s nice to finally get some really eye-catching package art on a good toyline, something that has been lacking lately. These have a really 80s vibe, but will also stand out on the toy shelves, hopefully enough to get the kids buying them.
The new Turtles are in a 4-5 inch scale, and fit in great with the vintage line. They are styled after the new Nickelodeon television show coming in September, but have a few stylistic differences even from the new show. They have a lot more detail than any of the show models will have, and have a few cues and references back to the original Playmates line, which I love. Playmates really came out swinging with these figures, and showed off what they have always been known for – amazing sculpts.
Not only are the sculpts amazingly detailed and well proportioned, but they are all unique! Each turtle is a completely different figure – they have no shared parts. Their heights range by character, and their shells, details, proportions, scars and wrappings all vary figure to figure. This is almost unheard of in this or any other line with such similar characters, and I’m really thankful Playmates went above and beyond in this aspect. However, I do wish these figures had the dark paint wash to help bring out those sculpts that we had seen in the promotional images. The paint work is clean on these figures, but the wash really would have helped put them over the edge.
Each figure comes with their own weapons rack, and just like the vintage figures, these come on a mold sprue for you to cut the weapons out of. This helps with cost savings I’m sure and is a nice throwback to the vintage line. Each turtle’s weapons come in a unique molded color, and are unpainted. Their main weapons come separate from the sprue in package. The original prototype photos of these figures showed that at least their main weapons were painted, something I wish had been carried over to the production figures.
These are great, fun, poseable, durable toys. The articulation is decent for the size and $8.99 price point, there appear to be no quality control issues, and they just plain look great. I did have a chance to look over the other characters in the line in person and I have to say the four turtle boys are probably the best in the wave so far. Most of the other figures appeared to be lacking much of the articulation that these have, so it looks like Playmates budgeted most of the cost in this initial release towards making the turtles the best, which was probably a good choice.
These are starting to leak out now at Toys R’ Us and Target stores, and from the case I saw Kraang was one per case, so if you come across these, don’t hesitate to at least pick up the awesome foursome – you wont regret it!