Today, we're kicking things off with the Night Shadow Leonardo figure that was available exclusively during the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International! Of course, "available" is a relative term when this toy was quickly selling out every single day of the show at the Nickelodeon booth. We stood in line during Preview Night and luckily came out one Turtle (and t-shirt) richer and now we're inviting you along for a closer look-- that ended in a lot of frustration, and even a little sadness.
Packaging is in the form of a thin cardboard box covered in a sewer cover pattern with the new Nickelodeon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" logo emblazoned on the front. The box doesn't give away what the character actually looks like, so M.I.B. collectors aren't gonna have a lot to show off with this guy! Once you open the top, you can remove the plastic tray inside that holds Leonardo prisoner. He's held in with a few ties that were easily undone so we were quickly able to gaze upon one of our most eagerly-awaited purchases of the entire con!
The sculpt for this figure shares the same one as the Leo in the basic figure assortment based on the new animated series. He's sporting a wicked grin, along with the new styling from the show--including the infamous third toe. He's standing with both arms outstretched, gripping his katanas and ready for whatever mutated mess the Shredder might be sending his way! As you'll notice, the sculpt is broken up by the swivel/hinge joints you see on the regular releases. This is both a blessing and a curse, and we'll go into further detail later in this review.
The paint work on this figure is what really makes it unique and caused it to be such a sought after item at the con. He's molded all in black and has neon green highlights, which gives him a kind of comic-style look and is based on his appearance in some monochrome promotional artwork. It comes off looking far better than we thought it would and is different enough to be a perfect con-exclusive. His mask, eyes, and teeth are all their appropriate colors, but the mask still features a lot of black and green highlights to help blend it in with the rest of Leo's look.
When it comes to articulation, this SDCC-exclusive Leo has practically none! AAARRRGGHHHH! Our hearts dropped when we found this out (after we already purchased it, of course) and we were so distraught, we had to reconsider the direction our lives had gone! The joints have been removed from his elbows, wrists, and knees while his shoulders and hips looked to have been replaced by swivels. Hell, his ball-joint neck has even been glued in place! This "figure" looks cool, but is definitely more of a statue than anything else. His hips allow for some very minor rotation, but this is only so he can be stood properly on his included base. The shoulders felt like they had the same type of movement, but upon turning them- this injustice occured:
Insanity, right? Just imagine how let down we were when that arm came free in our hand, and then multiply it tenfold. So, for your own sake, consider this Leo to have no articulation and keep your toy safe!
Leo comes equipped with a couple of katanas that both feature the same paint work as the rest of the figure. They also can be placed in the scabbards on his back, which is nice for those times when he's MISSING AN ARM! Time to get out the glue...
Night Shadow Leonardo also has this nifty display base. It has a raised version of the new TMNT logo and is molded in black with green highlights around the "bolt heads" around the perimeter. The fuzzy paint work gives it a glowing effect and Leo's name is plastered in white. Two peg holes are raised on the base and the
figure's statue's feet fit snugly and securely on them.
Honestly, as we wrap up this review, we have very mixed feelings on this toy. On the one hand, he looks incredible and is very unique from other TMNT releases. On the other hand, his f'n arm broke off at the slightest twist. If you can resist tempting fate and can keep your hands to yourself, then this statue will go great in your collection. If you're like us and throw all caution to the wind, we recommend just going with the regular release. For more on this figure, and Playmates other TMNT merchandise, be sure to check out their official website!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coverage, including reviews all this week!