Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Review: We Take a Look at Nickelodeon's Heroes in a Half Shell

Welcome back to Day 2 of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Review Week! Although we started off on a sour note, today we're back in high spirits as we take a closer look at all four of the Turtles from Playmates Toys' line of basic action figures, based on the new animated series from Nickelodeon! We've been waiting anxiously for these ever since we scored a preview version of Michelangelo during the 2012 Toy Fair. Did the four brothers live up to our lofty expectations, or fall in battle like the SDCC-Exclusive? Read on to find out!

All four figures (along with the rest of Series 1) come packaged in blister cards with bright green and purple dominating the coloring. The new logo from the Nickelodeon show is plastered on the front of the card above the plastic blister tray that houses the figures themselves. The back of the packaging has a bio for the particular figure and below that you'll see pictures of the entire first wave of figures. Overall, the packaging is eye-catching and for vintage fans, it's nice to see the uncut sprue of weapons to the side of the character.

Leonardo - Leader & King of The Katana Swords!

Hardworking, honorable and respectful, Leonardo is the Turtles' fearless leader. Driven to be the perfect hero, Leo's inexperience and (often) rowdy brothers sometimes get in the way of his goal.

Raphael - Hot-Head & Sharp Sai Expert!

Tough, quick-to-act and hot-tempered, Raphael's a powder keg ready to explode on unsuspecting enemies everywhere! the biggest of his mutant brothers, Raph has a "why sneak around when you can bash some heads instead?" attitude. Master of the twin sais, these three-pronged blades are the perfect reflection of their owner: sharp and to the point!

Michelangelo - Jokester & Hard-Hitting Nunchuck Hero!

Impulsive, creative and very social, Michelangelo is the heart and soul of the Ninja Turtles. The runt of the litter, he may be the smallest of his mutant brothers, but that doesn't make him the weakest (just harder to catch). Enemies beware! Michelangelo is a master of the Kusarigama, nunchucks with a secret and a sharp surprise!

Donatello - Inventor & Weaponeer!

Inventive and detail-oriented, Donatello may be the only mutant Turtle that doesn't mind a little time indoors. After all, where would the Ninja teens be without all his incredible battle creations? From the Shellraiser to the robot Metalhead, Donatello's mind is just as sharp as the blade on his Naginata bo staff!

Sculpts for Leo, Raph, Mike, and Don are all completely unique from one another! That in itself is a rarity in this day of re-use, but even more so when you consider how easily it would have been for Playmates to take the easy way out and have the Turtles share bodies with only belts and heads being different. Trust us, that's kind of the norm in the TMNT toy world. These four figures even vary in height to further set them apart! Our one nitpick is that Donatello's headband is falling down over his left shoulder while the other three brothers have them blowing in the window over their right. Makes for an odd weather pattern when standing them together, right?

Paint on these figures is used sparingly, but they have it where it counts. The multi-colored headbands are in full effect and the eyes of the turtles are thankfully the solid white we've come to love thanks to the vintage toy line and the classic (and current) comics! The Turtles have been molded in their appropriate skin colors, and they all vary from one another. The paint on the hand and feet wraps does not extend to the inside of the hands or the bottoms of the feet, which we're sure is to keep it from chipping away as the weapons are repeatedly changed out and the figures are stood on different surfaces, but it is very noticeable when the figures are kicking or not wielding their blades.

Articulation is the same for all four Ninjas and is in the form of a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, and swivel wrists. While we normally collect figures that sport loads more p.o.a.s than that, it manages to be almost perfect for these smaller Turtle figures. All of the joints are tight, have a nice range of movement, and manage to be partially hidden by the knee and elbow pads. We would have like to seen a side-to-side ankle pivot for posing the guys in wider stances, but that's more of wishful thinking than an actual gripe.

The Ninja Turtles (besides Donatello) have their main accessories packaged next to them while a large number of extras are attached to a sprue, ala the vintage Playmates line. Donatello's Naginata is attached to his sprue and he doesn't have the basic bo staff he's best known for (and that we saw in all the photos), but oddly enough, the regular bo comes with the April figure. Shurikens, throwing daggers, hook swords, and a number of other nasty weapons make up the Turtles extra arsenal, and they hold all the weapons with ease. No paint has been applied to any of them as part of keeping their cost down, but at least Raph and Leo's are molded in silver so their blades looks good.

So, what's our verdict n the four basic figures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' namesake? They are quickly becoming our favorite toy versions of the characters to date! Yep, we honestly can't recommend them highly enough for fans of the franchise or lovers of fun action figures. The best part? Even at Toys "R" Us, which has a reputation for higher prices, these guys will still only hit your wallet for around 9 bucks each-- that means you can get two Turtles and it'll still be cheaper than buying one 6" figure most of the time! For more on these ninja brethren, be sure to check out Playmates Toys' official website!

Stay tuned to MTV Geek all this week for more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reviews and coverage!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Toy Review: SDCC 2012 Night Shadow Leonardo


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