Day 3 of our week of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy reviews rolls on with a look at Shredder, a Foot Soldier and Kraang-- all enemies of the TMNT, and part of Series 1 of Playmates Toys' basic figure assortment based on Nickelodeon's new animated series. Yesterday, we reviewed the Heroes in a Half Shell, so now it's time to see if their villains live up to the lofty expectations set by those first four incredible figures!
The packaging for these guys is the same as we saw with the Turtles. (Guess that makes sense they're all part of the same toy line.) Each figure is shown prominently in their respective blister card, with the back of the package revealing the bio for each character along with photos of the entire Series 1 set of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Just as before, we have no complaints with the packaging and think the color scheme is very appealing to the eyes.
Shredder - Deadly Leader of the Evil Foot Clan!
Cold, cunning and cruel, Shredder is the Turtles' hateful arch-enemy, willing to go to any length to destroy them and their rat sensei, Splinter. With the Foot Clan and his shredding armor, there is little the Shredder can't do. TURTLES BEWARE!
Foot Soldier - Evil Ninjas, Loyal to the Shredder!
Obedient, silent and lethal, the soldiers of the evil Foot Clan exist for one purpose only: to serve their leader, the villainous Shredder! Armed with the best, stolen weapons and gear, everyone but the Turtles cower in fear at the sight of their bug-like eyes and red bandanas.
Kraang - Extra-Dimensional Enemies of Earth!
Creepy, controlling and vicious, the Kraang are extra-dimensional, multi-tentacle, brain-like conquerors set on colonizing Earth! To do so, they've come armed with powerful Kraang-droid exo skeletons, that (in some modes) appear human. But TURTLES BEWARE! Inside, rests a sickly, gross evil to frightening to "face"!
The sculpt for these three figures looks to more closely resemble the new animated series than the Turtles who were more detailed than their animated counterparts. What does that mean? It amounts to all three of these figures seemingly having more simplistic sculpts than the Turtles. Still, there is a lot of good here. Shredder has a nice bulky stance that when coupled with his massive blades makes him seem properly threatening. Kraang and the exo-skeleton are definitely the winners here, even though the legs are sculpted in an odd walking stance, there is tons of detail all over the skinny appendages. The best part though, is the rubbery Kraang toy itself with its tentacles and brain-like patterns. The Foot Soldier? He's obviously a ninja, and looks to capture the look of the animated series very closely. The Foot Soldier and Kraang both suffer from the "Vintage TMNT Foot Syndrome" that is signaled by being sculpted with one foot posed on its toes.
There is far more paintwork on these figures than the Turtles and it's mostly neatly applied. There seems to be some missteps with our Foot Soldier's headband, but the winner for paint is Kraang. While Shredder's blades are molded in silver to give them the appearance of metal, Kraang gets the extra treatment of having drybrushing added to some areas of the exo-skeleton in order to make it look like it's been worn and scratched over time. It's a simple technique that goes a long way in adding texture to the sculpt.
Articulation leaves something to be desired on all three of these figures, but we're aware some of that is because we got so spoiled on the articulation model used for the Turtles. Don't get us wrong, the joints that ARE present are tight and move well-- it's just that when Shredder doesn't have any knee joints, we just get so damn sad! What Shredder does have is a swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, and swivel/hinge hips. The Foot Soldier sports a swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel elbows (BOO!), swivel wrists, swivel waist, and swivel/hinge hips. Last, and least, is Kraang with a ball-joint neck, ball-joint shoulder, and swivel hips.
All three of these figures come with far less accessories then they're mortal enemies, the Turtles. Shredder has a katana and a couple of wicked-looking throwing stars, while Kraang has two different blaster pistols, and the Foot Soldier scores a scabbard, katana, a dagger, and two throwing stars. Lots and lots of throwing stars in this toy line! All of the weapons are held by the figures they accompany very tightly, with no worry of them falling out of their hands during a fight. Granted, Shredder's sword seems like useless overkill, but it's always nice to have options.
There you have it, folks! The bad guys not only get beaten by the Turtles in the new show, but also when it comes to their action figure counterparts! For all our nitpicking, Shredder has some tremendous possibilities, and we're hoping a future release will give him all the articulation he deserves. For more on these figures, plus upcoming TMNT toy news, be sure to check out Playmates Toys' official website!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy coverage all week long!