Best Figure I Got Last Month – 12|08
January 12, 2009

I know, I know . . . I should title this blog: "A Day Late and a Dollar Short." Yes, I realize the rest of you got your NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles last spring. You all discussed them, our friends Poe Ghostal and Michael Crawford reviewed them, and at this point you may have even forgotten about the other TMNT waves that were supposed to be coming. Well, what can I say? When it comes to figures this good – its better late than never!




WHO: Raphael
WHAT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  |  NECA
WHERE: Hot Topic
HOW: $15.99

WHY: Because as far as action figures are concerned this is a slam dunk. This, my favorite figure of December, has nothing to do with nostalgia for the brand. At all. I have had very little exposure to the TMNT property. If I were 5 or 10 years younger I probably would’ve been all over it, but these guys just hit at an off time for me. Never read the comic, never watched the cartoon or movies. That partially explains why I only picked up these guys now!

I was back East over the holidays and my sister brought me up to ToyWiz’s store in Nanuet, NY. I was kinda itching to buy something and saw a lone Michelangelo on the pegs. I had heard such good things I figured: "What the hay?" Bought it, opened it, was blown away by it. So the next day I picked up Raphael at Hot Topic. The sculpt speaks for itself. Another high five to the Four Horsemen.

Most of the articulation is unobtrusive. My only complaint is seeing the swivel at the base of the neck. But that’s minor. Love the huge feet. Those suckers will keep these figures from ever falling over! Oh, and here’s something I really liked: there are multiple types of plastics used, ie – the shell on the back is very rigid and hard, whereas the shell on the belly is soft and rubbery. The hands are also a bit softer which helps in getting their weapons inserted.


I met Randy Falk, NECA’s director of product development, at a party held by a mutual collector friend back when I was living in New Jersey. Although we only had that brief encounter 7 or 8 ago, Randy will still stop and say "hi" when we run into each other at Comic Con. I always enjoy when he participates in the various action-figurey panels. Laid back, unassuming, but when he does make a comment or answer a question, his responses are always smart, insightful, and honest.

Randy Falk – second from right


Didn’t know a heck’uv a lot about NECA all those years ago, but since meeting Randy I’ve kept an eye on the various lines NECA has produced. Despite the fact that they have always produced a quality product there haven’t been too many that fit into my collection. Either the scale and style of figure have not been my particular cup of tea or the license hasn’t resonated. That is not to say NECA hasn’t consistently produced class act toys. They have. So these TMNT’s have been a great excuse to drop some coin on NECA product.


So there you have it. Sure I’m a little embarrassed that its taken me this long to get on board with what ToyOtter has dubbed "Best Single Figure(s) of the Year." But being late to the party is not a new phenomenon for me. Just glad I didn’t miss them altogether. Cowabunga! Did they really say that?


Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





  • Jason Geyer says:

    Man, I just can’t find these at all!

    I couldn’t even find a set at Comic Con (at least, not one with the bases)!

    Just great, great figures though.

  • ZAXILLA2 says:

    Good Stuff! I am just starting to consider buying these. I loved the show and comic as a kid, watched the movies, had the rock tape…I just don’t tend to stray too far from my normal figures. just last night I was looking at the box set online…I think it’s clear: I should buy these figures!

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    Great review! (and thanks for the link!) Love the articulation breakdown pic. And I still think Jon Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp deserve bonuses for their paint work.

    I wish NECA would let us know whether we’re still getting April, Shredder and so forth. The suspense is killing me.

  • OddJob says:

    Yeah NECA needs to get over whatever beef they have or whatever the deal is that’s preventing them from making more TMNT figures.

    THey sold well, fans loved them, TMNT fans loved them… Just make series 2 already.

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