Collectors of Playmate’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line have been pushed and pulled in every direction since the glory days of the line from 1988-1994. But finally, it seems as if fans can rejoice in the new direction that the relaunch has taken this year. For the first time, we not only have a reboot that promises a plethora of secondary characters, but also a redesigned set of Turtles toys that for once outshines their animated counterparts. Folks are pretty worried when word got out that creator Peter Laird was selling the Turtles to Nickelodeon, but if these figures are the fruit of that sale, then maybe the future is looking pretty bright for our lovable mutant reptiles!
Going in a totally new direction from both the traditional animated style and the super “Retro Turtles” that NECA made a few years back, these new Turtles are based on the current Nickelodeon cartoon, and are treated in a very “down to earth” style, with chunk limbs and a suitable gritty matte paint scheme. Each turtle is still readily recognizable, by their own shade of green to further seal the deal and has a completely unique body sculpt that reflects the character’s personality and body size: Donatello is the tallest, Michelangelo the shortest, with Raphael and Leonardo in the middle. Even the shells are completely different. This attention towards unique sculpting makes the figures seem like individuals rather than the same old figure with different paint apps.
It would be pretty amazing if the new Playmates line could match the sheer depth of character that the vintage line had, especially considering the wildly creative range of secondary characters and villains that appeared in the first few years of the line. But if the sneak peeks we’ve been getting are any indication, we might just get quite a few new and interesting sidekicks to the turtles this time around, if not sculpted at the same levels of detail as such favorites like Mutagen Man and Pizza Face. The trade-off seems to be sleeker sculpts with a much better color palette than the originals’ day-glo schemes.
All in all, we’re pretty excited to see what Playmate’s has in store for 2013 at the NY Toy Fair and SDCC next year! Keep checking back for more coverage of this anticipated line!
||Posted by Jason Geyer