Action Figure Reviews

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Man, I just love these figures! They are easy to find, durable, fairly cheap, and have lots of variety. First I will review the four turtles, Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael. And no, it is no coincidence that they are named after famous painters; their master, Splinter named them this way after he found them in a storm drain. The turtles fight crime and the evil Shredder, Splinter's former ally. I like the original Ninja Turtles series from the 80's better than this one, but there are some very good things about the new one as well.


Good luck finding a mutated turtle that studies or trains harder than Leonardo. His sense of responsibility has made him the unofficial leader of the team, but don't tell that to the other Turtles! While Leo enjoys a good rumble as much as the next Turtle, he's drawn more to the spiritual side of martial arts. This dedicated pursuit has created a special bond between Leonardo and his sensei, Splinter.


Leonardo is the turtle with the blue bandana. This time around the figures do not have colored knee pads and elbow pads, like the original figures did. I still think they are awesome though. All four of the turtles are articulated in 9 places; legs, head, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Leonardo comes with two suction cups that he uses to scale walls, two ninja stars, and two Swords. The suction cups actually work okay, especially on glass I’ve found. On all the turtles you can remove their belt if you want. Leonardo's belt has two pieces; one that goes around his waist and across his chest, and one on his back that you can put his Katana (swords) into. The ninja stars have a Yin Yang in the centre (A Ying Yang is a white and black Japanese symbol). Playmates are still making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, as they did back in the 80's. I have no problem with this and think they are doing an excellent job, once again.




This Turtle is ready to blow! Quick to anger and slow to cool off, Raphael has mastered the sai, but hasn't been so lucky with his own temper. He works hard to control his emotions through meditation or a few rounds of beatin' the heavy bag. Raphael is the most fearsome and fearless fighter on the team. He'll leap into battle no matter what the odds. His flashing twin sais and furious fighting skills led Michelangelo to give him the nickname "Secret Weapon."


Raphael comes with two Sai, two ninja stars, and a pulley. I think that the pulley would be great fun for kids; it lets Raphael glide over pretty much any thing. The ninja stars are identical to all of the other turtle's and the Sai aren't very different from the original figure from the 80's. That's another thing I like about this line; the accessories aren't just orange pieces of plastic. You can put the Sai into Raphael's belt and it is a nice fit. Once again the belt is removable but it is not the same belt as Leonardo has; it just goes around his waist. In case you didn't already know, Raphael is the turtle with the red bandana. This turtle is no different in the articulation area than Leonardo, the same 9 points applies to all of the turtles. My favorite turtle has always been Donatello, followed by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. I kept my tried to keep who is my favorite from influencing the grade so that should give you an idea of how good this toy is.




If you ever need something, anything, fixed, Donatello is the only Turtle you'll ever need to call. He has the rad ability to know how things work - probably because he's been taking things apart and putting them back together since he was a turtle in diapers. Sure, Donatello likes to act calm and collected, but he can't help himself when it comes to cool technology - he totally flips! When he's not inventing awesome new vehicles like the Battle Shell or turbo-charged Sewer Slider, Donatello loves to kick butt with his lightning-fast Bo staff.


Donatello is a really cool turtle and action figure. He comes with his Bo staff and two attachments that can pop onto the end of it. One of them looks like a short knife, and the other like a small axe. Both are a snug fit on the shaft of the Bo. Also included is his belt which is similar to Raphael's and two ninja stars that are exactly like the other turtle's. The packaging for this line has an illustration of the face of whichever turtle that is in the package on the top of the card, and if it isn't a turtle figure then there is a group shot with all four of the Ninja turtles. If that doesn't make sense just look at the pictures that are at the bottom of each review. The bubble has a sticker that has the new TMNT logo and a picture of the figure's face. However, on some of the newer figures the picture is of an accessory or where an action feature may be. Thankfully not very many figures from this series have action features.




Quick with a joke and even quicker with the nunchaku, Michelangelo's Shredder-stomping Ninjitsu style is no laughing matter. Always the jokester of the group, he loves to be the center of attention and his great sense of humor has made him the team's peacemaker. Sometimes his overactive imagination helps when the pressure's on and the gang needs some quick thinking. Splinter decided that the nunchaku is the best weapon for Mikey-T's flashy fighting style and excitable personality.


Michelangelo comes with two nunchuks, two ninja stars, and a pulley type thing similar to Raphael's. This isn't my favorite Ninja Turtle, but Michelangelo is certainly very cool. He is the same as the other turtles in pretty much every way including articulation and some accessories, except for the different head sculpt and bandana color. The part of the bandana that is hanging off the back of

Michelangelo's head looks like it is blowing in the wind. As with all of the Ninja Turtles in this line that part of the bandana is bendable. I don't like how the nunchuks aren't very moveable like they were in the original series; they are just solid pieces of plastic this time around. At least they aren't orange.




This is the guy that started it all, and without him, the Turtles would just be... well... turtles. Even when Splinter was a mere rat in a cage, he was very special. He spent years observing the Ninjitsu teachings and wisdom of his master, Hamato Yoshi. Through Yoshi, he learned the secrets of the ninja and the warrior's way. Splinter has dedicated his life to passing these skills and teachings on to the Turtles. Sure, he's wise, patient and a kick-butt martial artist who taught the Turtles everything they know, but Splinter also loves TV talk shows and soap operas. And he makes a pretty mean quiche, too!


Splinter, the turtle’s sensei comes with a cane sword, a bow, a quiver of arrows, and a can of mutagen. The bow only has one arrow, and it doesn't actually go flying out of the bow, it just moves forward. Pretty cheesy if you ask me. The quiver of arrows has no removable arrows but still looks pretty good. I like how you can switch the cane to a sword and back by pulling off a sheath type thing. Splinter’s robe is removable if you really want to, but I don't know when he was nude in the show exactly. He has seven points of articulation at the hips, shoulders, wrists, and neck. The best part about this Splinter figure is the sculpt; it is really true to the original character but still updated enough for the new millennium.



Foot Soldier

Hands down, the Foot is the deadliest criminal organization the world has ever seen! This secret organization trains its evil operatives in the ancient and mysterious ways of the Ninja. If you're ever unlucky enough to run into the Foot's deadly Ninja Division, you'll be face-to-face with the most feared Ninjas this side of the Turtles: the Foot Soldiers! These lethal assassins operate invisibly through the city, doing the Foot's dirty work. Trained by the Shredder to do his bidding, the Foot Soldiers will not rest until the Foot rules the world and the Turtles are soup!


Shredder's evil warriors, the Foot Soldiers, are ruthless warriors that will stop at nothing until they complete the orders given to them. At least, they used to be in the comics. Now they are placid, tame, and weak. That says nothing about this cool toy though. It comes with two swords, two ninja stars, and a crossbow. The crossbow does the same thing as Splinter's, the "arrow launching" feature. This was probably a safety precaution on Playmates part but the rest of the accessories are pretty cool. I had a lot of difficulty finding this figure and some others, but hopefully Shredder will turn up soon. In short, this is a really great figure for everyone- fun for kids and cool for collectors or just the casual buyer.




Not just a handbag with claws, Leatherhead is the only other creature known to share the same origin as the TMNT, for he too was mutated by the same ooze that transformed the Turtles. Once an unwanted baby pet crocodile that was flushed down the toilet and into the city's sewers, Leatherhead gained size, strength, intelligence and a more humanoid shape after coming into contact with the strange Mutagen, and then spent most of his life living in the TCRI building with the Utroms who had discovered and befriended him. Having become separated from them when their building was destroyed, Leatherhead has desperately trying to build a Transmat device so that he can be reunited with his alien friends!


Leatherhead has always been cool, but I never liked the original toy. He has been majorly updated from the 80's version. Sporting a new accessory and more articulation; nine points of articulation to be exact, at the hips, waist, shoulders, wrists, tail, and head. Leatherhead's tail moves when you press a button on his left hip, this isn't as bad as some other action features I have seen over the years. His new accessory I mentioned before is a spiked ball on a chain that fits over the end of his tail. The likeness on this figure is stunning, it isn't a super detailed McFarlane toy but neither was Leatherhead in the T.V. show. I have had no problems with the paint on this toy, it is nearly flawless. Easily the best point about this guy, the all-around effect. As usual with this TMNT line he is good for kids and collectors alike.



Stone Biter

Stone Biter's jaws can chew through solid rock, while its stone cold teeth can grind up just about anything, including Ninja Turtles! Its hands and feet can grip and carry its massive body along any surface - even ceilings - making this one wall-crawler you'd better not mess with!


I don't know if Stone Biter was in the original cartoon from the 80's, I haven't even seen him in the new cartoon as I missed a bunch of episodes. I anyone can confirm his existence in non-toy form send me an email. Anyway, this figure has seven points of articulation. I am a little disappointed in the articulation they gave this line; they really don't seem to be up to standard. The low articulation they gave these figures probably would have been okay 8-10 years ago; although the turtles are a little better in having nine points. Stone Biter comes with two fossils. Both can separate into two pieces. When you press a button on Stone Biter's back his jaws chomp, I like how they disguised the switch by blending it in with his rocky hide. I have a feeling that this line's packaging will be getting a slight change soon, lots of people have been complaining about the boring yellow and green that they have used since series 1. I don't really care about the packaging since I throw it out anyway. Stone Biter is probably more of a kid’s toy, but if you want another villain to throw into your TMNT collection Stone Biter could be your man.



Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesŪ, and all related indicia are registered trademarks of Mirage Studios USA. Based on characters and comic books created by Peter A. Laird and Kevin B. Eastman.