So the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is out and I've decided to stop giving Michael Bay and company any more of my money than he already gets every time I buy a Transformers toy. After Transformers: Age of Extinction, I can't take anymore of the kind of crap that he consistently feeds his audience.
I'd rather give that money to the excellent people behind the Nickelodeon cartoon, and the awesome toy line based on it.
That really hasn't changed in the two years since. The Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) line has fantastic sculpting, nice detailing, solid construction, and a huge, HUGE dose of fun. While the characters don't look 100% like their CGI models, the artists' rendition of each is amazingly done.
The spot where it slacks off though, is with the entire supporting cast. I bought Shredder, Dog Pound, Fish Face, Krang, Splinter, and April with the turtle team and all 6 figures are basically 5 point articulation or less. They are basically pre-posed figures that can kind of move their arms up and down and turn their heads.
This one isn't much different, but dammit, he looks good!
Leatherhead in the show wasn't a bad guy. He just had a short fuse. He wasn't really an enemy, and did try and help out a few times. However, when something would piss him off or get him worked up, he'd go ape-shit and pull a berserker, which isn't good when it's happening to a giant, anthropomorphic crocodile.
The figure was one of those that came out in the later waves in Toy Kingdom (TK), so I didn't have to buy this one through other channels. In TK, the figures from the TMNT line are all at Php 499.75, which is a steal for an action figure. Most 4" figures cost about Php 800 now, and this one is 5" of pretty solid plastic. Granted, it doesn't have the best articulation (more on that later), or many accessories, but that price really makes that fact hurt less.
The card is still that same eye-popping green and purple that dominates whatever shelf it's on. It's good protection, isn't so big as to be hard to store, and gives just enough information on the character and toy line not to annoy. He does come packaged with his tail off in order to fit in the bubble, but it's an easily attached.
His sculpt is just lovely and ornery. He looks like I feel when I get up on a Monday. You don't mess with people on Mondays.
The detail cut into the figure is well done, and doesn't seem soft. You see all the lines for the scales, the teeth lining his jaw, and the ridges on his back. It makes for a great figure to photography, especially if you can play with the lighting to enhance those shadows.
Unfortunately, they didn't take full advantage of the texture in the sculpting. At the price Playmates charges for these figures, you can't expect there to be a whole lot of paint applications. Just like previous figures, Leatherhead is cast in the predominant color, dark green, and the rest of the colors are painted. There's no dark wash to make those lines pop, and the applications that made it into the production run are pretty simple. It doesn't help that some of them miss their mark (like his teeth).
His articulation, like all of the supporting cast so far, leaves a lot to be desired. He's really only got shoulders and hips. There's a neck swivel, but since he's a hunchback, all that does is turn his head upside down. Same with the swivel at the base of the tail.
The four functional joints you're left with are pretty nice though, each with a nice range of movement and a combination post-hinge joint for both swivel action and outward movement. With the more relaxed pre-posed position of the arms and legs, those shoulder and hip joints actually let him be rather more expressive than some of the previous figures.
Another point against him is the fact that he feels way too tiny. Most of the turtles are about 1/2" taller than him. Remembering the TV series, that ratio should be flipped. He's supposed to be monstrous, and he doesn't even manage that with 1/18th scale figures.
It's too bad. He would have looked great next to Bebop and Rocksteady if he'd been bigger.
Still, Leatherhead wins out in the fun department for me. The property itself lends a lot to that, but the work the sculptors put into this figure, and the excellent posing they've done with it, really makes it a great addition to my small TMNT group.
I'm kind of sad that the line didn't take off like it should have. Sales don't seem to have been good locally, with alot of the stock still on shelves and no sign of the newer waves. With the toy industry slowing dying, even in countries like the US, I doubt there was really any other way it could have turned out. There just isn't as much interest in action figures in this day of Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies.
Well, the bright side is that at least I'll have a fair shot at completing the line.