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History of the TMNT in Action Figures: Leonardo Box Set


I first saw this box set quite awhile back–probably late 2015, if not late 2014. It was interesting enough..and fairly appealing to me, as "traditionally" Leonardo was always my favorite of the four turtles (though over the years I’ve come to appreciate Raphael and it’s a toss-up on which of the two I’d claim as my favorite at any given moment).

So a box set with 8 of 9 major iterations over the years? Pretty nifty…but the price always seemed so ridiculously high for "just" a display piece like this…and then in it BEING a "display piece," something that would "just" sit around.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_front

But I found it on "clearance" at Toys R Us, and the price was a lot more reasonable, pulling it down to "tempting" and getting me to "think about it." After stewing on it for a couple weeks, I went into a TRU store figuring I’d go ahead and buy one if they actually still had it (and for the clearance pricing).

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_back

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the store I was in had two of these left…but moreso, they had TMNT stuff 20% off…which included this (20% off the clearance price!).

So for what amounted to roughly $4.60 per figure, I went ahead and bought this. While the only "new" to me figures are the Movie Star Leonardo, the Next Mutation Leonardo, and the Fast Forward Leonardo, at contemporary new-in-box figures’ pricing, this was still worthwhile; and the "extra" copies of the other figures just made for an even better value!

If you want to see more detail about the contents of the figures and what this looks like out of the box, there’s a great video on YouTube with all of that covered.

What I’ll show off below is the back of the box, the actual "history" or "timeline" provided.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_1984

While this one is billed as the 1984 version, this figure is actually just from the last several years–a wave of "variant" turtles with the sculpts based on the original comics’ style. Years earlier, NECA had done a series in this style as well (2010 or so, perhaps–before the Mirage sale of the property to Viacom/Nikelodeon or the current animated series.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_1988

I had the original 1988 figure in its 1990-ish iteration; I also have the more recent re-release via the TMNT Classics line.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_1992

I’m very disappointed that this figure doesn’t come with the belt…it looks "naked" without it. (Isn’t it amazing how complete or "clothed" the characters look with JUST a belt?!?). Based on that YouTube review, I do know without unboxing this set that the figure is not the flexible, rubbery material, so I’m a little less disappointed, as I definitely want to get the rest of these "Movie Star" TMNT (I already have Donatello).

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_1997

I don’t consciously remember seeing any of these at the moment, though I’d be surprised if I hadn’t–but by the time these would’ve been in stores, I was heavy into comics over getting TMNT figures; and I was never particularly enamored with the Next Mutation as it was. Like the reviewer in the video, I agree at it seeming odd to have this "art" image instead of a still from the show…but I’m guessing perhaps this is at least "card art" from the line?

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_2003

I still have my original 2003 Leonardo that I bought that January day in 2003, shortly before the premiere of the new series. I’d either actually seen or was hunting them down, and found the turtles while with a friend, and I believe I at least got all four turtles in one purchase, though I don’t recall on the other characters.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_2005

I’d trailed off a bit by the time the show went to Fast Forward, and as such had no real context for any of the newer characters, and with occasional/rare exceptions have never much cared for a bunch of "variants" on a character within the same line…and I probably considered Fast Forward to just be a "wave," probably like the current Tales of the TMNT branding/re-issues going on with the present line.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_2012

Of course I have the 2012 one–I’ve got more of the "current" line than I care to admit, though I’ve passed on plenty of characters and spent way too much time/effort hunting down other characters. I even bought a newer iteration of this "basic" figure to have on my desk at work at my last job.

history_of_tmnt_feat_leonardo_2014

I also had the 2014 movie Leo, and I think also Raphael, though I’m not sure where he’s gotten to at present. I was not particularly thrilled with the 2014 film…though I found the 2016 one to be surprisingly entertaining, especially by comparison, though I "missed" its theatrical run.


Based on info from that video review of this set, I was reminded of the missing 2007 film version of Leonardo…and that’s one that I’d actually like to get. I suspect, though, that with the destruction of the mold or such, that’ll be harder to come by than any of the other versions, thanks to the COLLECTOR-for-MONEY mindset on stuff (as I’ve been perfectly happy with various reissues of classic figures and don’t care if I get an actual VINTAGE "Party Wagon" or the more recent "print run," whichever is cheaper for roughly the same (good) condition!

I have a hard time justifying $15+ for a single figure, and even $9 makes me stop and "think hard" about it. But if you’re interested in this and can find it, seems at present that Toys R Us has whatever limited stock remains in stores of this set for a little over $40, which is quite worthwhile if the interest is there for you! (and still cheaper than most single "statues," so this is worthwhile at this price even if only as a static display piece!)

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