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NECA TMNT Quarter Scale: Leo & Mikey

I’m not a toy speculator. I’ve never sold toys–not for any profit, anyway–and I can only vaguely remember ebaying some Heroclix minis 15+ years ago.

But I do like collecting toys in the sense of following certain lines or getting certain sets/subsets of toys…and it REALLY bugs me when there are convention-only exclusives of figures, PERIOD–I’m more ok with certain slight variants that I don’t tend to care for, but if it’s the existence of the figure/character AT ALL, I have a problem with the exclusivity. But that gets into another topic/post entirely.

While keeping an eye on the NECA quarter-scale TMNT 1990 figures and checking options…I noticed that the cheapest price for the Michelangelo figure was some $40 more than the others, on Amazon. Since Big Bad Toy Store did me right with the Raphael figure a couple weeks earlier, I both went with them again…and went with TWO turtles this time!

neca_leoandmikey0221_leo_front

As I’d said before, Leonardo was always my favorite turtle of the four as a kid…but as an adult, I’ve found that Raphael’s tended to be my favorite moreso, including being the first turtle I went with for this line.

But Leo was not far behind, as here he is!

neca_leoandmikey0221_leo_sides

The sides of the package give some images of the figure.

neca_leoandmikey0221_leo_back

…and the back shows even more, as well as having a brief text blurb about the character/figure.

neca_leoandmikey0221_mikey_front

Then there’s Michelangelo. As mentioned above, I saw this one listed on AMAZON for around $40 more than the others, but since he was the same price as the others at Big Bad Toy Store, I opted to double-up for this order and include him, to hopefully avoid overpaying for any of the four turtles!

neca_leoandmikey0221_mikey_sides

Here are the box sides for him…

neca_leoandmikey0221_mikey_back

…and the back of the box.

neca_leoandmikey0221_movie_turtles_shelf

Finally, here’s the NECA shelf at present. Three quarter-scale turtles, all four 7"-scale turtles, the quarter-scale Baby Turtles, and standard-TMNT-figure size "movie star" turtles (my vintage Donatello, and 3 unofficial replicas for the other turtles).

The NECA figures are by far the superior figures, nostalgia or otherwise.

And for the sake of checking it out, I immediately swapped hands so Michelangelo has the spinning weapon variant hand/weapon that came with the Baby Turtles!

I’m leaning toward ordering Donatello on my next paycheck, though also half wondering about seeing if I can find him at a convention I’ll be going to.

Time will definitely tell!

That said…I’m missing Donatello, the Ooze Cannister replica, and the Casey Jones facemask. I’m MOST interested in these turtles themselves…and THEN there’s several two-packs apparently due to be showing up in Target any time now, that I’m very interested in.

As I said regarding these on Twitter the other day: definitely "midlife-crisis" purchasing!

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TMNT Toys in the Wild: Rise of the TMNT 1st Wave

I already posted about the Raphael figure I bought over the weekend, with the new Rise of the TMNT toy line starting to make its appearance.

I came across a display of the entire first wave of basic figures, and got photos of them "in the wild" (actually at a Walmart). Including the not-in-the-wild Raphael, here are my photos of the figures "on the card" as well as their "profile" from the back of the card, a la the old "clip-and-collect" profiles from the ’80s line.


Raphael:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_profile


Leonardo:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_profile


Donatello:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_don_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_don_profile


Michelangelo:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_mike_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_mike_profile


Splinter:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_profile


April:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_profile


Meat Sweats:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_profile


Baron Draxum:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_profile


Origami Ninja:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_origamininja_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_origamininja_profile


Until seeing the figures for myself, I hadn’t realized the Origami Ninja had a foot slapped on its face…which does somewhat "qualify" it as a Foot Ninja…so against prior expectations, I may (eventually, perhaps) try to get several.

And Baron Draxum seems rather obviously a stand-in for Shredder, so there’s a good chance I may (again, eventually, perhaps) try to get one.

I’d figured Meat Sweats would be "worth it" for bulk alone…but I think I’ve pretty much decided that if I want a large pig muant…I’d rather go with a 30+ year old classic in Bebop.

Time will definitely tell. And I suppose I’ll be curious as to what other figures will make their ways out for this line.

I remember the 2012 line rolling out by early August 2012, and 3-4 more figures by Christmas. Given we’re at early October for these, I think I’d be sorta surprised to see a second wave in 2018, though not too surprised if another makes it out in early 2019.

I have issues with the extremely-limited nature and high prices on the Neca figures…and I think it would be absolutely fantastic if Playmates were to produce a line of figures based on the IDW comics…ideally in the style of Mateus Santolouco. The four turtles, Splinter, April, Casey, Shredder, Krang, (human) Baxter Stockman (with mousers), maybe a multipack of named Utrom characters; the Neutrinos, the Mutanimals…Bludgeon, Koya, Bebop, Rocksteady…Alopex, Agent Bishop, The Pantheon…

To borrow a phrasing style…I’d buy the heck outta those, at under-$10/figure!

But that wishlist and topic is surely a topic for some other post.

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My All-Star TMNT Team-Up

When it comes to DC and Marvel, I don’t think I really have much of anything interesting to add by way of teams I’d like to see. So when going with the idea of talking about "my" Justice League, I found my mind going back to the TMNT, as well as Avengers Forever. This may be a bit more Avengers Forever than Justice League, but we’ll see what I wind up with!

splinter_1980sAs there have been numerous iterations of the TMNT and related properties, I’d be very interested in seeing interactions between them, for something a bit longer than a ~70 minute movie or ~24 minute cartoon episode. I also think that with a team book–such as Justice League–one of the big appealing factors is getting a bunch of heroes in one place and seeing how they interact, and how interactions play off of (and/or into) stuff going on with the individual titles.

So if I was gonna create some sort of Justice League-style group/book/story, I’d gravitate toward the TMNT. And I’d want to pull in characters from different iterations–for nostalgia, and for there being all sorts of story potential spinning off of each character involved, going back into their own "universe" or "time" or whatever. And I’d see something like this–for my part–as a limited, finite thing…at most, maybe 12-18 issues…though with pulling the characters in and potential for "Easter eggs" and other references and such, as a fan I’d probably feel 6 issues to be too few to do the idea much justice (no pun intended).

leo_miragecomicsI’d start out with the 1980s cartoon version of Splinter. This version brings together the mutant rat and the human Hamato Yoshi; it gives us a human background with the mutant/animal present; and there’s just something to the heart of this version of the character that I’ve seen at times that I have not gotten the same way in other versions!

Along with this Splinter, I would want to use the original Mirage iteration of Leonardo, and would pull him from later in the "Volume Four" run of the comics, where he’s in his 30s…he’d be a sort of senior leader of the group, with more experience and such, and it’d be interesting to see this older Leo interact with a version of Splinter; and see how they’d get along, and how their relationship would be, this Leo having recently lost his Splinter, and this Splinter never having had a son so badly injured by the Foot, nor having executed a Shredder.

mikey_2003I’d pull in the 2003 cartoon Mikey, to be the "heart" of the team in general, as well as a lighter side to stuff. He’d certainly bug the heck outta some of the characters, but he’d be thrilled to be interacting with brothers/Splinter from alternate universes and such, and to be part of a "league" of his fellows, playing any sort of overt hero role!

For Raphael, I’d pull in the 1990 movie version. This one would, to me, have similar "heart" but displayed in a different way. He’s short-tempered, darned good at what he does, plenty of room to grow, and experienced his share of tragedy and triumph. It would also be interesting to see him play raph_1990movieoff of Leonardo, with the two having a shared experience in their past–Raph more recently, Leo half or more a lifetime ago–of being beaten within an inch of their lives by the Foot. This Raph would likely be quickly annoyed by Mikey, and cautious of Splinter, and certainly butt heads with Leo.

I’d get the IDW Donatello present-day; in a way, this would be "the" connection to ongoing continuity. And come to think of it, he would also have that "grievous injury" in common with Raph and Leo; but I see this Donnie getting along well with Mikey, if being a bit more serious.

Rounding the group out a bit, I’d get the Archie version of April from later in the TMNT Adventures series–where she’s had training from Splinter, has a katana, and is not going to be surprised or overly "green" in dealing with the turtles’ world (or this case, worlds plural!).

donatello_idwAnd it’d be rather interesting to somehow involve Miyamoto Usagi. He’d already be time-displaced anyway, but he’d actually have ties of his own to several of these characters. I’d likely want to go with the "comics version" of the character, to be his own thing, rather than pulled from the ’80s or 2003 cartoons; though I suppose this would quasi-double-dip with IDW Donnie, given last year’s crossover issue. "Everyone" would be better able to identify with him, I think, in being out of place/knowing these are different versions of individuals they know.

archie_aprilAnd of course, if all of these are brought together, there’d be potential for others–such as from the 2012 cartoon or the 2014 film franchise–to be brought in at some point, if only to cameo.

I don’t know what would bring them together, exactly–perhaps Renet (cliché as that would be) bouncing around in time accumulating representatives from the various timelines to combat some threat. And what would that threat be? We’ve already seen the 2003 cartoon’s Shredder try to destroy the Turtle-multiverse; and we’ve seen ’80s cartoon Shredder and Krang interact with the 2012 series. And frankly, I do get kinda tired of Shredder all the time.

usagi_miyamoto_usagiPerhaps reality has been fractured, hence all these different versions of the characters. And so they come together to learn OF each other, and see different ways their lives could have gone, and learn to appreciate different aspects of one another. Perhaps in the course of this, have some further time-hopping go on. This group is "bound" together someway–maybe a new, future Donatello has created a device that Renet brings, providing all with a technological tether–some sort of armband or anklet or such–that keeps them together and helps them move through time/space without mucking up the timelines.

And eventually, cheesy as it is, they come to see an essence of family that they all share–here with each other, and their family "back home," and maybe get sorta "meta" and let things resolve back to the current IDW universe, as it already seems to draw "elements" from various other iterations…we could see the characters from the other actual continuities somehow dispersed back, and though they may not be the "main" timeline, they know that they’ve influenced a timeline.


I may well have to expand on this idea someday. In fact, I almost certainly will need to, given this largely being a short-term, off-the-cuff brainstorming. Obviously there’s a lot more detail I’d have to work out, specific story, even specific villain/antagonist/etc.


#DIYJusticeLeague

Fellow bloggers’ posts on this same theme (My post you just read was a last-second throw-together to partake in a fun group-prompt!) In no particular order, check out everyone’s posts, and even dig back through older posts. Everyone’s got great stuff–on this DIY Justice League theme, as well as their individual "blog missions", and loads of great content!


all_star_tmnt_teamup_blogtrailer

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!)

Classic TMNT Toys: Baxter Stockman and Make My Day Leo

It’s kinda hard to believe that toys I remember getting new off the pegs in stores like Hills, Best, KMart, Toys R Us, Children’s Palace are now considered vintage. Harder still to believe that I still have some of the cards around, as well as the figures (yet even harder to believe that I have a couple cards for figures that I do not seem to have around anymore)!

This is the first in a series of posts sharing these cards/figures, much as I’ve done with the newer 2012-present line.


Baxter Stockman

clip_and_collect_profile_baxter_stockman_back

While I’ve eventually given in and "accepted" it for nostalgia, I am not a fan of Baxter Stockman as a white guy (he was black in the original comics!) nor as a mutant fly. I think to me he just comes off as rather 2-dimensional or "just another mutant" as a fly, rather than as a brilliant (if deranged) scientist after his own goals and clashing with the turtles when they try to stop him.

TMNT_cards_baxter_stockman_front

Of course, I didn’t "know any better" at the time when I first got this figure. It was just another character, one that a friend had and I wanted my own, so eventually got it. Here’s the front of the card…

TMNT_cards_baxter_stockman_back

…and here’s the back. At this point, the figures still had the "origin of the turtles" at the top, along with the "ad" for the canister of "ooze" stuff that came with a miniature un-mutated turtle. I’m not sure if it’s déjà vu or what, but I simultaneously think I’d gotten one of these, yet wonder if it was just that I had wanted it but never actually got one.

There were still very few figures at the point this one was out, with Baxter, Ace Duck, and Genghis Frog (and Krang?) as new allies and enemies additions.

You can also see the "hole" where I’d actually cut out the "pizza point" from this figure. I seem to recall having done that with a bunch of my earliest figures…as well as having cut out the "clip and collect" profile cards…though when I took a stack of them with me to school one day, I lost them. That may be why I apparently kept the entire card backs on later figures.


Make My Day Leo

clip_and_collect_profile_make_my_day_leo_back

I vaguely remember this figure, though it’s one that I do not currently seem to have in my on-hand collection of my original figures.

While I did get several "variant sets" of all four turtles, when I only got one from a given "set," I tended to go with Leonardo, who was originally my favorite turtle of the four.

I find it amusing enough as an adult to see various "references" that were over my head as a kid, such as the whole "Make. My. Day." thing, or the Humphrey Bogart references, etc.

TMNT_cards_make_my_day_leo_front

I kinda like the bit there on the left…the "Go ahead!" part playing into the figure’s name. Go ahead! Make my day! Timeline-wise, the character "manhandling" Dirtbag there at the top places it around the time of that character, Groundchuck, and Chrome Dome.

TMNT_cards_make_my_day_leo_back

…And the back of the card strikes me as being from the height of the toy line, with this large array of ancillary characters–particularly on the villains side of things. I see a number of figures that I’d love to get ahold of to this day–though I’m absolutely not willing to "shell" out big dollars for them…I’m not that sort of collector.


Next up, I’ll get into the "Mutant Military" TMNT figures…and those I have the actual figures for, as well!

Do you remember either of the figures in this post? Did you have either of them? How about other figures shown on the card back(s)?

Feel free to leave feedback in the comments for this post!

TMNT at Work: The Leonardo Collection

It’s easy to locate my desk/work-area at work: just look for the toys displayed on a cabinet above a cubespace. I tend to go in phases, over a period of weeks/months of adding to or building a ‘collection’; after a lengthy Robin (Tim Drake) run, I cleared the cabinet, and restarted with Leonardo, Ninja Turtle.

leonardos_01

Initially I started with taking in several of the "basic" figures from the various toy lines over the years. 1980s, 2003, 2012, the "Original Comic" line, and even the 2014 film line. Then I found the Classics figure, the Funko Mystery Mini, and the miniature version of the 2003 figure.

Since starting, I’ve acquired the miniature 1980s figure, the two mini 2016 film figures, and the MegaBlox 2012 figure along with the plush.

And while helping clean out my parents’ garage, I found what I think was some sort of Kids’ Meal toy, presumably from Burger King back in the day (based on the 2003 animate series.

leonardos_02

In addition to these I have quite a few Leonardo "variant" figures primarily from the 1980s line.

leonardos_03

The larger quantity of figures I started with of Leo is why I went with him as the focus…and he’s "traditionally" been my favorite Turtle (though I’d say in recent–the last 10 or so–years that has shifted to Raphael).

Mega Bloks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I went into Toys R Us looking for one thing only: an Extreme Heroclix Superman figure I’ve seen several times and had finally decided to purchase (particularly given its price in the store compared to prices I was seeing the exact same thing listed for  online–via Amazon and eBay and such!)

I happened across a display of TMNT stuff I hadn’t known existed. I didn’t quite recognize stuff, but quickly realized they were Mega Bloks TMNT toys. That alone had my attention, then–so much for the TMNT Lego stuff.

krangs_rampage_unopened_front

Along with the Krang’s Rampage, there were also mini-sets for the four individual turtles, some sort of Turtle-Van set with Shredder and Raph, as well as "trooper" packs with Bebop and several Foot ‘bots or Rocksteady and several Foot ‘bots.

There were also several sets for the "current" TMNT that didn’t really have my interest…except for "blind pack" minis. What the heck? For $2.99 (compared to Lego‘s $3.99 minifig blind packs) I grabbed a couple, figuring they felt like different shapes–so not duplicates–and since I didn’t have any, they’d be "new" to me.

Ultimately I decided I did not have nearly as much interest in those as I did the "classic" TMNT stuff…and though it was certainly more than I’d intended to spend for the evening, I bought Krang’s Rampage.

krangs_rampage_back

I cared nothing for the pizza cart or News 6 billboard "accessories." I simply wanted the turtles, and Krang with android body.

cat_on_the_table_1

I had a visitor while I was first examining the contents of the box. Once Ziggy determined the rustling bags were not treats, he ignored me…but didn’t feel like leaving "his" space.

cat_on_the_table_2

Eventually I had to set the box between my "work area" and the kitty…he was quite curious, and after he tried to eat a minifig the night before, I wasn’t going to let him walk through the brickspace. He left and returned several times while I assembled.

fully_assembled

A couple hours after I started, the project was complete, and I had two of the four turtles facing off with Krang in his enlarged android body…and I’m quite happy with the result overall.

I did notice as I worked that these bricks feel like a lighter (cheaper) version of Lego, but I expected that–this set WAS cheaper in purchase-price than a Lego equivalent. A lot of pieces seemed pretty custom to this set (as opposed to repurposed pieces creatively integrated for a Lego set.

The mini figures–the two turltes–feel a lot more flimsy than Lego minifigs…but are far more poseable! The detail and articulation make them truly seem like miniature action figures rather than turtle-themed accessories on a standard blocky minifig structure. The weapons also seem much more "in scale" to the figures than the Lego counterparts had.

But all in all, I’m quite happy with the set, and glad for my purchase.

The miniature action figures leave me very interested in acquiring others–especially the Bebop and Rocksteady packs, and make me think it would be simply amazing if they would do a simple trooper pack with a dozen or so Foot ‘bots…making it far more possible in this scale to have the turtles face a small army of the robots than in any scale prior.

And surprisingly enough to me–in searching online for more details of these sets and what might be expected beyond what I saw, in the near future–I learned that "street date" on these was 1/1/2016.

I was in the store seeing these and buying the set I did…1/1/2016.

Though "purist" Lego enthusiasts will almost certainly find these to by physically inferior, on the "fun factor" and "enjoyment," as well as variety (the Lego sets were expensive and only focused on the "current" TMNT and then the 2014 film…Mega Bloks has sets for both the ’80s TMNT as well as the "current" series.

Mega Bloks also has the individual turtle packs–I believe they were $7.99 or so–which make it quite feasible for one to obtain all four of the turtles without having to invest in a $12.99 set and two or more $25-$60+ sets just to get the turtles.

other_sets

Above: a closer view of the image from the box showing Bebop, ROcksteady, Foot, and the individual turtle mini-sets.

Below: a differently-lighted photo of the box for Krang’s Rampage after the contents were removed.

krangs_rampage_opened_front

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