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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.

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…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…

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…and the back of the box.

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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:

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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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Rise of ‘Rise of the TMNT’

The other day, we "finally" got our first look at the character design for the new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rise of the TMNT) show coming this fall from Nickelodeon.

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To me, the best aspect is the logo.

As I posted the other day on Twitter, my first reaction is that these are atrocious:

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Seeing the "full/action" image and the individual images all over the place for a few days, I’ve grown used to these particular ones. But I stand by my original feeling of these being atrocious designs.

I’ve long held TMNT to be an "exception" to most of my usual personal "rules" (variants, what I’ll spend on them, accepting more "crap" regarding TMNT than I will most things, giving them a "pass" on stuff I won’t other properties, etc). At the same time, I hold the assumed "right" to be that much more critical–as a fan in my late-30s who has to some degree "been there" through most of the TMNT history–nearly 30 of their almost 34-year existence.

And whether it was certain of the "Specials" from the Archie comics, or the general Archie series compared to the ’80s cartoon compared to the original Mirage comics…then the Image series, the Mirage volume 4 series and Tales of the TMNT vol. 2, to the IDW series; the 2003 cartoon and the 2012 cartoon… I’m used to all sorts of differing visual interpretations of the characters. Some good, some bad, some wonky, some weird, some just…blah.

But as the "mainstream, main on-going publically-pushed" (’80s cartoon, 2003 cartoon, 2012 cartoon; all the films…even Next Mutation) designs go, I find these the worst.

Various designs in the comics tend to work short-term; even if I’m not thrilled with a style, often it hasn’t lasted all that long or been more than basically coming across "an alternative design." I’ve never had an actual distaste for a visual style like this. I’m not thrilled with the 2014/2016 film designs, but as live-action only-2-films takes, I’m ok with those…especially by comparison.

I also highly resent what my current understanding is–that "essentially," the 2012 series was ended to clear the path for Rise of the TMNT; that especially with the 2012 series only just having ended and this one having been announced prior to the end of the 2012 series, it is intended to REPLACE the 2012 series.

Previously, there were significant gaps of time between series. As such, I especially compare these to that, and may be more critical due to the feeling of this being the "replacement" rather than the "next iteration" of the property.

On the individual character designs:

rise_of_the_tmnt_splinterSplinter: he just looks like an angry little ugly rat to me; almost a caricature. While he has the ‘signature’ kimono and walking stick, and in context is recognizable, I get none of the fatherly/mentorly vibe from this design. He looks mean and more of a show-up-and-mess-someone-up character than father-figure/leader.

rise_of_the_tmnt_leoLeonardo:  partly the angle, but the character looks like some scrawny little thing, more like he’d be an "annoyance" than formidable. I also really dislike the sharp, angular design, especially for the legs/knees. While I don’t want my turtles to be balls, I also don’t want my turtles to be scissors with masks. I’m also not thrilled with the facial markings, though I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be facepaint or species markings. The latter I can live with, the former just seems stupid to me.

rise_of_the_tmnt_raphRaphael: The character is far bulkier than the other turtles, which sets him apart, sure; and while I’m not thrilled at the full head-covering vs. mask-strip around the eyes I don’t have any great problem with it, either. My main problem is the apparent change in weapon, from the sai to the nightstick. Especially as Mikey has "small sticks with strings" and Donnie has the "long stick." For whatever reason, offhand, it just reeks (to me) of something thinking simply "wouldn’t it look cool if…" and running with it.

rise_of_the_tmnt_donnieDonatello: This may be the "best" of the designs to me. The character doesn’t seem nearly as scrawny/angular as Leo, and while I get a bit of a 2014 movies vibe with the headgear, something to the face even just looks like a Donatello: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It looks like he’s carrying some sort of scepter, which won’t thrill me; but it it’s more of a fancy stick, I guess I’m mostly ok on it.

rise_of_the_tmnt_mikeyMichelangelo: I don’t care for the prominent kneepads in the promo image, nor that he basically seems to have some kind of bladed ball attached to a stick…another "replacement" weapon; a factor I’m not keen on. The kneepads seem odd to me in a way I can’t quite place…like they’re more for skateboarding or such than the kneepads/wraps of previous versions of the turtles.

rise_of_the_tmnt_aprilApril: I’m not sure what to think here; I have a number of feelings on the matter. I sense some slight ties to some interpretations of the original comics; as all of this Rise design is so different anyway, no huge issue with the "race-bending." Moreso I feel like the pose for the promo image draws significantly from DC‘s Superhero Girls, as virtually every time I see her solo image, I’m put in mind of the Bumblebee character from that show/series, at a glance. I feel like she looks way too young; it’s one thing for April to be a high schooler or such, but not looking this young just seems rather "off."

As I’ve seen others comment–these may look better "in motion" and such; in action rather than these singular "still" images. And I will be interested to see how these translate to toys, the inevitable action figures. I’m probably more interested in the action figures than the show.

And of course, I’ll almost certainly check out the show itself at least to try…but it’s going to have to be pretty darned good right away from the first episode or two to "keep" me–it’s not gonna get much of a "grace period" from me to spend MONTHS to get several episodes to get a glimmer of what it "can actually be."

Whatever the case, I still have the original cartoon on DVD, 2003 on flashdrive (c’mon, Nickelodeon…release the 2003 series on DVD!!!), and the 2012 series on DVD, as well as all my comics and such already.

As some folks would say…I consider this whole matter to be:

(developing…)

rise_of_rise_of_the_tmnt_blogtrailer

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!


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Classic TMNT Toys: Ray Fillet and Storage Shell Michelangelo

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!

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


Ray Fillet

clip_and_collect_profile_ray_fillet_back

This is another “early” figure for me, and also from early in my developing vocabulary. I originally read/pronounced the character’s name “Ray Fill-eht” rather than “Ray Fill-ay.”

I remember recognizing the similarities in this character, and a character in one of those “storybooks” that were out in the early 1990s, that I later learned were actually based on issues of the Archie-published TMNT Adventures. This Ray Fillet was the character appearing as Man Ray and one of the “founders” of the Mighty Mutanimals. There’s a much different-looking version appearing in contemporary IDW-published TMNT comics.

TMNT_cards_ray_fillet_front

Like many of the other figures, this was another “goofy”-ish mutant, rather silly and hardly anything “deep.” I’ve more recently learned that apparently a number of creators that were part of Mirage Studios at the time were encouraged to create/submit characters as possible action figures when the toy line hit it big, which certainly explains some of the random-ish characters.

As for me, I certainly appreciate that many of them were incorporated into comics that gave them more depth, even beyond anything granted in “an episode” or so in the animated series.

TMNT_cards_ray_fillet_back

I haven’t a clue where “Fish Stix” wound up, but I do remember making the connection that this was apparently a Glublub…though it was Bubbla that made the impression in the comics.

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Here’s the actual figure! One of the ear pieces is broken off, and the color-change elements of the chest and “shirt” are long since faded/gone-screwy. But it’s my genuine, original copy of the figure, still around to this day some 25+ years after getting it!


Storage Shell Michelangelo

clip_and_collect_profile_storage_shell_mike_back

I’m particularly interested these days whenever I see the spelling “Michaelangelo” from this time period. Apparently Eastman and Laird goofed on the spelling–It’s actually Michelangelo–but their error was picked up and carried through half the character’s existence, I believe only eventually corrected as of 2001 or so when Laird relaunched a TMNT comic series.

I remember the Donatello with Storage Shell figure as the first/only of the turtles with that feature…then later the other three got the treatment. This was one of the ones that at the time I did get a “complete set,” really appreciating the molds/paintjobs (though I wouldn’t’ve had the phrasing to describe it as such back then). In retrospect, I suspect it was that the figures were pretty standard-ish–no fancy costumes, no externally-weird “theme” or variant. If one didn’t know the shells opened, the figures just look like slightly brighter/better-colored versions of the standard characters!

TMNT_cards_storage_shell_mike_front

To this day, I can’t begin to explain the “storage shell” notion for the actual characters. As toys that come with a bunch of miniscule accessories, I can appreciate that this was a way to have a little storage compartment to keep a bunch of them handy for play time…but showing the character in action with a shell open on a hinge is just kinda creepy…especially after the story in the IDW comics a couple years ago where Donatello was horribly injured when Rocksteady sledge-hammered his shell…

TMNT_cards_storage_shell_mike_back

I miss the days of these individualized cards with figures. The fronts are customized to the specific figure, as is the back–detailing included accessories (that I believe were quite visible through the bubble on the front) as well as the profile section.

I also miss having large multi-wave assortments displayed, to see what’s (been) available and exists out there. Contemporary toys showing the 4-6 figures within the same/current “wave” is ok-ish, but there’s something pleasantly rich about seeing so many allies and villains chaaracters just on the card…and it certainly did wonders for making me want more figures as a kid, giving me something (always) to be “hunting” for!

class_tmnt_storage_shell_mike

Here’s the figure itself. Probably my only real “complaint” to the color scheme and such is the pink gums to the exaggerated grimace this version of the characters had. It just makes it seem all the more exaggerated, though at least definitely served to differentiate from the “original” version of the standard figures…especially since there was no special “costume” or such to otherwise set these apart when the shell is closed into place.


I think it’s safe to say that these are two of my favorite figures at this point, in looking back. The sculpts on the storage shell turtles, and Ray Fillet (though I prefer the Man Ray version of the character).

Next up, to wrap up this mini “series” of posts, I’ll show off TMNT II character Rahzar and what I consider to be a “later” random mutant, Walkabout.

Did you ever have any of the “storage shell” turtles? While I don’t recall if this concept was revisited during the run of the toys based on the 2003 animated series, “storage shell” versions were released a couple years ago for the 2012-present iterations of the characters.

Are there any classic TMNT toys of characters you’d want to get just for the sake of having the character?

Respond in the comments section for this post!

TMNT Toys in the Wild: Dimension X, Mutant Shredders, and Karai Serpent

With another new season just started for the Nickelodeon TMNT series, it’s not surprising to find a new wave of the toys hitting at Target and Walmart (presumably elsewhere as well, but I have only been to and seen them at Walmart and Target lately).

Continuing with a “theme” like previous turtles variants, we have the Space-suit turtles for their apparent adventure in/from Dimension X, as well as villain Lord Dregg. I also happened across the Mutant Shredders pack.

A couple weeks earlier, I’d finally come across the Karai Serpent at a Family Dollar store, but where $8 is pushing it, $9 really pushing it…$10 is way too much for me for a basic TMNT figure like this.

As with my various other posts of this nature…photos of the figures on the card with their “profile” from the back are below.

leonardo_dimensionx_front

leonardo_dimensionx_profile

raphael_dimensionx_front

raphael_dimensionx_profile

Continue reading

TMNT Toys in the Wild: Original Comic Book Leonardo & Michelangelo

It was just very recently I saw something about exclusive figure-and-comic Leo & Mikey “Original Comic Book” versions. Of course, those are to be “Exclusive” to Toys R Us.

However, I found the “basic” figures at Target recently for $1 cheaper than usual (on sale this week), and opted to go with these rather than waste time and money later trying to “hunt” them down.

TMNT_original_comic_book_leonardo_front

I definitely like the look, and glad they’re “colorized” rather than being a black and white figure. The original comics may have been black-and-white, but that’s a factor of the medium, not the characters.

TMNT_original_comic_book_leonardo_profile

I’m also glad for the variant color scheme both on the front and backing of the package, making it extremely simple to look for these without having to touch every single figure on a peg.

I nearly put these back…but they were just way too cool to me to pass up. I just hope finding Raph and Don won’t be too much hassle…!

TMNT_original_comic_book_michelangelo_front

Of course, given the turtles all originally wore red masks, I may actually have to use these photos to keep the characters straight later, if they’re separated from their weapons.

TMNT_original_comic_book_michelangelo_profile

It’s also interesting to see the various different art styles on the packaging…I’m almost surprised they didn’t change up the logo to the classic, for these…but they’re still part of the “current” overall line of TMNT toys.

But of all the “variant” turtles…the Original Comic Book versions seem the most distinct, and by far the most “worthy” “variants” of all…at least to me!

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