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NECA TMNT ’80s Cartoon Two-Packs

Life’s been its own brand of crazy the last couple months. So I’m only now–a MONTH after the fact–getting around to sharing these cool purchases!

I’ve been AWARE OF the NECA brand since 2010 or 2011…whenever they did the Mirage Comics-style turtles, before the 2012 line for the Nickelodeon 2012 show was out from Playmates.

Having recently (finally) bought the Raphael and then Leo & Mikey 1/4-scale figures, these 2-packs from Target were not a terrible stretch…though it was a LOT to spend in such a short time-frame. But they served as a sort of "retail therapy" or such.

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I’m not the greatest fan of the 1980s cartoon. For a time, I actually held a fair bit "against" it, though as the IDW comics have continued and have incorporated elements, stuff has been somewhat "redeemed" and I’ve come to appreciate its place in history–in general and of the TMNT property in general. And these 2-packs made for a decent "set" of figures…that’s certainly one thing about the TMNT stuff–it’s totally geared for sets of 4 with the main characters!

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Leonardo and Shredder make for a good pairing here. All the 2-packs are one turtle and one villain. So of course, matching the "leaders" up works quite well on a number of levels! 

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While the front of the boxes are showing off the figures themselves, the backs show a staged photo, a short description, as well as the other 3 boxes available for this "wave" of figures! 

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Donatello and Krang are the "brains" of their respective groups…Krang pretty literally so. That makes these a good matchup as well. The walker contraption Krang rides in–from the earliest episodes of the ’80s cartoon–is roughly the same height as the classic Playmates figure…though Krang himself is a lot smaller here and more proportionate. 

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Back of the box showing Donnie poised to tip Krang right on over… 

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Though Raphael has come to be my favorite turtle as an adult, his 2-pack has him and "just" a Foot ninja. I’ve never been overly keen on this version of the Foot–mindless robots just seem like they shouldn’t be a threat whatsoever. And generally they were not MUCH of one, just a delaying tactic. Still, the poseability on the NECA figure(s) makes this far, FAR superior to the classic Playmates iteration! 

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Cliché as it is, there IS the classic line from Raph’s first encounter with the Foot bots. "Klang?!? Did you say–‘Klang’?"

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Michelangelo also comes with a Foot bot, that seems basically the same as the one with Raph. Though it would seem a someone generic thing to have half the packs come with these…it also actually, truly makes sense as the Foot bots ARE generic and to just have one is to defeat the point of having generic minions. And as these are a much better quality, I’m glad TO have two, although I’d have also been rather happy if these came in their own 2-pack, so that their slots could be filled with other characters!

Of course, I believe I saw stuff coming out of the one toy convention that NECA has upcoming plans for Bebop and Rocksteady. And if they come in 2-packs like these…I’d be grateful to get the pair as their own pack. But if there’s to be more hero vs villain foolery to further induce buying of multiple packs…I’d take April and Splinter with them, and/or Casey Jones! 

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Here we have the back of the pack with Mikey gut-kicking his Foot bot.

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I like the sides of the packages. One side shows each of the turtles…

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…while the other side shows the villain that turtle’s paired with!

The packs are definitely quite attractive as-is. But these being TMNT, I "couldn’t" just leave them in their boxes. So I did get them out. However, the photos of the unboxed figures will have to wait for another post!

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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:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_profile


Donatello:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_don_profile


Michelangelo:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_mike_profile


Splinter:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_profile


April:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_profile


Meat Sweats:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_profile


Baron Draxum:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_profile


Origami Ninja:

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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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New Rise of the TMNT Figures are Out

For the first time in over six years…there’s a new "main" line of TMNT toys out.

BEING that it is the Ninja Turtles–my core "exception" on stuff in comics–that bleeds a bit into the toys.

I’m not a fan of Rise of the TMNT. I was NEVER the best at "keeping up" with the 2012 animated series–nor ANY animated series, PERIOD, in the last 15 years or so, no matter how much I love the series itself. But I’ve always HATED the "optics" of Rise–namely, that the 2012 series was flat-out cancelled TO MAKE WAY FOR this new series. Whether that was actually the case or not, I don’t know–but it’s certainly how I FEEL on the thing.

I watched the first episode some time back now, it was "free"–and while it wasn’t as "bad" as I’d expected (perhaps my view has softened since I watched it), I did not like it, and I really do not like a number of elements from it, particularly the character designs.

But somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that when the new toys came out, I’d probably "at least" try getting Raphael. "Traditionally" Leonardo was always my favorite of the turtles, and the one I’d claim as a kid and growing up. But over the last 10-15 years, I’ve found a newer preference for Raphael.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_front

So I did indeed go ahead and get Raphael, finding the figure available this weekend at a local-ish Walmart.

And on the surface, the figure itself doesn’t look totally horrid or such…this one, at least, actually more or less looks like a decent TMNT figure, albeit the character does not come with the sais that have been associated with this character for 34 years. But the "new/different weapons" thing is a whole other matter I’m not getting much into right now.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_back

The back of the figure is more or less what I would expect, if slightly more basic-looking. The bulk of the back is the "profile" of the character. It makes sense of course, for that to dominate…it just seems almost "too" dominant to me. With a new series, new toy line, I’d somewhat expect the part showing the figures available in this first wave to be a bit bigger, to better emphasize and show off THAT there are other figures!

Even so, I’m not enamored with most of these other figures as shown. Leonardo is dominated by the giant sword and seems scrawny; as does Donatello with a more proportionate staff weapon; and Michelangelo also seems rather scrawny for a Ninja Turtle.

I’ll be curious about Splinter as he looks rather small, but could be interesting.

This is the first "main" TMNT toy line that I’m aware of that has NOT included a Shredder in its premiere wave. On one hand, that’s a bit refreshing; on the other–and in context of these toys–I find it rather lame.

The butcher character might be interesting for size…it looks like a nice, bulky character that’ll at least be worth its price for that bulk; where the ninja doesn’t look like it’ll even stand on its own.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_profile

As a TMNT guy, as a collector…not having a Shredder and not having any Foot ninjas does this line a real disservice. I’m not invested in any of the villains…and with neither Shredder nor Foot, there’s not even the notion of having a new version to "match up with" the previous versions.

I’m reluctant on the other turtles, but have NOT ruled out the idea with myself that I’ll get the other turtles and Splinter to at least have the "set."

I appreciate the idea of having new characters and NOT merely regurgitating the past. That said…I’m NOT invested in the new show. I’m not invested in the particular new characters. I may get the other three turtles and Splinter–at least eventually–but I don’t really see getting much into this iteration of the toy line.

I could wind up eating those words, though.

Time will tell.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 18, 2018

This was a small week comics-wise!

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New Batman, first issue of Archie Meets Batman ’66, a #0-issue for Rise of the TMNT, and the second issue of The Magic Order. I either haven’t read #1 yet despite buying it, or have totally forgotten it already, but went ahead and picked up #2 to be sure to have it. Whether I’d go on to a 3rd issue remains to be seen!


I ended up splurging on some new DuckTales stuff this week:

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I was VERRRRRRRY glad to find that Launchpad is available as a single-figure card, and NOT exclusive to the Suncatcher (plane) playset, and got him, as well as Flintheart Glomgold.

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Larger view of Launchpad…

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Larger view of Glomgold…

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I also went ahead and bought the Target-exclusive 10-inch Scrooge McDuck Pop vinyl (From Funko. Not being much of a statues guy, this one struck me as "statuesque" and though it’s not my favorite interpretation of Scrooge, I like it for what it is.

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The cats didn’t know what to make of Scrooge, though, and both came over to check him out before I could even get him outta the box!

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Sarah took off after determining that he wasn’t food, treat, nor comics to lay on. Chloe settled in to ask how she might obtain the same sort of financial success as Scrooge…

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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…)

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The Death of the Super-Blog Team Up Aftermath (and Usagi Yojimbo)

Yesterday was my first foray into the Super-Blog Team Up, invited in by fellow blogger Chris Sheehan (of Chris is on Infinite Earths).

I had a blast working on my contribution, looking at The Death of the Mighty Mutanimals, and sharing my history with the Mutanimals, and how that all came together.

It was also probably the most prep-work I’ve done for any single writing project since my grad school days.

And while right now it’s two posts, two days in a row…I wanted to post again with links to the rest of the Super-Blog Team-Up from this outing.

 

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#RIPSBTU, #SBTU, #SuperBlogTeamUp


I also recently (finally!!) managed to find the newest Usagi Yojimbo action figure, part of the Tales of the TMNT re-branding of Nickelodeon‘s series that’s been running since 2012!

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Above–"classic" Usagi from the ’80s line; Usagi from the 2003 line; and "current" or "modern" Usagi fresh off a peg.

It’s a sort of relief to finally have found the figure, after weeks of too-frequent stops in Targets and Walmarts and venturing to further-away locations, and same for Toys R Us and such, hoping to find the figure.

Now I can sit back and not "worry" about finding it or "missing out" if the figures suddenly disappear from stores with the animated series ending.

Posing the figures for the photo with a fairly intentional background also reminds me that there are three more volumes of The Usagi Yojimbo Saga I want; though I’ve yet to make the time to actually sit down and read any of them yet.

Perhaps I’ll get into more on stuff later.

TMNT Toys – Armaggon

For me, at least, looking at the TMNT toys has become boring and stale–already having all the figures I’m interested in, or not willing to play the hunting game to get several that as a group justify each other (such as the frogs and I just can’t get behind this version of Mondo Gecko, and I’m still waiting for Man Ray…)

However, the other day I stumbled across one that I hadn’t even thought about being made (or had forgotten), but is truly a no-brainer for me on getting–I didn’t want to spend the money just then, but dreaded the hassles and gas money driving all over the place hunting it down later:

Armaggon.

Granted, the toy is based on a derivative version of the actual character I’d want, but it’s better than nothing.

mighty_mutanimals_0007     tmnt_adventures_0043

The character was a villain introduced in the Archie TMNT Adventures continuity, first in a fight with Man Ray and then a 3-issue story The Future Shark Trilogy. The character was also revealed to have been working with a version of Shredder and another villain, Verminator-X (also from the future)…all of which was part of a relatively long-running element of the "future turtles," including the Cyber Samurai TMNT.

I always liked the villain, and was rather disappointed at the version concocted for the current tv series.

Still, as said–better something than nothing!

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Here’s the front of the packaging…

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and here’s the "profile card" for the figure–I’m glad they’re still doing these on the backs! Not as cool as the file cards on the 1980s/1990s line, but again, better than nothing!

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And the full card back. I’m reminded that I still have not picked up any version of Rahzar…though with no Tokka equivalent, not as much interest. Plus, I already got Dogpound, so…yeah.

I wouldn’t mind getting Mondo Gecko eventually, I just don’t like this version of the character. Similar for Napoleon Bonafrog.

Of actual interest to me on this cardback, though, is a human version of Karai, that I’d actually be interested in owning (unlike the Karai Serpent released in the past).

Kinda hard to believe this line’s crossed the 4-year mark!

Hopefully we get some more new figures, and hopefully it is not hurt on the whole by the "integration" of the movie line…

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