Classics Raphael Inspired By The Original TMNT Animated Series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Action Figure
Item No.: Asst. 91080 No. 91083 Manufacturer:Playmates Includes: 2 sai, sewer stand Action Feature:n/a Retail:$16.99 Availability:August 2012 Other: Came and went pretty quickly, also came back
When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics hit in 2012 I was deliriously excited. Raphael and his casemates were on an endcap at Toys R Us and I snagged them all - not quite g.shtmling my own feelings that super-articulated figures tend to be bought, opened, posed, and left alone on a shelf. Since these figures were quite well made, it was easy to find a good pose, set it, and forget it for two years. This is one reason I champion cheaper toys - figures as toys, mainly - because your costs are kept down and they're fun to play with. Most super-articulated toys make the transition to statue once an optimal pose is found, and Raphael was no exception. Were it a Kenner-style 5-joint figure I'd probably be playing with it all the damn time, rather than let it guard my shelf of graphic novels.
Standing over 6-inches tall, this may well be the finest figure in this scale available for the money. And since they're all the same buck with a new head and accessories you really don't need them all. Raph looks the angriest of his brothers, with a serious brow and gritted teeth. The belt has the 1980s-style cartoon/toy "R" on the belt - a handy device in helping keep them straight - plus loops to store his sai weapons. They fit on the hands exceptionally well, courtesy of the individually articulated fingers. The bend-and-swivel thumb is joined by bending fingers, making this the best in its size class in terms of accessory compatibility. It's not merely good - this is a style other companies should observe and borrow from liberally.
The coloring and sculpt look a lot like a cross between the 1980s cartoon, the 1980s action figure, and the 1980s marketing art. He's not quite cute, but close. The grimmer.shtmlects of the comics are gone, as we have actual pupils in his head plus a fairly flat color finish. It looks as good as or better than the toys in your memory, with better articulation and no over-the-top bulging veins sculpted in their arms. I always hated that, so this figure seems like the ultimate refinement of the 1980s Playmates aesthetic. For that reason it is also a little boring, simply because they got it right the first time. So many companies make a mistake or two and keep improving over time, but with few villains and no vehicles this is indeed it. Get it, or don't.
With 4 Turtles in 2012, Bebop and Rocksteady in limited supply late in 2013, and no Shredder or new characters slated for 2014 the line is kind of a high-profile dud. These are high-quality figures that aren't much fun as toys but may be one of the best desk figures you can buy. If you can't stop futzing with your figures it's a keeper - but it's not as fun as a Xevoz guy or something with more options. You get your ninja fight poses, and you're basically done. These figures reappeared a couple of times in 2013 and "movie edition" Turtles based on the 1990 movies are due shortly, but it feels like the line is dead after each new series hit. There's no future planning, and it seems the most important thing any toy line can do these days is let their fans know there's more coming down the road. There isn't here. Still, if you're one of the fans that can simply enjoy what they have - hahahahahah. Heh. Oh, I kill me.
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