27 total parts come in Noboto Ao. He might look like a familiar face - the color scheme and head deco recall a popular character from a comic book, TV show, movie, video game, and so on. But who? Well, it's Leonardo. There, I spoiled it for the none of you who didn't already figure this out. What's fascinating is that the figure is just a redecorated Noboto - an Onell Designs character which has been around for years. The generous slathering of pigment on a green body with added bonus grey weapons courtesy of the Robo Force molds completes the look, giving you the turtliest member of the Turtle Club yet.
In its natural state, you've got a figure with 14 points of articulation. There are some clever cuts in here, as the shoulders are done at a slight angle so you can swivel the arms out for cooler battle poses. The legs swing forward nicely, and the various bits and pieces are painted to look like gloves and knee pads. The body has a little deco to make it look like a shell, and a dark brown backpack completes the effect. Painting a blue stripe around the head gives the appearance of a mask, plus you've got a belt. It functions as a belt. If that weren't enough you've got an alternate head that looks vaguely like a Skrull. It won't do much good here, but it's a nice bonus. I had a little difficulty fighting the faux katanas into Ao's fists, but they do fit - it's just a little tricky to cram them in there for some reason.
It's weird to see figures basically in costume as another figure... but it's compelling. I don't need more Noboto toys, and I don't need more Ninja Turtles toys. But Noboto dressed as a Teenage Mutant? OK. Times four? ...fine, OK. It'll go well with Callgrim Bobaran. I just need an even better Samus or Mario Glyos-compatible figure now. As an added bonus, the weapons are also reconfigurable - you can change the swords to guns. We know Leo doesn't like guns, but this is Ao, and Ao does what Ao wants.
The roughly 2 3/4-inch figure is a tribute to years gone bye and franchises eternal, also the fascinating realm of how you can't copyright colors on figures so easily. You know what this is - but it's not a turtle, and it uses no trademarks. It's sturdy and durable, fully capable of being dismantled at each point of articulation. It's also devastatingly clever - the drop had Bebop and Rocksteady made from Armorvor figures, plus Shredder and a Foot Soldier out of Glyninjas. It's a shame we didn't get a Noboto Krang, but I guess we've always got next year's Halloween drop. (Clear plastic figure, painted like crazy, bingo.)
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