Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates
Item No.: No. TBD Manufacturer:Super7 Includes:8 total hands, 2 total heads, fully-loaded weapons rack, fully-painted weapons, Turtlecoms open and closed, pizza slice, painted and unpainted sais,... it's a lot Action Feature:Swap out hands, head Retail:$45.00 Availability: August 2020 Other: Pre-order, wait a year
As a kid I loved the green teens on TV and in the comics. I got the original Raphael but I had issues with some of those original Turtles - in hindsight you got a lot for your money, but they were weirdly veiny and posed in ways that made them oddballs when it came to posing them or putting them around vehicles. This 2020 figure seems to try to remedy that by giving you 31 points of articulation - a big improvement. Of course, the last time those guys were sold at Toys R Us, the reissues were about $10 - and this is $45. And yes there's 4.5 times as much complexity here easily.
This figure is to Playmates' old line what Mattel's (and of course Super7's) Masters of the Universe Classics were to those figures. 7-inch scale, lots of detail, lots of articulation... and in some cases, an abundance of gear. I would go as far as to say it's an excess - three sets of sais? Eight pairs of hands, two of which seem identical - and some are the same, but with a different kind of joint to move in another direction? You don't need this much stuff, and you should probably get a little box so you don't lose it all. Even with the weapons rack, you're going to want to buy a fishing tackle box or something to keep this stuff together.
For what ever reason, Super7 and The Four Horsemen managed to capture a look that both recalls the original Playmates toy, but also doesn't look quite as chunky. That's a challenge - but one the Horsemen have pulled off literally hundreds of times.
Right out of the box, you get a great standard Raphael figure with the bells and whistles you remember from the late 1980s. The slot on the back of the belt is there for the knives, and there's storage for his sais up front. Each hand can grip the weapons, and there's a ton of articulation. His head is modeled after the original action figure, with both sides of his mouth open showing his clenched teeth. The lines between the teeth are unpainted, but there's no shortage of amazing detail in the cloth for the belt or the texture on the shell. There's a ton of painted detail on the body too, plus some on the shell and the bands. Thanks to the big feet of this figure, he has no problems standing up in a number of action poses, too.
An alternate head - I'm not quite sure where it came from, it doesn't quite match the vintage cardback art or the comics, but it does look good - gives you a more complex take on Raphael. In many respects it looks like the toy head without the limits imposed by manufacturing or sculpting in the 1980s - the mouth is more expressive, the face has more wrinkles, and the eyes are a little less toylike. It's pretty amazing to see how Super7 had the budget - or also got fans to budget - for multiple looks ranging from "1988, but with joints" to a newer, fancier thing with better paint inspired by the original. I still think it's accessory overkill and maybe they could've cut $5 off of this thing, but I don't deny that your $45 got you a lot of plastic... if you pre-ordered.
It's not perfect - on my sample, the left arm is a little bit loose and it looks like the belt was coming unglued (or tore) in the back before I even opened it. I assume and hope these will be fixed with future figures, but it's nothing that ruins the toy just yet. The belt also seems a little rubbery and, if you're not careful, I bet it'll crack with time. Or even if you are careful - it's very tight and it doesn't seem to be removable like the originals.
This figure's release is, to say the least, a long-awaited drop. Several companies have put out the turtles in various styles, and it's almost overkill to see yet another line - but this is the first one focused on updating those original toys, and the Super7 pre-order windows required a pretty hefty buy-in before the first figure even shipped. Thankfully, they're all very good so far - but you might have to scramble to get the ones you missed. Just be careful to not lose the parts.
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