As a long time TMNT fan I've noticed that Playmates Toys has a habit of getting a
popular line and immediately trying to turn it into multiple lines. Generally their
results are less than steller. So when the new line of TMNT figures hit, it wasn't
much of a surprise when Playmates tried to spin it off into several smaller lines,
including the subject of tonight's reveiw: the mini TMNT figures.
Packaging - 3/10These are very plain packages. The cards have the same style as the full size line with the new logo at the top and Playmates' and the Fox Box's logos on the bottom. The figures are in a plain bubble with their name printed on a sticker on the bubble. While the front is simple, the backs are positively generic. It is simple black and white with drawings of the eight characters. All of the figures have the same card except for the four pack which doesn't have April shown on the back. Also, for variation hunters, the single carded figures I purchased from Family Dollar have a price sticker preprinted on them, a feature I haven't seen on the sets being offered on eBay.
Sculpting - Turtles: 4/10 Others 7/10How good can a two inch figure look? Pretty good actually. The Turtles take a substantial hit since all four share the same mold and it is a reused mold at that. These are the same figures as the ones included in the Muta-Force figures from the late ninties. There is a slight difference both in the size and mold lines from the earlier versions. The new ones also have a matte finish verses the gloss finish of the Muta-Force figures and they don't have the lettered belt buckles.
The second series figures, Splinter, April, Shredder and Foot Soldier are the real stars of the line. They look like the larger figures had been shrunk down but are completely new sculpts.
Paint - Splinter:8/10 others:7/10The paint isn't very complex here, especially on the Turtles themselves. But it is neat, clean and consistent. Even on April, Shredder and the Foot Soldier who have more complex paint jobs turned out well. Splinter gets an extra point here for having such a difficult canvas to begin with both his fur and robe are textured and for a few extra touches like the painted eyebrows.
Articulation - 3/10The figures all have five points of articulation, hips, shoulders and neck. That's not great, but on a figure of this size it is about all they can do.
Accessories - 0/10There are no accessories. I can understand that for the non turtles, but Playmates could have used their existing molds such as from the Ninja Shooters to include the signature weapons for the Turtles.
Value - 8/10This don't measure up well to the regular figures. But at a dollar a piece for the individual figures and $5 or less for the four pack these are a real steal if you can find them.
Happy Hunting:These haven't been to popular with retailers. I found the four pack at a local grocery store, Cub Foods, and the single packs at Family Dollar. Most of the reports I've heard so far have been from discount stores or 'everything's a dollar' type stores. For those looking for a real rarity, the four turtles were also made into keychains and given away by Playmates to those that attended Toy Fair in 2003. (see picture at right) You couldn't buy them, but promotional items like these tend to surface on eBay from time to time.