Battle Nexus TMNT

Time for yet another TMNT review that I have been putting off for way too long, the Turtles in their Battle Nexus armor. If you are wondering what armor I'm talking about because you don't remember them wearing any in the show, you're right they didn't. Of course, that didn't stop Playmates from creating figures of them wearing some. So are they worth picking up? Well that depends on what you want to see in your Turtle figures.

Packaging - 5/10

This may be the last wave of Turtle variants to come in the original style packaging. Aside from the ugly background, I like the packaging. Due to the large size of the armor, the figures are restricted to a standing pose. Their weapons and additional armor are also visible. Each turtle has an individual card with their head at the top. This makes it much easier to find a particular figure on the pegs. The back of the cards have photos of all four Battle Nexus Turtles, a file card and a couple of sentences about the Battle Nexus tournament. The complete lack of any real detail about the Battle Nexus is a pretty strong indication that Playmates had no real idea what the Battle Nexus was going to be when they designed these figures.

Sculpting - 4/10

All four figures share the same body. While it isn't any better than the previous bodies in terms of likeness, it isn't too bad. The shoulders slump too much. The shell also sticks up a little too far in the back in order to give the armor some place to clip. The shells have the etched texturing which is done to excess. The head sculpts are nothing special either. They are new sculpts, but not any more accurate than the previous ones. They also don't offer anything unique in terms of expressions, just more snarls and a smile for Mikey. The one improvement that was wade was a return to hands sculpted to hold the weapons. But the figures also have a drawback in that they all have the same black belt. So Leo and Don are missing their shoulder straps and none of them have a means to hold their weapons.

Paint - 4/10

The paint work on all four figures are minimal. But the quality is generally pretty strong. The only spot where I noticed room for improvement was the teeth. Leo, Raph and Don all have a slight gap between their upper and lower teeth but the entire mouth was painted white. It is a minor problem for Raph where the gap is smaller, but the solid white line across the mouth on Don and Leo almost look like braces. The choice of black belts when all of the other pads are the traditional brown is slightly odd.

Articulation - 5/10

These are actually the best figures yet of the turtles themselves in terms of the quality of the articulation, though not the quantity. Each has nineteen points of articulation:
  • ball jointed neck
  • rotating and hinged shoulders
  • rotating elbows (just above the elbows)
  • rotating wrists
  • rotating and hinged hips
  • hinged knees
  • hinged and rotating ankles
They lose the toe joints and hinged fingers from the fighting gear figures, but that is hardly a lose, more of an improvement. But the range of motion on these figures is still pretty average by today's standards. The heads are on ball joints but have only minimal movement beyond a standard rotating joint. The arms have a better range of motion than the past figures, especially their ability to sit at the figures' side. But they still can't straighten their arms. But it is the leg articulation which is the biggest drawback. The hip joints are improving, but the hip/knee combination plus the slight bow in the leg sculpt keep the figures from even standing up straight.

Accessories - Don 4/10, others 5/10

Each of the Battle Nexus Turtles come with an oversized set of shoulder pads with an attached cape, a single shin guard, a single wrist guard and a stylized/slightly futuristic version of their signature weapons. The shoulder pads fall into the same category as the armor for the Knight Ninja figures, an excuse to add bright shiny objects to each figure. They are not bad per say, just so completely out of character for the turtles that it is almost funny. The capes are actually removable, but incredibly difficult to reattach. The shin and wrist guards are purely decorative, and will likely either be lost or tossed aside by most people. The shin guards at least attach securely, where as the wrist guards are prone to popping off. But they all interfere with the articulation. I do like the weapons, Leonardo's and Raphael's in particular. They have more elaborate look, as if they were for ceremonial purposes. Michelangelo's chuks aren't as nice, but deserve extra consideration for having an actual string to connect the ends. Donatello's bo suffers the same problem as Mikey's chuks, when you take an item that is as simple as a stick, or two sticks tied together, and try to make them look complex they tend to look silly. Don's bo looks like a pugilist stick (the big padded Q-tip looking things they use in military training) but with the padding removed. (Insert quote from the first episode of The Simpsons. "Hey doc, these things would work a lot better if you took the padding off.")

Value - 4/10

At around $5 at most stores and under $7 at even the most expensive stores, the TMNT line offers one of the best values for your dollar in the action figure market today. Unfortunately the Battle Nexus figures have little to nothing about them to set them apart from the previous versions of the green teens that are already on the pegs. Despite the title, they don't even have a basis in the cartoon. The changes to the articulation is an improvement, but the generic black belts offset the improvement.

Happy Hunting:

The Battle Nexus Turtles have been out for some time and should be readily available anywhere the TMNT line is sold, so just about everywhere: Target, Wal-mart, K-mart, Shopko, Meijers, Walgreens, your local grocery store, that shady guy standing on the corner, etc... If you prefer online options, you may be disappointed. This line actually seems to be so prevalent at regular retail that most online stores don't carry it. is probably your best, most reliable option to find them at a reasonable price.

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