Playmates continues to find new ways to sell more and more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys. Some of their ideas have been less than
inspired, like the Air Ninjas and Turbo Bashers. But occassionally they produce some very cool and interesting new items. One of the items
that they came up with this last holiday season was Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey. Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey is a 10.5", fully articulated figure
that comes with motorized skateboard. When you place the figure on the board and let it go, Mikey takes off until he crashing into something
and the figure goes flying off. Can a TMNT/Incredible Crash Dummies crossover be far off?
Packaging - 5/10Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey comes in a box very similar to those used for the giant figures and the Leo vs T-rex set. The front is occupied largely by a window which gives an easy view of both the figure and skateboard. One thing that many people may find strange is the fact that the packaging seems to highlight the skateboard above the figure. The board is mounted quite prominently within the box unlike the figure which is turned to the side and tucked in a corner. It makes it quite obvious that Playmates it looking to sell you the skateboard and not necessarily the figure. The back of the box shows several images of Mikey riding the skateboard as well as photos of the Tunneler, Battle Shell and Sewer Lid Launcher. The packaging is alright, but it really doesn't show off the figure well.
Sculpting - 5/10Mikey is a completely new sculpt. It isn't any more accurate to the show than the past ones, but at least since it is shorter it is closer to being 1:6 scale. Unlike the Giant figures which actually measure 12" tall, Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey is only about 10.5" tall. But since the Turtles are supposed to be short (about 5' tall) their figures should be about 10" in 1:6 scale. Of course, Mikey is so bulky that no one is likely to be displaying him with their 1:6 scale armies any time soon. The head is slightly out of proportion to the rest of the body though. It's too large. Otherwise the figure is on par with the other turtle scults we have gotten so far.
Paint - 5/10The paint on Mikey is clean and consistent, but not done with much attention to detail. The edges of the front shell (plastron) don't follow the lines of the sculpt. The rest of the lines, while not perfect, are at least on par for what one would expect from a mass market toy. The biggest drawback to Mikey is the fact that the green skin tone is not painted, it is the color of the plastic. But the plastic has a glossier finish than the paint used on the rest of the figure.
Articulation - 6/10Color me surprised. I passed up this figure for months thinking it would have the same lackluster articulation as the Giant figures. Only when I saw it on the clearance shelf did I bother to look closer. To my surprise, Mikey is quite well articulated. His thirty-one points of articulation includes:
Accessories - 10/10Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey comes with three accessories: two nunchukus and his skateboard. The nunchukus are really nice. Each is made of soft, rubbery material that is thick enough in the handles to hold their shape but soft enough to allow the chain to bend easily. Unless Playmates starts using actual chain, these are about as good as it is going to get. That is until you turn the figure around and see that they can be stored on the back of the belt. But it is the skateboard that is supposed to be the main draw. It looks nice, with plenty of detail to keep it from looking dull. And Playmates didn't skimp on the quality either. (More on that in the action feature section.) I only wish they had included a way of putting it in nuetral so that it could be used without the motor and batteries.
Action FeatureCrashin' Thrashin' Mikey has two action features, though one is pretty lame. In addition to the motorized skateboard, Mikey's neck can also be extended for a bobble feature. I have no idea why they bothered with the neck. There isn't enough weight in the head to make it bobble unless you throttle the figure. The real feature here is the skateboard which is essentially a stripped down RC car. When mikey is placed on the two pegs his feet press down on three buttons. The two under the back foot are kill switches and the board won't move until they are depressed. The one on the front is linked to the front bumper. Once the figure is in place and the power switch flicked to the 'on' position the skateboard takes off until it hits something. When the bumper stikes an object, the button under the front foot is pushed up, throwing the figure off. The feature can be used two ways. By default it just takes off in a straight line. But there is an slignment switch under the front axle which will turn the wheels either left or right and cause it to do 360's. The good thing is that Playmates used a regular 9.6 volt RC car motor in the board. As a result it is fast! Even on carpet Mikey will take off like a rocket. To be honest though, I don't know how much fun running Mikey into a wall over and over again is going to be in the long run. Playmates might as well have put in the extra stearing servo and a remote to create a full fledged RC.
Value - 7/10The retail price for Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey is $20. For that you are getting an improved version of the Giant figures and an incredibly powerful skateboard accessory. While ther is still room for improvement, this is a pretty cool set. And since it has been on shelves for some time now, it is even starting to hit clearance shelves in a few places. If you can find one for $15 like I did, it becomes an even better value.
Happy Hunting:Crashin' Thrashin' Mikey has been shipping since early late fall and should be readily available in most areas. Kmart, Target, Toys R Us and Wal-mart all carry it. I found it on clearance at a Wal-mart super center in Portage, WI but I don't believe it is being clearanced at all Wal-marts. Amazon.com has it available online.