Toy companies love to cash in on a license. In many cases their efforts to fully exploit a license leads to sublines like
Playmates' Mutation figures or Ninja
Action figures. But another favorite tactic for toy companies is to produce toy for the license in a variety of sizes.
And Playmates is no different. Most people have seen the Giant Turtle figures, but Playmates has a third scale of figures
going too, TMNT mini-figures. Your favorite Turlte in a convinient two inch size. The third series of mini figures came
out during the holiday season: the four turtles in their Fighting Gear armor.
Packaging - 3/10The packaging for the mini figures is a simplified version of the cards for the regular figures. The figures are packed in a small plastic blister that is just big enough to hold the figure. There is a sticker across the bottom of the blister with the character's name. The cards themselves are generic. There is the TMNT logo as well the Fightin' Gear logo on the usualy orange and yellow background. The back of the card is printed in black and white with drawings of the four figures, the TMNT logo and the usual legal fine print. Functionality is the name of the game here. The packaging is certainly no frills but it works.
Sculpting - 8/10It is quite remarkable the amount of detail on such small figures. These are completely new sculpts with both the armor and weapons sculpted onto the figures or sculpted as a seperate piece and then glued into place. The detail of the armor is remarkable. They did make some odd choices regarding the poses. Donatello's pose in particular is odd, with both arms sticking out to the sides holding out both his regular and Fighting Gear style bo staffs. The position of the staffs doesn't seem particularly well suited for either fighting or none fighting poses. The sculpt for Raphael's shoulder pads is also a bit annoying as both are designed to just fit between the front and back parts of the shell. As a result they make moving the arms all but impossible.
Paint - 6/10The paint work on all four figures is quite well down, especially for their size. Playmates didn't cut corners as they do with the full sized figures. While not all of the details are painted, the only detail that is noticably absent is the lettering on Michelangelo's stop sign shoulder pads which does leave them looking slightly plain.
Articulation - Raph 1/10, others 3/10Each figure has five joints: neck, shoulders and hips. The hip articulation's usefullness is limited to being adjusted to allow the figures to stand. Other than Raphael, the articulation allows some range of movement but not much. Raphael falls flat in this area because the shoulder pads on both sides are sculpted in such a way that the figure's arms can't be moved move than a fraction of a degree.
Accessories - 0/10There are no accessories for the mini figures. No accessories = no score.
Value - 6/10Most places that have been carrying the mini figures have been charging a mere dollar per figure. I wouldn't suggest shelling out much more than that, but for $1 a pop these make a decent addition to most collections.
Happy Hunting:I only know of one chain that has been stocking the newest mini figures, Family Dollar. The don't offer online shopping, but you can find a store near you from their site. Walgreens had been carrying the line in the past, so they may be worth a look the next time you are out and about.