And now for something completely different, TMNT Turbo Bashers. What is a Turbo Basher? Think TMNT crossed with Beyblade. They are Ninja
Turtle themed battling tops. Weird? Yes. A cool toy? Not so much.
Packaging - 5/10The Turbo Bashers line come packaged on a modified version of the basic card.The top is packaged loaded into the launcher and angled to minimize the amount of room needed. This also gives you a better view of the figure and the top of the top. The rip cord is packed behind everything else. The card itself is the same height as those for the carded figures, but about an inch wider. The same four head shots of the Turtles grace the top, but this time they are scaled down to the same size and spaced across the top. The back shows the various parts as well as photos of the tops in 'action'. There are also photos of the other Turbo Bashers at the bottom, but they are so small that the Turtles are only distinguishable by their names which are printed under each one. The packaging is pretty basic. It shows off the toys inside well but isn't that attractive.
Sculpting - 7/10Playmates put in a surprising amount of effort for the Turbo Bashers. The shredder figure seems to be the same sculpt as the Shredder mini figure. But all of the others received brand new sculpts. It is a great improvement for Leo and the other Turtles that is a big improvement since the new sculpts are actually accurate to the designs of the new show, except for Donatello's lack of a shoulder strap. The launchers for the tops are all identical. And the tops themselves reuse the same base for all of the Turtles and a second one for the two villians. The top of each top is unique to the character as are the weapons on the sides. While the Turbo Bashers don't excite me much, I really hope we see these sculpts reused for another series of mini figures this year.
Paint - 7/10For toys that are designed to be slammed together repeatedly, Playmates put a surprising amount of effort into the paint work. The figures on top are every bit as well painted as their mini figure counterparts, moreso in the case of the Turtles. With the exception of Donatello's, the tops themselves tend to be a bit lacking in color. The other three turtles' are all mostly silver with some accent colors. Shredder's and Zanramon's have a plain red underside with more elaborately painted top sides.
Articulation - 2/10Yes, the mini figures actually retain some of their articulation. Each figure has rotating shoulders and necks. Granted, the articulation is completely useless for a figure that is permanently mounted to a top. It doesn't even really make a difference in the tops' functions since the figures are designed to stay stationary while the tops spin. As for the tops themselves, each has four weapons mounted to the sides which flip out via centrifical force when the tops spin.
Accessories - 4/10Each Turbo Basher comes with a launcher base and a rip cord. The launchers are all identical, the only difference being the green color for the Turtles verses black for Shredder and Zanramon. Shredder and Zanramon's rip cords have handles formed in the shape of the Foot emblem while the Turtles's are shaped vaguely like a 'T'.
Action Feature - 2/10I don't know much about Beyblades or other fighting tops, but I sure hope they work better than the Turbo Bashers. The launchers work well enough, and the tops hold a spin reasonably well. Even if they hit something during the launch they will still manage at least a 15 or 20 second spin every time. The problem comes from two factors. First, there is no means of aiming these when they are launched. The guard on the launcher insures that they shouldn't flay back at the user, but just about anywhere else is fair game. Trying to actually hit something, like another top is next to impossible. The second part of the problem is that once launched, they are almost completely stationary. Each Turbo Basher has a thick rubber tip upon which it spins. The tip is mounted onto the axle on which the figure is mounted and the top spins. But the result is that wherever the Bashers land is where they stay. So if you don't manage to hit the tops together when launched, they just sit and spin harmlessly. Seems rather boring to me.
Value - 2/10The Turbo Bashers retail for between $10 and $12 each. As someone who isn't interested in fighting tops, I can't help but feel that you are buying a one dollar figure glued to a nine dollar hunk of plastic that doesn't really do what it was designed to do. The price tag does seem to be in line with the prices of other, similar toys, but I certainly hope they work better than the Turbo Bashers.
Happy Hunting:The Turbo Bashers are pretty widely available from most brick and mortar stores including Target, Wal-mart and Toys R Us. They are also available online through Amazon.com but the price is a bit higher at $12 each.