I'm still playing catch up on some of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle products that have been released in the last year.
Tonight's review covers another set of figures that wasn't widely available, the Mini Ripped Up Turtle figures. The
previous three series of mini figures were pretty impressive and a great value for a buck apiece or less. Unfortunately
they share next to nothing with this series beyond the mini title.
Packaging - 3/10The mini figures have always been a low cost toy line with the packaging to match. The Ripped Up series is no different. The figures are all packaged in front of the weight bench accessory and holding the barbell. The other accessories are neatly displayed around the figure. The cards are larger than any of the past mini figures to accommodate all of the accessories and the larger figures. The ugly orange background returns once again, hopefully for the last time. And there is little in the way of graphics to cover the background. Both the TMNT logo and Ripped Up logos are present on the top of the cards, but are very small. Playmates really should have placed the Ripped Up logo on the bubble and made the TMNT logo more prominent. As it is, both logos are somewhat overwhelmed by the background colors. The back of each card is printed in simple gray scale rather than full color. But they do show line art drawings for the figure and all of the accessories. There is also a small profile card for each turtle.
Sculpting - 1/10These things are ugly and completely out of scale with everything else. Not surprisingly, all four turtles use just one sculpt. The figures are considerably larger than the previous mini figures, standing about a third taller. The body is huge, dwarfing the head. It is marginally closer to being accurate to the cartoon design with a tied cloth belt and a more triangular shaped plastron shell on the front. But instead of looking ripped up, the body looks horribly bloated. It even has a very slight pot belly. Neither the arms or legs show any greater muscle mass or definition than any of the past figures. The feet are at least positioned well to provide a sturdy flat footed figure. But the arms are not well positioned. The arms bend inwards so that the hands are slightly less than the width of the head apart. That is too close together to look realistic when lifting the barbell either in a bench press or dead lift position. And of course they really limit the options for posing the figures with their weapons. The hands are too large compared to the rest of the arm. Not only does it make them look odd, they can't hold the accessories securely. The one saving grace to the arms is that the plastic is soft enough that it can be bent to force the hands further apart.
Paint - Michelangelo 3/10, others 5/10The paint work on the Mini Ripped Up figures is very basic. But generally they are well done. Each figure has a unique skin tone. The bandanas, pads, eyes, teeth and shells are all painted. But something went horribly wrong with my Michelangelo figure. The white for the teeth is all over the lips. The orange for his bandana is sloppy. There are a few stray marks by the knee pads. And they went past where the edge of the plastron should end on the bottom. Fortunately this doesn't seem to be the norm. But you should take a look at the figures closely before buying if at all possible.
Articulation - 2/10The Mini Ripped Up turtle figure have six rotating cut joints: hips, shoulders, wrists and neck. If you're wondering how that equals six, it is because the shoulders are joined together. The shoulders can move a few degrees independently of each other, but after that they rotate together. The hips can turn 360 degrees, but the only pose they are capable of is standing. Their only purpose is to allow some adjustment to compensate for the added weight of any accessories the figure is holding. The wrists rotate 360 degrees as well. But with the way the arms and hands are sculpted, most positions make the figures look like their wrists are broken.
Accessories - 4/10All of the Mini Ripped Up figures come with a weight bench, a large barbell, two large hand weights, a rack for the hand weights, and a pair of the character's signature weapon. (Except of course Donatello who has just one bo.) The figures deserve some credit for the sheer number of accessories, particularly since none of the past mini figures have had any. But the quality of the accessories leaves a lot to be desired. The weight bench and weight rack have no sculpting detail unless you count the impression for the turtles' shells on the bench. The weights themselves have some detail to them. But it tends to be overwhelmed by the molding lines and the monochrome silver paint. The large dumbbells are also extremely prone to bending and warping. The same is true of the weapons which are cast in a similar soft plastic. The weapons are a nice addition. But with the way the arms are positioned, Michelanglo is the only one that looks reasonably natural holding his weapon. And that is only with both hands holding either side of a single pair of nunchukas.
Action Feature - None
Value - 1/10The Ripped Up Mini figures are $2 or $3 depending upon where you find them. While that is quite a bit cheaper than the full size figures, it is a sharp increase from the $1 each of the previous three series of mini figures. With the bigger scale and the addition of accessories, a price jump is to be expected. But in the end, no part of the Mini Ripped Up turtle figures turned out well. And the final products just don't have anything going for them.
Happy Hunting:Like the previous mini figures, the Ripped Up series hasn't been available from most toy stores. I found them at a Family Dollar store and have since seen them at Dollar General stores as well. Those two stores seem to be the source of most of the sightings, but it may also be worth checking grocery or drug stores or any place that sells similar low price toys.