It's fall and a new season of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon is starting. Of course, with the new season comes
new action figures. There are several themed sets of the four turtles that have already been released including the
Robo Hunters and Monster Hunters.
And hitting shelves now are the Mystic Fury turtles. What are Mystic Fury figures? Well it's the four turtles with a new
set of weapons exaggerated head sculpts and odd body tattoos.
Packaging - 7/10The new packaging continues. I'm still trying to decide if I actually like the new design as much as it seems or if I just hated the old design that much. Playmates did a nice job of keeping the best aspects of the old design while improving on it. The bubble has been given some contouring to resemble a shell. The positioning of the figures isn't very exciting, but they made some effort to pose the figures and both the figures and accessories are easily visible. The skyline insert at the bottom gives both the character name. The card itself does away with the individual turtle head at the top in favor of each turtle in a circle next to their name and the TMNT logo. While it might take a little adjusting, the new design still allows one to easily search for a particular Turtle even on crowded store pegs. The back of the cards does away with the file cards in favor of larger photos of the figures and some photos of the recent vehicle releases. Playmates did at least save the individual write-ups for each character from the profile cards, though in a shortened form. They now take the place of what used to be generic text at the top of each card. It's sad to see the profile cards dropped since they have been a part of the line for eighteen years now. But the new design is still a welcome improvement over the old one.
Sculpting - Donatello 3/10, Michelangelo 5/10, Leonardo & Raphael 7/10The Mystic Fury figures reuse the same fighting gear bodies that we have seen several times over already. They also share the same basic belt with no loops to hold their weapons. The only real sculpting changes are the new head sculpts. Each Turtle got a completely new head with an exaggerated expression and longer bandanas. The bandanas are a nice change. The extra length is a big improvement. But the frayed style doesn't match the rest of the belts or pads. The sneer on Leonardo's face and Raphael's open mouth work well for the characters and are nicely sculpted. I don't even mind Michelangelo's silly expression with his tongue sticking out since it isn't out of place for him. But the expression on Donatello is just out of place. He looks like Leatherhead just broke wind after spending all night eating Taco Bell with Mikey with his brow furled and nose/beak curled up slightly. I like the idea of getting some more expressive head sculpts, but this certainly wouldn't have been my first choice, or my second, or third, or twentieth.
I should also note that Michelangelo looks to have had a bit of an industrial accident. Part of his right arm was shaved off. I'm sure this is simply an random fluke of bad luck as I have not seen such a problem with any of the past figures or on any of the other Mystic Fury Michelangelo figures I have seen.
Paint - 3/10The paint work on these figures is very important since the tattoos are the primary difference between the Mystic Fury figures and all of the past versions four Turtles. Generally they turned out quite well. The lines are clean and there is no sloppiness on the bodies. One thing which I'm not particularly fond of is the highlighting for the tattoos. They outlined one side of each tattoo with black paint. Where it is used, the affect is terrific. But since they only outlined one side of each tattoo, the other side seems slightly incomplete. I should also note that the tattoos don't continue all the way around the arms or legs on Leonardo, Michelangelo or Raphael. (For some reason they do wrap around on Donatello.) This means that from behind the Mystic Fury figures look like any of the previous versions. It also means that I cannot use my usual trick of turning the upper arm around 180 degrees to get the arms to hang closer to the body. While the paint for the bodies turned out well, the paint for the mouths is pretty sloppy. I can understand that to some extent due to the confined space within the mouths. But even the white for the teeth doesn't follow the lines of the sculpt correctly.
(Oh, in case you were wondering, Michelangelo's left eye is not supposed to be painted white. It isn't an error in the paint.)
Articulation - 5/10All four figures have the same twenty three points of articulation:
Accessories - 5/10Each figure comes with two sets of their signature weapon, one traditional one and a more stylized one. The inclusion of the old style weapons is a nice touch, but it is really the new weapons that are more important. They are nicely sculpted and the paint work is decent. But the new weapons are slightly bulkier than the old ones which makes them even harder for the hinged figures to hold.
Action Feature - NAThe Mystic Fury figures don't have any action features at all.
Value - Donatello 3/10, others 4/10The Mystic Fury figures are part of the basic assortment of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures. That means they are going to run between $4.50 and $6 in most stores. None of the Mystic Fury figures have much to justify buying yet another set of figures. but Donatello, with his terrible expression, may be best left on the peg hooks. At the very least it might be worth waiting for a clearance or sale this holiday season.
Happy Hunting:The Mystic Fury figures are shipping now to most stores. I have seen them at all three major toy retailers in this area: Target, Wal-mart and Toys R Us. It's quite likely that they will be available even more widely during the holiday season. Right now I don't know of any online options, but both Amazon.com and Walmart.com generally stock the TMNT line and will probably have the figures listed in the future.