Playmates has come up with some strange ideas over the years. Last year we had Leonardo fighting a T-rex from the old
Primal Rage toy line. And now it is Raphael's turn as he faces off with the yeti. While it certainly seems like a
strange concept, the yeti has technically been a part of the TMNT universe in the past. In the Archie comic books,
Splinter met a yeti character. Of course this set has absolutely nothing to do with that story.
Packaging - 5/10The Raph verses yeti set uses the same packaging as the previous Leonardo vs T-Rex set with a graphic overhaul. The box uses the new graphics with the black stripes along the top and bottom. The TMNT:Mutants and Monsters logo is at the bottom under the window. The back has photos of the two figures as well as small photos of the Combat Warrior figures and the Leo vs. T-rex set. There is a brief paragraph with a back story, but not a very good one. The interior is the same as the Leo vs. T-rex set right down to the cardboard pedestal for Raph to stand on. The background has a snowy backdrop with some icicles hanging from the top that is way too festive looking. The way the figures are packaged doesn't make them look like opponents either.
Sculpting - 4/10Just as with the Leonardo vs T-rex set, this set is made up entirely of reused pieces. Raphael uses the fighting gear body once again. By now most fans should be quite familiar with it. The yeti is the main point of interest in the set. It is a reused mold from the old Primal Rage line. Even after all of these years, it still looks pretty good. Unfortunately it doesn't really look much like a yeti. Of course no one knows exactly what a yeti does look like, but I generally think of them as being more human like in form than this figure. It also seems unlikely that a mountain dwelling creature such as a yeti would have a bare chest.
Paint - 7/10The paint work on Raphael is very simple: pads, belt, shell, teeth, bandana and eyes. They didn't attempt to do any shading or paint washes. While there is some value in having a clean figure, I do wonder if they couldn't have used a bit of white paint to add some snowy highlights. The paint work on the yeti is very nice. The plastic provides the white, or actually a slightly off white color. Gray paint for the hands, feet, chest and in the groves of the sculpted fur works well. In fact it turned out so well I had to peek into the shoulder joints to verify which color was painted. Of course there is room for improvement such as painting the toe and finger nails but its not really necessary. The head looks great. The use of a darker shade of gray paint helps set it off from the body. And the eyes, teeth and tongue are all fully painted.
Accessories - 4/10There are only three accessories included: a pair of sais for Raph and a piece of chest armor. The sais are the same mold we have seen many times before. The do have the handles painted red and can be stored in loops on the sides of the belt, though the fit is tight. The chest armor is another repaint of the armor that originally came with Fightin' Gear Michelangelo. Personally I think I might prefer a coat, a hat or perhaps a pair of boots if I were going into the Himalayan mountains, but expecting new accessories for a set like this would be somewhat unrealistic.
Articulation - 6/10Raphael has the fully articulated fighting gear body with twenty three points of articulation. As with previous figures using this body, the ample number of joints is a welcome improvement over the first figures. But the design of some of those joints leaves room for improvement. The hip joints are not used very effectively. And the hinged fingers just make holding weapons more difficult. The yeti has five points of articulation: hips, waist and shoulders. All five are simple rotating joints. It is a shame that they couldn't also include rotating wrist since there is a seam there already. But what is provided is sufficient.
Value - 3/10The price tag for the Raph vs. Yeti set was $14.99. If you figure that Raphael is worth about $5, the cost of a basic TMNT figure, then you are paying $10 for the yeti figure. He is an interesting figure, but probably not worth that much. The other figure/vehicle packs in the line provide more play value. However, if you were patient, the set was fairly easy to find after Christmas for $10 or less. It is still more of a novelty than a notable addition to the toy line, but for under $10 it may be worth picking up just for the novelty factor.
Happy Hunting:The Raph vs. Yeti set was exclusive to Target. Unfortunately I do mean "was." They were fairly widely available in the fall and up until Christmas. But from what I have seen they have been dropped from al of the layouts in the post holiday resets. If you do wish to track it down, you'll have to search in the secondary market.