So you're a mutant turtle: feared by the general population and facing a future as a science experiment if they are found.
But you are also a ninja: trained in stealth and the deadly arts. Obviously if you were looking for a vehicle/weapon, you
would probably want something fast and inconspicuous. Of course if you are also a teenager, all that goes out the window
in favor of the biggest, flashiest, most impractical option under the sun. But how do you get more impractical than a
Hummer in New York City? Why, twelve foot tall robotic suits of course. So enter the M.E.C.H. Wrekkers.
Packaging - 6/10The M.E.C.H. Wrekkers come in a window box similar to those used for the Giant figures. A large window on the front grants a clear view of the toy. The M.E.C.H. Wrekkers and TMNT logos, an image of the turtle and a couple of photos of the features leaves little other room on the front. The sides have a partial image of one of the M.E.C.H. Wrekker legs with a photo of the motorized walking feature. Playmates even went to the trouble of using separate image for Raph and Mike since they have wheeled feet. The back has a large photo of the toy with the features pointed out as well as small photos of the other M.E.C.H. Wrekker toys. What little of the background is visible on the packaging uses the same pattern as the older packaging, but this time it is gray. The quasi metallic look plays well with the idea of a robotic suit. But there really isn't much on the packaging to get a customer excited.
Sculpting - Mike 6/10, others 5/10I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the M.E.C.H. Wrekkers in person the first time. I was really expecting Playmates to take the easy way out on these and reuse the same body for all four suits. To their credit, each toy is a unique sculpt. Michelangelo's suit is my favorite of the four. It has a great industrial look to it, reminiscent of the power loader suit from Alien. Raphael's suit has the best feature of the four suits in the working treads. But the rest of the figure comes off as too bulky. The cylindrical missile pods on the shoulders and above the figure's head are nice when the covers are open. But once the covers are flipped shut on the shoulder launchers, they look more like giant salt and pepper shakers. Leonardo's suit would be my second favorite of the four. The bulk of the body contrasts well with the openness of the roll cage around the figure. But the puny look of the swords on the ends of the thick arms give it an incomplete look, almost as if the real hands were missing and the swords were a last minute substitution. Donatello's suit has a nice design for the main frame and legs, but I really dislike the shoulder designs. The round design with the large missile launchers sitting so high gives them an alien look that doesn't work well with the rest of the body.
Paint/Decals - 4/10The M.E.C.H. Wrekkers use a very limited palette for the paint work. Both Donatello's and Raphael's suits use their signature colors as the primary color. Meanwhile, Leonardo's and Michelangelo's are aqua and bronze in color respectively. With the possible exception of the shoulders on Donatello's suit, accent colors are very limited. The interiors received no paint at all. There are a few decals applied to the suits including each Turtle's initial on the chest restraint and black and yellow caution stripes in various locations. But the decals are often poorly applied and or ill fitting, particularly the caution stripes. In general the paint work isn't bad, but it really doesn't do the sculpting justice.
Articulation - 3/10The M.E.C.H. Wrekker suits have pretty limited articulation. The shoulders rotate and the elbows are hinged. The roll cage over the cockpit flips up to open and the leg covers are hinged. The hand grips are hinged in two places to allow them to be moved out of the way when inserting or removing the figures. There is also some articulation for each suit related to the action features. For Leonardo the swords rotate and the radar at the top rotates. The rest have wrists that spin and extend out. The legs on all four suits are either completely unarticulated or the articulation is completely tied to the walking feature. I suppose it would be unrealistic to hope to see the action features eliminated in favor of more articulation. But they still could have added a ball joint for the shoulders or rotating biceps.
Accessories - 4/10Each M.E.C.H. Wrekker comes with a turtle figure. The figures are identical to the Fightin' Gear releases, but lack any of the gear or weapons. Mike, Leo and Don can use the weapons from the suits. But they are too large to be wielded very well. Each suit also has a pair of spring loaded projectiles that fire from their shoulders. Raphael's suit has an additional launcher mounted above the figure.
Play Value - 2/10The M.E.C.H. Wrekkers really fail to deliver in this area. Each suit is supposed to have several features including the firing projectiles, arm weapons and of course the motorized movement. The motorized movement which is supposed to be the biggest selling point is a waste on all four suits. The walking function on Donatello and Leonardo's suits are so slow that you can barely tell if they are moving. Michelangelo and Raphael's suits are a little faster, but still painfully slow. The arm weapons have extremely limited range. The springs for firing the projectiles are not very strong. But the projectiles are all quite light so they have a decent range.
Value - 3/10The M.E.C.H. Wrekkers retail for $20. This would have been a great opportunity to get an accurate version of Donatello's suit from the "Same as it Never Was" episode of the cartoon. But the M.E.C.H. Wrekkers fail to deliver even that. While you do get a figure with each suit, there is nothing to set them apart from the Fightin' Gear versions we've already gotten. With the holiday season upon us, several stores have been running sales on them and dropping the price to $15 or less. But even at that price, they don't really deliver much value for your money.
Happy Hunting:The M.E.C.H. Wrekker figures have been on store shelves for a couple of months now. They should be widely available in most areas. I've seen them in most stores that carry the TMNT line including Target, Toys R Us, Kmart and Walmart. If you are looking to save a few dollars, both Toys R Us and Target currently have them on sale for $15. Target's sale is only good through November 10th. But Toys R Us' sale should run through Thanksgiving. If you prefer an online option, Amazon.com has them for Toys R Us' sale price.