Playmates obsession with motorcycles continues. (What is up with that anyway?) The latest wave of basic sized vehicles gives us two more
bikes, the Bad Boy Moto-Psycho and Planet Racers cycle. But these bikes have a secret. Like the Hover Chopper before them, they both
convert to a flying mode. I'm looking forward to the inevitable Hell's Angels Turtles ;-)
For those who may not know it, the Planet Racers cycle is based on a comic started by one of the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Laird. When the new cartoon was going to do episodes that were to take place in alternate realities, one of the episodes was set in the Planet Racers' reality. If you want to know more, check out the Planet Racers web site are PlanetRacers.com
Packaging - 7/10The Planet Racers and Moto-Psycho Cycles are the first of the basic vehicles to be packaged in window boxes, similar to the Battle Bikes. Each one is nicely displayed in the window with the missiles strapped to the back. The front of the box has a small photo of the alternate mode of each vehicle as well as a photo of the missiles being fired. The back of the box has photos of the bikes in both modes with the features pointed out. There is also a brief write up that is unique to each vehicle. Finally, several of the other recent vehicles are pictured at the bottom. While I'm still no fan of the background pattern, the packaging here is well done and reasonably attractive.
Sculpting - PR Cycle 4/10, Moto-Psycho 7/10The Planet Racers cycle is a reasonable imitation of the original design, but it has been modified both to add durability and convert it into a single rider vehicle. The nose in particular has been shortened while the tail is more narrow since it no longer needs to accommodate a passenger. The Planet Racers cycle lacks detail though. The engine area in particular has a very flat look to it. And when converted to hover mode, there is no sculpting for the undersides of the wheels.
The Moto-Psycho is one of the nicest basic sized vehicles Playmates has produced in quite a while. It has a bulky look in cycle mode which gives it a nice modern look and helps to mask the lack of detail in areas like the engine. The conversion to flying mode is simple but effective. The wheels are well hidden and the bulk works well around the jet engine. There is a large bland spot directly behind each of the thrusters. A little detailing there would have been nice and easily concealed in motor cycle mode.
Paint/Decals - Moto-Psycho 3/10, PR Cycle 5/10The Planet Racers Cycle has an adequate paint job, but nothing more. The paint is minimal but clean. There are a few stickers for the thrusters on the back and decals for the numbers on the sides. It is simple but it works. The Moto-Psycho didn't fair as well. Its cycle mode is passable, though the lack of any sort of controls or gauges is a bit silly looking. But it is the flying mode that really takes a hit. Playmates ignored the jet intake and exhaust entirely. They are the same green color as the surrounding body which gives it a very cheap look.
Play Value - 6/10Both the Planet Racers Cycle and Moto-Psycho have the ability to change from a regular motorcycle to a flying mode as well as spring loaded missiles but the PR cycle adds a movable guard that serves as a stand for the bike. The Moto-Psycho doesn't require the use of additional support, it can balance fine on its own due to its extremely low ground clearance. Conversion to flying mode for the Planet Racers cycle is the same as the previously released Hover Chopper. The front and rear wheels are split and folded out to the sides. The Moto-Psycho is a little more involved. A hinged door on the bottom is opened and the front wheel folds inside. The rear wheel then folds around and slides in. Finally the stabilizing thrusters on the sides can be rotated down and positioned however you wish. The missile firing mechanism is the same for both. The missile(s), the PR cycle has only one while the Moto-Psycho has two, load into the front and are fired by pressing a button behind the windscreen. The missiles work as well as can be expected in this day and age, but that isn't saying much.
Value - 7/10The basic vehicles usually sell for $10, but some stores may charge a few dollars more. For that price, these are a pretty good deal and a lot of fun. The Moto-Psycho is probably the better vehicle, and adds to the rather limited cache of villain vehicles we have gotten in this line so far. But the Planet Racers cycle does have the advantage of having appeared in the cartoon.
Happy Hunting:Though they look different, these are the latest wave of basic vehicles and have been shipping to stores since early this year. They should be available most places where the Ninja Turtle line is sold, providing they have received new stock during the post X-mas lull.