With the launch of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward cartoon and the corresponding flood of Fast Forward
product, there are a few last minute releases based on the last season of the cartoon that haven't gotten much attention.
In the midst of all of the Fast Forward toys, Playmates also managed to ship out two of the three remaining figures that
were originally suppose to come out last spring: Mutated Don and Baxter Robot. (Unfortunately it looks as though the
Purple Dragon figure won't be released, or at least not in the foreseeable future.)
Packaging - 6/10It looks like this will be the last time we see the newer packaging which is to bad. It isn't the greatest I've ever seen. But the Graphics at the top of the card are nice. The use of a city skyline for the insert in the bubble fits the tone of the cartoon well. The figures are clearly visible along with all of the accessories. The back of the cards is a mixed bag. They have a brief introduction to each figure, but the one for Baxter is wildly inaccurate. They have photos of some of the other recent figures. But they also included photos of the Purple Dragon figure on Baxter Robot's card and Quarry on Mutated Don's card. As if picturing figures which have not been shipping for a while or at all wasn't enough, they also left on the photos of the older vehicles such as the Combat Cruisers and Shell Striker vehicles. Why waste space promoting items that haven't shipped in months?
Sculpting - Baxter Robot 5/10, Mutated Don 7/10It is really nice to finally have a Baxter Stockman that is actually based on the show. And they did a decent job with the general design. But in the end, the Baxter Robot is an unimpressive sculpt. The basic form is right. But the waist is too narrow and the arms and feet too think. The figure is quite a bit larger than the other figures but not enough to be very imposing. The head sculpts are not the greatest either. They are too large to be in proportion with the body. And they aren't a great likeness. The glasses are too thick, the features are not quite sharp enough and the neutral mouth isn't very fitting for Stockman. But overall, it is a significant improvement from the previous Baxter figure.
Mutated Donatello on the other hand is a great figure. The design matches up to the show well, though they exaggerated the details in a few places. But it is small! Donatello's mutated form should be huge, larger than even Leatherhead. The figure is actually shorter than a regular Turtle figure. It's a real shame. But I guess you can always display it with the mini figures or the mini Ripped Up Turtle figures.
Paint - Mutated Don 6/10, Baxter Robot 3/10There isn't a lot of paint work on either of these figures. Mutated Don makes great use of them though. The yellow for the plastron shell brightens up the figure. And it contrasts nicely with the dark wash on the arms, legs and neck. By comparison Baxter just looks dull. Multiple gray tones isn't a great color scheme. They did pay more attention to the heads, but even those are pretty basic.
Articulation - 2/10Six points of articulation for Mutated Don and eight for Baxter Robot. That is pitiful. It's hard to believe that a company is still turning out figures with articulation numbering in the single digits. And they don't even use the articulation well. Baxter has rotating cut joints at the hips, shoulders, wrists, waist and neck. Mutated Don has rotating joints at the hips, shoulders, neck and base of the tail. Basically you can pose Don with the arms down or the arms up. Baxter Robot has a bit more range of motion, but not much.
Accessories - Mutated Don 3/10, Baxter Robot 7/10Mutated Donatello comes with a bent pipe and part of a girder. They don't really work well with the figure, certainly not as a weapon. And the idea that there happens to be a handle attached to a girder and a sewer pipe is just silly. Baxter's accessories are much better. He comes with the small spider body that he was using in the Secret Origins episodes. You can then put either the regular or cyborg Baxter head inside. The spider body a bit too large and doesn't have a a lot of detailing, but it does essentially give you two figures for the price of one. It's too bad that they didn't go a step further and include a piece to make the translucent glow effect around the heads on the robot body.
Value - 5/10The TMNT line is still one of the best deals in the action figure aisle with a price tag under $6. It's too bad that they cut so many corners to keep that price. If you are a fan of the show, these two are still worth picking up. But they aren't going to make anyone's best of lists.
Happy Hunting:Baxter Robot and Mutated Don have been shipping to store for the last couple of months. Unfortunately their release corresponded to the launch of the Fast Forward line and many stores past up the final refresher cases. Online options are also all but nonexistent.