I have more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fast Forward reviews for tonight. This time it is the Dark Turtles. Who are the
Dark Turtles? Well, you've probably guessed that they are evil versions of the four Ninja Turtles. In the Fast Forward
cartoon Sh'okanabo, one of the reoccurring villains from the first season, decides to fight the turtles with bigger, stronger
versions of themselves that he created. And thus the Dark Turtles were created. So did Playmates manage to do better with
their figures than they did on Sh'okanabo?
Packaging - 6/10The packaging design for the Dark Turtles is the same as the other enemies in the Fast Forward line. The front of the card features generic graphics for any enemy figure. The figures are displayed in the center of the bubble with their weapons around them. Due to their larger size, the figures themselves pretty much fill out the bubbles on their own. The back of each card has a photo of the figure and its weapons, a brief bio, a file card and photos of some of the other Fast Forward toys. The packaging is nice, but the ostentatious colors of the backgrounds means that they are not very attractive.
Sculpting - Dark Mike 2/10, Dark Raph 5/10, others 7/10The sculpting for the Dark Turtles is a definite step up from Jammerhead and Viral, but the figures are not without issues. Dark Leo is the best of the four. To start with, only he and Dark Don are large enough to look imposing when posed with the Fast Forward versions of the Turtles. The sculpt is fairly simple, but manages to avoid having any dull areas. Dark Don is scaled well with Dark Leo. He is a tad taller, but a bit slimmer overall. The shoulder area on the figure looks a bit dull though. With the huge forearm guards dominating the arms and the fairly detailed sculpting of the head and plastron shell make the shoulders' large flat pads go almost completely unnoticed. A little paint work could have solved that though. Dark Raph has a nice sculpt with a lot of detail. But he is small. By now we should be used to the "monster" figures being shrunk down, but Dark Raph should still be at least as tall as his non-evil counterpart. Lastly we have Dark Mike. The detail work on the figure is pretty good, better than either Dark Raph or Don really. But then they went and made Dark Mike so small that the regular Turtle figures look imposing compared to him. Then they permanently positioned the right arm in such a way as to make it useless. It is held out to his side with the elbow fully bent. If you could still turn the shoulder to make the arm useable, it would be okay. But the arm hits the shell and keeps the arm from being rotating beyond simply horizontal. It makes his weapons rather useless. Finally, in case being the runt of the litter with a bum wing wasn't enough, his legs are positioned with the feet sticking out to either side which make him the least stable of the bunch. He tips over easily too.
Paint - Dark Don 4/10, others 5/10The paint work on the Dark turtles isn't very elaborate. But it is generally pretty clean with little to no sloppiness or stray marks. They did apply a paint wash on the plastrons of each figure. The effect is nice, but it just makes me wonder how good the figures could look had they put in some extra effort. And speaking of lack of effort, Dark Don lost a point for not painting the shoulder pads. While both Dark Mike and Leo also have unpainted details to their sculpts, the effect isn't as noticeable on them.
Articulation - Dark Mike 3/10, others 4/10All four Dark Turtles have seven points of articulation: neck, shoulders, wrists and hips. That's not much articulation for a modern action figure. And on figures like this, there's no reason why additional articulation couldn't be added. But at least for Dark Leo, Don and Raph the articulation is put to good use. But on Dark Mike, the hip and right shoulder joints are almost completely wasted since the figure can't stand up if the legs are moved and the shoulder joint can't compensate for the limits of the sculpt getting in the way.
Accessories - Dark Leo 6/10, Dark Don 3/10, others 4/10Dark Leo, Raph and Mike all come with an assortment of weapons including both bladed and blunt weapons. But for some reason Dark Don got the shaft with nothing more than a stick. Well it is suppose to be a bo, but it is really just a long stick with tape on the middle. Dark Mike has a ball and chain and two combination club/pick axes. Dark Raph has a large spiked club and two brass knuckles with a blade on them. It is nice to get some unique weapons, but the hands can't hold them tightly when the blade actually faces forward. Dark Leo has the best set of accessories. In addition to a different ball and chain from Dark Mike, he also comes with the curved sword from the cartoon, a large katana style sword and a sheath in which to store the katana that attaches to his back.
Value - Dark Leo 6/10, Dark Raph 5/10, Dark Don 4/10, Dark Mike 3/10At $5 to $7, the TMNT Fast Forward figures may not be the cutting edge of action figures, but they do carry one of the smallest price tags you'll find in the action figure aisle. And Dark Leo is a fairly solid figure all around. Dark Raph is a close second, held back mainly due to his size. Dark Don should be a much better figure, but I still have a hard time overlooking the laziness of the unpainted shoulder pads and just a single accessory. Dark Mike is a victim of his sculpt. There is no way for the paint or sparse articulation to make up for his small size and ridiculously bad pose.
Happy Hunting:The Fast Forward figures are in short supply now that the TMNT movie figures are taking up most of the space on store pegs. Locally the only store that still stocks the basic figures is Target. But if you have either a Kmart or KB Toys store nearby, they may still have them as well. Online you can still find them at KB Toys.com. But at $8 each, they are quite pricey there.