Well life is finally falling back into line and with the new TMNT movie due out later this month, it is high time I clear out
some of the Ninja turtle reviews I've been putting off for so long. I reviewed the
first eight Fast Forward figures earlier. Now it's time to give the good guys someone to beat up. Up tonight are
three of the villains from the Fast Forward cartoon: Jammerhead, Viral and her boss Sh'okanabo.
Packaging - 6/10The packaging for the villains is essential the same as that of the other figures. The only real change is that all of the enemies share the same graphic depicting these three characters together in the upper left corner of the card and are only marked enemies at the top of the card. The back has the usual image of the figure, bio, file card and photos of other Fast Forward toys. I like the elements of the Fast Forward packaging. But the color scheme and over all appearance is still quite ugly much like most of the packaging since 2003.
Sculpting - Jammerhead 2/10, Viral 5/10, Sh'okanabo 6/10The sculpting for Viral and Jammerhead is pretty mediocre. Jammerhead is barely recognizable as the same character. To start with, he is missing the cloak which is a pretty intrical part of his character design. They didn't get the face right either. The figure is missing the goatee. And the visor he wears doesn't match up to the show either. Then the figure itself has oversized legs that make the entire figure look slightly deformed. I'd have to assume that the figure was based on early designs that changed by the time the show was animated. But reguardless of the reason, the end result is a figure that looks more like a kitbash custom figure than a professionally made, mass market figure. Viral is better. At the very least she is recognizable as the character from the show. But the sculpt is exceedingly plain. There is some etched lines similar to circuitry but that is about it. That is accurate to the show, though perhaps a bit thinner, but it still makes for a dull sculpt. Sh'okanabo is much better. It has a lot more detail than either of the other two while still maintaining the overall design from the show. The only area where it really goes astray is replacing the hands with exagerated claws. But the figure does have a major problem. He's tiny! Rather than looking imposing, compared to the Fast Forward turtles Sh'okanabo is a midget. He should look okay posed with some of the Mini TMNT figures though.
Paint - Jammerhead & Viral 4/10, Sh'okanabo 5/10The paint work on both Viral and Sh'okanabo turned out well. Though it should be noted that for Viral, the paint work is little more than a series of painted dots, often placed at random on the figure. And even with such a simple paint scheme, there is still considerable sloppiness on some of the paint applications. Jammerhead has a considerable amount more paint work, but suffers from quality issues. The edges tend to bleed. And the paint for the flesh tones is exceedingly thick and has a somewhat sickly gloss finish. Sh'okanabo is a different story. He has enough paint work to bring out most of the details of the sculpt. And aside from a single stray paint mark on the right claw, my figure has no quality control issues.
Articulation - Viral & Jammerhead 2/10, Sh'okanabo 3/10The articulation on these figures is down right sorry by modern standards. Viral and Jammerhead both have just five points of articulation: rotating cut joints at the neck, shoulders and hips. (Well technically Jammerhead has a sixth, the opening panel on his right elbow.) But the sculpt of the figures means that they can only stand when their legs are in the default position, and even then they aren't very stable. So you are left with only three practical points of articulation. Sh'okanabo fairs a bit better with seven points of articulation: hips, waist, shoulders and above the bicepts. The hips joints aren't very useful here either. But at least the figure can stand up. Some one please send Playmates Toys a memo and tell them that the days of five points of articulation being an acceptable amount of articulation are over.
Accessories - Sh'okanabo 3/10, Jammerhead & Viral 4/10 (add a point for the Viral figure with extra weapons)Jammerhead comes with three accessories: an oversized pistol, a machete and an axe. All three can be connected to the cable running from Jammerhead's back. Unfortunately the cable can not be removed. And the lack of articulation means that none of the accessories can be weilded very well. Viral comes with a staff with a large blade on the end and a whip with a blade near the handle. Of course, the figure can't hold either since her hands are not sculpted to grip items. So they have to clip onto the figure. And it works surprisingly well. Viral later shipped with four additional weapons taken from the generic weapons that were included with the Combat Cruisers and Battle Bikes. Of course, none of them have clips to allow the figure to hold them. Sh'okanabo has just one weapon designed for him, a large blade. It is actually a bit too large for such a small figure. He also comes with three additional weapons like Viral, taken from the Combat Cruisers and Battle Bikes, none of which the figure can hold. But unlike Viral, I don't believe he was ever available without the extras.
Value - Jammerhead 3/10, Viral 4/10, Sh'okanabo 5/10The retail price is one of the best things about these figures. At $5 to $6 each, they are some of the least expensive things left in the action figure aisles. Unfortunately, Jammerhead falls short in so many ways that even a small price tag is too much. Viral is better, but still comes up short on value. Sh'okanabo is the only figure of the three that really manages to justify the price tag. Had they bulked the figure up to be inscale with the other figures it would have been a pretty cool figure.
Happy Hunting:With most stores turning over shelf space to the movie toys now, finding the Fast Forward toys can be difficult. But there are a few options. In terms of brick and mortor stores, some Target stores are still carring the basic figures. You may also want to try either Toys R Us or KB Toys stores.