I hate it when events make me realize that my parents may have been right. Every time a new TMNT figure came out, my
father would protest the new aquisition by asking if I didn't have enough figures already. The answer to which was of
course no, how could you ever have too many figures. Well Playmates Toys' third attempt to sell the Paleo Patrol figures
in the Attack Crawlers answered that question. I skipped these when they were first released due to a shortage of funds,
but when they hit clearance prices recently I picked up a set. So now it's time for the Paleo Patrol TMNT, take three.
Packaging - 6/10As the Paleo Patrol line makes one final appearance on the toy shelves, so does the Paleo Patrol packaging design. The addition of stone and bone graphic elements are still a welcome change from the yellow and orange backgrounds. A large window on the front which also wraps around to the top and right side panels provides a clear view of the toy and the fossil dig site background. Additional photos on the front and side panels show off the walking and missile firing features. The back of the box shows off the figure and Attack Crawler as well as the other three Attack Crawlers that are available. To Playmates' credit, for once they didn't waste space advertising toys that were no longer available when the Attack Crawlers were released.
Sculpting - Leo & Raph 5/10, Don & Mike 6/10The sculpting for the Attack Crawlers is a mixed bag. To start with, Leonardo and Raphael are the same as the previous Paleo Patrol versions of the characters. Strangely though, they did change up Donatello and Michaelangelo. But they use Leo and Raph's sculpts. I wish they had done this with all of the figures. Instead, it seems apparent that this half hearted effort was done simply to allow the figures to fit properly in the Attack Crawlers without having to to modify them. And even then, the body sculpt for Michelangelo and Raphael have to contort their arm in a wholely unnatural manner in order to hold the handles.
The Attack Crawlers themselves are an equally mixed bag. All four share the same main body and legs with one of two different sets of add on parts. Those parts which includes the tail and chest restraint. All of these parts look pretty good. They have plenty of sharp detail and do a reasonable job of dressing up the main body. It would be nice if they had changed up the parts to use all four possible combinations of tail and chest guard. Instead, you get to pairs of identical vehicles. The main body itself is a bit of a disappointment. Even putting the reused body aside, the level of detail doesn't match the rest of the parts. That's probably a good thing though since the mix of technology and organic parts doesn't fit with any of the other Paleo Patrol toys. I still haven't figured out why they have a mouth on the bottom. The pairs of clips along the sides which serve no purpose lead me to believe that the mold was recycled from another toy line, but I don't recognize it. But in the end, the body is understated enough that the rest of the parts hide its flaws well.
Paint - Leo 3/10, others 4/10The paint work on the figures is adequite but not impressive. Leonardo and Donatello have no notable problems. Raphael and Michelangelo both have spots of paint worn off of the backpack. And the paint around the knee pads on their right legs is sloppy. It's too bad that they didn't bother to come up with new color combinations for the figures beyond the skin tones though. It is bad enough that the figures share a body, painting them alike too seems a bit lazy. The vehicles have fairly simple paint schemes as well. The main bodies use each character's signature color heavily. For Michelangelo and Rapahel, that works well. But for Leonardo, the blue used is a bit too bright and unnatural looking. Combined with the bright red used for the accent color on the leg covers and back, it makes a rather silly looking color scheme. Donatello's could be better as well but it isn't as bad.
Accessories - 1/10Each Attack Crawler comes with two spring fired projectiles. That's it. At the very least they should have included some weapons or something to store in the clips on the sides of the Crawlers.
Articulation - 3/10The articulation for Crawlers is pretty limited. The guards over the cockpit open and close of course and the handles are ajustable. The legs have no articulation outside of the crawling feature. The only other articulation is the tails. Both types have three hinged joints as well as rotating at the base. It also has a fourth hinge that is used as part of the action feature.
The figures aren't very impressive either. They have thirteen points of articulation. That wouldn't be so bad. But for some reason they once again stripped out the articulation from the figures' knees and ankles. If they had done that just so they could reuse the mold from Dino Runner Raphael. But they had to go back and create a mold to remove that articulation from the body used by Donatello and Leonardo.
Play Value - 2/10The Attack Crawlers have only a few features to them. The obvious one is the mechanical walking action. With three AA batteries installed and the switch on the back turned on, the crawlers will walk forward while lashing out with their tail. The walking action works. But how well it works depends on the surface. On a hard surface it works well, though they don't necessarily go straight. But on softer surfaces like carpet, they barely move. And no matter what surface it is on, the tail movement is underwhelming. It adds a bit of visual interest. But it doesn't have enough range to actually hit anything. Also annoying is the fact that the only means of controling it is the on/off switch. That switch isn't always easy to reach. The only other feature is the firing projectiles. Mounted on either side of the main body, a small button above the launcher releases them. Unfortunately the range is pretty pitiful.
Value - 3/10The original retail price for the Attack Crawlers was $20. If you didn't already have the figure and don't mind the lack of weapons for the figure, you are still paying $15 for the vehicle. They aren't a great deal at that price. And once you have one, or one of each style, there is very little reason to buy the others. In fact, originally I only bought one of each. The good news is that you can get them cheaper now. Toys R Us has them on clearance for half price.
Happy Hunting:I bought mine at Toys R Us here in Madison, WI. You may want to check your local Toys R Us store. They also have Don's Attack Crawler available online. If you want a specific character, KB Toys has all four available, but they are still $20 apiece. .