They say that everything old is eventually new again. And there are few things older than dinosaurs. So perhaps it shouldn't
be surprising that they are a theme that keeps popping up in action figure lines in general and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
lines in particular. The Turtles have crossed paths with the thunder lizards of the past in just about every incarnation since
they were introduced over twenty years ago. And while the green teens are between projects with the TMNT movie and Fast Forward
lines coming to a close and the next season some time off, the Paleo Patrol Turtles are back. In addition to reissuing the Paleo
Patrol figures, Playmates Toys has also released the Tyranno-blade helicopter which was originally slated to be released several
years ago. I won't bother to ask how they managed to get a helicopter in prehistoric times. I just hope they realize that there
won't be any oil to make fuel for the copter for a few million years.
Packaging - 5/10The Tyranno-Blade not only represents a return of a dinosaur theme, it also marks the return of the old style of packaging. There is no window on the box, just a large photo of the toy with repainted versions of the Monster Trapper figures inside of it. They did update a few of the graphics with the Paleo Patrol logo and stone backgrounds, but for some reason did not redo the entire box. That is a shame. Aside from the simple fact that I don't like the yellow colors of the old designs, in this case they also blend too well with the lighter colors of the toy. The box does have the advantage of being stronger than the usual window boxes which is nice if you like to keep your toys in the packaging.
Sculpting - 9/10I wasn't expecting much from the Tyranno-Blade since it seemed fairly clear that it was going to be just a modified version of the Mutant Copter. Of course, that is exactly what it is. They replaced the front piece and added covers to the landing skids, otherwise the two are identical. That isn't such a bad thing though. The Mutant Copter was pretty impressive looking. And the new pieces that they have added make it even better. The new parts really sell the prehistoric theme better than I would have thought possible. It is a shame that they left the wheel covers on the fronts of the skids uncovered as they look rather strange. The new nose is surprisingly elaborate as well. Ideally it would have been nice if they had gone through the effort of creating new blades for the main rotor and fins for the tail since they are so easy to swap out. At least they seem to have made the connection for the rotor blades more secure since the old ones tended to fall off easily.
Paint - 6/10I wasn't impressed with the paint work on the Mutant Copter. But the Tyranno-Blade is a major step in the right direction in that regard. There isn't a lot of paint work. But what is there works well enough. The landing skids are an excellent example of this. Ideally, they should have painted the log covers as well as the rope that is sculpted on them. Instead they just applied a paint wash over them. It isn't as nice as if they had done the full paint job, but it looks pretty good. I'm also surprised at how well the camoflage scheme works for the body of the chopper. It creates a very different appearance from the Mutant Copter that works well with the dinosaur theme of the Paleo Patrol figures.
Play Value - 5/10No changes have been made to the action features from the Mutant Copter. There is still a trigger under the body which causes the rotor to spin. There are three missiles that can be fired from under the nose of the helicopter. And of course there is still room for four figures to ride in or on the Tyranno-Blade. The Tyranno-Blade does represent a minor improvement over the Mutant Copter since the rotor spinning feature can be used without the blades flying off. But the covers on the landing skids also makes it more difficult to have figures ride on the outside of the chopper since there is no longer an open spot on which they can stand or pegs for their feet.
Value - 7/10The price for the Tyranno-Blade is $20. That was a pretty good price three years ago with the Mutant Copter. And it is an even better value now. The few new additions to the sculpt make it even more interesting looking. And the new paint scheme works better than that of the Mutant Copter. It is also worth noting the fact that the price has not increased despite it being several years later and the fact that the Tyranno-Blade seems to be exclusive to a single retailer so far. Ordinarily I would have expected those two factors alone to have pushed the price up a couple of Dollars.
Happy Hunting:As I mentioned, the recent reissued Paleo Patrol figures and the Tyranno-Blade seem to be exclusives to Toys R Us. I bought mine at the local Toys R Us store here in Madison, WI. It is also available from their website as well. It is possible that it could show up elsewhere eventually. But for now, Toys R Us is your only option.