Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection figures

group photo
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are extremely popular right now. The new cartoon on Nickelodeon is getting a whole new generation of kids hooked on the property. But Playmates know that it is not just young kids that are fans. So they are looking to cash in on fans of the 1980's cartoon as well with a series of detailed, highly articulated figures based on the designs from the Fred Wolf cartoon. NECA set the bar high for classic style TMNT figures with their Mirage Comic inspired figures a few years ago. Now it's time to see if Playmates Toys is prepared to step up their game to meet that standard.

Packaging - 8/10

Each Classic Collection figure comes in a large, cylindrical shaped blister attached to a large, seven and a half by twelve inch card. The figures do a great job of filling the visible area of the blister while an insert at the bottom shows the figure's name along with illustrations of the four Turtles in their vintage cartoon designs. One of the cooler touches to the design is the return of the brick wall graphics for the background. It is a very nice touch. The back of the card has a brief description of where the design of the figures comes from, a large illustration of the toon style turtles and a small photo of the four figures. I'm not a great fan of the fact that they used one generic back for all four figures or the fact that it doesn't highlight the actual toys very well. On the plus side, the packaging seems to be quite rugged. The sets that I received were rather poorly packaged and shipped in a case that didn't actually fit them, but they still made it to me with little to no wear or damage.

Sculpting - 8/10

Playmates did a wonderful job of capturing the look of the original toon Turtles with the Classic Collection figures. The proportions are great as are the head sculpts. I'm not thrilled with the way they designed the hands. There is a section of the hand that extends from the back over the joint at the base of the fingers. The intention was to hide the joints. Instead it makes the hands look too thick and makes the joint look even worse. I can live with that though. There is always going to have to be some compromise between the sculpt and articulation. There is one issue that really annoys me, the scale. The Classic Collection figures are about 6.25 inches tall. When you consider that the toon Turtles were quite short, that would make these at least 7 inch scale. So they are completely out of scale with any other TMNT toy ever produced. They don't even mix with other toy lines since that is such an unusual scale. Hopefully we will see more of the line to give the Turtles some of their allies and someone to fight. If not, these will become great figures that are quickly forgotten.

Paint - 7/10

The paint work on the Classic Collection figures is not very elaborate. But everything that needed to be painted is and it all looks good. And any greater detail would have probably worked against these figures since they are meant to portray the appearance in the cartoon.

Articulation - 8/10

The packaging for the Classic Collection figures touts "34 points of articulation." That includes:
  • ball jointed neck
  • rotating and hinged shoulders
  • rotating biceps
  • double jointed elbows
  • rotating and hinged wrists
  • hinged fingers
  • rotating and hinged thumbs
  • ball jointed torso
  • ball jointed hips
  • rotating thighs
  • double jointed knees
  • rotating and hinged ankles
  • hinged toes
All of the joints on my figures are nice and tight, though I have heard some reports of loose joints. There are a few joints that I could do without such as the hinged toes and fingers. But they are still able to hold their weapons fairly well, so at least they don't harm the figures. The range of motion of the hips and the neck is fairly limited. They can look up, but not down and they can't stand with their legs together. But even with those minor issues, these are still incredibly well articulated figures.

Accessories - 6/10

Each Turtle comes with his signature weapon(s) and a large manhole cover stand. The weapons are nicely sculpted and painted. And all of them can be stored in the figures' belts. The bases aren't really necessary since the figures can stand quite well on their own. But they can be useful if you want to place them in an action pose.

Value - 7/10

The Classic Collection figures are available for $15 to $20 each. For $15 they are impressive figures. But they don't quite go the extra mile to make them must own figures. If the line grows beyond just the Turtles, that will help. But if you are a fan of the original cartoon and want a nostalgia fix, these should suit your needs perfectly.

Happy Hunting:

The Classic Collection figures don't seem to be showing up in many brick and mortar stores. I have seen them in Toys R Us locally, but that's it. (And they were more expensive there.) But they are available from a few web stores including Target.com and Toysrus.com. Unfortunately finding them in stock could take some persistence. They have been selling out regularly along with the other TMNT toys for a while.

Classic Collection Leo MOC Classic Collection Don MOC

Classic Collection Mike MOC Classic Collection Raph MOC

card back

Raph front and back

Raph in action

Raphael close up Raphael's accessories Raphael's sais in belt Leo front and back Leo close up Leo's accessories Leo's swords in scabbards Mike front and back Mike close up Mike's accessories Mike's weapons in belt Don front and back Don close up Don's accessories Leo scale comparison Madman and Marvel Legends size comparision group action pose